Last February TV Tonight told you about Conviction Kitchen, a Canadian series in which 24 ex-criminals, with no culinary experience, are given three weeks to open a restaurant.
TV Tonight now understands Seven is in pre-production on this factual series, to film at a Brisbane venue soon.
A deal is also believed to have been secured with Queensland Dept of Corrections to about 18 prisoners who are about to be released back into the community. It’s not the first time a TV series has included prisoners in a series, with ABC recently producing Jailbirds under choirmaster Jonathan Welch.
A prominent chef from Melbourne will be running the kitchen and training the participants.
The Canadian series featured 84 former bank robbers, thieves and petty offenders who were whittled down to seven waiters and six cooks, followed by a three-week boot camp.
“This is probably the most emotional show we’ve ever made,” said Canada’s Cineflex president of programming Simon Lloyd. “You’ve got someone taking heroin, who can’t stay in the restaurant because he can’t be around recovering addicts.”
Seven has a number of new productions said to be in development with a deal to be struck soon with Disney for a local version of The Amazing Race, plus plans for a local version of Iron Chef and the greenlight rumoured to have been given to drama pilot Winners and Losers.