Re­al­ity check for foodie copy­cats

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - COLIN VICK­ERY Na­tional TV Writer

THE bat­tle of the copy­cat cook­ing shows has turned into a fizzer.

The launch episodes of Nine’s The Hot­plate and Seven’s Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion both rated dis­ap­point­ingly on Tues­day night.

The Hot­plate av­er­aged 784,000 view­ers across Aus­tralia’s five cap­i­tal cities com­pared to 676,000 for Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion.

Com­pare that with the 2.133 mil­lion view­ers who watched the fi­nale of MasterChef Aus­tralia the pre­vi­ous night.

The re­sults are a worry con­sid­er­ing The Hot­plate and Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion are set to screen up to four nights per week.

The two shows es­sen­tially split the foodie au­di­ence and face fur­ther pres­sure tonight when Ten launches The Bach­e­lor.

“Re­al­ity fa­tigue con­tin­ues, and now we can add food fa­tigue,” media an­a­lyst Steve Allen says.

Last night wasn’t the first time two copy­cat for­mats have gone head to head. Nine re­cently pro­grammed Reno Rum­ble against Seven’s ren­o­va­tion show House Rules.

Reno Rum­ble pit­ted for­mer con­tes­tants from The Block against for­mer con­tes­tants from House Rules.

In June, Seven CEO Tim Worner lashed Nine for its tac­tics.

“I feel like Nine are vir­tu­ally match- rac­ing us in terms of their sched­ul­ing with a show that ac­tu­ally fea­tures stars of a pre­vi­ous se­ries of ours,” Worner said. An­drew Back­well, Nine’s head of pro­gram­ming and pro­duc­tion, has hit back, ac­cus­ing Seven of rush­ing Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion to air to blunt The Hot­plate.

“I think it is very dis­ap­point­ing for view­ers to have a sit­u­a­tion again where we have got two sim­i­lar shows go­ing head to head,” Back­well says. “Our show is fully pro­duced. We’ve got it in the can.

“We’ve edited all the episodes. We re­leased our launch sched­ule and seven days later Seven de­cided to re­lease their air date di­rectly against ours.”

The Hot­plate, with judges Scott Pick­ett and Tom Parker- Bowles, fea­tures es­tab­lished restau­ra­teurs cook­ing for a $ 100,000 prize.

In Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion, con­tes­tants es­tab­lish pop- up restau­rants built from ship­ping con­tain­ers.

Fans have al­ready taken to so­cial media to la­bel The Hot­plate a rip- off of Seven’s My Kitchen Rules.

Pic­ture: TROY SNOOK

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Dom Aboud at his

Res­tau­rant Revo­lu­tion

pop- up in Syd­ney.

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