In 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&G’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.
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?
Image courtesy P&G.