Cake Boss is an American reality television series, airing on the cable television network TLC. Set at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey, the show mainly follows Buddy Valastro and his family as they operate their business, with a focus on how they make their cakes, along with family gatherings and celebrations.
The show premiered on April 19, 2009, and four additional seasons followed, premiering October 26, 2009, May 31, 2010 (returning in October), January 31, 2011 (returning in September), and May 28, 2012, respectively.
- Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jr. (born March 3, 1977) - The star of the show, who has worked at the bakery since age 17 in 1994. He is the only son and the youngest child of Bartolo "Buddy" Sr. and Mary Valastro. He grew up in Little Ferry, New Jersey. He is married to Elisabetta "Lisa" Valastro (née Belgiovine) with whom he now has four children: Sofia, Bartolo "Buddy" III, Marco, and Carlo Salvatore. In 2012, as a result of the attention that the series brought to Hoboken, New Jersey, the Hudson Reporter named him as an honorable mention in its list of Hudson County's 50 most influential people.
- Mauro Castano - pastry chef and Buddy's right-hand man. He is married to Buddy's second oldest sister, Maddalena Castano (née Valastro) (born August 15, 1967) who works front counter. They have three children: Dominique, Buddy, and Mary.
- Danny Dragone - multipurpose employee, worked at the bakery since before Buddy was born. He is a close family friend, and married with one child that works at the bakery: Tatiana. He is nicknamed "the mule" for his versatility.
- Frank "Frankie" Amato Jr. - cake decorator. He is Buddy's first cousin, the godfather to his son Marco, and married with two children.
- Joseph "Joey" Faugno - The shop's head baker. He is married to Buddy's oldest sister Grace Faugno (née Valastro) (born June 30, 1966) who works front counter. They have two children: Robert and Bartolina.
- Mary Sciarrone (née Valastro) (born September 30, 1969) - front counter and Buddy's third oldest sister. She is married with two children.
- Lisa Valastro (born December 31, 1974) - Buddy's fourth older sister, was married to Remy and has one child and two older children from a previous marriage.
- Anthony "Cousin Anthony" Bellifemine - baker and former delivery boy. He is Lisa and Maurizio's paternal cousin.
- Maurizio Belgiovine - Cake engineer / base builder and delivery boy. He is Buddy's brother-in-law (younger brother to Lisa).
- Ralph "Ralphie Boy" Attanasia III - bakery sculptor.
- Dana Herbert - Buddy's intern (winner of Season 1's Next Great Baker).
- Marissa Lopez - Buddy's intern (winner of Season 2's Next Great Baker).
- Stephanie "Sunshine" Fernandez- top decorator at Carlo's. She was the first female employee who did not work with sales.
- Mary Valastro Pinto - Buddy's mother. A show regular until her 2010 retirement; still appears on the show on occasion.
- Remigio "Remy" Gonzalez - Buddy's former left-hand man and the ex-husband of Buddy's sister Lisa. Remy's first and only child, daughter Isabella, was born on the Cake Boss episode "Mother's Day, Mama and Mom-to-be". He left the show due to criminal charges.
- Salvatore "Sal" Picinich (1947 - January 30, 2011) worked at the bakery from 1964 and was one of Buddy's most trusted employees. Picinich stopped appearing on the show at the end of 2009, when he began battling cancer, but returned in the summer of 2010 to accept the Employee of the Century Award on the occasion of the bakery’s 100th anniversary. He passed away January 31, 2011.
- Kevin "Stretch" Krand - a delivery boy, left for schooling
- Tony "Tone-Tone" Albanese - Buddy's second intern.
The popularity of the show has resulted in increased business for Carlo's Bake Shop, and increased tourism to the Hoboken area. Due to the series' popularity, Carlo's Bake Shop has become a tourist attraction, with lines to enter the bakery often extending down the block and around the corner. In 2010, Hoboken renamed the corner of Washington Street and Newark Street to "Carlo's Bakery Way" in honor of the bakery's centennial.
Season one averaged 2.3 million viewers while season two averaged 1.8 million viewers.
Tie-ins and spinoffsEdit
On November 2, 2010, Buddy Valastro's book, Cake Boss: Stories and Recipes from Mia Famiglia, which is based on the series, was released. Published by Free Press in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Carlo's Bake Shop, the book features the history and stories of Valastro's family and the bake shop, along with recipes.
Valastro's second book, Baking with the Cake Boss: 100 of Buddy's Best Recipes and Decorating Secrets, is a cook book, also published by Free Press, released November 1, 2011 and featuring Valastro's cake, pastry and decorating recipes.
The success of Cake Boss has led to a spin-off competition series hosted by Valastro, Next Great Baker, in which people compete to win a top cash prize, other valuable prizes, and an apprenticeship at Carlo's Bakery. The program's first season was seen on TLC December 6, 2010 through January 24, 2011, with a second season televised November 28, 2011 to January 30, 2012.
Another spinoff series, Kitchen Boss, debuted January 25, 2011. This series, which is seen weekdays, features Valastro presenting his family's recipes, as well as special guests, including members of his own family.
Yet another spin-off - Bakery Boss - sees Buddy travelling the US helping bakeries and cake shops that are in serious trouble turn around their fortunes.
Episodes and DVD releasesEdit
Main article: List of Cake Boss episodes
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||DVD release date|
|Season premiere||Season finale||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||Discs|
|1||13||April 19, 2009||August 17, 2009||December 15, 2009||TBA||TBA||2|
|2||18||October 26, 2009||February 22, 2010||May 18, 2010||TBA||TBA||2|
|3||24||May 31, 2010||November 29, 2010||February 1, 2011||TBA||TBA||3|
|4||38||January 31, 2011||January 30, 2012||December 6, 2011 - Vol. 1
TBA - Vol. 2
|5||TBA||May 28, 2012||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|
As of May 28, 2012, a total of 95 episodes and 5 specials have been broadcast. The first three seasons, along with the first half of season 4, have been released on DVD in Region 1. Each episode name employs alliteration.
In July 2010, Masters Software, Inc., of Cedar Park, Texas, obtained a preliminary injunction forbidding TLC from calling its show "Cake Boss". Since 2006, the company has operated the domain name cakeboss.com, and since 2007, it has sold a bakery management program called CakeBoss. The suit claims that Discovery Communications infringes on its trademark by causing confusion among customers and vendors. In October 2010, Masters Software and Discovery Communications reached a settlement, the details of which are not public.