As the World Turns to end on CBS after 54 years

world_turnsAs The World Turns, the long-running daytime soap opera, 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.

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, the show won 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.

The epitome of multi-generational, serial storytelling, 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.

Comments

2 Responses to “As the World Turns to end on CBS after 54 years”
  1. Annette says:

    I think it stinks why ? I like my soaps on during the daytime I don’t believe that ratings have dropped I believe that they just want to drop the soaps. More people no jobs More slots to put crap on. I have been watching since I was a small child and I still watch I even tape if I can’t watch. It was bad enough they took one off and now my favorite one its wrong what can we do to stop this?

  2. John in BC says:

    I can’t comment in that in 56 years I have never watched it… Oops, I guess I commented… I do feel bad for you Annette…. I hate it when they cancel a show I enjoy…