Another venerable soap opera has fallen. CBS has announced that they’re cancelling As the World Turns after 54 years on the air.
In the wake of the cancellation of Guiding Light earlier this year, the soap’s cancellation doesn’t come as a big surprise. Like Guiding Light, World has been struggling in the ratings for some time. Both shows were produced by Proctor & Gamble (via TeleNext Media) and, for the first time in more than 75 years, the company will be out of the soap opera business.
World’s viewership is about half of that of The Young & the Restless. Ultimately the success of Light’s replacement, the new Let’s Make a Deal, is what may have sealed the soap’s fate. Deal is attracting more viewers, provides a better lead-in for The Price Is Right, and is much cheaper. There’s no word yet on what will replace World but it will likely be another game show.
Eileen Fulton, who’s played Lisa Grimaldi on the soap for 50 years, said, “It’s a hell of a Christmas present… I’m just very sad. I’m sad for all of the people who work out there in Brooklyn (where the show’s filmed). We’re a family. I hate to be split up. It’s like a divorce.”
World executive producer, Chris Goutman, said, “Throughout our history, As The World Turns has remained dedicated to sharing compelling stories that have entertained fans for more than five decades… We are disappointed and saddened by the news that the show is not being renewed. It will certainly be a loss for all of us, and for the show’s loyal audience.”
Brian Cahill, the senior vice president and managing director of TeleNext, says that the company is actively seeking a new home for the show. The same was said when Light was cancelled but another outlet wasn’t found and it ended in September. NBC was able to keep Passions alive for an extra season by making a deal with DirecTV.
Production will continue on World with the final episode set for September 2010. That will give the writers plenty of time to wrap up storylines should the sun be finally setting on the characters of Oakdale, Illinois.
What do you think? Why do you think World has been cancelled? Do you think that it will find a new home?