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'Chocolate Meltdown': Food Network partners with Hershey's for new series

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Michelle Rose / TV Media
Sunny Anderson, host of "Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark"

Sunny Anderson, host of "Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark"

Would you prefer to have a year's supply of Hershey's candy or one night in a theme park after hours? What if you could have both and a cash prize?

A new addition to Food Network's supersized Halloween lineup, "Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark" premieres this Monday, Sept. 27, and it's sure to appeal to both candy lovers and fearless roller-coaster enthusiasts.

Hosted by "The Kitchen's" Sunny Anderson, "Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark" "locks" groups of three talented pastry artists inside Hersheypark and Hershey's Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where they'll compete to create the most incredible chocolate showcases.

The four-episode competition was filmed in 2020, and at that time the crew was given unlimited access to the park after patrons had gone home. If you think the location is just an interesting backdrop, think again: in each hour-long installment, contestants will have to solve clues and ride the rides themselves in order to complete the challenges before the night is over.

They'll have to work at "breakneck speed with the help of just an assistant" (per Food Network) to create an over-the-top, themed display that will impress judges Ralph Attanasia ("Buddy vs. Duff") and "Tournament of Champions" winner Maneet Chauhan.

The winner of each weekly episode will go home with a year's supply of Hershey's candy, a Hersheypark dream vacation (presumably during normal operating hours) and a cash prize.

Just don't expect the competition to be a walk in the park (excuse the pun). Some of the competitors will run into additional challenges, such as a sudden design change midway through the competition, a mishap involving a 33-pound slab of delicious dark chocolate, and a creation that uses enough candy to nearly clean out the store.

"Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark" is the product of a unique partnership between Food Network and Hershey's, the producer of over 90 iconic candy brands, including Kit Kat, Jolly Rancher, York Peppermint Patties and more.

Expect the individual challenges to creatively shine the spotlight on Hershey's products, such as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Twizzlers Twists when "Chocolate Meltdown: Hershey's After Dark" premieres on Sep. 27. Who knows? You might even add Hersheypark to your vacation wish list for 2022.