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The World Stops Turning

Posted by CJ Cregg on December 9, 2009

Looking good for 91

CBS has officially canceled As the World Turns, the last remaining soap opera owned by Proctor and Gamble, the company deemed to have started the genre and given it its name.

ATWT had been on the air for 54 years.  This is the second major (read: OLD) soap opera to be canceled this year, after Guiding Light was canceled earlier this fall.

Proctor and Gamble will try to find a new home for the series, but a spokeswoman acknowledges that given the economic climate, it is unlikely to succeed.

The New York Times notes that ATWT had the longest running character in TV history, played by Helen Wagner, who is now 91 years old.

The audience, which in the 1990s exceeded 6 million viewers, had been in a steady decline for awhile, a common trend in daytime TV.  Only The Young and the Restless has gained viewers recently.

Proctor and Gamble owned more than 20 soap operas over the past 80 years.  The shows emerged during the Great Depression, but social changes and more women in the workforce have dwindled their target audience.

Read more here.


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