Guiding Light (known as The Guiding Light before 1975,
or simply GL) is an American Emmy award-winning daytime television
drama and is credited by the Guinness Book of World Records as being
the longest-running soap opera in production and the longest running
drama in television and radio history. It is also among the longest
running broadcast programs in history of any kind, across radio
media for 72 years, and then television media for 57 years, being
first broadcast five days after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's
second inauguration. It aired on radio from January 25, 1937, to
June 29, 1956, and debuted on CBS Television on June 30, 1952 running
for 57 years. The final episode aired on CBS on September 18, 2009.
Guiding Light was created by Irna Phillips, and began as an NBC
Radio serial on January 25, 1937. In 1947 the show moved to CBS
radio, before starting on television on June 30, 1952, on CBS
television. The show's title refers to a lamp in the study of Reverend
Dr. John Ruthledge, a major character when The Guiding Light debuted
in 1937, that family and residents could see as a sign for them
to find help when needed. Irna Phillips, who based it on personal
experiences. After giving birth to a still-born baby at age 19,
she found spiritual comfort listening to sermons by a preacher of
a church centered on the brotherhood of man. It was these sermons
that formed the nucleus of the creation of The Guiding Light.
The radio show's original storyline centered on a
preacher named Rev. John Ruthledge and all the people of a fictional
suburb in Chicago called Five Points. The townspeople's lives had
revolved around him. The show's title refers to a lamp in his study
that family and residents could see as a sign for them to find help
when needed. Early ongoing storylines contrasted Ellis Smith (nicknamed
Mr Nobody from Nowhere) with Rev. Ruthledge, the former's cynicism
often acting as a foil to the optimism of the latter. Rev. Ruthledge's
daughter Mary also embarked on a secret romance with her foster
brother Ned Holden. Ned and Mary would eventually marry in a 1941
episode of the soap with Rev Ruthledge's blessing, but not before
a series of complications arose, such as the return of Ned's parents,
Frances and Paul Holden (a storyline which resulted in Frances shooting
Paul dead when he made his plans to extort money from Ned known)
and Ned's marriage to and subsequent divorce from lounge singer
Torchy Reynolds (who later ended up in a relationship with Ellis
Smith). Storylines in this era also touched on topics rarely discussed
up to that point for example, the character of
Rose Kransky had radio's first out-of-wedlock baby.
During the radio years, succeeding preachers carried on the work
Rev. Ruthledge had started, thus becoming keepers of the "guiding
light." The show's setting moved to another fictional suburb
in 1947, Selby Flats, in the Los Angeles, California area. The Bauers
became central to the storyline in 1948.
text from wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guiding_Light_(1937%E2%80%931949)
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