CBS will shut down Guiding Light this fall. After seven decades of daytime melodrama Light is unable to satisfy working mothers and advertisers who rely on reality TV. Sad yes, but I guess that's show business. Well, at least show business during a so-called Recession.
Except for a fascination with Tad, Jenny, Jesse and Angie on All My Children and my grad school fetish for Young and the Restless, I stayed clear of Soaps. I was always afraid my brain would go soft if I became a devotee. However, Soaps provide lots of opportunites for my kind. Most of my theater cronies have worked as actors or writers on the Soaps. From Passions to One Life To Live, the Soaps have played an important role in the career of many of my peers. In fact, my good friends Terrell Tilford and Victoria Platt met on the Guiding Light. Not only did the become on-camera lovers, they married in real life. For a NYC theater artist Soaps offer three gifts: the luxury of living in the Big Apple, dependable earnings, and a small dose of celebrity.
If the Guiding Light can't survive an economically-fragile industry then it's best it departs with grace. But I'm thankful for the opportunities it provided [I audtioned once for a bartender]. I also send my best wishes to the all the NYC writers, actors, producers it employed. May the melodramatic town of Springfield rest in TV peace.
Keith Josef Adkins is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and social commentator.