A Look at ABC’s New Afternoon Line-up

by Samantha Rullo

 

After decades of being on the air, ABC cancelled two of its biggest daytime soap operas, “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” and replaced them with two new talk shows– the food-focused “The Chew” and self-improvement show “The Revolution.” For years, soap operas ruled daytime television, attracting a large audience consisting of older, adult females. Now that the soaps are gone, ABC needs shows that can maintain the same audience, as well as attract a new, more youthful demographic.

Premiering last September, “The Chew” has seen an upward increase its ratings, now performing better on average than “All My Children” used to in the same timeslot. “The Revolution” had its first show last week, but after only a few episodes, seems unlikely to be able to find an audience close in size to that of “One Life to Live.”

ABC made a good decision by replacing “All My Children” with “The Chew.” Hosted by Clinton Kelly of TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” the show features a unique group of food lovers: celebrity chef Mario Batali, Food Network veterans Michael Symon and Carla Hall, and nutritionist Daphne Oz, the daughter of television’s Dr. Oz. The hosts are very likeable and seem comfortable with each other as they share personal stories, interview guests, and demonstrate recipes.

Anyone who enjoys cooking shows will enjoy “The Chew,” as it adds a fun, interesting element to the traditional cooking show. With each recipe shown, the chefs discuss the calorie content and price per serving, so anyone who wants to try the recipe will know the exact nutritional value. The popularity of Food Network and the creation of the new Cooking Channel show that there is a large audience for cooking shows, and “The Chew” will attract that audience, as the growing ratings seem to confirm.

While ABC has found success with their replacement for “All My Children,” the same cannot be said for that of “One Life to Live.” Another multi-host talk show, “The Revolution” focuses on the idea of total transformation, displaying a panel of hosts designed to help viewers change their lives in positive ways. Led by Ty Pennington of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” doctors Jennifer Ashton and Tiffanie Davis Henry, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, and Tim Gunn of “Project Runway,” the panel focuses on various issues and highlights ordinary people’s true stories of change.

Despite the diversity of the panel, the show severely lacks personality. Being presented solely on the idea of total transformation, “The Revolution’s” themes are not diverse enough to draw in a large audience. Even though the show provides some useful tips, like Gunn’s tricks on how to look 10 pounds thinner, the show comes across as a televised self-help book. There is much room for improvement, and a lot of improvement is needed if “The Revolution” expects to be a suitable replacement for “One Life to Live,” and have the kind of success that “The Chew” has already found.

Samantha Rullo is a contributing writer. Email her at entertainment@nyunews.com.

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