Bravo cooks more ‘Chef’

Skein's ratings peaked at 1.3 million total viewers

Bravo has ordered up another helping of “Top Chef.”

Cable network has greenlit a second 10-episode season of the culinary competish, while adding a reunion special to the current run and expanding the season finale to two separate one-hour episodes.

“Top Chef” has built its viewership consistently week to week, peaking at 1.3 million total viewers (901,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo) for the April 26 episode. An interactive component available to Time Warner Cable subs, in which viewers respond to culinary questions during the show via remote control, has also scored big with audiences since the March premiere.

Bravo senior VP Frances Berwick said the network’s “unscripted dramas, competition or not, seem to really have taken off with our audience.”

“This show is something our viewers are passionate about, as evidenced in the ratings and the levels of interactive responses we get from Time Warner,” she said.

The reunion spec airs May 10. Two-part finale is slated for May 17 and May 24.

“Top Chef” will join a roster of returning franchises including “Kathy Griffin: Life on the D-List,” “Queer Eye” and “Celebrity Poker Showdown.” A decision on a renewal for Orange County docusoap “Real Housewives” will be made shortly, according to Berwick.

Casting for the new season will begin this month in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas. “Top Chef” is from exec producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Magical Elves, behind Bravo top-rated franchise “Project Runway.”

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