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As the World Turns

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Title: As the World Turns  
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Subject: Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team
Collection: 1950S American Television Series, 1956 American Television Series Debuts, 1960S American Television Series, 1970S American Television Series, 1980S American Television Series, 1990S American Television Series, 2000S American Television Series, 2010 American Television Series Endings, 2010S American Television Series, American Drama Television Series, American Lgbt-Related Television Programs, American Television Soap Operas, As the World Turns, Black-and-White Television Programs, Cbs Network Shows, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series Winners, English-Language Television Programming, Television Series by Procter & Gamble Productions, Television Series Created by Irna Phillips, Television Shows Set in Illinois
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

As the World Turns

As the World Turns
Genre Soap opera
Created by Irna Phillips
Written by Jean Passanante (2001–2010)
Leah Laiman (1999–2010)
Directed by See below
Starring Series cast
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 54
No. of episodes 13,858
Executive producer(s) Ted Corday (1956–65)
Mary Harris (1965–71)
Fred Bartholomew (1971–73, 1980–81)
Joe Willmore (1973–78)
Joe Rothenberger (1978–80)
Mary-Ellis Bunim (1981–84)
Robert Calhoun (1984–88)
Laurence Caso (1988–95)
John Valente (1995–96)
Felicia Minei Behr (1996–99)
Christopher Goutman (1999–2010)
Producer(s) See below
Running time 30 minutes (1956–1975)
60 minutes (1975–2010)
Production company(s) Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. (1956–2008)
TeleNext Media, Inc. for Procter&Gamble Productions. (2008–10)
Original channel CBS
Original release April 2, 1956 (1956-04-02) –
September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17)
Followed by Our Private World
Related shows
External links

As the World Turns (often referred to as ATWT) is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS for 54 years from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her other soap opera Guiding Light. Running for 54 years, As the World Turns holds the second-longest continuous run of any daytime network soap opera on American television, surpassed only by Guiding Light.[1] As the World Turns was produced in New York City for all of its time (its first 43 years in Manhattan and in Brooklyn from 2000 until 2010).[2]

Set in the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois, the show debuted on April 2, 1956,[3] at 1:30 pm EST. Prior to that date, all serials had been fifteen minutes in length. As the World Turns and The Edge of Night, which premiered on the same day at 4:30 pm EST, were the first two to be thirty minutes in length from their premiere.[4] At first, viewers did not respond to the new half-hour serial, but ratings picked up in its second year, eventually reaching the top spot in the daytime Nielsen ratings by fall 1958. In 1959, the show started a streak of weekly ratings wins that would not be interrupted for over twelve years. The show switched to color on August 21, 1967, and expanded from a half-hour in length to one hour starting on December 1, 1975 when The Edge of Night moved to ABC. In the year-to-date ratings, As the World Turns was the most-watched daytime drama from 1958 until 1978, with ten million viewers tuning in each day. At its height, core actors such as Helen Wagner, Don MacLaughlin, Don Hastings, and Eileen Fulton became nationally known. Three of these actors – Wagner, Hastings, and Fulton – are also the three longest serving actors in the history of American soap operas.

The show passed its 10,000th episode on May 12, 1995, and celebrated its 50th anniversary on April 2, 2006. On September 18, 2009, As the World Turns became the last remaining Procter and Gamble produced soap opera for CBS after Guiding Light aired its final episode on the network.

On December 8, 2009, CBS announced that it had canceled As the World Turns after almost 54 years due to low ratings.[5][6] The show taped its final scenes on June 23, 2010, and with a dramatic storyline finale, its final episode aired on September 17, 2010. On October 18, 2010 CBS replaced As the World Turns with a newly debuted talk show The Talk.


  • Premise 1
  • Notable history and accomplishments 2
  • Cast and characters 3
    • Helen Wagner 3.1
  • Crossovers 4
  • President Kennedy's assassination 5
  • Broadcast history 6
  • End 7
  • Ratings 8
  • Schedule 9
  • Main crew 10
    • Executive producers 10.1
    • Head writers 10.2
    • Crew at cancellation 10.3
  • International broadcast 11
  • InTurn 12
  • Awards and records 13
    • Writers Guild of America Awards 13.1
    • Daytime Emmy Awards 13.2
      • Show 13.2.1
      • Individuals 13.2.2
    • Daytime television firsts 13.3
    • Supercouples 13.4
    • Other awards 13.5
  • In popular culture 14
  • DVD release 15
  • See also 16
  • Note 17
  • References 18
  • Further reading 19
  • External links 20


The original core family, the Hugheses, in the 1980s. Clockwise from top left: Kim Sullivan Hughes (Kathryn Hays), Bob Hughes (Don Hastings), Tom Hughes (Gregg Marx), Margo Montgomery Hughes (Hillary Bailey Smith), Andy Dixon (Scott DeFreitas), Frannie Hughes (Julianne Moore). Center: Chris Hughes (Don MacLaughlin) and Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner).

As the World Turns was the creation of Irna Phillips who, beginning in the 1930s, had been one of the foremost creators and writers of radio soap operas. As a writer, Phillips favored character development and psychological realism over melodrama,[7] and her previous creations (which included Guiding Light) were especially notable for placing professionals – doctors, lawyers, and clergy people – at the center of their storylines. Phillips wrote: "As the world turns, we know the bleakness of winter, the promise of spring, the fullness of summer and the harvest of autumn—the cycle of life is complete."[8]

And so it was with As the World Turns, with its slow-moving psychological character studies of families headed by legal and medical professionals. The personal and professional lives of doctors and lawyers would remain central to As the World Turns throughout its run, and would eventually become standard fare on many soap operas. Whereas the 15-minute radio soaps often focused on one central, heroic character (for example, Dr. Jim Brent in Phillips' Road of Life), the expanded 30-minute format of As the World Turns enabled Phillips to introduce a handful of professionals within the framework of a family saga.

One of Phillips' innovations was to introduce a sort of Greek chorus to the stories. The primary purpose of characters such as Nancy Hughes (Helen Wagner) was to comment on the crises faced and decisions made by the town's more dynamic residents. This technique contributed to the popularity of the show and continues to be widely used in other soap operas.

Phillips' style favored gradual evolution over radical change. Slow, conversational, and emotionally intense, the show moved at the pace of life itself – and sometimes even more slowly than that. Each new addition to the cast was done in a gradual manner, and was usually a key contact to one of the members of the Hughes family. As such, the show earned a reputation as being quite conservative, though the show did showcase a gay male character in 1988.[9][10] During the show's early decades, the content-related policies of its sponsor Procter & Gamble Productions may have contributed to the perception of conservatism. The soap-manufacturing giant typically balked at storylines in which adultery and other immoral behavior would go unpunished, and as late as the 1980s characters from the primary families were still generally not allowed to go through with abortions.

Notable history and accomplishments

As the World Turns premiered on April 2, 1956.[11] It was the first television daytime drama with a 30-minute running time; all daytime dramas until then had had 15-minute running times.[12]

The series was also CBS' first to expand to a 60-minute running time, doing so in 1975.[12] By 1958, the program was the number one daytime drama in the United States, where it remained until 1978.[13][14] As the World Turns won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series four times, in 1987, 1991, 2001, and 2003.

Cast and characters

Helen Wagner

The first words spoken in As the World Turns in the first episode (aired on April 2, 1956) were "Good morning, dear," said by the character Nancy Hughes, played by actress Helen Wagner.[15]

Wagner was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest run in a single role on television, a position she held until 2010.[16] She did not play the role without interruption - she was temporarily dropped from the series after the first six months due to conflicts with creator Irna Phillips. Wagner also left the series in 1981, when she felt that writers were not interested in the veteran players. She returned as a regular contract player in 1985 after Douglas Marland became headwriter.

On the episode broadcast on Monday, August 30, 2010, it was revealed that Nancy had died in her sleep; the next day's episode dealt with Nancy's memorial service. Nancy Hughes's memorial aired just two weeks before the series finale. The show's producers stated in interviews that they had to revise their plans for the final episode because of Wagner's death – they had hoped that Wagner would say the final lines of the last episode just as she had said the first words of the first episode.


There have been several crossovers between As the World Turns and other serials:

  • 1962
    • The character Mitchell Dru (Geoffrey Lumb) was brought to Oakdale after the cancellation of the Procter & Gamble soap The Brighter Day. The same character (and actor) was then transferred to a new Procter & Gamble soap, Another World, shortly after its premiere in 1964. Another World was originally conceived by creator Irna Phillips to be a spin-off series of As the World Turns. Like several other characters from Another World, Mitchell Dru "crossed over" for one or more performances on the first Another World spin-off, Somerset, which premiered in March 1970.
  • 1965
    • The character Lisa Miller Hughes (Eileen Fulton) was used as the basis to create a primetime spinoff soap Our Private World, (CBS's attempt to duplicate the success of rival network ABC's Peyton Place), with Lisa leaving Oakdale and moving to Chicago, where she married wealthy John Eldridge, but had an affair with his brother Thomas. Though Our Private World only lasted a few months, and Fulton returned to As the World Turns in early 1966, after taking a few months off, remnants of Lisa's time on Our Private World were resurrected 26 years later, when it was revealed in 1992 that Lisa had had a son off-camera, hitherto unknown to viewers, before returning to As the World Turns in 1966. Her son Scott Eldridge tracked her down as an adult, and remained on As the World Turns for several years.
  • 1999–2003
    • Shortly after Another World was canceled in June 1999, the characters of Cass and Lila Winthrop (Stephen Schnetzer and Lisa Peluso), and Jake and Victoria McKinnon (Tom Eplin and Jensen Buchanan) crossed over to As the World Turns briefly. Jake and Vicky intended to move to Oakdale, but Vicky was soon killed off in September 1999, then appeared as a ghost to Jake and Molly from November 2000 to February 2001. Cass only appeared on a recurring basis through 2003 (usually whenever anyone in Oakdale needed an attorney, other than resident lawyer Tom Hughes), and Jake (Tom Eplin) remained as a regular on the series until his character was killed off in 2002. Cindy Brooke Harrison (Kim Rhodes) also had minor appearances in 2000 and 2001. Vicky's mother and twin sister, Donna (Anna Stuart) and Marley (Ellen Wheeler, who at the time also directed episodes of As the World Turns), made recurring appearances from 2000 to 2002, and left the show when they gained custody of Jake and Vicky's twin daughters after Jake's death. There were also plans to have a now-teenage Steven Frame (Vicky's son with Jamie Frame) come to Oakdale and live with Jake, but the character was reconceived as teenage Bryant Montgomery, the son of As the World Turns couple Craig and Sierra.

Since 2005, a number of characters have crossed back and forth between As the World Turns and The Young and the Restless:

  • 2005
    • As the World Turns: At the request of Oakdale, Illinois, District Attorney Jessica Griffin, Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc) traveled there to serve as the attorney for Jack Snyder (Michael Park) in a custody hearing involving his late wife Julia Larabee's son, JJ. (April 4 – 05, 2005).

The irony in his appearance in the above-mentioned episodes, is that twenty-years before, LeBlanc left the role of Kirk McColl, the youngest son of Lisa's fifth husband, Whit McColl (Played by Wagon Train star Robert Horton, who was killed-off shortly before Fulton's return to the show). So, to many long-time fans of both As The World Turns and The Young and the Restless, it was weird seeing LeBlanc as the character from the latter show. History was also made during LeBlanc's appearance on As the World Turns, since both shows are made by different production companies (Bell Dramatic Serial Company for The Young and the Restless; Procter and Gamble for As the World Turns), although they are on the same network.

President Kennedy's assassination

The initial CBS News Bulletin which interrupted As the World Turns at 1:40 p.m. (EST), as Nancy (Helen Wagner) talks with Grandpa (Santos Ortega)

On November 22, 1963, the live CBS broadcast of As The World Turns began as always at 1:30 EST. In this episode, the Hughes family were discussing plans for Thanksgiving. Ten minutes later, a "CBS News Bulletin" slide suddenly came up on the screen and Walter Cronkite gave the first report of the assassination.[17]

At the end of this bulletin, CBS rejoined As The World Turns, which was still in progress, as the cast, performing the episode live, was not yet aware of the rapidly developing situation.[17]

As NBC and ABC, the other two major U.S. TV networks, were not programming at the time (the 1:30–2:00 ET period belonging to their local affiliates), As The World Turns has the distinction of being the last regular U.S. network program broadcast for the next four days as the assassination and funeral of JFK and the transition of power to President Lyndon B. Johnson took center stage.[18]

Broadcast history

As the World Turns enjoyed a virtually uninterrupted reign as the highest-rated soap from 1958 to 1978,[13] tying for first place with NBC Daytime's Another World (1973–1974, 1977–1978) and Days of Our Lives (1973–1974). By the mid-1960s, it was so firmly entrenched that its strongest competition, Let's Make a Deal, despite developing a devoted fan base in its own right and becoming one of daytime's most popular game shows, could not come close to matching it in the Nielsens.

Its strength was such that ABC ran hour-long drama reruns in the 1–2 p.m. (noon-1 Central) slot in the mid-1960s and NBC, after losing Deal to ABC in 1968, ran a total of eight shows, all short-lived (with the exception of Three on a Match, which lasted three years), against As the World Turns and Let's Make a Deal from that point until 1975.

As that year began Another World was expanded to sixty minutes, with their first hour-long episode airing on January 6, 1975. Although this did not directly affect As the World Turns, as the two shows were not in competition for anything other than the overall ratings win, CBS' afternoon lineup suffered some ratings damage as the popular soap put a dent in the ratings of both of CBS' popular afternoon game shows, The Price Is Right and Match Game. NBC, pleased by the success that the expansion of Another World had brought to the network, elected to do the same thing with Days of our Lives beginning on April 21, 1975; this put Days of our Lives and As the World Turns in direct competition for ratings. Incidentally, the expansions were occurring seven years after the last two fifteen-minute serials, Search for Tomorrow and The Guiding Light, expanded to thirty minutes.

CBS considered expanding As the World Turns and Search for Tomorrow to forty-five minute lengths (elimating the timeslot during which stations broadcast local newscasts), but eventually decided to expand As the World Turns, its front-runner in the ratings battle, to a full-hour length. CBS set a target of September 1975 to complete the expansion and needed to free up thirty minutes' worth of space on its schedule to do so. Game show The Price Is Right was relocated to 10:30 am and aired a week's worth of sixty-minute shows in September as a test for a potential permanent expansion. While The Price is Right's expansion was intended as temporary to start, the expansion of As the World Turns was to be permanent. As such, the network was required to cancel one of the other prograns on its schedule.

CBS turned its eye to The Edge of Night, which at the time was the network's lowest rated program. The former hit had been moved, at Procter & Gamble's insistence, from its 3:30 p.m. timeslot to the 2:30 p.m. slot following The Guiding Light in 1972. As a result, The Edge of Night lost a large portion of its audience. In addition to those factors working against it, the rest of CBS' drama lineup was performing well in the ratings and the network could not move the long-running serial to another time slot without risking preemption from local affiliates, which would have driven ratings even lower. An agreement was struck between CBS, Procter & Gamble, and ABC in order to get the necessary thirty minutes for the As the World Turns expansion. CBS would not renew The Edge of Night once its contract was up, and Procter & Gamble would move the serial to ABC and air it there.

However, a problem arose that would have caused a major issue had CBS elected to go ahead with a September expansion of As the World Turns. The network's contract with Procter & Gamble was not due to expire until December 1975. This meant that no new episodes of The Edge of Night would air for three months, and ABC wanted to keep the series' continuity intact. CBS decided to hold off on the expansion and continue airing The Edge of Night until ABC could find a space for the serial. In November 1975, ABC announced the cancellation of the game show You Don't Say!, which had been airing in the network's 4 p.m. timeslot. The final episode was scheduled to air on November 28, 1975, after which The Edge of Night would be free to leave CBS and As the World Turns would be free to expand to sixty minutes.

The first hour-long episode of As the World Turns aired on December 1, 1975. The first half of the show continued to perform well against Let's Make a Deal on ABC, which the network moved to the Noon timeslot within four weeks of the expansion. The second half put As the World Turns in competition with ABC's most popular game show, The $10,000 Pyramid, which had done well against Guiding Light since the network moved it to 2:00 pm at the end of 1974 and kept doing so against As the World Turns. Although the expansion was not a complete success, at the end of the season the serial was again at the top of the daytime Nielsens despite a 1.4 point drop from the year before.

Although the eventual hit game Family Feud ran against As The World Turns from July 12, 1976 until April 22, 1977, it did not become a hit for ABC until its move to the mornings. It was only when ABC made its first move to a one-hour soap with All My Children that trouble really began for As the World Turns (and also Days of our Lives), since ABC kept that serial's starting time at 1/noon, meaning that fans of that serial who tuned to NBC or CBS would miss the last half of that day's storyline (or, contrariwise, would not, if they watched until the mid-program commercial break and then changed channels, pick up the As The World Turns or Days of Our Lives activities from the episode's beginning, since ABC strategically placed its break several minutes after the bottom of the hour). Further, All My Children's emphasis on youth-oriented, sexier story lines provided a sharp contrast to the domestic, almost quaint tone of As the World Turns (and, to a lesser degree, the melodramatic, somewhat topical Days). On January 16, 1978, ABC ballooned its decade-old One Life to Live to the 2/1 starting time, compounding the other networks' headaches. These factors helped contribute to the fall of As The World Turns from the top spot in the ratings at the end of the 1978-79 season. After finishing the previous season tied with Another World for #1 in the Nielsens, As the World Turns fell to fourth behind All My Children, General Hospital, and The Young and the Restless.

On February 4, 1980, CBS moved and expanded The Young and the Restless to a full hour after the cancellation of soap opera Love of Life. The Young and the Restless moved from Noon/11am to 1pm/Noon (the former affiliate break timeslot) and As the World Turns was bumped up to 2pm/1pm and Guiding Light to 3pm/2pm. On June 8, 1981, As the World Turns returned to its longtime 1:30/12:30pm start time with Search for Tomorrow following at 2:30/1:30pm and The Young and the Restless leading off the serial lineup at either Noon/11am or 12:30/11:30am (depending on affiliate preference).

As the World Turns remained at 1:30/12:30pm until March 20, 1987, when CBS canceled the five-year-old Capitol in favor of The Bold and the Beautiful. CBS scheduled it at 1:30/12:30, and finally settled As the World Turns at 2/1, where it remained until its final episode in September 2010. Although facing the full length of Another World and One Life to Live once again, the Douglas Marland era of 1985 to 1993 saw a resurgence in ratings, and by 1991 it was back in its once habitual top-four placing. As the World Turns would survive NBC's cancellation of its sister Another World in 1999.


In December 2009, CBS confirmed that it would not renew As the World Turns, and the last broadcast episode was on September 17, 2010. The final scene included Kim Hughes (Kathryn Hays) telling Bob Hughes (Don Hastings) to take as much time as he needed. Bob said the final two lines "Good night" and left the Oakdale Memorial Hospital, and the globe started spinning before the final fade-out.


ATWT Ratings: 1956–2010

One example of the drastic change in daytime television can be found in the following:

  • Daytime history: Highest rated week (November 16–20, 1981)
  • (Household ratings- Nielsen Media Research)
Rank/Serial Household Rating (Time Slot) Network
1. General Hospital 16.0 (3-4pm) ABC
2. All My Children 10.2 (1-2pm) ABC
3. One Life to Live 10.2 (2-3pm) ABC
4. Guiding Light 7.5 (3-4pm) CBS
5. The Young and the Restless 7.0 (12:30–1:30pm) CBS
1995 ratings
Rank/Serial Millions Of Viewers
1. The Young and the Restless 7.2
2. All My Children 5.891
3. General Hospital 5.343
4. The Bold and the Beautiful 5.247
5. One Life to Live 5.152

As the World Turns spent a record breaking 20 years on top of the Nielsen ratings for American daytime soap operas, from 1958 to 1978. It would retain this record until The Young and the Restless broke it in 2008 when it remained #1 for 21 years and counting.

Years as #1 series
Year(s) Household Rating
1958–1959 9.8
1959–1960 9.9
1960–1961 10.4
1961–1962 11.9
1962–1963 13.7
1963–1964 15.4
1964–1965 14.5
1965–1966 13.9
1966–1967 12.7
1967–1968 13.6
1968–1969 13.8
1969–1970 13.6
1970–1971 12.4
1971–1972 11.1
1972–1973 10.6
1973–1974 9.7 (Tied with Days of our Lives and Another World)
1974–1975 10.8
1975–1976 9.4
1976–1977 9.9
1977–1978 8.6 (Tied with Another World)

Record Low: 1,773,000 viewers on December 25, 2009. (Nielsen Media Research)

1956-1957 season

  • 1. The Guiding Light 11.4
  • 7. As the World Turns 8.4 (Debut)

1957-1958 season

  • 1. The Guiding Light 10.1
  • 6. As the World Turns 8.4

1978-1979 season

  • 1. All My Children 9.0
  • 4. As the World Turns 8.2

1979-1980 season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.9
  • 6. As the World Turns 7.9

1980-1981 season

  • 1. General Hospital 11.4
  • 5. As the World Turns 7.9

1981-1982 season

  • 1. General Hospital 11.2
  • 5. As the World Turns 7.4 (Tied with The Young and the Restless)

1982-1983 season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.8
  • 5. As the World Turns 7.6

1983-1984 season

  • 1. General Hospital 10.0
  • 6. As the World Turns 7.9

1984-1985 season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.1
  • 6. As the World Turns 7.1 (Tied with Days of our Lives)

1985-1986 season

  • 1. General Hospital 9.2
  • 7. As the World Turns 6.7

1986-1987 season

  • 1. General Hospital 8.3
  • 4. As the World Turns 7.0 (Tied with All My Children and Days of our Lives)

1987-1988 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1 (Tied with General Hospital)
  • 6. As the World Turns 6.6

1988-1989 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1
  • 6. As the World Turns 6.4

1989-1990 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.0
  • 5. As the World Turns 5.8

1990-1991 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.1
  • 4. As the World Turns 5.9

1991-1992 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.2
  • 3. As the World Turns 5.8 (Tied with General Hospital)

1992-1993 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.4
  • 4. As the World Turns 5.7

1993-1994 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 8.6
  • 5. As the World Turns 5.8

1994-1995 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.5
  • 7. As the World Turns 5.1

1995-1996 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.7
  • 7. As the World Turns 4.4

1996-1997 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.1
  • 6. As the World Turns 4.4

1997-1998 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 7.0
  • 6. As the World Turns 4.1

1998-1999 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 6.9
  • 6. As the World Turns 3.8

1999-2000 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 6.8
  • 6. As the World Turns 3.8

2000-2001 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 5.8
  • 6. As the World Turns 3.3

2001-2002 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 5.0
  • 5. As the World Turns 3.5

2002-2003 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.7
  • 7. As the World Turns 2.9

2003-2004 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.4
  • 6. As the World Turns 2.9 (Tied with One Life to Live)

2004-2005 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.2
  • 7. As the World Turns 2.6

2005-2006 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.2
  • 5. As the World Turns 2.7

2006-2007 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.2
  • 7. As the World Turns 2.1

2007-2008 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 4.0
  • 3. As the World Turns 2.4

2008-2009 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 3.7
  • 7. As the World Turns 1.9

2009-2010 season

  • 1. The Young and the Restless 3.7
  • 7. As the World Turns 1.8



  • April 2, 1956 – November 28, 1975: 1:30–2:00 PM (12:30–1:00 PM, CT/PT)
  • December 1, 1975 – February 1, 1980: 1:30–2:30 PM (12:30–1:30 PM, CT/PT)
  • February 4, 1980 – June 5, 1981: 2:00–3:00 PM (1:00–2:00 PM, CT/PT)
  • June 8, 1981 – March 20, 1987: 1:30–2:30 PM (12:30–1:30 PM, CT/PT)
  • March 23, 1987 – September 17, 2010: 2:00–3:00 PM (1:00–2:00 PM, CT/PT)

Main crew

Executive producers

Duration Name
1956–1965 Ted Corday
1965–1971 Mary Harris
1971–1973 Fred Bartholomew
1973–1978 Joe Willmore
1978–1980 Joe Rothenberger
1980 – fall 1981 Fred Bartholomew
Fall 1981 – October 1984 Mary-Ellis Bunim
October 1984 – October 1988 Robert Calhoun
October 1988 – May 1995 Laurence Caso
May 1995 – November 8, 1996 John Valente
November 11, 1996 – June 4, 1999 Felicia Minei Behr
June 7, 1999 – September 17, 2010 Christopher Goutman

Head writers

Duration Name
1956–1965 Irna Phillips
1965–1966 Irna Phillips and William J. Bell
1966–1970 Katherine Babecki
1970 Joe Kane and Ralph Ellis
1970 Winifred Wolfe
1970 Katherine L. Phillips
1971 Winifred Wolfe and Warren Swanson
1971 Warren Swanson, Elizabeth Tillman, and John Boruff
1971–1973 David Lesan and Irna Phillips
1973–1978 Robert Soderberg and Edith Sommer
1979-November 6, 1979 Ralph Ellis and Eugenie Hunt
Late 1979 Douglas Marland (13 weeks, before moving to Guiding Light)
January 7, 1980 – 1981 Bridget and Jerome Dobson
1981 Paul Roberts
1981 Tom King
1981 K.C. Collier
1981 Jean Rouverol, Chuck & Patti Dizenzo, David Cherill, and Tom King
1982–1983 Bridget and Jerome Dobson
1983 Caroline Franz and John Saffron
Mid-1983–1984 John Saffron
1984 – November 1984 Tom King and Millee Taggart
November 1984 – April 1985 Cynthia Benjamin and Susan Bedsow Horgan
April 1985 – November 1985 Susan Bedsow Horgan
November 1985 – April 1993 Douglas Marland (died) (Robert Calhoun during 1988 WGA strike)
April 1993 – January 1995 Juliet Law Packer and Richard Backus
January 1995 Juliet Law Packer, Garin Wolf, and Richard Culliton
January 1995 - January 31, 1996 Richard Culliton (Fired)
February 1996 – late 1996 Stephen Black and Henry Stern (Fired)
Late 1996 – May 1997 Stephen Demorest, Mel Brez, and Addie Walsh
May 1997 – fall 1997 Jessica Klein
Fall 1997 Stephen Demorest, Mel Brez, and Addie Walsh
December 1997 Addie Walsh
January 1998 – June 1999 Lorraine Broderick, Hal Corley, and Addie Walsh (co-headwriters)
June 1999 – June 12, 2000 Leah Laiman and Carolyn Culliton (co-headwriter)
June 13, 2000 – July 2001 Hogan Sheffer, Carolyn Culliton, Hal Corley, and Stephen Demorest (co-headwriters)
July 16, 2001 – September 2002 Hogan Sheffer, Jean Passanante, and Carolyn Culliton
September 2002 – May 24, 2005 Hogan Sheffer and Jean Passanante
May 25, 2005 – October 17, 2007 Jean Passanante, Leah Laiman, and Christopher Whitesell
October 2007 – January 24, 2008 Jean Passanante and Leah Laiman
January 25, 2008 – April 17, 2008 Christopher Goutman (2007 WGA strike)
April 18, 2008 - October 5, 2009 Jean Passanante and Leah Laiman
October 6, 2009 - June 4, 2010 Jean Passanante and David Kreizman
June 7 - September 17, 2010 Jean Passanante and Lloyd Gold

Crew at cancellation

International broadcast

In South Africa, As the World Turns aired on SABC2 from June 2010 to February 2012 from 14:10 to 15:00 each weekday. Episodes were 4 years behind the original US broadcast. In Canada As the World Turns aired on ONtv, and, later, Global Television Network, and on NTV in Newfoundland and Labrador. In Jamaica As The World Turns started airing on Television Jamaica Monday to Friday 1:00pm beginning in 2011. In Belize As the World Turns was seen on Great Belize Television at 2:00 pm Central Time, usually the same day as the U.S. telecasts. In New Zealand As The World Turns was aired on TVNZ from 1962 to 1989. In Australia, As The World Turns' was aired on Network Ten first at 1.30 pm, then moved to 5:00pm before ultimately being dropped entirely in 1987.

Since it ended its run on September 17, 2010, reruns of As the World Turns have aired on Sky 1 since September 20, 2010.


In 2006, CBS launched a reality show called InTurn on their broadband channel innertube, the winner of which would go on to receive a 13-week acting contract on As the World Turns. The eventual winner of InTurn was Alex Charak, an 18-year-old "Student/Pizza Transportation Artist" from New York.[19] Charak made his debut as the character Elwood Hoffman on September 26, 2006. A one-hour "best-of" show aired on CBS on November 24, 2006.

CBS launched InTurn 2 in the summer of 2007. For the new season, the age restrictions expanded to allow for middle-aged viewers to participate, and there were nine competitors instead of eight.[20] The winner of the second season was Ryan Serhant, a recent graduate of Hamilton College. Serhant made his debut in the contract role on November 7, 2007. He plays Evan Walsh IV, son of Evan Walsh III. He is a young hotshot biochemist prodigy who comes home to Oakdale to try to convince Craig Montgomery to invest in the cutting edge biomedical tech field. He began taping on September 24, 2007, two days after the close of his off-Broadway play, Purple Hearts.

Inturn 3 began airing in April 2008 and featured 17 episodes.

Awards and records

Writers Guild of America Awards

Daytime Emmy Awards


As the World Turns has won 43 Daytime Emmys:

  • 2007 "Outstanding Directing Team"
  • 2005 "Outstanding Writing Team"
  • 2005 "Outstanding Achievement in Casting for a Drama Series"
  • 2004 "Outstanding Writing Team"
  • 2003 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 2002 "Outstanding Writing Team"
  • 2001 "Outstanding Writing Team"
  • 2001 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 1999 "Outstanding Original Song" (Tied with General Hospital)
  • 1993 "Outstanding Directing Team"
  • 1991 "Outstanding Drama Series"
  • 1987 "Outstanding Drama Series"


Daytime television firsts

  • As the World Turns ran for 30 minutes along with The Edge of Night, which premiered the same day.
  • In 1988, the serial made American television history by introducing gay male character, Hank Elliot (played by Brian Starcher). The show made history again, in 2007, when Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer (played by Van Hansis and Jake Silbermann respectively) shared a kiss and formed a relationship, becoming the first gay male couple on daytime television. On January 12, 2009, after a long and tumultuous relationship, Luke and Noah finally consummated their love, giving As the World Turns another daytime first.

It was also the longest running dramatic series created exclusively for television.


Other awards

In 2010, As the World Turns was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding Daily Drama" during the 21st GLAAD Media Awards.[21]

In popular culture

On the TV series Tom & Jerry Kids, while Tom watches Nine Lives to Live, Jerry changes it to As the Cheese Turns.

Eminem released a song called "As the World Turns" on his 1999 album, The Slim Shady LP.

In the 1960s - 70s The Carol Burnett Show featured a recurring sketch called As the Stomach Turns, a parody of As the World Turns and soap operas in general.

In the pulp series The Destroyer #22 "Brain Drain" by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, it was revealed that Chiun is a big fan of the soap opera "As the Planet Revolves" and constantly glued in front of the television to catch the broadcast.

Children's television network Nickelodeon once featured a series of shorts entitled "As Our School Bus Turns", with the (actually unconnected) episodes taking place aboard a school bus. Each episode would end with a stereotypical soap opera cliffhanger.

DVD release

In October 2011, SoapClassics has released a 4 DVD collection of 20 selected episodes, marking the first time that any As the World Turns episodes have been available on any recorded medium. The oldest episode on the collection dates from September 29, 1979, while the latest episode is from April 10, 2010.[22]

In November 2011, a "Christmas in Oakdale" DVD was released, celebrating five Christmas episodes from the show. The featured Christmases are 1985, 1992, 1995, 2000 and 2007.

A "CarJack" collection has also been released, celebrating supercouple Carly and Jack in 10 of their most memorable episodes.

The Holden and Lily Story collection has 10 of their most memorable episodes.

Farewell to Oakdale has the final 10 episodes of the series.

The James Stenbeck Story collection has 10 of his most memorable episodes

The "As the World Turns - The Wedding of Bob and Kim" DVD collection contains 10 episodes which aired April 2–15, 1985 that featured the bachelor party, the wedding ceremony, and the reception of Bob Hughes and Kim Sullivan, as played by Don Hastings and Kathryn Hays. This collection is only available online.[23]

See also


  1. ^ By number of episodes. In terms of total duration, As the World Turns is longer than Guiding Light, at 13,763 hours vs. 3,940 hours 30 minutes of Guiding Light.[1]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ CBS Cancels 'As the World Turns,' Procter & Gamble's Last Soap Opera -
  6. ^
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  9. ^
  10. ^ Nochimson, Martha. No End to Her: Soap Opera and the Female Subject. University of California Press, 1992. 174. Google Books. Web. 12 Jan. 2012. ISBN 0-520-07771-7.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^
  15. ^ Is There Still a Future for Soap Operas? by Michael Maloney, Huffington Post, 9 Dec 2009
  16. ^ Fifty years on 'As the World Turns', 30 March 2006
  17. ^ a b c
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  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

Further reading

  • Browne, Ray B., and Pat Browne, eds. (2001) The Guide to United States Popular Culture. Madison, Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin Press. ISBN 0-87972-821-3.
  • Frost, Bob. "The Assassination of President Kennedy." Biography 2003. Rpt. in by Bob Frost. Online.

External links

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