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CBS Made Logical Choice Replacing Soap With Gabfest

Advertisers likely to applaud decision not to put on another daytime game show

The decision by CBS to select a female ensemble-hosted talk show to replace daytime soap opera "As The World Turns" beginning in September was the most logical decision the network could make from the selections it gave itself.
The eye confirmed on Wednesday that it had tapped co-hosts Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete and Julie Chen to go up against one of the youngest-skewing soap operas, ABC's "One Life to Live" — which has a median age audience of 53.

Indeed, advertisers who want to reach women during the day are clearly not enamored with any more game shows replacing soaps, as TheWrap reported last week.

As one media buyer, representing the thoughts of many, said, "If they are replacing a soap opera, a talk show like 'The View' or some other type of genre would be better than a game show."

The co-hosts of the new, yet untitled show, are all fairly well exposed to viewers, with Osbourne and Peete having both lasted right up until the end on this past season's "Celebrity Apprentice," Chen co-anchoring "The Early Show" on CBS, as well as the network's summer reality hit "Big Brother," Gilbert appearing most recently on the CBS hit sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" and Remini still known from "King of Queens."

The alternatives included a cooking-type competition show starring Emeril Lagasse, a new version of "Pyramid" starring Andy Richter, a revival of game show "Password" and another talk show co-hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Australian talk show host Rove McManus.

Some are inferring that the show that CBS selected was the one it would pick from the start because Chen is married to CBS president and CEO Les Moonves. Just doesn't seem likely, though, that the network would spend the time and money developing all of the other alternatives if it simply had its mind made up from the start.

Not only that, Chen has a long background in news, being a reporter with WCBS-TV before moving over to CBS Network and has many years experience conducting interviews as co-host of "The Early Show" and on "Big Brother."

In effect, she will most likely be the main host of the new talker, much like Barbara Walters has been on ABC's "The View."

"The View," by the way, doesn't skew that young. It has a median age audience of close to 60. But it is also going head-to-head with "The Price Is Right," which has a median age audience of 63.
And the stated goal of the new CBS show is to target mothers and that audience would be younger.

The soon to depart "As the World Turns," itself older skewing, still reaches 568,000 women 18-49 each day and as of September, those women will be looking for a new show to watch. If CBS wants to keep them within the network, they need to give them a solid new venue to move to. And it seems like the network brass has made the best choice to do that.