‘The Great American Baking Show’ Returns for the Holidays
The Great British Bake Off (known as “Baking Show” in America, thanks to some trademark issues with Pillsbury) is a global phenomenon, so it’s no wonder the series has been spun off in a few countries trying to repeat the success of the U.K.-based original. With a growing fanbase in America, thanks to PBS and (now) Netflix, the ABC network has been airing a stateside version since 2015. However, after scandal rocked the show last season and the series was pulled from the schedule, the future of The Great American Baking Show seemed dour. But the series was renewed for a fourth season in May, and today, ABC has officially announced a new host, new judge, and premiere date for a revamped The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition.
Appropriately enough for this holiday take on the series, Spice Girl Emma Bunton will take over hosting duties for Ayesha Curry. She joins returning host and former football player Anthony “Spice” Adams, meaning the hosting portion of GABS is extra spicy this season (or as spicy as low-key baking shows get!). Bunton replaces Curry who came on board along with Adams for the mostly-unaired third season. Curry moved on to host her own culinary reality series Family Food Fight which will also air on ABC.
The new judge co-jockeying all of the critiques with Paul Hollywood this season will be James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Sherry Yard. Yard is a veteran of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants as well as a veteran cooking competition judge on many of the Food Network holiday challenge series. Hollywood was brought in for the third season after original Great British Bake Off judge Mary Berry departed after the show’s second season. Contrary to inklings earlier this year, it looks like she won’t be reuniting with Hollywood this time around.
Despite its good-natured, largely drama-free competition, GABS was the focus of its own drama last season. The series previously employed chef and baker Johnny Iuzzini as a judge, but shortly after the season premiered, he was accused of sexual harassment by eight women. ABC pulled the rest of the series, though the winner was announced at the time when the finale would have aired.
The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition will have its two-hour premiere on December 6, 2018 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.