Lights out for 'Guiding Light'

September 18, 2009 9:46:00 AM PDT
Today marks the final flicker of CBS' "Guiding Light." The venerable weekday soap opera is airing its farewell hour after 72 years on the air. The words "The End" appear on the screen before its final fade-out. "Guiding Light" began on radio in 1937, then moved to TV in 1952. In recent decades it was set in the midwestern town of Springfield and focused on the Spaulding, Lewis and Cooper clans.

But now it becomes the latest victim of the ratings collapse afflicting the soap opera genre. With an average of 2.1 million viewers, "Guiding Light" was the least-watched of the network soaps, which after today will total only seven.

In two weeks, CBS will fill the slot "Guiding Light" is vacating with a new edition of the game show "Let's Make a Deal."

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