The Next Food Network Star's third-season finale broadcast on Sunday night was the highest-rated, most-watched telecast in Food Network history.

The Next Food Network Star 3's Sunday at 9PM ET/PT finale delivered an average of 3.4 million total viewers; posted a record 2.6 households rating; and was the No. 1 show on cable that night in the Adults 25-54 demographic with a 1.7 rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In addition, The Next Food Network Star 3 was the highest-rated, most-watched series in Food Network history and was also the highest-rated cable food series ever.

"The Next Food Network Star is the No. 1 food show on cable and we are extremely proud of the series," said Bob Tuschman, Food Network's senior vice president of production and programming.

The Next Food Network Star 3 premiered in June and averaged 2.2 million total viewers each week, up 38% compared to the show's second season and up 69% compared to its first season.

"The quality, appeal and popularity of The Next Food Network Star just keeps growing," said Margery Baker-Riker, vice president of CBS EYE too Productions, which has produced all three seasons of the series.  "Setting viewership records each season is wonderful proof of that.  We are very proud to have produced this breakthrough series for Food Network and look forward to continuing the partnership."

Amy Finley, a 33-year-old mom, freelance writer and caterer from San Diego, CA, was crowned The Next Food Network Star 3 champ and received her own six-episode Food Network television series that is scheduled to premiere in October.

"Amy is a great talent and we are excited to begin development on her daytime show to launch this fall in our popular 'In the Kitchen' weekend programming block," said Tuschman, who also serves as a The Next Food Network Star judge.
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.