Nellie Andreeva

All My Children fans probably won’t be too happy about this, but ABC Daytime’s new lifestyle program The Chew, which replaced the canceled ABC soap, launched to solid numbers yesterday. The food-themed series drew 2.5 million viewers for its premiere and 590,000 women 18-49. That was higher than last year’s series premiere of CBS’ The Talk (2.2 million viewers, 568,000 women 18-49), which also replaced a long-running soap. (The Chew did better than The Talk debut in the other women demos too.) Additionally, The Chew matched AMC‘s most recent available weekly audience (for September 12-16) and beat the departing soap in women 18-49 (590,000 vs. 532,000). It exceeded AMC‘s 2010-11 season averages in total viewers (2.5 million vs. 2.4 million) and women 18-49 (590,000/0.9 rating vs. 541,000/0.8 rating). At a fraction of the cost of a daytime drama, if The Chew doesn’t drop dramatically, it should improve ABC’s bottom line significantly. Ironically, the level of interest in The Chew may have surpassed ABC’s own expectations — I hear the show’s website crashed yesterday because it couldn’t handle the incoming traffic. Or it was die-hard AMC fans sabotaging their show’s replacement …

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