Marco Pierre White in MasterChef Professionals.

With Australian TV networks gearing up for another ratings season, Ten kicked off to a good start with its reality cooking series MasterChef: The Professionals launching to a sizzling debut of more than a million viewers nationwide.

The show, fronted by British celebrity chef *Marco Pierre White *and *Matt Preston *, follows the cooking journeys of 18 professional chefs and attracted 1.165 million viewers across the country on Sunday to rank as Australia's third most-watched show. In Perth, it fared slightly better in second spot with 126,000 tuning in.

Eliminations have already begun, with Queensland cowboy *Matty McKenzie *the first contestant to leave.

Perth's Seven News took top spot locally (179,000) on Sunday, while nationally Nine News (1.501 million) and Seven News (1.243 million) won the top two spots.

Seven will kick off its ratings year from next Monday, following the Australian Open tennis coverage, with the return of its hit cooking show My Kitchen Rules while Nine will begin its ratings battle the following Monday with the launch of home-restoration show The Block All Stars.

All three shows will go head-to-head on Monday, February 11, the official start of the 2013 ratings season.

The West Australian

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