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Guiding Light: No Reprieve for Venerable Soap Opera, Staying Cancelled

Guiding LightIn April, It was announced that CBS had cancelled the long-running Guiding Light. The daytime drama has been produced for over 70 years (first on radio, then on television) and over 15,700 installments.

Like all soap operas, the ratings for Guiding Light have been in decline for some time. In the past few years, producers tried to modernize the venerable show and to find ways to cut costs. Though the efforts were somewhat successful, they weren’t enough.

After CBS made the cancellation announcement, Proctor & Gamble, the owner of the show, pledged to explore other ways to keep the show alive, either online or via a cable channel.

Brian T. Cahill of P&Gā€™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.”

Now, it seems those efforts haven’t been successful and the company has thrown in the towel. P&G has issued a statement that Guiding Light will indeed end when it leaves CBS in September.

Do you think P&G did all they could to save the show?

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Cahill said, “We have engaged in serious discussions with many networks, leaving no stone unturned in our effort to place the show elsewhere. Unfortunately, despite the urgent and dedicated efforts of many people, we have not been able to secure an outlet to carry the show moving forward. We are extremely disappointed with this outcome, but we are confident we have exhausted every possible option.”

There have been rumors and speculation in recent months that P&G has wanted to get out of television production for some time and made few, if any, serious attempts to relocate the series.

Though the cancellation news is quite sad for fans of the world’s longest-running drama, there are some events to look forward to.

Several castmembers from the show’s long history have been invited back to reprise their characters from years past.

The cast and crew have been putting together a number of special videos and features to commemorate the show’s ending. A video about the final cast photo has been posted below and you can find more, including vintage clips, by visiting the CBS site.

News magazine 60 Minutes has interviewed members of the cast and crew. The spotlight is expected to be aired prior to the final episodes. The Daytime Emmys telecast is also supposed to include a special tribute when it airs on August 30th.

The show’s entire wardrobe will reportedly be donated to a New York-based charity. Bottomless Closet helps economically disadvantaged women find clothing for job interviews.

The last episode of Guiding Light is scheduled to be taped next week and it will air on Friday, September 18th. A few of the show’s castmembers have already secured work on other soap operas. More are expected to follow.

Are you sad that the show is coming to an end? If you used to watch, will you tune in for the finale?

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Marge September 20, 2009 at 11:15 am

I think cancelling Guiding Light is just awful. I have wated this show over 50 years,i believe that another home could have been found for this wonderful show.

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sherry wagner September 17, 2009 at 12:55 pm

its a shame yah are taking this off the air i been a wtching this ssoap for over 40 years and im so upset over this,i will not be watching channell 12 no more.and what is taking its place is a outrage.yah should be shame of yah self.

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Melissa September 12, 2009 at 9:01 am

In protest, I think it would be fair, since P&G really are the cancelling culprits I would not buy their products anymore. I will not support a company that won’t keep tradition alive…

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AMW September 7, 2009 at 7:51 am

Just boycott P&G products…let them see how it feels to have something taken away…

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