'Guiding Light' signing off? Will you miss it?

Somebody book the Elks Lodge for the retirement party to end all retirement parties: It appears The Guiding Light, TV’s longest-running daytime drama, is on the verge of cancellation. An insider close to the sudser confirmed a report that the low-rated series (a mere 2.17 million) will likely be dropped from the eye’s daytime schedule once its contract expires in September. CBS will have to make a decision within the next few weeks to give the show time to craft a goodbye for fans — but it also needs time to hunt for a replacement. A game show or a Tyra Banks-like chatfest are the most obvious candidates, because it seems all but certain that CBS won’t follow Light with another daytime drama — why dump more cash into a dying genre? — which is why all fans of daytime dramas should be crestfallen (not to mention scared as hell) about this latest development.

I’ve never watched Guiding Light — I’m a Jack-Abbott-loving, why-can’t-Victor-stick-with-women-his-own-age fan of Young and the Restless myself — but I will mourn its loss, regardless. The death of any daytime soap is a major blow to the genre as a whole. Daytime sudsers have taken a beating for many years now (their prime-time counterparts are stealing all the thunder, man!) but stalwarts like General Hospital and Restless have managed to hang on because there are still women (and men) out there who can’t go a day without them. But those numbers are dwindling, as evidenced by the networks’ desperate attempts to keep their soaps relevant (more telenovela-like, short story arcs! More young stars! More multi-platform gimmicks!) Light thought it came up with a clever way to keep the gals engaged by going gonzo with its low-cost, hand-held camera work (see the clip below), but the tactic only managed to alienate its already anemic fan base (it’s now the least-watched soap in daytime). It’s no wonder that CBS has finally decided to turn out the Light for good.

What do you think? Will you miss Guiding Light? Do you think the genre’s days are numbered?

Tags:

Comments (474 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 32
  • BHM1304

    “Guiding Light” has had a creative resurgence this year after almost 5 years of dreck. The Olivia and Natalia slow brewing affair has made “GL” must watch again. I do not think they will cancel it but if they do, it will be missed. I’ve been watching for 25 years.

  • Amy

    Oh, man. I haven’t watched GL in years — I quit when they fired Zaslow — but I probably looked at it regularly for two decades. At times it was ridiculous, like all soaps, but there was a period in the early 1990s when “Guiding Light” was extraordinary — probably the single best period of soap writing ever, with the possible exception of “Ryan’s Hope” in the 1970s. And it has the longest history of any soap; if you count its time as a radio serial (and many characters/actors did come from radio to TV), it’s been going for more than 75 years. I think we’ve all known for a while that the soaps are dying, but it’s sad nonetheless: At its best, this genre offered a lot of humanity and heart and ordinary life that TV otherwise ignores. I hope CBS will at least give the show a decent send-off. I’d tune in for that.
    GL also gave us the single greatest soap moment EVER: Go on YouTube and look for “the slut of Springfield,” and behold.

  • lisa

    i haven’t watched gl in a few years — but i’ve watched it on and off, mostly on, since 1981 or 1982. it was a great show. it went off the rails a year or so ago. it had some great acting and i will definitely miss it.

  • grinaldi

    It’s not all women, Lynette. Lifelong male soap viewer here. Part of what allows the suits to marginalize the industry is this idea that soaps are only for women. They’re not. They are for everyone.

  • Gina

    Yeah, lately I’ve been hearing that the show has been gaining a lot of viewers, some old fans of the show, some new. What with the return of Phillip and this storyline with Olivia and Natalia. Which is without a doubt the best relationship ever on a soap, IMO. And one of THE best among any relationship on any show, ever – not just Daytime. The writing every week has shocked me with its realness but dedication to what normally shapes a Super-couple on a soap. With this said, I hope they don’t cancel it. It’s just starting to get good again!

  • Gary

    When I was a pre-teen, Guiding Light was my mom’s favorite soap, and she and since she watched it, I watched it. I was there for Roger Thorpe raping his wife (which at the time was actually controversial– not rape, but that a spouse could be prosecuted for raping a spouse), which was something my mother had to explain to me, and she did a rather brilliant job of that, too.
    It please me that I was there for the beginning of the Phillip and Beth saga. I remember the Reardon clan and Company, the Bauers, the Spaldings, and of course, the Lewis and Shanes… wow. I still remember several of the old theme songs. Altough I could never follow it today, I’ll still miss it on those sick days when I’m laid up in front of the t.v. and I want to catch up with my old friends and see the new ones that populate the drama.

  • Julie

    Guiding Light was the very first soap opera I watched. I used to sneak up to my room and watch it as my mom wouldn’t let us watch that stuff. I probably started watching it in 1984 and stopped watching it about 10 years ago. I know some of the characters are still there. It will be missed.

  • jennifer

    What sad, sad, news. I started watching GL when I was 8–my great-grandmother used to listen to it on the radio before TV was invented, then my Nana and mother would watch it, so it was always on. So I started too. I have either taped/DVR or watched it ever since…so it has been a part of my life for 29 years! There isn’t much I can say has been a constant in my life for that long. I didn’t like when they switched up to the hand-held, and they let go most of thier beloved actors, but I still watched. Especially recently, since they brought back Philip Spaulding. It will be very, very strange not to see it in my DVR anymore, and I will miss it a lot.

  • jennifer

    What sad, sad, news. I started watching GL when I was 8–my great-grandmother used to listen to it on the radio before TV was invented, then my Nana and mother would watch it, so it was always on. So I started too. I have either taped/DVR or watched it ever since…so it has been a part of my life for 29 years! There isn’t much I can say has been a constant in my life for that long. I didn’t like when they switched up to the hand-held, and they let go most of thier beloved actors, but I still watched. Especially recently, since they brought back Philip Spaulding. It will be very, very strange not to see it in my DVR anymore, and I will miss it a lot.

  • Aaron K

    Guiding Light has greatly improved this year. It would be a shame for it to go off the air now when the show is so good.

  • Patrick

    I’ve loved Guiding Light for years and hope it sticks around for a few more years.
    If GL goes, it will create a domino effect and many other soaps could lose their lease on life, as well.
    Some of us fans are working on trying to convince CBS to keep the show on the air.
    http://1000worlds.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/fighting-back/

  • collins

    GL is not dead! in fact, it’s light is shining more brightly than ever. it just needs a little more time to win back old and convert new followers.
    soap operas have been facing their own demise for all the reasons pointed out in this article. but GL took those concerns to heart & made a big change in the last year or so. they’ve brought back lynch pin characters (the return of grant alexander’s phillip spaulding), began a slow building, supercouple worthy love story between olivia and natalia spanning the last year, learned how to take the new production model & make it work to their advantage (much of the emotion conveyed in the death scenes bw buzz and cooper would not have worked in a 3 camera system and the pure rip-your-heart-out-toss-it-on-the-floor-&-stomp-on-it angst of the otalia storyline would never translate on a big set), and have really turned the page with the writing.
    if you are a lapsed GL viewer or a newbie, please join us in springfield. we’ll leave the light on!

  • SanAnto

    I admit I don’t watch Guiding Light anymore but from 1979-89 it ws a huge part of my life. I got hooked in 5th grade when I was home sick from school. It was during the Roger/Holly storyline another poster mentioned. It’s sad that soaps are dying. I spent many wonderful afternoons with my grandma(RIP)in front of the tv watching soaps.

  • Marilyn

    I watched Guiding Light when I was young and the show was only 15 minutes long. I stopped watching it several years ago when our local CBS station bumped it for a game show. I pretty much lost interest when Zaslow was fired. I tuned in for a minute a few weeks ago and saw that Reva was pregnant and tried to figure out how old she must be by now. I am sorry for the faithful viewers though.

  • Athena/Mandy

    This is actually pretty sad. I am a regular Light viewer (I’m actually watching today’s epi right now that my DVR recorded). This soap has some of the best actors and characters on daytime TV. We need to keep scripted TV alive. To replace it with a game or talk show just seems dirty.

Page: 1 2 3 32
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos

Advertisement

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP