Tuesday is turning into in-season reality night on Fox for the first time in almost a decade.
The network has slotted Tuesday, February 26 for the Season 7 premiere of MasterChef Junior. The culinary competition series featuring talented kid chefs will air at 8 PM, replacing Lethal Weapon, whose 16-episode third season will have its finale the previous week.
MasterChef Junior will be followed by previously announced new obstacle course reality competition Mental Samurai at 9 PM, also set to premiere Feb. 26. It will replace drama The Gifted.
Tuesday has been a weak spot on Fox’s schedule, and the network is looking to shake things up with an all-reality lineup, which involves some counter-programming, going with an unscripted show against NBC”s drama juggernaut This Is Us at 9 PM.
The last time Fox had an all-reality Tuesday lineup during the regular broadcast season was in fall 2009 when it aired an in-season installment of Do You Think You Can Dance. The network then reverted to a mix of programming with American Idol and Glee in midseason.
MasterChef Jr. was previously summoned on Tuesday during the 2014-15 season when it stepped in for the quickly pulled social experiment reality series Utopia in the 8 PM hour, leading to scripted comedies.
MasterChef Jr. gives talented kids between the ages of 8 and 13 the chance to showcase their culinary abilities and passion for food through a series of delicious challenges. Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi will be joined by chef and restaurateur Aarón Sánchez on the judges’ panel for Season 7, which will showcase a mystery box challenge focusing on the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Additionally, the young chef-testants will attend and prepare a meal for 51 circus performers, create a restaurant-quality fish dish, compete to see which team can first roll out a perfect sheet of pasta to 24 feet and power through the fan-favorite restaurant takeover challenge. In the end, one talented kid will be named America’s newest MasterChef Junior, taking home the trophy and $100,000 grand prize.
MasterChef Junior is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, and is based on a format created by Franc Roddam and Endemol Shine. Robin Ashbrook, Danny Schrader, Elisabeth Murdoch, Georgie Hurford-Jones, Gordon Ramsay, Yasmin Shackleton, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.