December 8th, 2009
07:49 PM ET
It's the end of an era – a long era. CBS said today that it's canceling "As The World Turns," after more than 50 years and 13,000 episodes. The final episode is set to air next September.
The audience for soap operas has dwindled, but I know plenty of fans still tune in daily to see what's happening in Oakdale, as well as Port Charles and Genoa City. My parents still record and watch "ATWT" daily, and have since I was a child. They also followed the other Procter & Gamble show, "Guiding Light," which CBS yanked this year. I remember my mother's disapproval when Meg Ryan left "ATWT" to try to make it in the movies. The show's alumni also include James Earl Jones, Parker Posey, and Marisa Tomei, and it's even in the Smithsonian: America learned that President John F. Kennedy had been shot when CBS broke into the live broadcast of "ATWT" on November 22, 1963 for Walter Cronkite's report.
What are your memories of "ATWT," and other soaps whose bubbles have burst? And in an era of cheap-to-produce talk shows and trash TV, how much longer do you think the networks will stay with an expensive format from another era? How soon will the Smithsonian be the only place to see soap operas?
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