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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Realize I was only a regular viewer from the 1970's onward. Someone needs to fix this cast list thing though, because like losing Hoss was to Bonanza, it was only a matter of time after Michael Zaslow was unceremoniously booted from the show after he began to show symptoms of ALS, that this show would fade into the sunset. Zaslow played Roger Thorpe, the guy you loved to hate, from the early seventies (he's what got me watching) until 1980, and then again 1989-1997.

    The writers, trying to capitalize on a headline in late 1978, wrote themselves into a corner by having Roger commit a particularly heinous act against a beloved member of the cast, Holly, in March 1979. He couldn't just hang around town after that. Then, in a move so typical of soaps, after having you watch him fall off a very high cliff in April 1980, with several severe bumps with said cliff along the way and into the sea, the writers resurrect him in 1989 saying somehow he survived and has been palling around with the CIA all of these years! He'd have a better chance of growing a third arm!

    Zaslow's Thorpe was a bit more complex character when he returned in 1989, but he was still up to no good. After he left, the show really only had Reva and Josh as the center of the action, and there are only so many times you can watch this couple divorce and remarry before you begin sympathizing with all of Josh and Reva's rebound spouses as they get promised the moon, gradually become ignored as the Reva/Josh romance rekindles, and then get blamed for being bitter after they are dumped. The last straw for me - cousin love in the form of Reva's son and her half-sister's daughter. Eeeeewww! I actually have cousins and this was just too much.

    All in all, among soaps I'd still give it a seven. If you ever find the specialty VHS tape about Roger Thorpe that Guiding Light put out in 1994 -"Roger Thorpe: The Scandal Years" - give it a look. I think that you'll see the charisma and complexity of the character that got so many of us hooked forty odd years ago.
  • I love Guiding Light. In fact last Friday, our CBS affiliate in New York interrupted for "breaking news" within minutes of the show's finale. It's bad enough on a Friday a few minutes before the credits ran. I have watched Guiding Light for 14 years now and I am hooked. This year, CBS will decide it's fate. With only 2 million Nielson viewers, the show could be canceled and replaced with useless television talk shows which are cheaper to make. If Guiding Light and As The World Turns are canceled, daytime television would be in enormous trouble. I remember a time when New York City was the capital of the soaps but now only 4 soaps remain. I was furious with Mayor Giuliani for not preventing the cancellation of Another World in 1999. He did nothing but yet his wife appeared on the show and others as well. If Guiding Light gets canceled, Irna Phillips and Charita Bauer would be turning over in their graves over the loss. I hope CBS makes the right decision! I hope you watch the show for its continuous excellence in acting, writing, and directing. This show deserves to be recognized as a part of American history. Believe me, the Roger and Holly relationship far outweighed any couple on daytime or prime-time television. I love Doug Hutchison's portrayal of the mysterious Sebastian Hulce. I love my veteran performers like Marj Dusay, Ron Raines, Jerry ver Dorn, Maureen Garrett, Beth Ehlers, Frank Dicopoulos. Believe me, there is nothing on prime-time or in the cinema that is like Guiding Light! If you can watch Desperate Housewives, give daytime a try. You just might like it.
  • For nearly 7 decades, THE GUIDING LIGHT has become one of most beloved daytime dramas. GL has the distinction of being the longest running entertainment program in American broadcast history. Created by Irna Phillips, GL originally told the story of Reverend Ruthledge and his flock of parishioners when it began on radio on January 25, 1937. In 1948, the focus of the show shifted to the Bauers, a German-American family. On June 30, 1952, GL was the first radio soap to successfully switch to television (from 1952 to 1956, GL ran on both radio and TV). The Bauer clan was led by Frederick Bauer (played by Theo Goetz from 1948 until his passing in 1973). Frederick Bauer was affectionately known to those who knew him as Papa Bauer. He had three children: Trudy (briefly played in 1952 by Helen Wagner, who eventually went on play matriarch Nancy Hughes on another Irna Phillips creation called AS THE WORLD TURNS in 1956), Meta (played by longest by Ellen Demming: 1953-1975), whom many of early story lines revolved around, and son Bill (who later became an alcoholic) and his family. Bill's family included wife Bertha, also known as Bert, who would become one of the most beloved matriarchs in daytime television (she was played by Charita Bauer from 1950 until her death in February, 1985) and their two sons Michael and Edward. In the 1960s and 1970s, Michael and Edward became the focus of the show with their various professional and personal problems, including Ed's alcoholism. Beginning in the late 1970s, other families became part of the show's fabric (the Marlers, Spauldings, Coopers, Lewises, Chamberlains, Norrises, Reardons and Thorpes). Like many soaps, GL has had some memorable characters. One of which was Roger Thorpe, the most infamous villain in soap history (played to perfection by the late, great Micheal Zaslow on-and-off from 1971 to 1997). During the years 1995-2004, the show lost its focus. Those years were filled by incompetent producers and writers who created some of the worst story lines in the show's history. Some of these clunkers included the cloning of Reva, the Santos family, the San Cristobal story (the only good thing about that one is the emergence of Our Prince of Darkness---Edmund Winslow), and the Mary Anne Carruthers mystery. In early 2004, GL seems to be getting back on track with competent producers and writers at the helm, who have created story lines that make good use of the show's long history (the only down side is that Grant Aleksander, who played Philip Spaulding since 1982 was sacrificed).
  • Grant's portrayal of Phillip over the years was great. I am still holding my breath for the day he come's back to Guiding Light. I know that GL cut a lot of the best cast members last year, but I hope they didn't cut out us fans of the best actors who portrayed not only Phillip Spaulding, but Ross Marler and the cutting back of Rick Bauer, Holly and Blake. Please come back Phillip- I have been a fan of Guiding Light since before you and Rick came back from boarding school and Rick changed his name. Grant, you are greatly missed, as is the character you portrayed, it is not just my hope, but that of my mother's and sister's that you come back soon. You are fondly missed, and we can't wait till you walk into the board room of Spaulding, unannounced and get into it with Allen. The story line for your return could be the best GL has had in years.
  • I have watched Guiding Light long enough to know that Kim Zimmer is the most talented actress there is on tv. She is awesome in that she draws viewers into her performance and makes them feel what the character Reva Shayne is feeling. The show is one of the best of all time, the writing is unique and centers around long time Springfield families. Guiding Light is the longest running daytime drama and I think that says a lot about the quality of the show. With actors and actresses like Kim Zimmer, Robert Newman, Beth Ehlers, Grant Alexander, Jerry ver Dorn and plenty others, the show has just what it needs to be successful for many more years to come!
  • rjcoll21 December 2005
    I have watched Guiding Light for 45 years. My mother started watching when it first started. The story lines have been great. Between Reva and Joshua's ups and downs. I hope they find their way back to each other. It would be great if you could bring back Danny and Michelle. Michelle is a great asset to the show. Also, Ed Bauer added a great touch to the show. Jonathan and Tammy belong to each other. I was glad you finally put them together. Sandy needs to move on. As far as Alan Michael coming back, I find it very strange that he is making moves on Marina, when he was married to her mother years ago. Not a good move. Please writers, keep the show going. I don't want another talk show in the on daytime TV.
  • I haven't seen every soap, but from what I have seen, this one can claim the best acting talent around. It's too bad Cynthia Watros (Annie) and Wendy Moniz (Dinah) had to go, They're both gifted actresses. Grant Aleksander (Philip) probably can claim best actor presently. Fortunately, the great cast makes up for some of the plot lines, e.g. Michael the angel, the bizarre cloning of Reva, and now Hart is in this metaphorical fight for life. It'll take a week to decide his fate. Pity the punching bag.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    How do you sum up 70 years of a soap opera? Why, start at the beginning of course, and in the case of the oldest of all daytime soaps (which began on radio), the theme was spirituality which may have decreased as time marched on, but there was always a subtle reminder of that light, whether it be through the fact that basically normal people could get through whatever struggle life challenged them with simply through their own inner strengths. Radio episodes and early kinescopes of the first decade of the show still exist, showing the development of the Bauer family (introduced late in the radio run a few years before it went onto T.V.) which established them as the core family. Even as their story lines decreased as other families joined the canvas (most notably the wealthy Spauldings and Lewises), they still remained the backbone of the original theme with some of the younger members of the family being important during the show's last decade.

    I started watching in the early 1980's, switching channels from "General Hospital" during commercials to see if Jane Elliott (Carrie, "GH's" Tracy) was on, her split personality storyline extremely well acted and mesmerizing. When Beverlee McKinsey came on as Alexandra Spaulding in 1984 (at the same time I couldn't really bear "GH" all that much anymore), I became a full time viewer, and that year had one of my all time favorite camp story lines, the Barbados location shoot that featured the wonderful Carrie Nye as the sinister Susan Piper. Even in her second role as Caroline Caruthers, Nye made a bad storyline tolerable, even using the same gun she had used 20 years before as Susan.

    During this time, of course, "GL" gradually became the Reva Shayne show, with Kim Zimmer on the front burner and on daily for years. Her supposed demise in 1990 allowed other actors to get some airtime, but that dwindled once she returned in 1995. Certainly, Zimmer is a great actress, and it was the producer's decision to showcase her, but other actors seemed to slide off the back-burner thanks to the dominating story lines Reva was given. But when these characters did get time in the spotlight, they shined, particularly Tina Sloan's kind but troubled nurse Lillian Raines, Peter Simon's melancholy Ed Bauer, and Ellen Parker's naive Maureen Reardon Bauer, culminating in a tear-jerking conclusion when Maureen was killed off after discovering Lillian and Ed's affair. The re-cast of Alexandra Spaulding with the magnetic Marj Dusay started off hopeful, but she was majorly wasted after the casting of Ron Raines as the third Alan Spaulding wrapped up the story of his attempts to take over Spaulding Enterprises. Fortunately, she would return on several occasions and was present for the final episode.

    Being taped in New York meant that "Guiding Light" had access to some of the theater's best talent, and such distinguished actors as William Roerick, Maeve Kinkhead, Larry Gates and Chris Bernau (the original Alan) were cast. Sometimes story lines were wrapped up neatly, but like real life, the ramifications of those plot lines lead to new stories. This was very evident with the character of Roger Thorpe (Emmy Winner Michael Zaslow) whose actions affected practically every major family on the show. His "demise" in 1980 remains one of the show's highlights, and his return from the dead in 1989 opened up a whole new can of worms.

    Forced by changing trends to keep with the times, "Guiding Light" became somewhat predictable in the late 1980's with the emphasis on youth. Early 1980's teen stories were planned out realistically with outstanding young actors cast as such characters as Tim Werner (Kevin Bacon, no less!), Morgan Richards, and later on, Philip Spaulding, Beth Raines, Rick Bauer and Mindy Lewis. While not all the young actors were blonde, bland and bad, it seemed for a while that the show had taken on an L.A. look. But "GL" had some pride in its past, continuously bringing back fan favorites from the past (Nola, Claire, Barbara, Josh, Billy, Holly, etc.) and for the most part providing memorable send-offs for actors on the show who had passed away. One poor exception was the death of Bert Bauer in 1986 who didn't manage to get an on-screen funeral with visits of family members and friends. Original cast member Charita Bauer deserved much better. But the deaths of the actors playing Henry and H.B. in real life were written in for their characters, and they made up for what the Bauer matriarch had not gotten. "GL" ended its 50+ T.V. run by bringing back many old favorites from the past for a send-off to the longest running program in broadcast history.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was young when I first started to watch GL. I was probably about 10 when I actually started to follow it. My grandmother who was only a schoolgirl of 12 told stories of how she heard the priest at her paraochical school listening to the radio version back in the late 30s. Now, my mother, herself, and I all watch it together and I have been doing so for a long time. I enjoy the soap a lot. From the crazy and colorful many last named Reva Shayne (who's full last name causes one to have to take a breath) to the evil and vindictive Dinah to Michelle, who was my favorite when I first started watching to Lizzie, who was my favorite kid until she turned into a Paris Hilton wannabe to the deceased characters. I have enjoyed all sorts of the story lines, from the Reva Clone to the Earthquake on San Cristobel to Cassie being locked in a tower to Philip's murder. I plan to keep watching this show for a long time and I hope CBS is smart in this because it's wonderful and to end it would be a crime.
  • I first got hooked on this show when I was in high school and I still keep up with it. Unfortunately, it is becoming so repetitive that it is getting boring. Of course, the one person that will keep me coming back to it is Kim Zimmer and her wonderful portrayal of Reva. Reva Shayne probably is the strongest female character on soaps next to Susan Lucci's portrayal of Erica Kane. However, the main beef I have against it is that it now the show is beginning to lose touch with reality and everything has to revolve around some mystery that involves every major family in town. I hope one day that this show will regain its focus and that it will get back to being the great show that it was.
  • Ah, yes. I can remember when I was in high school. The first thing I would do my junior and senior year when I got home was turn on the TV and watch this classic soap opera. From that moment on, I was hooked on it. In addition, I also enjoyed the days when Signy Coleman (Annie Dutton) was on the show. Ever since Saundra Santiago (Carmen Santos) left the show in 2002, I haven't been watching it as much. If you ask me, she was absolutely diabolical. You'd have to have seen the show between 1999 and 2002 if you want to know why. However, this is still a good soap opera. In conclusion, I highly recommend this classic soap opera to all you die-hard CBS fans.
  • scdilts29 November 2005
    Thought these two are great together I think it is just sick that they are going to put then together as lovers. After all they are first cousins and that is just gross. Please put Tammy back with Sandy. They are great together. This is only my opinion but I would bet that there are others out there that feel the same way. We know that Tammy is Cassie's daughter and that Jonathan is Reva's son. Also they have proved that Cassie and Reva are sisters, so that makes Tammy and Jonathan first cousins. In some states it is illegal for first cousins to be together as lovers or to even get married. This is the worse idea they have had since they cloned Reva.
  • I love Guiding Light. I have been watching it since my Grandmother showed it to me when I was 13. Neat!

    There have been times when the plot got weird (they cloned Reva at one point! Noooo!)But there is such a diversity in plots that there is always something that keeps me glued to the screen!

    I totally love this show and also love discussing it online with my fellow viewers over at Guiding Light Central ( There is always something interesting to discuss about the show with everyone. It adds a whole new dimension to the show! We discuss the show with each other and speculate about the motivations behind the character and try to predict what will happen next! It is so much fun that I would not miss a show! Thank goodness for our DVR!
  • After 66 years Guiding Light still shines! This show currently 6/5 is rocking all thanks to John Conboy and Co. Who are they? Well John Conboy is the current Executive Producer of Guidng Light, and he is doing a excellent job along with queen Ellen Weston. She is a great writer and she is doing a excellent job along with John. Ellen Weston currently have shown all the vets of the show. GL is making it's own sister show As the World Turns, suck. With those stupid teens ATWT has. I mean really GL rules. I'm sure under JC and EW they can make the light shine so bright it'll blind you at how good a show it is. If you are looking for any sites to go to as a GL fan I suggest you go to Soap a wonderful site. But don't go to GL many people there might not like your positive comments over there. But there is some good people there, Chris, Kade, etc etc(there's more). Anyways GL rules. You should watch it.
  • I've often wondered why the writers never think about bringing back Mike. After he left the show, it's as if he never existed. Now I realize the Bauers have less of a role on here now, but I've often wondered about Mike. The character that played him is still around, making commercials.

    And, while I'm at it........why ARE the Bauers talked about less and less??? I know Michelle is gone away to make a life with Danny and the two children. Maureen has been dead for a looooong time. Ed is out and about. Rick? Hardly ever see him. Allan Michael is the only "tie" left (Mikes's grandson).
  • Is anyone else confused about this whole Marina and Alan Michael thing??? The writers (and characters) seem to forget that Alan Michael was married to Marina's mother, Elani, before she was married to Frank. If they get together, that is just weird. "Hey mom...I'm dating your ex-husband from over 20 years ago...." They did an awful job casting him...I think he is a great actor, but age wise, it just doesn't fit. He looks younger the rick hearst did when he played Alan Michael back in the mid 90's. He looks way too young to be Alan Michael.

    And on a side note, I miss Danny and Marina... I hate that he got back with Michele.
  • The minute I saw him as Prince Richard, he had my heart. He seems to be of royal blood. The last time I was affected so much by an actor on TV was when I was 16 & saw Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare. It has been that long since some one has measured up. Prince Richard has added so much to an already compelling show. If you like a handsome, powerful, wealthy, strong man that is also compassionate, sensitive & honest then you will love Bradley Cole as Prince Richard. Move over Prince Charming, you've been replaced.
  • I admit,I do not care for the way Paul Rauch runs this show nowadays but through-out the 80's and well into the 90's,Guiding Light was the best daytime drama out there. The 4 musketeers (Mindy,Rick,Phillip and Beth) were by far some of the best characters ever. I miss the character of Mindy Lewis played by either Krista Tesreau or Kimberley Simms and GREAT actors like Beverley McKinsey (Alex) and Michael Zaslow (Roger) and soon the very talented Wendy Monez (Dinah) will be leaving,so sad. However many great actors still remain with the show like Michael O'Leary (Rick),Grant Aleksander (Phillip),Maeve Kinkead (Vanessa) and Mary Kay Adams (India) so for the the enjoyment of watching these great actors and a few others,Guiding Light still shines (only not as bright)
  • This show currently is really, really, really (underline and bold the word "really" to stress my point) BAD!! I watched part of an episode this week and was absolutely shocked by many things: the awful new realistic filming which makes the sets look cheap and the actors less attractive than under set lighting; the poorly written dialog between the actors; the domination of unfamiliar characters (who are all of these Australian sounding actors? where is Harley? Alexandra?); and the current physical appearance of Kim Zimmer (exactly how much weight has the woman gained and who truly believes that a woman of her age could be pregnant?). Also, what's the fascination with gravel driveways and yards for scenes between the characters? The current state of soap operas is not great. Overall ratings are really down. The writing at some of them really could be improved (I'm specifically thinking about As the World Turns and the Bold & the Beautiful). This show, though, is beyond redemption. A horse with a broken leg is often shot to avoid the animal a long-suffering death. Why can't they do something similar with this show and just CANCEL it??? It really is sad that the longest running soap opera now appears to be something produced, written, and filmed by summer interns at a local access television station. My only hope is that the producers and writers or whoever is responsible for the current state of this show NEVER get another position on a daytime show. The hack job that they have done to this show is unforgivable.
  • Awhile back someone brought up a popular US daytime soap opera DAYS OF OUR LIVES. Melissa was a soap opera fan. I became a super soap opera fan. I have hundreds of soap opera books. When we lived in Brooklyn, NY, Melissa was an Editor for GUIDING LIGHT at SOAP OPERA DIGEST. DAYS OF OUR LIVES began to be broadcast on NBC in November 1965 & it is still on the air today. Back when I was a super soap fan, there were 14 soaps on the air. Today there are 4.

    Melissa & I both had a favorite soap opera ANOTHER WORLD which was owned by Procter & Gamble & broadcast on NBC beginning in May 1964. It was cancelled on June 25, 1999. We met online as fans who were working to try to save the show. At that time I lived in Dalton, GA & Melissa lived in Brooklyn, NY. We came to meet in person & pursue a relationship. I moved to Brooklyn.

    I was asked recently among some ANOTHER WORLD fans that I spend time with what my next favorite soap was after ANOTHER WORLD. Let's see if I understand the question. After ANOTHER WORLD, what is my next favorite soap? Next after ANOTHER WORLD is GUIDING LIGHT. Then, next after GUIDING LIGHT is AS THE WORLD TURNS. But, I have watched a whole array of soaps after ANOTHER WORLD went off the air in June 1999, which is when Melissa & I got together. As a matter of fact, immediately after that grievable loss of ANOTHER WORLD, I watched 8 soaps to try to fill the gap in my heart. Eight! I never watched YOUNG & RESTLESS. I didn't watch BOLD & BEAUTIFUL until many years down the road. I was very fond of the little half hour soap PORT CHARLES. There were other soaps at other times. I just missed ANOTHER WORLD like crazy. Didn't you?

    I forgot to list SANTA BARBARA owned by Dobson Productions, broadcast on NBC, July 1984. GUIDING LIGHT was owned by Procter & Gamble & broadcast on CBS June 1952. AS THE WORLD TURNS owned by Procter & Gamble broadcast on CBS May 1964. PORT CHARLES was a half hour spin-off of GENERAL HOSPITAL owned & broadcast on ABC June 1997.

    Besides DAYS OF OUR LIVES which just won Best Show Daytime Emmy 2018 there are 3 other US daytime soap operas still on the air today. YOUNG & RESTLESS owned by Columbia Pictures Television & broadcast on CBS March 1973. BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL owned by Bell-Phillip Productions & broadcast on CBS March 1987. GENERAL HOSPITAL owned by ABC Entertainment & broadcast on ABC April 1963.

    Jill Hurst Melissa Scardaville What, if any, show was on the air before GUIDING LIGHT? Carol Sumilas Boshears Search for Tomorrow? Saw it as a grade schooler at lunch time. 15 minute show. Jill Hurst I think it was the first to move to tv from radio. ...hmmm, I need to refresh my memory. To be continued.

    Carol Sumilas Boshears, SEARCH FOR TOMORROW owned by Procter & Gamble & broadcast on CBS September 3 1951 - December 26 1986 (moved to NBC March 1982 - December 26 1986.) In Henderson. Created by Roy Winsor with Agnes Nixon. Could have been subtitled "The Joanne Gardner Barron Tate Vincente Tourneur Story" for that character and the actress playing her, Mary Stuart, set the tone for the show's 35-year run. The show was top-rated 1952-1955. But, CBS and P&G had a serious dispute in 1982, where it limped along on NBC until its cancellation. The show did its first live episode since 1968 in 1983, claiming that the day's tape was missing, but many suspected it was a publicity stunt designed to mimic a similar situation in the recent hit movie TOOTSIE. The most publicity the show got that year was when Mary Stuart donated her ruffled apron from the first shows to the Smithsonian Institute.

    In 1986 the McCleary brothers took center stage as Patti helped Hogan solve Stephanie's murder. There was not to be a 36th anniversary show. Instead there was a grand send-off at the end of 1986. At the end of the event, Stu asked Jo, "What is it, Jo? What are you searching for?" and she said, "Tomorrow, and I can't wait!"

    Then, in a separate taped piece Mary Stuart thanked the fans for their love and devotion before the screen went to black.

    At age 63, she ventured on with the role of a judge on ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1968) in 1988 for a year,

    and then a longer-running part on GUIDING LIGHT (1952) in 1996, as Meta. This role lasted until her death from cancer in 2002 at age 75.

    Mary's autobiography entitled BOTH OF ME was written in 1980 and also serves as a comprehensive history of "SOT.";

    Hogan McCleary, David Forsyth played Dr. John Hudson on ANOTHER WORLD; Cagney McCleary, Matthew Ashford on DAYS OF OUR LIVES, Rebecca "TR" Kendall, Jane Krakowski played on ALLY McBEAL, on 30 ROCK, and on UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, Marcia McCabe was Bunny Eberhardt a hit person (1995) on ANOTHER WORLD.

    Mimi Torchin I think there was a soap called Hawkins Falls that predated GL.

    Mimi Torchin Looking in the Schemering book, HAWKINS FALLS June 17 1950 - August 19 1950 a primetime Saturday night series; then April 2 1951 - July 1 1955 daytime on NBC

    Elana Levine Hi all - there were a number of short-lived soaps that debuted before GL. The longest lasting was Search for Tomorrow. Irna Phillips even wrote one, called These are My Children (a remake of her radio soap Today's Children) that lasted for about a month in 1949! The networks and the sponsors were all hesitant about moving soaps to TV because they were so lucrative in radio and they feared losing that money.

    Hi, Elana, thanks for making these contributions to this fun thread.

    From the Schemering THESE ARE MY CHILDREN January 31 1949 - February 25 1949 NBC Based on Irna Phillips earliest autobiographical radio soaps PAINTED DREAMS and TODAY'S CHILDREN. Broadcast live from Chicago.

    Shawn Reeves Are we talking about on the air on tv or the beginnings on radio? GL started on the radio in 1948. Shawn Reeves Most of the discussion is on TV, but, yes, GL and others were on radio before. Either is good fodder for discussion. Shawn Reeves Donna L Bridges if I remember correctly, GL started airing on tv in 1948 as well as still producing the radio broadcast. I'm going back to the research we did for the anniversary show. GL would broadcast on radio first in the day and than the actors would go down the street to perform the same show for live tv.

    Shawn, thanks for adding that. It sounds right. Melissa Scardaville Hey all. There were between 360 and 391 soaps on radio. It's a little hard to categorize them in the early years. The first one where we have extensive documentation is "Painted Dreams." It aired four times a week, starting in 1930. While there were a few other radio serials, the next would be "Girl Reporter" and "Keeping Up with Daughter," which debuted in 1931. Melissa Scardaville Guiding Light was about the 100th soap opera to debut on radio in 1937. It aired on radio and television (as Shawn said they would tape the radio in the morning and tv in the afternoon.) GL transitioned to television in 1952 and ceased radio broadcasts. Melissa Scardaville Oh I should add - Painted Dreams was created by Irna Phillips. It was a 10 minute show based in Chicago.

    THE MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO WORLDS WITHOUT END THE ART & HISTORY OF THE SOAP OPERA (1997) Harry N. Abrams, Inc. The Serial Comes to Radio Nearly all of the earliest radio programming was scheduled in the evening, because executives were concerned that housewives would not be able to concentrate on a program while performing their chores. One scholar called radio, "an evening, family and father-controlled entertainment." That changed as the home products manufacturer General Mills looked for ways to bring information into the home for women. In 1926 they created "Betty Crocker" to help with shopping. NBC created "The Women's Magazine of the Air" for genuine information and help. Procter & Gamble became a main sponsor & advertised 3 times per week.

    THE MUSEUM OF TELEVISION & RADIO WORLDS WITHOUT END THE ART & HISTORY OF THE SOAP OPERA (1997) Harry N. Abrams, Inc. The Hummerts & the Serial Factory Frank and Anne Hummert provide a fascinating contrast to Irna Phillips. Frank Hummert had been working in copywriting and advertising when he noticed "the success of serial fiction in newspapers and magazines." In the early thirties, he decided to translate that serial narrative to the infant medium of radio. He wanted his radio dramas to accommodate the daily pattern of the homemaker, but at the same time to offer a release into the world of romance and fantasy - very different from the "real" world of Irna Phillips. He worked with his Assistant Anne Ashenhurst (whom he married in 1935) and writer Charles Robert Douglas Hardy Andrews to devise fantasies to help alleviate the boredom and repetition of housework. By the midforties the Hummerts were producing twelve serials a day and were operating what was considered a soap opera mill. They said "they were painting against the canvas of everyday life." "The Daytime Controversy " During the early forties there were more than seventy daytime serials on the air. The press mocked the tales and the cleaning products that were sold. The suffering on the airwaves was thought to be corrupting the human nervous system. Columbia University found two contradictory gratifications: first, pure escapism; and second, moral guidance. There seemed to be little difference between listeners and in non-listeners.

    Agnes Nixon Tribute (Extended Version) The iconic creator of All My Children and One Life to Live, Agnes Nixon, is honored in this tribute to her career, her legacy, and the soap operas she made...
  • June 30 1952 - September 18 2009 Procter & Gamble CBS From the Schemering The longest-running drama in broadcast history, evolved from a radio soap about a minister and his flock in the 1930s and 1940s; to a fifteen minute television entry about the German-American Bauer family in the 1950s and 1960s; to a half hour drama about the romantic lives of Mike and Ed Bauer in the 1970s; to, finally, a triumphant hour celebrating the domestic interaction between various Springfield families in the 1980s. Created by Irna Phillips, THE GUIDING LIGHT began broadcasting on NBC's Red radio network January 25 1937. Supervision for Procter & Gamble was Compton Advertising Agency. Set in the fictional city of Five Points and introduced by organ music, the drama focused on Dr. John Ruthledge and the problems of his parishioners. The soap was inspirational in tone and frequently the whole show was given over to Ruthledge's sermon. These sermons, which taught that faith and patience brought happiness,proved to be so popular that a collection of them sold almost 300,000 copies. Originally broadcast from Chicago, the show was moved to Hollywood when Irna and her associates relocated to the West Coast. Then, in the late 1940s production was moved to New York and the setting of the drama was moved from Five Points to Selby Flats, a fictional suburb of Los Angeles, where the Bauer family lived. Similarly content was changed. The religious implications were gone. But, support of a close-knit family for crises became paramount. The Bauers were a first generation Germanic-American family with Old World values who struggled for a better life in the US.Among them were Mam Bauer, Papa Bauer, son Bill, Bill's wife Bert, Bill's sister Trudy and Meta, a feisty young woman who would cause trouble. Bert fought hard to keep the family together and became in a sense the "guiding light". Bill had become an alcoholic. Meta ran off & got pregnant by a cad named Ted who she murdered when he browbeat their child. Meta got off on a temporary insanity plea.

    THE GUIDING LIGHT June 1952 Irna began broadcasting THE GUIDING LIGHT both on television and on radio but not simultaneously. (Fanlore has it that the networks were perpetually afraid of losing the radio revenue that they already had to take a chance on some television revenue that they didn't have and would take time to build up.) Irna assembled the cast at Liederkranz Hall for AM rehearsal & performance, live for television. Then they walked 5 blocks down to another studio & performed the same show for the radio audience. 4 years later they did away with the radio broadcast. While the show was being dually broadcast they moved the setting yet again, this time from California to the community of Springfield, somewhere in the Midwest. THE GUIDING LIGHT's successful transition from radio to television was rare. In the 1950s story, written by Irna & Agnes Nixon, focused on Meta's stepdaughter, Kathy. After Meta's husband died of cancer, Meta and Kathy both fought over Mark Holden, a business partner of Bill Bauer. In 1958 Kathy was killed in an automobile accident and CBS was swamped with protests. Irna answered fans with a form letter: "You have only to look around you, read your daily papers, to realize that we cannot, any of us, live with life alone ..." Meanwhile Bert tried to keep her marriage together. Agnes Nixon who had been Irna's associate became headwriter and THE GUIDING LIGHT flourished. This was the time that Agnes began to insert social and educational issues into the show. Bert Bauer's life was saved by early detection of uterine cancer. Mike Bauer married the scheming Charlotte Waring. (Charlotte Waring was played by Victoria Wyndham who later was Rachel on ANOTHER WORLD.) Agnes Nixon left the show to go headwrite ANOTHER WORLD IN THE MID 1960s. Writers during the next decade include: David Lesan, Julian Funt, Theodore and Mathilde Ferro, John Boruff, James Lipton, Gabrielle Upton, Jane and Ira Avery, Robert Soderberg, Edith Somner, James Gentile and Robert Cenedella. Color broadcast began spring 1967 with the show expanding to a half hour September 1968. The drama had not caught up with Irna's prote'ge's Agnes Nixon and Bill Bell. ALL MY CHILDREN and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS both became immensely popular with a mix of social-issue oriented drama and youthful romance. In 1975 Jerome and Bridget Dobson took over headwriting duties at THE GUIDING LIGHT and successfully contemporized it over the next 5 years. 1977 took the show to a full hour and the Dobsons constructed intricate triangles and quadrangles - Alan Spaulding, unhappy wife Elizabeth, son Phillip, Jackie Marler (the natural mother of Phillip), Mike Bauer, Hope Bauer and Justin Marler. Roger Thorpe seduced Ed Bauer's second wife Holly and his third wife Rita and Ed's half-sister Hillary. Roger became the sexiest villain and the audience refused to let him die even after a decade of troublemaking. After a sensational trial for marital rape (a gambit the Dobsons would repeat on AS THE WORLD TURNS) Roger was "killed" by Holly only to pop up again a year later to terrorize both Rita and Holly. The brilliantly directed sequence where Roger chased Rita through a hall of mirrors the recording of Barbara Streisand and Donna Summer's duet "Enough Is Enough" won THE GUIDING LIGHT the Emmy as Outstanding Daytime Drama 1980. Roger finally met his fate on location in the Dominican Republic where he fell to his death off a cliff. The star turn of Michael Zaslow ran from April 1 1971 for 9 years till April Fools' Day 1980. (Viewers never saw the body.) In 1980 Douglas Marland took over as headwriter, creating the triangle of Morgan Richards, Dr. Kelly Nelson and Nola Reardon. Lisa Brown's Nola was so energetic and convincing that CBS began receiving the most intense "hate" mail of any daytime performer since Eileen Fulton 2 decades before. Marland deservedly won Outstanding Writing Emmy 1981. He then exploited Lisa Brown's comedic flair and formidable acting skills in a series of famous fantasy sequences. Marland then wrote an intense hair-raising split personality story of character Carrie Todd played by Jane Elliot. Producer Allen Potter dropped it and a furious Marland finished out the few months of his contract and quit. Pat Falken Smith came on as headwriter for a short time and tried to disentangle what had become a convoluted mess. With L. Virginia Browne as headwriter Grant Aleksander came on as Phillip Spaulding, Ed Bauer's son Rick, Phillip's best friend was pushed to the forefront and the ratings jumped up 2 points. But TEXAS team Richard Culliton writer and Gail Kobe producer took over spring 1983 with the show in a critical slump, they put the show on the comeback trail, focusing on the Bauer family, finishing the byzantine storylines, and introducing the most appealing young-love stories ever on daytime. Headwriter Culliton and later Pamela K. Long (also of TEXAS) transformed THE GUIDING LIGHT back into a *famiily* show constructing stories around 5 main families - Bauers, Spauldings, Chamberlains, Lewises and Reardons. The audience began to respond to a senior prom, a civil war themed ball, young lovers on the run in Manhattan, "The Four Musketeers", flesh and blood figures, etc. Krista Tesreau the hilariously spoiled Mindy Lewis, Bill's daughter, Judi Evans (who nabbed an Emmy) as rape victim Beth Raines, taken advantage of by her stepfather, other Beth's husband. Vincent Irizarry the pugnacious Lujack, Michael O'Leary the sensitive med student Rick Bauer (known now by one & and all still as Mikey!) most especially Grant Aleksander the flamboyantly alienated Phillip Spaulding, with all seeming poised for stardom. The first half of 1984 the show added 2 million viewers while its competition GENERAL HOSPITAL lost 5 million with Luke & Laura leaving. The show zoomed to the #1 spot in the ratings, with the finest daytime drama over the past 5 years finally, if briefly, becoming the most popular. The introduction of the exquisite Beverlee McKinsey (top-billed on TEXAS) as Alexandra Spaulding brought new critical and commercial interest to the show. In October 1984 the Bauer family endured a number of hits. Hillary Bauer was killed off. Her brother Mike was written off. Ed Bauer was recast. February 28 1985 Charita Bauer died, the end of an era. Jerry verDorn who played Ross Marler read the words, "The continuing story GUIDING LIGHT is dedicated to the memory of Charita Bauer, whose portrayal of Bert Bauer has illuminated our lives for over 35 years. The spirit of Charita Bauer, her strength and her courage, her grand good humor, her passion for life, and her humanity have touched us all. She has graced our lives at GUIDING LIGHT and will be with us always." The Lewises became Springfield's first family - the former Reva Shayne, married to Billy Lewis, later engaged to his brother Josh, then wed to patriarch H.B. and finally fell for Kyle Sampson, who claimed he was H.B.'s illegitimate son. Like Reva, GUIDING LIGHT was suffering an identity crisis. The lack of focus continued through 1986 with 5 headwriting regimes and a new executive producer. Joe Willmore brought back popular characters and performers - Christopher Bernau's Alan, Peter Simon's Ed, Robert Newman's Josh and Grant Aleksander's Phillip. And the "have-not" Shaynes were established - Hawk, Sarah, Reva, Roxie and Rusty. Headwriter Sheri Anderson's forte was young romantic pairings and intrigue. As GUIDING LIGHT celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1987 it was the end of one era and the beginning of another.

    GUIDING LIGHT: THE COMPLETE FAMILY ALBUM SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION by Julie Poll with Caelie M. Haines INTRODUCTION by Jerry ver Dorn "I created GUIDING LIGHT with one fundamental theme in mind: the brotherhood of man." So wrote the show's creator, Irna Phillips, in 1937. Who could've imagined that that breathtakingly simple intention would carry the show to its
  • My grandmother use to watch this show, so there are some good memories attached. Also Springfield, Illinois is a real town; and missed opportunity not using it has a filming location!
  • mhubbard-546579 January 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    The program has been off the air for quite awhile now, still I have many fond memories of watching it with my mother, who told me she used to listen to it on the radio while she was doing her ironing. Although it seems silly, some of the story lines came to have personal meaning. There were many times when the characters would display such pluck in adverse circumstances that it helped me somehow. Like the characters, I found the strength to face another day. I loved Josh and Reva, Philip and Beth and many others. Every now and then there would be a spiritual "zinger" of some kind, reflecting the show's religious roots.Then came the Internet, and the DVR with the ability to skip the commercials. Other forms of entertainment were readily available and in competition. Most of the soap operas had their budgets cut and then fizzled out.I know many of the shows towards the end did start to resort to increasingly bizarre and "way out there" stories, which probably hastened the demise. Still, I will fondly remember "Love in the afternoon" and the GL.
  • For as bad as the show was at the end, the Guiding Light was a wonderful show for many MANY years with a beautifully rich history. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a character like Reva Shayne Lewis. The Reva Shayne-Josh Lewis love story fueled some of the best moments in daytime time history. Despite the "melodrama" soaps have often been guilty of, the Guiding Light did a wonderful job reflecting the realities (both positive and negative) of every day life as well. Who could forget Beth, Lillian, and Bradley - Bradley's abuse of Beth? Phillip's parentage? The Spaulding sibling rivalry that poisoned generations? The acting talent was wonderful. The writing and directing staff needed to be canceled, not the show. The show should still be on the air.
  • Here's a love note to this television institution which showed its very last episode on September 18, 2009 after 72 years of being on the air.

    Sadly, Guiding Light was so much apart of my formative years, that I feel I have more memories of these characters, than I do of my own life. I started watching ever so faithfully, when I was 12 years old and saw just about every episode for 25 years.

    In the beginning, I would race home from school to catch it. My first paycheck from my after school job, went to the purchase of a VCR. It's pathetic to admit, but I actually remember crying if the electricity went out for some reason or my VCR didn't record an episode. Looking back, I'm sometimes ashamed of the amount of time I spent watching soaps, GL in particular. I still need the escapism found in movies, TV and books, most of us will admit that; but for me, the medium of telling stories through daytime serials brought with it a sense of satisfaction that I have yet to find again.

    My earliest memories are of Kelly and Morgan (the red haired Morgan) falling in love at Laurel Falls. Annual Bauer BBQ's, A crazy Amanda Wexler, who retreated back into childhood complete with a big, silly bow in her hair and a ever present rag baby. Then, GL moved into it's heydays with focus on the teenage years of Phillip, Beth, Rick and Mindy's friendships and romances. Although, I think I may have loved the old movie quality of Nola and Quentin's Jane Eyer like storyline, even more.

    Anyone even remotely acquainted with the show, will agree the most important moment was the day Reva Shane stormed in to Springfield and the whole Lewis/Shane clan saga was slowly revealed to us riveted viewers. To this day, their history seems like gospel, okay, maybe gospel is taking it too far, but if feels like a universal story, not unlike Gone With The Wind or Camelot.

    The Men: I've always said (and I'm still looking for him) that my ideal man would have the humor and bigheartedness of Billy Lewis (Jordan Clarke), the sophistication of Alan Spaulding (Ron Raines), the adventuress spirit of Fletcher Read(Jay Hammer), the good looks and patience of Josh Lewis (Robert Newman), the earnestness of Ed Baurer (Peter Simon) and the solid sexiness of Ross Marler (Jerry Ver Dorn). In addition, throw in a little Rick Hearst, Micheal Tylo and Justin Deas for good measure!

    The Women: Some stellar actresses have graced this sound stage. It's really the women that keep you glued to a Soap. It becomes vital that you see each one through crisis after crisis, through changes of love, hate, death, rebirth, births, careers, and most importantly wardrobe!

    Reva (Kim Zimmer) is just Reva - no words can describe her, but I do wonder if she's counted how many thousand (perhaps millions) of tears she actually shed over the years.

    Harley (Beth Ehlers) was tenacious and raw and adorable.

    Cassie (Laura Wright) was a beauty with so much spunk and true grit.

    Beth (Beth Chamberlain) took us for a roller coaster ride over the years; sometimes sympathetic and weak, then she'd be devious and self-centered, other times just a mess and sometimes powerful and maternal.

    Holly (Maureen Garrett) was one of the most elegantly, naturally, sexy women I've ever seen.

    Dinah (Wendy Moniz/Gina Tognoni) made you cheer her on through every self-destructive antic.

    My sister will kill me if I leave out her favorite - Blake (Liz Keifer) who never stopped making mistake after mistake, yet we forgave her again and again.

    I also really loved the first Alexandra Spaulding (Beverly McKenzie) and I still miss Nola Reardon-Chamberlain (Lisa Brown). Some young actresses like Melina Kanakaredes, Brittany Snow, Hayden Panettiere and Nia Long got started on Guiding Light and went on to be amazing prime time and movie actresses.

    In the end, the show was a mere shell of itself, so little happening, such cheap production value. I felt glad that it was being given a final send off before its original magic completely disappeared.

    To the viewers delight, Philip and Beth and Rick and Mindy all reunited with marriages for both couples. Billy and Vanessa also made one last trip down the aisle. Alan's double dealings were finally put to rest for eternity and most importantly Reva and Josh rode off together into the sunset.

    RIP GL.
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