The British public are far from stupid, they know cheap imitations when they see them and they certainly know Masterchef when they see it.
The format of both programmes are spookily similar: Three aspiring chefs cook dishes for a panel of judges with the aim of getting through to the next round of the competition. Sound familiar? Heck, in bistro owner Mario, there's even a Gregg Wallace doppleganger, all bald head and horn-rimmed glasses.
It even has its very own irritating voice-over like Masterchef - a voice trying, but failing to make the whole process of chopping and frying onions sound seductive and sexy.
If I was Wallace or telly partner John Torode, I'd be watching my back very, very carefully. Mario in particularly, is loving his fifteen minutes just a little too much...
Spotting the difference between the two shows is certainly not that easy. Okay so Chefs on Trial has Alex Polizzi as host, a seemingly permanent fixture on our television screens these days, but there any differences begin and end.
Is there no end to this lady's talents? Apparently she was poached (geddit?) from Channel 4. Surely I'm not the only viewer fed up to the back teeth of switching on my television only to find this woman engaged on yet another crusade? Poaching is far too good for her. Boiling maybe? Now there's an idea...
If the telly people really want a show with jeopardy, I'd suggest Ms Polizzi starts a business up from scratch without trading on her television and family connections. On second thoughts maybe not. There is such a thing as too much jeopardy.
Despite its similarity to Masterchef, Chefs on Trial does however have a cunning twist. The chefs are competing for a real job in Mario's bistro. Now it looks like a perfectly nice country bistro, but it's not exaclty Buckingham Palace nor is it the Ritz.
I mean you have to pity these poor chefs - for what is essentially a job cooking arty farty grub at a pretentious pub, trial by television seems to be nothing if not an unecessarily prolonged, not to mention sadistic method of selection.
This tortuous procedure makes applying for the SAS and MI5 look like a walk in the park!
There's plenty of grilling and roasting going on - not all of it confined to the kitchen, as the chefs are summoned to face the interview panel headed by Ms Polizzi. She's a tough cookie, Ms Polizzi. If our applicants have any kinks or predispositions unnatural or otherwise, this woman of touch midas will surely find them out.
In tonight's show one of the trio of chefs, when asked by the panel to describe himself, came up with just one adjective: "brilliant." Bizzarely, such modesty worked the oracle. The chef in question went through to the next round, looking suitably stunned: "I didn't think I would get through," he mused, while one of his vanquished rivals complained bitterly about losing out to a chef who had done nothing more than cook "bits of pigs."
The end of the show also shamelessly apes Masterchef. The chefs assemble before the panel as Wallace - sorry Mario - delivers the verdict. And now the really crafty bit: each chef is allowed a last word, a final chance to sway the judges, a last chance to enter a plea for the benefit of TV. After they have all mumbled something about 'challenges,' 'journeys' and 'self-discovery' the winner is eventually declared.
I think our aspiring chefs are missing a trick at this juncture. For this is the moment to pour forth the heart-breaking sob stories of past deprivation and abuse. A tear or two wouldn't go amiss either. It works well enough on every other show of this ilk, so why not here?
This is TV at its worst: formulaic, uninspired, cynically derivative and above all just plain lazy. Mind you they got one thing spot on - the programme's name: it most definitely is a trial.