In No Way Is The Great American Baking Show Reboot A Dull Spin-Off

"The Great American Baking Show" reboot on The Roku Channel is a crowd-pleaser — and a far cry from its previous iteration, as the reboot draws more inspiration from its British sibling, "The Great British Bake-Off." The first version of the American show ran on ABC from November 2015 until January 2020, when it was canceled after five seasons. "The Great American Baking Show" Season 6 was picked up by The Roku Channel, where it premiered on May 5, 2023 after a three-year hiatus. The new series is hosted by Ellie Kemper and Zach Cherry, whose backgrounds in comedy help provide light-hearted hosting. Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith are well-known in the "GBBO" universe and have returned to the iconic competition tent to serve as judges. Hollywood told WBUR that the reboot focuses on nostalgic cooking with a relaxing energy, while Leith credits the baking tent for bringing the bakers together in a different, friendlier atmosphere.

The reboot of "The Great American Baking Show" focuses more on baking itself than previous seasons. The contestants also have a camaraderie despite the competitive nature of the show; three contestants told Block Club Chicago that true friendships formed were formed, especially for those from the same city. To continue this amicable spirit, there is a noticeable friendliness when bakers are eliminated, and judges remain fair instead of harsh regarding the contestants' bakes, pointing out how dishes could be improved without seeming condescending.

The Great American Baking Show focuses on American baking and culture

Viewers will likely find the challenges interesting, as each episode highlights the contestants' personalities and backgrounds and how this impacts their baking. "The Great American Baking Show" kicked off Season 6 with "Cookie Week," where bakers created homages to American culture and heritage in a way that felt authentic and unforced. Bakers explained how each prepared bake relates to their hometown to the judges, and although not all the products were completed, there was a genuine effort to represent different parts of the country. 

"The Great American Baking Show" does follow the same format as the British version, but the bakers and their backgrounds help the show feel American and make it more fun to watch. However, another difference was noted by Paul Hollywood in a Rolling Stone interview. "Initially, there was a bit of a shock due to the amount of sugar that was going into some of their bakes, and that can be pulled back a bit, I think. Overall, and I've traveled extensively throughout the U.S., some of the bakes are unbelievable because there is no rulebook," said Hollywood. Despite the high sugar content, Hollywood appreciated the contestants' dedication to showcasing regional ingredients in their bakes.  

Roku is so pleased with the show's performance that it has already ordered a second season, plus a new holiday special, not even a week after its premiere. "The Great American Baking Show" is streaming now on The Roku Channel.