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James Hibberd



Changes Planned to Save 'Turns' and 'Light'

October 15, 2007 5:24 PM

Guiding LightCBS is readying plans to cut costs and modernize the production process of two of the longest-running shows on television, “Guiding Light” and “As the World Turns.”

The low-rated vintage soaps are on the bubble for renewal in July and CBS is taking dramatic steps to try to keep the classic series on the air.

Plans include ditching their traditional soap opera production sets—which use three cameras shooting simultaneously into an expansive series of three-wall sets—in favor of using smaller crews shooting with nimble digital cameras inside enclosed four-wall sets. "Light" is considering using multiple crews to shoot scenes simultaneously, reducing the number of production hours. All exterior scenes will be shot on location—a rarity on daytime soaps—on permanent sets built in a small town outside New York City. (On-location shots are typically more expensive, but the reduced crews and digital production process will offset the extra costs.)

For viewers, the effect is supposed to add some realism to the staging, as rooms will not lack a fourth wall and shooting can be done in a more cinematic style. The outside location shots will give the shows a more natural sense of setting.

But the bottom-line benefit to CBS is finding a way to reduce the shows’ cost. Daytime soaps typically run more than $1 million a week and shoot nearly year-round, compared with syndicated daytime fare like court shows (about $10 million a year) or talk shows (about $20 million for 26 to 33 weeks a year).

CBS met with “Light” and “Turns” producers two weeks ago and gave them a mandate to “evolve” their production process.

“We all agree now is the time to really challenge the form,” says Barbara Bloom, senior VP of daytime for CBS. “We know what the audience loves about this form. But are we still doing that in a way that’s relevant to our audience, in a way that’s the best business and production model? I have partners rising to the challenge in terms of evaluating that. How can we do it different, better, faster and more impactfully.”

The shows are not going to change cast members as part of the revamp, Bloom says.

“Light” has been on the air for 55 years and is the longest-running drama on television. “Turns” has been on for 51 years. But both have become a ratings drag on the ticket amid CBS’ daytime lineup. The shows typically rank as two of the three lowest-rated daytime soaps.

Here’s a look at a typical lineup on CBS-owned stations during the first two full weeks of originals this season, excluding news shows: “Judge Judy” (4.6 average household rating), “The Dr. Phil Show” (4.5), “The Young and the Restless” (4.0), “The Price Is Right” (3.0, but these are repeats), “The Bold and the Beautiful” (2.8), “As the World Turns” (2.2), “Guiding Light” (1.9) and “Rachael Ray” (1.8).

The new production model launches in January. CBS sees the changes as part of a larger effort to overhaul daytime, which started this morning with the relaunch of veteran game show “The Price Is Right” with new host Drew Carey.

“This is not just about the space of CBS daytime, this is about the evolution of a daypart,” Bloom says.

Chris Pursell contributed to this report.

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Comments (63)

I think part of the problem for "Guiding Light" is that it airs in morning time slots on several big-market CBS stations, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, and Detroit. In Sacramento, the CBS-owned station there (KOVR) doesn't even air "Guiding Light" at all.

James and Chris, thanks for writing this piece, and I again credit TV Week for including daytime television as a central component of your reporting on the television landscape. I just wanted to note that, while Guiding Light is probably more often in the bottom two or three slots in overall ratings, ATWT often oscillates in the Nielsen ratings, among spots 3-7. For instance, it was rated fourth in the overall rankings among the eight soaps this past week. Often, spots 3-7 are locked within tenths of Nilesen points from each other.

I've been studying ATWT carefully as part of my work at MIT and completed a Master's thesis on the current state and future of the soap last spring which is currently under consideration for publication. Both of Procter & Gamble's shows are important parts of TV history, and I'm glad to see that Barbara, the folks at P&G, and those at TeleVest and with the teams for each show are dedicated to keeping these programs running, as the audience may be smaller but is still quite dedicated.

Penny Johanson:

I had no idea the soaps cost so much to produce each week. I am glad the Bloom and others are trying to improve and keep the soap opera genre around. I don't watch a lot of daytime talk shows or court TV, but I like daytime dramas and I would hate to loose any of the CBS lineup. I hope that the efforts that are being set forth will be fruitful especially for Guilding Light and As The World Turns, my favorites.

Arthur Greenwald:

I was actually relieved as I read your article. From the lead, I feared they were heading towards some sort of cheesy green screen process with digital backgrounds. Location production sounds like a smart new direction and, with the right directors, can give a daytime drama a much-needed energy boost. But true cost-effectiveness will depend upon the support of the craft unions. To achieve that, CBS needs to make the unions part of the process. I would imagine the numbers speak for themselves. If the unions don't accept a sincere invitation to become part of generating creative solutions, then they'll bear a lot of the responsibility for the extinction of the drama.

RememberHenderson:

The ratings problem with GL and ATWT all boils down to one reason: CRAP WRITING. Compelling storytelling as in the glory days of SEARCH FOR TOMORROW and THE GUIDING LIGHT are long gone and, consequently, so are the viewers.

Gina Ruttenbur:

I certainly want my Guiding Light still on the air. I just hope this new plan will work. And long time viewers will accept it.

Gina

Jean Deegan:

Have watched my favorite soap GL for probably last 40 years, and would hate to lose this part of my daily life...I believe the worst part is that the writing has been sub-par, and the acting has remained supreme throughout the past year...give us good writing, and we can not bother if the setting is not exactly beautiful...jdvermeer

Rose McMahon:

I don't think a different type of set will help the terrible story lines and the insufferable way the writers change the characters. I love ATWT, it is the only daytime show I watch and I would hate to see it leave the air because of the writing. If there were compelling stories and use of more vets more viewers would be happy.

Rose McMahon:

I don't think a different type of set will help the terrible story lines and the insufferable way the writers change the characters. I love ATWT, it is the only daytime show I watch and I would hate to see it leave the air because of the writing. If there were compelling stories and use of more vets more viewers would be happy.

dexxjones:

its the writing stupid. while the changes sound refreshing compared to the old "kill off the old people and bring in awful young actors", until they end the revolving soap writers which hop from show to show ruining everything they touch, or the so-called "saviors" like jill faren phelps who are like a kiss of death for quality, the genre is going to continue to slide.

GL and ATWT used to be the best-written shows and their ratings reflected it.

longtime soap viewers know that it is a sad day indeed when the "bell soaps" (YR/BB) are deeper than anything else on the air.

if they can improve the storytelling just a little bit, this sounds like it might help.

nbc and abc's shows are embarrassing to watch. they are written for and by idiots.

Jessi Walton:

This sounds good. But it won't do anygood unless the writing changes. Right now it sucks. And THATS what needs to be fixed to get more viewers.

L H:

The writing for ATWT has been on a downward spiral for about two years now. GL also needs a lot of help in that regard. I began watching both shows when they started on TV many, many years ago and would be sorry to see them disappear from the screen. However, the truth is that Y&R has much better writing and it shows. Its characters appear on a more balanced basis and that includes the veterans. New characters are not shoved down your throat as much. For the most part, the storylines touch almost everybody in the cast on one level or another. Y&R is certainly not perfect, but the writers for ATWT and GL could learn from the Y&R writers.

There are some great actors on both ATWT and GL---although I deplore the loss of some key characters from the core families. Unfortunately, sometimes these actors don't have material worthy of them. Also, some of the truly talented actors, such as Trent Dawson (nominated twice for an Emmy) for instance, are consistently underutilized. And even some Emmy-nominated actors like Alexandra Chando, who is so much more talented than some other recent additions to the show, are being let go. The veterans are given short-shrift. In my opinion, "the powers that be" need to do some serious rethinking or they need to be replaced, if ratings are to go up for these two shows.

forwhatitsworth:

I am happy that they are making changes to update the style.

I am unhappy about the ratings. I am a long- time ATWT lover. It is, IMHO, the best daytime soap with the best daytime actors.

TPTB that change history, ruin characters, and disassemble families are the reasons for low ratings.

Please change the camara work and the lighting to save cost. But fix the problem where it lies. Those in charge of plot/storylines.

Sincerely,
Nicole

I have watched Y&R for nearly 20 years, and just started to watch ATWT mainly because I was enthralled by the gay storyline.

What I have noticed in the weeks I've been watching the show is that this is the most strangely directed show I've ever seen.

One character gets shot point-blank in the neck ... yet he survives for days, and then is walking around like nothing happened. How can you go from being shot (and believed killed) to being normal?

Also, they may have a cliffhanger moment in a story, but then take three days to pick up the story ... what kind of pacing is that? Then when characters are going to go see someone, they instantly get there, where at least Y&R will throw a scene with other characters in between.

And it seems that ATWT is playing with at least Steadicam work, like in the college radio station and at the diner -- yet, whoever is supposed to handle lighting and exposure apparently forgets about those segments, because they are always too hot in yellow, and there are other issues.

My "favorite" part of some of the strange storytelling is that Col. Mayer -- who tried to kill one of the gay characters out in the forest -- shows up in the hospital. And for whatever reason, he's STILL wearing the flap jacket and everything. Why would you still be wearing that? I mean he couldn't take it off in the car on the way over?

There is just a bunch of natural elements that are just missing, and you can tell. Y&R actually has people doing what seems to be real things. It's believable that most of the fun at Newman takes place in the administrative break room. It makes sense that Jack would be leasing office space from Newman. And many actions come with severe consequences (like Phyllis getting prison time for extortion).

So I agree. ATWT, at least, could be a good show. :) They just need to watch more Y&R.

Tim Key:

I am glad that they are willing to try and save ATWT and Guiding LIght. I have enjoyed their attempts to "grab" auidiences by their books and special events like ATWT slasher storyline as well as their ice storm storyline. I have been very disappointed by both shows lack of respect for the history and the core famies of the show. Seems like they should at least try to have stories about "the Hughes " and "the Bauers". A story about a Carly could have easiy been about a Franny (Franny being the daughter of one of the main characters). No instead they ignore characters who belong to the main families and bring in new people who have no connection with the families.
Better use of the vets would help the ratins some. Do young people only want to see young people? This asumption is not giving our generation enough credit.
Long live ATWT and Guiding LIght!

ROBIN TORRO:

I HAVE BEEN WRITING TO CBS, PROCTOR AND GAMBLE AND VIACOM, RE:ATWT AND GUIDING LIGHT.I DO NOT KNOW HOW MUCH RATING ATE EFFECTED BY TAPING. THEY MOVED GL TO 10 AM. I SLEEP. I TAPE. AND ATWT, IF I DO NOT SEE I TAPE.PEOPLE WHO TAPE OR TIVO SHOULD BE CONSIDERED.CBS IS EAGER TO REPLACE. THE QUESTION IS WITH WHAT? NEWS, NO THANKS I THINK WE HAVE ENOUGH. TALK SHOW, NO, WE HAVE SO MANY WITH SAME STORY SOMETIMES SAME PEOPLE, IT IS REDUNDANT. GAME SHOW, NO, THAT IS FOR THE ONES WHO SIT AT HOME AND THINK OF WINNING. I KNOW WHERE I AM AND THAT IS NOT CHANGING. CBS LOVES REALITY, NO , SINCE SURVIVOR #1, WE HAVE LEARNED THAT ALL OF IT IS STAGED FOR COMMENTS, THEY DO NOT WALK TO TRIBAL COUNCEL THEY GET DRIVEN, NO ILLUSION THERE.I AM 51 YRS OLD AND HAVE WATCHED BOTH SOAPS SINCE ATWT PREMIRE.THE WHOLE SOAP PROGRAMMING RUINED BY O J AND THE TRIAL, BUT THERE ARE DIE HARD FANS OF CBS, WHO WATCH ENTIRE LINE UP AND WITHOUT ATWT AND GL WOULD NOT WATCH.ALSO WILL BOYCOTT P&G PRODUCTS. I AM NOT ALONE ON THIS. EVERYONE CRITIZING SOAP ACTORS. DAYTIME ESP. CBS HAS LAUNCHED SO MANY SCREEN AND STAGE STARS FROM BOTH SOAPS. THE NIGHT PEOPLE PRACTICE, RUN LINES, AND TAPE. THE DAYTIME PEOPLE HAVE VERY LITTLE PREP TIME BUT DELIVER PERFORMANCES DAILY. SOME ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.IF CHANGING THE SETS HELP, OK, BUT THE CAMERA ON ALL MY CHILDREN GIVES ME DIZZYNESS. THE WRITERS NEED TO DO BETTER STORIES, MAKE SOME CAST CHANGES, BUT NOT AS A WEEKLY THING LIKE Y&R, BRIGHT IDEA TO REPLACE COLLEEN FOR SECOND TIME, THIS ONE IS NOT WORKING AT ALL. BUT GIVE THESE PEOPLE THEIR DUES. JOB IS HARD. AND FOR ME IN MY LIFE, SOAPS ARE AN ESCAPE FROM THE REAL PROBLEMS WE FACE EVERYDAY, AND IF WATCHING SOMEONE ELSES TROUBLES, HEY IT DIFFERS FROM MINE

Tina Wood:

I applaud the effort, but it is not going to mean squat if THE WRITING DOES NOT CHANGE! Most of the actors are excellent and in agony with what they have to work with. Remember the wonderful scenes between Reva and Jonathan? It was the ACTORS who made that work, not the writing. Do the writers actually talk to each other? Do they know the history of each character? I doubt it from what I watch. CHANGE THE WRITING and the audience will come back.

Tina Wood:

I applaud the effort, but it is not going to mean squat if THE WRITING DOES NOT CHANGE! Most of the actors are excellent and in agony with what they have to work with. Remember the wonderful scenes between Reva and Jonathan? It was the ACTORS who made that work, not the writing. Do the writers actually talk to each other? Do they know the history of each character? I doubt it from what I watch. CHANGE THE WRITING and the audience will come back.

dexxjones:

the last time i tried AWTW it was the murderer of the month club. ths show seemed to have a case of general hostpital's "entire town suspected for murder" which indicates a show on the way down to me.

gl was looking interesting, but the "core families" werent quite familiar enough and the writing was, frankly, awful.

i agree with the poster in what he said about Y&R. it IS better than anything else. thats whats frightening to long time soap watchers

GLongtimefun :

I have been watching GL since 1960(when I was in High School) and I have to say that where it needs revamping is not so much the set as the writers!

We have never seen more senseless stories, disregard of previous history or ending a story with a logical end. Good characters are disappearing and new irrelevant characters are being introduced. Very many stories have been left hanging.

The writers either have not studied the story line and/or must think we are brainless, watching this soap because we have nothing else to do.

I started watched when I was going to the University. I thought GL was the most logical and intriguing of soaps, at a time that everyone looked down to soaps as a stupid diversion.

I got my degree in Chemistry, (so I proved I did have brains to myself and the world) and still watched, as a young mother and a very active person in the community. GL was always interesting. Now I am getting old and I look at GL as an old friend (One that is dying from a horrible disease!)

I wrote to all of them even Ms. Bloom but there was a total apathy.

Now there is a feeling that there is no story, that they are improvising as they go along and that the audience is totally stupid. Very insulting to our intelligence!

Too bad! After so many years we are watching our favorite soap get brain disease.... is it really inevitable or can we fix it? Old age does not always have to end like that?

There are very many new drugs for stopping Alzheimer’s! LOL

GLongtimefun:

Some time ago, at the lobby of the UCLA hospital, I met one of the actors who is no longer at GL and voiced the complaint about the stupid wriiting.

She told me that the actors have the same complaint and they are almost forced to improvise from day to day ---there is no coherent story!

If we want to save GL we must get them to listen to our complaint and take care, otherwise it will die!

Suzie White:

I am 60 years old and I can't remember ever missing any ATWT or GL shows. My mom watched from day one so of course I did too. There isn't any suspense any more unless it is ridiculously plotted. There is no reason you just have to tune in the next day. I can remember weekends when the shows stayed on my mind all weekend over a Friday ending. Now it is so predictable. You can't get vested in any new relationship because you know the main characters are always going to go back to each other in the end ( Carly and Jack) for instance. What is the point. You can't get involved in a storyline because you know how it will end like Reva's cancer or Carly's brain cancer/tumor what ever it was suppose to be. What a waste of storylines. When they do have a goldmine as GL did with Tom Pelprey they just let them go. I will watch until they are off the air no matter what but there is alot of room for improvement.

TV Soaps are nothing, compared to the old days on radio.
Then, we could imagine for ourselves the whole picture, and they ran for many years; only 15 minutes a day, at that.
What a letdown when they put them on
TV. They certainly lost me.

There is no substitute for quality story-telling, especially in a show that is done in serial form. I have watched both of these soaps since I was a small child, and although I continue to watch GL, out of habit and love for some of the actors, I am completely disgusted at the bottom-feeding level of writing. The dialogue is bad, the storylines are unrealistic, and the lack of attention to the historical nuances of the characters is insulting. I have a son who has been watching since he was five (he is now 20), and he only watches it now for a few minutes at a time because it is so bad. To hell with the sets, get a clue and hire some seasoned writers with a proven track record.

Mai Tyme:

I agree that Y&R seems professionally written. Things just seem more realistic. ATWT writers just took a terrific storyline with Carly's tumor and butchered it to the point of ridiculously unbelievable. They never heard of medical consultants, I guess. Maura West and Michael Park lit up the screen with some of the finest performances of the year on any screen--and then, as if the writers decided, hey, they are too good with this s/l. Let's screw it up. This was one of the great love stories on TV, period . Everybody loves a good love story, but they managed to destroy this, too. Any wonder they are having a time trying to just maintain?

Mai Tyme:

I agree that Y&R seems professionally written. Things just seem more realistic. ATWT writers just took a terrific storyline with Carly's tumor and butchered it to the point of ridiculously unbelievable. They never heard of medical consultants, I guess. Maura West and Michael Park lit up the screen with some of the finest performances of the year on any screen--and then, as if the writers decided, hey, they are too good with this s/l. Let's screw it up. This was one of the great love stories on TV, period . Everybody loves a good love story, but they managed to destroy this, too. Any wonder they are having a time trying to just maintain?

Kelly:

As long as the writing is good, then I will have no problems with how the show looks. GL still needs help in the writing department. However, ATWT is improving. The Luke and Noah story is a refreshing and romantic change from all the bed hopping and murdering. Even Carly's brain lesion story has evolved in character.

Kourtenay:

If the writers for ATWT and GL read all the posts on the CBS message board they would quit their jobs tomorrow! Almost every post pleads for better story lines and better writing. But hey, why would they listen to the viewers?
We're only the reason the show has had the long gevity it has. WE WATCH IT, WE KNOW THE CHARACTERS, WE KNOW THE HISTORY!!!!

Kourtenay:

WE THE FANS ARE THE REASON THESE SHOWS HAVE HAD THE LONGEVITY THEY HAVE!
LISTEN TO THE VIEWERS!!
WE KNOW THE CHARACTERS AND WE KNOW THE HISTORY!!
GET BETTER WRITERS OR THERE WON'T BE ANY SHOWS!
I'VE READ TOO MANY POSTS OF FANS THAT ARE SICK AND TIRED AND ARE CALLING IT QUITS.
PERHAPS THESE SHOWS SHOULD READ THE CBS MESSAGE BOARDS FOR INSPIRATION.
THE FOLKS ON THERE WRITE BETTER THAN THESE WRITERS DO!

Amy:

Oh give the writers a break. It is never just one thing that makes a show bad. Even in some of GL's and ATWT's best days they had silly storylines or things that did not work. I agree that on GL in particular history is often ignored for the sake of advancing a plot, but I think there are still some good storylines that keep me watching. I have no problem with introducing new characters if it is done right. Every character was new at one point. The problem with reviving the Bauers for instance is that practically everybody would be a recast, and that would just feel like a whole new family. Yes I know that many will argue that never should have let come to that point, but they have so if they are going to save these shows they have to start working with what they got. I personally think that doing creative things with sets, directing, etc. is a step in the right direction of moving both soaps forward. Now lets try adding a little heart and romance back, and you may be on to something.

dexxjones:

sorry amy the writers dont need a break, though i think the people supervising the writers are even worse. the biggest problem is a lack of real respect. they all give lip service, but most of the world thinks of soap viewers as dumb. i believe its the stupid writing which gives it this taint.

there is also too much of a focus on the "young demo" which started around the time of dark shadows. abc "pioneered" this.

the main problem is that if you watch old dark shadows episodes, the writing was worlds better than the crap on now. i started watching GL in the early 80's, also another world and days.

both of those shows crashed and burned, but GL had moments of greatness along the way. the problem is that they never waited for the ratings to catch up.

even chasing the young demo is done wrong. they think that kids want to watch sanitized versions of some ideal that doesnt exist.

when i was a kid it was the older folks which were most interesting to me.

the uk soaps are best at this. i work from home and watch tv through my pc most times.

a vpn connection to the uk allows me to watch eastenders, coronation street and emmerdale.

those shows operate on a MUCH smaller budget than american soaps but are much more interesting in that they show every generation. older folks have romance, get laid, etc. its stunnint to see.

also, uk soaps have permanent "outside" sets like is proposed in this "update" to GL and ATWT.

i only wish they would adapt the concept of good writing. the writing now has such a sort memory they contridict themselves year by year.

one finaly complaint- the "everybody/anybody" is a murderer schtick is what i hate most about the us soaps. its insulting. hats off to the chemist, by the way, i make no apologies for my love of continuing stories. if i have a choice of two books, i am of course going to buy the thicker one. who wants to invest in a story that ends?

Teresa:

Personally, I hate the shakiness of the camera. That makes me turn the show off when I cannot focus on the characters. The writers and Jean Passante needs to be fired and someone who can respect the history of ATWT needs to be brought on board. Going the cheap route on production will only alienate viewers more. I am afraid this is the death knell for soaps.

Dan V.:

While I'm admittedly curious about what these new production processes will do for the looks of the two shows ("ATWT" in particular)... I'm continuously confused by the fact that Barbara Bloom isn't worrying more about improving the quality of the storytelling on these two shows!

As evidenced by the majority of respondents here at this site, viewers suggest getting better writers. Even if these two shows were taped inside an empty, white, four-walled room, highly compelling, intelligent, intriguing stories would probably make the viewers forget that fact.

P&G/Televest and CBS should focus on enticing veteran soap opera headwriters who know and respect each show's history and characters to come back to the medium, to let them have some say in the direction of the shows' storylines. Longer story arcs and better pacing, plus much more character-based drama... Less nonsensical character actions, illogical plot twists, and utter predictability. The writing that we have on these shows now is pretty awful.

(And speaking of predictibility, perhaps one way to begin combating that is to STOP showing previews of the next day/week's shows each day. Where is the suspense of what might happen next if you've watched a preview showing the payoff? WHO ELSE WANTS THEIR CLIFFHANGER FRIDAYS BACK, FOLKS! Stop spoiling things!)

If CBS/P&G/Televest wants to cut costs on production with the intention of improving the look of the shows, that's fine. Just take the money saved and invest it (and plenty of time) into IMPROVING THE WRITING.

This is very sad for me, I grew up loving the Guiding Light, but the show has been on life-support for fifteen years. As The World Turns has always been an up and down show. When it's good it's the best soap on t.v., but when it's bad, it's atrocious. I'm thirty years old and my biggest problem with Guiding Light is how old fashioned it is. Apparently Springfield is the only city on television where it's still 1954.

This is very sad for me, I grew up loving the Guiding Light, but the show has been on life-support for fifteen years. As The World Turns has always been an up and down show. When it's good it's the best soap on t.v., but when it's bad, it's atrocious. I'm thirty years old and my biggest problem with Guiding Light is how old fashioned it is. Apparently Springfield is the only city on television where it's still 1954.

James:

I've been watching both ATWT and GL for nearly 30 years... and I'm only 33 years old. I'm thrilled that both CBS and P&G are trying to save both dramas, but I do agree w/ several of the other posters. The writing on both programs is very inconsistent. I wish the writers would respect the shows' histories and veteran characters. My favorite thing about GL right now is the Buzz and Lillian romance... even though it doesn't get much airtime.

I hope both programs continue to air for years to come!

Michael:

As a Fan who grew up Watching Guiding Light i have to say Ellen Wheeler and the Writers have really hit home with The Characters we grew up watching i remember the days we only heard a Former Characters name only if the Character would be coming back, Often now we hear of Our Beloved Characters ie Bridget, Jenna , Roger Thorpe the Problem Seems to be they also Throw in these Temporary Characters such as Rafe, Natalia and Remy who has been recast 3 times in the last 5 Years and his Character has never been a hit GL Quit using these lame Characters and atleast give us Recurring Players like Holly or Even Wanda. Brian Gaskill is a Great actor but please quit pretending he has been Accepted as Dylan Lewis and get him out of there, Murray Bartlett has been a saving grace they have done well with creating Cyrus Foley. When did the Coopers replace the Bauers? Let me remind you Hope , Ed , Danny and Michelle are all still alive we need them Back in Springfield! Marah and Shayne would also benefit the Teen scene im Sick of Coop and Ava who we have known for two years and how much has she changed? Maybe the show should pay up and Get Cynthia Watros' Annie Dutton back in town. As far as the Shows being shot on Location and 4 wall Sets i have to say i will Miss the Sets that Many Famous People walked around on a daily Basis for instance Cross Creek , The Spaulding Library the Bauer Kitchen but it would almost be easy to see this new Springfield if a Huge fire sweeps through and Burns the terrible Green Hospital the call cedars and the Beacon Hotel which Everyone in town seems to be living in these days. Good Luck Guiding Light.

Lidia:

I use to be a long time fan of Guiding Light.
Guidling light is certainly well over do for a set make over. Particularly since the entire cast with the expeption of Alan ALEX and REVA are living in a HOTEL. (HOW UNREALISTC IS THAT!)Additionally, since you are cleaning house try finding some writers who have a sence of charactor history and have the ability to develop a plot with a cliff hanger. And for heaven's sake try to someone who can write dialogue!!! Fans and former fans are getting on MB's and redoing current storylines with better dialogue and plots then what we are seeing on screen! Try firing these fat cats and getting some nubies who are hungry and know the characters history and can write!!!

Bryan:

It seems like most people that are complaining about the writing of these shows are still watching. The real issue here is changing the way CBS/P&G shoots these shows, and if the crazy camera work that has been going on at ATWT since the Friday before Labor Day is any indication then THAT should be what people are talking about.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS uses hand held cameras and it works - mainly because it's high-quality. The new video cameras/lighting used in the Diner and the Police Station on ATWT makes it feel like the Blair Witch Soap Opera. The poor actors look yellow, sick and like they are on a sinking ship. Having LOVED watching ATWT for many years, I hope they are not.

This is NOT a good way to "save" these shows.

Lisa:

I've been watching ATWT for 24 years, and while the quality of the writing has been up and down (especially since head writer Douglas Marland died), the past few years have been atrocious, apart from the occasional storyline. What I've noticed is that at any given time, one storyline will be handled well, and the others are awful. Like now: the Luke/Noah story is going quite well, the Jack/Carly one is the same old boring Jack-and-Carly-break-up-and-then-reunite story they've done approximately 178,400,772 times, and everything else is ho-hum.

Overall, ATWT fails to capitalize on its excellent cast and deep history by regularly jettisoning older characters and handing over the majority of screentime to teenagers and early twentysomethings with vastly varying amounts of talent. They also fail to use some of their talented cast incorrectly or not at all: someone upthread mentioned Trent Dawson as an example, which I second most heartily.

Mostly, however, I think daytime viewers in general, and viewers of ATWT in particular, are sick of storylines we can predict six months out from the current airdate. I can't count how many times a new character has made their first appearance and I said to my mom, "Oh, they're gonna pair him up with Katie," and then we have to watch the whole process unfold for what feels like seven years. Try some unpredictable stories, or at least move the predictable ones along faster.

GL Forever:

I think both shows - As the world turns and Guiding Light - are great. GL have low ratings, but i think this show is better than two highest rated soaps - Y&R and B&B. B&B have too slow action. And B&B is too much dramatic. Characters cry in all episodes. And Y&R... is just boring for me. I prefer ATWT :-) And GL :-)

OakdaleEd:

I stopped watching the soaps about 15 years ago. At that point I had been taping ATWT and watching at night for about 7 years and watched before many years prior. I go way back - when Meg Ryan played Betsy! Over the years I had watched "The Doctors", "Days of Our Lives", "The Young and Restlestness" and "General Hospital".

The thing I think that ultimately turned me off was the tediousness. Events took months to take place. You could miss months of shows and still know everything that was taking place after watching 1 show. For fun we used to turn the volume off and improvise own lines for teh characters.

Ultimately camera work or sets will not save the shows. Interesting stories and compelling characters will. Why not use stories from the Bible as the basis for some of the story lines? Its filled with sex and violence

Pecolo:

I've watched both shows at different times (though not much right now), and I think the production changes are a terrific idea. Daytime soaps (at least in the U.S.) have been outdated behemoths for decades. Some of the conservative story problems have started to change (though just about all of them still seem to think merely admitting that homosexuality exists is progressive); changing the look while cutting costs is a great way to make them look more attractive to networks.

Unfortunately, Guiding Light has been circling the drain for years now. Waves of new characters are introduced then quickly written out, while most of longer lasting characters are either forgotten or harmed by incomprehensible storytelling. The only thing the viewer can rely on is the yearly "Kim Zimmer Emmy Storyline" which gets sillier each time.

As The World Turns is uneven, but it looks a lot better right now than GL. It might behoove the network to put GL out of our misery and concentrate on Young and the Restless and ATWT. Bold and the Beautiful is so ridiculous, they might as well admit it's a joke and shoot for laughs.

gina:

ATWT is doing very well according to the latest Nielsen Ratings. It reached #4 in Households (2.3) and it is 8,000 viewers away from becoming #3 soap in total viewers. GL on the other hand is sinking fast staying at the bottom of the Household and Total viewers list with a 1.8 average.

Patricia Holmes:

I use to listen to G.L. on the radio when I was a kid with my grandmother&mother,it was a great show.The problem today is to many teenagers,to much Reva and Josh becoming a minister. That is a bigger laugh than Reva's cloning. You have one of the best actors in Buzz but you don't use him. I have also watched ATWT since it came on the air with the Hughes and Stewarts. They have the same problem as GL all teenagers all the time.Where is Bob,Kim and Lisa? Where is Lucinda? You let her show up once in a while. These shows were always the best. Keep them on the air. Just get better writers and use your core stars. Thank you

P&G Baby:

You can see on most of these responses that we all recognize that it is the writing, the plotting, and the connection with established characters and the actors that portray them that create the success of this genre. I think it's unfair to lay the blame at the writers collectively. It's network/packager interference that has diluted a special form to its lowest common denominator. These shows work best with a clear theme, a strong leader at the helm and corporate GUIDANCE not dictation. Yes, daytime dramas are part of the television industry and they should be held to the same standards for profitability and relevancy but there should be some formula for allowing the continuing, complelling STORY threat to dominate in each era's packaging and delivery systems. It's the STORY stupid! Good luck to the cast and crew of both shows.

Anna Ford:

There isn't but onething that is going to save Guiding light and that is bring the Bauer family back and bring more hospital scenes. I have stopped watching it al togather because I can't stand mosto fthe characters on it right now, Icares about Rafe and daisy , I sure don't Making Josh a minister, get real and with cassie now, then you have Ava.and Diana, I have watched this story since I was five years old and now am 68 years old. I don't watch it at all now but would like to start again . I had a dream the other night that Ellen Wheeler left and they brought back the Bauers. The show has slipped ever since Maureen Bauer was killed.

Kate Wilson:

Soaps, having been on the radio and TV for over 50 years, are simply out of ideas. The same storylines over and over. People jumping into bed with others' partners, getting pregnant, blah, blah, blah. Most of the shows have turned to violence to boost ratings and the romance is all gone while we spend our time trying to keep track of who is bedding who and not really caring. Maybe the soaps should go the route of night time TV, quit the daily production and just go weekly and have reruns in the summer. I've already given up on one soap after watching it for about 30 years and ATWT is not far behind and I've been watching it for probably at least 40 years. I hate it for the actors, because many of them are stellar, but the writing is just pure crap anymore. I'd be insulted to perform some of the schlock these actors are asked to spew. Changing production is NOT going to help. I already hate what they have done to Al's Diner and WOAK with the bright yellow light. It looks fake.

gold:

ATWT reached 3,254,000 viewers and is rated #3 soap in total viewers for the week of Oct 8-12. This is big news for ATWT. They are doing a very good job.

TomCC:

I've been watching GL since I was 10 years old...and I'm now 41. So I've been through some great and some insane writing over the years. My biggest problem with the contemporary GL? It's ceased to be about any kind of natural evolution and progress of characters lives. It's as though they look at a chart and say, "Josh and Reva have been married for 5 years this time...they need to break up again" or "Alan hasn't been evil in 6 weeks...let's have him try to kill X." Few characters have jobs in which they have to go to work regularly. Few are sure of their parents' true identity or have not themselves conceived a secret child at some point in the past. It's just all craziness, and impossible for a viewer to have any sense of identification with the characters' lives. In the old days, we went almost a decade from viewers knowing Philip Spaulding's parentage to him finding out as a teenager. Can you imagine these people actually keeping a family secret for more than 3 weeks? Of course not. It's seat-of-the-pants storylines and not at all involving.

SierraWindy:

It's draining on dedicated viewers of these soaps to continuously hear threats or rumors of the shows being canceled. Enough already. Cancel them or shut up about it! Also, after having watched the Price is Right since I was 7, I was willing to give Drew Carrey the benefit of the doubt and start warming up to him as the new host. After two episodes, it's clear the producers never made Carrey audition for the part. I've seen more personality in a potted plant! Who ever thought replacing a gentleman with a moron would be successful was well...you get the point....

LujackLvr:

I have always been very concerned about the perpetually impending cancelled of my favorite show, GUIDING LIGHT. I have watched GL since late 1981 and it has seen me through medical crises, scholastic disasters, and employment debacles. For years I have heard that GUIDING LIGHT will be cancelled...and now I fear that premonition is very close to being realized. The ratings are the lowest the have been in years...
I could say that in my opinion, GUIDING LIGHT has suffered since my beloved Lujack was killed on-screen...but that would be my lazy-eyed, hemiplegic, hydrocephalic point of view. I don't think GUIDING LIGHT will be around in 5 years, 7 months and 3 days...which is the amount of time it took for Vincent Irizarry to return to GL as a different character. In my opinion, I hate the shaky camera technique [ER continues this method; ALL MY CHILDREN did it for years and may still be using this, I don't watch AMC anymore so I can't be sure] because it is just migraine-inducing...
and that would cause me to turn off my favorite show...and the very thought of that is a downer in itself.

V. Bacon:

I used to watch both atwt and gl, but stopped watching both programs when I realized I was using the FF button more than I was watching any of the program. I know on gl that jonathan and tammy was a popular couple but I couldn't stand the fact that cousins were in love and having sex. on atwt, I couldn't stand craig getting away with so many criminal acts. If the writers don't want a character to go to jail and leave the show, they shouldn't write them info a corner. Instead they come up some lame excuse to keep them on the show when they have commited murder or some other illegal act. I can't stand crooks getting away with their crimes. There were so many things that annoyed me about both shows that I asked myself, why am I even watching these programs when I no longer enjoy watching them. the writers can't seem to think of a storyline that is interesting for happily married couples and break them up. I say that is poor writing when you can expect a divorce soon after a marriage. right now I only watch Y&R and if gloria isn't exposed for all her criminal acts and thrown in jail, I may stop watching that show also.

V. Bacon:

I used to watch both atwt and gl, but stopped watching both programs when I realized I was using the FF button more than I was watching any of the program. I know on gl that jonathan and tammy was a popular couple but I couldn't stand the fact that cousins were in love and having sex. on atwt, I couldn't stand craig getting away with so many criminal acts. If the writers don't want a character to go to jail and leave the show, they shouldn't write them info a corner. Instead they come up some lame excuse to keep them on the show when they have commited murder or some other illegal act. I can't stand crooks getting away with their crimes. There were so many things that annoyed me about both shows that I asked myself, why am I even watching these programs when I no longer enjoy watching them. the writers can't seem to think of a storyline that is interesting for happily married couples and break them up. I say that is poor writing when you can expect a divorce soon after a marriage. right now I only watch Y&R and if gloria isn't exposed for all her criminal acts and thrown in jail, I may stop watching that show also.

Sandra:

I love GL and have listened and watched the show for most of my life. Please work to keep our soaps on the air. Let us know how we, the fans, can help them keep airing for many years to come. Reduce costs aa you need to, but keep the shows running. My days would be long and boring without my soaps. Please help them, please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MontyB:

The budget cuts on ATWT are so evident. It seems the cast is on a skeleton crew every day. As someone mentioned earlier, the pacing is way off. The storylines are moving way too fast with no real satisfaction. I hated that whole Col Mayer mess. As everyone has expressed, the biggest change they need to make is the writing team. I'm sitting here looking at it now. Craig just found out Meg is pregnant. There was absolutely no build up around this revelation. Simply lame.

Dottie C:

I started watching GL & ATWT , the summer of 1956, my mom was a stay at home mom. I have watch them since. However, over the past 2 -3 years they are in MAJOR need of new writers with new ideas. Stop recyling the Lovers on GL, **ENOUGH ALREADY***

Monique:

While I respect everyone's comments on the quality of the writing on both of these shows, I've got to say: I used to be a 25-year viewer of All My Children, and if you want to see a soap gone bad, that's the current standard. They actually rewrote history: reversing Erica Kane's first-legal-abortion-on-daytime by writing that the fetus was saved by her doctor and implanted in another woman. How stupid is that?

Believe me, ATWT (my new soap of choice) is miles above the ABC soaps.

MontyB:

Monique, I guess it's a matter of choice. Although I can't comment on AMC or GH(I haven't watched them for many years)One Life to Live is IMO is light years better than ATWT. I continue with ATWT because I have hope they'll make some drastic changes and it will improve.

Martijn:

Here's a comment from a huge Dutch ATWT-fan. I'm 25 years old and I've been watching since 1989, the year the show started over here in the Netherlands. Almost every day about one million people (out of 16 million) tune in for Oakdale's finest at 5pm on RTL4. After 18 years it is the most watched American soapopera. Only 300 thousand people tune in for The Bold and the Beautiful, the six other shows aren't even on here. It would be a shame if ATWT got cancelled. I agree that Kim, Lisa, Bob, Lucinda need more airtime. Maybe it would be quite challenging for the writingteam to bring back John Dixon. Where has Margo's dad been for all these years? Please bring back Frannie and Betsy, and wouldn't it be nice for Lyla, Penny, Iva and Ellen tot pop up for a (dramatic) visit? Let us SAVE our beloved As The Worls Turns!!!

Eddie:

I have been watching ATWT for only about two months now. I think it is one of the best soaps..
I am never bored and some days I think it is more of a favorite than Y&R and days which I have been watching for over two years.
the ABC soaps I am not too impressed with most of the time, I watch them occasionally. Same for GL, i enjoyed afew stories the rafe and daisy storyline mainly. but could not get back into it the next day when I tried to watch.
I am very concerned about the changes in cameras and locations on ATWT, does this mean none of the sets will be in use anymore and every location will be differrent? I am pretty pleased with the writing besides it moving a little fast in certain areas. Very diasppointed about Maddie, she was the reason I started watching.
The ratings race going on is great too.
As the World turns I believe will remain in 3rd place., which I think, the network should consider and rethink the camera changes. day of our lives moving up too, please people start wacthing daysa again lets not let it be cancelled, because we all know that is the first soap to be lost and buried.
I will continue watching along with Y & R and Days of our lives.

Maelucas:

You need a good writer like you had at one time.I have always watched The Guilding Light show and it was number one. So why can't you see that it is the writers

Sandra (Sandi) O'Mery:

To Mr Hibbard Dec16,2008 Please try to save As The World Turns it is the best soap opera on tv. It has taken a turn for the better. The suspense and storylines have really picked up. It is the best soap opera on tv inthe history of soaps.If I can help let me know at this address:Ms Sandi O'Mery 506 Braxton Ave. Col.Hgts.,23834 At present my home computer is on the blink . So i use the public Col.Hgts. library. Thank-You ! Sandi O'Mery AsTheWorldTurns #1

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