Hell's Kitchen solid start overshadowed by The Block

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 7 August 2017

Seven’s debut of Hell’s Kitchen has endured a solid start but was well behind Nine’s reno powerhouse The Block last night and has had a mixed reaction on social.

The show, fronted by British celebrity chef Marco Pierre-White, had an average metropolitan audience of 817,000 viewers, behind The Block’s 1.21 million but well ahead of Australian Survivor’s 606,000.

Hell’s Kitchen pits several lesser known ‘celebrities’ in two teams to run a professional kitchen for a restaurant service.

The show has proven a hit in the US but is arguably more famous for British firebrand chef Gordon Ramsay swearing at pretty much everything that moves and how contestants cope with his barrage as it is for cooking ability. 

The choice of Pierre-White, an outstanding chef that is highly revered in Britain, has put of some fans off, while others used social media to take aim at contestant David Oldfield, the former One Nation senator known for his bigoted views towards Asians and Indigenous Australians.

Hell's Kitchen has launched in a year where Seven's other cooking juggernaut My Kitchen Rules has seen a drop off in TV audiences of about 25% and Ten's Masterchef has also been well down on previous years.

Both shows have come up against strong competition from Nine in the form of Married At First Sight and Australian Ninja Warrior.

Hell's Kitchen is up against The Block, which comfortably won the first round. The show's ultimate success will be if it can grow from a solid start and avoid the fate of Seven's last cooking flop Zumbo's Just Desserts, which started with an audience just north of 1 million before quickly souring.

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