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FALL TV PREVIEW: New series -- Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)

Gordon Ramsay fires up the staff at an unappetizing Italian eatery.

Premiering: Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. (central) on Fox
Starring: Gordon Ramsay
Produced by: Gordon Ramsay

Summertime's Hell's Kitchen is barely off the front burner. Now Kitchen Nightmares is being served.

Your not-so-congenial host for both Fox series is peppery Gordon Ramsay, Scotland's favorite f-bombing chef.

Ah, but he means well, even when he's telling you to shove that spatula up your bleepin' bleep and get the bleep outta here before I bleepin' stick your bleepin' hand in the mixin' bowl and serve it as bleepin' blood sausage.

But we exaggerate -- a bit. Ramsay is somewhat milder than his usual self in the premiere episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Consider him a culinary SuperNanny to dysfunctional eateries. In Wednesday's premiere episode it's Peter's Italian Restaurant in Babylon, NY, where Ramsay goes up against Peter the bulbous meathead.

His sister, Tina, owns the place, but Peter throws his weight around like a swaggering wrestling villain. Their hangdog old man, Yogi, looks like Al the malt shop owner on Happy Days. His air of resignation hangs over the place until Ramsay accepts the "monumental challenge" of turning things around.

As with most reality series, the drama is heightened to points of absurdity and beyond. But this absurdity is kind of fun to watch, whether it's Peter trying to pummel bill collectors or Ramsay gagging his way through the rotting kitchen produce.

Miraculously, our hot-tempered hero has the kitchen rebuilt, the menu entirely redone and even Peter at bay after just four very loud days. Over 200 "satisfied customers" then jam the place and tax the staff. But life is just a bowl of cherries in the end, with Peter becoming a pillar of the community and Ramsay dispensing hugs.

Kitchen Nightmares is about as believable as me whipping up a gourmet meal and everyone living to tell about it. Still, it's morbidly entertaining, with Ramsay's breakout personality making another show cook.

Grade: B-minus