Just like the amateur chefs ejected on the TV cooking competitions he oversees, Gordon Ramsay is hanging up his apron on Kitchen Nightmares.
After 12 memorable seasons, the mad Scottish chef has pulled the plug on Nightmares, the highly rated Fox reality series in which he single-handedly attempts to rescue struggling restaurants by overhauling the menus and decor.
As per the original British series Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, each episode in the Fox version invariably features the bombastic chef chewing out the witless proprietor who let his or her eatery fall on hard times in the first place.
But no doubt some people are surprised Ramsay would voluntarily walk away from a TV franchise that appeared to be at the top of its game. The 47-year-old chef went onto his personal website on Monday to abruptly announce the show’s shutdown.
“As filming comes to a close on the latest series of Kitchen Nightmares, I’ve decided to stop making the show,” said Ramsay. “I’ve had a phenomenal 10 years making 123 episodes, 12 seasons shot across 2 continents, watched by tens of millions of people and sold to over 150 countries. It’s been a blast but it’s time to call it a day.”
Ramsay provided no specific reason for his decision in the statement.
Whatever the provocation, Kitchen Nightmares has certainly enjoyed prosperous runs on both British and American television.
The British series routinely pulled a viewing audience in the six-million-viewer range during its five-season run between 2004 and 2009.
On American television, last month’s seventh-season finale of Kitchen Nightmares garnered a respectable 2.5-million viewers for the Fox Network.
But restaurant owners will have to look elsewhere for salvation in the future: Ramsay makes it clear in his note that Kitchen Nightmares has wrapped at the same time he credits the show for making him a household name with North American viewers.
“This was the show that really propelled my TV career,” he writes. “I’m very grateful for the amazing team behind the series and for the support from the viewers for almost a decade!”
Of course it’s germane to the discussion to point out that Ramsay still has four other hourlong series on the Fox schedule.
Currently, the Ramsay-helmed shows Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef hold down plum positions on Fox’s summer primetime lineup. Slated to return later this year are the Ramsay properties MasterChef Junior and Hotel Hell (which is virtually identical in format to Kitchen Nightmares, except that Ramsay rescues foundering hotels).
In other words, there’s only so much Gordon Ramsay to go around.
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