Funny how the universe sometimes lines up and minds think alike, isn’t it? Guiding Light is in the thoughts of a lot of people these days. Bloggers, soap journalists and industry watchers — not to mention the writers, cast and crew of GL — are all on pins and needles about this 72 year old institution. The writing has been on the wall among commentators on the Internet and in the soap press for some time regarding GL’s maybe/probably/likely cancellation, which would essentially signal the final march along daytime’s trail of tears as the end of the genre.
The signs are obvious and ominous: GL has been hovering at a 1.5 rating for the last few months, a situation exacerbated by a genre-crushing free fall in advertising revenues, which have in turn led to massive budget cuts by the networks for all the shows. If GL doesn’t get its act together by the Ides of April, as our own Jamey Giddens so aptly put it, the oldest series on broadcast television will bite the dust. However, there is hope. As has been reported here, Guiding Light needs the minimum of a steady 1.8 rating to avoid getting the ax.
Back to minds thinking alike: Just as I was finalizing this list, Mr. Giddens posted his "Top 10 Last Ditch Stunts To Save Guiding Light," followed by Spauldingfield’s awesome GL promo posted by Luke Kerr. Because of their excellent efforts I almost decided to not post these recommendations, but the situtation at Guiding Light is so important to those of us who love the show that I felt it was more important to contribute to the call to keep GL on the air and risk repetition than not do so. Therefore, consider these considerations an addition to their efforts. GL needs viewers not tomorrow, but today and here are ten reasons to tune in right now!
10. THE "NEW" PRODUCTION MODEL HAS IMPROVED TREMENDOUSLY: If you are one of the many viewers who turned off The Light because of GL’s much criticized new production model, the news is very good. The shaky camerawork has been all but done away with and there are no more shots up actors’ nostrils. The music score is less third rate James Blount/The Fray and much more traditional soap music. The lighting is much better. Capping it off, there is a better balance between studio work and on-location shots in Peapack, New Jersey. Yes, the show still looks and feels somewhat claustrophobic and there are still inexplicable shots of people meeting in the oddest places for conversations, but these issues are becoming a bit more of the exception than the rule. Many viewers will always hate the current production model, but in all fairness it is a great deal better and far more watchable than it has been since its inception.