CBS has canceled one of its last remaining soap operas. “As the World Turns,” which airs daily at 2 p.m. on the Eyenet’s local owned-and-operated, KDKA-TV, will end its 54-year run in January.
The move puts Cincinnati-based soap-making giant Procter & Gamble out of the broadcasting business for the first time since 1933, when it launched the radio soap opera “Ma Perkins” as an advertising vehicle for its Oxydol laundry detergent.
(And you always wondered why they were called soap operas. If Heinz had created them, they’d be pickle operas.)
Shows like “As the World Turns” were originally aimed at women who worked in the home. But with more women in the paid workforce, soap opera audiences have been steadily declining for decades.
Producing an original drama five times per week is expensive: According to the New York Times, the average soap opera costs about $50 million per year to produce; a game show costs half that price.
The show’s producers (technically a subsidiary of P&G) say they’re seeking another outlet for the show. But as the Associated Press points out, P&G said the same thing about “Guiding Light” when CBS snuffed it in September and replaced it with a revival of “Let’s Make a Deal.” It still hasn’t found anyone else to pick up “Light.”
For now, CBS still screens “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless.” (Or as the late Bill Burns notoriously called it ….)