It looks like the revival of Iron Chef Japan has been cancelled
Update: Fuji TV formally announced on March 1st that the new Iron Chef has been cancelled. ;_;
Well, I speculated back at the beginning of the month on Facebook that this might happen, and unfortunately I was right. Although it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet, a Japanese weekly magazine called Shuukan Gendai is reporting that the revival of Iron Chef, that I wrote rave reviews of, has been cancelled due to low ratings, and will go off the air at the end of March. (March is when a lot of things end in Japan, such as the school year, the fiscal year, and so on.)
According to the magazine, although the show debuted strongly, its ratings have been disappointingly low, hovering around 6% - 7% of total viewership. They even tried putting on a 3-hour live special on New Year’s Eve, against the venerable Kōhaku Uta Gassen on NHK - and only garnered a miserable 4% rating.
While weekly pulp magazines like Shuukan Gendai are the equivalent of the tabloid press in terms of credibility and such in Japan, they probably have it right. I suppose that I have about a .01% hope that they got it wrong…but probably not.
It’s really disappointing, but perhaps shows such as this that showcase the flamboyant and expensive top end of the culinary world just don’t fly anymore in Japan. Ever since the original Iron Chef ended its run in 1999 (followed by a couple of specials in subsequent years), typical food oriented programming in Japan has been things like “the top 20 tonkatsu restaurants” or “great value for money ryokan” or “the tastiest instant ramen” and the like.
Whatever the reason, I’m really sorry to see it disappear so soon. :( I guess the chances that broadcasters in other countries will get it are nonexistent now.