Another One Bites The Dust: Farewell, Oakdale!

as the world turns

Ask any soap fan, and they’ll tell you today is a dark day.

Even those who didn’t regularly watch AS THE WORLD TURNS know that the 54-year-old soap will air its final episode today, coming only a year after GUIDING LIGHT — the longest-running drama in television history — came to a close.

Today, the first families of Oakdale — the ones who swam in the Snyder pond, ate at Al’s, partied at Metro (on the rare occasions it was actually open!) and trysted at the Lakeview — will join their neighbors from Springfield and Harmony, Monticello and Rosehill, Collinwood and Bay City, all of whom now reside in soap heaven.

For non-soap fans, it’s a loss that’s impossible to understand. But to put it in perspective, ATWT’s final episode will be its 13,858. (The longest-running primetime drama? GUNSMOKE… at 635 episodes.)

From Nancy Hughes first line — “Good morning, dear”, spoken to her husband, Chris — to today’s sad-yet-touchingly-symbolic final scene, fans have laughed with, cried over and occasionally been frustrated by the stories that unfolded in the small Illinois town with a shockingly-high rate of kidnappings, marriages and returns-from-the-dead… at least by real-world standards.

Soaps are known for being open-ended. We say that they have a beginning, a middle, but no end as one story dovetails into another, supposedly ad infinitum. But it turns out that like supposedly-immortal vampires who can be done in with something as simple as a wooden stake, daytime’s dramas are vulnerable, too.

So like all the proverbial good things, today, the world will stop turning. For non-soap viewers, it will be a day like any other. They won’t really understand why their suds-loving brethren is grieving. “Geez,” they’ll say, “It was just a television show.”

But those of us who were there for all of Lisa Miller Hughes Eldridge Shea Colman McColl Mitchell Grimaldi’s marriages will understand. Because we, too, will be mourning our loss.

The final episode of AS THE WORLD TURNS will air today at 2 p.m. ET on CBS. Once it airs, join us in sharing your thoughts below on the show’s final days.

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  • gigi4462

    This week has been an emotional roller coaster for all ATWT fans. The CarJack wedding. Lucinda and John. Dusty and Janet. Even Parker becoming a cop. I will never forget this fabulous show that I used to run home from grade school to watch. ATWT, you will be missed. Oh, and Barbara and Henry? UH-mazing!

  • Stephanie Ripley

    Brb, busy crying. I'll comment more once I can see my screen properly.

  • Stephanie Ripley

    Brb, Bawling. I'll comment more later on when I can see the screen clearly. <3

  • Scott Novick

    Admittedly, I wasn't watching ATWT over the last few years. Wasn't happy with stories and my investment waned, but I still have fond memories of the show through the 80s and 90s, especially during the Marland era. So I had to watch at the end. And no matter what I thought of those final stories, or the last episode, it's still sad. ATWT touched so many people over the years, so it's sad to see it go.

  • Lore60

    I cried the whole entire week. I will miss this show forever. I watched ATWT for over 30 years

  • Akl

    My heart is broken, I have watched ATWT from the first day, The only times I have missed was when I was on vacation or in the hospital, I will miss everyone so much, they were like my extended family.I use to love the Hughes holiday shows and all the happiness that came from them.

  • Nick

    I still recall the pain and disappointment when Another World was inexplicably canceled. So I get what ATWT fans are going thru. Soaps helped get me thru HS and college. And Beverlee McKinsey, as Iris Carrington, was the greatest star in the history of the genre.

  • Ellen J

    I have not watched the last episode yet. I am really going to miss the show. I remember watchng it when I was a kid with my mom. My mom picked my name because there was a character with that name & she liked it. I got to meet the actress once & told her the story about it.

    Ellen J

    Cudahy WI

  • Lm65gray

    I will certainly miss ATWT as I have beem watching since the first epospde. I remember when Penny and Ellen were best friends and Pennys aunt was in love with Ellen's father and kept his picture in a drawer in her apartment. Nancy use to really cook on that show and she got a new kitchen every now andthen. I had read that the crew really ate well at the holidays like Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I do not know what CBS will put on in the place of ATWT but just like last year when they took off the GL I will not be watching. I know I am only one person, but I am upset with them. It seemed to me like some other station could have picked these shows up, like the Soap channel, the two hours that they show that 90210 they could have picked up GL and ATWT.