Join Soaps.com for the fifth installment of our decade by decade track through the history of a TV legend.
As the millennium turned, the series finally started to settle down... behind the scenes at least. Chris Goutman took over as Producer of As The World Turns from 1999 until the end. Only nine writers alternated on the story front, which gave the show more consistency than it had possessed for a long time, but that wasn't always a good thing. Keeping with the rest of the Daytime market, ratings steadily fell. By 2010, there were half as many viewers as there had been ten years before.
The decade saw a rash of pregnancies (thanks to half the women in the cast actually being pregnant), re-commitals, star-crossed lovers, comas, cross-dressing, diamond hunting, dual identities, identical twins, dead identical twins, jail times, attempted rape, abduction, blackmail, murder mysteries, one night stands, evil doppelgangers, aerobics videos, paralysis, blindness, porn stars, stalkers, the return of Craig Montgomery, horse killing, returns from the grave, amnesia, teenage pregnancies, baby switching, various cancer stories, crystal meth addiction, organ swapping, gender re-alignment camps, serial killers, car wrecks, shootings, alcoholism, long lost children, the mob, brainwashing and plenty of love triangles.
The early part of the decade saw the series winning at the Daytime Emmys, but also losing most of its veteran cast members as it attempted to salvage itself in the ratings by appealing to a younger audience. The show also received accolades and numerous awards for having a consistently present gay character, Luke Snyder. However, once Procter & Gamble's sister soap Guiding Light was cancelled, it was widely expected that the lights would soon go down in Oakdale too. Within months, the end of the series was announced.
The final episode aired on September 17, 2010. Original cast member Helena Wagner (Nancy Hughes) passed on earlier in the year, but Don Hastings (Bob Hughes) remained to say goodbye to Oakdale on its final day. It was episode 13,858.