CBS’s daytime drama Guiding Light will broadcast its final episode on Friday, Sept. 18, 2009. At the time of its final broadcast, the series will have spanned 72 years and more than 15,700 episodes on television and radio.
Created by Irna Phillips, the show debuted on NBC radio on January 25, 1937 as the 15-minute radio serial “The Guiding Light.” It made the switch to 15-minute episodes on CBS Television on June 30, 1952, although it continued to air concurrently on radio with the actors playing parts on both shows until 1956, when the radio show ended. In 1967, the series first started being broadcast in color, and a year later, the show expanded from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. In November 1977, the show expanded to a full hour. The series is credited by The Guinness Book of World Records as “The Longest-Running Television Drama.”
RBR/TVBR observation: Strange—the soap just finished with a huge radio campaign touting the return of one of its popular characters Philip Spaulding. This must have been a very recent decision. More and more soaps are biting the dust due to heavy competition from syndicated product like The Doctors, Maury, etc…Advertisers are finding less expensive places in the recession as well. However, with fragmentation ever-increasing, we would assume a cable net, Ion or someone else will pick up the show before its September demise.