With just a weeks of shows left to air, Guiding Light was honored with an Emmy Award last night. Interestingly, the ceremony wasn’t the soap’s last chance at being recognized.
Jeff Branson, who plays Shayne Lewis on the venerable soap, tied for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the first award presentation of the night. Branson tied with Vincent Irizarry of All My Children who coincidentally received his first Emmy nomination for his work on Guiding Light in 1985.
Both actors took the opportunity to reflect on Guiding Light’s contribution to their lives.
On stage, Branson said, “Number one, I want to thank all of my family at Guiding Light — 72 years! I give this [award] to all of us. Thank you guys. I love you with all my heart; cast crew, wardrobe, production, hair, make-up, everybody. And all the fans, 72 years, thank you!”
Backstage, Irizarry said, “I have such affection for that show. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of television history… What other medium is producing product that lasts 72 years? It has entertained not only generations, but employed generations of people.”
The Emmy broadcast also paid tribute to Guiding Light with a special segment. It was introduced by actress Betty White who quipped, “I’ve been watching Guiding Light ever since it first went on the air in 1776.” After the tribute, more than 30 past and present Guiding Light castmembers took the stage and were given a standing ovation.
Though Guiding Light was given a nice send-off, the show and its cast and crew could still be nominated for awards next Summer as well. The awards that were given last night were for the 2008 calendar year. By the time the last episode airs on September 18th, there will have been more than eight months of material that could be nominated.
Some believe that the show has been better than ever lately. What do you think? Will the Guiding Light cast and crew return to the stage next Summer to accept some more Emmys?