Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Alternative Approaches to Keep GL On The Air

GUIDING LIGHT has been on a creative upswing for several months now. Now is not the time to let the show die despite today's official cancellation by CBS. Procter & Gamble should pursue alternative approaches for keeping the alive.

1. Strike a deal with DirecTV: It worked for PASSIONS (for a year) and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. DirecTV's The 101 has expressed interest in cancelled network shows that might help draw new fans to their service.

2. Air the show as a web series: An ad supported web series may or may not work, but how about a subscription series? GUIDING LIGHT successfully made the leap from radio to televison and surved another 57 years so if any show can survive in a new medium, it's this one. Also, services like i2TV are bringing web content to television so doing a web series doesn't mean the show won't be available from cable providers.

3. Try pay-per-view/On-demand: I would pay a feel via my cable provider (I actually use Verizon Fios) and I know other fans who would too.

4. Develop a P&G Soaps Cable Channel: There are some tiny cable channels out there that can not possibly cost much to run based on the programming (Blue Highway TV comes to mind). Procter & Gamble has decades of soap footage in their archives. Make it available on a lower tier cable network with new episodes of GUIDING LIGHT to draw viewers.

5. Pursue an existing cable network: WE, Lifetime, Oxygen or other female-friendly cable networks might be interested in airing the show for the right price. One benefit of any cable network is they can re-air the show multiple times a day.

These approaches may require downsizing and most likely would. But FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS downsized and thrived this season so it doesn't have to impact the overall quality of the show.

The web series option might work with a subset of the existing show. Like an "Otalia" spin-off.

I do not have any inside knowledge of how interested Procter & Gamble would be in keeping the show alive in some capacity, but if you are, I would suggest writing to them and letting them know. I am very saddened to be thinking about this, but I will hope for an alternative method of survival for GUIDING LIGHT until P&G says it is not happening.

Telenext executive Brian T. Cahill made the following statement in a press release today:

“We are honored to have been welcomed into the homes of multiple generations of GUIDING LIGHT viewers,” said Brian T. Cahill, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, TeleNext Media, Inc. “We are working hard to find the show a new home, and we are exploring all our options to continue to bring loyal fans the characters and stories they love.”

TeleNext Director of Communications Jeannie Tharrington also said the company would seek to place GUIDING LIGHT elsewhere.

“We’re looking at all our options,” she said. “This show started as a 15-minute radio show, and then it was a half-hour television show, so it has adapted over the years.”


  1. I think that the best thought would be for Frons to buy it for SOAPNET and then the actors would be on ABC contracts, making it easier for downsized actors to go to his Flagship shows without so much hub bub.

  2. I think they should go to the web. It made the migration from radio to television. Maybe it should lead the way for soaps to spring anew on the internet.

  3. Thank you Roger for being so on top of all this. I know all the GL fandoms are fighting and mourning and supporting each other right now but I think if they band together there is NOTHING GL fans can't do.

  4. Excellent suggestions and thank you for covering the story. I hope someone at CBS is listening! We aren't backing down, we want The Light to shine on!

  5. I echo Nancy's suggestion about GL making the leap to the Internet. They could continue to produce the show in its current format -- I believe it would transfer beautifully to the Internet. As a fan of the best writen soap out there, I would happily pay a subscription service to see it and to help defray production costs and keep it ongoing.

  6. "Air the show as a web series" - a GREAT idea! I'd definitely pay to keep watching this show and having it available online would provide flexibility for viewers to watch when and where it's convenient to them, hopefully allowing as many fans as possible to stay with the show.

  7. I wouldnt mind them pursuing an existing cable network or going to the web.I just want to be able to watch it. We cant give up on GL, so we need to continue to call Telenext and PGP to let them know how we feel. Team Guiding Light can do anything we put our minds to...

  8. I think the web would be pretty limiting, as far as a) money for the actors/crew/writers and b) the still existing digital divide. Not ruling anything out, but I hope they can either find a network or at least cable to go to.

    I am lucky enough to have cable right now, but I would be sad if I didn't and it was there.

    I am just gonna keep writing, keep emailing and keep calling.

    The response from my calls to Telenext, GL, and P&G has been very positive. Only got to leave a message at CBS, as I think they are being deluged. I said I was calling about the cancellation, and didn't even say of what and the operator transferred me to a voicemail. LOL

  9. As much as I want Otalia to continue, I want it to be done in the right way, like it's being done now, and I'm not sure the web would be able to accomplish that. Moving to cable or Dish TV (for that I would ditch my cable) are improbable yet still viable options, again provided they do the show justice.

    We're all sad about this news. I can only imagine what the cast and crew of GL is going through. And who knows what the future will bring? GL has always been an innovative soap, perhaps it will continue to be so elsewhere. As long as Crystal Chappell and Jessica Leccia are on it, I will certainly follow GL should that be the case.

    Until then, my hopes remain on TPTB giving Olivia and Natalia the happy ending they deserve. And, what the heck? Go for broke in these final months! Push that envelope with Otalia and give them something to talk about for years to come.

  10. Let P&G know you support the show and want it to continue. They are looking for a new home for the show, and the more support they can show the new network, the better the chances for a pick-up.

    The Procter & Gamble Company
    1 or 2, Procter & Gamble Plaza
    Cincinnati, OH 45201
    Phone: 1-513-983-1100

    Alan Lafley
    CEO, Proctor and Gamble
    1 P&G Plaza
    Cincinnati, OH 45201

    Brian T. Cahill, Sr. V.P., Managing Director for TeleVest Daytime Programs
    Procter & Gamble Productions c/o Televest
    World Wide Plaza
    825 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10019
    [email protected]

    Meredith Eden Ring, Publicity Coordinator
    Guiding Light
    Televest Daytime
    World Wide Plaza
    825 Eighth Avenue
    New York, NY 10019

    Greg Ross
    Vice President, Media and Programming
    Procter & Gamble
    One Procter & Gamble Plaza
    PO Box 599
    Cincinnati, Ohio 45201-0599

    PGP e-mail: [email protected]

    Telenext : 212-474-5888

  11. Thanks so much Roger,for giving fans of Guiding Light a voice and for covering this heartbreaking cancellation so thoroughly!

    Please, Proctor & Gamble, do all you can to find Guiding Light a new home! This is a quality show with substance and intelligence and a BIG HEART! So much of what is on television today is mindless fluff with too many talk shows and staged "reality" shows. Guiding Light has the best writers, producers and cast, bar NONE!! This show is a gem that is shinning brighter every week. Guiding Light was always the innovator and now is the chance to show the world what innovation REALLY means! Please don't give up on Guiding Light!

  12. Guiding Light can be shown in any form and I will watch it. Gotta have Otalia though. As long as Otalia is the foundation, it will survive into the future.

  13. great ideas---
    need to push issue quickly to keep up momentum or cast/crew may be released from contracts,seek other work,etc.

    another world,edge of night were lost although there also was preliminary talk of being moved elsewhere(edge did survive cx by cbs and moved to abc for about 10 more yrs,though)

    reading all these comments and petition signings make me realize i am not the only one out there who feels so passionate about this,please anything we can all do,let us do it..

    may consider
    1/cw, site for new daytime emmy telecast (and partly owned by cbs)
    2/tnt,--we do drama --with several hit primetime dramas
    3/a&e,--characters welcome-- s/a
    5/ web/internet!!!!!!!

    again, p&g/telnext needs to act B4 prinipals released from contracts,start to find work elsewhere, then……..

    thanks on behalf of all of usome

  14. My vote (for what it's worth) goes:

    1. CW
    2. Lifetime
    3. A&E
    4. TNT

    I'd like whoever hopefully picks it up to still make it available @ Fancast. I enjoy watching online with fewer commercials. Plus, if I can't watch during the broadcast time I like being able to watch when I can.

    I would rather not have a new cable channel start up because it always takes a while before those channels get picked up by Comcast.

    Plus, since I'm paying for cable and internet service my bill is already over $100 per month, and that's without second tier programming. I would pay extra if I had to do it to see GL, but it would be a hardship in these times.

    The timing of CBS' lame decision couldn't have been worse.