Carla Hall feels your pain, soap fans.
The Top Chef alum's food-centric talk show The Chew will replace All My Children come September, and the chef says she can "totally understand" the outrage over its — not to mention One Life to Live's — cancellation.
ABC cancels All My Children and One Life to Live
"I get why people are upset. They're mad because they're very passionate about their soap operas," Hall tells TVGuide.com. "That says a lot about them and the soaps, the people involved, the casts. I have nothing but love and respect for [soap fans]. They've grown up watching these soap operas. They related to it and that was their world. That was their time. But I hope they will give The Chew a chance and come onboard. It's a new era."
Produced by Gordon Elliot (Paula's Home Cooking), The Chew will also feature restaurateurs Mario Batali and Michael Symon, What Not to Wear's Clinton Kelly and nutrition expert Daphne Oz. Though it's developed around food, the one-hour live show will be about more than just chowing down, Hall assures.
"It's kind of a cross between The View, Iron Chef and Friends," she says. "We'll be talking anything and everything about food, lifestyle, environmental issues, exercise, organic food, seafood watch. It's really going to run the gamut and bridge a lot of things. The wonderful thing about Top Chef and The Chew is that they're the perfect platform to talk about the things that we are passionate about."
Top Chef's Carla: I would've sent myself home too
For Hall, that's health and fitness in kids. She's been working with Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school program that encourages kids to eat healthier and get 60 minutes of activity daily. "I'm all about empowering kids," she says. "It focuses on the positives. What can we do? We all know schools don't have big budgets. You can make healthy choices. It doesn't take anything to walk. You don't need any special equipment. ... I think it's stuff like that the show will definitely resonate with viewers."
One thing that hasn't clicked with viewers yet is the show's somewhat groan-worthy name — for which you can blame the producers.
"I didn't come up with it!" Hall says. "A lot of people will talk about the name not being great, but I think it's the whole thing of 'chew on this.' It's sort of a play on words. You have The View and you have The Chew. It's kind of tongue-in-cheek. But don't judge a show by its name!"