American show As The World Turns – one of the first soap operas – has been cancelled after more than 13,000 episodes.

The show is one of the world’s longest running daytime soaps and has been on TV screens for 54 years.

Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore have all starred in the show but viewing figures have dropped from 6.5 million in 1993 to 2.5 million.

Barbara Bloom from CBS told The BBC: “The almanacs will show As The World Turns as a pioneer of the format, a hallmark for quality with its numerous Emmys, the launching pad for many television and film stars and a daytime ratings powerhouse for parts of three decades.”

Actress Eileen Fulton – who has starred in the soap for 49 years – called it ‘a hell of a Christmas present’.

CBS announced the news on the day of the show’s 13,661st episode.

Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s new weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop