Lots of Defending, Not Much Convincing: ABC Fails to Impress TCA With The Chew

This brings a twinkle to my eye. I heard back from several industry peeps who attended the Television Critics Association (TCA) panel for ABC's upcoming talk show/reality series/food fight The Chew and from what I can gather the show (set to replace long-running soap opera All My Children on Sept. 26) gave the journos a bad case of the runs.  

For starters, executive producer Gordon Elliott reportedly dominated the panel session, barely allowing the show's actual co-hosts (Daphne Oz, Carla Hall and Clinton Kelly attended) a chance to chew the fat. What, is the Mouse House that lacking in confidence of this gang of foodies and lifestyle experts to sell this sucker? This particular factoid was confirmed by Variety's Andrew Wallenstein for the industry bible's On The Air blog.

Now for the main course: I hear ABC Daytime Chief Brian Frons was basically guarded from the press by PR executive Jori Petersen for most of the session. I guess Deadline asked her to recite her multiplication table, or managed to confound her in some other way, long enough to get this interview with Fronsie. Here's a completely out-of-touch snippet from the Soap Slayer:

 "I think we've spent 40-plus years trying to keep the soap-opera audience happy. So in an odd way, (the outcry) is actually good. It's just sad that we don't have a solution."

Really, Bri-Bri? You seriously looked that reporter in the face and said you tried to make soap fans happy? Were you trying to make soap fans happy when you launched an ageist, sexist agenda that saw most of the veteran performers on the ABC Daytime shows put out to pasture? Was achieving and sustaining the sheer, unadulterated adoration of soap lovers on your mind when you transformed SOAPnet into a poor fan's Oxygen, complete with stank reality shows that had absolutely nothing to do with the soap opera genre? Please, do elaborate on how airing Bank of Mom and Dad helped further said purpose of trying to make soap fans happy? Jesus take the wheel.

Were you thinking about soap fans at all when you allowed your asshat BFF Chuck Pratt to rip out the pages of Agnes Nixon's All My Children picture book one-by-one, then pee on them, while laughing hysterically? Figuratively speaking of course. I hope…

 What about when you allowed One Life to Live, the one soap on your lineup to see fairly consistent critical acclaim (not to mention sustained ratings growth) in recent years, to basically go unpublicized, while Being Erica got billboards in Time Square?

The sad thing is, I truly think Frons believes he was trying. Take heart soap fans, Elliott says he would just love to get Susan Lucci to appear on The Chew. Now wouldn't that just make it all squared? Has anyone seen my Antacids?

32 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    I sincerely hope that all the ABC execs CHOKE on “The Chew.”

    I know Clinton Kelly has bills to pay, and as much as I have always liked him, I hope he lands on his perfectly pedicured feet after this show gets canceled.

  2. Profile photo of lfad

    Until they hire Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen to argue about whether fried macaroni and cheese is real food, I will continue to not be interested in The Chew. The currently excellent Cooking Channel will get me through my food show needs, and I never gave a crap about those decorating or fashion type shows.

  3. Profile photo of DaytimeFan0001

    Once Jamey reported that ABC is expecting ratings to be around those of AMC’s, I figured the Chew wouldn’t make it ratings wise. As for the reactions at TCA, didn’t they have similar opinions of the talk? And that is skating into it’s second season. I know both are different (with different people in power), but I really think it could go either way on this.

    As for Frons….why this is man still talking about the demise of soaps? If your done, your done…shut up!

  4. Profile photo of giogio

    They dont have a solution??? That is bullshit if I ever heard it. Starting with ABC and Oprah, it is NOT dying genre. There is always a way to intice a drifting fan base. Right now, AMC pulled out all the stops to draw people back. They were allowed to, cause they are getting the boot. No one will watch these shows – they better think about what they are doing. There can be an eleventh hour if someone uses their brains, and stop acting like fools.

  5. Profile photo of Jon

    Carla Hall’s scary look freaks me out. I wouldn’t watch The Chew just to avoid looking at her mug. (I’ll never watch it anyway, no matter who’s hosting!)But that chick needs a freakin’ STYLIST!

  6. Profile photo of giogio

    15 shows or not, they needed to take into consideration from day one that people are accustomed to watching a certain show at that hour for the past 40 years. They are just as stupid as the people in Washington. Now look. We are downgraded and so will ABC. This is NOT going to go over well. We probably got viewers from GL and ATWT and now they are adding insult to their injury. I for one, can see a bankrupt ABC. See ya!!!! Stupid.

  7. Profile photo of trhnlhi

    This is the first good thing I’ve read about ABC in a long time. I can only hope this shit box show fails right out of the gate. May all the powers that be choke on “The Chew” Susan Lucci please just spit on “The Chew”

  8. Profile photo of giogio

    This Gordon Elliot has one set of balls to even say Susan should go on the show. Thats just like shooting her with her own gun. Those people of the chew should shut their stupid mouths and Shut the eff up about that. I just read the whole article, which I hadnt before. I got as far as-its sad there is not a solution. Jamey, you got me all worked up again.,

  9. Profile photo of SoapyBitch

    First off, I just love the image used for this and other Chew posts.

    Talks shows are all about the hosts and none of these people is compelling to me on an individual level to watch. I wonder what “celebs” will appear on this show as guests. I just hope this fails horrendously.

    I was reading a news bite, regarding The Chew, on tvguide.com this past weekend and I was overjoyed that the comments were just a barrage of I-will-not-watch.

  10. Profile photo of soapfan616

    What a great article! Laugh out loud funny yet so true. I do not watch AMC or OTTL but their replacements look exactly like what is wrong with TV across the board: cheap, talky and about as original as a hooker wearing high heels.

  11. Profile photo of giogio

    SOAPYBITCH – just went to the TV Guide.com article. Mr. Elliot said they were asked to do the show because “daytime tastes have changed”. Says Who. Mr. Frons??? He was the one who said that and it started a mass mind rumor. Now anyone who just wants to discard soaps just say, oh well, daytime tastes have changed. Not true. Please chew people and abc downers– keep your mouth shut!!! We dont want to hear you let alone look at you.

  12. Profile photo of OLTL Stacy and Kim 2009
    OLTL Stacy and Kim 2009

    Its funny Carla Hall said in an interview with TV guide “They’ve grown up watching these soap operas. They related to it and that was their world. That was their time. But I hope they will give The Chew a chance and come onboard. It’s a new era.” FUNNY!!!! It look like your show has already had it time before it starts. Oh and that its a new era. Yeah look like The chew is gonna be short.

  13. Profile photo of GHfan-4now

    Really, Bri-Bri? You seriously looked that reporter in the face and said you tried to make soap fans happy?


    All the while those damn horns shot up from his glossy head, and that pointed tail started wiggling about and poking out of the back his pants, and the whites of his eyes started turning as yellow as a dadgum canary bird … Ol’ Jori had a lot on her hands that day. PinocchiDevil wasnt just turning bright red talking to that reporter, in the words of Cyndi Lauper, he was letting his true colors shinnnneeeee through.

  14. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    I just want them to fail I’m sorry for being so mean but these are mean times Brian Frons is a liar and a manipulator that gets paid big bucks for being a failure

    if he kept his ass out of the storytelling it might have helped…and fired his buddy Guza like he hired then fired his other buddy Pratt then his other buddy Mrs. Guza

    and I still can’t figure out what his other buddy does as Exec Producer Jill does when his other buddy was consulting producer.. I just really wish Frank Valentini would have been head of soaps instead of this incompetent.

  15. Profile photo of No Daisy
    No Daisy

    I could go my whole lifetime without ever seeing Mario B’s feet in those nasty shoes again! Shouldn’t Clinton have dressed him or something before they made that promo? He should never be photographed below the waist ever again. But, either way, I’m not watching. Sorry Molto Mario!

  16. Profile photo of giogio

    A new era??? What are we supposed to do, watch food all day. Cook food, eat it, and than later revolutionize yourself to lose all the food the chew made you eat. I have news for you, she and he and all of them should shut their fool mouths,.

  17. Profile photo of giogio

    NO DAISY – forget about Molto Mario – He has a share in Eataly where NYC soap lovers wont go anymore. I will never step foot in that place again.

  18. Profile photo of Lindiana Jones
    Lindiana Jones

    Of course this show is going to blow up like a plate of cheese fries on my thighs. But we all know Frons&Company will never admit it was THEIR fault. They will say things like:

    “This show is real good but them soap fans just wrecked it for us with all their complaining. Why won’t they just shut up?”

    Then to help all twenty two people who watched The Chew and gained weight, they will spin it off into The Chew: Fat Edition.

  19. Profile photo of elizabethstreetmom

    No big surprise here. Any show developed by that idiot, Frons, will be a looser. Bring on the other 15 too because someone devoid of taste, a conscience and a heart will ultimately fail. The cooking channel is where the cooking shows should be. What a despicable human being and so out of touch with the audience. Ultimately ABC should have people working for them that ARE in touch with the audience to further develop winners like OLTL and AMC, not decimate them as Frons did like the other commenters pointed out. What an idiot. Would love to see the St John Todd character meet up with Frons. Can you imagine what he would do to Frons?

  20. Profile photo of BELLA325

    this show is a copy of martha stewart everyday food. martha should sue abc and brian fons for stealing her idea.
    i can not stand mario, and carla makes my stomach turn. i hate her voice, i hated her on top chef.

  21. Profile photo of luvapetadopt

    I am just so angry that AMC will be done in about 5 weeks. I have watched since day one. Why another talk/cooking show? The sad thing is, I like Carlo and Michael S from the Food Network…but I have promised myself I will not watch a single minute of the CHEW. What a dumb name…hope it gets canceled right away

  22. Profile photo of Jon

    Hate to see the ladies of The View fawning over the Chew in the promos. If I were Whoopi or one of the others, I’d have REFUSED to tape this shit and insult the poor soap fans.

  23. Profile photo of PatWelsh

    I flat out refuse to watch the Chew ever! My days with watching anything on ABC are coming to an end. As soon as Kelly Ripa opens her mouth on Live with R & K, I change the channel over to NBC. I love Regis, but I cannot stand that Ripa chick. Rachel Ray? Nope, I watch Kathie Lee & Hoda also on NBC. The View? Nope. Can’t stand Sherry and I literally hate Joy Behr. ABC news at noon; yes I’ll watch that.

    What I plan on doing once AMC is over, is tuning into the Chew with the TV on mute. I’m going to ‘glance’ at it and wait for commercials. I plan on writing to every single sponsor of that show and tell them I am boycotting their products for sponsoring and supporting that show. I think what ABC daytime has done is disgusting and my days of watching anything and everything on ABC are almost over. That’s how angry I am about them cancelling those 2 soap operas that I have watched for over 35 years.

    I hope the Chew and ABC fall flat on their faces. We have an entire Food Network for shows about food and plenty of living networks, etc etc out there.

    What adds even more insult to injury is that they have the NERVE to air promos for the Chew right now while All My Children is airing. Like I said earlier, it’s DISGUSTING in my opinion.

    Good job ABC. There was a time when you were #1. Congrats on letting NBC and CBS surpass you. Ya big dummies!!!

    Pat (an anti- Chew fan)

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