EXCLUSIVE: Fox’s food competition format MasterChef was forced to shut down in March having filmed half of its 11th season.
The show, which is produced by Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato, is now eyeing an October return to filming.
Deadline understands that the current plan is for production to pick back up around mid-to-late October. This would hopefully allow star and executive producer Gordon Ramsay, one of the judges, to return to LA from his home in the UK. As to be expected with all shows, this schedule remains flexible depending on the impact of the virus over the next few months.
The show, which will feature 18 episodes, will be produced with health and safety protocols front and center. Crew will wear PPE equipment and there will be the, now standard, COVID-19 testing and social distancing.
‘MasterChef Australia’s Social Distancing Studio Production Offers Taste Of How Non-Scripted Formats May Return In U.S.
Danny Schrader and Natalka Znak are showrunners and exec produce alongside Ramsay, Georgie Hurford-Jones and Ben Adler.
We hear that the producers have also been talking to their counterparts in a number of other territories that have already managed to get their own versions of the show up and running.
Earlier this week, Deadline revealed that Shine TV had begun production on MasterChef: The Professionals. Filming on the BBC series is underway at 3 Mills Studio in London.
MasterChef Australia was also able to resume filming in May. The show, which airs on ViacomCBS-owned Network Ten, returned with social distancing measures across every facet of production, including the judges, contestants and crew.
In the Australian version, additional hand sanitizing stations were put in across the set, while the cooking benches were spaced out further to keep contestants further away from each other and gloves were provided for team challenges where equipment was shared as well as when contestants went to get food from the store cupboards. Extra sinks were also added as well as dedicated hand washing stations and the judges stepped up to taste the individually portioned meals and didn’t share cutlery or plates.
The rules and regulations are slightly different in the U.S. but it’s not a bad template to start cooking with.
This comes as MasterChef Jr. is set to return for its eighth season of the spin-off for Fox, which has been added to Fox’s fall schedule.
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