Saturday, April 13, 2024

Four Days Left for “World Turns”


“As the World Turns,” a 54 year old institution on CBS, ends its run on Friday. So far CBS has inflamed fans of the show by interrupting its last week with the US Open tennis matches. Last night in some markets they rebroadcast Monday’s show at 1:37am instead of its 2pm slot. There’s no end to the disrespect.

With the end of “ATWT,” Procter and Gamble completes a long term plan of getting out of soaps. It started at least back in 1999 when they cancelled the 35 year old “Another World.” P&G did everything they could to ruin their shows by draining their budgets, mistreating the actors and ignoring the fans. It worked! Brush with Colgate, kids, not Crest.

Here in Toronto, two actresses who got their start on P&G soaps are doing great. Tammy Blanchard, from “Guiding Light,” is terrific as Nicole Kidman’s sister in “Rabbit Hole.” And Mary Page Keller, who was Sally Frame on “Another World” in the 1980s, makes a disarming appearance in Mike Mills’s wonderful “Beginners.”

These gals would never have had such good career launches without soaps particularly the New York ones where theater actors were always cherished. Now thanks to P&G (and ABC for moving “All My Children” west) there is just one show in New York–“One Life to Live.” The great New York training ground for actors is gone. PS No one did a thing, either, including the theatrical unions.

“ATWT” features a lot of great actors who didn’t leave for other pastures, but stayed and resonated becausde they were good–not because they had no place to go. I just wish over the years they’d gotten publcists and sought out some attention. It might have helped. Really, in soaps, only Susan Lucci ever got that idea. At “World,” for years, at least in New York, only Eileen Fulton (who’s played Lisa since 1960) carried the ball.

Hopefully CBS will carry the show properly for the next and last four episodes. More to come…

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

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