As many soap opera fans are well aware, As the World Turns has been cancelled after 54 years on CBS. The final scenes of the daytime drama were shot in June and are set to air next Friday, September 17th.
The folks at EW obtained an exclusive shot of the last scene to be taped. Appropriately, it features longtime stars Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays.
He’s played Dr. Robert Hughes on ATWT since October 1960, holding the record for the longest continuous role on US television. Hays has played Kim Sullivan Hughes since 1972 and worked on the now-cancelled Guiding Light series before that.
Hays described the end of filming and said, “The last day was poignant, and what was so incredible about it was how we shot pretty much in order that day. As each group finished with a scene, that would be the end of their involvement. But it wasn’t like tomorrow was another show, so the studio got really full.”
She continued, “By the time they got to our scenes with Don and myself, there was hardly any room for cameras or the boom. In a way, it felt like being in a theater. We don’t normally have an audience. The stage manager asked if it was going to be a problem for us, but we both said no. It was like everybody’s arm was around us. It was absolutely incredible, there was not a sound. It was like everyone was holding their breath. In a way, we were all doing it together.”
“When we finished, Don and I both spoke a little bit to everybody, and the whole As the World Turns family moved to the other end of big studio where they had the world’s longest table set up, covered with champagne glasses. On the way home, I said to my daughter that if you are gonna go out, this is the way to do it.”
What do you think? Will you be tuning in to see this venerable program sign off?