‘As the World Turns’ Turns No More

The last soap opera I watched consistently was "The Young and the Restless" back when I was in graduate school. I was hooked, and I’m glad I broke the habit.

Apparently, I’m not alone.

"As the World Turns" is going off the air.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Procter & Gamble, the company responsible for the phrase "soap operas," is out of the daytime drama business after 76 years now that CBS is making "As the World Turns" stop spinning.

The network announced the cancellation on Tuesday, the day "As the World Turns" broadcast its 13,661st episode. Its last episode will air next September, CBS said.

It’s the second daytime drama CBS has canceled in a year, after "Guiding Light." They were the last two produced by a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, the company for which the term "soap operas" was created because it used the shows to hawk products like Ivory soap and Duz laundry detergent.

Daytime dramas have been fading as a genre for years with more women joining the work force and the increased number of channels offering alternatives like news, talk, reality and game shows. In tough economic times, paying casts, producers and writers proved prohibitive to networks when there were cheaper alternatives.

The cancellation will leave CBS with only two daytime dramas: "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and Beautiful." ABC has three soaps left and NBC one.

Through the years, actors Marisa Tomei, Meg Ryan, Parker Posey and James Earl Jones have appeared on "As the World Turns." The show follows families in the Illinois town of Oakdale.

I won’t miss it.