1:00pm PT by Michael O'Connell
Revamped 'Great British Bake Off' Heads to Netflix in U.S.
American fans of The Great British Bake Off who have been curious about the new talent lineup on the U.K. hit can finally check it out on Netflix. The streamer has acquired U.S. rights to three new and future seasons of the show, the ones without original stars Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.
Netflix announced Thursday that it will be the new home of first-run U.S. airings of the show, in the wake of its big U.K. switch from the BBC to Channel 4. That means the first season with new hosts Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding, alongside new judge Prue Leith, will arrive on the service Aug. 31, with their second season coming later this year and the yet-to-be-filmed third (and the U.K. version's tenth) on deck for 2019.
Bake Off — known as The Great British Baking Show in the U.S. because of a copyright issue with Pillsbury — had its initial stateside run on PBS. But that deal expired when the BBC lost U.K. rights to the popular Love Productions baking competition.
The network move, seen as a cash grab by its exiting talent and many in the industry, saw judge Paul Hollywood linger on as the lone member of the original lineup. There was some public outcry about the massive facelift for one of the U.K.’s most popular series, but it ultimately didn’t damage ratings too much. The first season with the new lineup, which aired last fall, saw nearly 10 million viewers tune in every week with the aid of time-shifting. Despite a significant dip in live tune-in, it ranked as a top 5 program throughout the country.
Netflix has had a small backlog of old Bake Off episodes for several years, but always after a live and streaming window for PBS. This means, at least for the next two years, Netflix will be the only place you can find the show in the U.S.