but it got me thinking about the state of television at this moment. And then, I started thinking about television, all-time, and comparing it today, and that's when, something kinda dawned on me, something that I hadn't really noticed before, but frankly I couldn't ignore. Gordon Ramsay might be the biggest television star of all-time!
Gordon Ramsay is number #26 on this list. One higher than Ryan Seacrest, and he's known for television. He does radio as well, but in front of and behind the camera, Ryan Seacrest is a television star. He's 24 spots ahead of Simon Cowell, 20 spots ahead of Judge Judy. Not that this is even relevant, but there isn't another Chef, anywhere on this list, and there could've been. There are plenty of TV stars, who are chefs now, many in terms of critical acclaim, are way more successful that Gordon Ramsay. Tom Colicchio, for instance. Anthony Bourdain, for instance, Mario Batali, Rachel Ray.... At a certain point in his career, Emeril LaGasse, was big enough he could've hypothetically been on this list, not as high as Gordon Ramsay is, and for all the supposed "Food Network Stars" there are, none of them are near this list.
They do other, "quotient" scores as well, they've even separated TVQ and CableQ nowadays, but, this is a strange rating that determines not, how talented or major your show is, but how popular and well-known you are, and how much you're liked. The way, the television industry has always explained it, is, "Whether or not you'd want to invite this person, into you're home," which, is what you're doing when you're watching television. If there are actors, that, you recognize that, seem to always get on all your favorite television shows, but you might not know or remember their name, they have a very good TVQ rating.
Now, how are the Neilsen Ratings? Well, they're patchy. Yeah, they're not great at the moment, they have been in the past. Still though, two shows in the Top 100, and deep in the bottom half, but he's consistent, and the Neilsen ratings, well, they're not as relevant as they used to be with streaming, and they are going downhill now. (And considering that this is a Primetime schedules where there's maybe up and over 500 different options to watch, top 100, is pretty much a big hit show now) That's natural though, they've been on forever and like most shows these days, it gets it's core audience, and that audience sticks with it, and since it is reality, it costs less than to produce those shows than others, so they stay on the air. Ramsay is good at that. He's become a personality just through sheer force. He came up at the perfect time, when the conclave of star chefs met with the upswing of Simon Cowell popularity, and he parlayed that to a lot of fame and money, and to successful concurrent television programs running on two continents at once. Even if you combine the rating for his two top shows last year, "MasterChef Junior" and "Hell's Kitchen", he's a Top 20 TV stars. Those were only two of his shows, and with that alone, he produces the same average ratings as "Scandal".
I have no idea, whether he actually is the biggest TV star of all-time, but he's gotta be considered at this point. Sure, less people are watching television these days and unless you're a Super Bowl, you're not getting a 10.0 rating and that doesn't even mean what it meant beforehand anyway. Even adjusting for today though, he's on the list. The only other person I can think of that tried to, as a performer, juggle this many shows at once, at the same time was Alex Trebek in '91, and he only had three shows and it lasted, only for a couple months. Ramsay's had a few failures, but not as many as, others in similar positions have had. I'm not the biggest fan of the Scottish Chef, but I think it's a fair argument to say that he's one of the biggest television stars of all-time, and you can make a case for him being the biggest even. Why that is, is anybody's guess. He fluked into a successful and cheap formula, or FOX and BBC just keeping him the time slots for series and he produced them, 'til they found something better and just never got around to it, it could be that he's just popular and his shows usually become strong enough hits to keep around. It could just be that like an angry Scottish Chef to berate his own potential sous chefs, while simultaneously, being unusually nice to others in the industry or those who want in. Could just be that we like food, and he provides it on network television, although I can't help but notice that most other Primetime network reality food series have failed, besides his shows. (Did anybody watch more than one episode of "The Taste"?)
Yeah, I hate to admit it, but (Sigh) if you're trying to figure out who the biggest stars of Television are, don't leave off Gordon Ramsay. He belongs on the list and really high too.