The Post-Soap World: Talk Show Types Defend Their Existence

The Hollywood Reporter, at the Television Critics Association press session, writes about the hosts and producer of the oh-so-punnily-titled The Chew and their defense of that show’s pre-empting long-running soap operas. The Chew, a takeoff on The View focused on food issues, is taking the place of All My Children and One Life to Live (the former filmed in New York until budgetary issues forced a 2010 move to Los Angeles, and the latter remains in New York); its hosts are to include Mario Batali and What Not to Wear host Clinton Kelly.

“We were asked to come and join the daytime lineup because the daytime tastes have changed,” said producer Gordon Elliott, disavowing any responsibility for the cancellation of the soaps (ABC’s appetite for talk seems insatiable; they’re the network that will run Katie Couric’s as-yet-untitled daytime show alongside The View and The Chew.) Really we’re just [filling] a need that was already there. We would love the soap fans to share a little bit of us.”

The soap operas are to air online in an as-yet-not-fully-defined deal with production company Prospect Park (they may or may not be viewer-funded or ad-funded and Susan Lucci is expensive!). For those soap viewers who can’t bring themselves to watch Erica Kane on a smaller screen, Mr. Kelly the co-host indicated: “People tune in to soaps because they feel the casts are their friends[…] We can’t be soap operas but we can be a group of people you can hang out with it.”

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_ The Post-Soap World: Talk Show Types Defend Their Existence