As the World Turns: Kathryn Hays Recalls Shooting the Cancelled Soap’s Final Scene

As the World Turns endingAs many soap opera fans are well aware, As the World Turns has been cancelled after 54 years on CBS. The final scenes of the daytime drama were shot in June and are set to air next Friday, September 17th.

The folks at EW obtained an exclusive shot of the last scene to be taped. Appropriately, it features longtime stars Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays.

He’s played Dr. Robert Hughes on ATWT since October 1960, holding the record for the longest continuous role on US television. Hays has played Kim Sullivan Hughes since 1972 and worked on the now-cancelled Guiding Light series before that.

Hays described the end of filming and said, “The last day was poignant, and what was so incredible about it was how we shot pretty much in order that day. As each group finished with a scene, that would be the end of their involvement. But it wasn’t like tomorrow was another show, so the studio got really full.”

She continued, “By the time they got to our scenes with Don and myself, there was hardly any room for cameras or the boom. In a way, it felt like being in a theater. We don’t normally have an audience. The stage manager asked if it was going to be a problem for us, but we both said no. It was like everybody’s arm was around us. It was absolutely incredible, there was not a sound. It was like everyone was holding their breath. In a way, we were all doing it together.”

“When we finished, Don and I both spoke a little bit to everybody, and the whole As the World Turns family moved to the other end of big studio where they had the world’s longest table set up, covered with champagne glasses. On the way home, I said to my daughter that if you are gonna go out, this is the way to do it.”

What do you think? Will you be tuning in to see this venerable program sign off?

Canceled and renewed TV show

65 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Bernice says

    I have been hopefully hoping for it to be renewed all of a sudden. I have watched it for over 45 years. I used to like the Edge of Night, but it was cancelled. As the World turns is the only one I watch. It has so many things constantly happening. It will be missed by me, it has been a friend. The other ones are not worth wasting my time on.

  2. Johanna says

    I also was in shock to see the words Series Finale” I must say At 62 I watched this show everyday .. it was part of my family.
    I loved watching Meg Ryan grow up and become a star in her own right.
    But I have to say that I thought this past year was one of the best written story’s on the show..
    The Luke/ Reed story was my favorite and when Reed died I was devastated and angry at the writers !! I also was not aware that ATWT was ending at that point…
    I don’t know why the Bold And the Beautiful wasn’t canceled instead ! that show is nothing but superficial crap ! I’m so mad at CBS I doubt Ill ever watch that channel again

  3. Luc Lindeman says

    Even here, in the far, distant Netherlands, ATWT has been enjoyed by thousands of people (since its Dutch broadcasting in 1990). I’ll shall miss them all… Especially Lucinda, Luke, Katie, Emily and Carly… But remember: characters like these won’t be lost – they’ll live on and on and someday, you’ll see another show, watch another movie or read another book and then you’ll think: wait a minute, this man’s behaviour – isn’t this crafty Craig, or adorable Luke, or manly Jack?
    Of course I’ll be watching the final episodes!
    From the Netherlands, with love

  4. Karen says

    I was shocked yesterday when I saw the “Series Finale” for a soap I have been watching since I was a child with my mom. I am a working professional but TIVO the soap and is the one piece of TV I look forward to watching. Shame on you CBS for taking away such an instituition. In a world where TV has gone the way of Reality TV this show allowed it’s vewers to escape for an hour each day into someone elses problems. I am crushed and will miss this show more than any other that has gone off air.

  5. Marcus says

    I will definitely miss As The World Turns, as I grew up watching it with my godmother during the summers during the days of live television. I have been thinking about her a lot lately, as we lost another grande dame of daytime television last year with the cancellation of Guiding Light. I still am mad at CBS television for cancelling these two beloved veterans.

  6. says

    I am saddened by the loss of As The World Turns. I grew up with this show as I am sure many others have too. My memories of the show are entwined withe memories of my mother who passed away five years ago. ATWT was her show and I remember when I was a child her trying her best to get everything done so that she could be done with all her daily chores by the time “her show” came on. And if she had to she would put the ironing board in front of the tv and iron while she watched. She got such a joy out of watching Lisa and Kim and Bob that these names were as familiar in our family as any of our own. That old James Stenbeck was always a favorite of hers too. She couldn’t wait to see what he would do next. I realize it is just a television show, but for many of it’s viewers day in and day out it really was almost like family. We saw their faces day in and day out much more than we saw our own family. My favorites started with Steve and Betsy and are ending with Jack and Carly and I will always have the memories of seeing both couples while Mommy was here to watch with me. When I knew my mom was really sick, it was when she didn’t automatically say at 2pm turn “my show”on. I guess her show has ended for us all.

    • Karen says


      My mom also passed away five years ago in August and even up until her last day insisted on seeing ATWT. I also feel like I am losing a part of my mom again with the canceling of our show. I hope it gets picked up by another network!

  7. says

    I have watched As the World Turns since it came on the air. I carried my first child when Lisa was having Tom. So It has been like family. I will miss it. My Mother and I always talked about what happened on the show. She passed last year on Sept. 25th. I missed talking to her about what happened on the show. I guess everything has to come to an end but I just didn’t think ATWT would end. I will miss sitting down every day at 1pm and watch my show.

  8. Maryann says

    Just as many have said, I will be sorry to see As the World Turns go off the air. I could relate to all the players in this story of life. It may not be the best soap but I will miss it very much. Maybe there will be a replacement soap that will interest others more. I feel I know these people, they could be my next store neigbors.

  9. jamilee says

    i have watched the show since I was 20 and I am now 68. I will be watching and sad to see the show end..but what a fantastic runitwas

  10. Cindy Ziegler says

    I am very saddened by the news of the show being cancelled.I wish this wasnt the case.I have watched this show since I was 10 yrs old I am now 42 and the cast is like family to me for an hour a day I leave the stress behind and relax and watch my favorite show.I really dont know why its been cancelled so many people I know watch it and it wins all sorts of rewards.I think this will be a mistake I will not watch the new soap that will probably replace as the world turns and neither will friends I have talked to.What a waste! Everyone will be missed.
    Thanks Cindy Z

  11. Rita Rice says

    This show has been a part of my life forever. I watched the first show and during my working days in education, I would watch in the summer. I think one of the things that
    really hurt this show was that you were trying to put a new life style out in front and most of us that started out with you, just didn’t want to go that way. This is not saying that it is wrong but it was for me. It has been great watching all the wonderful people that came out of this show and have gone on to be great stars. Thank you for all your many years, I am sorry you will be leaving the screen for good. Maybe writers will think that a gay life style isn’t the best Love story, Like Kim and Bob , Nancy and Chris and all the othesr before them. It is one thing to say you have been one of the longest running soaps, but not the first to have two young men kissing. As many times as James came back to life and that was dumb, it was better than the message you were trying to give out with these young men. Sorry to see it go but it is better if you couldn’t get a better story line. Thank you for some great times.

    • Paul says

      The ratings improved drastically in the last several months because of Luke and Reid being together and Reid’s character in general. When Luke and Noah came about, the storyline was GROUNDBREAKING and garnered millions of new viewers. But the writing sucked and ruined the enjoyment of the couple. Times are changing and same-sex couples on daytime can be just as popular and awesome as Bob and Kim, Carly and Jack, etc.

    • Tim W says

      As The World Turns is not ending because they featured a gay couple it is because the genre in fading and CBS is looking for a few more ratings with some stupid talk/game/court show.

      I am sad to see the kind of thinking in 2010. It proves that bigotry and hate is still alive and well even though The World keeps Turning and evolving.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree fully—–it all went to pot with the gay lifestyle. I know for myself everytime luke would come on I would turn my channel until that scene was over. Yep He was too real and convincing. My spirit couldn’t deal with that. My mother looked at this show when I was a child she is now 93. I enjoyed watching when it was clean and it was a God fearing soap until —— Wish another soap could come from this without the latter scripts. would love to see Jack and Carley, Paul and Emily, Cathie and Brad, Lucinda got to have her—gotta love her!!!!!! Barbara and her new found love and of course Johnny”s dad—Can’t think of his name. Bob and Kim can enjoy retirement.

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