Simon Cowell's 'Food Glorious Food' Fails to Appeal to U.K. Taste

DOWN: Simon Cowell

His "The X Factor" U.K. edition debuts down more than 2 million viewers with new judge Nicole Scherzinger. Does it portend a soft U.S. bow in September?

Co-produced by his Syco TV, the show's first episode drew fewer than 3 million viewers, the lowest-ever U.K. debut for a Cowell show.

LONDON – Simon Cowell's reality TV cooking show, Food Glorious Food, debuted on commercial broadcaster ITV with fewer than 3 million viewers Feb. 27, his lowest-rated launch ever.

The ITV show, described by Cowell in an interview with British TV trade Broadcast as "like Antiques Roadshow combined with food," kicked off its evening debut with an average of 2.7 million viewers, a 12.7 percent share of the audience between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

It details the search for the best British food cooked by the public and is hosted by TV regular Carol Voderman.

The preceding ITV show, the perennial soap opera Coronation Street, ended the slot preceding the Cowell-produced show with more than 8 million viewers.

Food Glorious Food attracted critical ire, with many reviewers calling it derivative and in the same vein as BBC2's Great British Bake Off, which ended its last series run topping 6 million viewers last year.

But there is a crumb of comfort in the show's low ratings debut.

Cowell's high ratings grabbers Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor both launched with fewer than 5 million viewers from their Saturday night debuts before going on to build headline-grabbing numbers as the shows played out.

And when launching, Great British Bake Off garnered just 2.1 million viewers in August 2010.

Food Glorious Food is co-produced by Cowell's Syco TV with Optomen Television.

Optomen's previous cookery shows include programs with Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay.