Archive for the ‘"Guiding Light"’ Category

TV’s “Guiding Light” Turns 60!

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

On the small screen from June 30, 1952 to September 18, 2009, Guiding Light holds the record for longest-running drama in television history. In addition to its 57-year reign on television, The Guiding Light (as it was originally titled) ran from January of 1937-52 on radio. It was the only radio serial to successfully transition to television (The Brighter Day also made the move, but lasted only eight years.)

The show started out at only fifteen minutes long, expanded to thirty minutes in September 1968, and blossomed to a full hour on November 7, 1977. In 1978 it dropped “The” and officially became Guiding Light. Irna Phillips (Another World , Days of Our Lives) created the series, which centered around the Bauers, a German-American family living in the non-descript town of Springfield. William Bell was one of the original television writers on the soap opera, and describes writing for Irna:

Actress Kim Zimmer, who played “Reva Shayne” discusses the show’s title, original premise, and how the program strayed from that central idea over the years:

The show left the airwaves in 2009, leaving 72 years of love, heartbreak, and scandal in its wake. It traveled from NBC radio, to CBS radio, to CBS television, and won its way into the hearts of millions in the process. Had it still been on the air, Guiding Light would have celebrated 60 years on television today. But 57 years of consecutive TV storytelling is still pretty impressive. To date, no other drama has topped the show’s tenure on television.

Visit our Guiding Light show page for more on the popular soap opera.

- by Adrienne Faillace

Daytime’s Big Night: 2012 Daytime Emmys

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

The 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are tomorrow, Saturday, June 23! The show will be broadcast from the Beverly Hilton Hotel at 5pm PST/8pm EST on Headline News.

Below enjoy some Archive selections from classic daytime stars, producers, and show creators:

Actress Erika Slezak on One Life to Live’s “Victoria Lord”:

Producer Ken Corday on Macdonald Carey (“Tom Horton”) of Days of Our Lives:

Actress Nancy Malone on Guiding Light:

Show Creator Anges Nixon on One Life to Live:

Actors Anthony Geary and Genie Francis on “Luke and Laura’s” Wedding on General Hospital:

Good luck to all of this year’s nominees!

CBS Cancels "As the World Turns" Ending its Over 50-Year Run

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Variety announced today that As the World Turns will end its run in September 2010. When Guiding Light aired its last episode on September 18, 2009 after a 57-year run on television, As the World Turns, which debuted on April 2, 1956, was the inevitable successor of the title “longest-ever soap opera”– but will now fall short of that “all-time” record. When As the World Turns goes off the air, General Hospital will replace it as the oldest soap on TV (GH debuted on April 1, 1963).

Both Guiding Light and As the World Turns were created by Irna Phillips, a pioneer of the form in radio and television. One of the driving creative forces behind As the World Turns was producer/director Ted Corday (later co-creator, with his wife Betty, of Days of Our Lives). In her Archive interview, actress Ruth Warrick one of As the World Turns’s first cast members described Ted Corday’s philosophy: “[he] used to say the art soap opera is to tie the most knots in the shortest piece of string. And everybody needs to be involved with everybody else. So you would be in a room and there are six people and somebody makes a statement, and you cut from face to face, and [with] each face you know what they’re thinking.”

Actress Ruby Dee’s Interview is Now Online

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Actress Ruby Dee’s Archive of American Television interview is now online.

Interview Description:

In her 4-part (each 30-minute segment is posted separately) oral history interview, actress Ruby Dee describes her start in feature filmsand on Broadway. She describes the experience of being an African-American lead actress working in series television — a rarity in the 1950s and 60s. She discusses her early work in television, such as her regular role in the 1955 soap opera This Is Nora Drake. She talks about her continued work in television in the 1960s on the anthology series Actor’s Choice, Camera Three, and Play of the Week, as well as the drama series The Nurses, East Side/West Side, and The Defenders. She talks about her regular roles on the series The Guiding Light (as “Martha Frazier”) and Peyton Place (as “Alma Miles”)and her numerous roles in television movies and miniseries in the 1970s including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Roots: The Next Generations. She speaks of her collaborations with her husband of many years (and Archive interviewee) Ossie Davis, including their radio show With Ossie and Ruby (1981-82). The interview was conducted May 15, 2000 by Harold Dow.

Click here to access all four parts.

In part 3 of her interview (above), Ms. Dee discusses her involvement in the Civil Rights movement. (Please excuse the opening image — Google Video hasn’t found a way to choose a first frame.)

"Guiding Light" Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary!

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

“The Guiding Light” debuted on NBC radio on January 25, 1937 and ran as a fifteen-minute program through 1956 (switching to CBS in 1947). In 1952, the daytime serial made its way to CBS television, where it has become the longest running program in broadcast history. The series was created by Irna Philips, dubbed the “Queen of the Soap Opera” (who was also responsible for television’s As the World Turns and Another World). She was a great influence on later daytime producer/creators (and Archive of American Television interviewees) Agnes Nixon (One Life to Live, All My Children) and William J. Bell (The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful).

In 2006, the Archive of American Television interviewed Guiding Light’s current executive producer Ellen Wheeler and star Kim Zimmer (“Reva Shayne”). Their interviews can be viewed at TV Academy headquarters in North Hollywood, CA and will later be available online.

In celebration of their 7oth Anniversary, Guiding Light has launched a tribute website, click here for the link.

What are your favorite memories of watching Guiding Light?