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MasterChef: Ex-Channel 10 exec on why the show is bombing in the ratings


EXCLUSIVE: Ex-Channel 10 executive reveals the REAL reason MasterChef Australia is bombing in the ratings – as the show nosedives to just 527,000 in its first week

Former Channel 10 executive Rob McKnight has said the network’s top brass should be worried amid plunging ratings for its flagship cooking show MasterChef Australia.

Mr McKnight, who is the editor of television industry bible TV Blackbox, said the show had been ‘out-niced’ by the Nine Network’s family-friendly Lego Masters.

‘I really have sympathy for those in control at 10, because the show is up against stuff competition in Lego Masters and Big Brother,’ he said.

Format: Former Channel Ten executive Rob McKnight has revealed the real reason MasterChef Australia is bombing in the ratings while speaking to Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday

‘Lego Masters has essentially “out-niced” MasterChef and still feels fresh.’ 

Mr McKnight said that after 13 seasons the normal edition of the show ‘doesn’t cut it anymore’, and last year’s impressive ratings were mainly due to the cast of returning favourites, such as Poh Ling Yeow.  

The former exec producer of Studio 10, who now hosts The Anj, Rob & Robbo Show, said he expects MasterChef to be revamped for 2022 given its importance in Channel 10’s prime-time schedule. 

Time to worry: 'I really have sympathy for those in control at Ten, because the show is up against stuff competition in Lego Masters and Big Brother,' he said of the series

Time to worry: ‘I really have sympathy for those in control at Ten, because the show is up against stuff competition in Lego Masters and Big Brother,’ he said of the series 

‘When a top performer bombs the way MasterChef has, you can expect changes are coming,’ he said, adding that its struggle must be a ‘real worry’ for 10. 

‘Executives will have to think very carefully about where they go from here. Make no mistake, the show will be back next year – it’s just too important to 10 not to be,’ Mr McKnight observed.

‘TV audiences are fractured and we have too many options now. It’s important that every show served up brings something new.’

Outrunning MasterChef! 'Lego Masters has essentially 'out-niced' MasterChef and still feels fresh,' Rob, who runs TV Blackbox, said. Left: Lego Masters host Hamish Blake

Outrunning MasterChef! ‘Lego Masters has essentially ‘out-niced’ MasterChef and still feels fresh,’ Rob, who runs TV Blackbox, said. Left: Lego Masters host Hamish Blake

He concluded by saying he believes the MasterChef brand still has ‘plenty of life left’ but it needs to evolve and deliver something new for viewers. 

Mr McKnight’s commentary comes after the culinary program pulled in a paltry 527,000 metro viewers on Sunday, according to Mediaweek.

This was no doubt a sour serving for the reality show which broke the ‘magic million’ mark in its first week last year – including nearly 1.1 million for its second episode.

Oh, no! The second outing with new judges Melissa Leong (centre), Andy Allen (right) and Jock Zonfrillo (left) has not been nearly as popular this time around, and the trio may well need immunity pins of their own as viewership continues to nosedive

Oh, no! The second outing with new judges Melissa Leong (centre), Andy Allen (right) and Jock Zonfrillo (left) has not been nearly as popular this time around, and the trio may well need immunity pins of their own as viewership continues to nosedive

The series had managed to reach more than a million viewers four nights in a row during its debut week in 2020. 

But this year MasterChef is already being beaten by Nine’s Lego Masters, which appears to have stolen its momentum – and viewers.

MasterChef season 13 launched to just 670,000 metro viewers on April 19. 

This was a considerable drop from the 1.23 million who watched the premiere of MasterChef: Back to Win on April 13, 2020.

MasterChef continues Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10  

Come one, come all! MasterChef continues Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10. Pictured: guest judge Nigella Lawson addresses contestants in a virtual cooking challenge

Come one, come all! MasterChef continues Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel 10. Pictured: guest judge Nigella Lawson addresses contestants in a virtual cooking challenge

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