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Reality TV programs are not being produced on network TV at quite the same rate they used to, but there are still plenty of reality programs with solid audiences. Unfortunately, just because a series has an audience doesn’t mean that the show’s judges will always want to stick around. This weekend we learned Masterchef and Masterchef Junior will be losing longtime judge Graham Elliot.
Fox is currently gearing up for the fourth season of Masterchef Junior and the good news is that Graham Elliot will be around for those episodes (which makes sense, as these shows film in advance). However, this weekend Fox announced that Elliot will be departing following the upcoming season of the kid-oriented competition. Not only will he be out on Masterchef Junior after the upcoming competition, he’ll be out on Masterchef, as well. The news comes just a short time after former judge Joe Bastianich left the series toward the end of last year. Bastianich was replaced by pastry chef Christina Tosi.
There’s no word on who will replace the longtime judge on both shows, but it seems as if the decision is pretty final, which is very much unlike what has happened on other competition shows including The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. In fact, Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman left the American version of the show for one season. Then, it was recently announced that he’ll be back for Season 22 of the ABC competition series. Elliot’s departure seems way less open-ended. In fact, THR reports that a new judge will be announced to replace Graham Elliot sometime in 2016.
The fourth season of Masterchef Junior is scheduled to premiere on January 8 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Elliot is already set to be a part of those episodes, but it looks like he won’t be a part of the upcoming special related to the franchise that Fox has in the works for January.
On Monday, January 18, other judges Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi are inviting celebrities into the Masterchef kitchen for Masterchef Celebrity Showdown, which will feauture celebs and former winners battling it out. Gigi Hadid will compete against Devon Windsor, Terry Crews and Rebecca Crews will compete against Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, Kaitlin Doubleday will compete against Ta’Rhonda Jones and Masterchef winners will compete against Masterchef Junior contestants. It should be a pretty wild romp, despite the lack of Graham Elliot.
You can find out when the rest of your favorites will be returning with our fall TV premiere schedule.