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

December 9th, 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."

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