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Dine-and-Dish Show Boosts Viewership 50%, Attracts Younger Audience First Season;
Reveals First Show’s Restaurant Picks via Facebook December 28

PHOENIX…Dec. 19, 2011…Eight, Arizona PBS launches its second season of locally produced Check, Please! Arizona on Thursday, January 5 at 7:00 p.m. Recipient of three Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, the show is reaching a growing audience that includes 10-percent more viewers in the 18-49 demographic than does Eight’s average primetime lineup.
Each week, Check, Please! Arizona features a trio of guests who dine and then review three local restaurants they recommended to each other. James Beard award-winning chef Robert McGrath hosts the half-hour program.

Check, Please! Arizona is a bit of an anomaly for Eight,” said Nancy Southgate, Eight’s associate general manager – content and executive producer of the show. “We produce it ourselves, and its audience skews younger than average for PBS. But Arizonans are embracing this home-grown show and telling their friends to tune in. We expect that kind of viral following only to spread in the second season.”
Southgate revealed that in 2012, Check, Please! Arizona will feature 39 restaurants across Arizona including: Bravo! Bistro in Scottsdale, 15.quince grill and cantina in Jerome, Essence Bakery Cafe in Tempe, Nobou at Teeter House in Phoenix and Vogue Bistro in Surprise. On January 26, the entire show will be devoted to Sedona area restaurants.

During last season, more than 600 viewers nominated restaurants to be considered for Check, Please! Arizona, Southgate said, another indicator of the show’s popularity. To appear on the show, viewers must nominate their favorite eatery (restaurant, supper club, diner, lunch cafe, dive, hole-in-the-wall, food truck, etc.) at The show’s website received about 120,000 visits in 2011, and anticipation of those restaurants successfully nominated runs high, she added.

“This year, we’ll give fans a peek at the first show by unveiling those restaurants on Eight’s Facebook page Wednesday, December 28,” Southgate said. “Ramping up our Facebook posts and Tweets is another way we expect to better engage viewers this upcoming season.”

Key to the program’s success is its host, McGrath, a nationally acclaimed chef for more than two decades who is largely credited with changing the face of American Western cuisine. McGrath, of Roaring Fork fame, is now Executive Chef of the upscale Spotted Donkey Cantina in Scottsdale. Producer of Check, Please! Arizona is Scott Wallin; Coordinating Producer is Suzanne Guery.

Check, Please! Arizona is made possible by, Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers, Whitfill Nursery and Lawns by Les. Check, Please! is a registered service mark of Check, Please! LLC.


About Eight, Arizona PBS

Eight, Arizona PBS specializes in the education of children, in-depth news and public affairs, lifelong learning, and the celebration of arts and culture -- utilizing the power of noncommercial television, the Internet, educational outreach services, and community-based initiatives. The PBS station began broadcasting from the campus of Arizona State University on January 30, 1961. Now more than 80 percent of Arizonans receive the signal through a network of translators, cable and satellite systems. With more than 1 million viewers each week, Eight consistently ranks among the most-viewed public television stations per capita in the country. Arizonans provide more than 60 percent of the station's annual budget.

Eight is a member-supported service of Arizona State University.