The Great American Baking Show, A Spin-Off Of Bake Off, Is Headed To Roku With Ellie Kemper

Oh no — did you run out of episodes of "The Great British Bake Off,' aka "The Great British Baking Show"? Are you mourning the days of kindhearted home cooks gathering in a tent for another season of custards, pies, and the occasional soggy bottom? Well, worry not, because a second option is on the way and it happens to have everything you love about the original series ... Minus the accents. The Roku Channel has announced that production is currently underway on "The Great American Baking Show," a six-episode, 60-minute series that takes its format straight from the original. This spinoff of the British series even features the same beloved judges, celebrity chef Paul Hollywood and famed restauranteur Prue Leith.

Upon learning that Hollywood and Leith are set to return for a series that is filmed in *checks notes* the United Kingdom, you might be a little confused. What exactly makes this show American, you ask? The accents, of course! And the baking of course. But mostly the accent — especially since the series has enlisted two American performers as hosts. These two proven comedic voices also happen to embody the wholesome vibes of the Baking Show franchise: it's Ellie Kemper (of "The Office" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" fame) and Zach Cherry ("Severance," "Crashing"). Much like the hosts from the British version, these two will take the audience inside the competition tents and interact with the amateur bakers as they compete in a series of challenges to win the show's competition.

The GBBO extended universe

Although I am notoriously late to the joys of Bake Off-related content, this one really caught me by surprise: I had no idea that this show even existed. But it turns out that "The Great American Baking Show" has been around for ages, dating back to 2015 when the first season arrived on ABC. The American adaptation spans five seasons total, all of which aired on ABC except for the third, which was pulled off the air just one week after its premiere in December 2017. Sexual harassment allegations made against one of the judges, pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, resulted in the season never airing. The most recent season aired in 2019 and now the series will return, but with a new home.

"We could not ask for a more perfect duo than Ellie and Zach to co-host 'The Great American Baking Show,'" said Brian Tannenbaum, head of alternative originals at Roku. "Our adaptation of the iconic series will continue to dish out the enduring warmth and humor that fans of the Baking Show universe love, with a twist that we know Ellie and Zach will deliver."

If the GBBO extended universe has taught us anything (besides the importance of time management), it's to believe in the power of optimism — so fingers crossed that this really does embrace everything that makes the original show great. Roku also has plans to present a holiday special for "The Great American Baking Show," which will arrive later this year. As for the sixth season of the main series, it won't premiere until sometime in 2023.