Canada Is Getting Its Own Version of the 'Great British Bake Off'
Obviously, The Great British Baking Show (it can't be called the "bake-off" here because that's already the name of a Pillsbury baking competition) is one of the most popular and well-loved cooking shows on television. The Great American Baking Show tried to be the counterpart of it’s much more well-received cousin for two seasons starting in 2015 (Jeff Foxworthy hosted a different version, called The Great American Baking Competition in 2013) but failed to catch on in the same way. This December, it’s coming back for a new season and another stab at grabbing the attention of American audiences (with Ayesha Curry as a judge!), but in the meantime, a Canadian iteration is set to debut on CBC next week—perhaps a happy medium between the innuendo-laden, goofball antics of the British version and the less droll tone that the American versions have turned out to embody.
According to Eater, it will follow the format of The Great British Baking Show very closely: Ten amateur bakers and pastry chefs will gather to compete in a series of the themed baking competitions and, as in the British iteration, the first two weeks will center around cake and bread. There will also be a Canada week, where contestants will be asked to bake confections specific to the country.
“It’s about the bakers’ own betterment and their own craft...It is a feel-good show… [Each contestant] is rooting for each baker to do their best which is really unlike other competition shows,” Jennifer Dettman, the executive director of the network’s unscripted content, told Eater.
That means that the show will focus on the baked goods, not the drama between contestants—which might be an unfamiliar format for American audiences, who are accustomed to watching melodramatic fights between cliques unfold on our reality shows.
The show will be hosted by the actors Julia Chan and Dan Levy, who Dettman says act as “friends to the baker,” because the competition can be stressful at times. But no matter how stressful the kitchen gets, this show already seems imbued with Canada's signature kindness.