As TV Guide puts it: Get ready for TV's newest reality show: 55-year-old Guiding Light!
On February 29, the long-running drama will abandon the set-busting, all-encompassing way of making soap operas in exchange for a radical, extraordinarily authetic approach that has much of the show shot on location in the small town of Peapack, New Jersey.
For example, check out this Guiding Light spoiler: The first episode with the new look finds heiress Lizzie Spaulding (Marcy Rylan) being dumped in the middle of the woods by her ex-lover Jonathan (Tom Pelphrey). She'll be rescued — soaked and frozen — by her current flame, Bill (Daniel Cosgrove).
Guiding Light's soundstage in Manhattan also has received an overhaul. Three-walled sets have bee vanquished, those that have used since the 1950s. Now, each interior locale has four walls and a ceiling, requiring that all scenes be shot by a fleet-footed crew with minicams.
"We're bringing the viewers right into the experience in a very intimate way," says executive producer Ellen Wheeler.
Wheeler says CBS wants low-rated Guiding Light to remain on the air: "This is not a desperate survival move," she insists. "This is a creative, financially efficient way to move soap operas into the future. Guiding Light has always led the way."