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    Guiding Light - NEWS ROOM

    In our 'Guiding Light' News Room, Soaps.com keeps you up-to-date with the latest Soap Opera news on the net. We also feature interviews with the soap stars, as well as local appearances by the actors and actresses.

    GL: Guiding Light Commemorates 70 Years

    Tuesday, January 23 2007


    The beginning (CBS)
    This Thursday, January 25th, we are going to hit a major milestone in the history of soap operas. To celebrate, Thursday�s episode will be a special broadcast revisiting the history of the show from its beginnings. The shows creators are hoping to give everyone a glimpse into the history of the show, the manic pace of production and how much, or little, things have actually changed in 70 years. This will include re-enactments of scenes from earlier episodes featuring today's stars as well as vintage and never before seen clips. Beth Ehlers (Harley Davidson Cooper Aitoro) will portray the show's creator Irna Phillips and we can see how advertising and a social conscience combined to create a whole new kind of TV show. In honour of the show's anniversary here's the first in our series of commemorative pieces.


    Guiding Light first debuted on the NBC red radio network on January the 25th, 1937. It was done live from Chicago to great success, only to be dropped in 1941. It was brought back from the dead thanks to a flurry of fan response and, in 1943, ran along with two other shows created by Irna Phillips to make up The General Mills Hour. CBS bought a share in the show from Procter & Gamble in 1947 and began running television versions of episodes on July 30th 1952. These were often run back to back with episodes of Search for Tomorrow, during lunch (each episode was only 15 minutes long then) and established the show as a consistent ratings winner well into the sixties.

    Guiding Light was inspired by the radio sermons of non-sectarian preacher Preston Bradley of the People�s Church, which gave Irna Phillips hope as an unwed and pregnant young woman. The central character of the show was Reverend Doctor John Rutledge, who left a light burning all night so that people could come to him for advice. It was set in the rural towns of Five Points and Selby Flats before being moved to Springfield and concentrated on the tribulations of a series of immigrant families. Always important to Phillips was what she learned from Reverend Bradley, the importance of the brotherhood of man and the fight for civil rights. It was also from these sermons that she was inspired to use organ music as accompaniment, something which became a staple in soaps for years to come.


    One of the early anniversaries (CBS)
    Irna came from a German-Jewish immigrant family with dreams of being an actress. She began working on radio and teaching Drama. She created the first serial drama for radio targeted at women with Painted Dreams. She also realized that a successful show needs sponsorship and began writing ad placements into her shows and made consumer objects part of the story. She then created the hugely successful Today�s Children which definitively created the soap opera genre.

    In its earliest days, Phillips would write the show herself, along with episodes of several other shows at the same time. It wasn�t uncommon to see her surrounded by secretaries dictating dialogue to more than one show at once, with everything graphed out on her big chalkboard. Famous for her control, she terrified many of the actors and workers on the show, even battling to keep the show in black and white for years. She was also well loved and served as the mentor for the majority of the genres creators, from Agnes Nixon to William J. Bell. She would also create Day of Our Lives, As the World Turns and Another World. She stayed with Guiding Light until 1958 and then she moved on to her next show, remaining continually vital and influential in the genre until her death in 1973.


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    USER COMMENTS

    Posted by crafter125 at Tuesday, January 23 2007 04:55 PM

    I remember going home for lunch when I was in elementary school and watching GL then Search for Tomorrow every day with my Mom. The shows were on for 15 minutes, but had 10 minutes of commercials. I am now a senior citizen and I still watch GL every day. At least now it is on for one hour. I will watch the anniversary show, of course, and wish you continuous success. This is a top notch show with top notch actors. These actors and characters have become like family to me, as well as many others I am sure. Thank you GL for bringing your light into my life.

    Posted by rei1 at Tuesday, January 23 2007 09:59 PM

    Thanks for the history, I too watched in the early days with my mom, until it became too sexual and then Mom God love, her turned it off. Maybe I need to do that too. Want a good tip on a ongoing "soap", try reading any story by Katherine Valentine. Look it up on Google, or any venue you can, I"ll bet you would be happy you did.

    Posted by Nechellestl at Wednesday, January 24 2007 12:56 PM

    I can't believe that they took tammy out of the show this isnt the end of guiding light but they have lost a veiwer I only watch for tammy and jon and josh and reva and now everything is all messed up that's so sad

    Posted by emj5 at Wednesday, January 24 2007 07:18 PM

    I have watched GL for so many many years, it has been wonderful watching the cast members on a daily basis, there have been times that I haven't seen the show in awhile and you can always catch up and get hooked again. I love the show, I really fell in like with Tammy and Jonathan and I can't understand why their characters are leaving, they were a joy to watch. So young and full of life, Jonathan can really act! and he is very nice for the eyes (smile). Oh, Yeah I love Josh and Reva!!!

    Posted by pep1946 at Thursday, January 25 2007 12:23 PM

    this show has gotten very bla bla bla,
    very stupid
    i love the people on here they are good but this play acting is ridiculous.
    and no one wanted tammy to die, her and johnathan were great together i for one am not watching this any more.
    I feel the same as all the rest josh and reva belong to gether also

    Posted by 6JOHNS6 at Thursday, January 25 2007 05:30 PM

    I WATCH GL EVERY DAY AND I LIKE REVA, JOSH, TAMMY AND JONATHAN. I WAS EXTREMLY DISAPPOINTED TO SEE THE ANNIVERSAYR SHOW. WHO GIVES A CRAP, GIVE US WHAT IS GOING ON NOW.
    BF

    Posted by mominmanhattan at Friday, January 26 2007 05:39 AM

    i was very impressed with the show yesterday as i was in my twenties when i started watching the Guiding Light.
    i am now in my seventies. Irna Phillps first scene,she wore a pin on here jacket. Is there anyway I can get a blow up of that pin? It looked like a bow with a watch on it.
    i have one just like that given to me by my aunt in the sixties.. If thats possible I wolud really be greatful.
    Keep up the good work Guiding light.

    Posted by taralin at Wednesday, January 31 2007 03:25 PM

    I think the anniversary show was pretty neat. I actually would like to have seen more of the original airing but it was nice for what it was. For those of you who didn't like it, just remember, you don't know where you're going till you know where you've come from.........I think remembering 70 years of success was comemorative. Always remember your roots and be true to yourself........

    Posted by JIMMY PERPER at Tuesday, February 06 2007 01:46 PM

    SEYMOUR AND JAN PERPER - MARRIED 0CT 7,1942
    USNAVY - RET - WWII AND KOREA
    FAN OF GUIDING LIGHT
    ME MET - DATED ONCE - IN MIAMI BEACH, LORD TARLTON HOTEL
    SIX WEEKS LATER - ARRIVED FRI. IN WASHN.
    DECIDED SAT.- GOT MARRIED THE FOLLOWING WEDNESDAY IN
    UPPER MARLBORO, MD.
    td.man@hotmail.com
    7181 Juana Drive, Millington, Tn, 38053

    Posted by KiSsMeXoXo546 at Friday, February 09 2007 11:13 AM

    I know this may seem mean but my favorite charcter was Lizzie and i wanted something bad to happen to Tammy althought she was my 2nd favorite i really feel bad that she died and someone has to bring SARAH AND JOHNATHAN BACK!or someone has to tell lizzie at least! oh yeah someone has to stop cassie from seeing tammy or she gonna go more crazy!

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