Guiding Light

Guiding LightNetwork: CBS
Episodes: 15,762 (15 minutes, half-hour, hour)
Seasons: 57

TV show dates: June 30, 1952 — September 18, 2009
Series status: Cancelled

Performers include: Grant Aleksander, Murray Bartlet, Robert Bogue, E.J. Bonilla, BethAnn Bonner, Jeff Branson, Mandy Bruno, Crystal Chappell, Jordan Clarke, Bradley Cole, Zack Conroy, Daniel Cosgrove, Justin Deas, Bonnie Dennison, Frank Dicopoulos, Jessica Leccia, Karla Mosley, Robert Newman, Michael O’Leary, Ron Raines, Marcy Rylan, Lawrence Saint-Victor, Gina Tognoni, Caitlin Van Zandt, Kim Zimmer, Kim Brockington, Orlagh Cassidy, Beth Chamberlin, Tyra Colar, Carey Cromelin, Olivia Dicopoulos, Marj Dusay, Peter Francis James, Elizabeth Keifer, Maeve Kinkead, Kurt McKinney, Narlee Rae, Gil Rogers, Tina Sloan, Jacqueline Tsirkin, and Yvonna Wright.

TV show description:      
The stories of Springfield’s multi-generational families unfold in this long-running drama. The soap opera began as an NBC radio program in 1937 and continued until 1956. The show’s title refers to a lamp in the study of Reverend Dr. John Ruthledge, a major character in the radio years. The light could be seen at a distance by family and residents when they needed help or guidance.

In 1952, CBS brought the serial to television as a series of 15 minute segments. Light expanded to 30 minutes in 1968 and then, to an hour in 1977.

In the beginning of the show’s television run, the series revolves around Friedrich “Papa” Bauer, a hardworking German immigrant who imparts wisdom in a folksy way. Papa has three children; Bill, Meta, and Trudy. Conflicts between the Bauer clan and Bill’s headstrong wife, Bert, are an integral part of the plot in the television show’s first decade. Other plotlines revolve around Bill’s alcoholism and his career difficulties (exacerbated by Bert’s materialism), Trudy’s jealousy of Meta’s lifestyle, and Meta’s struggles to get along with Kathy, the daughter of her second husband, newspaper reporter Joe Roberts.

By the mid-1960s, stories shift to revolve around Bill and Bert’s children — attorney Mike and doctor Ed — and Mike’s eventual wife, Robin. Later on, Light becomes the first show to regularly feature African-American characters, Jim and Martha Frazier (James Earl Jones and Ruby Dee).

In the mid-1970s, the soap begins focusing on the core characters once again and younger characters are introduced as well. Bert’s husband Bill returns after being presumed dead for many years. Rita Stapleton, a nurse and complicated vixen, arrives in Springfield with her sweet sister, Eve, and mother, Viola. A love triangle is also introduced between the Bauer sons and nurse Leslie Jackson.

By the 1980s, several new families — the Lewis, Reardon, and Cooper clans — are introduced and several longtime residents depart or are phased out. During the 1990s, the soap tries to be more realistic but then becomes more campy and outlandish. During this period, one of the soap’s main characters is Reva Shayne, the self-described “Slut of Springfield.”

At the turn of the century, the show begins focusing on both Springfield and the island nation of San Cristobel. Much of the show’s drama is split between the Santos mob and the Winslow family. The island and the Santos family are eventually dropped and the show is refocused once again to revolve around the community’s youth — like half-cousins Johnathan Randall and Tammy Winslow.

Though the names and faces change in this long-running soap opera, you can always expect to be charmed by the town of Springfield. As they say, “Life happens here.”

Canceled and renewed TV show

34 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. d adams says

    I have watched GL for over 40 yrs and am going to be lost without it. You wrapped up the show, with the exception of the Jeffrey Edmond storyline. Are we to just make up our own ending to their part of the story? I guess since the show is going off the air, you all dont care one way or the other. At least my mind can rest easy…Reva and Josh will be together forever now.

  2. Patricia Packingham says

    I can’t believe anyone would cancel the “Guiding Light”. I have watched it for years.
    It’s beyond belief.

  3. Chris says

    Very upset to have The Guiding Light leave the air!! I do daycare in my home and that is the time when I sit down relax, have a bite to eat and enjoy my favorite daytime show!! I was also upset not knowing what happened to Jeffrey and Edmond?? Are they still chasing each other around, kill each other off, or what? Everyone else is happy married, having kids, etc., but what happened to them?????????????????

  4. Barbara J. Goldstein says

    I have been a loyal fan of GL for 43 years – all of my adult life. I remember the first day I saw the the program and fell in love with all the characters and especially the town. The opening credits (which have evolved over the years) include my real town’s street sign, (Springfield Ave/Main St.) township sign(Welcome to Springfield Township) and Springfield Fire Department. Most of all, I have been watching every soap that has ever been aired but GL is the only one, in my opinion, that never strayed too far away from it’s original ideas of “family” with the three core families of Lewis, Cooper and Bauer. Their characters were well developed, the plots were well written and always believable. The final episode on Sept. 18, 2009 perfectly wrapped up every loose end. Everyone came full circle to where they belonged – back in SPRINGFIELD! Kudos to a wonderful cast, crew and production staff for sustaining quality daytime TV for 72 years – a world’s record which I hope no one will ever break!

  5. says

    I love this show and look forward to wtching it evryday. Isn’t there anyway you can keep this show on TV. I used to watch this with my mother and now I have my family watching it. PLEASE, PLEASE FIND A WAY TO KEEP IT ON

  6. says

    I love the guilding light, what are you doing…. with all these reality shows on, what am I’m suppose to watch… this is one show where my granddaugthers can sit next to me and watch quietly…. take off something else”…..I look forward to watching my favorite show of the week…… This is Uacceptable…..

  7. Barb says

    I was not aware that Guiding Light was going to go off the air…….I remember my Mom listening to it on the radio and then watching it on our very first tv set…….it has been part of my life for as long as I can remember…….I feel a horrible since of loss …….as if a loved one is going to pass away and I know it ahead of time……I want to know what is happening to my favorite characters but then I do not want the days to pass , knowing it will end soon……………….What i do not understand is why is it going off…… this just another sign of our economy ?…….have the writers run out of material? Is there anything we loyal viewers can do to keep it on the air? PLEASE PLEASE say thank u to all the wonderful actors who have come into our homes and hearts………

  8. Barbara says

    I remember listening to Guiding Light on the radio with my grandmother. Then we watched it on TV together. My other grandmother watched it too. It was the only one we watched. I watched it while rocking my 3 children to sleep, and continue to watch as I prepare to retire from teaching. I’m so sad to hear that this part of my life will be ending at the same time as my lifelong career. The characters have always seemed so real to me, even if the situations weren’t always believable. I do hope there is some chance of it being picked up by another network. It will truly be missed!

  9. Diane says

    Please find another solution for guiding light, I have been a very loyal fan for over 20 years. This is our TV family. It will be a sad day when the show ends. Internet or Lifetime we will take it! I do agree Reva and Josh always, they should get back together!

  10. says

    i;m a 67 year old lady who has watched this show from the begining, and i can’t believ e *** hat you are taking it off the air, It has become part of my life watching reva and all of them, you need to have reva sing again and she has a great voice, and you don.t have her sing, enough, and please let her get back with the love of her life, i just love the show and am going to miss it so much . you are making a big mistake by doing this,

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