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The Real Reason ABC Cancelled 'The Chew'

ABC's The Chew was aimed at shaking up daytime television, and it did so successfully for

seven seasons.

So what put the culinary chat show on the chopping block?

Well, there are a number of possible culprits.

Here's why we think The Chew's goose was cooked.

The official explanation for why The Chew was canned was so that ABC could dedicate

more time to Good Morning America.

According to Deadline, the network wanted to expand GMA from two to three hours, likely

to stay competitive with NBC's four-hour Today show.

ABC president Ben Sherwood put it like this:

"We believe there is great opportunity for viewers and advertisers in expanding to a

third hour."

The production costs for both shows isn't public information, but Chew co-host Carla

Hall told the Washington Post that it was cheaper to expand GMA than it was to produce

more episodes of The Chew, so saving the network some cash was likely also a factor.

Sherwood called the decision to expand GMA "bittersweet," since it meant chucking The

Chew into the bin.

But a beefier GMA isn't the only factor at play here: ratings for The Chew were down,

plain and simple.

The show didn't fare well at all in the Nielsen ratings in its final season, ranking 11th

out of the 13 network daytime shows, according to The Wrap.

Hall, however, told the Post that she doesn't blame poor ratings for the show's downfall,

saying,

"[Viewers] look at [TV] on their devices, and there are no metrics for that.

It looks like everybody's numbers are down, and it's because nobody's home and has appointment

television."

Mario Batali was the most recognizable face when The Chew debuted in 2011, and he stayed

with the program until December 2017.

That's when numerous women came forward and accused the celebrity chef of sexual misconduct

over several decades.

ABC soon announced that it had terminated its relationship with him.

"Hello ladies!"

"Hello!"

As Forbes notes, this meant ABC lost six years worth of episodes that they could potentially

use as reruns.

This also meant that earlier seasons of the show will probably never be sold to other

cooking channels, or be shown on a sister network such as ABC Family.

Batali's alleged sexual misconduct wasn't the final nail in the coffin, but having your

most high-profile host go down in flames is never good for a show's reputation or longevity.

In August 2017, just before Batali's departure, longtime cast member Daphne Oz said goodbye

to her Chew friends after six seasons with the show.

Oz didn't leave the show in the wake of any sort of scandal; she left to focus on her

new baby and being a mom to her other young children.

Fans can only speculate whether Oz felt the show's time was winding down, but her absence,

along with Batali's soon after, certainly changed the dynamic of the show.

Creator and executive producer of the show, Gordon Elliott, said of Oz,

"The moment she sat at the table with Mario, Clinton, Michael and Carla, I knew we had

a great television show."

ABC never made any sort of statement about trying to replace Oz, and The Chew was never

the same after she left.

The Chew ran for 1,500 episodes and featured a whopping 6,630 recipes.

During the show's final taping, co-host Clinton Kelly informed the in-studio audience the

show was coming to an end.

"The mood is a little sad around here to be honest with you, I mean, there is a lot of

people who work really hard on this show and really believe in this show, um, and we're

all going to miss this show very, very much."

Co-host Michael Symon said reading well-wishes of support from fans made him "emotional."

"It has been the most fun I have ever had in my life of any job I have ever had and

it's because of the fans."

In the end, high production costs, poor ratings, and one ugly scandal brought The Chew down.

But the Emmy-winning chat-and-food hybrid made quite an impact in its seven seasons,

and hopefully paved the way for more refreshing and innovative programming like it on daytime

TV in the very near future.