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As the World Turns
AsTheWorldTurns2009final

As the World Turns final title card, circa 2009-2010

Created by Irna Phillips
Written by Jean Passanate
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 13,858
Production
Executive producer(s) Ted Corday (1956–65)
Mary Harris (1965–71)
Fred Bartholomew (1971–73, 1980–81)
Joe Willmore (1973–78)
Joe Rothenberger (1978–80)
Mary-Ellis Bunim (1981–84)
Robert Calhoun (1984–88)
Laurence Caso (1988–95)
John Valente (1995–96)
Felicia Minei Behr (1996–99)
Christopher Goutman (1999–2010)
Location(s) New York City, New York
Running time 30 minutes (19561975)
60 minutes (19752010)
Distributor Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. (1986–2008)
TeleNext Media, Inc. (2008–2010)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run April 2, 1956 – September 17, 2010
Template:Italic title

As the World Turns (often referred to as ATWT) is an American television soap opera which aired on CBS from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010.

Set in the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois, the show debuted on April 2, 1956, at 1:30 pm EST. Prior to then, all serials were fifteen minutes in length. As the World Turns and The Edge of Night, which premiered on the same day at 4:30 pm EST, were the first two to be thirty minutes in length from their premiere.

At first, viewers did not respond to the new half-hour serial, but ratings picked up in its second year, eventually reaching the top spot in the daytime Nielsen ratings by fall 1958. In 1959, the show started a streak of weekly ratings wins that would not be interrupted for over twelve years. In the year-to-date ratings, As the World Turns was the most-watched daytime drama from 1958 until 1978, with ten million viewers tuning in each day. At its height, core actors such as Helen Wagner, Don MacLaughlin, Don Hastings, and Eileen Fulton became nationally known. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light.

The show switched to color on August 21, 1967, and expanded from a half-hour in length to one hour starting on December 1, 1975 when The Edge of Night moved to ABC.

As the World Turns is notable for having been produced in New York City for all of its time on television after Another World ended (its first 43 years in Manhattan and in Brooklyn from 2000 until 2010).

The show passed its 10,000th episode on May 12, 1995, and celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 2, 2006. On September 18, 2009, As the World Turns became the last remaining Procter and Gamble produced soap opera for CBS after Guiding Light aired its final episode on the network.

On October 5, 2009, while Let's Make a Deal debuted and replaced Guiding Light, As the World Turns competed against Passionate Dreams in a matchup, but As the World Turns lost in an 84-75 score to Passionate Dreams.

On December 8, 2009, CBS announced that it was canceling As the World Turns after almost 54 years due to low ratings. The show taped its final Procter and Gamble for CBS on June 23, 2010, and with a sad dramatic storyline finale, its final episode on the network aired on September 17, 2010. On the Monday of the show's final week CBS delayed As the World Turns in the Mountain and Pacific time zones in order to air the Men's Final at the 2010 U.S. Open live; the match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had been scheduled for the day before but was postponed due to rain. Fans and critics called this "disrespectful" to the 54-year-old soap opera. On October 18, 2010, CBS replaced As the World Turns with a newly debuted talk show The Talk.

The As the World Turns series finale marked its first year on September 17, 2011, its second year on September 17, 2012, its third year on September 17, 2013, its fourth year on September 17, 2014 and its fifth year on September 17, 2015.

As the World Turns marked a 60th Anniversary on April 2, 2016. The show's series finale marked its sixth anniversary on September 17, 2016. The series finale of As the World Turns marked a 7th Anniversary on September 17, 2017 and will soon mark an 8th Anniversary on September 17, 2018.

Premise

File:Hugheses1980.jpg

As the World Turns was the creation of Irna Phillips, who beginning in the 1930s, had been one of the foremost creators and writers of radio soap operas. As a writer, Phillips favored character development and psychological realism over melodrama,[1] and her previous creations (which included Guiding Light) were especially notable for placing professionals – doctors, lawyers, and clergy – at the center of their storylines. Phillips wrote: "As the world turns, we know the bleakness of winter, the promise of spring, the fullness of summer, and the harvest of autumn—the cycle of life is complete."[2]

And so it was with As the World Turns, with its slow-moving psychological character studies of families headed by legal and medical professionals. The personal and professional lives of doctors and lawyers remained central to As the World Turns throughout its run, and eventually became standard fare on many soap operas. Whereas the 15-minute radio soaps often focused on one central, heroic character (for example, Dr. Jim Brent in Phillips' Road of Life), the expanded 30-minute format of As the World Turns enabled Phillips to introduce a handful of professionals within the framework of a family saga.

Phillips' style favored gradual evolution over radical change. Slow, conversational, and emotionally intense, the show moved at the pace of life itself – and sometimes even more slowly than that. Each new addition to the cast was done in a gradual manner, and was usually a key contact to one of the members of the Hughes family. As such, the show earned a reputation as being quite conservative, though the show did showcase a gay male character in 1988.[3][4] During the show's early decades, the content-related policies of its sponsor Procter & Gamble Productions may have contributed to the perception of conservatism. The soap-manufacturing giant typically balked at storylines in which adultery and other immoral behavior went unpunished, and as late as the 1980s, characters from the primary families were still generally not allowed to go through with abortions.

Notable history and accomplishments

As the World Turns premiered on April 2, 1956.[5] It was the first television daytime drama with a 30-minute running time; all daytime dramas until then had 15-minute running times.[6]

The series was also CBS' first to expand to a 60-minute running time in 1975.[6] By 1958, the program was the number-one daytime drama in the United States, where it remained until 1978.[7][8] As the World Turns won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series four times, in 1987, 1991, 2001, and 2003.

Cast and characters

Template:Main

Helen Wagner

The first words spoken in As the World Turns in the first episode (aired on April 2, 1956) were "Good morning, dear," said by the character Nancy Hughes, played by actress Helen Wagner.[9]

Wagner was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest run in a single role on television, a position she held until 2010.[10] She did not play the role without interruption - she was temporarily dropped from the series after the first six months due to conflicts with creator Irna Phillips. Wagner also left the series in 1981, when she felt that writers were not interested in the veteran players. She returned as a regular contract player in 1985 after Douglas Marland became headwriter. Template:Citation needed

On the episode broadcast on Monday, August 30, 2010, it was revealed that Nancy had died in her sleep; the next day's episode dealt with Nancy's memorial service. Nancy Hughes's memorial aired just two weeks before the series finale. The show's producers stated in interviews that they had to revise their plans for the final episode because of Wagner's death – they had hoped that Wagner would say the final lines of the last episode just as she had said the first words of the first episode.Template:Citation needed

Crossovers

Several crossovers have been made between As the World Turns and other serials:

  • 1962
    • The character Mitchell Dru (Geoffrey Lumb) was brought to Oakdale after the cancellation of the Procter and Gamble soap The Brighter Day. The same character (and actor) was then transferred to a new P&G soap, Another World, shortly after its premiere in 1964. Another World was originally conceived by Irna Phillips to be a spin-off series of As the World Turns. Like several other characters from Another World, Mitchell Dru "crossed over" for one or more performances on the first Another World spin-off, Somerset, which premiered in March 1970.
  • 1965
    • The character Lisa Miller Hughes (Eileen Fulton) was used as the basis to create a primetime spinoff soap Our Private World, (CBS's attempt to duplicate the success of rival network ABC's Peyton Place), with Lisa leaving Oakdale and moving to Chicago, where she married wealthy John Eldridge, but had an affair with his brother Thomas. Though Our Private World only lasted a few months, and Fulton returned to As the World Turns in early 1966, after taking a few months off, remnants of Lisa's time on Our Private World were resurrected 26 years later, when it was revealed in 1992 that Lisa had had a son off-camera, hitherto unknown to viewers, before returning to As the World Turns in 1966. Her son Scott Eldridge tracked her down as an adult, and remained on As the World Turns for several years.
  • 1999–2003
    • Shortly after Another World was cancelled in June 1999, the characters of Cass and Lila Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer and Lisa Peluso), and Jake and Victoria McKinnon (Tom Eplin and Jensen Buchanan) crossed over to As the World Turns briefly. Jake and Vicky intended to move to Oakdale, but Vicky was soon killed off in September 1999, then appeared as a ghost to Jake and Molly from November 2000 to February 2001. Cass only appeared on a recurring basis through 2003 (usually whenever anyone in Oakdale needed an attorney, other than resident lawyer Tom Hughes), and Jake (Tom Eplin) remained as a regular on the series until his character was killed off in 2002. Cindy Brooke Harrison (Kim Rhodes) also had minor appearances in 2000 and 2001. Vicky's mother and twin sister, Donna (Anna Stuart) and Marley (Ellen Wheeler, who at the time also directed episodes of As the World Turns), made recurring appearances from 2000 to 2002, and left the show when they gained custody of Jake and Vicky's twin daughters after Jake's death. There were also plans to have a now-teenage Steven Frame (Vicky's son with Jamie Frame) come to Oakdale and live with Jake, but the character was reconceived as teenage Bryant Montgomery, the son of As the World Turns couple Craig and Sierra.

Since 2005, a number of characters have crossed back and forth between As the World Turns and The Young and the Restless:

  • 2005
    • As the World Turns: At the request of Oakdale, Illinois, District Attorney Jessica Griffin, Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc) traveled there to serve as the attorney for Jack Snyder (Michael Park) in a custody hearing involving his late wife Julia Larabee's son, JJ. (April 4 – 05, 2005).

The irony in his appearance in the above-mentioned episodes, is that 20 years before, LeBlanc left the role of Kirk McColl, the youngest son of Lisa's fifth husband, Whit McColl (played by Wagon Train star Robert Horton, who was killed off shortly before Fulton's return to the show). So, to many long-time fans of both As The World Turns and The Young and the Restless, seeing LeBlanc as the character from the latter show was weird. History was also made during LeBlanc's appearance on As the World Turns, since both shows are made by different production companies (Bell Dramatic Serial Company for The Young and the Restless; Procter and Gamble for As the World Turns), although they are on the same network.

President Kennedy's assassination

File:JFK CBS bulletin.jpg

On November 22, 1963, the live CBS broadcast of As The World Turns began as always at 1:30 EST. In this episode, the Hughes family was discussing plans for Thanksgiving. Ten minutes later, a "CBS News Bulletin" slide suddenly came up on the screen and Walter Cronkite gave the first report of the assassination.[11]

Here is a bulletin from CBS News: in Dallas, Texas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy's motorcade in downtown Dallas. The first reports say that President Kennedy has been seriously wounded by this shooting. More details just arrived. These details about the same as previously: President Kennedy shot today just as his motorcade left downtown Dallas. Mrs. Kennedy jumped up and grabbed Mr. Kennedy, she called, 'Oh no!'. The motorcade sped on. United Press says that the wounds for President Kennedy perhaps could be fatal. Repeating, a bulletin from CBS News: President Kennedy has been shot by a 'would-be assassin' in Dallas, Texas. Stay tuned to CBS News for further details.[11]

At the end of this bulletin, CBS rejoined As The World Turns, which was still in progress. The cast, performing the episode live, was not yet aware of the rapidly developing situation.[11]

As NBC and ABC, the other two major U.S. TV networks, were not programming at the time (the 1:30–2:00 ET period belonging to their local affiliates), As The World Turns has the distinction of being the last regular U.S. network program broadcast for the next four days as the assassination and funeral of JFK and the transition of power to President Lyndon B. Johnson took center stage.[12]

Broadcast history

Template:Refimprove section As the World Turns enjoyed a virtually uninterrupted reign as the highest-rated soap from 1958 to 1978,[7] tying for first place with NBC Daytime's Another World (1973–1974, 1977–1978) and Days of Our Lives (1973–1974). By the mid-1960s, it was so firmly entrenched that its strongest competition, Let's Make a Deal, despite developing a devoted fan base in its own right and becoming one of daytime's most popular game shows, could not come close to matching it in the Nielsens.

Its strength was such that ABC ran hour-long drama reruns in the 1:00–2:00 pm. (noon–1:00 Central) slot in the mid-1960s and NBC, after losing Deal to ABC in 1968, ran a total of eight shows, all short-lived (with the exception of Three on a Match, which lasted three years), against As the World Turns and Let's Make a Deal from that point until 1975.

As that year began, Another World was expanded to 60 minutes, with their first hour-long episode airing on January 6, 1975. Although this did not directly affect As the World Turns, as the two shows were not in competition for anything other than the overall ratings win, CBS' afternoon lineup suffered some ratings damage as the popular soap put a dent in the ratings of both of CBS' popular afternoon game shows, The Price Is Right and Match Game. NBC, pleased by the success that the expansion of Another World had brought to the network, elected to do the same thing with Days of Our Lives beginning on April 21, 1975; this put Days of Our Lives and As the World Turns in direct competition for ratings. Incidentally, the expansions were occurring seven years after the last two 15-minute serials, Search for Tomorrow and The Guiding Light, expanded to 30 minutes.

CBS considered expanding As the World Turns and Search for Tomorrow to 45 minutes (eliminating the timeslot during which stations broadcast local newscasts), but eventually decided to expand As the World Turns, its front-runner in the ratings battle, to a full-hour length. CBS set a target of September 1975 to complete the expansion and needed to free up 30 minutes' worth of space on its schedule to do so. Game show The Price Is Right was relocated to 10:30 am and aired a week's worth of 60-minute shows in September as a test for a potential permanent expansion. While The Price is Right's expansion was intended as temporary to start, the expansion of As the World Turns was to be permanent. As such, the network was required to cancel one of the other programs on its schedule.

CBS turned its eye to The Edge of Night, which at the time was the network's lowest-rated program. The former hit had been moved, at Procter and Gamble's insistence, from its 3:30 pm timeslot to the 2:30 pm slot following The Guiding Light in 1972. As a result, The Edge of Night lost a large portion of its audience. In addition to those factors working against it, the rest of CBS' drama lineup was performing well in the ratings and the network could not move the long-running serial to another time slot without risking pre-emption from local affiliates, which would have driven ratings even lower. An agreement was struck between CBS, Procter and Gamble, and ABC to get the necessary 30 minutes for the As the World Turns expansion. CBS would not renew The Edge of Night once its contract was up, and Procter and Gamble moved the serial to ABC and aired it there.

However, a problem arose that would have caused a major issue had CBS elected to go ahead with a September expansion of As the World Turns. The network's contract with Procter and Gamble was not due to expire until December 1975. This meant that no new episodes of The Edge of Night would air for three months, and ABC wanted to keep the series' continuity intact. CBS decided to hold off on the expansion and continue airing The Edge of Night until ABC could find a space for the serial. In November 1975, ABC announced the cancellation of the game show You Don't Say!, which had been airing in the network's 4:00 pm timeslot. The final episode was scheduled to air on November 28, 1975, after which The Edge of Night would be free to leave CBS and As the World Turns would be free to expand to 60 minutes.

The first hour-long episode of As the World Turns aired on December 1, 1975. The first half of the show continued to perform well against Let's Make a Deal on ABC, which the network moved to the noon timeslot within four weeks of the expansion. The second half put As the World Turns in competition with ABC's most popular game show, The $10,000 Pyramid, which had done well against Guiding Light since the network moved it to 2:00 pm at the end of 1974 and kept doing so against As the World Turns. Although the expansion was not a complete success, at the end of the season, the serial was again at the top of the daytime Nielsens despite a 1.4-point drop from the year before.

Although the eventual hit game Family Feud ran against As The World Turns from July 12, 1976, until April 22, 1977, it did not become a hit for ABC until its move to the mornings. Only when ABC made its first move to a one-hour soap with All My Children did trouble really began for As the World Turns (and Days of our Lives), since ABC kept that serial's starting time at 1:00/noon, meaning that fans of that serial who tuned to NBC or CBS would miss the last half of that day's storyline (or, contrariwise, would not, if they watched until the mid-program commercial break and then changed channels, pick up the As The World Turns or Days of Our Lives activities from the episode's beginning, since ABC strategically placed its break several minutes after the bottom of the hour). Further, All My Children's emphasis on youth-oriented, sexier story lines provided a sharp contrast to the domestic, almost quaint tone of As the World Turns (and to a lesser degree, the melodramatic, somewhat topical Days). On January 16, 1978, ABC ballooned its decade-old One Life to Live to the 2:00 PM/1:00 PM starting time, compounding the other networks' headaches. These factors helped contribute to the fall of As The World Turns from the top spot in the ratings at the end of the 1978-79 season. After finishing the previous season tied with Another World for number one in the Nielsens, As the World Turns fell to fourth behind All My Children, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless.

On February 4, 1980, CBS moved and expanded The Young and the Restless to a full hour after the cancellation of the soap opera Love of Life which ended three days ago. The Young and the Restless moved from noon/11:00 am to 1:00 pm/noon (the former affiliate break timeslot) and As the World Turns was bumped up to 2:00 /1:00 pm and Guiding Light to 3:00/2:00 pm. On June 8, 1981, As the World Turns returned to its longtime 1:30/12:30 pm start time with Search for Tomorrow following at 2:30/1:30 pm and The Young and the Restless leading off the serial lineup at either noon/11:00 am or 12:30 pm/11:30 am (depending on affiliate preference).

As the World Turns remained at 1:30/12:30 pm until March 20, 1987, when CBS canceled the five-year-old Capitol due to low ratings in favor of The Bold and the Beautiful. CBS scheduled it at 1:30/12:30 pm, and finally settled As the World Turns at 2:00/1:00 pm, where it remained until its final network episode in September 2010. Although facing the full length of Another World and One Life to Live once again, the Douglas Marland era of 1985 to 1993 had a resurgence in ratings, and by 1991, it was back in its once habitual top-four placing. As the World Turns survived NBC's cancellation of its sister Another World in 1999 and also survived NBC's cancellation of another soap opera Passions in 2007.

End

In December 2009, CBS confirmed that it would not renew As the World Turns. The final CBS episode was taped on June 23, 2010, at JC Studios in Brooklyn, which aired on September 17, 2010. The final scene included Kim Hughes (Kathryn Hays) telling Bob Hughes (Don Hastings) to take as much time as he needed. Bob said the final two lines "Good Night" and left the Oakdale Memorial Hospital for the last time, and the globe started spinning before the final fade-out.

Schedule

CBS:

  • April 2, 1956 – November 28, 1975: 1:30–2:00 PM (12:30–1:00 PM, CT/PT)
  • December 1, 1975 – February 1, 1980: 1:30–2:30 PM (12:30–1:30 PM, CT/PT)
  • February 4, 1980 – June 5, 1981: 2:00–3:00 PM (1:00–2:00 PM, CT/PT)
  • June 8, 1981 – March 20, 1987: 1:30–2:30 PM (12:30–1:30 PM, CT/PT)
  • March 23, 1987 – September 17, 2010: 2:00–3:00 PM (1:00–2:00 PM, CT/PT)

Opening Title Cards

AsTheWorldTurns1956

AsTheWorldTurns1967

AsTheWorldTurns1981

AsTheWorldTurns1993

AsTheWorldTurns1999

AsTheWorldTurns2002a

AsTheWorldTurns2002

AsTheWorldTurns2007

AsTheWorldTurns2009final

Cast

Complete cast members

Actor Character Duration
Noelle Beck Lily Walsh 2008-2010
Terri Colombino Katie Peretti Snyder 1998–2010
Daniel Cosgrove Chris Hughes 2010
Trent Dawson Henry Coleman 1998–2010

Ellen Dolan


Mary Beth Evans

Margo Montgomery Hughes


Sierra Esteban

1989–1993, 1994–2010

2000-2005, 2010

Eileen Fulton Lisa Miller Grimaldi 1960–1964, 1966–1983, 1984-2010
Van Hansis Luke Snyder 2005–2010
Don Hastings Bob Hughes 1960–2010
Kathryn Hays Kim Sullivan Hughes 1972–2010
Jon Hensley Holden Snyder 1985–1989, 1990–1995, 1997–2010
Scott Holmes Tom Hughes 1987–2010
Roger Howarth Paul Ryan 2003–2010

Elizabeth Hubbard

Alexa Kaplan


Jennifer Landon

Lucinda Walsh

Hallie Munson


Gwen Munson

1984–1999, 1999–2010


2005-2008, 2010

Jon Lindstrom Craig Montgomery 2008–2010

Billy Magnussen


Cady McClain

Casey Hughes

Rosanna Cabot

2008–2010


2002-2005, 2007-2008, 2009, 2010

Grayson McCouch Dusty Donovan 2003–2008, 2008–2010
Kelley Menighan Hensley Emily Stewart 1992–2010
Michael Park Jack Snyder 1997–2010

Marnie Schulenburg

Jesse Soffer

Alison Stewart


Will Munson

2007–2010


2004-2008, 2010

Maura West Carly Tenney 1995–1996, 1997–2010
Colleen Zenk Pinter Barbara Ryan 1978-2010

Recurring cast members

Actor Character Duration

Larry Bryggman

Ewa Da Cruz

John Dixon

Vienna Hyatt

1969-2004, 2010

2006-2010

Valentina de Angelis Faith Snyder 2010

Allie Gorenc

Terri Garber

Sarah Glendening

Sage Snyder

Iris Dumbrowski

Lucy Montgomery

2006-2010

Bailey Harkins Johnny Donovan 2008-2010

Mick Hazen

Eleanor Handley

Anthony Herrera

Parker Munson Snyder

Monique

James Stenbeck

2006-2010

Lesli Kay Molly Conlan McKinnon 1997–2004, 2009–2010
Ben Levin Gabriel Caras 2010
Marie Masters Dr. Susan Burke Stewart 1968–1979, 1986–2010
Kurt McKinney Ellis 2010
Isabella Palmieri Natalie Snyder 2009-2010
Julie Pinson Janet Ciccone Snyder 2008–2010

Vanessa Ray

Katy Selverstone

Teri Ciccone


Francoise

2009–2010

Eric Sheffer Stevens Dr. Reid Oliver 2010

Jake Silbermann

Kristina Sisco

Billy Warlock

Noah Mayer

Abigail Williams

Anthony Blackthorn

2007-2010

Kathleen Widdoes Emma Snyder 1985–2010
Sarah Wilson Liberty Ciccone 2010

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