Fox orders new 'Masterchef' competition starring Gordon Ramsay
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/04/2009
Fox announced it has ordered MasterChef, a new culinary competition series that will feature Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares star Gordon Ramsay overseeing a group of wannabe chefs with no food industry experience who are trying to take their kitchen hobby to a professional level.
The tentatively-titled series -- which is based on a long-running U.K. series -- will follow the contestants as they compete head-to-head with each other in an attempt to create delicious dishes that will ultimately be judged by world-renowned chefs. In addition, Ramsay will coach the contestants along the way with the hopes of making them professionals.
"Gordon Ramsay is the biggest cooking star on television today and one of the most dynamic personalities on Fox, so we jumped at the opportunity to work with him to bring MasterChef to the U.S.," Fox reality chief Mike Darnell said.
"MasterChef searches for people who possess that perfect blend of creativity, innovation and passion for creating great dishes -- rather than focusing on running a kitchen -- that earns them the title of MasterChef."
MasterChef will be produced by Ramsay's One Potato Two Potato production company, Reveille and Shine TV.
The reality series' format is owned by Reveille's parent Shine Group, Daily Varietyreported Monday, adding the series has aired on the BBC in various incarnations since 1990. In addition, an Australian version on the show premiered in April on Network Ten, according to Variety.
"MasterChef has already become a cultural phenomenon in the U.K. and Australia, breaking ratings records in two of the world's biggest markets," said Reveille executives Mark Koops and Howard T. Owens. "We're excited to work with Fox to replicate that success while bringing a fresh, new U.S. spin to this proven format."
Fox is expected to order 12 to 15 hourlong episodes of the series, Variety reported, adding production is slated to start in the near future.
Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, a special that is based on a cooking show that aired in the U.K. last January and encouraged viewers to cook along with the Hell's Kitchen star from their homes, will air live on Tuesday, December 15 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox.
"We're excited to work with Fox and Reveille to make MasterChef a huge hit," One Potato Two Potato executive Pat Llewellyn. "With Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live and now MasterChef, One Potato Two Potato is proud to be bringing the biggest food shows on the planet to Fox."
Fox ordered Cookalong Live as part of a large multi-year development deal it inked with Ramsay in September 2008. As part of the agreement, Fox also ordered sixth and seventh editions of Hell's Kitchen, a third season of Kitchen Nightmares and an additional unspecified new reality series.
However a Fox spokesperson was unable to immediately confirm whether MasterChef is the previously unspecified new third series or an additional new fourth series when contacted by Reality TV World on Wednesday.