Southern cooking queen Paula Deen will end her ostracism from cable TV Wednesday by debuting her own show on Evine Live.
Evine, known as ShopHQ before a name change in November, will follow up on “Paula Deen’s Kitchen” with a three-hour midweek premiere and also air additional live segments once every six-to-eight weeks.
Deen is returning to TV after a 22-month hiatus in which her few media appearances were limited to addressing a controversy about the use of racial slurs.
The exception was her red-carpet appearance during Evine’s live broadcast from The Plaza Hotel over Valentine’s weekend.
The controversy about Deen erupted from a lawsuit — filed in March 2012 by a former employee of the celebrity chef and restaurant owner — that charged Deen and her brother with sexual harassment and racially offensive talk.
However, between her admitting to having used the N-word in a deposition in May 2013 and a judge’s dismissing the suit with prejudice in August 2013, Deen’s 14-year relationship with the Food Network dropped faster than a hot potato.
Millions in endorsement contracts and publishing deals were also burned, including Ballantine Books, Caesars Entertainment, Home Depot and Walmart.
The backlash was so quick and severe that former President Jimmy Carter said in June 2013 that Deen had been sufficiently “punished — perhaps overly severely — for her honesty in admitting it and for the use of the word in the distant past.”
Evine CEO Mark Bozek echoed the sentiment in a recent Bloomberg TV appearance.
“Everybody makes mistakes,” he said, adding that Deen “has a good soul” and “a huge fan base.”