Although Guiding Light is no longer on the air, the memories of the show live on with us today. Check it out here--->>>
Radio Broadcast January 25, 1937-June 29, 1956
Television Broadcast June 30, 1952-September 18, 2009
Guiding Light, the longest-running drama in television history was created by Irna Phillips. She based our beloved soap on her personal experiences after the loss of her child at the age of 19. She found comfort during that difficult time when listening to Preston Bradley, a famous preacher. These sermons helped birth the idea of The Guiding Light. And so, the next 72 years began.
Guiding Light debuted as a series on the radio on January 25, 1937, and ran for 19 years. Its 57-year television run started on June 30, 1952. Guiding Light ran simultaneously on radio and television between 1952 and 1956. It began as a 15-minute show, expanded to 30 minutes, then one hour.
How can we concise 72 years of greatness in a single article? Spoiler Alert; we can't. But we will just do our best to celebrate and acknowledge the show and send our love, appreciation and gratitude to the show, creators, writers, cast and crew.
When Guiding Light made its television premiere the Bauer family became the center and the legacy family of the show led by Bill (patriarch) and Bertha "Bert" (matriarch) Bauer. Bill was a down to earth hard-working family man who instilled the same in his kids. Bert had loftier dreams. And the balance of the two, their marriage and family built Guiding Light's foundation. Also, during the 1950's Irna Phillips moved to As the World Turns. And Agnes Nixon took the helm as head writer. Diversity and the shift to the next generation of Bauer's, Ed and Mike, took center stage in the 1960's.
The next decade, the disco era, was a compelling period for several reasons. Bill Bauer rose from the dead. Yep, there is nothing new under the sun. In 1977, Guiding Light expanded to an hour. Also, we were introduced to the iconic Michael Zaslow as Roger Thorpe. It's difficult for me to type those words without going on (and on and on and on) about what Michael and Roger did for daytime. But I will refrain lol. We were also introduced to Rita Stapleton, Alan Spaulding, Ross Marler and Holly Norris. I'm literally tearing up. I adored those characters.
The MTV decade, (80's) arguably the show's best, featured more younger characters and the Shayne and the Lewis' came to Springfield, Joshua, Billy, H.B. and Vanessa Lewis and Reva Shayne. The Bauer Barbecue also began. This time birthed one of the greatest soap quads ever; comprised of Phillip Spaulding, Beth Raines, Rick Bauer and Mindy Lewis. Awesome soap memories. And no no no no, we didn't forget Alexandra Spaulding or Brandon "Lujack" Luvonoczek Spaulding who we fell madly in love with. Lawd why did they kill Lujack?
It's fair to say the 90's weren't the best. But life happens in ebbs and flows. Reva Shayne exited the canvas in early 1990 and returned in 1995 for which we were very thankful. But we had to endure the shocking and unnecessary death of Maureen Bauer (soap blasphemy) and Alexandra Spaulding left Springfield. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh.
2000's ushered in the beginning of the end. There were budget and vet cuts and the show took a hard hit in the ratings. But there was still reason to celebrate. We celebrated the 50th Television Anniversary and the 70th Broadcast Anniversary. But on April 1, 2009, CBS decided not to renew Guiding Light.
The showrunners did an excellent job of giving the show, characters, actors and fans a fitting farewell; favorites Holly, Ed and Fletcher made an appearance. Mindy Lewis moved to Springfield for good. Supercouple Phillip and Beth decided to remarry. And yes, yes, yes Josh, Reva and Colin climbed in and rode off in Josh's pick up truck in the series' final scene on September 18, 2009.
Guiding Light, we miss you and will love you ALWAYS!
Happy 83rd Anniversary! We will never forget you!
***If you like us, are a theme song lover (and Guiding Light had some of the best) check out this compilation of them all from 1992-2009.***