Fourth season debut of Next Food Network Star is the network’s best debut ever

The Next Food Network Star returned to Food Network on Sunday night for its fourth season, and drew the channel’s largest audience ever for a debut episode.

Overall, 1.91 million viewers watched, “making it the most-watched series opener in the Scripps-owned channel’s 15-year history,” Mediaweek reports.

That’s not a huge number by most networks’ standards, but the show is drawing a younger, more desirable audience. More than half of its viewers, 1.04 million of them, were ages 18 to 49, and the show’s median age is now 43. Mediaweek notes that “last season’s debut was seen by an audience with a median age of 50.”

Incidentally, the other cable network that uses a reality show to search for future hosts, HGTV, will debut its third season of Design Star on Sunday at 9. That gives us two back-to-back hours of solid reality competition every Sunday, and that’s great since both shows are high-quality and interesting, particularly since the prize has real consequence. Past winners from both series are now regulars, and even stars, on their respective networks, unlike those from other competitions who just disappear.

‘Next Food Network Star’ Serves Up Ratings Boost for Scripps [Mediaweek]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.