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The end of ‘Guiding Light’
Why the soap opera is leaving the air after 72 years
 

Here’s “yet another nail in the coffin of daytime soaps,” said Michael Starr in the New York Post. CBS has canceled Guiding Light, “which has aired, in one medium or another, for 72 years”—the last episode of the “veteran” soap opera will air Friday, Sept. 18. (watch a clip from 1985) Guiding Light isn’t the first, and probably won’t be the last, soap killed off by declining ratings.

It was a good run while it lasted, said Meg James in the Los Angeles Times. Guiding Light was the “longest-running drama in television history,” and the “fictional town of Springfield and the show” helped launch the careers of many actors, such as Kevin Bacon, James Earl Jones, and Calista Flockhart.

But it’s really “no wonder that CBS has finally decided to turn out the Light for good,” said Lynette Rice in Entertainment Weekly. It was the beginning of the end when Guiding Light—in a “desperate” attempt to save money and lure in viewers—started “going gonzo with its low-cost, hand-held camera work.” (watch a clip from 2009) That “tactic” backfired, and only alienated “its already anemic fan base.”

 

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