Soap Opera Weekly: Blogging With Mala

I’m not normally an alarmist — at least not lately since I’m trying to cultivate a sense of zen like Charlie Crews from LIFE — but WHAT is going on with the rumors of GUIDING LIGHT being canceled this fall? Say it ain’t so! I know things are tough all over, but how is jettisoning a show that pulled itself up by its bootstraps and reinvented itself so completely a GOOD thing for CBS and Procter & Gamble?

It’s not! GL is the epitome of the rags-to-riches success story right now. They moved themselves lock, stock and barrel to Peapack, NJ and made it work, even while people were scoffing at the new model. They pared down to the bare minimum and kept on trucking. Then, after fixing their outsides, they went to work on their insides. And despite being low in the Nielsen ratings, people are tuning in. The stories are better than they’ve been in years, the actors are at the top of their game and even mainstream press is talking about the show. Not to discount soap press because, hey, we love us some GL and have loved it all along. I even raved about it here in my blog on Feb 17.

Heck, just from a selfish standpoint, I do not want this show canceled because I want to know what happens to Olivia and Natalia after Jessica Leccia’s inevitable maternity leave. Do the math, people: That means the show has to last longer than September!

And if GL, a show that’s actually brilliant right now, gets taken off the air, what does that say for the sustainability of shows that are floundering in quality? We’ve got to hold on to the soaps we have until someone more brilliant than I figures out how to revitalize the genre as a whole and keep it going through the 21st century.

So write to CBS. Write to sponsors. Buy Swiffer and Pampers. Tell your friends who have Nielsen boxes to keep the TV tuned to GL even if they aren’t watching. Fight dirty if you have to, and then let Mr. Clean take care of the mess.


originally posted on

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