Reality check for foodie copycats
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.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Dom Aboud at his
pop- up in Sydney.