via Food Network press release:
THE NEXT FOOD NETWORK STAR IS #1 FOR FOOD NETWORK
Season Five of "The Next Food Network Star" Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Season Premiere in Network History
The season five premiere of The Next Food Network Star was a hit with viewers (premiered Sunday, June 7th at 9pm ET/PT), becoming the highest-rated and most-watched series premiere in Food Network history, both in household numbers and among total viewers 2+. The premiere was the most-watched with an average of 1.6 million households (up 14 percent over season four) and 2.2 million total viewers (up 16 percent over season four). The debut episode posted a 1.6 household, up seven percent over the season four premiere.
The premiere tied season four's record-breaking debut with adults 25-54 for the premiere hour, garnering an average of 1.1 million viewers. The show also attracted the younger set with an average of 1.1 million adults 18-49 tuning-in during the 9pm hour.
More people watched this episode cumulatively, premiere and encore airings, than last year with 4.5 million total viewers 2+ (up 22 percent versus season four), 2.4 million adults 25-54 (up 9 percent), 2.3 million persons 18-49 (up 15 percent) and 3.3 million households (up 22 percent) tuning in.