‘Rachael Ray’ to End After 17 Seasons

Rachael Ray and Carrie Underwood cook on the set of 'Rachael Ray.'
Rachael Ray and Carrie Underwood cook on the set of 'Rachael Ray.' (Image credit: CBS Media Ventures/'Rachael Ray')

Syndicated talk show Rachael Ray will end original production after 17 seasons, CBS Media Ventures said Friday.

“In my more than 20-plus years in television I have had 17 wonderful seasons working in daytime television with Rachael,“ Ray said in a statement. “However I’ve made the decision that it’s time for me to move on to the next exciting chapter in my broadcast career.”  

In the week ended February 13, Rachael Ray averaged a 0.7 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, holding steady with the prior five weeks. 

In general, studios have been cutting back on lower-rated syndicated shows, with Warner Bros. canceling People’s Court and Judge Mathis last week. CBS’ top-rated talk show, Dr. Phil, also will end production this spring. CBS plans to try to keep that show on the air in repeats just as it does with evergreen episodes of Judge Judy and NBCUniversal does with Maury, Jerry Springer and Judge Jerry. Whether CBS will try to do that with Rachael Ray was unclear at deadline, although typically distributors are trying to monetize libraries on new platforms.

As her daytime talker ends, Ray is launching a new production arm, Free Food Studios, which she says will allow her to develop content on “a platform unencumbered by the traditional rules of distribution. I am truly excited to be able to introduce and develop new and upcoming epicurean talent on all platforms.”

Rachael Ray debuted in daytime syndication on September 18, 2006. Over the course of 17 years, the show was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmys, winning the title of outstanding talk show three times. Rachael Ray is distributed and produced by CBS Media Ventures in association with Harpo Productions, Discovery Inc., and Watch Entertainment. Janet Annino is senior executive producer.

“When Rachael debuted her show 17 years ago, she was a game-changer in the daytime space. She made cooking accessible to the masses, taught viewers simple solutions on how to improve their lives and coaxed great stories out of celebrity guests with her relatable down-to-earth demeanor,” said Steve LoCascio, president of CBS Media Ventures, also in a statement. 

In May, Ray will be inducted into the Broadcasting+Cable Hall of Fame. 

Deadline first reported this news. ■

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.