The Young and the Restless spoilers examines what is wrong with the show’s current storylines and casting choices and where responsibility lies for these problems. Y&R’s first air date was March 26 1973 – it centered around two core families, the Brooks and The Abbotts, then later The Newmans were added. Y&R has gone through several changes since the death of its beloved creator William J. Bell in 2005.
His wife, Lee Phillip Bell was co-creator of both soaps Y&R and The Bold and the Beautiful – Lee Bell is 87 years old. There was a reason Young and the Restless had seen so much success up until Bell’s death, he kept it real – well as real as you can keep a soap. William J. Bell liked writing about real events in real life. The viewer could relate to each character and circumstance. Y&R always celebrates Holidays with the viewers giving the soap a very cozy family feeling. Y&R characters have dealt with problems including heart transplants, alcoholism, substance abuse, cancer, aids, infidelity, strippers, hookers, miscarriages, comas, espionage, kidnapping, mental illness, body image issues, the list goes on.
But all stories were to the viewers very believable which made them want to tune in everyday to see what their “Soap Family” was going to do next. Y&R success was due in part to Executive Producer Edward Scott (Melody Thomas Scott’s husband) – he had a 25 year partnership with William J. Bell. Y&R has held its own even at the peak of soap mania when there were up to 11 soaps on daytime and Edward J. Scott had multiple Emmys and awards. In 2000 alone, Y&R received 28 Emmy Award nominations.
Y&R let Scott go in 2007. Following Edward Scott’s departure Y&R hired William J Bell JR’s wife Marena Bell in 2007 and she was named Head Writer in 2008, co-executive producer in 2009. She was then moved to Executive Producer. Ratings started plumenting after Edward Scott left, the story lines became unbelievable and lots of veteran actors and actresses were exiting. In 2012, Marena Bell left The Young and the Restless.
Viewers were frustrated – at this point their soap was off the rails and Y&R was desperate to get back on track so the network hired the person much of Hollywood called the “Soap Killer,” Jill Farren Phelps. Phelps did not have a good reputation with the actors or with saving soaps. She has been known to favor specific actors and actresses and discard the ones who did not bow down. This past year and a half has shown JFP in fine form with the not so nice exit of Michelle Stafford, a soap vet who played Phyllis Summers since 1994, both a fan favorite and Emmy winner. Stafford sources say she was very unhappy with the situation at Y&R. Michelle spoke exclusively to CDL and told us that Y&R was doing nothing with her storyline and as an actress she simply had to leave.
Also leaving was Emmy Award winning Billy Miller who was also let go under JFP’s reign. Billy Miller and Michelle Stafford found new homes at General Hospital – Y&R fans were very upset and on message boards and social media blamed JFP. Michael Muhney also left under questionable circumstances on her watch and fans were LIVID.
The latest casualty at Y&R is wonderful actress Jessica Collins who played Avery Clark. Rumor has it that JFP never warmed up to Avery – Jessica played the character since 2011 also getting an Emmy nod for Best supporting actress in the role. The actress wrapped her final scenes this past week.
Jill Farren Phelps worked on General Hospital in 2001 and during this time GH lost a few of their beloved actors as well. One very memorable firing was Anna Lee the much loved character of Lila Quartermaine. Lila was a cornerstone in GH history and was connected to many characters. Anna Lee portrayed Lila for 25 years. Jill Farren Phelps opted not to re-sign this soap veteran in 2003. Anna Lee’s son Byron was quoted as saying “I can tell you that this will kill her, emotionally and spiritually,” Byron said at the time. “Mom took it very hard. It had a devastating impact on her“
In 2007 Leslie Charleson who plays Monica Quartermaine and Lila’s daughter in law on the soap spoke out and said “Wendy Riche former Executive Producer promised Lee the role of Lila Quartermaine for life – they fired her and broke her heart – it was not necessary.” Anna Lee passed away of pneumonia soon after.
GH ratings started declining and with the plumenting ratings toward the end of JFP’s reign, GH was up for cancellation. The network fired her in 2012 and hired Frank Valentini for one year. On the heels of JFP’s firing at GH Sony Pictures Television hired her as executive producer of The Young and the Restless.
Which brings us to the next Y&R hire who also has the reputation as a “Soap Killer,” Charles Pratt Jr. The much hated Executive Producer Brian Frons hired Charles Pratt JR to take over as head writer on the ABC soap AMC and ratings spun into the abyss. Susan Lucci was quoted as saying “It was during one of our first meetings together that Chuck told the entire cast that he didn’t believe in character-driven story lines, and he didn’t care about characters. He said he was there to shake things up.” Lucci was also being quoted as saying “Charles Pratt JR’s writing was supbar” and “Brian Frons has what, for me, is that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance.”
Pratt had done some short stints, a couple years here and there on GH and Sunset Beach moving from soap to soap – until he got his latest gig in late 2014 with buddy Jill Farren Phelps as the new Head Writer on the ailing Y&R. He bragged that he would shake things up. All of the fan negativity since Pratt’s hire does not seem to even phase Phelps & Pratt.
How do you account for so much upset with JFP and Pratt on social media? It seems that this “dynamic duo” think they know what the fans want more than the fans do. There are only 4 soaps left on the air and both Phelps and Pratt have played a part in the demise of many of the axed shows. What does this mean for Y&R? Fans are sick and tired of the dumbing down of the plot and dialogue – the removal of all intelligence and subtlety – viewers say they want more and expect more from their 42 year old soap.
Right now Pratt and Phelps have a ridiculous Cabin Killer storyline that has worn on most fan’s last nerve in what was an obvious attempt to recreate the popular teen flick “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” What about Ashley’s brain aneurysm? After an operation on her brain she drove herself home from the hospital – I mean seriously, is she James Bond?
Perhaps Pratt apparently thinks Y&R needs to target younger viewers but that way of thinking does not seem to be working. Fans are tired of The Cabin Killer and Y&R has yet ANOTHER doppelganger story on the canvas before they even wrapped up the Adam/Gabe storyline. Do you think that Y&R has improved for the better since Pratt and Phelps have taken over or is it time to bring in a superhero to breathe some life into the soap. We love to hear what you think please so leave your thoughts in the comments below.