CBS Announces Soap Renewal

CBS renewed its top soap, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, for three more years, a move that will keep it on the air through the 2013-14 season.

The 38-year-old soap has been the number one daytime show for 22 years, so its renewal isn’t really a surprise, but a three year deal signed this early in the season should at least come as welcome relief for soap fans who’ve seen some mixed signals about the future of their favorite genre.

In 2009, CBS ended the longest-running program in broadcasting history, GUIDING LIGHT, which left the air after a combined 72 years on television and radio.  Earlier this year, AS THE WORLD TURNS left the air after 54 years on CBS.  But fans got a little relief after NBC decided to renew its 45-year-old Days of Our Lives.  Of the current soaps still on the air, the youngest one, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, premiered back in 1987.

Variety reports that CBS is also close to signing a deal to renew B&B, Y&R’s sister soap.

New show boosts daytime ratings for CBS

While soap fans are still mourning the loss of AS THE WORLD TURNS, early numbers show that its replacement, THE TALK, is giving CBS a boost in female viewers in the time slot.

Compared with one year ago, when the 54-year-old soap was on the air, Monday’s premiere episode provided a 22% boost in Women 25-54, a 29% jump in Women 18-49, and an increase of 67% for Women 18-34.

On Wednesday’s show, former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford is scheduled to join hoses Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Sara Gilbert and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

THE TALK airs weekdays at 2:00pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.

A week of Y&R classic episodes

CBS’s THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS will air twice a day all this week, with an encore presentation of a classic episode airing in the show’s second slot at 2:00pm.

That 2:00pm slot was vacated last month by AS THE WORLD TURNS, which left the air after 54 years.  Next week, the slot will become the home of THE TALK, a talk show format featuring six moms discussing issues of the day in a program similar to ABC’s The View.

Here’s a look at what to expect in this week’s bonus episodes: Continue reading

Soap signs off, new show plans debut

AS THE WORLD TURNS broadcasts its 13,858th and final episode on Friday, closing the book on 54 years of broadcasting.

The soap’s replacement will be THE TALK, an hour-long talk show moderated by Julie Chen and five other moms: reality star Sharon Osbourne,  and actresses Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Sara Gilbert.

THE TALK won’t premiere until Monday, October 17th.

In the meantime, CBS will fill the remaining weeks with a mix of game shows and classic soap episodes.

Starting on Monday, September 20th, which is the day the new season begins, CBS will air double episodes of THE PRICE IS RIGHT at its usual time of 11:00am and in ‘ATWT’s’ slot at 2:00pm.  Those bonus episodes of ‘Price’ will run through Friday October 1st.

Then, from Monday, October 4th through Friday, October 8th, you’ll see two hours of LET’S MAKE A DEAL, from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

And the week leading up to THE TALK’s premiere will feature classic episodes of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.  (No word on which episodes will be shown.)

Soap Handling Two Goodbyes, Not One

When AS THE WORLD TURNS broadcasts its final episode on September 17th, it will be the second big goodbye for the show in just a few weeks’ time.

The first comes on August 31st, according to reports, when it pays tribute to its matriarch, Nancy Hughes.  Helen Wagner, the actress who played the role since the first episode, passed away back in May.  Her last appearance on the show came about a month after her death, since the show is taped in advance.

Wagner spoke the first words, “Good morning, dear,” on April 2, 1956.  And a scene with Wagner was interrupted by a voiceover bulletin from Walter Cronkite on November 22, 1963, when President Kennedy was shot in Dallas.  Wagner’s Nancy has been the mother-figure to a wide canvas of characters over the decades the show has been on the air.

The show’s executive producer, Christopher Goutman, told TV Guide recently that he had intended for Wagner to close out the series with the same line she launched it with.  Knowing of her failing health, he says he contemplated shooting the scene in advance, just to be safe, but then reconsidered, fearing “bad karma.”

More on their plan, after the jump: Continue reading

Talk Show to Replace Canceled Soap

CBS is replacing its oldest soap opera, AS THE WORLD TURNS, with a new talk show, the network announced late Wednesday.

Julie Chen, currently hosting the summer reality hit BIG BROTHER, will be one of the moderators for the show, which will be similar in style to ABC’s The View, but will feature five moms around the table.

Other panelists will include reality star Sharon Osbourne,  and actresses Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Sara Gilbert.

Gilbert, known for her role as back-talking daughter Darlene Conner on Roseanne, will also be an executive producer of the new show.  Osbourne is the wife of rocker Ozzy Osbourne, has been a talent judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent.  Remini played Carrie Heffernan, foil to husband Doug on CBS’s THE KING OF QUEENS. Peete got her major break on the then-fledgling Fox Network’s crime series 21 Jump Street, and starred in Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper and Love, Inc. Winokur was host of a dancing competition show on NBC.

Chen will leave her regular duties on CBS’s THE EARLY SHOW, but will may continue to contribute to the show, according to the network.

AS THE WORLD TURNS leaves the air in September after 54 years on the air.  We’ll have more on the show as more information comes in.

Wagner’s Final Appearance on Today’s World Turns

Longtime fans of the CBS Soap AS THE WORLD TURNS will definitely want to watch today’s show.  It will mark the final appearance of Nancy Hughes, played by Helen Wagner, who passed away on May 1st.

Wagner was the only remaining original cast member of the 54-year-old soap opera, and spoke the first lines — “Good morning, dear.” — on the first show in 1956.  Over the years, she has been one of the rare soap characters who didn’t stray from her own moral rules; as the years went by, her upright character was mostly relegated to smaller scenes in which she could give much-needed guidance to the younger, wilder characters in the fictional Oakdale, Illinois.

In today’s episode, according to CBS advance synopses, Wagner’s Nancy appears in a scene with Katie, who is in need of some love advice.

AS THE WORLD TURNS is scheduled to leave the airwaves this September. There is no word as yet on how — or if — Wagner’s death will be incorporated into the plot, although many fans have suggested that since she started the show, her passing might make an appropriate ending.

Today’s episode airs at 2:00pm on LIVE 5 WCSC.

Soap Searching for Its Ultimate Fan

One of CBS’s soap operas wants to reward its most dedicated fan with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the show from behind the scenes.

AS THE WORLD TURNS and cbs.com are launching a contest to find the biggest fan of what is currently television’s longest-running soap. If that’s you, just go to the official contest site at cbs.com and upload your response (in 500 words or less) which reveals why you’re the show’s most dedicated fan. A panel of judges from the show will select a winner who will win a trip for two to New York City where you’ll visit the set for one of the show’s final tapings.

AS THE WORLD TURNS goes off the air this September after 54 years.

You have until Thursday, June 3rd to upload your entries. The winner will be notified by Monday, June 7th and will be flown to New York during the week of June 14th.

Daytime Emmy Nominations Announced

This year’s nominees for the Daytime Emmy Awards were announced this morning, and CBS’s THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS received 16 of them, ranking second in the number of nominations of any show.  Only ABC’s General Hospital garnered more, with 18 nominations.

Both Y&R and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL are nominated for Best Drama Series. GUIDING LIGHT‘s Crystal Chappell (Olivia Spencer), Y&R’s Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman), and AS THE WORLD TURNS‘ Maura West (Carly Tenney) are nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Y&R’s Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) and Doug Davidson (Paul Williams), and ATWT’s Jon Lindstrom (Craig Montgomery) and Michael Park (Jack Snyder) are up for Outstanding Lead Actor.

GL’s Beth Chamberlin (Beth Spaulding) and ATWT’s Julie Pinson (Janet Snyder) are nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Y&R’s Billy Miller (Billy Abbott) is up for Outstanding Supporing Actor in a Drama Series.

Outsanding Younger Actor or Actress Nominations went to Y&R’s Christel Khalil (Lily Winters), ATWT’s Marnie Schulenburg (Alison Stewart), B&B’s Drew Tyler Bell (Thomas Forrester) and GL’s Zack Conroy (James Spaulding). Conroy, by the way, can now be seen on THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL in the role of Oliver.

LET’S MAKE A DEAL‘s Wayne Brady is nominated as Outstanding Game Show Host for his work in the freshman series that replaced GUIDING LIGHT.

THE DOCTORS received a nomination for Outstanding Talk Show/Informative Program. THE PRICE IS RIGHT received a nomination for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.

As for THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW, fans know that Wendy makes no bones about her collection of wigs.  They must have impressed Emmy judges, since her hairstylists were nominated for hair design!

You can view the full list of nominees at the official website of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which awards the Emmys. This year’s Daytime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on June 27th on Live 5 WCSC.