Ray shifts focus to new venture
Updated May 23, 2023.
On September 18, 2006, The T Dog Media Blog was launched – coincidentally on the same day The Rachael Ray Show did. Now after seventeen seasons, it’s Rachael who’s calling it a career – at least in daytime television.
“In my more than 20 plus years in television I have had 17 wonderful seasons working in daytime television with Rachael,” Ray said in a statement to Deadline, who first broke the story Friday evening. “However I’ve made the decision that’s it’s time for me to move on to the next exciting chapter in my broadcast career.”
And the next chapter is a new venture Ray recently formed with International Content to launch Free Food Studios to produce content related to the culinary arts. The two have had a relationship before as International Content produced Ray’s 30 Minute Meals for the Food Network.
“I’m beyond proud to launch Free Food Studios with my longtime collaborator and friend Brian Flanagan and his team at Intentional Content,” said Ray. “I’ve always wanted to create a library of original content in the food space and it excites me to have the opportunity to mentor and introduce a new class of culinary talent through this platform.”
Ray’s talk show was part of a freshmen class of talk shows launched in 2006 which included Megan Mullaly, Greg Behrendt, and Dr. Keith Ablow – with the latter three all officially canceled by February 2007. Ray finished as the top new show of the 2006-07 season and was nominated for 37 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning three times for Outstanding Talk Show. Notable episodes Ray has done included a visit to a New York City firehouse and visiting several cities, including a 2009 stop in Chicago to re-introduce herself to local audiences as the show moved to WGN-TV after three low-rated years at CBS-owned WBBM-TV.
Her show then moved to WLS-TV in 2014, WCIU two years later, and back to WGN in 2017 to replace the canceled Celebrity Name Game at 10 a.m. Her show currently airs at 1 p.m. Since the pandemic began in 2020, Ray has been doing her show from her house and was the last daytime show to return to the studio.
This is the fourth long-running show to call it quits and the second CBS Media Ventures show to end this season with Dr. Phil also retiring from the daily grind. In the last two years, nearly fifteen syndicated shows have either ended their runs or were canceled as homes-using-television levels for linear TV continue to decline as Hollywood has been in cost-cutting mode due to a weakened economy and the massive losses racked up by launching streaming services. CBS Media Ventures is a unit of Paramount Global, who hinted at cutbacks at streamer Paramount Plus with several Star Trek shows now on the bubble with Picard and Discovery already ending production.
With the end of Rachael Ray, this marks the final Harpo Productions show to exit syndication. Harpo was formed in 1988 by Oprah Winfrey in Chicago to produce her talk show and operated Harpo Studios in the West Loop, where her show was produced. Harpo helped launch Ray in 2006 and Dr. Oz in 2009. Oz’s show concluded in 2021 after he left to unsuccessfully run for Senate.
Harpo Studios closed in 2015 and was demolished in 2017, six years after The Oprah Winfrey Show ended its run.
[Editor’s Note: A recent draft incorrectly stated Rachael Ray’s show did not return to the studio when in fact, she recently did. T Dog Media apologizes for the error.]