Pete Evans, Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge may not be returning to screens with MKR in 2021, if the ratings are anything to go by.
Pete Evans, Manu Feildel and Colin Fassnidge may not be returning to screens with MKR in 2021, if the ratings are anything to go by.

Big blow for MKR as ratings nosedive

Once one of Australia's most successful TV shows, the latest season of My Kitchen Rules has been dealt another massive blow as its ratings continue to dwindle.

Channel 7 has axed My Kitchen Rules: The Rivals from its Sunday night programming for the second time in a row.

The struggling cooking show, which former Channel 10 executive producer and TV commentator Rob McKnight said was "dead", will be replaced this Sunday by a "rushed-to-air" documentary about koalas being rescued during Australia's bushfire crisis.

Koala Rescue will be followed at 8.30pm by season returns for US drama series The Good Doctor, God Friended Me and The Resident.

RELATED: MKR judge hits back as show tanks

The change in programming means MKR will now only air three episodes a week.

When it last aired on a Sunday, TV Blackbox reported that the show drew just 476,000 metro viewers compared with the 593,000 viewers who tuned in for the premiere of Dancing With The Stars, the ABC's Grand Design on 599,000, 60 Minutes 688,000 and juggernaut Married At First Sight, with a staggering 1.091 million tuning in.

MKR was bumped from the Sunday schedule last week as well, in favour of Seven's broadcast of the Fire Fight Australia concert.

Does the network's latest move signal the beginning of the end for the cooking show?

"There won't be any more of the show," Mr McKnight told news.com.au. "You might as well write the eulogy and prepare the coffin … it will not be back again."

Mr McKnight said it's likely Channel 7 will now re-edit the remainder of this season and end it earlier than they planned to.

"I don't think Channel 7 is in a position to just drop MKR; it's too big of a franchise and there are too many episodes," he said. "What they will probably try to do is shorten the run and combine episodes and get through it quicker. That will give them some time to pull through some other shows, like Pooch Perfect, anything that's on the shelf ready to go."

However, a spokesperson for the network told news.com.au that MKR had not been axed from Sundays, and that the rollout of "timely specials and special events" like Koala Rescue and Fire Fight Australia were planned.

With so many big stories in the news at the moment - including the bushfire recovery and coronavirus - some at Seven may be wondering if the network made a mistake in axing Sunday Night, TV Blackbox co-creator and editor Kevin Perry said.

"Some well-produced current affairs content, scheduled at a consistent time of 7pm right after the top-rating news bulletin just might have provided viewers an engaging alternative to endless fake reality drama," he said.

Viewers have been vocal about their disappointment in the current season, taking to social media to slam the show for drifting too far from its cooking roots.

Judge Colin Fassnidge slammed the network in an interview on 2GB for airing this year's launch episode of MKR on the same night as the Australian Open Men's Final on Channel 9.

"This year was the best one we've done but not everyone's watching it, at the moment, cause we've got some people in Channel 7 who don't know how to program a show," he said.

"A lot of work went into this and then some stupid decisions were made to go up against the tennis and Married, we should have started a week early."

My Kitchen Rules continues tonight on Channel 7 at 7.30pm

 



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