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Restaurant Impossible was cancelled; Kitchen Nightmares is coming back

Restaurant Impossible was cancelled; Kitchen Nightmares is coming back
Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is returning to Fox, while Food Network has decided to end Robert Irvine's Restaurant Impossible (Cover art by Fox and Food Network; composite and stylization by Andy Dehnart)

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.

Robert Irvine, Tom Bury, Restaurant Impossible
Robert Irvine and his long-suffering construction manager Tom Bury on an episode of Restaurant Impossible. (Photo by Emile Wamsteker/Food Network)

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.

It was resurrected in 2019, and I really liked the new version.

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.

Robert Irvine on Restaurant: Impossible with the owners of Josephine's Cooking, Josephine and Victor
Robert Irvine, right, on Restaurant: Impossible with the owners of Josephine’s Cooking, Josephine and Victor. (Photo by 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

Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Sherman's Restaurant
Gordon Ramsay during the 24 Hours to Hell and Back episode following his attempt to make over Sherman’s Restaurant in just one day. (Photo by Fox)

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.

But Gordon Ramsay and Fox weren’t done ruining restaurants reputations yet. Ramsay returned with 24 Hours to Hell and Back, which his production company produced. It sucked, too.

Gordon Ramsay, 24 Hours to Hell and Back, Fox
Gordon Ramsay at Bella Gianna’s on the season premiere of his new Fox series 24 Hours to Hell and Back. (Photo by Fox)

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.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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Thursday 25th of May 2023

Well there goes food network for this household! It’s all Bobby Flay, Guy, and competition shows except for Sunday mornings. I would 1000% watch Robert over Bobby any day. This makes me so sad.


Tuesday 16th of May 2023

The success rates of these shows in terms of impact on the businesses are never great, why do people keep asking for help?