Rob McKnight, a former Channel 10 executive producer who now runs industry news site TV Blackbox, has claimed the reality cooking show won’t return after this season due to appalling ratings.
“There won’t be any more of the show,” Mr McKnight told news.com.au. “You might as well write the eulogy and prepare the coffin … it will not be back again.”
The latest season of My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals premiered last Sunday night up against the Australian Open Men’s Final and the I’m a Celeb finale.
It was a ratings disaster for Channel 7 with just 498,000 (five city metro) tuning in for the first episode, compared to 1.5 million for the tennis and 884,000 for I’m a Celeb.
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Things have gone from bad to worse for the show since Married At First Sight and Australian Survivor: All Stars launched.
Tuesday night’s episode of MKR was even beaten by Great Australian Railway Journeys on SBS.
“I don’t think anyone expected this kind of devastation,” Mr McKnight told news.com.au about MKR’s ratings. “I think it comes back to the fact they launched it up against the Australian Open final. That really, really hurt them.
“Can there be any recovery? I really don’t think so.”
Mr McKnight said it’s likely Channel 7 will now re-edit the remainder of this season of MKR and end it earlier than they had planned to.
“I don’t think Channel 7 is in a position to just drop MKR, it’s too big of a franchise and there are too many episodes,” he told news.com.au. “What they will probably try to do is shorten the run and combine episodes and get through it quicker. That will give them some time to pull through some other shows, like Pooch Perfect, anything that’s on the shelf ready to go.”
MKR viewers have slammed the current season of the show on social media, saying it has drifted too far from its roots as a cooking show and is now full of concocted drama.
Some have expressed anger that a simmering romance between two of the contestants has been a dominant storyline so far this season.
I’m 2 episodes behind on #MKR and I barely care. It’s stagey, scripted “drama” that isn’t even fun to watch. I love Romel, Jac, Shaz and Sue-Ann; but Roula, Sophia, Mark and the “yass queen” girls are grinding on my last nerve. 🙄
— The Hippie And The Hounds (@Ziggy_Spider) February 5, 2020
anyone else not very interested in #MKR this year? Last few years I’ve put up with the useless and “shocking” drama and watched ’till the end, but this year I’m simply not bothered 🤷
— Kez✪ (@KeziahCheung) February 5, 2020
#MKR you’ve just lost me as a viewer and I never missed an episode in the past. New format is terrible. Unfair and stupid. Why change a winning formula. Going to end up like Masterchef; a fail! @Scarecrow181 @Sebasti71781376
— Anthony (@Galiz82) February 5, 2020
I’ve got what I hate about this season of #MKR: it’s fake.
The flirting: fake
Romel and her: obvious and fake
In 2020 we now see through manipulative editing and faux-reality casting and narrative. This is where MKR has its jump the shark season.
— A Generic Twit (@twit_generic) February 5, 2020
I’m so close to just not watching the rest of the season. I thought they’d make it better or at least different but they’ve just doubled down on all the worst parts. #MKR
— Freezmaz CBRMTG (@nickwfen) February 5, 2020
Dear #MKR. If I wanted to watch a dating show, I’d be watching a different channel. GET BACK TO THE COOKING!!!!
— Bronwyn Cook (@broncook76) February 5, 2020
— Bill (@Oh_So_Offensive) February 5, 2020
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It’s been a bad start to the year for Channel 7, but Mr McKnight said the network has some exciting shows slated for later in the year.
“I don’t think it’s game over for Channel 7, I think they will come back stronger later in the year,” he told news.com.au.
“If you look at Channel 10 this time last year, they were in a black hole and nothing was rating. But then 10 finished the year really strongly thanks to The Masked Singer which became a hit.
“Channel 7 do have some big things coming, Big Brother being the notable one. If they get that right, they have a potential hit on their hands.”