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Reality Check: Gordon Ramsay On ‘MasterChef Junior’, His Gentler Side & Taking Nothing For Granted

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 2:31pm PDT

Reality Check is a Deadline feature series covering the players, programs and trends in reality television. 

Grand Tasting At Vegas Uncork'd By Bon AppetitThe 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 »

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Fox Orders Season 3 Of ‘MasterChef Junior’

By | Wednesday March 5, 2014 @ 11:30am PST

MC JR WINNERFox 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.

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Fox’s ‘MasterChef Junior’ Picked Up For Second Season

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 11:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

MC JR WINNERFox 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.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘MasterChef Jr’ Finale Up, ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Tops ‘Grimm’, ‘Dracula’ Bites, ABC & CBS Tied To Win Night

By | Saturday November 9, 2013 @ 10:01am PST

It was an East Coast vs. West Coast battle on the season finale of MasterChef Jr. (1.5/5) last night. After a 7-episode run, NYC’s 13-year old Alexander Weiss and Culver City’s 12-year old Dara Yu faced off for the trophy and the $100,000 grand prize. For Fox, the latest Gordon Ramsay show has proven a winner too. A solid Friday night ratings return since its September 27 debut, MasterChef Jr was up 15% among adults 18-49 last night and bopped up 5% among total viewers to 4.2 million. All of which gave the freshman its best demo and viewership results since its premiere. While not officially renewed for a second season yet, MasterChef Jr. looks to be a sure bet to back on the network that seemingly can’t get enough Ramsay. Additionally Ramsay beat Ramsay as MC Jr.’s finale brought the network a 25% jump over the same night last year when Kitchen Nightmares pulled in a 1.2/4 on November 9, 2012. With a Sleepy Hollow (0.6/2) encore ending its night, Fox got a 1.0/3 rating Friday.

In terms of who won the night in the key demo on Friday, it was a 1.5.5 ratings tie between ABC and CBS. The latter came in first in total viewers with 9.89 million viewers to the former’s 6.197 million.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘MasterChef Jr.’ Up, ‘Shark Tank’ Tops Demo, CBS Wins Night

By | Saturday October 12, 2013 @ 9:36am PDT

First of all, let’s give credit where Friday night primetime credit is due. While it wasn’t the highest rated show of the night (Hello Shark Tank) nor was it the most watched (Salute Blue Bloods), Fox’s MasterChef Jr. (1.4/5) was the only show last night to actually go up over last week. With judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot getting doused in cream on Friday’s 8 PM show, MC Jr. bopped up 8% over their October 4 show, the second week of the new series. The freshman kid cooking show, which pulled in a 1.6/6 on its September 27 debut, was Fox’s only original of the night with an encore of Sleepy Hollow (0.7/2) following at 9 PM.

Related: ‘Hawaii Five-O’ Takes Stunt Writing To Next Level

With a full night of originals, CBS topped Friday’s primetime in both the ratings with a 1.4/5 and, very important on the often older leaning night, in overall viewers with 9.03 million watching. On the whole CBS saw just some dips from last week with Undercover Boss (1.3/5) and Hawaii Five-O (1.4/5) both down 7% from their October 4 shows. Audience magnet Blue Bloods (1.4/5) saw a viewership drop from last week’s 11.1 million to last night’s 10.19 million but the Tom Selleck-lead cop drama was even among adults 18-49 with its last showing.
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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Shark Tank’ Tops, ‘Masterchef Jr.’ Opens Solid, ‘Hawaii’ Moves

By | Saturday September 28, 2013 @ 9:52am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kids with knifes edged bosses in disguise last night as the series premiere of Fox’s Masterchef Jr. (1.6/6 in adults 18-49) won the 8 PM hour, squeaking past the season premiere of CBS’ Undercover Boss (1.5/6). Masterchef Jr. dwarfed the fall premiere of Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares in the slot in October (0.9/3), while Boss was down 21% from its November debut last season. In its Friday premiere, Hawaii Five-0 did a 1.5/6, down 17% from its season opener last night in the Monday 10 PM slot. The drop was far more modest than that for the previous procedural CBS relocated to the Friday 9 PM slot, CSI: NY, which lost 50% in 18-49 year-to-year in the move. And in total viewers, CBS’ main currency on Friday, Hawaii (9.4 million) actually was up 18% from last fall’s opener, while CSI: NY dropped 31%. Blue Bloods (1.7/6) was up 13% from last season’s premiere when the cop drama was hurt by a weaker lead-in, Made In Jersey (1.2). The Tom Selleck drama was once again the biggest draw on the night with 11.4 million viewers. The Friday top honors in adults 18-49 went to ABC’s Shark Tank (1.9/6) for a second straight week. The reality series actually ticked up by a tenth from its season premiere last Friday. But the … Read More »

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