Looks like another daytime soap opera has met its maker. Today, CBS officially announced it was pulling the plug on another one of their long-running daytime serial, As The World Turns. Admittedly, I’ve never watched an episode of the show in it’s 54 year run. As mentioned in my James Franco post, daytime soaps are steadily losing viewers and unable to attract new and younger fans.
CBS announced that ATWT will air its final episode sometime in September 2010. The show debuted in April 1956 as a half-hour serial focusing on the wealthy Hughes family. Over it’s long-run, it has won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series a total of four times (1987, 1991, 2001 and 2003). This is the second major soap opera to receive the heave-ho, after “Guiding Light”, the longest running drama ever, aired it’s final episode this past September. With CBS canceling both ATWT and GL, the network only has two soaps left in its daytime lineup, “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and The Beautiful”.
(picture above: of course the gays get to meet Cyndi Lauper. haha)
Even though both the show and network have reputations of being conservative and stodgy, I came across a few interesting facts when reading up on the show that prove the contrary. As it turns out, ATWT has been quite supportive of the GLBT community. In 1988, the serial made daytime television by having the first openly gay male character. In 2007, the show made history again by showcasing a kiss between two of it’s gay characters, Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer (played by Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann respectively). The two characters then formed a relationship, becoming the only gay couple on daytime TV. This year, after a long and turbulent relationship, the two finally consummated their love which gave the show another first. How many couples do you know wait two years before doing it? I can’t even think of one that’s waited more than four months.
Over it’s long history, ATWT has employed some of today’s biggest stars. Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, Dana Delany, Courtney Cox, Martin Sheen, and Marisa Tomei are just a few of the names who got their start on the show.
Do you watch any soaps operas? What should soap operas do to be competitive in today’s ever-changing daytime TV landscape?