The move marks the end of an era in many ways: first for the 54-year-old soap and its actors, quite a few of whom have been with the show for decades, including Helen Wagner, who spoke the show's opening words on the first episode way back in 1956. The move also leaves CBS with now just two soaps, The Bold and The Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, which does happen to be the top-rated daytime drama -- so let's hope it's safe for a while. And lastly, the move leaves New York, once the home to almost all soaps in decades past, with only one show left. With Guiding Light gone, and ABC's All My Children moving production to Los Angeles just after the new year, New York will have only One Life to Live.
And most disappointingly for me, the cancellation also means we'll have to say goodbye to supercute supercouple Nuke, aka Luke and Noah, played by Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann. ATWT won a GLAAD Media Award this year, in fact, for its sensitive portrayal of the young gay male couple.
All hail this new media world!
As The World Turns Ends on CBS in September 2010
Show Entertained Fans For Half Century
NEW YORK, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As The World Turns, the long-running daytime drama, will complete its final season on the CBS Television Network in September 2010. CBS has decided not to renew the show for the 2010/2011 broadcast season, thereby ending its 54-year run on the Network.
"Throughout our history, As The World Turns has remained dedicated to sharing compelling stories that have entertained fans for more than five decades," said Executive Producer Chris Goutman. "We are disappointed and saddened by the news that the show is not being renewed. It will certainly be a loss for all of us, and for the show's loyal audience."
"As The World Turns has been a cornerstone of our business and a tremendous asset to the company," said Brian T. Cahill, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, TeleNext Media, Inc. "We are proactively seeking a new outlet to carry the show, and are open to exploring innovative formats and relationships that will enable the future success of ATWT."
The epitome of multi-generational, serial storytelling, As The World Turns has been entertaining generations of fans for more than half a century. The show boasts a well-loved and long-tenured cast, including actress Helen Wagner (Nancy Hughes) who spoke the first words on the premier broadcast of ATWT in 1956. To this day, Nancy is still at the helm of the Hughes family, earning Wagner the distinction of portraying the longest-running character in television history.
Other veteran cast members still on the show today include Eileen Fulton (Lisa Grimaldi) and Don Hastings (Dr. Bob Hughes) who each have played their characters for 49 years; Marie Masters (Dr. Susan Stewart) with 41 years; and Kathryn Hays (Kim Hughes) who has starred on the show for 37 years.
As The World Turns has tackled many contemporary themes over the years, including AIDS, Alzheimer's, alcoholism and more, while remaining true to the show's rich history and realistic characters. In 1988, the serial made history by introducing daytime television's first gay male character, Hank Eliot (played by Brian Starcher), for which it was honored at the first annual GLAAD media awards in 1990.
Created by Irna Phillips, As The World Turns premiered on April 2, 1956 as a 30-minute live television show, unprecedented at the time for a soap opera. Top-rated from 1959 to 1971, it was the first daytime serial with its own spin-off, Our Private World, which aired in prime-time. The show switched to color on 1967, and expanded from a half-hour in length to one hour in 1975. Over the years, ATWT has been awarded numerous accolades, including 58 Daytime Emmy awards.
Set in the fictional Midwestern town of Oakdale, As The World Turns launched the careers of many now-famous Hollywood celebrities, such as Dana Delaney, James Earl Jones, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Meg Ryan, and Marisa Tomei to name a few.
About As The World Turns
As The World Turns tapes in Brooklyn, New York and airs weekdays on the CBS Television Network. (Check local listings.) Christopher Goutman is the Executive Producer; Jean Passanante and David Kreizman are Headwriters. For more information, visit www.astheworldturns.net.