CBS Cancels ‘As the World Turns’

By Andrew Gauthier 

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The Los Angeles Times

CBS has pulled the plug on another long-running soap opera.

Just three months after “Guiding Light” aired its final episode, CBS announced Tuesday that it will end “As the World Turns” in September, after 54 years and more than 13,000 episodes. Its cancellation will leave CBS with just two soaps: daytime’s most-watched serial, “The Young and the Restless,” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.”

“World,” which launched in 1956 and is the oldest of the remaining broadcast soap operas, had long been rumored to be the genre’s next casualty. The show averages 2.5 million total viewers this year (down from 2.6 million in 2008), which is less than half of the audience that tunes in to “The Young and the Restless,” which averages just over 5 million.

Lynn Leahey, editorial director of Soap Opera Digest, said the move does not come as a surprise for daytime industry observers. “Still, it’s a punch in the gut for fans,” she said. “This is a show they’ve been holding near and dear for decades.” More…