Guiding Light renewed despite defections, fan complaints

Posted Wednesday, May 07, 2008 11:49:46 AM
Guiding Light renewed despite defections, fan complaints

Television's longest-running entertainment program will live to celebrate its 72nd anniversary. CBS announced recently that it had picked up Guiding Light despite its sagging ratings. The show debuted a new production model earlier this year and last month earned a chance at winning back-to-back Outstanding Drama Series trophies at the Daytime Emmys.

The ever-evolving, but still ratings-troubled, Guiding Light has been officially renewed for another year. The longest-running scripted program in entertainment history is now safe from cancellation - at least through the end of 2009. That will take the CBS soap into its 72nd year.


Beset by the defections of tentpole cast members -- most recently Ricky Paull Goldin (ex-Gus Aituro) and Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan Randall) -- and dogged by persistent rumors of more fleeing cast members to come, GL is also being bogged down by its recent move to a more "modern" format.


As reported by Soap Central in January, Guiding Light devised plans that it hoped would revolutionize the production of daytime soaps. Handheld cameras and newly created four-walled sets have given the show an edgy, lively look and feel, but many fans have issues with the fledgling format. Some have complained about "extreme" close-ups and others have grumbled that wobbly camera shots make the show difficult to watch. Still others feel that the new sets look cheap.


Better days are promised, though, insists Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime.


"I agree that some of the camera work is shaky and frenetic and some of the close-ups are too tight - and that maybe we've broken rules that didn't need to be broken - but this is a work in progress," she explains. "We're just a few weeks into this new production model. I think everybody who's complaining needs to lighten up."


Both CBS and Guiding Light's production company, Procter & Gamble Productions, have indicated that they are committed to the sister soaps GL and As The World Turns. In receiving that commitment, both shows underwent massive overhauls designed to update their images and trim costs. New advertising has been courted, resulting in innovative ads within the shows for products like Cheerios. Product placement is nothing new; characters eating a bowl of name-brand breakfast cereal were a staple of old school, 1950s-style soaps. In today's sophisticated advertising market, however, these placements need to be done in ways that mention soap plots and characters in more ironic and fresher ways.


Despite the problems of low ratings, an uncertain future, and the re-formatting of the production, Guiding Light retains a devoted fan base. The show earned 14 Daytime Emmy nominations last month, including a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, an award the show took home last year.

Related Information

MAKING HEADLINES: SOAP OPERA NEWS, UPDATES, AND HEADLINES

© 1995-2022 Soap Central, LLC. Home | Contact Us | Advertising Information | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Top