Monday, January 4, 2010
ATWT Canceled AS THE WORLD TURNS TURNS will spin to a stop next year!
The In Depth Story:According to a statement released by the show, CBS has decided not to renew it, ending its 54-year run on the network.
'Throughout our history, ATWT has remained dedicated to sharing compelling stories that have entertained fans for more than five decades," executive producer Christopher Goutman says in the statement. 'We are disappointed and saddened by the news that the show is not being renewed. It will certainly be a loss for all of us and for the show's loyal audience."
Brian T. Cahill, senior vice-president and managing director of TeleNext Media, Inc., adds in the statement, "ATWT has been a cornerstone of our business and a tremendous asset to the compa- ny." (TeleNext produces ATWT and produced the now-axed GUIDING LIGHT.) "We are proactively seeking a new outlet to carry the show, and we are open to exploring innovative formats and relationships that will enable the future success of ATWT"
The production company espoused similar sentiments soon after GL's cancelation last year, but the soap couldn't find a home with any other outlet. (See sidebar.) ATWT will wrap nearly a year after GL finished its 72-year run.
Hints that the sudser wasn't long for this world were apparent at an industry event last summer, where CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler indicated that the soap wasn't safe. "The whole day part is being challenged; the whole makeup of the audience in daytime is changing," she told Soaps In Depth then. "There is some time- shifting; people are DVR-ing stuff. But I think that times are changing; we have to be responsive and go with the flow."
That flow seems to show that audiences aren't tuning in to Oakdale's goings- on the way they used to. Since GL's demise, ATWT has consistently ranked lowest in the daytime ratings, though the prevailing belief was that the soap had at least another year of life to right itself.
Martha Byrne, who spent nearly 20 years playing Lily, tells In Depth she was shocked by the cancelation. "I can't tell you how sad this news is to hear. It feels like a death in the family," she says, "for the fans who shared in the emotional roller coaster of the lives of the characters, to our characters behind the scenes that were a second family to me. I'm feeling their pain today."
Talent manager Michael Bruno, who represents several ATWT cast members, says that the margin between ATWT and other low-rated soaps — like ABC's ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILI ) isn't that large.
"ATWT, for the most part, is a solid show. I think Chris Goutman is a great executive producer who knows what he's do- ing," he acknowledges. "The scary thing about it being canceled is that it has just hundreds of thousands less viewers than other shows."
ATWT's cancellation, coming on the heels of AMC's recent move to California, means OLTL is the only soap that is still in production in New York.