First, a little history. “The Great British Bake Off” began airing in the U.K. in 2010. The first four seasons were broadcast on BBC2, and in 2014 it switched channels to BBC1. In 2016, the show was moved to Channel 4 when negotiations between BBC and Love Productions, which owns the series, fell through. That’s when the original hosts, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, as well as beloved judge Mary Berry, left the show.
When “Bake Off” crossed the pond, the first thing that happened was a name change. Because the term Bake-Off is a registered trademark of Pillsbury in the U.S., the show became known as “The Great British Baking Show” here in the States. (Which is why I often use the acronyms GBBO or GBBS interchangeably.) The other thing you’ll need to know is that, in the U.K., a show’s season is actually called a series.
Originally, the seasons that aired in the U.S. did not coincide with the seasons as they were originally broadcast. When PBS first brought “The Great British Baking Show” to the U.S., it started with the fifth season, then the fourth, then the sixth and then the seventh, even though PBS (and later Netflix), numbered them 1, 2, 3 and 4. And then PBS picked up the third season and called it Season 5, while Netflix aired the eighth and ninth seasons, calling them Collections 5 and 6. (Netflix then added the third season under a new title: “The Great British Baking Show—The Beginnings.”)
This year, Netflix dropped series 3-7 (from “The Beginnings” through Collection 4), and they are no longer available on PBS. But thankfully, the Roku Channel app, which is free to download in the U.S., has picked up the first seven seasons, including series 1 and 2, which were never available in the U.S. (except for those internet sleuths who were able to access them surreptitiously). So now we in the U.S. can watch all the seasons in order (as long as we have a Netflix subscription)!
To clarify things for you, I came up with this chart to help keep the seasons straight.
To minimize confusion, I will generally refer to the seasons by the year they were created. When I started this challenge, the first two seasons weren’t available in the U.S., so I began my journey of Baking Through the Bake Off with the 2012 season. I have now completed seasons 3-6. I look forward to continuing this journey and hope you will join me! If you’d like to be notified every time I post a new bake, please subscribe to my blog!