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TV producers tour Cabell schools

TV show
Jul. 30, 2009 @ 02:33 PM

HUNTINGTON -- A few producers from a yet-to-be-named unscripted television show featuring British chef Jamie Oliver toured several of Cabell County's public schools Wednesday.

Communications Director Jedd Flowers and Food Services Director Rhonda McCoy chauffeured the producers throughout the county, stopping at nearly every school to take pictures and view cafeterias and kitchens.

"They wanted to take a look at the facilities and take some pictures," Flowers said. "At this point, they're scouting."

Huntington is expected to serve as the base for the show's productions, although filming also may include Ohio and Kentucky. ABC has ordered six episodes, which will begin airing in the middle of the upcoming season, said Pat Preblick, ABC's publicity director.

Oliver will work with local officials to offer healthier food choices. The show is likely to address school lunch menus, availability of fresh produce at local grocery stores, fast-food restaurants and food choices at offices, Preblick said.

Flowers said the school system was hesitant at first to get involved, but he has been assured numerous times that the show has positive intentions. He also said that Oliver likely will work with the schools on menu choices and food preparation -- something he did previously in a British TV series.

On Tuesday night, Flowers confirmed that the producers spoke with him at a health fair. Flowers said he observed the producers visiting every agency there.

Filming for the show started Saturday at the West Virginia Hot Dog Festival at Pullman Square, as well as Saturday morning's 5K Bun Run.

Keith Cotroneo, president of Marshall Community & Technical College, said there has been some discussion about using the culinary school for production activities but has heard nothing beyond that.