by Thinus Ferreira
After 7 years M-Net has revived the cooking reality competition series MasterChef South Africa with a fourth season that will be broadcast from February 2022 on M-Net (DStv 101) as "comfort food television" during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic era.
The Cape Town based Homebrew is taking over production of the revived MasterChef South Africa from Quizzical Pictures with the new 4th season that will be taking place in Cape Town, very likely utilising the existing test kitchen complex at Atlantic Studios in Milnerton during October and November where kykNET's Kokkedoor series is produced from.
MasterChef SA will be produced as a Covid-19 safe so-called "bubble production" with contestants from across South Africa that will have to isolate for a period before filming starts in Cape Town and for the duration of their participation in the series.
M-Net's dusting off a retrieval from the TV pantry of MasterChef SA for a 4th season follows shortly after its decision to set the TV table again for the similarly themed My Kitchen Rules South Africa for a third season.
M-Net ran three seasons of MasterChef South Africa from March 2021 until May 2015 including a short celebrity edition at the Nederburg wine estate in Paarl the Western Cape after which the test kitchen was dismantled and the South African version cancelled.
After its cancellation, M-Net told TVwithThinus that the show, produced by Lucky Bean Media and Quizzical Pictures, could one day return.
Speaking about why it returned My Kitchen Rules SA and commissioned a new season of that show, Terja Beney, M-Net commissioning editor, recently said that it decided to revive that show within the "comfort food" genre specifically because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic since it creates a sense of community under DStv subscribers who feel isolated sitting at home.
The same reason holds true for why M-Net decided to bring My Kitchen Rules South Africa back.
The judges for the new iteration of MasterChef SA has not been confirmed and there will be 20 episodes, broadcast 4 times per week, from Mondays to Thursdays from 28 February 2022 at 18:00.
M-Net is now looking for 20 cooking contestants who can enter until 8 September on the M-Net website and who will have to be available for filming during October 2022. The winner gets R1 million.
"Within the current landscape of the Covid-19 virus, we wanted to give our audience something familiar and comforting that felt like home," says Jan du Plessis, director of M-Net channels.
"MasterChef SA was the perfect choice as both the local and International versions have proven that the format is a firm favourite with our viewers. It's heart-warming and welcoming content."
The MasterChef format and finished programmes are represented internationally by Banijay Rights.
MasterChef SA will be available to DStv Premium subscribers and will be live-streamed on the DStv app and on DStv Catch.