You can teach an old soap new tricks.
“Guiding Light” may be the longest-running television show in broadcast history, but they still know when it’s time for a change. CBS has announced that as of February 29, “Guiding Light” will take on a modern, more realistic look, allowing viewers to become intimately acquainted with the characters they love.
This transformation will occur in ever aspect of the production from direction to the scenic design. The normal eight sets that are used in the show will grow to forty and that mysterious fourth wall will be added along with ceilings to give the show a less “staged” feel.
Shooting inside a set with four walls means taking up the hand-held cameras, a la “Friday Night Lights.” And in an even more unprecedented move, the series has adopted the town of Peapack, NJ so they can shoot 20% of the production as exteriors.
“Our new production model enables us to truly bring Springfield to life for our viewers,” said Executive Producer Ellen Wheeler. “Our fans want to see more of our characters’ lives — from the houses they live in, to the cars they drive, to the experiences they have in their everyday lives. The changes will enable us to tell stories in a more intimate way, capturing real moments and engaging the audience on a deeper level.”
It’s quite a change for a genre that has been rooted in tradition for more than 50 years.
In addition to the re-launch of the series, February 29 will also mark the re-launch of “Guiding Light’s” website, guidinglight.net. The interactive, video-rich site will showcase the new look of “Guiding Light,” providing daily new content on the happenings of Springfield’s favorite residents. In addition, the site will feature a robust community section, offering an engaging area that will foster a stronger connection between the fans and the show, and interconnectedness between the fans themselves.