The Great American Baking Show has become a staple of the holiday season for some TV viewers over the past couple of years, pitting baker against baker in festive competition. The show (which debuted as an adaptation of the beloved Great British Bake Off) was renewed and aired its Season 3 premiere earlier this month, but fans who were hoping for more are out of luck, as the remaining episodes of the third season have been pulled from the ABC lineup for a troubling reason. Judge Johnny Iuzzini is facing allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, which led ABC to give the show the axe for the rest of the third season.
Celebrity chef Johnny Iuzzini has been on board The Great American Baking Show as a judge from the very first season. The allegations of sexual misconduct broke in November when four former employees of Iuzzini from between 2009 and 2011 came forward to report that they'd been subject of sexual harassment in their work environment. Iuzzini claims that the accusations were inaccurate and voiced his displeasure that the women didn't talk to him when he was still their boss.
More accusers came out over the past week, and ABC has officially decided to end Season 3 of The Great American Baking Show rather than continue to put Iuzzini in the spotlight on primetime. ABC released a statement revealing that it had ended its relationship with Johnny Iuzinni in addition to pulling the remaining episodes of The Great American Baking Show Season 3.
Johnny Iuzzini released a statement of his own via CNN, expressing his disappointment that The Great American Baking Show will not air as originally scheduled, citing the bakers, the fans, and everybody else involved with the show as reasons why the episodes should have aired. Iuzzini also admitted to behaving unprofessionally "8-10 years ago" but maintained that the allegations of sexual harassment "were sensationalized and simply not true."
The second episode of The Great American Baking Show was slated to air at 9 p.m. on December 14. ABC replaced the two-hour episode with The Great Christmas Light Fight, so there was still a holiday theme to the evening. In fact, it was a night full of Christmas cheer on ABC, with the infamous Frozen short making its small screen premiere. Still, fans of The Great American Baking Show will undoubtedly be disappointed that Johnny Iuzzini's involvement led to the rest of Season 3 being cancelled.
All of this said, it's possible that this is not the very end of The Great American Baking Show. ABC could very well bring the series back in 2018 with a new cast of judges. Johnny Iuzzini was not working for The Great American Baking Show when the alleged misconduct took place. Interestingly -- and unfortunately -- Iuzzini is the second big name in the culinary sphere to face allegations of misconduct this week, following what happened with Mario Batali.