As the World Turns will end in September 2010 after more than half a century on the air, CBS announced Tuesday.
"The almanacs will show As the World Turns as a pioneer of the format, a hallmark for quality with its numerous Emmys, the launching pad for many television and film stars and a daytime ratings powerhouse for parts of three decades," said Barbara Bloom, CBS' senior vice president of daytime programming. "We thank our partners at Procter & Gamble for the privilege of hosting this beloved series ... the actors, writers, producers and crew who worked so hard and shared their amazing talents to bring this series to life ... and, of course, the viewers who shared the journey on our network for so many years."
The cancellation comes three months after CBS axed Guiding Light -- after 72 years on the air (57 on television) -- as soap operas have seen a ratings decline in recent years. As the World Turns' exit will leave just six soaps on the air; CBS will be home to two of them, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.
As the World Turns debuted April 2, 1956. It was the most-watched drama for 20 years and has won four Emmys for outstanding drama series, most recently in 2003. When President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, the show was interrupted and became the last regular network program broadcast for the next few days as continual TV news coverage took over.
Among its past cast members are Marisa Tomei, Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Martin Sheen, Steven Weber and Larry Bryggman.