Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Guiding Light, the longest running show in broadcast history, will complete its final season on the CBS Television Network in September. The daytime drama was not renewed by CBS for the 2009/2010 broadcast season, marking the end of its 57 year run on the Network.

Over the years, GL has been on the forefront of innovation in both use of technology and groundbreaking storytelling. GL launched the careers of several Hollywood personalities, dramatized relevant social issues and has been awarded numerous accolades, including an unprecedented 69 Daytime Emmy awards.

"Being on the air for more than seven decades is truly remarkable, and it will be difficult for all of us at the show to say goodbye," said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. "I'm proud of everything we've been able to do, including outstanding storytelling, our community service around the country with Find Your Light and the launch of our new production model. This show has such a rich history, wonderful fans, and I'm honored to have been a part of the GL legacy."

Guiding Light has led daytime and prime-time drama programming in covering a range of topical and timeless issues. The show dramatized important social issues such as discrimination against women in the 1940s and teen alcoholism and drug abuse in the 1980s. The show has also raised awareness about the effects of real-life medical conditions such as uterine cancer, postpartum depression, AIDS, Down syndrome, leukemia and breast cancer.

"We are honored to have been welcomed into the homes of multiple generations of Guiding Light viewers," said Brian T. Cahill, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, TeleNext Media, Inc. "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."

Guiding Light debuted as a 15-minute radio show in 1937 and made the move to television in 1952. The show began broadcasting in color in the spring of 1967, expanded to 30 minutes the following year and to a full hour in 1977. Guiding Light was the first show to introduce leading African-American characters into a soap opera in 1966. GL was the first daytime drama to podcast audio only shows in 2005. In 2008, the show revolutionized its entire production model, representing an end-to-end transformation in the way the show is created, from direction to editing to scenic design. This new innovation enabled the show to be completely portable, changing the face of daytime.

The fictional town of Springfield has been home to some of today's biggest names in daytime, including six-time Emmy award winner Justin Deas and four-time Emmy award winner Kim Zimmer. On Guiding Light, audiences also got their first look at many now-famous faces, such as Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Taye Diggs, Hayden Panettiere (below) and Brittany Snow, to name a few.

CBS's final episode will air on September 18, 2009.

15 comments:

nancyd said...

This is truly a sad day for soaps. This isn't good news for any of them. I truly hope that PGP is serious about trying to find a new home for GL and that they are successful. There are still plenty of viewers out there for soaps but you just have to deliver the product they are looking for. GL really seemed to be trying to change in order to do that.

TomarCarjack said...

This is a sad sad day for Daytime. I am still numb from hearing this news. Regardless of my feelings about the direction the show has gone in the past few years, I still find this news difficult to take in.

I truly wish PGP success in finding another home for Guiding Light. It truly would be a shame to lose it for good. September 18th will be a VERY SAD DAY!

christyahrends said...

I agree, I hope they really explore their options and get some fan feedback. A web-based show, or some sort of spin-off with a smaller cast. Something, anything!
I still can't believe it. On the bright side, I'm sure we can expect to see lots of cast members come back to say good-bye, don't you think? I hope we get that, and I also hope we get lots of flashbacks, or old clips. They can go out in a good way at least.

sayonara1990 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sayonara1990 said...

that means atwt will stops too on september 18th right?

nancyd said...

No ATWT is not canceled and will continue to air.

wheelswee said...

This is a travesty! I am so sad to see that CBS has cancelled Guiding Light. This show has made U.S. broadcasting history and was really starting to turn things around. I hope GL can get picked by another network. I hate to see the Light go out. I don't want a game show or talk show in it's place.

Kevin said...

I agree that GL should do something BIG for the finale. Having old characters come back: The Reardon's, Bauer's, etc. would be a real treat. Also, lots of flashbacks too. If there is no way to bring it back I think the ending needs to be spectacular!

sayonara1990 said...

but they say if GL stops, stops atwt too?

schiffeg68 said...

This show will be greatly missed. I will not miss a single episode until then.

Derek said...

I was self-employed from 2006-07 and worked from home. I started tuning in to Guiding Light during this time. I was very impressed with the 70th anniversary episodes and even liked the switch to the real indoor and outdoor locations. I was raised on the Procter & Gamble soaps that aired on Canadian TV networks in the 70s and 80s (Another World, Edge of Night and Texas), but only discovered Guiding Light in recent years. Although I understand it had its "far-out" periods (e.g. cloning), the show of today has believable characters and situations, something that cannot always be said for soaps like General "Mob" Hospital. Please consider transitioning Guiding Light to the web along with reinstating old episodes of Another World, Texas, Search for Tomorrow and Edge of Night. Fans would flock to web, particularly with a viewer friendly site (not AOL as was learned with the recent pilot project). Your holdings are too precious for a storage room somewhere. Thanks for consideration. P.S. I know that CBS has aired Guiding Light since radio days. Was Procter & Gamble a sponsor from the very beginning?

Kevin said...

I agree with Derek. Guiding Light should go to the web, as well as releasing all those old shows of GL. It would be such a waste of talent if they are never seen again.

jimf said...

Best of luck at finding a new home for the Light! I will follow it anywhere. And CBS has lost a viewer for good of its non-ATWT, non-GL programming.

LovingLight said...

" final episode will air on September 18, 2009 "

I can't believe this.I can't.
I have been watching this show for a very long time.It's a part of me.
I'm so sad ....

MeEncantaGL said...

I am so so so so sad this is happening. This show has been amazing for so many years. If it really does get cancelled it will be a big mistake on CBS part. I know alot of people that are very angry and upset about this decision. Please do not cancel the show and listen to all the fans of GL!!!