The world is taking away a reality TV show with an angry British man yelling at people restaurants, and resurrecting another in which an angry British yells at people in restaurants.
Yes, Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible has been cancelled by Food Network yet again, while Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares is being revived by Fox.
The joke in my lead paragraph aside, Restaurant Impossible is so much better than Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares, from the designers’ makeovers of the spaces to the time Robert Irvine spends with the owners.
The show has had quite a journey over the past 12 years. It premiered in 2011, and then was cancelled after switching to a terrible ambush format.
In 2021, Discovery used the show and its popularity to help launch Discovery+, moving the show from cable to the new streaming service, though it quickly returned to Food Network.
Two years and five months after Discovery+’s launch, Discovery has merged with WarnerMedia, and Restaurant Impossible has been cancelled yet again.
The news came from the host himself: Robert Irvine tweeted that “[Food Network] hasn’t told me anything yet. So I assume it’s done.”
Irvine later retweeted an emotionally distraught fan and someone who posted “Thursday nights are certainly not as uplifting and entertaining as they were. We need @RobertIrvine and some #RestaurantImpossible.”
The show’s 20th season aired its final episode in early April.
While Food Network has not announced a cancellation, a network source indicated to me that Restaurant Impossible’s long run is, in fact, done. At least for now; no show or format seems to really die any more.
The return of Gordon Ramsay to actual restaurants
While Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares left Fox in 2014, he hasn’t gone away, of course; Hell’s Kitchen keeps going, and he now also co-hosts Next Level Chef.
The show hasn’t gone away, either; it’s streaming free all over the place, including on Freevee, Pluto, The Roku Channel, and Samsung TV Plus, in addition to pay services such as Peacock and Hulu.
Kitchen Nightmares’ seventh and then-final season ended in May 2014, and included this mess of an episode, which illustrated just how far the show had sunk into manufactured drama and sensationalism, instead of a chef genuinely trying to help struggling restauranteurs, which was the case on the British show.
Will the Fox revival be kinder and gentler, or just more yelling and throwing things, with producers slapping up a coat of paint on the wall to try to make up for all the viewers who will rush to Facebook and Yelp to defame the owners after watching a grotesquely edited episode?
All Fox said about the show’s return so far is that it’s “an all-new season of restaurant makeovers.”
Fox has not announced a premiere date, and with the WGA striking against production companies, fall schedules are in flux now.
If it’s held until midseason, that means Kitchen Nightmares will be returning about two decades after its far superior predecessor, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, premiered on Channel 4 in 2004.