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CBS (ended 2009)
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Long-running daytime soap opera ending run after 72 years on television, radio; series finale coming in September.
Apr 01, 2009
CBS snuffs out Guiding Light
Tim Surette
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CBS has reshaped, rebuffed, and reshuffled its schedule countless times since 1952, but there's always been one show on the schedule that's been consistent--Guiding Light. That's all coming to end, as CBS has decided to end the soap's 57-year television run.

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TV's longest running soap comes to a close this fall... Read More

Apr 01, 2009

Blog Spotlight: It's official: Guiding Light is canceled

The die was cast today. CBS canceled Guiding Light, the longest running TV program still on the air. The soap opera will cease broadcasting on Friday, September 18, 2009.

As I wrote the other day, the prospects looked grim for Guiding Light, and apparently my idea of letting the show continue until it reached its 75th anniversary (three years from now) was only popular with fans. I heard from many the past couple of days. They, like me, are sorry to see Guiding Light come to an end. Read More

Production of Guiding Light resumed this morning after an on-set mercury spill forced New York authorities to close the soap's East 44th Street studio for 24 hours.
Aug 20, 2005
Mercury disaster on Guiding Light set

A minor emergency took place Thursday, when a blood pressure device dropped by a Guiding Light scene designer cracked open and spilled mercury onto the floor of the soap opera's Manhattan studio.

Shooting of a dramatic emergency-room scene was about to begin when the accident occurred, striking the fear of mercury poisoning into the hearts of cast and crew. "Our staged emergency turned into a real-life emergency," said executive producer Ellen Wheeler.

By the time the city's Department of Environmental Protection arrived to assess the situation, someone had already begun to clean up the spill. "They had tried to clean it up with a brush and a piece of cardboard or something, and they had put the mercury into a jar," said DEP spokesperson Ian Michaels, adding that such ...

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From Eclipsemagazine.com: I realize that is a bold statement to make and an even bolder headline to lead off with but when it’s the most accurate way to describe one of the finest actresses in television today I say go big or go home. But maybe that’s just me. See More...

Apr 16, 2009

Blog Spotlight: TELEVISION: Crystal Chappell is a Goddess

I realize that is a bold statement to make and an even bolder headline to lead off with but when it’s the most accurate way to describe one of the finest actresses in television today I say go big or go home. But maybe that’s just me. If you’ve been following the current Guiding Light storyline with Crystal Chappell (Olivia Spencer) and Jessica Leccia (Natalia Rivera) as Otalia, then you are well aware that yesterday’s episode and what transpired. It was the beginning of the heartbreaking admission of love, from Olivia actually TO Natalia; we have all been waiting so patiently for. Natalia and Frank have hastily moved the wedding up because Rafe was released early for good behavior but only for a week before he heads to a halfway house to finish out his time. So Olivia steps in and within a few hours throws ...

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Splitting her time between the live stage, TV screens, and the red carpet, Vanessa Simmons continues to do big things.
Feb 29, 2008
Vanessa Simmons: Renaissance Woman

TV.com: Hey, Vanessa, how you doing?

I'm good, how are you?

Not too bad, thanks for taking the time to do this, I appreciate it.

No problem.

So, first of all, let's talk about the play, The Actor's Rap. What can you tell us about that?

Well, I'm in a play called The Actor's Rap. It's basically, it's a spoof off the fact that rappers are taking work from actors, and they get real fed up and they kidnap the rappers. And I actually happen to play one of the rappers, which is completely different from who I am. So, being in this play has been a lot of fun and really great experience so far.

Is the play just in New York? Or is it touring, or what's the deal with that?

I'm doing it in New York so ...

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What to watch from Friday, September 18 to Sunday, September 20.
Sep 18, 2009
Weekend Picks: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Guiding Light, and the Emmys

It's the weekend -- will 30 Rock win a bajillion Emmys?

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Guiding Light may be coming to a close next month, but one love story continues on the web. Read More

Aug 25, 2009

Blog Spotlight: Soap Star Continues Sapphic Love Story On the Web

Guiding Light,” TV’s longest running soap opera, will air its final episode on Sept. 8, thanks to bleak ratings. Still, like all soap operas, “GL” has its die-hard fans, many of whom have been obsessed with the storyline surrounding “Olivia” and “Natalia,” two suburban moms played by Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia. “Otalia,” as they’re known—soap opera fans started making up hybrid names long before “Bennifer” and “Brangelina”—are the soap’s first and only gay couple. Read More

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TV Series Finale shares details on the final filmed scenes of Guiding Light
Aug 20, 2009
Blog Spotlight: Guiding Light: Soap Opera Cast Films Final Scenes and Says Goodbye

The cast and crew said goodbye to the characters and fictional town of Springfield this week. After 72 years on radio and the CBS network, Guiding Light is scheduled to end its run next month.

The final scenes were filmed in Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey at locations like Dominick's Pizza and Peapack Reformed Church. About two dozen fans stood nearby to watch the end of an era.

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Plus: Sacha Baron Cohen will guest-voice on The Simpsons.
Sep 21, 2009
News Briefs: The Emmys, Heroes, and House

TV.com's daily news round-up for Monday, September 21.

Bob Barker, Guiding Light, Young and the Restless also win awards.
Jun 18, 2007
Ellen scores at daytime Emmy awards

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres dominated the 34th annual Daytime Emmy Awards Friday, winning awards for best talk show and best host for the fourth consecutive year. But she said the combative Rosie O'Donnell should have been honored in her stead.

Meanwhile, the Daytime Emmy for best dramatic series--also known as soap operas--ended in a tie for the first time, lending a note of unexpected drama to the evening.

The 70-year-old CBS show Guiding Light, the oldest continual dramatic series on American television, shared the spotlight with another CBS show, The Young and the Restless.

Despite its longevity, it was only the third time Guiding Light has won the top soap opera award. It was the seventh time The Young and the Restless has won.

When her syndicated program won the award for best talk show host, beating O'Donnell and the other cohosts of ABC's The View, DeGeneres said ...

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Episode 57 Season 58
Ep. #15761
Aired
9.18.2009
Episode 56 Season 58
Ep. #15760
Aired
9.17.2009
Episode 55 Season 58
Ep. #15759
Aired
9.16.2009
Episode 54 Season 58
Ep. #15758
Aired
9.15.2009
Episode 53 Season 58
Ep. #15757
Aired
9.14.2009
Leslie Jackson Bauer (#1) (04/1966-04/1971; 07/1973-06/1976)
India von Halkein (08/01/84-04/1987; 08/01/90-12/31/90; 11/23/99-08/25/99
Michelle Bauer (#4) (10/27/00-11/22/05)
Phillip Spaulding (#1) (10/1982-12/1984; 12/1986-02/16/91; 03/08/96-11/12/04; 02/09/09-)
Michael Bauer (#1) (1957-1961)

The late soap journalist Christopher Schemering once wrote that soap operas are not just dramas; "they're little pockets of American history." So it's only fitting to consider that at one time, The Guiding Light,-the longest running program in broadcast history, spanning 71 years-- brought fifteen-minute bits of escapism to war-weary housewives, as their men trudged off to fight the indignities of WWII. It brought social awareness to a nation that began to think about the big picture beyond their picket fences and suburban streets. Soap opera is a truly dynamic genre that reflects life as it is lived, the quintessential American art form. Although berated and belittled, the soap opera has an illustrious lineage, with no less than the books of Charles Dickens as an inspiration. Created by the legendary, if not iron-fisted Irna Phillips, The Guiding Light began its life on January 25, 1937. Originally, the show focused on the Chicagoan suburb of Five Points, a bustling enclave of German-Jewish immigrants hoping to find their own piece of the American dream. Giving them the hope and inspiration they needed was a kindly minister named Reverend John Ruthledge (voiced by Arthur Peterson of Soap fame). The Reverend's sermons of hope and forgiveness made such an impression that a bestselling book was published of his most popular homilies. The Reverend's message could be summed up by his favorite mantra from Edwin Markum "There is a destiny that makes us brothers, none goes his way alone, all that we send into the lives of others, comes back into our own." On the desk near his window, the minister placed an old lantern, a "guiding light" to those parishioners passing in the cold, hopeless night. In the 1940's the Reverend Ruthledge enrolled as a chaplain to do his part of the war effort. However, when the production of the show moved to the west coast, Peterson refused to join them, so Irna Phillips had the minister die when his plane was shot down overseas. His "friendship lamp" went too with the production move to the town of Selby Flats, California. Reverend Matthews took over for the late Rev. Ruthledge as the center of hope and inspiration. However, by the time that the show was slated to move to television, the religious undertones of the show were virtually gone and the focus was moved yet again to the family Bauer. * Guiding Light was cancelled on April 1, 2009 and the last episode aired on September 18, 2009.

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