‘Nailed It!’ Executive Producer Reveals if the Show Is Scripted (Exclusive)

Nailed It! on Netflix is as impromptu as it appears, according to Patrick J. Doody, Magical Elves’ executive producer. Doody said he’s often asked to dish about how much of the series is scripted because the beautiful onscreen mess sometimes seems too good to be true.

What is ‘scripted’ on ‘Nailed It!’?

“It is all in the moment,” Doody revealed exclusively to Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “It’s a great question because people always ask that. Like the only things that are actually written on the show, if you want to call it that is ‘here’s the challenge’ and ‘here’s the thing’ like all those explanations you see.”

Nailed It! host Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres
Nailed It! host Nicole Byer and head judge Jacques Torres |Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

“That’s all kind of like laid out by our team, our challenge team so that [host] Nicole [Byer] knows what we’re going to talk about when she gets it ahead of time and all that stuff,” he added. “But other than that, once those 90 minutes happen, or those 45 minutes happen, then then it’s like … it’s just going.”

The ‘Nailed It’ judges watch the entire competition

“The bakers are there,” he continued. “And a lot of shows and again, a little bit of the secret to cooking shows is that you see judges out there, but the judges don’t have to sit there the entire time during cooking. Because sometimes cooking can be like six hours. So sometimes you had judges come on and they’re like ‘OK so when do I leave?’ And we’re like ‘You don’t. So sit down in that chair and you watch the whole time.’ And they go, ‘OK, cool!'”

“The way it works is there are three judges and there’s three stations going on,” he described. “And so my role during that moment is I have my cameras on everything that’s going on and my ears on everything that’s happening. And whenever something insane is going on, I’ll feed it to them because then they can know what’s happening.”

Nicole Byer finds comedy in the moment on ‘Nailed It!’

And while the show is not scripted, Doody said he keeps the party going by alerting Byer and the guest hosts when something funny or wild is going down during the competition. “So then I can be like, ‘OK, here’s what I’m seeing,'” he said. “And then I’m like, ‘Nicole, you can call out whatever.’ And then we go into it and they are able to find all their jokes or humor or whatever from those moments.”

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“So it’s all live, it’s in the moment,” he asserted. “No one’s writing jokes for them. Nicole obviously doesn’t need a writer, she writes everything on her own. I mean that’s the thing with Nicole, which is why she’s amazing and perfect for the show and an incredible host to have. And the person to be the face of the show is number one.”

But “She’s always laughing with the people,” he said. “Because the wild or the bigger fails, like Nicole, loves all that stuff. It very much speaks to her personality.”

Producers love it when ‘Nailed it!’ bakers go off-recipe

Producers also love it when guests go rogue and add impromptu ingredients or don’t always follow the recipe. Doody recalled a moment when a mother-daughter team completely left his jaw on the ground. “The recent season, when we had Ivonne and Kayla the mother-daughter, they were in the Greek episode,” he recalled. “They cracked me up because the relationship was astonishing to me. And how, like, the mom just was like so not self-aware over her decision making.”

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“Or if she was, she didn’t care, like in front of her kid,” he added. “So we were watching that kind of unfold like this is great. And they were wonderful. They were great. Actually, all our teams are great. But they were a delight. They brought so much energy to the show. But then in the new season, there’s going to be some – I don’t want to give away too much stuff – but there’s going to be some really funny bakers who are going to be in this new season.”

The sixth season of the Emmy Award-nominated Nailed It! is coming to Netflix on September 15.