The Chew had a little bit more to celebrate than just its 100th episode on Tuesday.
Since the announcement that the food-centric talk show would take the place of All My Children, soap fans have rallied for its demise. The show hasn’t yet won the daytime audience’s hearts, but it is doing better in the ratings than its soap opera replacement counterpart The Revolution and slowly closing the gap with its predecessor.
From Jan. 16-Feb. 12, The Chew averaged a 0.7 in the targeted women 18-49 demo, down 22% over what All My Children did in the year before. The show, in the week of Feb. 13, narrowed that difference by 13%. The Revolution, in its first four weeks, is down 50% over One Life to Live’s ratings last year; in comparison, The Chew’s launch in Sept. 2011 topped All My Children’s most recent airing. General Hospital – one of the few surviving soaps — is down 25% year-to-year for the same time period.
Since the announcement that Katie would occupy the same timeslot in which General Hospital currently airs, soap fans have been biting their nails in anticipation of another cancellation; the added show means either General Hospital, The Chew or The Revolution will have to go. As two soaps had already disappeared from daytime, it seemed likely to fans that GH would also get the axe. Disney Media Networks co-chairman and Disney/ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney, however, said to Deadline in June 2011 that Katie’s usurpation of the 3 p.m. slot did not necessarily mean the beloved soap would be cancelled.
While The Chew isn’t breaking any ratings records, the show certainly celebrated on Tuesday, with hosts Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Carla Hall, Daphne Oz and Clinton Kelly introducing 100-themed recipes (100-layer lasagna and 100-calorie meringues, for instance) and looking back at its first 99 episodes.
As the celebration continued, the hosts — most notably, Kelly — were undeniably optimistic about the future of the show. During one segment, Kelly invited his cohosts to play “Celebrity Egg Timer,” in which he asked them to answer various questions honestly.
“Where will you be in our 1,000th show?” Kelly asked, before upping that number to a million at the close. It would be interesting what Sweeney, who was seated in the audience for the duration of taping, would have said had she been on that same stage — although she was certainly all smiles.