CBS Cancels "As the World Turns," a Blow to NYC Actors

PlayBlog   CBS Cancels "As the World Turns," a Blow to NYC Actors
New York City area actors who rely on screen time and paychecks from guest spots (or regular work) on the soap opera "As the World Turns" got bad news on Dec. 8: CBS will cancel the series after 54 years.

The serial, which is shot in Brooklyn, was punctuated with theatre stars over the years. Scott Holmes (Broadway's The Rink), Parker Posey (Off-Broadway's Hurlyburly), Larry Bryggman (Broadway's Proof), Kathleen Widdoes (Broadway's Much Ado About Nothing), Tamara Tunie (Broadway's Julius Caesar), Matt Cavenaugh (Broadway's West Side Story), Tovah Feldshuh (Broadway's Golda's Balcony), Marisa Tomei (Broadway's Wait Until Dark) — among many other theatre actors — all appeared as regulars on the show, and some continue in "ATWT" roles today.

The show was also an important first TV job for countless young performers who worked as extras, or in "under five" and "day player" jobs on the hourlong drama.

CBS says the final episode will air in September 2010. Once lucrative, soaps have been on the decline in recent years. CBS pulled the plug on "Guiding Light" earlier this year.

With access to the New York theatre community, "ATWT" (which was set in fictional Oakdale, IL, an environs) often boasted deeper and more naturalistic acting than is sometimes seen in shows shot on the West Coast. Opinions vary, of course.

How might over-the-top business mogul Lucinda Walsh, played by Elizabeth Hubbard, react to news of the cancellation? She'd probably throw something across the room and scream.

Goodbye, Oakdale, Illinois. Goodbye, amnesia plots. Goodbye, soaps.

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