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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]

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