Ready, steady … Classic cooking competition joins Ten’s reality TV reboot agenda

Miguel Maestre will host the show that was once a core part of many Aussies’ sick days off school.

Miguel Maestre will host the show that was once a core part of many Aussies’ sick days off school. Photo: TND

Ready Steady Cook is set to join Network Ten’s growing line-up of 1990s and 2000s reality TV reboots as part of the network’s latest recipe aiming for improved ratings.

After announcing in October the show would be part of the 2024 line-up, Ten has recently been running ads across its channels to draw in applications for in-studio audiences.

Having a live audience is in keeping with the original Ready Steady Cook, which aired from 2005 until 2013.

Ten is keeping mum on most of the other details for now, but some key changes are already confirmed.

One of the most major will be the change of host.

Chef and former The Living Room co-host Miguel Maestre will take up the mantle formerly worn by Nick Stratford (2005), Peter Everett (2006-2011) and Colin Lane (2011-2013).

A Ten spokesperson told The New Daily the revamped show will retain the original “dynamic duo” setup: Members of the public will be paired with established chefs.

Ready Steady Cook will also be airing on Friday evenings – a significant departure from its previous weekday afternoon time slots.

The debut date for the reboot has not been announced, but it will come on the heels of Ten relaunching Gladiators and Deal or No Deal early this year.

Victoria University senior lecturer in screen media Dr Marc C-Scott said Ten is likely hoping to draw in two general groups of audiences by bringing back the classic competition and game shows.

One group would be Australians old enough to remember the original shows, who would tune in for a hit of nostalgia.

The other group would be younger people who have never heard of the shows, and would be interested in watching the ‘new’ concepts.

“There’s this whole generation who would have never have heard of some of these programs that they’re bringing back that were quite successful,” he said.

“I think that the formats will be set to a point. They won’t want to change it too much. But in saying that, they might want to tweak it or massage it to be more reflective of contemporary times.

“It’s a very different media landscape in Australia now than what it was when these programs were initially produced … We’re no longer all sitting in front of the TV at the same time … and we just have to see how or if [the reboots] succeed.”

With TV networks struggling to retain audiences in the age of streaming – and Ten ranking behind Seven, Nine and the ABC in last year’s OzTAM ratings – many are turning to reality TV formats.

C-Scott said the shift comes down to factors such as reality TV tends to be cheaper to produce than script-based content, and much like sports events, many viewers prefer to watch reality shows live to talk about them instantly.

In addition to running ad breaks, reality and competition shows are handy platforms for product placements – another handy revenue stream for TV networks and production companies.

For example, season 15 of Ten’s MasterChef Australia partnered with Coles, Harvey Norman, Somat, Primo, Bulla and more.

It’s likely Ready Steady Cook will take similar advantage of its platform.

Ten’s reality TV revival strategy is yet to smash the competition out of the water, with this week’s debut of Deal or No Deal reaching an audience of 656,000 across traditional TV and broadcast video on demand.

In comparison, Nine‘s launch of Married at First Sight season 11 drew in 2.4 million viewers, and the second season of Seven’s Australian Idol reboot reached 1.7 million viewers.

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