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The Globe and Mail

ABC cans soap operas in favour of food shows

Alberto E. Rodriguez/2010 Getty Images

You can just see it: In a well-appointed parlour, an aging stud lingering behind her, the soap star curses the reign of the food shows, over-acting throughout.

ABC is canning two soap operas in favour of food shows, ending the 40-year runs of "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" next year.

After researching the changing viewing patterns of their audience, ABC has decided to move away from weepy soap stars and deus ex machina plot resolutions in favour of self-helpy lifestyle shows.

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"The Chew" will look at food "as a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life's moments." It also brings in foodie heavyweights Mario Batali and Michael Symon.

"The Revolution," will help viewers "transform all areas of their lives from relationships, to family, food, style, home design, finance and more," and feature celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak, among others.

Brian Frons, President Daytime, Disney ABC Television Group, says ABC viewers "are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways."

Ouch. You mean coming back from the dead, over and over again, and maintaining perfect maquillage through your darkest moments aren't real life takeaways?

Mr. Frons acknowledges how "bittersweet" the shifting lineup is, promising that the soaps will "sunset" in a way that's mindful of diehard fans.

"All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers," he promised.

"General Hospital" is not on the chopping block -- yet.

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Weigh in: Is this is another sad moment in the slow death of kitschy TV? Or a step forward? Do we need more food and how-to shows?

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