February 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST

The soon-to-be-history As the World Turns may be one of the least-watched soap operas in daytime TV but it’s looking to go out with a bang: Sources confirm to EW exclusively that the CBS sudser is in serious talks with Julianne Moore (A Single Man) to reprise her role (roles?) as Frannie and Sabrina Hughes. The Oscar-nominated actress got her start on ATWT in 1985 by playing the half-sisters – a depiction that earned her a Daytime Emmy in 1988, the year she left the show.

It’s unclear how Moore will be woven into the final episodes of the drama, which will end its 54-year-run in September, but it’s not expected to be a significant appearance. CBS declined to comment.

ATWT helped launch the film careers of many young actors. Meg Ryan played heroine Betsy Stewart Montgomery Andropoulos in the early ’80s, while Marisa Tomei moved to Oakdale in 1983 to depict teenager Marcy Thompson (she left in 1985). Other actors who did stints on ATWT include Parker Posey (Tess Shelby, 1991-92), Amy Ryan (1990), Dana Delany (1981), Lauryn Hill (1991), Emmy Rossum (1999), Martin Sheen (Jack Davis, 1965-1970), and the late John Spencer (1988).

As for Moore, the actress has made it clear that she wants to do more work on the small screen: she’s been fielding offers this development season after turning heads as Jack’s Boston gal pal on 30 Rock. Sadly, she turned down one of the higher-profile roles for a woman this fall – NBC’s remake of Prime Suspect. The network has since temporarily shelved the project until it can find the right leading lady.

ATWT was created in 1956 as a sister show to Guiding Light, which CBS canceled last year.

UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Moore confirmed that the actress will appear on an upcoming episode of the soap. She could tape as early as Wednesday.

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