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'As the World Turns' tapes final episode in Brooklyn

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as-the-world-turnsImage Credit: Kwaku Alston/CBSAs the World Turns taped its 13,858th and final episode at its Brooklyn, N.Y. studios today, ending its storied run on CBS. Ever since the network announced last December that it would shutter the show, ATWT has attempted to reward its small but loyal fan base with a stream of familiar faces from the show’s 54-year run, including the return of Julianne Moore (who got her start on the show by playing  half-sisters Frannie and Sabrina Hughes in the ’80s), Larry Bryggman (John Dixon), Jennifer Landon (Gwen Munson), Jesse Soffer (Will Munson), Cady McClain (Rosanna Cabot), and Mary Beth Evans (Sierra Drake).

Since daytime soaps tape several weeks in advance, the final episode of ATWT will air in September. TeleNext Media, the company that has produced the sudser, released this statement today to EW: “Last December, when CBS informed us that they were canceling As The World Turns, we immediately launched a far-reaching search to find a new outlet for the show,” said Brian T. Cahill, senior VP and managing director of TeleNext Media Inc. “We have aggressively pursued network and cable outlets as well as syndication options, and have explored many innovative formats and relationships that we hoped would ultimately enable the future success of As The World Turns. Regrettably, we have not found an outlet or platform that will carry the show forward. This is an extremely disappointing outcome to what was a tireless and exhaustive pursuit.

“While we are sad to see As The World Turns come to an end, we remain proud of the achievements the show has made over the last 54 years and are extremely grateful to the loyal fans who invited us into their homes every day.  There is still much in store for the show’s well-loved characters throughout the summer, and although the show will go off the air in September, the remaining stories will honor the remarkable history of As The World Turns.”

With 2.51 million viewers, ATWT remains the least watched soap in daytime. The network will likely replace it with a game show, but no decision has been made.