×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BBC Loses Rights to U.K.’s Most Popular Show ‘The Great British Bake Off’

LONDON — The BBC has lost the rights to broadcast “The Great British Bake Off,” which was the most-watched show on U.K. television last year. Channel 4 will now air the series instead, after signing a three-year deal with Love Productions, the baking competition show’s creators.

Channel 4’s first “Bake Off” episode will be a celebrity version of the show to air next year. The network is reported to have outbid the BBC. Both free-to-air broadcasters are owned by the British government, but the BBC is funded by a mandatory license fee, while Channel 4 is funded by advertising.

Jay Hunt, Channel 4’s chief creative officer, said in a statement: “Channel 4 is very proud to be the new home for ‘The Great British Bake Off.’ I’m delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much-loved show on free-to-air television.”

Love Productions stated: “After an extraordinary six-year journey with the BBC, Love Productions announces with regret that it has been unable to reach agreement on terms to renew the commission of ‘The Great British Bake Off.'”

The BBC show, in which amateurs bake cakes, pies, pastries and the like, was the U.K.’s most-watched show last year, with 15.1 million viewers for the finale. It has proved more popular than the network’s coverage of the Olympics this year, with the curtain-raiser for the latest season, the seventh, pulling almost half of all U.K. viewers. Season 7 kicked off last month with “Cake Week,” which averaged 10.4 million viewers, a whopping 48% of the U.K. total. The show’s ratings peaked at 11.2 million, which is more than the 11.1 million who tuned in for the most popular moment of the Rio Olympics.

CBS produced a U.S. version of the show called “The American Baking Competition” in May 2013, airing in primetime on Wednesdays, with Jeff Foxworthy hosting, and 5 million viewers watching. By July the show was toast: rating had failed to rise, the critics pulled a face, and CBS decided not to ask for a second helping.

Another attempt at producing a U.S. version of the show came last year when ABC aired a four-episode run of “The Great Holiday Baking Show.” The show premiered Nov. 30 at 10 p.m. EST, hosted by “My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s” Nia Vardalos and her husband, “Cougar Town” star Ian Gomez, and averaged around 5 million viewers.

More TV

  • Westworld Season 3 Trailer

    'Westworld' Season 3 Trailer Focuses on New Cast Member Aaron Paul

    Ahead of the final episode of “Game of Thrones,” HBO released the first trailer for the new season of another flagship show: “Westworld.” The first look at the third season of the sci-fi show puts the focus on new series regular Aaron Paul, best known for his run on “Breaking Bad.” The trailer doesn’t reveal [...]

  • AMERICAN IDOL - "218 (Season Finale)"

    Adam Lambert Does Double Performing Duty on 'Idol' as New Winner is Crowned

    A new “American Idol” winner was crowned Sunday night, but not before Adam Lambert returned to the stage for the season finale for a pair of performances that included his new single and a duet with eliminated contestant Dimitrius Graham Sunday. The show concluded with Louisiana teen Laine Hardy showered in confetti as he was [...]

  • Beyonce Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Worried Beyonce Would Hate Daenerys After 'Game of Thrones'' Final Season

    After eight seasons as the Mother of Dragons, “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke has a lot of celebrity fans. But the most impressive? Probably Queen Bey. In a New Yorker interview posted after Sunday night’s series finale, Clarke revealed that she met Beyonce at an Oscars after-party hosted by the musician and her husband, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    Why the 'Game of Thrones' Finale Couldn't Have Satisfied Everyone

    The “Game of Thrones” finale may have achieved a strange feat: Aiming for fan service while being constrained, by its very nature, to the reality that it would end up pleasing only very few. The episode was larded with character touches designed for devotees — from a title, at long last, for fan favorite Bronn, [...]

  • Game of Thrones Finale

    'Game of Thrones': Celebrity Fans Have Mixed Reaction to Series Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the series finale of “Game of Thrones,” titled “The Iron Throne.”  Whether you loved it or hated it, the series finale of “Game of Thrones” was one for the history books. After the final episode aired Sunday night, fans across the globe took to [...]

  • ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments

    ‘Game of Thrones’: 8 Shocking Moments From the Finale

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the finale of “Game of Thrones.” Well, that’s it. After the “Game of Thrones” finale, many of us will likely emulate Jon Snow and just retire North of the Wall. It was billed as one of the biggest events in TV history, and showrunners [...]

  • Front row: CBS THIS MORNING co-hosts

    CBS Hurls New Anchor Team Into TV's Morning-News Wars

    News Team: Assemble. CBS News plans to hurl a new anchor squad into TV’s morning-news wars Monday when a different trio – Gayle King, Anthony Mason and Tony Dokoupil –  takes the helm at “CBS This Morning.” The A.M. effort that has won critical plaudits by focusing on harder news topics, like international affairs and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content