Final Episode of The Guiding Light Airs Today

The final episode of The Guiding Light (its 15,761st) airs today on CBS. I wrote about the network’s announcement that the soap would be ending back in April. A special finale section at the CBS website for The Guiding Light can be found here. CNN.com has an article about the end of the soap as well as the demise of the soap operas in general.

The soap premiered on June 30th, 1952. You can watch the March 4th, 1953 episode for free courtesy of the Internet Archive:


3 Comments

  • Cee Jay says:

    Seeing this was pretty neat, especially the ads with the announcers uses ‘Gals’, ‘Girls’ and ‘Ladies’ in describing how and who was using the products….myhow things have changed

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    At the time the episode above appeared, “THE GUIDING LIGHT” aired at 12:45-1pm(et), right after “SEARCH FOR TOMORROW” at 12:30 [15 minute “soap operas” were the custom during “the golden age of radio”]; both were sponsored by Procter & Gamble, the makers of “Duz” and “Ivory”, as well as producing and owning both shows- they aired back-to-back until September 1968, when each expanded to a half-hour {they were the last 15 minute “soaps” in network daytime}. Ed Prentiss [who once played “Captain Midnight” on radio] is “Richard”.

  • Barry I. Grauman says:

    I don’t believe “soap operas”, as a whole, are on the “endangered” list. It’s simply what DIFFERENT form they’ll take in the future. Network radio soap operas finally ended on Novmeber 25, 1960, when CBS, which was the last refuge of what’s now known as “old time radio”, decided to clear them off their daytime schedule in favor of local affiliates scheduling more of their own programming [music, news, talk/interviews, sports, etc.], and additional CBS News-oriented features. There were protests from thousands of avid listeners, but the network’s decision was final: “MA PERKINS”, “THE SECOND MRS. BURTON”, “YOUNG DR. MALONE” (featuring Sandy Becker), and several others went off the day after Thanskgiving {along with “THE AMOS ‘N’ ANDY MUSIC HALL”, the last permutation of the classic radio series, with them- and the “Kingfish”- as nightly deejays, sprinkled with comedy patter inbetween records and guest stars}.

    As for television, ABC still has the “healthiest” line-up of soaps, but CBS is starting to feel the same pressure their radio division had almost 40 years ago…and once “DAYS OF OUR LIVES” ends, that’s virtually it for what was once NBC’s daytime schedule (anyone for another hour of, say, “AFTERNOON TODAY”? See, NBC tried to do the same thing on their radio schedule in November 1955 when they replaced most of their daytime soap operas and variety/game shows with “WEEKDAY”, a variation of their weekend “MONITOR” service…it aired from 10:15am through 3:30pm(et), with time out for the quarter-hour version of “FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY” at 11:45am, “STRIKE IT RICH” and Pauline Frederick’s news commentary duirng the noon hour. Margaret Truman was co-hostess with Mike Wallace, along with Martha Scott and Walter Kiernan…but it only lasted 39 weeks, ending in August 1956).

Leave a Comment