Chew on this

After 41 years, the soap opera All My Children (AMC) ended its run on ABC, going out with a bang and return visits from past characters and tears from cast and fans, who hope the soap will continue online.


The Chew debuts on Monday, and the welcome could be chilly. The food-themed talk show puts on a happy face about its prospects, but soap fans threaten to shun any replacement for AMC and, in January, the also-canceled One Life to Live," reports the Kansas City Star. "We hope that they will enjoy our show," Gordon Elliott, executive producer of The Chew, says when asked about All My Children fans' disappointment. "We were asked to come and join the daytime lineup because daytime tastes have changed." I agree, but women watch soaps at night since they are at work during the day and are not necessarily part of the Nielsen ratings. "Look, I understand completely how those viewers feel. I enjoyed those soaps for years, too," he says. "But I don't control the process that made that change ... I can just control what goes on our television show."


"The Chew will be a party every day, according to Elliott and his cast, including co-hosts Clinton Kelly, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz, and chefs Mario Batali and Michael Symon. "I think a lot of people tune in to soaps because they feel as though the cast are their friends," Kelly says. "What we can (do is) welcome viewers to hang out in the kitchen with us. We can't be soap operas to you, but we can be a group of people that you might want to hang out with."


As nice as that sounds, the idea is unlikely to pacify All My Children fans like the one (using a hunk of roast beef as an avatar) who posted on a Food Network blog: "I'm not only boycotting ABC for canceling All My Children but any chef/cook who dares to appear on this show will incur my wrath. The giant slab o' beef has spoken!"


Well, I'm one of those AMC fans too, thanks to TIVO, and would rather hang out in fictional Pine Valley than the kitchen at The Chew - and I'm a diehard foodie. As an experiment, I chewed the fat with 25 women in my local supermarket on their TV plans. Twenty of them plan to boycott The Chew and five don't watch daytime TV at all. Even more concerning to the food industry, they are checking out the sponsors and plan to boycott them, too.