Bull testicle ceviche, wild opossum, and spicy pumpkin seeds are all on the menu as Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’ s “Bizarre Foods,” heads to the 9th season (premieres Mon, 9pm EST). While the bizarre element will always be there, rich cultural background and meaningful narrative are the main entrees. “We always want to focus on stories behind the food… That’s always the backbone of the show. While food is the way in, it’s the cultural, stories and people he [host Andrew Zimmern] meets along the way that keep you engaged,” Travel svp, programming Ross Babbit told us. The audience’s appetite for stories behind food has even led the net launch a spin-off series “Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations,” which debuted in Jan. Instead of sampling pork blood, organs or insects, Zimmern was seen sampling quintessential, not-to-be missed dishes in cities around the world in the less-bizarre, spin-off series. It’s been around 8 years since Bizarre Foods debuted. The good news is there’s no shortage of bizarre foods around the world. “We haven’t run out of ideas for food,” Babbit said, adding that Zimmern, a co-exec producer of the show, is all about discovering and sharing the authentic experience, whether it’s street vendors, home-cooked meals, or world-class restaurants. Meanwhile, the net will celebrate the 200th ep of the franchise in the new season by heading to Philly. “It’s on iconic city with iconic dishes… And there’s a lot of history behind those dishes,” Babbit said. That’s what makes Philly the ideal location for the “iconic episode,” he said. As expected, cheesesteaks, a civic icon and a cultural obsession, is on Zimmern’s menu. Also on the list: Zitner’s famous Butter Frak candy, German liverwursts, Jewish Kishke and other local classics that reflect the city’s culinary changes over the years and the vibrant immigrant neighborhoods that have contributed to a mixture of tastes. – Joyce Wang

Reviews: “The Art Of: Noodles,” Sunday, 8pm, ET, Ovation. The subject of next week’s ep in this long-running original series, noodles, might at first glance not seem like it lends itself to art. Ah, but watch Chef Tony Wu of M.Y. China (San Francisco) toss his 18-foot longevity noodle. It’s like watching the smooth rhythm of an expert fly fisherman. Then there’s chef Evan Funke of Bucato in L.A., whose training in food mecca Bologna, Italy, led him to insist on hand-making every piece of pasta served in this restaurant. Yes, this is art. — “Land of 10,000 Grizzlies,” Sun, 8pm ET, Nat Geo Wild. The title of this gorgeously filmed doc is somewhat misleading. Kamchatka, off the Bering Sea, is home to plenty of bears, yet it’s also loaded with salmon, whales, puffins, foxes, seals and other wildlife. The area had housed a super-secret Soviet military installation, so was off-limits to naturalists. The story centers on survival, a familiar Wild theme, developed beautifully yet honestly as species struggle to reproduce in this rich environment. — “Gigi Does It,” premiere, Thursday, 10:30pm, IFC. David Krumholtz gives a terrific performance as his outrageous grandmother. Once you absorb Krumholtz’s antics, more is needed to entertain. Ep 1 has it; ep 2 doesn’t. We’ll keep watching, though. Krumholtz is that good. – Seth Arenstein

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Money for OpenDrives

OpenDrives, a NAS storage/software company that works with HBO, Spotify, FOX and others, raised up to $20 million in Series B funding.

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