Friday, April 10, 2009

Guiding Light & Everybody Hates Chris Come Soon To End

According to my neighbor in blogsphere, The Humor Mill, May 8th, could mark the end of CW's popular sitcom, "Everybody Hates Chris." In my best Florida Evans impression, I have this to say: Damn! Damn! Damn! I thought for certain we would be able to enjoy young Chris' antics until he finished high school.

To date the show has not been picked up for a 5th season and Executive Producer, Chris Rock, has decided to have the last laugh by ending the sitcom this season with a finale. The show will definitely be missed.

And after nearly 70 years of existence and 60 Daytime Emmy Awards, the great granddaddy of soap operas, "The Guiding Light" will fade to eternal darkness to lead us no more. CBS, or better yet, Proctor & Gamble, is pulling the plug on one of the best baby sitters we ever had. Just think how many times you were left watching "the stories" with Big Mama or by yourself while she busied herself with some other task. Thus, you came to know that television family better than your own.

For the first 15 years, "The Guiding Light" could only be heard on radio. That was from 1937 to 1952. And for the last 57 years the soap has held millions of loyal viewers glued to tv screens, making it the longest running show in broadcast history. Unfortunately, a few million is not enough. The show is currently the lowest rated of them all.

My question is how do you neatly end 72 years of broadcast history? The show is older than probably many of the writers combined. Truly, how do you respectfully end a show that employed so many actors, writers, and technicians for generations, and began the careers of Kevin Bacon, Calista Flockhart, Taye Diggs, and even James Earl Jones? Undoubtedly, when that set goes dark for the last time, there's going to be tears shed.

But soap opera viewers are a resilient bunch. Most avid watchers enjoy more than just one soap and know every character and plot line in minute detail. And yes, I speak from experience. "Young and the Restless", the top rated soap for decades now was my all time favorite since I was a kid. Once I relocated to Los Angeles, that visual love affair ended because it couldn't compete with the real dramas I was experiencing at the time. Now, I don't even have a passing interest.

So farewell "Chris" and "Guiding Light". Thanks for the memories. Hopefully, you'll live on in syndication where loyal fans will get to enjoy you all over again.

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