‘Cooking’ flames out

Peacock puts fork in show

NBC’s “Celebrity Cooking Showdown” has collapsed quicker than an overcooked souffle.

After three days of disastrous ratings, Peacock decided to kill the show, effective immediately. Decision came just hours after an NBC email touted the skein’s night-to-night ratings gain.

Thursday’s fourth episode was supposed to feature a faceoff among the celebrity winners from the first three nights of the competition. Instead, the net ran repeats of “Will & Grace” and “My Name Is Earl.”

Viewers then were supposed to select a winner from among the three Thursday finalists, with the results announced on a Friday episode. NBC now plans to air both the Thursday and Friday episodes of “Cooking Showdown” Saturday from 8-10 p.m., with the winner selected by those who viewed the show online.

“Cooking Showdown” was stillborn in its Monday debut, averaging a weak 2.8/7 among adults 18-49, down 20% from the underperfoming “The Apprentice.” Things went from bad to worse Tuesday, with the show sinking to an embarrassing 1.1/3 in the demo opposite “American Idol.”

Peacock execs wanted to see how the show did without “Idol” competish, and they got their answer Thursday morning: Not well. Wednesday’s seg scored a 1.5/5 in the demo, putting it in sixth place for the hour.

Nonetheless, NBC’s PR department managed to find a silver lining, noting in an email to journos that “Cooking Showdown” was “up 36% in 18-49” vs. its Tuesday perf.

Within two hours, another email from NBC PR noted “Cooking Showdown” had been pulled.

Meanwhile, another Peacock spring tryout — the caper drama “Heist” — also flatlined after Wednesday’s seg averaged a mere 1.3/3 in the demo. Broadcast was likely the last for “Heist,” with a “Dateline” sex predator special slotted for the slot next week (Daily Variety, April 10).