The culprit? Money. Reports surfaced over the summer that BBC and production company Love Production were haggling over a price to keep the show — which earns massive ratings — on the network. The BBC confirmed that financial talks fell apart.
"We made a very strong offer to keep the show, but we are a considerable distance apart on the money," the network said in a statement on Monday, adding, "The BBC's resources are not infinite."
Basically, the wildly addicting show — which pits amateur bakers against each other to make cakes, cookies, breads and other treats — is suffering from the affliction of Becoming Too Successful. This has happened before in the United States. Remember when "Project Runway" was a smash on Bravo until Lifetime swooped in and took it away? In August, Business Insider reported that the BBC and Love Production started negotiations in April without progress, and that rival network ITV was gunning for "Bake Off" on its airwaves.
Except Channel 4 landed the three-year deal. "I'm delighted we have been able to partner with the hugely talented team at Love Productions to keep this much-loved show on free-to-air television," Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt said, according to the Guardian. The news site reports that judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry wanted to stay at BBC, but the production company wants to keep them on.
Again, it's unusual to see the show in any sort of controversial light. Part of its huge appeal is that even though it's a contest, it's a ridiculously friendly one. The humble contestants help each other out. The judges are kind, unlike the kind of nasty critiques you might see on other competition shows. There are no meltdowns or giant fights on camera. Really, it's delightful viewing.
The series has been a gigantic hit in the U.K., earned a global audience when it hit Netflix and airs in the United States on PBS with the title "Great British Baking Show." The U.S. keeps trying to adapt it for American audiences. Most recently, ABC aired "The Great Holiday Baking Show"; Reality Blurred reports that it will return again this winter, titled, "The Great American Baking Show."