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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 }

Jan August 27, 2009 at 11:15 pm

It’s so sad to hear that “The Guiding Light”, is being canceled. With all of the sad and upsetting news you watch everyday, it’s been such a joy to be able to remove yourself from the real world and watch Reba, Josh, Billy etc. over the years. Come on CBS, please don’t cancel this soap!!

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kay harrison August 27, 2009 at 5:15 am

i can’t beleive you would do this after showing that love &
God’s love rule the world, is it because of this cbs won’t renew, because of some of the reliious references , that is so sad. you are breaking up alot of people who work well together.. i will not watch anything on cbs again, this is plain stupid, with all the ignorant shows on tv now..

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Barbara Hall August 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm

How can you do this? So many long time followers tune in each day to see what’s up with our family of 35 + years. Can’t believe this is even happening. And, I loved the new format. I surely won’t watch whats coming on in that time slot – can’t, just can’t. And, I won’t, just in protest. Give us older gals a break.

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Nancy Vargas August 26, 2009 at 8:06 pm

This really sucks. This has been a hour of peace for over 35 years. This really sucks, you guys.

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jennifer August 26, 2009 at 12:27 am

I hate you CBS…
This is the stupidist move you have ever made…

I have watched this show for 35 years… And yes the story lines have declined… But that’s because the writers suck… Stop trying to shove political issues down our throats and bring back the good old fashioned story lines and you woild gain viewers instead of losing them…

P&G stop trying to shove pringles and the rest of your products down our throats… We care about these characters… Not your products… You are being counter active…

I swear if you don’t save and fix this show I will never watch CBS again…

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Janet Stafford August 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I want to say that I think it would be a travesty to throw away over 70 years of TV history by canceling The Guiding Light. I myself have watched for 33 years. If other soap operas are still running, there is no reason that The Guiding Light couldn’t be re-invented. Like other have stated, I certainly won’t be watching any replacement in this time slot. I can only hope it will be picked up and aired on another channel.

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Diane August 16, 2009 at 11:12 am

They should put the soap opera on at night…
There is nothing to watch on TV these nights except those Reality Shows…and The Guiding Light would be great to watch at night.

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Barbara August 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I am truly sad to see Guiding Light ending. It seems that the over 17,000 signatures on just one petition site doesn’t matter to CBS and Proctor and Gamble. This is the only soap i care about and watch. I wonder what CBS will fill this air spot with. Whatever fills this spot, I for one won’t be tuned into it. Guiding Light was the one show i ever watch on CBS. When i wasn’t able to watch on tv, I started viewing the daily video of it every night on the internet. My mom used to tape the soaps and watch them after work at night while she was relaxing. She passed away in 2002. Occasionally I got to watch them with her. I for one was hoping that some network would pick Guiding Light up and continue it. Guess that little spark of hope was put out.

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Sharon August 13, 2009 at 12:21 pm

I am much more than sad to see The Guiding Light leave . I am 62 years old and have watched this show since I was about 9 or 10. I started watching with my mother and still watch every day. I will miss this show very much and keep hoping it is saved some way. It is a part of history and it is a shame for it to leave,

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Peggy O'Prey August 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm

I am so heartbroken over this. I do not believe P&G tried to find a new home for this show. There are so many trashy soaps that should be taken off the air, but once again the sponsers of this show are aiming for the younger people that watch the trashy soaps, as a way to sell their products. Once again, the older and mature people that truly love Guiding Light have been ignored, and I guess we don’t count as people that actually matter. I myself will personally not buy any of their products and I will never watch CBS again. I am losing a piece of myself when this show airs for the last time. My Grandmother, my Mom, myself, my daughters and granddaughters love this show. The story is part of my life. The actors and the actresses are the best, and they were treated very badly. CBS I will never watch again.

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linda August 4, 2009 at 12:06 am

I am deeply saddened by the canceling of guiding light. I get up to get ready to be entertained , with my morning coffee. it will be like losing a best friend. The show has the best actors and story line. It will be truley missed. No more daytime TV for me…. i have had it.

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Cheryl July 31, 2009 at 6:54 pm

I started watching GL when I was 5 yrs old. I am now 40 yrs. old. I have to say sadly, it has run its course. The story lines are not interesting and the live filming is annoying. Although this show is a classic, it is time for it to go. I kept watching hoping it would get better and it hasn’t. I will not miss it. Goodnight -Spauldings, Lewises, Bauers, and Coopers. It was good while it lasted. I do hope before the end Reva and Josh are reunited and Mindy comes to the wedding. Peace.

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Debby Schiel July 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I am heartbroken that GL has been canceled. I started watching it with my grandmother when I was a little girl…over 50 years. The Bauer family at that time included Papa, Bill, Burt, Mike, and Ed. I had to miss episodes when I started school, but always managed to catch back up during the summer and during holiday breaks. It was a real blessing when the VCR came along followed by DVR’s. I will miss the show and the incredibly talented cast. It is hard to believe I won’t be able to tune in anymore to see what’s going on with the Bauer, Lewis, Spalding, and Cooper families.

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Karen W July 30, 2009 at 5:48 am

I am extremely upset that the Guiding Light is ending. I do not believe that they did everything possible to save this show, since Proctor and Gamble wants out. I have been a faithful viewer for 40 years. This cancellation feels like a slap in the face not only to the fans but especially to the cast and crew of the Guiding Light. I find it very hard to believe that there is nobody out there that was willing to keep the longest running show in television history alive. This is by far the worst cancellation I have ever seen.

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ND Mitchell July 30, 2009 at 5:29 am

I’m sure the cast will find other work in the soap opera world. Look at Driscoll (ex-Coop) who is now playing the character, Philip aka Chance on the Young and the Restless. To the Bell Family/production team, if you are reading this….you should cast the characters Josh, Remy, Mallet and Cyrus with a tie-in move to Genoa City for Y&R and/or Los Angeles for B&B looking and exploring new heights, love and seduction. Good-bye Springfield and hello to Genoa City, WI/Los Angeles, CA.

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