Rage, Rage, Against the Dying of the GUIDING LIGHT (Not a Joke)

This news has been around for a while, so though the announcement was made official today, it’s real: Guiding Light is coming to an end.

CBS is canceling the longest-running drama on TV, the daytime soap “Guiding Light.”

The network is ending the show after 72 years and more than 15,700 episodes on television and radio. The series will broadcast its final episode Friday, Sept. 18.

” ‘Guiding Light’ has achieved a piece of television history that will never be matched; it has crossed mediums, adapted its stories to decades of social change and woven its way through generations of audiences like no other,” said Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. “This daytime icon will always be an indelible part of CBS’ history, with a legacy of innovation and reputation for quality and excellence at every step of the way. While its presence will be missed, its contributions will always be celebrated and never be forgotten.”

Because Guiding Light was such an old show and had its origins in radio, it was a little tamer than some of the soaps that came later, but nevertheless, like all soap operas, it was ahead of prime-time shows in terms of the kinds of stories it did. Most famously, it was one of the first shows to address the issue of marital rape as a serious crime (as opposed to the traditional, now-infamous Gone With the Wind approach to the same thing).

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.