"As the World Turns" Stops Spinning After 54 Years

By FRAZIER MOORE
|  Saturday, Sep 18, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM EDT
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"As the World Turns" Stops Spinning After 54 Years

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(L-R, 2nd row) Actors Austin Peck, Trent Dawson, Van Hansis, (L-R, front row) executive producer Christopher Goutman, actors Don Hastings, Kathy Hays, Eileen Fulton, Colleen Zenk, Terry Colombino, and writer Jean Passanante attend a farewell to cast of 'As The World Turns' at The Paley Center for Media on August 18, 2010 in New York City.

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It's the last go-round for "As the World Turns."

TV's oldest daytime drama aired its final episode Friday, concluding a run that began in April 1956.

Always full of emotional turmoil, "World" was set in the mythical town of Oakdale, Ill., where there was no shortage of couplings, heartbreak, double-dealing and hairpin plot twists.

CBS announced in December that it was pulling the plug on the New York-based show, which ranked at the bottom of the ratings among network soaps. It wrapped production in June.

Big events this week included Jack (Michael Park) remarrying oft-wed Carly (Maura West). Janet (Julie Pinson) gave birth to her ex-husband Jack's son. Then a DNA test revealed the father of the child was really Janet's betrothed, Dusty (Grayson McCouch). And - more joyous news - Carly learned she was pregnant with Jack's child.

"I think things turned out exactly the way they were supposed to," Janet said.

Friday's finale found Dr. Bob Hughes (played for a half-century by Don Hastings) in a reflective mood as he prepared to retire at day's end as head of Oakdale Memorial Hospital.

"I was just thinking about this place," he mused - "how many patients I've taken care of here, some of them from their first breath (dramatic pause) to their last."

"Good night," said Dr. Bob at the close of the hour, as he doused the lights of his office and took his leave. On his desk, an illuminated globe was seen spinning at the poignant fade-out.

The demise of "World" follows by a year the end of CBS' "Guiding Light" after 72 years on radio, then TV.

On Oct. 18, CBS will fill the slot "World" occupied with "The Talk," a daily chat show whose hosts include Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne.

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