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NBC to debut new 'The Chopping Block' cooking competition March 11

By Christopher Rocchio, 01/16/2009 

NBC has announced The Chopping Block, a new culinary competition series that will pit couples against each another for the opportunity to win $250,000, will premiere Wednesday, March 11 at 8PM ET/PT.

The Chopping Block will begin with eight couples, who will be split into two teams consisting of four couples each. 

Each team will then be given two empty, side-by-side restaurant spaces in the middle of Manhattan -- where they'll have less than a week to accomplish several tasks, including designing their space, planning a menu and generating publicity to ensure a crowd.

The restaurants will then open at the same time and be competing for the same costumers -- with a panel of yet-to-be-revealed judges observing the action. 

The team who receives the worst reviews will then have to face an elimination, with one of the couples from their squad ultimately being eliminated.

Additional tasks will see the teams concocting a signature dish; preparing freshly killed game; handling a wedding reception; and cooking classic cuisines.  One couple will be eliminated each week, and the one left standing at the end of the competition will receive a $250,000 grand prize.

British chef Marco Pierre White -- who replaced Hell's Kitchen star Gordon Ramsay as the star of the original U.K. version of the Fox reality show when the U.K. version's third edition debuted in September 2007 -- will serve as The Chopping Block's culinary star.

NBC had ordered The Chopping Block last March. In April, the network had announced that series would air on Friday nights as part of its Summer 2009 primetime programming schedule.

The Chopping Block is being produced by Hell's Kitchen co-producer Granada America, with David Barbour and Julian Cress serving as executive producers.

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