Not everyone thinks that Guiding Light's end is a bad thing. A new article in a TV trade publication says that CBS's three other soaps might actually benefit from having one less soap on the air. However, there's no guarantee that whatever replaces GL will bring better ratings.
An interesting report in industry publication TV Week
argues that while CBS's decision to cancel Guiding Light may have been painful -- likening it to ripping off a Band-Aid® -- it may also have been the right thing to do. It's a proclamation that will surely have GL fans jeering, but it may leave fans of the three "remaining" CBS soaps feeling a little torn.
"Without having to worry about promoting [Guiding] Light, CBS can focus its energies on its three remaining soaps [The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and As the World Turns], all of which could use some extra hype," wrote TV Week
's Josef Adalian. "NBC's decision to get rid of Passions doesn't seem to have hurt Days of Our Lives, which finished the first quarter of 2009 with better ratings than it had a year ago."
In fact, Days of our Lives is within striking distance of long-time top-rated The Young and the Restless in the coveted 18-49 demographic. This comes even as the NBC soap cut many of its long-time fan favorites like Diedre Hall
(Marlena Evans) and Drake Hogestyn
Guiding Light is an anomaly in the soap world, its 72-year-run notwithstanding. The show airs at different times across the country. In some parts of the U.S., it airs as early as 9:00 a.m.. There are also areas where Guiding Light doesn't air at all. Would CBS have done better if it had required all of its affiliates to air Guiding Light at the same time?
Despite the monetary savings a Guiding Light replacement will undoubtedly bring to the network, CBS still might not see its ratings improve.
"[T]here’s no guarantee that whatever CBS puts on in Light’s place will draw better ratings," Adalian continued. "It almost certainly will be more profitable, but CBS’s overall daytime average could very well suffer.
In other ironic news, Guiding Light's ratings continue their upswing. For the week of March 23, the last full week of ratings before CBS announced GL's cancellation, the show gained 166,000 viewers for a 1.6 rating. That's still off two-tenths from last year, but it's an improvement over the previous week.