Part of missing most of the spring is that I totally missed the press release that PBS had indeed renewed The Great British Baking Show for Season 3. They just opted to run it as a summer program instead of a late spring one as they did with the first season in 2015.
And as I had very much hoped, PBS will indeed follow the pattern and air Great British Bake Off‘s Season 6 as Season 3. *PLEASE NOTE: Even though PBS’ website says July 1st, and the show airs tonight on my channel, several readers have told me it does not air for them until Sunday. Check your local listings.
To recap for those who find this statement confusing: PBS brought over the BBC’s hit Great British Bake Off the year after it expanded the budget and moved to airing on flagship BBC One from home-and-garden oriented BBC Two. And so since it had just moved, PBS started airing Baking Show with that first season on BBC 1–which was actually five seasons into the run. So Baking Show Season 1 is actually Bake Off Season 5. (The name change is to be blamed on Pillsbury, which apparently believes that “Bake Off” is owned exclusively by their fat little mascot.)
Baking Show was such a hit that spring, PBS decided they needed a fall edition. But the BBC isn’t like the USA. They only do one season a year of their reality shows–it’s part of what keeps them “events” (Think American Idol versus a fall and spring season of The Voice. Or, more correctly, a spring and fall edition of Dancing with the Stars on ABC, versus one fall season of Strictly Come Dancing on the BBC.) Since BBC One had only just started airing Bake Off Season 6, PBS bought the previous season–the one prior to the budget increase, that aired on BBC Two, Bake Off Season 4. So the first two seasons of Baking Show are actually in backwards order, originally aired in the UK as Season 5 and Season 4.
I assumed that when (not if, but when) PBS brought us Baking Show Season 3 it would naturally be Bake Off Season 6. I even joked that if they went two seasons a year, they would have Baking Show Season 4 be Bake Off Season 3–but perhaps the idea of the ever expanding time jump between seasons backwards and forwards would be too much for viewers? (Personally I’m rather disappointed, I would totally watch Sue’s hair progress and then regress further in each installment.) But instead, it seems they’ve moved their season forward–and probably are moving to one season a year to make it “event” TV.
And this is an event. I am so excited for my American friends to see last season of Bake Off. From plucky Flora to super serious Ian to hapless Mat to lovely Nadiya and nerdy Tamal–this is a great crop of contestants. And the challenges are better than ever. There’s no massive “bincident” or anything this time, but that doesn’t matter. Let me tell you, when there’s a show stopper challenge, and Paul Hollywood stops in the middle of tasting and looks at Mary Berry and says, in shock and joy that this is his life, “This is the *BEST* idea we ever had,” you know it’s a winning season above all others.
You can watch all the clips and get familiar with the bakers over at PBS’s website. And of course, we’ll be live tweeting and recapping*.
*ETA: Even though PBS’ website says July 1st, and the show airs tonight on my channel, several readers have told me it does not air for them until Sunday. Due to this disparity, we will run our recaps on Mondays, and this week, due to the July 4th holiday, Tuesday.