We Watched the Oprah Audition Tapes So You Don’t Have To.


As you have no doubt heard by now, Oprah is holding an open casting call for would-be hosts for her new network.  Even the front runners are not particularly slick–I'm amazed that people who want to have their own TV show don't even bother to find a nice background for themselves.  Still, they have their own charm. (Check out the viral Zach's Audition for charm and brilliance.)

Finding the garden shows among the audition tapes is tricky because there is no garden category, and some of the shows I knew were about gardening didn't turn up when I searched for the term.  But here are the ones I've managed to find.

Comments?  Opinions?  Ideas about the kind of garden show you'd like to see on Oprah's network? Get over there to vote early and often; and do let us know if we've missed any.

Friend of Rant Shirley Bovshow has a very professional pitch for her show "Eden Makers."  You may have seen her Garden World Report–she's really doing a good job of producing an internet TV show that pulls in video submissions from all over.

Sunset magazine editor Julie Chai is pitching a show called "Dig In" about kitchen gardening.

Garden writer Kate Copsey has posted her pitch tape for a basic garden show.

Then there's Garden, Cook, & Compost with Kids–from someone named Elizabeth, who calls herself "NotACoolMom."

Nikita "Nature Boy" Floyd is a DC-based garden designer whose pitch tape includes a scene of him marrying his favorite plant.

Chris Walsh, the Gay Garden Gnome from Chicago–you know I'm gonna love that name.  He's totally cute, but dude, couldn't you have gone outside for your demo tape? 

Marie proposes Emily's Garden, a reality lifestyle show with an audition tape that includes burying a fish in the garden.

Lilia proposes a garden/food show called Garden 2 Kitchen

Well, you get the general idea.  Voting ends Saturday, so get over there if you want to cast your ballot.


  1. Amy
    Thank you for taking the time to find these. It really was not easy and rather a dismal turnout for the garden community as whole.

  2. I don’t have high hopes for a good quality national gardening show. Our country is just too big, in my opinion. Especially since The best “how to” source for advice in my garden is local folks.

    I would LOVE to see more films like Attenborough’s Private LIfe of Plants and Chris Korrow’s Garden Insects. Give those folks a budget, please!! would also love to see Ken Burns (or KB wannabe) take on Brother Gardeners, or Dan Hinkley’s plant hunting adventures. I do want to learn more about plants, and their native habitats and true plant experts. I simply don’t trust “how-to” garden tv that isn’t truly local.

  3. I didn’t look through the whole list just the first one ‘Dig in’ by Julie Chai and I already feel annoyed with it she gives tomato growing advice “cut off the lower leaves and plant deeply” so what does she do? break off its leaves dig a small hole and plant the tomatoe at the same ground level.

    I would have liked to see her get in there and plant that tomato the way she gave advice to do so.

    To many gardening shows over simplify the growing process and the host never gets dirty.

    I would like to see more reality in my gardening shows.

    Just my 2cents.

  4. How many times can I vote for Zach ?

    Aside from Shirley’s show, I think only Nikita’s show has promise The others seem to have “local cable access” written all over them. Perhaps it’s in the editing, or the general “local” nature of gardening, but I don’t think they would work nationally.

    Maybe this is why the HGTV “garden” shows all focus on hardscape & generic greenery ? Too tough to sell nationally, that which is inherently local.

    I do really like vicki’s idea of making documentaries of the many plant books, a la “Botany of Desire”. Those I’d watch repeatedly – I’d even buy the DVD.

  5. I’m glad all I watch on tv at this point is cooking shows on PBS.

    We’re not going to see anything that is by gardeners for gardeners anytime soon.

    Not unless it is on PBS. Part of the reason Julia Child’s shows were always on PBS, for example, is so she’d be able to avoid being sponsored by companies and then be stuck endorsing them. Can you imagine The French Chef had it been sponsored by KRAFT? Oy.

    It is bad enough on PBS as it is, though, with all the propaganda from Monsanto before and after the farming shows.

    Anyway, that is dithering off-topic, sorry.

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