CBS has canceled "As the World Turns," leaving the network with just two daytime dramas.
The decision comes just a few months after the network ended "Guiding Light," at the time the longest-running soap on TV. "World" has been on the air since 1956 and will end its CBS run in September.
Both "Light" and "World" are produced by TeleNext Media, a unit of Procter and Gamble.
The CBS move isn’t entirely unexpected. Virtually all daytime soaps are living on borrowed time, though cost-cutting is expected to save higher-rated dramas such as Sony’s "The Young and the Restless."
Soap press had been speculating that "World" could be next to go, though it’s a bit surprising CBS confirmed the move so far in advance. TeleNext said it will try to find a new buyer for "World," though it said the same thing about "Light" when it was shut down.
"Throughout our history, ‘As The World Turns’ has remained dedicated to sharing compelling stories that have entertained fans for more than five decades," executive producer Chris Goutman said. "We are disappointed and saddened by the news that the show is not being renewed. It will certainly be a loss for all of us, and for the show’s loyal audience."
Brian T. Cahill, senior vice [resident and managing director, TeleNext Media, Inc., added that the company is "proactively seeking a new outlet to carry the show, and are open to exploring innovative formats and relationships that will enable the future success of ATWT."
CBS replaced "Light" with game show "Let’s Make a Deal." It’s unclear if the Eye will choose to add another gameshow or perhaps try something different.
UPDATE: Here’s the CBS statement on the end of its "World." It’s from daytime chief Barbara Bloom:
"It’s extremely difficult to say good-bye to a long-running series that’s been close to our hearts for so long. The almanacs will show ‘As the World Turns’ as a pioneer of the format, a hallmark for quality with its numerous Emmy’s, the launching pad for many television and film stars and a daytime ratings powerhouse for parts of three decades. But, 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. We thank our partners at Procter & Gamble for the privilege of hosting this beloved series…the actors, writers, producers and crew who worked so hard and shared their amazing talents to bring this series to life…and, of course, the viewers who shared the journey on our network for so many years.”