Reality Check is a Deadline feature series covering the players, programs and trends in reality television.
The title “hardest working man in show biz” is a hotly contested one but certainly Gordon Ramsay has his name in the mix. With a mini-empire on Fox, the chef is no wallflower in either his opinions or his work ethic with five shows on the network. The most recent Stateside offering of the Order of the British Empire recipient is MasterChef Junior, which debuted in September last year with Ramsay will again be joined by restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot joining Ramsay judging would-be chefs between the ages 8-13. Produced by Shine America and Ramsay’s One Potato Two Potato, the series served up strong ratings in its Friday slot and has been renewed for both a second and third season. Shooting in Spain for the UK version of Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay reflected on the other side of him that MasterChef Junior revealed, how to stay at the top of your game and the need to refresh.
DEADLINE: Gordon, you’re a big picture guy, what’s the state of unscripted TV today?
GORDON RAMSAY: The state of unscripted television right now is edgy. It’s compulsive viewing. I think it is about jeopardy in unscripted drama, which is something that a lot of producers fail to spot. For me, the essence of Reality TV is all about drama. So, I think bringing pressure is healthy whether it’s a professional chef or a domestic chef. Because the only way ever to really identify the true purpose of how good they are is submerging them under pressure. So I say it’s no different than a live football game because it’s about the intensity.
Related: Fox Orders Season 3 of ‘MasterChef Junior’ Read More »
Fox ordered a second season of Gordon Ramsay‘s cooking competition series MasterChef Junior only in December, but today said that it has added a third installment of eight episodes. Production on both Season 2 and Season 3 will start in the spring. Host/executive Ramsay will again be joined by restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot on the judging panel. MasterChef Junior, which features aspiring chefs between ages 8-13 competing in food challenges, had a solid first season this fall, averaging 5.1 million total viewers and ranking No. 1 in its Friday 8 PM time period among adults 18-49, adults 18-34 and teens. It improved Fox’s performance in the hour versus last year by +58% in adults 18-49. Shine America and Ramsay’s One Potato Two Potato are producers of the series, based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Shine. Elisabeth Murdoch, Eden Gaha, Paul Franklin, Robin Ashbrook, Ramsay, Adeline Ramage Rooney, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.
Fox today made it official, ordering a second installment of Gordon Ramsay‘s cooking competition series MasterChef Junior. “MasterChef Junior is one of the few shows on television that the entire family can truly enjoy together, and I can’t wait to see what Gordon, Joe, Graham and the next round of rambunctious, ridiculously talented junior chefs cook up in Season Two,” said Fox chairman Kevin Reilly. MasterChef Jr., produced by Shine America, had a solid first season this fall, averaging 5.1 million total viewers and ranking No. 1 in its Friday 8 PM time period among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Teens. MasterChef Jr. improved Fox’s performance in the hour versus last year by +58% among Adults 18-49 and averaged a +50% lift from its Live + Same Day to its Live +7 Adults 18-49 rating – the largest percentage gain of any unscripted series on the Big 4 networks. MasterChef Jr. features aspiring chefs between the ages of eight and 13 competing in food challenges. On the judging panel, host Ramsay is joined by restaurateur and winemaker Joe Bastianich and chef Graham Elliot.