Premiere Date Set for The Great British Baking Show Season 4
Highly recommended UK import The Great British Baking Show will return to PBS on June 16 for its fourth season, and the network is keen on airing at least one more season after that. At a Television Critics Association meeting in Pasadena, CA on Sunday, PBS chief programming executive/GM of general audience programming Beth Hope remarked: “The British Baking Show has emerged as one of PBS’ most popular programs, with the third season, debuting last July, ranking as the most-streamed program on PBS this past summer... We’re thrilled to continue airing this warm and charming competition for at least two more seasons, and continuing to build its popularity on these shores.” The baking competition show will air on Fridays at 9 p.m. over the summer, and all the episodes will be available to stream the next morning on PBS.org.
As any close follower of The Great British Bake Off (its UK title) knows, the show’s team of hosts and judges fell to pieces last year when beloved commentators Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins jumped ship following the show’s switch to a new network. Judge Mary Berry also vowed to stay with the old network, leaving host Paul Hollywood as the show’s lone holdover personality. Of course, that staff shake-up likely won’t be reflected in the U.S. broadcast run of the show for the next few years, because PBS has been airing older seasons, and the dissolution of the Bake Off family happened after UK Series 7 was complete.
Coffee Break for Netflix
Jerry Seinfeld signed a deal to bring his viral hit Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to Netflix later this year. The streaming service will get 24 new episodes of the show — which features Seinfeld shooting the breeze with other funny people inside diners and classic cars — plus the entire back catalog of episodes. Seinfeld originally launched Comedians in Cars on Sony’s ad-supported streaming platform, Crackle. Previous guests on the show have included Aziz Ansari, Kristen Wiig, Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Howard Stern, Steve Martin, and President Barack Obama.
Chef’s Table and More Premiere in Berlin
Next month’s Berlin Film Festival will feature a Culinary Cinema series, with screenings of several new food films. David Gelb will premiere two new episodes of Chef’s Table, which will be followed by a meal for attendees from one of the stars of the new series, German chef Tim Raue. A documentary about Russian-born California wine pioneer André Tchelistcheff will also make its debut during the festival, as well as a film about Basque chef Eneko Atxa. One week after the Berlin Fest’s kickoff, on February 17, the six new episodes of Chef’s Table will hit Netflix, with profiles of Nancy Silverton, Ivan Orkin, Vladimir Muhkin, Jeong Kwan, and Virgilio Martinez.
Sedaris Cooks Up a New TV Show
Strangers With Candy star-turned-hospitality guru Amy Sedaris is going to be the host of a new show on TruTV that will incorporate elements of talk, variety, and entertaining programs. The AV Club reports that Sedaris will tackle subjects like “grieving” and “fish” while employing her skills as “a crafter, chef, baker and hostess.” Sedaris explains: “I’ve been doing this show in my head for years. It will be terrific to get it on TV so I can free up some wiggle room up in my skull.” No word yet on when the as-yet-unnamed show will hit the air.
PBS Embarks on a Chefs Flight
In May, PBS will air episodes of its documentary series American Masters focusing on four legendary chefs: Alice Waters, Jacques Pepin, James Beard, and Julia Child. Pepin and Waters promoted the series at the TCA Press Tour in Pasadena over the weekend, while also using the stage to criticize the glut of cooking competitions shows on the airwaves right now. Pepin remarked: “Cooking is about being together, about love and sharing... That kind of confrontation that you have there is not really how you learn to cook, or how you understand food.” Waters chimed in: “We’re teaching fast-food values of our country in those competition cooking shows.” The Chefs Flight series will debut on May 19.
A Soft Landing for Kitchen Rules
The first episode of Curtis Stone and Cat Cora’s new Fox cooking competition show My Kitchen Rules did not get great ratings, but it still had about as many viewers as the finale of The American Baking Show, which aired on the same night over on ABC.
The Return of Gustavo Fring
Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who played restaurateur/meth kingpin Gustavo Fring on Breaking Bad, made a surprise cameo at a Better Call Saul TCA panel over the weekend to talk about his role in season three of AMC’s hit show. Esposito entered the room in character, along with carts full of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken for the journalists in attendance. The actor says that in the new season of the show, he will play a more “mysterious” and “immature” version of Fring, and his story will “unroll in a way that will leave you with a thirst.” The excellent fake commercial for Los Pollos Hermanos — which dropped last week — was apparently Esposito’s idea. Before the clip hit the Internet, the commercial aired on local Albuquerque TV late at night. The new season of Better Call Saul will return on April 10, but Esposito’s character likely won’t appear till the second episode.
A Restaurateur Comes Up in The Chi
Showtime is picking up a new series set on the South Side of Chicago called The Chi. Deadline reports that the show will focus on “an ambitious and confident young man who dreams about opening a restaurant of his own someday.” The main character will be played by Straight Outta Compton’s Jason Mitchell. No word yet on a premiere date.
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