The Chew: A Recipe For Success Or Daytime Disaster?

September 27, 2011

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have realized a new food-centric talk show, The Chew, premiered this week on ABC.

While new talk shows seem a dime a dozen these days, this one has received a lot of attention primarily because it replaced the 41-year-old soap opera, “All My Children.” Not surprisingly, soap fans aren’t delighting in this new programming option.

The headlines did a good job summing up early reactions to the show’s premiere with iVillage tossing out the question “Too Many Cooks on ‘The Chew’? – a sentiment echoed by many on Twitter who felt the co-hosts were all talking over one another. Huffington Post was quick to analyze the early Twitter buzz with a “Twitter Users Find Debut Hard to Swallow” post, later followed by a not-so-flattering video montage: “‘The Chew’ Premiere: The Five Most Awkward Moments”.

Let’s face it, with so many long-time fans blaming “The Chew” for their favorite soap’s demise, the new show’s production team had to know they would be fighting an uphill battle – not an easy place to debut in an industry that doesn’t allow poor performing shows to stay on the air for long.

TV analyst Shari Anne Brill summed it up well in a recent Associated Press article saying “I really don’t believe that disgruntled refugees from “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will swallow ‘The Chew,'” said Brill. “This is about how it’s become more expensive to produce scripted content. The audience has shifted.”

Only time will tell how the show will fare but there is no shortage of feedback and advice floating around in the social media world this week. (On a related note, I found it slightly odd that one of the shows co-hosts, @DaphneOz, enthusiastically tweeted: @TheChew is trending on twitter!!! Go go go! when I was hard pressed to find any favorable buzz.)

What do you think “The Chew” could do to earn fans? Hire Susan Lucci as a correspondent? Move quickly to revise its format? Cut down on co-hosts?