Home Celebrity CBS Will Replace “As the World Turns” With a Real Soap Opera

There’s much to say about CBS and Procter & Gamble canceling “As the World Turns.” It’s a slap at fans who’ve followed the show for 54 years. Through ups and downs, “As the World Turns” has always been the Cadillac of soaps.

Now comes word that CBS is going to shoot a pilot starring Julie Chen, wife of Les Moonves, that will be something like “The View.” If they like it, and you know they will, Julie and her girls will air at 2pm EST in place of “As the World Turns” starting next fall.

First of all, in all full disclosure, I know and like Julie Chen. She hosts “Big Brother” during the summer, and she’s a witty, fun, contributor to the CBS team. I don’t think anyone has anything against Julie Chen.

But it does look bad, doesn’t it? First there was Moonves’s (I also know him and like him) sneering disregard for “World Turns.” When I asked him about it one night, he told me that it was a closed chapter–“especially shows with single sponsors.” Procter & Gamble has been a cheap, whiny host to it soaps, whittling them down to nothing over the last 20 years. I’m sure dealing with them was no fun.

Chen doesn’t need this aggravation. Competing with “The View” is a non-starter. It’s like taking on “Regis and Kelly.” You’re not going to win. The TV audience smells a rip off. Like it or not, “The View” was  a unique idea. Trying to copy it is project that will only end in tears.

Meanwhile, over at “World Turns,” P&G and the producers are doing their damnedest to alienate what’s left of the audience. After an Emmy worth episode with alum Julianne Moore, the show is not doing much to feature favorite ex-players or tie up loose ends for the legacy fans. If I didn’t know better, I’d say P&G wants to make sure that by September 17th, no one is left with nostalgia–or blame for the corporate giant. They did it with “Guiding Light,” last year, reducing it to rubble. Very sad, and very lame.

Me, I switched from Crest to Colgate Total a long time ago.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
4 replies to this post
  1. What a crock of Bull%%%%. I CANNOT TOLERATE ANOTHER REALITY, FAKE TALK OR GAME SHOW!!!!!!! I AM SO P.O’D I CAN’T EVEN PUT IT INTO WORDS….would have preferred to see an afternoon movie if they had to cancel the soap. I hope CBS fires the idiot that is running the show obviously he has his head up his %%%

  2. How did Moonves get so powerful? I am not surprised at all that he ended ATWT so he could put his wife on her own show. Like we need more people talking about themselves and each other. I agree with Jamie above, he doesn’t own CBS – he’s just running it – into the ground.
    I have a lot of respect for Julianne Moore who has the class to pay homage to the show which helped her get her start. Too bad more of them won’t step up.

  3. I have been a fan of ATWT for over 20 years and I agree with you Roger that there won’t be a fan left in Sept. The show is barely watchable right now. It is too bad since the show has some of the best acting talent in daytime television. The audience for soaps is still out there. The networks just need to hire people that know how to write entertaining stories. The writers of the evening soaps, such as Lost, FlashForward and Supernatural know how to do it. Daytime has lost its way. Very sad.

  4. This is a shame, especially for such an iconic show. Les Moonves is a tool. A few years ago, he was responsible for the cancellation of “Reba” on the WB/CW. It was one of the highest rated shows on the network, and he simply just didn’t “like” it. It should have been moved to CBS, where it would have been a big hit. Instead, it was cancelled and the fans (once again) were treated like dirt. It did return at the last minute for thirteen episodes (to great ratings), but Moonves let it die. He needs to put his personal feelings aside and run the company objectively. He runs CBS, he doesn’t OWN it.

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