After 54 years on television, “As the World Turns” stopped turning today.
The historic soap opera, which launched the careers of Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, Steven Weber and Marisa Tomei, ended its long run.
Legendary serial queen Irna Phillips created the ground-breaking drama set in the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois, which debuted on April 2, 1956, on CBS.
As times changed, so did the show, but the family unit was always at the core of the beloved series.
“ATWT was a trailblazer,” said Emmy-winning writer-producer Jonathan Reiner.
“It was one of the first half-hour shows and used hallmarks and techniques that the genre became famous for, such as the lingering close-up, exposition over coffee, a greater depth of character so that we knew motivations. This was all thanks to Irna Phillips, writer Bill Bell and director Ted Corday.”
ATWT was the first daytime series to introduce a gay male character. The show also dealt with adoption, teenage pregnancy, miscarriage, mid-aged pregnancy, homosexual relationships and of course, life-threatening diseases. And we can’t forget, rising from the dead.
ATWT holds the second-longest continuous run of any daytime network soap opera in American history, surpassed only by Guiding Light.