Hard to believe that today marks seven years since the cancellation of Guiding Light was announced.
It still seems like such odd timing — the show was on an upswing, to be sure — and it was the beginning of the collapse of the soap industry in New York.
I said many things about this when it happened, and while I may reblog some of those items in the next weeks, I won’t rehash them here.
But seven years out, I’m surprised and disappointed that more hasn’t been done to capitalize on the raw resources, if you will, of GL.
I get that a return to a daily program is deader than dead, and the Prospect Park fiasco probably scared investors away from thinking about even a few episodes a week.
But I’m surprised that there wasn’t more done to use the actors or the show’s history.
I suggested years ago that a channel like The Hallmark Channel could have developed a movie with GL characters.
If we can’t have them visiting our home every day, a two hour movie (or better yet, a series of them) would have been so doable — the kind of movie that could please fans and yet still entertain someone who’d never seen the show before.
I wish the late Paul Rauch had been successful at trying to relaunch the Light.
There’s certainly a lot of interest, and we see with amazing limited run streaming shows that a serialized story can be done over a set number of episodes and, one imagines, a sustainable budget.
But no one’s quite come up with the numbers of how it will work, or who will pay the bill to launch the shows. We’ve seen several announcements with no follow-up. The magic equation, the one that gives the cast and crew a paycheck yet makes the big kahunas some profit – or adds value to their media properties – has yet to be found.
Sadly, because most of us are over 40, we’re seen as an unattractive advertising audience. That’s clear whenever you turn on most daytime shows these days, which look more and more like a CW vampire show instead of a multigenerational soap.
I’d love to be able to blame Procter & Gamble for these missed opportunities, and Lord knows, I think they were capable of effing up a one car funeral procession at the end, but I really don’t think they’re the villian here.
It looks like what we have is YouTube, and online discussions about our favorite stories, which believe me, from what I see, is as lively and as feisty as they ever were while the shows were alive.
Still, I remember that April 1 day, standing in front of my then-partner’s office, waiting for him to meet me when I read an email on my phone, sharing the bad news.
Life goes on. My partner is now my husband. The cast and crew have moved on to other jobs, other pathways.
Maybe YouTube is enough, enough to make sure it doesn’t disappear from memory. But I’m always that person, I guess, wishing there was more that could be done, seeing where the glass was half full.
NOTE: More GL things coming up here in the next short while.