Quite a few of Netflix’s series are just copies of popular formats, from Swap Shop (which is American Pickers and Pawn Stars) to The American Barbecue Showdown (which is basically Bake-Off with barbecue).
Netflix has created far more original formats, like Nailed It!, and produced versions of popular international formats, such as The Circle.
What’s rare, though, is its revival of old formats. It did that with Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which was reborn as Queer Eye.
This year, though, Netflix will revive two old reality formats: Iron Chef and The Mole.
I assume that we’ll see its reboot of The Mole this year, which is also when we’ll see the revival of another classic reality competition: Iron Chef.
Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Chef will have new Iron Chefs
Iron Chef has been adapted in the U.S. for the past two decades, starting with the version we can pretend didn’t exist: UPN’s 2001 William Shatner-hosted Iron Chef USA.
After that, Food Network used the format in several different ways:
- Iron Chef America: Battle of the Masters in 2004
- Iron Chef America from 2005 to 2014, revived as Iron Chef Showdown in 2017
- The Next Iron Chef, a competition that aired from 2007 to 2012
- Iron Chef Gauntlet in 2017
Netflix’s version, which is called Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, “will feature five new Iron Chefs, who will welcome Challenger Chefs,” Deadline reported, while the “most successful Challenger will return to battle in a grand finale for the chance to be named the first ever ‘Iron Legend.'”
Honestly, that does not sound super exciting to me, at least on paper.
I think that’s in part because any kind of fan service version of the original—Mark Dacascos as chairman, Alton Brown or someone like him doing commentary—would just feel old and done by now.
Meanwhile, the format has been reimagined and reworked in much more interesting ways since Food Network aired the original adaptation.
Alex Guarnaschelli’s great new show is basically Iron Chef, just with three chefs, not one, and blind judging. Meanwhile, Food Network’s terrific Tournament of Champions has fun and competitive one-on-one face-offs between outstanding chefs of varying skill levels and experiences.
Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend is produced by Keller Productions and 3 Ball Productions, with Daniel Calin showrunning, and Deadline says it’ll premiere this year. My guess is that, with this information out now, the show has already been filmed, especially since Netflix typically films its reality TV shows months or a year or more in advance.