Cooking the history books

Shine Australia’s director of programming, Paul Franklin, says Shine and TEN are making television history with Junior MasterChef as the first TV contest featuring children to be scheduled in prime time for a general audience.

Franklin told The Australian after he had finished filming for the show: “I said to the crew, ‘Many years from now you’ll be proud you took part in this, because I don’t think anywhere in the world anyone has been able to crack it’. It’s the first time we’ve made a reality show with kids for adults in prime time.”

In fact CBS beat them to it with the series Kid Nation (pictured) in which a group of children were left to run a frontier town in a ‘Lord of the Flies’-style society back in 2007. Aside from host Jonathan Karsh, no adults appeared in the series.

It aired at 8pm on CBS and at 7:30pm in Australia -on TEN no less.

In 2008 Nine also aired My Kid’s a Star at 7:30pm.

There was also the first Seven Up series by director Michael Apted way back in 1964 -though in fairness this would qualify as a documentary, given Reality hadn’t been formalised as a genre, and it took a more considered editorial tone.

Of course Kid Nation wasn’t a hit, either for CBS or TEN. Junior MasterChef is bound to rise above that track record quick smart.

Source: The Australian


  1. Isn’t there a UK Junior Masterchef anyway? I frown/giggle when people have these sort of statements that try anchor their show up, though what they say isn’t exactly true!

  2. Every time you think TV has gone as low as it’s possible to go they prove you wrong. I’ve given up following the ratings, it’s just too depressing. We may once have been the Lucky Country but the ratings show we are now beyond a doubt the Stupid Country.

    This is what we’re reduced too – arguing over who had the first ‘contest’ show on in prime time starring kids that adults watch. Insisting that those working on such nonsense should feel proud of themselves instead of ashamed. We’re not as smart as a third grader, let alone a fifth!

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