Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back returns to FOX tonight for its biggest project yet. Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back: Save Our Town sees Ramsay trying to fix not one, not two, but three businesses in the same devastated city over the course of a two-hour special.
This sounds like a tall order, but the series has appropriately expanded, surrounding the legendary chef with an all-star cast of assistants including interior designer Nate Berkus (from HGTV‘s Nate & Jeremiah: Save My House) and MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. It’s not a typical 24 Hours episode, and that’s the appeal of it. Ramsay has already proven that his business acumen goes beyond restaurants with Hotel Hell, but now we’re seeing FOX grow his latest series along with him.
Many business reality TV shows have had similar episodes. CNBC‘s The Profit aired the poignant “Rise of an American Floodtown” in January. Paramount Network’s Bar Rescue sent Jon Taffer and celebrities to Puerto Rico in 2018. Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible had the installment where Anthony Melchiorri fixed three Route 66 hotels in 2015. The best shows in this genre ultimately scale up.
So what is 24 Hours to Hell and Back going to do differently? What’s it going to add to that not-so-short list? Probably quite a lot.
Ramsay is an incredible businessman, and Save Our Town will let him use a wider range of his knowledge than TV viewers would see in a typical episode. It’s the first time that he has faced a challenge this big, and it will be intriguing to see how he handles it and how he deploys the additional resources that he’s been given. Some reality TV figures get their hands dirtier than others, and Gordon Ramsay has always been one to dig in and lead the charge.
The celebrity cameos are interesting, but shouldn’t distract from what actually matters, which is piecing back together the town of Ellicott City, Maryland and having the business owners learn from Ramsay. 24 Hours is at its best when it’s just Gordon truly connecting with the people involved, and this premise will give him plenty of opportunities to do that. It’s going to be all about overcoming adversity, instead of having to worry about people’s mistakes and their egos. This is as real as it gets, and there’s no one more real than Gordon Ramsay.
It’s wonderful to have Ramsay back on TV for this bonus special, as he truly paved the way for business reality TV series and continues to be the gold standard for what makes the genre successful. Hopefully, this new challenge in front of him will not only be great entertainment, but also the first step toward FOX continuing to grow and evolve the 24 Hours brand to tell future stories that are different from the norm. This is a great series that will only get better the more risks that it takes.
Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back: Save Our Town airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.