‘Guiding Light’ Goes Out

Another milestone in broadcast history was cast on 18 September 2009 when The Guiding Light aired its final episode, the last one of more than 15,000 produced. Created as radio serial, the title refers to a lamp in the study of Reverend Dr. John Ruthledge, a major character when The Guiding Light debuted in 1937, that family and residents could see as a sign for them to find help when needed.

The Guiding Light was produced for more than 72 years—of those, 57 were based in television. Its longevity made the daytime drama the longest-running program in broadcast history (as officially accredited by the Guinness Book of World Records).

Some facts about The Guiding Light follow below…

  • A total of 15,672 episodes were produced since the show premiered in radio on 25 January 1937.
  • Over the years, the show was produced in three different cities: Chicage, Los Angeles, and New York.
  • The show’s original tagline was “There is a destiny that makes us brothers.” For the final episode, it was displayed as “There is a destiny that makes us family.”
  • A total of 15,672 episodes were produced since the show premiered in radio on 25 January 1937.
  • The final scenes were taped on 11 August 2009, with an airdate of 18 September 2009 for the final episode.
  • Stars who began or boosted their careers on The Guiding Light include James Earl Jones, Kevin Bacon, Billy Dee Williams, Sherry Stringfield, and Cicely Tyson.
  • CBS reportedly decided on “lights out” for the show because of low viewer ratings.

    Hey, 72 years?! Not a bad run!!

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