In a last-ditch effort to save the ill-fated Great American Baking Show, ABC might bring two of the judges from the original British version of the show — Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood — together for a fourth season of the cooking competition. Berry and Hollywood starred in seven seasons of The Great British Bake Off before the show switched networks and Mary jumped ship. The two pastry experts have both appeared on the American iterations of the Bake Off, but never together in the same season.
British tabloid The Sun floats that rumor that ABC is trying to make the Berry-Hollywood TV reunion happen. Hollywood was on the last season of the show, and ABC network president Channing Dungey reportedly believes that they can get Berry on board “depending on schedule.” An unnamed source tells the gossip rag: “The Mary and Paul combo is a winning formula and American bosses are well aware of that.”
Despite the popularity of re-runs on PBS, American audiences have had a hard time connecting with the stateside versions of the show. Bringing America’s sweetheart Ayesha Curry on board for Season 3 was an inspired move, but the show got pulled after one night on the air due to breaking reports of sexual misconduct involving co-host Johnny Iuzzini.
Hollywood was brought in to judge the American Baking Show after Berry dropped out nearly two years ago, and he also judged the first US flop The American Baking Competition on CBS way back in 2013 (that one featured “You might be a redneck if...” comedian Jeff Foxworthy as host). Both Berry and Hollywood are proper celebrities in their native England, with several other projects in the works, so the reunion might hinge on how much they still care about making it big in America (and/or how much dough ABC can offer them).
Stay tuned for more details on the future of the Great American Baking Show as they become available.
• Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood Could Reunite to Judge The Great American Baking Show [The Kitchn]
• Great British Bake Off star Paul Hollywood set for a reunion with Mary Berry in America [The Sun]
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• All Coverage of The Great British Bake Off [E]