‘Guiding Light’ soap opera gets the curtain call

The 72-year history of the Guiding Light is about to end. The announcement came April 1 that the soap opera was not renewed by CBS for the fall.
The Guiding Light will end this September after a 72-year run, 57 of those years at CBS Television.
The show is listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running television drama.

The soap opera has been a front runner in storytelling and launched some of Hollywood’s biggest names like Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Taye Diggs, Hayden Panettiere and Brittany Snow.

PR Newswire reports:

“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.”

In 1937 Guiding Light debuted as a 15-minute radio show. In 1952 it moved to the small screen. The show started colour broadcasts in 1967 and grew to an hour from it’s thirty minute format in 1977. In 1966 it was the first soap opera to have leading African-American characters.

The LA Times reports:

“Guiding Light” has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched; it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other,” said Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. “This daytime icon will always be an indelible part of CBS’ history.”

In recent years the ratings have declined. The final episode will air on September 18.
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