UPDATED, 5:12 PM: Fox said tonight that it has shifted the premiere dates for Season 7 of MasterChef Junior and the series bow of reality competition series Mental Samurai for a second time in two weeks.
The cooking competition now will return with a two-hour special starting at 8 p.m. March 12 — a week later than was announced after it was uprooted from its original date by the rescheduled State of the Union Address. Meanwhile, Fox’s “obstacle course for the mind,” Mental Samurai, will make its debut on at 9 p.m. March 19, following a new episode of MasterChef Junior. The Rob Lowe-hosted series also had been set for March 5. Both unscripted series original were set to premiere on February 26.
PREVIOUSLY, January 31: Premiere dates for Fox’s new reality competition series Mental Samurai and Season 7 of MasterChef Junior have been pushed back a week due to the rescheduling of the State of the Union address. Rob Lowe-hosted and -produced Mental Samurai will bow at 9 PM Tuesday, March 5 followed by the Season 7 premiere of kids culinary competition Masterchef Junior at 8 PM. Both initially had been slated for February 26.
Networks are having to juggle their schedules following the rescheduling of the State of the Union address, originally set for January 29, and now set for February 5 due to the partial government shutdown, which threw it all into disarray.
Billed as an “obstacle course for the mind,” Mental Samurai is said to push every aspect of human intelligence and mental agility. The series sees contestants battle the boundaries of their minds to answer questions accurately with speed and precision. Not only does the course test their acumen in categories of knowledge, memory, puzzles and sequencing, but players also will have to contend with being physically transported around the set at high speeds in a specially designed capsule capable of rotating 360 degrees. People from all walks of life will compete, and underdogs will triumph, in the game that anyone can play and almost no one can win.
Mental Samurai produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions (Hell’s Kitchen, The Titan Games), Warner Horizon Unscripted & Alternative Television and Apploff Entertainment. Arthur Smith, Toby Gorman, Jeff Apploff and Noah Bonnett serve as executive producers.
MasterChef Junior gives talented kids between ages 8-13 the chance to showcase their culinary abilities and passion for food through a series of 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 contestants 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, Ramsay, Yasmin Shackleton, Patricia Llewellyn and Ben Adler serve as executive producers.