More People in the U.K. Watched the Great British Bake Off Premiere than the Olympics
When it comes to viewership, the BBC’s Great British Bake Off just keeps rising like a loaf of bread. (Sorry.) Last year’s season premiere hit a new record of 9.3 million viewers, according to Deadline—and by the finale, that number had grown to 13.4 million. And now? The show has gotten so big that its Season 7 premiere (which aired on Wednesday night) drew more eyeballs in the U.K. than the Rio Olympics did, even at the event’s peak.
Even the uninitiated can probably guess the show’s general format: 12 home bakers concoct all manner of tasty treats, in hopes of impressing a panel of judges and taking home an engraved cake stand. Unlike most American reality shows, including Food Network’s slate of stadium cooking shows like Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen, G.B.B.O. offers no cash prize—just the prestige of winning, pretty much. That, along with the show’s amusing hosts, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, sets the show apart. And whatever keeps viewers coming back, it’s clearly working—consistently.
The Olympics did not fare as well for the British broadcaster. According to Deadline, the Games peaked at 11.1 million viewers in the U.K., allowing G.B.B.O. to beat that number by just a hair with a peak of 11.2 million viewers on Wednesday night. And it seems almost certain, given how the baking series grew last cycle, that by its finale, the gap could be much wider. Just goes to show you: athletes are impressive, but sugar and spice and everything nice, and nothing to trifle with.
Rumours abound that the Brits want cake-baking to become an Olympic sport.