Why ‘Rachael Ray’ Was Canceled After 17 Seasons

Rachael Ray remains a household name, so why was her Emmy-winning eponymous show canceled?

Rachael Ray’s hit show had a phenomenal run. Even for something as relatively inexpensive as a cooking show, 17 seasons is a glowing achievement.

Rachael Ray ran from 2006 until 2023.

Why end such a successful, award-winning run? And who made the decision?

Rachael Ray in October of 2023.
Rachael Ray visits Staple Gin boothduring the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Capital One – Grand Tasting featuring Culinary Demonstrations at Pier 76 on October 15, 2023. (Photo Credit: John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF)

‘Rachael Ray’ is no more; long live Rachael Ray!

Though no harm befell the beloved Rachael Ray herself, her show, Rachael Ray, came to an end on May 24, 2023.

After such a successful run, her final episodes included a rotating list of high-profile farewells — including Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

Well-wishers waved goodbye to Rachael Ray. Now, after all of this time, longtime viewers — some of whom developed their first interest in cooking from the show — are still wondering what happened.

Rachael Ray in May of 2023.
Rachael Ray attends the 2023 Broadcasting + Cable Hall Of Fame Gala at The Ziegfeld Ballroom on May 03, 2023. (Photo Credit: Arturo Holmes/Getty Images)

Amidst all sorts of speculation — from concern about ratings to rumors about backstage drama — Rachael herself explained.

Speaking to Deadline in 2023, Rachael Ray explained the end of her eponymous cooking series.

“In my more than 20-plus years in television, I have had 17 wonderful seasons working in daytime television with Rachael,” she affirmed in a statement.

Who decided to end ‘Rachael Ray’ after 17 seasons?

“However,” Rachael announced at the time, “I’ve made the decision that it is time for me to move on to the next exciting chapter in my broadcast career.”

She went on to explain that she was launching Free Food Studios, her very own production company. Thus, it was time for her to end her long-running series.

“My passions have evolved from the talk show format production and syndication model,” Rachael acknowledged. She wanted to move “to a platform unencumbered by the traditional rules of distribution.”

Rachael Ray in May of 2022.
Rachael Ray attends National Geographic Documentary Films’ WE FEED PEOPLE New York Premiere at SVA Theater on May 03, 2022. (Photo Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for National Geographic)

Rachael put a positive spin, expressing: “That is why I am looking forward to putting all my energies into my recently announced production arm, Free Food Studios.”

One need look no further than the Free Food Studios Instagram account to see that the production company has been relatively quiet.

That doesn’t mean that Rachael is soft-launching her retirement, however.

Rachael Ray has a lot going on

After all, she has her Nutrish pet food line, her abundance of cookware collections, her Home Chef meal kits.

It’s a little less on-brand, but Rachael also has her own furniture collection.

We’re sure that Rachael Ray will be back on our screens in some form or another very soon. In the mean time, just thinking about her upcoming projects has us feeling hungry.

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