Rachael Ray Revealed That Her Daytime Cooking Show Is Ending

All good things must come to an end, but it never gets easy. Certain things – especially those that are innocuous and inoffensive – seem to slip under the radar and fade into the background; a sort of cultural white noise. Perhaps we become so used to them that we might not expect to see the day the camera stops rolling and the new episodes cease. Then they go away.

TV shows can be like that. Maybe you were a viewer of "Ace of Cakes." Maybe you weren't. Either way, if you were a food show fan who watched one of the stations it aired on, you probably caught bits and pieces of it here and there, all the while understanding that it was a staple of the television lineup. One day, though, the new installments stopped. Now, another era in TV is ending. Rachael Ray, the famed dispenser of cooking tips, has announced that her program, "The Rachael Ray Show," will be wrapping production after its 17th season, according to a statement by Ray (via Variety). While this isn't Ray's first show, it has been quite a long one, and its syndication status opened her up to audiences that she was unable to reach with her previous cable shows.

30 Minutes of fame

"The Rachael Ray Show" came out of the gates white hot. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ratings for its 2006 debut were the highest that any syndicated show had seen in 4 years. The show's strong start would be followed by three Daytime Emmy Awards for best talk show during the course of its run, but as Variety reports, more recent years have seen a significant drop in viewership. The final episodes could air in May, the same month in which the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame is slated to induct Rachael Ray.

All these accomplishments are a far cry from the days when she used to work the candy counter at Macy's. Even more striking, Ray told Tasting Table in an exclusive interview that "I got my job in this world by accident." When she began offering the cooking classes that led Food Network to launch her show "30 Minute Meals," she was just trying to boost grocery sales at Cowan & Lobel, where she worked at the time. Ray, though, isn't done with being a media presence, and this time, it's no accident. When announcing the end of her show, she explained, "My passions have evolved from the talk show format production and syndication model to a platform unencumbered by the traditional rules of distribution. ... That is why I am looking forward to putting all my energies into my recently announced production arm, Free Food Studios."