There seems to be no end to hit reality shows that cross the pond. And some of them don't even star Gordon Ramsay.
So it is that "The American Baking Competition," which is based on the hit "The Great British Bake Off," premieres 8 p.m. May 29 on CBS. A press release says versions in Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Poland already draw big numbers. (How is it we are only just getting the show here? First, we're behind in math and science scores, now this.)
Ten everyday bakers were chosen to compete and, of course, one of them has Pittsburgh ties. Social marketing consultant Carlo Fuda, 35, lives in Stamford, Conn., but grew up in Ellwood City. His specialities are zeppole, cheesecake and cupcakes. Zeppole, if you must ask, is fried dough. So yep, he's one of ours.
Hosted by Jeff Foxworthy, the program offers a top prize of $250,000 and a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster's Gallery Books.
• Discovery's "The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius" debuts May 1. Hosted by Kal Penn, a group of smartypants scientists are challenged to come up with solutions to problems that promise to be highly entertaining (read: things might just blow up). Winner gets $50,000.
Two contestants are from Pittsburgh. Eric Whitman, 26, is a computer scientist and roboticist who is described in press materials as "competitive to a fault, Eric has willingly burnt his hand twice to protect one of his robots from harm."
Joe Ifill, 25, is a welding engineer who, in his spare time, creates sculptures and weird stuff like a "laser-wielding helmet for cats."
• The spirit of telenovela served as inspiration for this week's main challenge on "RuPaul's Drag Race" (Logo, Mondays). High drama reigned, with the six remaining queens camping it up as they filmed mysteries, then served Latina realness on the runway.
Pittsburgh's Alaska (Justin Honard) was a standout but first place went to Jinkx Monsoon (aka Jerick Hoffer), who upped the ante with a fabulous "Day of the Dead" look. Despite a fierce lip sync, losing queen was Alyssa Edwards (Justin Johnson).
• Recent winner of Syfy's Season 4 of "Face Off" was Anthony Kosar of Lisle, Ill. Mr. Kosar impressed the judges with his creation of two very waterproof creatures for a Las Vegas aqua show, "Le Reve, The Dream."
But his victory also was notable in that his two helpers were Autumn Cook, a Pittsburgh artist, and Eric Zapata, a Tom Savini School grad. The latter two didn't always play nice together during the regular season, but worked as a team to help Mr. Kosar win.
• Season 8 of NBC's "America's Got Talent" moves to New York's Radio City Music Hall for shows beginning July 23. Heidi Klum is a new judge this season, although our preference would have been "30 Rock's" Jenna Maroney from "America's Kidz Got Singing."
Maria Sciullo: email@example.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.