Friday, September 30, 2011

NEWS ROUNDUP SPECIAL: National Print Media Wouldn't Wrap Fish in THE CHEW; Ratings Tumbling

It's been more than three days, and it's not just ALL MY CHILDREN aficionados who are saying that THE CHEW doesn't pass the smell test. Many major print outlets have reported on the show's debut this week. Here's a sampling of what they had to say, with links to the originals from TV Guide, Newsday, The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Esquire.

TV Guide
In this culinary knockoff of The View, What Not to Wear's Clinton Kelly seemed uncomfortably shoehorned into the Whoopi Goldberg sassy-moderator role. And in case you missed the fact that "health and wellness expert" Daphne Oz is Dr. Oz's daughter the first ten times they mentioned it, the good doctor himself showed up for a "surprise" cameo to declare how proud he is of his newly little girl (she lost 25 pounds, and her weight-loss secrets were also crammed down viewers' throats).

Meanwhile, TOP CHEF's Carla Hall and Iron Chef's Michael Symon (both of whom brought their moms to the show) tried to out down-home each other: Symon cooked cheap-and-easy pork and beans, while Hall introduced the concept of "Gon' Bes": recipes gone wrong that, she assured us, are "gon' be OK." Someday maybe we'll be able to say the same about THE CHEW, if they can trim the fat from the cast, cut back on the cornball forced merriment and throw a few less ingredients into the proverbial pot.

THE CHEW is a chump. Its first day was a noisy, and desperate-to-please trifle, full of forced bonhomie and hollow mirth. Chalk that up to first-day jitters, perhaps, but substance -- not tone -- appears to be the larger problem.

THE CHEW doesn't seem to know what it is or wants to be. "This show is about food, family, fun," explains one of the hosts, Clinton Kelly. So noted. But ABC's new daytime talk/family/fun/cooking series doesn't have merely a split personality, but five personalities. . . Individually, they have specific tastes, skills and (doubtless) talents. Individually, perhaps, any of them could (and already have in a couple of instances) host his or her own show.

Put them all together and you get . . . indigestion.

The Huffington Post
THE CHEW premiered earlier today and it was immediately obvious the hosts need a bit more time to work on their flow. . . below are some of the most cringe-worthy moments.

-Michael Symon asks an audience member why she thinks his pork recipe is -delicious. She responds that it is...delicious.
-Daphne Oz opens Ester-C tablets right into the blender. Yum.
-Michael Symon implores the audience to try a microplane.
-The audience cheers Carla Hall on for using toothpicks.
-Mario Batali demos a pizza recipe from a golf course in New Jersey. He reveals, after a long pause, that Italian pizza is from Italy.

New York Daily News
"THE CHEW" too often felt overstuffed, as if its celebrity crew were engaged in a speed-talking contest. That fast pace, a key part of the game plan, makes it hard to start relating to the panel. We need them to take some breaths. The accelerated pace also produced some fudge, like when Symons billed his pork over kale and beans recipe as something you can whip up in five minutes.

That may be true if you don't count the time it takes to pound the pork into a cutlet or chop the kale. That was all pre-prepared when Symons started his clock. The average viewer also should factor in the time it takes to find a bunch of ingredients few average kitchens have lying around.

Chicago Sun-Times
THE CHEW has your standard dump-and-stir cooking demos, tips on entertaining and a mundane rehashing of food-related “news.” (A study says cooking at home is cheaper than eating fast food!) Attempts to make food accessible to the masses often came off as patronizing, like when Symon explained that a sommelier is “a big fancy wine person” and demonstrated how to grate cheese with a microplane.

THE CHEW acts as if America has never seen a food show, when the reality is that TV is more crowded than Grant Achatz’ inbox when it comes to culinary content. But instead of filling that “AMC” slot with something fresh and new, all we get are stale leftovers.

Pretty much everyone noted that it was baffling, and would seem to bode ill for the future of Mario Batali's participation in the show, that he was on a golf course rather than in the studio for the big premiere episode. Daphne Oz, if she wants people to watch her show instead of her father's, will need to rely less overtly on him for her segments. And no, we did not need a chest shot revealing Michael Symon's "Got Pork" tattoo within the first two minutes of air time.

TV Media Insights takes a look at ratings for THE CHEW'S first four days
Monday 9/26 – Lead-in: 2.9/ 9, THE CHEW: 2.1/ 7
Tuesday 9/27 – Lead-in: 2.8/ 9, THE CHEW: 1.8/ 6
Wednesday 9/28 – Lead-in: 2.7/ 9, THE CHEW: 1.8/ 6
Thursday 9/29 – Lead-in: 2.6/ 8, THE CHEW: 1.7/ 6

- RATINGS: THE CHEW Matches ALL MY CHILDREN Audience, But Could This Be A Repeat of 25 Year History?


  1. Love it! I love Newsday's - "Put them all together and you get indigestion." Excellent articles!

  2. There was NO reason to air another Food show!!! We have the Food Network if we need cooking advice. I am not interested in ever watching another cooking show not just because it replaced All My Children which I watched for 41 years but because how interesting can it be? Shame on ABC for telling AMC fans what we want....another food show. I give it 6 months....tops!

  3. I find it Extremely interesting as a long time ABC viewer that ALL pages connected to ABC/The Chew(Spew)/Clinton Kelly are deleting EVERY negative posting and blocking everyONE who makes a negative comment about ANY of them. They ask for feedback but only positive, complementary comments are left! Freedom of speech + press huh? Also people represnting them are calling viewers + SOAP fans names such as MORAN + TURD!! (Then deleting it when reported) I think the general pubic needs to become aware of what they do when they don't like negative feedback! Letters have been sent + they have been reported to FB! PS...... I WOULD NEVER WATCH THIS SHOW OR ANY OTHER ABC SHOW!!! I hate reality shows and NEVER watch them, and since this is how the spokespeople employed by ABC/DSNEY/The Chew feel about SOAP fans.....I can't wait until The Chew is chewed up, spewed out and flushed down the drain!! ABC/DISNEY is losing lots of 'housewife' consumers with their move and subsequent actions....And just for your info...I can do several things while watching MY SOAPS-I can also watch/listen from the kitchen while cooking/baking; the bedroom while making the bed; the bathroom while cleaning; downstairs while doing the laundry...I multi-task like MOST people who watch SOAPS----gee, WE have brains??? I, however WON'T even LISTEN while any other ABC show is on.....since my ABC/DISNEY CHANNELS ate LOCKED OFF on all5 of our TV's.

  4. What really upsets me beside this being a terrible show.Disney/ABC thinks the viewers are stupid.We are sitting around and just waiting for this type of show.Sorry to tell you but daytime viewers are night time workers,Bailer System workers,retired real estate owner,and being a house wife with children is very challenging job.We are not just stupid people going oh look that is what a tooth pick is used for!

  5. I hope they serve up a dish of sheidenfraude (joy at other's misfortune)because that's the treat a few million of viewers would enjoy. Never has the idiocy of the powers that be at ABC/Disney been this transparent. The good news is,when they're fired, they csn try out for the animal costumes at Disney theme parks.

  6. This is a great article. Thanks for posting the ratings. I have been looking all week for them. I just knew they would drop. I was one of those people banned from the Chew site. I guess they just don't like the truth. I miss AMC. Down with the Spew!!!

  7. NOT wasting space on my TIVO with the Chew. If we wanted to listen to boorish self congratulatory chefs, there are lots of options already out there. Nothing new or interesting here. So, thank you ABC for freeing up an extra hour of my life every day!

  8. Did ABC REALLY think anyone would prefer the Chew instead of ALL MY Children??? I work for Disney and I still refuse to watch ABC now. If I could afford to, I would leave my job. They obviously have no regard for the ones of us who were loyal viewers for 41 years.

  9. Judging by the phony folksiness of its promos, "Chew" should be renamed "Chaw".

  10. I was an AVID ABC viewer until they took AMC off the air. I refuse to watch THE CHEW. If I want to watch cooking I would watch the food network. ABC really messed up. You didn't ask your viewers what we wanted. WE WANT OUR SOAPS; AMC, OLTL and General Hospital.... You needed to listen to us. We can make you or break you. At this point we will break you!

  11. ABC you should have asked the viewers what we wanted. There was no reason for another FOOD show, there are enough on the air. We want our soaps. AMC, OLTL and General Hospital. ABC we the viewers made you and we can break you. I have watched the soaps for over 40 years, they are my family. What were you thinking? my bad; you were not. Now your ratings are dropping, too bad so sad; NOT!

  12. I am so happy to see the true ratings which are dropping as I totally expected. The Chew is trying so hard to be something interesting, and is just the opposite, boring!

  13. We may not get our soaps back but we will surely enjoy watching ABC scramble to fill this time slot with either different shows or a redo of the Spew.No doubt there will be cast changes.I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the production meetings.No high fives there! No champagne corks popping.Just a thud as the ratings drop and the show bombs.

  14. I think they knew this show would get many negative comments. ABC probably has another show planned to take it's place eventually and hope all the negative comments and complaints die down.