‘Kids Baking Championship’ Fans Are Saying Their Goodbyes to Valerie Bertinelli

The actor-turned-TV host was told she wouldn’t return to the Food Network series. “It really hurt my feelings,” she said.


Feb. 26 2024, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

The Kids Baking Championship Season 12 finale on Monday, Feb. 26, will be viewers’ last chance to see Valerie Bertinelli hosting the competition series. Valerie revealed in a Jan. 20 Instagram video that she was let go from the series.

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And in a subsequent X post, the One Day at a Time alum asserted that there “were never any talks” for her to come back. “I got an inkling I might not be asked back when I saw I was not in the holiday specials. I got a text by a third party on Friday that told me I would not be back. LOL, I was basically ghosted.”

Valerie Bertinelli is leaving ‘Kids Baking Championship’ because of budget cuts.

In that Jan. 20 Instagram video, Valerie said that she got confirmation of her Kids Baking Championship exit the prior night. “I didn’t want to talk about it last night. I wanted to sleep on it because it really hurt my feelings,” she said.

“And I know it’s not supposed to,” she added. “Logically, I know that it’s business. Budget cuts, right? But it really hurt my feelings to know that I’m not going to be asked back to be on Kids Baking Championship. Really sucks.”

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Valerie Bertinelli
Source: Getty Images

The show saved Valerie’s life, she said.

The 12th season, Valerie explained, was filmed in the summer of 2022, which she described as her “apex year of hell.” (That was the year the actor-turned-TV host navigated a divorce from now-ex-husband Tom Vitale.)

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“Like, I was going through it and pretending everything was just fine because that’s what you do,” Valerie said. “And without sounding like a drama queen, the show saved my life. Working with all those really wonderful people and feeling productive and knowing I could spread some kindness and not just wallow in my hell and just try to keep my head above water, it helped me. It was like a floatation device."

She added: “So it really hurts that I won’t be able to go back and see everybody and say, ‘Hey! I made it through! Hi!’ I think I’m just most sad that I won’t be able to tell people what they mean to me.”

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Valerine’s contract with Food Network expired, and the network chose not to renew it.

Valerie’s Kids Baking Championship departure came after Food Network declined to renew the exclusive, multi-series overall deal she had with the network, per Variety. The Hot in Cleveland alum signed that deal in 2018, and Food Network extended it a year when it expired in 2021 but opted to let it expire in 2022.

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A source close to the situation told Variety that Food Network believed that because it didn’t renew her overall deal, Valerie wouldn’t agree to a separate offer to continue hosting Kids Baking Championship.

And it sounds like Food Network didn’t even try. “Her deal expired, they opted not to renew it,” Marc Schwartz, Valerie’s longtime manager, told the outlet. “They could have come to me with an offer just for ‘Kids.’ They never did. Simple as that.”

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