Top Chef New Orleans – Season 11 Ratings

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Updated Thursday, February 6 th after S11E17 – the finale – aired at 10pm Wednesday, February 5th, 2013.

Top Chef New Orleans wrapped its eleventh season last night and while this week’s finale cored them their highest rated episode of the season, it was also the lowest rated finale as far back as our records exist. Last night’s episode attracted 1,693,000 viewers, with 872,000 of those aged 18 to 49 years – Demo 0.70, growing 13.32% and 7.39% respectively compared with the prior week’s episode. Also with both those numbers being higher than the season average, that average has now increased to 1,264,176 viewers per episode and 658,647 of those aged between 18 & 49 years.

Top Chef: Finale Ratings – Season 7 thru 11
Episode    Time        Date     Lead-In Audience 18-49 Audience 18-49 Demo
S07E14 9:00 PM 15-Sep-10 No Info 2,695,000 No Info 1.40
S08E16 10:00 PM 30-Mar-11 No Info 2,774,000 No Info 1.50
S09E17 10:00 PM 29-Feb-12 No Info 1,848,000 1,225,000 1.00
S10E17 10:00 PM 27-Feb-13 No Info 1,853,000 1,022,000 0.80
S11E17 10:00 PM 5-Feb-14 TC rpt 1,693,000 872,000 0.70

This season ending with a ratings deficit with Top Chef – Seattle of -10.49% in the total audience numbers and -15.93% in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -41.09% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -57.35% in negative territory.

While a twelfth season has been commission; Bravo Media announced that last week, we still think that given the precipitous loss of viewers over the last few seasons that the show’s format (and probably hosts too – bye bye Padma Lakshmi?) needs to be significantly revamped, and unless the potential suitor for producers Magical Elves (about to be acquired by The Tinopolis Group decides to invest in the franchise, the production budget may need to be cut as advertiser revenue for Bravo Media continues to decline.

Full Season Summary

The longest full series to ever run on Bravo TV (Fellow Emmy winner, Inside the Actors Studio is in its 19th season, but has shorter seasons) Top Chef New Orleans will be wanting to put the relative ratings horrors of Top Chef: Seattle Season 10 away.

That season, which is the lowest rated in its 10 year history, opened with just 912,000 viewers before recovering to finish that season averaging 1.44m viewers; down 17.5% from Season 9Dallas and a whopping 36% lower from the All Stars’ 8th Season.

For this eleventh season Bravo Media have been able to convince Toyota, Kraft Foods, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Cigna to sign on as sponsors, with Chase Sapphire Preferred returning after sponsoring the unsuccessful and now cancelled Around the World in 80 Plates.

Top Chef: New Orleans  Season 11 - 2013 Photo courtesy of BravoTV ©

Top Chef: New Orleans
Season 11 – 2013
Photo courtesy of BravoTV ©

Returning to the judges table in NOLA for Top Chef Season 11 are lead judge Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and New Orlean’s own Emeril Lagasse, alongside host Padma Lakshmi. This season will up the ante against the backdrop of the gastronomically diverse city of New Orleans – and the chefs will be tasked with serving up food for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: Jon Favreau, Lea Michelle, Anthony Mackie, Questlove, Leah Chase, Paul Prudhomme, Jacques Pepin, David Chang, John Besh, and Eddie Huang as well as local legends Kermit Ruffins and Dr. John.

This season’s ‘cheftestants‘ include Aaron Cuschieri, Benedetto Bartolotta, Bret Pelaggi, Brian Huskey, Carlos Gaytan, Carrie Mashaney, Janine Booth, Jason Cichonski, Justin Devillier, Louis Maldonado, Michael Sichel, Nicholas Elmi, Nina Compton, Patricia Vega, Ramon Bojorquez, Sara Johannes, Shirley Chung, Stephanie Cmar and Travis Masar.

Magical Elves return to produce “Top Chef.” Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz serve as executive producers.

For up to the minute updates make sure to follow us on Twitter @BravoRatings and also ‘like’ our Facebook Page

Top Chef: New Orleans – Season 11 Episodic Ratings
Episode    Time        Date     Lead-In Audience 18-49 Audience 18-49 Demo
S11E01 10:00 PM 2-Oct-13 MDL – LA 1,318,000 686,000 0.50
S11E02 10:00 PM 9-Oct-13 MDL – LA 1,148,000 572,000 0.50
S11E03 10:00 PM 16-Oct-13 MDL – LA 1,354,000 680,000 0.50
S11E04 10:00 PM 23-Oct-13 MDL – LA 1,165,000 605,000 0.50
S11E05 10:00 PM 30-Oct-13 MDL rpt 1,003,000 500,000 0.40
S11E06 10:00 PM 6-Nov-13 TC rpt 1,157,000 671,000 0.50
S11E07 10:00 PM 13-Nov-13 TC rpt 1,205,000 583,000 0.50
S11E08 10:00 PM 20-Nov-13 TC rpt 1,312,000 691,000 0.50
S11E09 10:00 PM 4-Dec-13 TC rpt 1,261,000 639,000 0.50
S11E10 10:00 PM 11-Dec-13 TC rpt 1,260,000 667,000 0.50
S11E11 10:00 PM 18-Dec-13 TC rpt 1,207,000 611,000 0.50
S11E12 10:00 PM 1-Jan-14 RHoA rpt 1,033,000 530,000 0.40
S11E13 10:00 PM 8-Jan-14 TC rpt 1,402,000 800,000 0.60
S11E14 10:00 PM 15-Jan-14 TC rpt 1,160,000 547,000 0.40
S11E15 10:00 PM 22-Jan-14 TC rpt 1,319,000 731,000 0.60
S11E16 10:00 PM 29-Jan-14 TC rpt 1,494,000 812,000 0.60
S11E17 10:00 PM 5-Feb-14 TC rpt 1,693,000 872,000 0.70
Season 11 1,264,176 658,647 0.51
Season 10 S11 v S10 Total Aud -10.49%. 18-49 -15.93%. 1,412,313 783,438 0.61
Season 9 S11 v S9 Total Aud -28.97%. 18-49 -41.09%. 1,779,875 No Info 0.87
Season 8 S11 v S8 Total Aud -44.78%. 18-49 -57.35%. 2,289,467 No Info 1.20


Source: Nielsen Media Research via Son of the Bronx

Prior Updates

Updated Thursday, January 30 th after S11E16 aired at 10pm Wednesday, January 29th, 2013.

As Top Chef New Orleans heads into next Wednesday’s finale, it’ll bring some relief to Bravo Media & Magical Elves, that it will do so on the back of the highest ratings in what has been a generally disappointingly low rated season. Last night’s penultimate episode attracted 1,494,000 viewers, with 812,000 of those aged 18 to 49 years – Demo 0.60, growing 13% and 11% respectively compared with the prior week’s episode. Also with both those numbers being higher than the season average, that average has now increased to 1,237,667 viewers per episode and 645,313 of those aged between 18 & 49 years.

However the ratings deficit with the three prior seasons of Top Chef didn’t improve as at a similar stage in prior seasons the show’s initial airings were attracting many more viewers. Through sixteen episodes of this season, the ratings deficit with Top Chef – Seattle has grown to -12.39% in the total audience numbers and -17.63% in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -42.45% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -58.33% in negative territory.

We wrote last week that these rating levels still assured a twelfth season would be commissioned and sure enough Bravo Media announced that today. We still think that given the precipitous loss of viewers over the last few seasons that the show’s format (and probably hosts too – bye bye Padma Lakshmi?) needs to be significantly revamped, and unless the potential suitor for producers Magical Elves (about to be acquired by The Tinopolis Group decides to invest n the franchise, the production budget may need to be cut as advertiser revenue for Bravo Media continues to decline.

Updated Friday, January 24 th after S11E15 aired at 10pm Wednesday 22nd, 2013.

The old saying goes that there are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics, and so it was again proven last night when Bravo Media’s PR department tweeted out the ratings increase for Wednesday night’s fifteenth episode of Top Chef Season 11. With much bravado they heralded the percentage increases of the 18 to 49 year old and 25 to 54 year old audience segments. But given how poorly this season has rated they were silent on the raw number of viewers, as well as the fact that the overall number of viewers this week had only grown by 13.71%.

While everything they wrote was indeed true; the percentage of viewers aged 18 to 49 years did climb 34% (33.64% to be exact), their tweet hid the fact that that increase of 184,000 viewers aged between 18 and 49 years was smaller than the 253,000 that the fourteenth episode had lost from the thirteenth (the current season high). Wednesday’s episode (the last to be filmed in New Orleans) attracted 1,319,000 viewers, with 731,000 of those aged 18 to 49 years – Demo 0.60, and with both those numbers being higher than the season average, that average increased slightly to 1,220,667 viewers per episode and 634,200 of those aged between 18 & 49 years.

However the ratings deficit with the three prior seasons of Top Chef all increased as at a similar stage they each were attracting many, many more viewers. Through fifteen episodes of this season the ratings deficit with Top Chef – Seattle has grown to -12.24% in the total audience numbers and -17.74% in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -43.08% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -58.14% in negative territory.

While its true that as long as Top Chef can continue to attract ratings in excess of 1m people, it’s probably not in danger of being cancelled, but the loss of viewers over the last few seasons means that either the show needs a significant revamp, or if it continues along the same format, the production budget will need to be cut, as advertiser revenue continues to drop for Bravo Media. With Bravo Media’s announcement last week of a another spin-off Top Chef Extreme set to air sometime this summer, they’re no doubt hoping to squeeze a little more juice from the lemon, but given the continued fall in this franchises ratings, this lemon is getting awfully sour.

Updated Thursday, January 16 th after S11E14 aired at 10pm Wednesday 15th, 2013.

Just one week after Top Chef New Orleans posted a season high on Wednesday January 8th when 1,402,000 viewers tuned in (800,000 aged 18 to 49 years – Demo 0.60), last night’s episode saw its ratings slump to one of the lowest of this eleventh season. Last night’s audience fell by -17.26% to 1,160,000 viewers total and in the 18-49 age group by a massive -31.63% to just 547,000 – Demo 0.40.

None of which helped the season to date average which has now fallen even further behind the previously lowest rated season, Top Chef Seattle Season 10. Through fourteen episodes the ratings deficit has grown to -12.17% in the total audience numbers and -18.32% in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -43.80% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -58.46% in negative territory.

With Top Chef: New Orleans continuing to pull in excess of 1m, it’s probably not in danger of being cancelled, but the loss of viewers over the last few seasons means that either the show needs a significant revamp, or if it continues along the same format, the production budget will need to be cut, as advertiser revenue continues to drop for Bravo Media.

Updated Thursday, January 9 th after S11E13 aired at 10pm Wednesday 8th,2013.

After a not surprising ratings dip for episode 12 which aired on New Year’s Day, Top Chef New Orleans posted a season high on Wednesday January 8th as 1,402,000 viewers tuned in with 800,000 of those aged 18 to 49 years (demo 0.60). That is some good news after each of the previous four episodes had posted ratings lower than the episode before. However, coupled with the New Year’s Day ratings, which dipped to what was almost a season low, with 1,033,000 (530,000 18-49 – Demo 0.40), the season-to-date average hasn’t really changed and sits at 1,217,308 viewers per episode (633,462 – Demo 0.49).

At this stage last season the ratings began to improve dramatically as that season’s competition heated up, but without a similar lift this season, the ratings deficit with the then lowest rated season, Top Chef Seattle Season 10 has grown to a deficit of -10.56% in the total audience numbers and -16.18% in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -42.34% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -57.80% in negative territory.

With Top Chef: New Orleans continuing to pull in excess of 1m, it’s probably not in danger of being cancelled, but the loss of viewers over the last few seasons means that either the show needs a significant revamp, or if it continues along the same format, the production budget will need to be cut, as advertiser revenue continues to drop for Bravo Media.

Updated Thursday, December 19th after S11E11 aired at 10pm December 18th,2013.

It is increasingly looking like Top Chef NOLA has hit its peak this season as each of the last three episodes have seen ratings declines. At 10pm last night just 1,207,000 viewers tuned in – a -4.21% decline on episode 10′s 1,260,000. The audience in the only 18 to 49 demographic dell by a larger -8.40% to this week’s 611,000 (demo 0.50). Last night’s ratings also depressed the season-to-date average down to 1,217,273 (628,727 – Demo 0.49) and widened the gulf with the previously lowest rated season, Top Chef Seattle Season 10 grow to a deficit of -7.44% lower in the total audience numbers and -14.07% lower in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by -41.94% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -57.68% in negative territory.

When this season was being filmed there was a lot of controversy over the $375,000 that Bravo Media & producer’s Magical Elves received in production incentives, $200,000 of which may or may not have come from the BP Oil Spill Recovery Fund, and given that the advertising dollars received by Bravo Media this season are probably down due to this season’s low ratings, Bravo Media probably need every extra dollar they got from those funds.

Updated Thursday, December 12th after S11E10 aired at 10pm December 11th,2013.

Well over half way through Season 11 of Top Chef NOLA , it’s showing no signs of its ratings heating up as the cooking competition heads to the finals. At 10pm last night just 1,260,000 viewers (667,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.50) tuned in whereas the tenth episode of last season drew 1,651,000 (949,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.80). Last night’s ratings are slightly larger than its season-to-date average of 1,218,300 (629,400 – Demo 0.49) but the huge difference in the tenth episodes ratings has seen the differential with the previously lowest rated season, Top Chef Seattle Season 10 grow to a deficit of -5.88% lower in the total audience numbers and -12.72% lower in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down by over -40% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -56.76% in negative territory.

When this season was being filmed there was a lot of controversy over the $375,000 that Bravo Media & producer’s Magical Elves received in production incentives, $200,000 of which may or may not have come from the BP Oil Spill Recovery Fund, and given that the advertising dollars received by Bravo Media this season are probably down due to this season’s low ratings, Bravo Media probably need every extra dollar they got from those funds.

Updated Thursday, December 5th after S11E09 aired at 10pm December 4th,2013.

After taking Thanksgiving eve off, Top Chef NOLA returned to Bravo TV last night but this season still shows no sign of taking off as its ratings remain in the doldrums. At 10pm last night just 1,261,000 viewers (639,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.50) tuned in for episode nine, and while those totals are slightly larger than its season-to-date average of 1,213,667 (625,222 – Demo 0.49), they’re -3.29% lower overall than the previously lowest rated season, Top Chef Seattle Season 10 and -10.14% lower in the more important 18 to 49 year old age group.

Compared with Season 9 the 18-49 demo is down a almost -40% and against Season 8 the deficit in the demo preferred by advertisers is -56.15% in negative territory.

When this season was being filmed there was a lot of controversy over the $375,000 that Bravo Media & producer’s Magical Elves received in production incentives, $200,000 of which may or may not have come from the BP Oil Spill Recovery Fund, and given that the advertising dollars received by Bravo Media this season are probably down due to this season’s low ratings, Bravo Media probably need every extra dollar they got from those funds.

Updated Thursday, November 21st after S11E08 aired at 10pm November 20th,2013.

With the half way stage of this eleventh season of Top Chef approaching, the hosts, in addition to the cheftestants are about to find out that their ratings competition has gotten tougher. With last night’s eighth episode attracting 1,312,000 viewers (671,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.50), this season’s viewership has now slipped below Top Chef Seattle’s ratings at the same stage of their season. While the total audience numbers are only down a marginal -0.65%, the advertiser preferred 18 to 49 year old demo has now dropped by -7.10% to just 623,500 viewers per episode compared with TC Seattle’s 671,125. Season 10 had until today been the lowest rated in Top Chef history, and given that the second half of Seattle’s season averaged 1,636,111 viewers (909,778 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.72) an increase of 35% for both total and demo audiences from its first half, shows just how much TC New Orleans really has to pull out the horseradish to heat things up.

Comparing TC Seattle Season 10 against Top Chef New Orleans Season 11 shows that there’s not too much difference but if you take a look at Season 9 – Texas or Season 8 – All Stars; the ratings deficit that TC New Orleans is suffering appears abysmal. Versus Texas, NOLA is seeing declines of -27.53% for total audience and -39.06% in the demo and against All Stars, TC Nola has lost over 1/2 that season’s audience of viewers aged 18 to 49 years, something that NOLA sponsors Toyota, Kraft Foods, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Cigna probably aren’t too happy about.

Updated Thursday, November 14th after S11E07 aired at 10pm November 13th,2013.

Seven episodes in to Top Chef New Orleans and frankly that best that can be said about this season’s ratings is that they are consistent. At this stage Season Ten – Seattle had seen a low of 912,000 viewers (S10E01) and a high of 1,458,000 (S10E07), whereas this season’s seven have had a smaller range of fluctuation; a low of 1,003,000 (S11E05) to a high of 1,354,000 (S11E03).

Last night’s S11E07 at 1,205,000 viewers (583,000 18-49 – Demo 0.50) was some 250,000 viewers short of its last season equivalent but just enough to keep this season ahead of last’s in total viewership; 1,192,857 versus 1,166,143. However, in the advertiser preferred 18 to 49 year old demographic, it is now lagging behind every other prior season of Top Chef in the 18-49 demo; by -3.74% versus Season 10, -39.29% Season 9 and a whopping -54.46% versus Season 8. Now that we are almost half way through this season ratings should be growing as the kitchen’s, tensions & competition heats up but at the moment Top Chef New Orleans is looking more like Not So Top Chef Anymore.

Updated Thursday, November 7th after S11E06 aired at 10pm November 6th,2013.

With the World Series over, this week’s sixth episode of Top Chef New Orleans saw its ratings increase by over 15% from the episode with coincided with the deciding Game 6. 1,157,000 viewers tuned in at 10pm, buoyed by the 560,000 who watched the 9pm repeat of S11E05. While this week’s audience was only the fourth highest of this season’s six episodes, the number of viewers aged 18 to 49 years was close to the top as the 671,000 in that age group, is only slightly less than S11E01 with 686,000 and S11E03 with 680,000, and is well above the season-to-date average of 619,000.

Last night’s ratings have kept the season to date average in positive ratings territory versus last; 1,190,833 versus 1,117,500 but Season 10 – Seattle, witnessed significant ratings growth from its seventh episode. The later two thirds of that tenth season averaged over 1.6m viewers after its slow start, and so TC NOLA will also need to grow its audience by 40-50% in the coming weeks to maintain parity. It now would seem to be impossible for TC NOLA to return to the audience levels gained by Top Chef Texas, which would require viewership of over 2m for each of the remaining 11 episodes.

Updated Thursday, October 31st after S11E05 aired at 10pm October 30th,2013.

Blame it on the World Series? While Game 6 of the Red Sox – Cardinals was going on, so was Top Chef and perhaps baseball was the reason that last night’s episode scored a new season low and third lowest episode ever in its eleven seasons. At 10pm, 1,003,000 viewers (500,000 aged 18-49 – demo 0.4) tuned in, a 14% reduction from the prior week, which itself was a 14% drop on S11E03. The equivalent episode last season had 1,405,000 viewers (805,000 aged 18-49 – demo 0.60) and now five episodes into this season, the audience should be building and not falling as the competition heats up. Owing to stronger opening episodes’ ratings, this season still retains a slight edge over last season averaging 1,197,600 viewers versus Season 10′s 1,083,600 viewers at the same stage but the 18-49 audience is practically flat (608,600 v 589,800).

Hopefully, now with the baseball over, Top Chef New Orleans can get back to the 1.5-1.8 million viewer mark where it needs to be to keep abreast of Top Chef – Seattle which was the lowest rated Top Chef season since 2006′s freshman season.

Updated Thursday, October 24th after S11E04 aired at 10pm October 23rd,2013.

In the week that its lead-in Million Dollar Listing – Los Angeles added 248,000 viewers to its prior week audience for its season finale, S11E04 of Top Chef New Orleans shed 189,000 of its previous week’s viewers. And that 437,000 audience swing shows that their is little synergy between the audiences of these two shows which were aired back-to-back. With last night’s Top Chef dropping to just 1,165,000 viewers (demo 0.50), its season to date average at 1,246,250 viewers stays comfortably ahead of Seattle at the same stage of the season by 24.22% but still along behind Texas (down -21.45%) and All Stars (-35.95%). Seattle’s audience started to climb from its fifth episode (to between 1.4m & 1.9m), something that New Orleans will also have to do and soon, for it to not become the lowest rated season of Top Chef

Updated Thursday, October 17th after S11E03 aired at 10pm October 16th,2013.

The one good thing with airing a show that had just an awful prior season, is that a year later, provided it was renewed, it makes for great comparisons! After the ratings disaster of Top Chef Seattle, which opened to franchise lows, it’s been relatively easy for Top Chef New Orleans to look good by comparison.

Episode S11E03 attracted a 1,354,000 viewers at 10pm and although it had a smaller overall audience than Million Dollar Listing – Los Angeles gained at 9pm, its share of viewers 18 to 49 years was larger, with 680,000 of them tuning in versus the 628,000 who watched MDLLA.

Through three episodes this season is up 37.43% overall and 31.17% in the 18-49 demo versus Seattle, but still shows significant declines of -20.96 & -37.50% versus Season 9 and -30.97% and -44.44% against Season 8′s All Stars.

Updated Thursday, October 10th after S11E02 aired at 10pm October 9th,2013.

Despite shedding 12.9% of its premiere audience, last night ratings for Top Chef New Orleans still kept its season-to-date average comfortably ahead of last season’s Seattle based edition. At 10pm, 1,148,000 viewers (572,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.50) tuned in, making its season-to-date average after two episodes, 1,233,000 viewers (629,000 aged 18-49 – Demo 0.5).

That’s a dramatic 33% improvement over the very weak opening episodes of Season 10 – Seattle, but this season is still in sizable negative territory compared with Season 9 – Texas; -23.46% and Season 8 – All Stars; at -33.15%.

Whilst so far the number of viewers aged between 18 and 49 years is showing a 27.72% uptick over last season (629,000 v. 492,500), it will need to continue to climb exponentially to reach the end of season level of 797,471 viewers aged 18-49. And even that Season 10 average, which equates to 0.62 in the demo was -37.50% lower than Season 9 and -47.44% lower than Season 8.

Ultimately Top Chef – New Orleans, is doing OK but only just and with Bravo Media having to keep their four sponsors happy; Toyota, Kraft Foods, Chase Sapphire Preferred and Cigna, they’ll need to ensure the audience grows significantly as this season progresses.

Ratings Updated on Thursday, October 3rd after S11E01 aired on 10pm October 2nd,2013.The premiere episode, last night managed to improve dramatically on last season’s premiere but still well down compared to Seasons 8 and 9. At 10pm 1,318,000 viewers tuned in, scoring 0.50 in the 18-49 demo, and while that’s still lower than the prior season average, Bravo Media will herald that…. and they have in this tweet, which is not quite a press release but maybe they’re still writing that!

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  • Lynn

    Tom Chilichhio I see you over on twitter trying to justify this HORRIBLE decision to make Nick the top chef. You see your ratings Tom????? There’s a reason for the decline. You all are racist and sexist and America is sick of RIGGED contests and FAKE reality tv. Your time is coming to a close. Look at your reviews on twitter, fb and blogs. No integrity equals low ratings and they will continue to decline. Sidenote: Padma…taking off your clothes aint gonna help the show darling!