The 67-year-old celebrity chef plans to launch The Paula Deen Network in September. The online network is a subscriber-based service owned by Paula Deen Ventures, and will be accessible via computer, tablet and smartphone.
The network features episodes of Deen cooking, and also includes recipes and cooking tips. The chef tells the Wall Street Journal she turned down an offer for a new television show in order to reach her fans directly and take more control over production.
"After much research and talking to our fans, this is what they wanted," she says. "They wanted to be able to watch me anytime, anywhere, any place. iPads are so much lighter to tote around than a TV."
"In a network program, you only have 22 minutes," she continues. "The fans are going to see things they have never seen before. They are going to see all of me."
Deen's announcement of her return comes a year after the controversy that put her career on hold. She lost dozens of endorsements and her Food Network show last June after she admitted to using racial epithets in the past. Paula Deen Ventures executives say her "support base has strengthened since then," and Deen plans to embark on a summer tour to promote the new network.
"I'm so excited about my new online network and can't wait to show everyone what we've been working on," the chef writes on her website. "We're going to have so much fun being together and cooking up some wonderful new and classic dishes. Y'all can get my recipes, tips and cooking anytime you want -- this is for you. I can't wait to crank up the oven and get cooking for the people I love: my family, my friends and my fans."
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