September 17th, 2010
12:55 PM ET
"The World" is coming to an end. After a 54-year-run on television, "As the World Turns" will air its final episode today.
Following its debut on CBS in April, 1956, the daytime drama, set in the fictitious town of Oakdale, Ill., went on to become a huge hit, spawning a 1965 spinoff, "Our Private World," and becoming a significant part of pop culture, reports the Huffington Post.
Besides inspiring the "As the Stomach Turns" sketch on "The Carol Burnett Show" in the 1970s, it got a shout out in last season's "Mad Men" episode in which Walter Cronkite interrupts the soap to announce President Kennedy's assassination.
The sudser also served as a launching pad for several famous faces who went on to even bigger careers in movies and music, including Martin Sheen, Lauryn Hill, Dana Delaney, Emmy Rossum, Parker Posey and Julianne Moore, who won a Daytime Emmy for her dual roles as half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes, and recently returned to "As the World Turns" for a guest appearance as the former character.
"The View"-inspired chat show "The Talk" will replace the departing soap opera, but it won't soon be soon forgotten by fans.
As Barbara Bloom, senior vice president of daytime programming for CBS, said, "The true legacy of 'As the World Turns' will be the fictional characters and stories of a small Midwest town that resonated every day with millions of viewers over multiple generations, becoming a treasured daytime institution in the process."
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