Reality Check: Viewers hot for CBS baking competition

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Looks as if CBS has the recipe for a hit.

"The American Baking Competition," based on "The Great British Bake Off," had ratings that really took the cake in Week 3.

The latest episode of the summer reality series (Wednesdays, 8 p.m.) had season-high viewer numbers and demographics, drawing 5.8 million viewers.

Ellwood City native Carlo Fuda, alas, is no longer in the running. He went out in the first week, when the amateur bakers had to conquer three pie-related challenges. Subsequent episodes were centered around cookies and, most recently, cake.

CBS will air an encore of the cake episode Sunday at 8 p.m.

A boon to business

Great American Country's "Farm Kings," which features the King family of Butler County, has provided great exposure for the family business, Freedom Farms.

An event to celebrate the launch of the farm's new magazine is being held this morning for Freedom Farms CSA members and media only, but a public event also is slated for today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the market in Middlesex and includes a barbecue cookout.

"Farm Kings" airs Thursdays, although it has been in reruns. New episodes begin July 11.

Setting up 'Camp'

It's always fun to affix stereotype labels to reality show contestants (although in the case of Spike TV's parody, "The Joe Schmo Show," producers already did that for the viewers).

USA Network's "Summer Camp" does this as well, although it remains to be seen if it is having a laugh at someone's expense.

The show debuts July 11, and a boys-versus-girls team competition will include "extreme" versions of the kinds of games we all played at camp.

Among the 16 "die-hard adult campers" are Erin Cosgrove, "The Country Girl"; Isis McKenzie, "The Pageant Queen"; Kyle Kleiboeker, "The Broadway Performer"; and Chuck Lines, "The Sci-Fi Nerd" from Dubois, Clearfield County.

Press materials describe Mr. Lines, 25, as a would-be Luke Skywalker and former Eagle Scout who uses brains and not brawn to compete.

Pittsburgh already had one of those last summer: Shaler native Ian Terry, an engineering student who used a handwritten, step-by-step plan to win CBS's "Big Brother."

Little surprise then, that the show's pedigree includes "Big Brother" producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan.


Maria Sciullo: or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.


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