Guiding Light: CBS Cancels Soap Opera But It May Be Saved

Guiding LightCBS has set an end date for its long-running soap opera Guiding Light. The ongoing serial is set to end after 72 years and more than 15,700 installments on television and radio. It’s listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as “The Longest-Running Television Drama,” a record that’s not likely to be beaten.

Light began as a 15-minute network program in 1952 and expanded to a half-hour in 1968. It became an hour program in 1977 and has continued at that length ever since.

Like all soap operas, Light’s ratings have been in decline for some time. Light and CBS’ other venerable soap, As the World Turns, have both been outshined by less expensive daytime options like Judge Judy and Dr. Phil.

Awhile back, CBS and producers tried to modernize Lights by integrating digital cameras as well as cut costs by downsizing crew sizes and production schedules. The changes weren’t a big hit with many viewers and apparently they weren’t enough to save the venerable series.

Should Guiding Light be cancelled?

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In a statement, Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President, of CBS’ Daytime Programs, said “We thank the cast, crew and producers — past and present — who delivered this entertainment institution, the beloved characters and the time-honored stories to our audience every day for seven decades. It’s been a privilege to work with such an extraordinarily talented group of people.”

Though CBS has cancelled the series, there may still be hope. Procter & Gamble, the owner of the show, is exploring other possibilities for keeping it alive — including online or a cable outlet.

Brian T. Cahill of P&G’s TeleNext Media said, “We are working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love.”

For now, it looks like the series finale will be broadcast on Friday, September 18, 2009. CBS has yet to announce what will fill Light’s daily timeslot but possibilities include a revamped version of game show $25,000 Pyramid or talk shows led by Valerie Bertinelli, Leah Remini or T.D. Jakes.

60 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Ann Bolton says

    Please don’t take GL off the air. I am 60 years old and I have grown up on ATWT and GL when it was 15 mintues show. This is like losing part of my family, I don’t want to lose this family in Springfield.

  2. Terri says

    Guiding Light is the only soap opera that I care to watch anymore, CBS is going to lose me as far as watching anything. Nothing else makes my day except watching GL.
    Please don’t take it off the air, there is so much that needs to happen that can not be fit
    in one day. GL is a way for me to relax, and I look forward to watching it everyday.

  3. Tawny Davis says

    I am 42 years old and have been watching since I was 5 years old with my mother. The only time I stopped was when Gus died and I was so mad because now he was gone, Philip was gone and Jonathan was gone, all my favoties. I stopped watching. It was wierd I actually I went through a mourning period and a sort of depression and didn’t know why. My mom was the one that finally figured out that I was missing the show and as soon as I started watching again I started feeling better. It was as if I had lost an entire family. I am telling you now if you don’t find a way to save this classic show you are going to have millions of mourning depressed people on your hands. Please save the show!!!!!!!!! And bring Ricky Paul Golden back when you do. I have faith in you, even if Oliva has his heart. You can get around that. You always do.

  4. connie smith says

    I have watched Guilding Light for over 40 years although not at 10:00 AM. I tape
    it every day and watch it in the evening. Has the network any way to know how
    many people are taping the show? The evening shows, with a very few exceptions,
    are not worth watching. I would never tape a game show and will go over tp CNN.

  5. patti says

    I am so unhappy with the decision to cancel Guiding Light. I have been watching this show for 30 years. When I worked outside my home, I would tape the show and watch it after work. Even when we would go on vacation I would set the vcr and watch the shows upon our return. My mom and I would watch together and now my daughter has started watching. BIG mistake to cancel.

  6. Bonnie Lane says

    I hope you find a way to leave the show on. Like everyone says there are too many game shows,talk shows and courtroom drama.Maybe another channel will be smart enough to pick up Guildling Light.

  7. H Sapp says

    Please Don’t Do This!

    I grew up watching GL w/my parents. My mom became paralyzed 11 yrs. before she died so I would go over every day to watch it with her. Now I’m 48 and MY “boys” watch it with me. They really loved Jonathan, they could idendify with him. Of course the hot chicks too! I’m sure this tradition has gone on in many families. It’s a show to gather the family to see because it’s not tacky, there are real issues to deal with and the characters make it believable. I will change channels if $250,000 or Valarie comes on……I guarantee that!! Aloha!

  8. Marsha Jensen says

    My father traveled in his business. In the summer he would invite me to go along.
    We would listen to Guiding Light everyday while riding in the car. When it began on TV we were delighted. CBS was the only station in my home town. How fortunate I have been to have had the opportunity to have this fond feeling of home when i watch it and to feel that these characters are friends. Best wishes to all. We will miss you.

    Marsha Jensen

  9. Bonnie Larson says

    I wish you could find a way to save this show. I have watched it from the day it started and I will really miss it. I will be very sad to see the show end. Bonnie Larson

  10. says

    All I have to say is shame on you for cancelling this wonderful show. I have been watching this show since I was 15 and grew up with Phiilip, Beth, Mindy, and Rick. And Reva is someone I wish that I could be like. I would like to see her stay with Jeffery, It is time for Reva and Josh to come to an end. They just don’t work for me anymore. You really need to find a way to save this show. It is never too LATE!!! Like they say, ” NEVER SAY NEVER”. Please make the viewers happy and save this show. I know you can do it. Life is way to short and when you take our icons away it just makes you wonder if things in this world will ever make us feel safe and stable again.

  11. says

    My Mother and I watched Guilding Light ever since it started on T.V. She passed away in l993 while still watching Guilding Light instead of taking her afternoon nap. Please do not cancel this amazing show, especially since it is to good now and Reva found her true love and her baby.

  12. says

    I am 65 years old, my mother watched it till she passed away , I watch it and my daughters watch it. When they were in the Florida Keys when Reva went off the bridge, I found my best friend (who had a walk on part) after 20 years. Being from the Keys it was very special to me. I hope there is some way of keeping, I will cry!!!!!! Marty Hallman

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