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The Premiere of The Chew
An exciting new daytime drama begins this afternoon. The Chew is its name. On The Chew, you'll find searing stories of dramatic intrigue and hidden desires as food with its own story to tell tries to bite its way into happiness. Watch The Chew on ABC.
I've been on the food show bandwagon for a couple of years now, although I haven't gone extreme and ordered the Food Network for my satellite yet. I've been pretty faithful to the Gordon Ramsay shows: Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word, and Master Chef (my favorite), but I've lost interest in Hell's Kitchen (too many greasy burger-flipping nicotine addicts with no imagination). These shows are night-time viewing for me though. Not sure I'd tune in for a daytime food/chat show. Rachael Ray is annoying. I've read the head chef on The Chew is a butter addict. He uses it in everything he cooks. If that's the case, they would do well to include an exercise segment on the show.
Well, ABC is already one step ahead of you!
In their zeal to give daytime viewers what they "really" want, ABC plans to premiere The Revolution in the timeslot immediately after The Chew in January 2012, replacing the second-highest rated soap opera on all of daytime, One Life To Live. It promises to give weight loss and fitness advice, as well as...well, they promise to give more details later. You see, the original pilot tested so poorly with focus groups that they were forced to re-tape a newer version, but now they refuse to disclose just what changes were made and won't release the second pilot to critics for viewing. But trust ABC...they know what they're doing. After all, they were the people responsible for cancelling two, forty-plus year-old soap operas in favor of untested "lifestyle" shows, and of course they've done wonders with cable channel "SoapNet" (also due to be off the air in 2012).
In the meantime, enjoy The Chew. But I would not get too attached.
It would serve ABC right if the plan were to backfire.
Oh, the shows will bomb big-time, though they will never admit it. There are already too many cable networks who provide these types of shows. Neither of the shows would seem to fill a special niche that would make them "appointment television" the way daytime soaps do. Granted, the cheap production costs of the shows will define "success" a bit lower; they can rate lower in the Nielsens but Brian Frons can tout the "savings" even as people wander away and don't stick around for General Hospital. Then he can cancel that ("low ratings," naturally) and have a clean slate.
"The Talk" (another "View" copy, the show that took over As the World Turns's timeslot) is not pulling the ratings that ATWT did (consistently, at least), and no one at CBS seems to acknowledge its existence beyon its status as "that other show the boss's wife works on". If it were any sort of success, they'd be talking it up since it would legitimize their decision to cancel ATWT. A lot of stations don't even carry Let's Make a Deal (Guiding Light's replacement), which is a ringing endorsement indeed. Both shows simply seem like filler material rather than something the network can point to with pride.
But at least CBS has enough self-awareness to keep their short-sightedness to themselves; Brian Frons over at ABC seems to delight in being interviewed with his cavalier attitude about killing his daytime schedule, and blanketing the final weeks of AMC with The Chew promos.