Dave Noll, Creator of “Chopped” TV Show

4 Minutes Read

Episode 61

Dave Knoll is a TV mastermind. He’s a two-time Emmy Award winner two time Gracie award winner. He won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Television series shot and inducted into the culinary Hall of Fame. His career highlights include creating over 50 television series, over 3300 episodes, and over 500 million in sales. 

During today’s show, you’ll discover the amazing origin of the chopped show concept and the truth about how many pitches it actually took to make it on here, how he crafted a concise marketing message that sold the show to one of Food Network’s top executives, the number one thing we all do as entrepreneurs as he sees it, the advice he received from a media Titan that changed his thinking forever. What he learned from one of the world’s most creative geniuses, you’ll be familiar with who that is, and so much more.

Curious to know how Dave Noll responded to being told he brought a lemonade stand to Barry Diller? Tune in to this episode. 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full Episode:

  1. Find the origin of CHOPPED and how many pitches it took to Dave to make it. 
  2. The idea for CHOPPED was born in 10 minutes, but the truth about how many pitches it took to make it on air. 
  3. He shares his failure formula and his mindset towards being told no. 

Episode Highlights

What it’s like being a show creator 

    • CHOPPED wasn’t a smash hit out of the gate.
    • Shows usually build and build before taking off.
    • The show starts, and then you work harder each season.
    • Some shows make it to pilot, some never air. 

The concept of the mystery box 

    • He’s met so many entrepreneurs in so many different areas, and we are all telling a story. 
    • It starts with a killer idea that you feel in your bones could last forever. 
    • Merv Griffin created Jeopardy on an airplane. 
    • Dave and Mike came up with CHOPPED.
    • It came down to the formatting of the show.
    • Iron Chef meets ElimiDate.
    • Potential in the making. 

Hierarchy of the process  

    • Look for the hook.
    • Look for what you are going to say in the shortest amount of words possible. 
    • We are constantly building fires that last for generations. 
    • What is the spark? 
    • The pitch goes from one person to the next and has to stay consistent and exciting.
    • Delivering something that makes them feel something, but you have to back it up right there. 

The importance of having a unique idea 

    • American Idol and cutting to commercial before opening the envelope for the next person eliminated from the show. 
    • It takes one unique idea that people can walk away with. 
    • Be a numbers guy.

Mental tenacity 

    • Brandon Tartikoff’s book, The Last Great Ride.
    • Even the most incredible shows need to be pitched 30 times. 
    • The 29 no’s could have come from someone having a bad day, or they don’t have money, etc. 
    • What is the number that makes a hit for a show? 
    • Celebrate the no’s.
    • The steps aren’t just creating a show and coming up with a unique hook and title. 

Where his passion for creating tv shows came from 

    • What did he want to do at 10 years old? 
    • Dave made lots of lists of tv shows when he was 10. 
    • Tv entrepreneur, creating something and then selling it and hoping for a massive win. 

Influenced by media titan Barry Diller 

    • Barry Diller started the Fox Network.
    • Despite everyone saying the Fox Network would fail, it has turned into a massive success. 
    • Dave and his creative partner were hired to run creative for Barry Diller’s New York based production company. 
    • The average person should stop thinking big. 
    • You created an F*ing lemonade stand.
    • 86 projects to only eight shows.

TV Podcast

    • Studying Walt Disney and how he created many things. 
    • Try to be the first at something, even if it’s small. 
    • If you are among the first, that’s where the money comes from. 
    • If you are second, be better than the first. 
    • Podcasting doesn’t have many formats.
    • There’s not an American Idol of podcasting yet. 

What does Dave hope to accomplish by bringing this show to the podcast medium?

    • Everything that he does goes back to the moment with Barry Diller. 
    • When creating something, every step has to be very, very clear into the future that they know what can happen. 
    • You will hit wall after wall with no after no but have a clear path.
    • Why isn’t there a wheel of fortune of podcasting? 

Big thinking creating long-lasting shows

    • Lessons from Barry Diller, being in media but having a business mind. 
    • Implementing Barry Diller’s business-minded thinking.

Upcoming book – The Visionary in Charge

    • Launch anticipated in 2022. 
    • Become a visionary.
    • See the vision.
    • Sell the vision.
    • Build the vision into a franchise. 

How does he want to be remembered?

    • Dave says that there are only three reasons he is here. That is his kids. 
    • He constantly writes in notebooks and that it’s all about his children and his wife. Everything else is just for fun. 

3 Powerful Quotes from this Episode

What can happen 

54:13 - “And when pure creatives meet really great business minds, and there’s no ego at all involved, amazing things can happen.”


Where it starts

09:29 - “But it all starts with a killer idea that you feel in your bones could last forever. And that’s really the holy grail for what my business partner Cleve Keller and I do every day.”



17:58 - “We’re constantly building fires, you know, what you want to build is this gigantic, enormous bonfire that lasts for generations


About Dave Noll

Dave Noll is a TV “Mastermind” (Emmy Magazine). He’s a “TelevisionFormats Powerhouse” (C21 Magazine). Dave is a two-time Emmy-award Winner, two-time Gracie Award Winner, and he won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Television Series: CHOPPED.

Dave is also a fiery and insightful keynote speaker whose unique look at the business world, light-up-the-room storytelling, and tangible, practical tips have thrilled (and inspired!) audiences from Los Angeles to Miami to New York.

Career Highlights:

    • Dave has created 50+ Television Series.
    • Over 3300+ Episodes.
    • In 2007, Dave co-created the legendary CHOPPED franchise.
    • Over $500,000,000 in television sales.
    • 2 Emmy Awards.
    • 2 Gracie Awards.
    • CHOPPED inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.
    • The Platinum Album Award from the Recording Industry
    • Association of America for his work on the soundtrack to TITANIC.


Connect with Dave Noll

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/davenolltv/


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Darrell Evans

Darrell Evans is a serial entrepreneur, investor, and Co-founder/CEO of Yokel Local Digital Marketing Agency. He and his teams have helped businesses generate over $300M+ in revenue online. Every month, he leads virtual workshops teaching actionable strategies and tips from his experience helping companies market, grow, and scale.