Via his recently launched Studio Ramsay, a joint venture with All3Media, the popular British chef and TV personality will produce Culinary Genius, a new daily daytime cooking competition show, as well as a primetime documentary series. Additionally, Ramsay has been tapped as a host for ITV’s new limited-run daily talk show The Nightly Show, which will air at 10 PM for eight weeks with eight different hosts.
ITV has ordered 20 hourlong episodes of Culinary Genius, an original format. In each episode of the show, which will run daily for four weeks, nine amateur cooks will compete across a range of challenges for a cash prize and the title of Culinary Genius. The show will feature a different guest professional chef each week, starting with Ramsay who will appear in the first week.
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“It’s a high-octane show held at a Thunderdome-style arena, with the audience sitting in anticipation as nine people with knives enter the octagon,” Ramsay told Deadline. The nine will be whittled down to six and then three who will battle it out in a 30-minute cook-off.
There is already interest in the format by U.S. networks, Ramsay said. Culinary Genius is not part of Ramsay’s expansive deal with Fox Broadcast Co., which includes his current series Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, MasterChef Jr. as well as the upcoming The F Word. (Under the pact, Ramsey also produced and starred in Fox’s version of his Kitchen Nightmares, which had a 10-year U.S./UK run.)
In light of the success of the junior version of Ramsay’s popular cooking competition series MasterChef, his Ramsay Studios also is eyeing a potential kids offshoot of Culinary Genius.
No details are provided about Ramsay Studios’ primetime documentary series for ITV, described as “hard-hitting.” In addition to producing, Ramsay will present the series.
“Documentaries I do for my own personal ambitions — every time I do something shiny, I have to do something raw,” said Ramsay, who previously has done documentaries on such subjects as the illegal shark trade with Shark Bait. “I constantly test myself to go back to the drawing board to make a difference.”
Both the documentary series and Culinary Genius will be distributed by All3Media International.
Culinary Genius is one of the first series to come out of Studio Ramsay, which Ramsay launched with All3Media last spring. He and his team also are working on several other unscripted and shows for various platforms and have built a roster of young chefs from countries around the world. “It is an amazing pool of talent of next-generation chefs, and we are putting in development new series ideas for them,” Ramsay said.
Ramsay will be a guest host for one week of The Nightly Show, ITV’s new half-hour weeknight entertainment series, which will temporary push the network’s staple News At Ten to 10:30 PM. He is the second host announced for the eight-week run, joining David Williams, who had been tapped for the launch week.
The Nightly Show, produced by Second Act Prods., will feature a topical monologue, studio games, celebrity guests and prerecorded segments. Ramsay is already chomping at the bit to get started, telling Deadline on Friday of all the jokes he had brainstormed upon watching coverage of British PM Theresa May visit with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Ramsay says he is a big fan of American late-night TV, noting James Corden’s Late Late Show and Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. Would he want to pursue that as a full-time career one day?
“Talk shows is something I’ve always have been interested in,” he said. “One day, when I am done with food, it is something I would like to do. I love being relevant, tackling cutting-edge stuff.”
The ITV deal also marks a reunion for Ramsay with ITV Director of Television Kevin Lygo and ITV Head of Factual Entertainment Sue Murphy, who were bosses at Channel 4 when the network launched two of Ramsay’s first TV series, Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word.
“Gordon is not only a world-class chef, but a world class TV presenter — it’s a great thing to have him back where it all started, with some brand new shows,” Lygo said. “He’s an irrepressible talent and we are really looking forward to his return to ITV in 2017.”
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