By Ralph Hipp
We just went through this last September.. when "Guiding Light" was cancelled. Yesterday, 13 News viewers got the word that CBS has decided to cancel its younger sister, "As the World Turns," this coming September 2010. (We history buffs remember AWTW as the soap that was on when Walter Cronkite announced President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.) While GL was on radio and television for 72 years, "World" has been on the air for 54 years.
So why is it going off? Soaps like "As the World Turns" are seeing their audiences growing older, and declining in numbers. "World" logged six-million viewers in its heyday, and now it's down to about two-million or so. "World" costs CBS and Procter and Gamble $50 million a year to produce.. so with the costs rising, and the audience dropping.. CBS decided to make it two-for-two. Procter and Gamble will have no more "soap operas" produced by their company after this show goes off.. and television production is actually a very small part of what their corporation does now.
By contrast, "Let's Make a Deal" with Wayne Brady, which took over our 2:00 time slot after "Guiding Light" costs about $25 milllion to produce this year, and annually.. and the young women we search for here at WIBW to bring to our advertisers.. has been going up. Less cost, and more viewers? Makes that decision a no-brainer. "World's" departure next fall will leave only 6 daytime dramas on the air, with "Days of Our Lives" on NBC the only soaper making a comeback, seeing a 15% increase in its audience this year. (I like Allison Sweeney as Sammi, also cuz she helps Jerry Lewis with our MDA Telethon every year, too.)
As the world stops turning, let me know what kind of a show you'd like to see in its place. Another soap? Not likely. Another game show? Maybe. Which game show would you like to see again? "Password" maybe? Or one of a number of talk shows? I'd love to read your thoughts about AWTW leaving us in September, and some possible replacements!