Guiding Light and TeleNext Media have just released this press release on the news of the cancellation of the soap announced earlier today. Here is the main portion of the official release:
NEW YORK , NY , April 1, 2009 – Guiding Light, the longest running show in broadcast history, will complete its final season on the CBS Television Network in September. The daytime drama was not renewed by CBS for the 2009/2010 broadcast season, marking the end of its 57 year run on the Network.
Over the years, GL has been on the forefront of innovation in both use of technology and groundbreaking storytelling. GL launched the careers of several Hollywood personalities, dramatized relevant social issues and has been awarded numerous accolades, including an unprecedented 69 Daytime Emmy awards.
“Being on the air for more than seven decades is truly remarkable, and it will be difficult for all of us at the show to say goodbye,” said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. “I’m proud of everything we’ve been able to do, including outstanding storytelling, our community service around the country with Find Your Light and the launch of our new production model. This show has such a rich history, wonderful fans, and I’m honored to have been a part of the GL legacy.”
Guiding Light has led daytime and prime-time drama programming in covering a range of topical and timeless issues. The show dramatized important social issues such as discrimination against women in the 1940s and teen alcoholism and drug abuse in the 1980s. The show has also raised awareness about the effects of real-life medical conditions such as uterine cancer, postpartum depression, AIDS, Down syndrome, leukemia and breast cancer.
“We are honored to have been welcomed into the homes of multiple generations of Guiding Light viewers,” said Brian T. Cahill, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, TeleNext Media, Inc. “We are working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love.”
Guiding Light debuted as a 15-minute radio show in 1937 and made the move to television in 1952. The show began broadcasting in color in the spring of 1967, expanded to 30 minutes the following year and to a full hour in 1977. Guiding Light was the first show to introduce leading African-American characters into a soap opera in 1966. GL was the first daytime drama to podcast audio only shows in 2005. In 2008, the show revolutionized its entire production model, representing an end-to-end transformation in the way the show is created, from direction to editing to scenic design. This new innovation enabled the show to be completely portable, changing the face of daytime.
The fictional town of Springfield has been home to some of today’s biggest names in daytime, including six-time Emmy award winner Justin Deas and four-time Emmy award winner Kim Zimmer. On Guiding Light, audiences also got their first look at many now-famous faces, such as Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Allison Janney, James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Taye Diggs, Hayden Panettiere and Brittany Snow, to name a few.