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November 13, 2008

Bravo's 'Top Chef' premiere sets ratings record

Top_chef Bravo's "Top Chef" continued its streak of record-breaking premieres Wednesday night; the fifth-season debut set a new all-time high.

The premiere of the New York edition was seen by 2.7 million viewers and earned a 1.4 rating among adults 18-49. That's up 19% among total viewers and 27% in the demo from March's fourth-season Chicago opener. 

At a time when every show on broadcast is suffering year-over-year declines, the snappily edited cooking competition series has managed to grow every cycle.

Though previous attempts to move cable series to broadcast have failed (such as USA Network's "Nashville Star" airing last summer on NBC, as well as "Monk" and "Psych" during the writers strike), it would be easy to see NBC tempted to try again with next year's edition of "Chef." Then again, NBC also has new reality project "Chopping Block" waiting in the wings, starring Gordon Ramsay's tyrannical former boss Marco Pierre White, so perhaps "Chef" should stay put.

Despite its growth, "Chef" still ranked second in the demo for the night behind Comedy Central's "South Park" (3 million, 1.5).


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