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'Guiding Light' shoots last episode after 72 years

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X00095_9 Guiding Light, TV's longest running soap opera, has finished shooting its final scenes in a New Jersey church often used as a setting for the fictional town of Springfield.

The name of the program, in fact, refers to a lamp put in a church window by the fictional Rev. Rutledge to welcome parishioners seeking guidance, the Associated Press reports.

CBS canceled the show after a 72-year-run that began on radio in 1937. The final episode will be broadcast Sept. 18.

The Courier News, a New Jersey newspaper, writes that the local Peapack Reformed Church was often used as a setting for the program.

The News says the Rev. Kathryn Henry, pastor of the real church, led a brief service for cast members, crew and a few local parishioners to remember the show. 

The soap opera will be replaced by a new version of  Let's Make a Deal.

(Photo of the TV premiere episode on June 30, 1952, from CBS Archive)

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