Robert Irvine Sympathizes With Frustration At Food Network's Discovery+

When a popular TV series gets canceled, of course the show's loyal followers are going to be disappointed. The Food Network gave Robert Irvine's long-running series Restaurant: Impossible the boot, temporarily, in 2016 – not that many Redditors seemed upset about it at the time. Irvine's restaurant-rescue show does have its fans, however, and this month they suffered an outrage that's arguably worse than cancellation. This time around, the Discovery family of networks isn't robbing fans of a show they love. The networks are charging them, telling them they will need to pay more to continue watching it.

With little or no prior warning, the Food Network informed people watching Restaurant: Impossible on January 7 that this would be the last time they ever saw the show again unless they subscribed to discovery+ (via Reality Blurred). The show was moving to the new streaming service, which costs $5 per month or $7 ad-free.

Fans took to Twitter, the world's largest corporate complaint department, to air their grievances – and Irvine heard them. Twitter user @Angle4u999 tweeted this to Irvine: "My cable company pays for Discovery & Food Network & now SOME of the shows are stream only? I've got cable where it all started! #RestaurantImpossible is now gone for many senior citizens. I know not your decision but it sucks" (via Twitter). Irvine was sympathetic in his response: "Totally understand your frustration. I am truly sorry and as always will share this comment, as others, with network."

At least Irvine fans with cable TV get a new season of Dinner: Impossible

A couple of days earlier, Irvine tried to strike an optimistic tone with upset fans of Restaurant: Impossible. He responded on Twitter to "Katie Action," who had said she refused to pay for discovery+ but still needed her RI fix: "Let's see what happens next OK?"'s Twitter account wondered where RI went. Irvine replied, "Well it has moved to @discoveryplus for now but stay tuned, that might change."

Wherever RI ends up, this particular real-life drama, playing out on social media among viewers, networks, and stars, is a result of the crazy, mixed-up world that is TV right now – as Reality Blurred points out. The Discovery networks say they rely on cable as a major source of their income, and yet they appear to be shooting themselves in the foot by taking programming out of cable to join the legion of streamers out there: Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and the rest.

If streaming is the future, then cable subscribers just might want to jump ship before it sinks completely. Then again, the word on Twitter is that Irvine's first show, Dinner: Impossible, is returning to the Food Network with a brand-new season after 11 years off the air (via IMDb). Maybe the network cares about Irvine's fans, after all.