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Breaking: CBS cancels 'As the World Turns'

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And then there were six.

The ailing soap industry took another hit this morning with the announcement that CBS has canceled As the World Turns. The show will end its 54-year run in September.

The move, which comes just three months after CBS bid adieu to Guiding Light, will leave just six soaps on the air. The number could soon shrink to five if ABC axes One Life to Live, as has been rumored.

“We are disappointed and saddened by the news that the show is not being renewed,” said ATWT exec producer Chris Goutman in a statement.  “It will certainly be a loss for all of us, and for the show’s loyal audience.”

Producers are shopping the show around to other outlets, but don’t hold your breath. A similar effort was mounted for GL, and we saw how well that worked out.

ATWT‘s demise wasn’t unexpected, but it still stings. As you probably know, I got my start covering soaps. In fact, my first college internship was at ATWT. To watch the once-mighty industry wither away like this is beyond depressing.