Lynley Bilby

Lynley Bilby is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

TV One savours more reality cooking show success

Masterchef judges Josh Emett, Simon Gault and Ray McVinnie.
Masterchef judges Josh Emett, Simon Gault and Ray McVinnie.

A revamped MasterChef has been a recipe for success, attracting three times as many viewers as TV3's The Great Food Race.

The TV One show, now in its fifth season and with a new partners format, is proving as irresistible as ever, peaking at 554,000 viewers 5+ on the show's second week, according to figures from Nielsen.

But there might be a bitter taste for its rival in the Sunday night primetime slot. Since its premiere on February 2, The Great Food Race has dropped from 179,400 viewers 5+ to down to 147,600 - less than a third of the MasterChef audience which registered a low of 418,300 viewers in comparison.

In the key 25-54 demographic, MasterChef has fluctuated between 206,000 and 161,800 viewers, while The Great Food Race dropped to 81,700 on the weekend of the NRL Auckland Nines from a high of 123,900 the previous week.

A TV3 spokeswoman said the network was always looking for big, bold new ideas suitable for Sunday night viewing and the show delivered that.

She said there were no plans to shift The Great Food Race to a new time.

Mitchener and Gillman Communications owner Cindy Mitchener said TV3 needed to look to another type of reality television show to air against the MasterChef juggernaut.

She said MasterChef was a tried and true brand and it was always going to be hard to come up against it with a new reality food show.

A TVNZ spokeswoman said the network was delighted with the fifth season of the reality cooking show.

- Herald on Sunday

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