-- Fast-paced, family cooking competition from the producers of Iron Chef America features a mix of the culinary elite and food-loving celebrities as judges and is hosted by comedian and actor Ralph Harris --
--Special pre-Mother’s Day celebration features a primetime mini-marathon Sunday, May 6 from 8-11 PM with the premiere episode, plus two all-new shows
Silver Spring, MD, April 11, 2012 – This May, TV One serves up a delicious take on culinary competition with the debut of its new primetime series My Momma Throws Down. Premiering Friday, May 4th from 8-9 PM ET, the fast-paced cooking contest features weekly face-offs between kitchen matriarchs to see who will be named the reigning queen of home cuisine.
My Momma Throws Down is hosted by comedian and actor Ralph Harris (On Our Own, Last Comic Standing, Dreamgirls, Evan Almighty) and produced by Triage Entertainment, the makers of Iron Chef America. Each week, two new mothers will compete head-to-head through two rounds to win cash and prizes. Backed by a lively team of family supporters, the mothers will demonstrate their skills in the kitchen, as they race against the clock to put their personal spin on classic dishes. A rotating panel of judges made up of culinary experts and celebrities decide each week which contestant deserves the bragging rights as “Top Momma.” In the May 4 premiere episode, the Soul Food sisters, actresses Nicole Ari Parker, Malinda Williams and Vanessa Williams join cookbook author and culinary historian Dr. Jessica Harris in judging the competition.
“At its core, My Momma Throws Down is a true celebration of the matriarch of the family, placing her passion, skills, down-home expertise, and reputation as a great cook on the line for all of America to witness,” said TV One President and CEO Wonya Lucas.
The rotating panel of judges is made up of a number of culinary elite and notable celebrities, including Chef Marcus Samuelsson, James Beard award-winning chef, cookbook author, chef/owner at the acclaimed Red Rooster Harlem and winner of Top Chef Masters; Marvin Woods, the celebrity chef, host, and author of cookbook Home Plate Cooking; Dr. Jessica Harris, educator, culinary historian, and writer of eleven cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African Diaspora, including her latest, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America; Melba Wilson, chef/owner of Melba’s, the Harlem fixture known for its signature chicken and waffles; Tanya Holland, the noted French-trained chef and owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland, CA and the author of New Soul Cooking: Updating a Cuisine Rich in Flavor and Tradition; and Chef Brian Hill, who initially rose to fame from his appearances on Top Chef and Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, and now caters for celebrities including Eddie Murphy and Mary J. Blige.
Other celebrity judges during the eight-episode run include Trina and Towanda Braxton; Kandi Burruss from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”; comedian Loni Love; actor Rockmond Dunbar; Grammy Award-winning songwriter Bryan Michael Cox; and boxer, actor and model Ngo Okafor.
The competition is fierce, as each mother first provides her signature dish for both the judges and her adversary to rate, then races against the clock to create an entire meal on a moment’s notice. The families also play an important role throughout the episode, as they are presented with various challenges that can add or delete minutes from their mother’s cooking time. From a trivia quiz, to a special “smack down” challenge, to a “blind” taste-test - the results of which count towards the judges’ final decision - the families do all they can to help their mothers win.
New episodes are scheduled to air Fridays at 8 PM, repeating at 11 PM. However, as a special pre-Mother’s Day celebration, TV One will devote the whole evening Sunday, May 6 to My Momma Throws Down, beginning at 8 PM when it will re-air the premiere episode, followed by two all-new episodes at 9 and 10 PM, with the celebration repeating at 11 PM (all times ET).
Executive producer for TV One is Kaye Zusmann, and executive in charge of production is Tia Smith.
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv) serves nearly 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies, and music designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK; www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets African American and urban listeners; and Comcast Corporation [NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK); www.comcast.com], one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services.