Paula Deen, the celebrity chef recently at the center of a racially charged scandal that resulted in the loss of her Food Network show, made an appearance Wednesday night on an episode of “MasterChef.”
The episode featuring the disgraced star was recorded in March -- long before the start of the scandal when she admitted to having used a racial slur in the past -- and was part of a “MasterChef” double-header, with one episode airing at 8 p.m. and the other at 9 p.m.
Viewership for the 9 p.m. episode, which featured Deen, increased 13% to 6.3 million, but its rating in the key 18-49 demographic was flat at 2.4, according to early numbers from Nielsen. The 8 p.m. episode’s ratings slipped from its last original broadcast in that time slot.
Combined, the “MasterChef” two-hour block generated a 2.2 rating, making it the top-rated telecast of the night over NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in the demo.
“Talent’s” total audience grew 4% from last week to 9.69 million for the first round of semi-final cuts, and its 18-49 rating increased 5% to a 2.2. NBC’s “Camp,” the Australian comedy import, maintained its 0.9 rating from last week.
CBS’ “Big Brother” fell 9% from last week to a 2.0 and brought in 6.26 million viewers.
ABC’s news magazine “The Lookout” was up 14% to a 0.8 in the demo and drew 3.24 million viewers.
Follow on Twitter: @rfaughnder