Celebrity baker Buddy Valastro, the star of such TV shows as "Cake Boss" and "Buddy vs. Duff," is returning to television during his continuing recovery from the Sept. 20 accident that mangled his right hand.
Food Network announced Monday that Valastro, 43, would star in a new holiday-themed series next month, "Buddy vs. Christmas," and that he would be the subject of a 2-hour special in December on sister network TLC, chronicling his recovery.
In the four-episode "Buddy vs. Christmas," premiering Nov. 22 at 10 p.m. and shot before the accident, Valastro and his team of bakers compete against a scenic designer, glassblower, animatronics expert and Lego builder to devise creations that "capture the spirit of the holidays," said Food Network. These will include life-size gingerbread houses and snow globes, a Santa's workshop with talking reindeer and a drivable sleigh cake.
"Buddy has mastered the creation of gigantic, life-size and incredibly realistic cakes," network President Courtney White said in a statement, adding that Valastro will face off "against master builders and expert crafters — it's cake creations vs real build designs" with "spectacular details and special effects."
"Can't wait, these are some of the best cakes I've made," Valastro promised on Twitter.
The as-yet-untitled TLC special will follow Valastro as he recovers from the accident in which his right hand became lodged in a piece of pinsetting equipment at his New Jersey home's bowling alley, and was pierced multiple times by a metal rod. After being freed from the mechanism, Valastro was rushed to emergency surgery at the nearby Morristown Medical Center, and later underwent two more operations at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
The special will present "the dramatic events as they transpired in real time with footage captured immediately after" the accident, the network said. "It’s a long, emotional journey, from Buddy's multiple surgeries, to his family anxiously waiting at the hospital, to grueling physical therapy, and to his first days back at the job" at his family's Hoboken, New Jersey, flagship store, Carlo's Bakery.