11:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Fox Renews 'MasterChef Junior' for Season 2
The love affair between Fox and Gordon Ramsay seems to know no bounds.
The network has renewed the chef-producer's MasterChef Junior for a second season, keeping his catalog of Fox offerings at an impressive five series. The show joins parent series MasterChef, renewed for two seasons in May, Hell's Kitchen, Hotel Hell and Kitchen Nightmares on the network roster.
A renewal for MasterChef Junior has been in the cards since the spinoff's solid September premiere. The show, produced by Ramsay's One Potato Two Potato and Shine America, fared well in its Friday slot with an average 1.4 rating among adults 18-49 and 5.1 million viewers.
Its time-shifting, however, has been significant. The series outperforms all Big Four unscripted offerings in its DVR growth, improving 50 percent to an average 2.1 rating in the key demo.
Ramsay, who signed a deal with Fox this summer that will keep his programming on the network through at least 2015, will continue to serve as a judge and host on Junior -- alongside parent series panelists Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot.
"MasterChef Junior is one of the few shows on television that the entire family can truly enjoy together, and I can't wait to see what Gordon, Joe, Graham and the next round of rambunctious, ridiculously talented junior chefs cook up in season two," Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly said in making the announcement Thursday.
Casting calls will begin in New York and Chicago on Jan. 18 for the next round of competitors on the series.