The Longest Running Television Drama

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Hi there! I am a freelance writer who lives and breaths content on a daily basis. I consider myself to be a living paradox. An old soul trapped in a modern world. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic and a professional over-thinker. I can't start anything unless I have my coffee. Writing has been and always will be my way of calming the storms in my heart and mind.

People watch television to entertain themselves. Some usually watch funny shows while others prefer drama that tugs the heart. There is no wonder why a lot of people are drawn to drama since the show itself represents their own lives.

It connects them to the character and all of its adversities and makes it their own. The protagonist becomes a friend and they all relate to whatever it is that the protagonist is going through. This is why drama sells more than any other genre on TV right now.

Being believable while maintaining a sense of connectivity with the audience makes a compelling drama. And while others are able to maintain that storyline for many years, there are also other shows that get canceled after a season or before the season is over. On the contrary, there are also drama shows that run for decades.

The longest-running television drama is Guiding Light.

Known as The Guiding Light before 1975, this television drama has run for 72 years with a 15-year broadcast on radio before that. The television broadcast started in 1952 and ended just recently in 2009. Guiding Light is the third longest-running drama in history.

A Norwegian children’s radio program came in first when it aired in 1924 and Grand Ole Opry was an American radio program. But Guiding Light was the only television program that ran longer than any other television dramas.

Guiding Light was a radio show on NBC Radio in 1937 but the series was then transferred to CBS in 1952. CBS declared that it would make the radio series into a television soap opera.

The series made its 15,000 episodes on September 6, 2006. But, due to its low ratings, Guiding Light was canceled on April 1, 2009. The show aired its final episode on September 18, 2009, and was replaced by Let’s Make A Deal by Wayne Brady.

The show had a longstanding and enduring plot which shifted after each decade. During the 1930s, creator Irna Phillips wrote the story based on her life when she gave birth to a stillborn baby at a young age and began listening to sermons on a radio program by a famous preacher in Chicago.

When the show transitioned from a radio show to a television drama, the episodes were expanded from 15 minutes a day to 30 minutes and then became a full hour show. It became the number one soap opera in the 1950s.

The 1960s featured heavy changes to the cast as it introduced its first African American characters and shifted the main story from the parents towards their children. New characters were also introduced that would heavily influence the decades to come.

What Do I Think

The show has won several Daytime Emmy Awards since 1980 and still continues to do so in the following years up until its cancellation. Other awards include the GLAAD award in 2010, the Directors Guild of America award in 2005, and Writer’s Guild of America in 2005.

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