Daytime’s most watched soap is also daytime’s most heavily viewed series for African American audiences, but you wouldn’t know it based on the storyline’s written for its African American characters of late. With a new writing team in place, that will soon change. According to Soap Opera Digest, the series has put out another casting call for an African American character. Unlike the previous casting call, this one is for a female and it definitely sounds like a possible recast of a current character, but we could be wrong.
“Sally Tate” is described as a woman in her mid-20s who is ”vivacious, energetic, ambitious. She’s a mom balancing work and family. She’s had her share of tough times, but always bounces back from even the most trying situations. Sexy, romantic, fun-loving, with a delightful sense of humor and an eternal twinkle in her eyes.” The role comes with a contract attached.
This marks the second role being cast under new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and head writer Josh Griffith. No word on when the show expects to cast the role nor when viewers can expect to see her on screen.
While “The Bold and the Beautiful” canceled its casting call last week following news of Ronn Moss‘ (soon-to-be ex-Ridge Forrester) departure, sister soap “The Young and the Restless” has announced its plans to cast the contract role of an African American male.
According to Soap Opera Digest, “Y&R” is seeking to cast the face of Tyler Douglas, who is currently in his late 20s or early 30s, and was orphaned at age 16. Douglas got himself through college and now holds an MBA. The character is “driven to succeed. Smart, energetic. Well-read. Smoothly sexy and confident, with a witty, sometimes cynical sense of humor.”
This marks the first role being cast under new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and head writer Josh Griffith. No word on when the show expects to cast the role nor when viewers can expect to see him on screen.
On Thursday, July 26, Sony Pictures Television announced Josh Griffith as the new head writer of “The Young and the Restless.” He replaced Maria Arena Bell, who also served as the soaps executive producer (she’s been replaced by Jill Farren Phelps in that position). In the days following the announcement of his appointment at “Y&R,” Griffith became a little more active on his Twitter account (@joshgriffith13).
On Friday, August 3, Griffith tweeted “My last day at ‘Hollywood Heights’ studios. Sad to be leaving one show but excited about starting work on ‘Y&R’ on Monday!” Griffith and Phelps, who reigned over the Nickelodeon primetime drama series, officially took charge of daytime’s #1 drama series on Monday, August 6. Shortly after that tweet, Griffith responded to a tweet by “Y&R” star Michelle Stafford who asked her followers to “Do something today that u wouldn’t normally do!!! I am gonna!! I’ll tell u what it is tonight!!!” Griffith’s response was “
@TheRealStafford Afraid. Very afraid.”
Today, Griffith tweeted “Back in action at ‘Y&R’ Great to see everyone. I’m thrilled to be back. Feels like home.”
Update, Wednesday, August 8 5:41 PM ET: Soap Opera Network has learned Shiels will be portraying the character “Moran” in his scenes with Braeden and Francis.
Previous, Tuesday, August 2 3:07 PM ET: Soap Opera Network has learned that actor Graham Shiels, who most recently appeared in an episode of TNT’s “Leverage,” has booked a recurring role on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.”
While his character name is being kept under wraps, Soap Opera Network has learned that the role may vacillate between perceived enemy or ally and that Shiels will appear in scenes with Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) and Genie Francis (Genevieve Atkinson). His first airdate is scheduled for Monday, September 10.
Eric Braeden is best known to daytime fans of CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” as Victor Newman, and in celebration of the shows upcoming 10,000th episode (tentatively scheduled for Thursday, September 27), the actor appeared on today’s edition of “The Talk,” with guest co-host Shannen Doherty.
In the interview Braeden touched on the topic of how important the writing is key to the success of the show. Ironically, it was announced yesterday that the writing team at “Y&R” would receive a major overhaul as Maria Arena Bell was ousted as the soaps head writer and executive producer. Also out is co-head writer Scott Hamner. The fate of Hogan Sheffer, another co-head writer on the show, has yet to be determined. Jill Farren Phelps will step in as executive producer with Josh Griffith, Jr. in as head writer.
“Good writing is fundamental and often forgotten,” said the 71-year old actor. “Writers get the least amount of publicity, and actually deserve the most. The confluence of good writing and actors doesn’t happen very often. And then in the end it is something mysterious. Either something works or it doesn’t. You can’t put your finger on it,” he continued.
For the Braeden’s full “Talk” appearance watch the clip below:
In a posting on her facebook page yesterday, following the announcement by Sony Pictures Television and CBS that Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith, Jr. would be stepping in to replace her, Maria Arena Bell stated that she was “mystified” as to why she was being let go as executive producer and head writer of “The Young and the Restless.”
“So it was announced today [July 26, 2012] I am leaving Y and R… the show I have loved so much for so long. It is the legacy of my father in law… my mother in law… and all the Bells. The show has been my heart and soul. I loved working with the most talented writers in TV who were also the most wonderful human beings I know. They became a second family and my best friends. I loved the cast and crew. I am extremely sad to go because there are more stories I could have told. So much more I wanted to do,” said Bell. “My ratings are strong… each week stronger than last year. The show is in a great place creatively. We are number one by the greatest margin in the show’s history and have been consistently while I’ve been there. Under no one else’s tenure as head writer exec producer have we won every demographic for so long. I am just shy of five years at the helm. It has been an amazing ride. So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew.”
Editor’s Note: “The Young and the Restless” has been down year-to-year in most rating categories as the current television season progressed more than it has been up, which is a direct contradiction to Bell’s statement above. Additionally, “Y&R” has hit or tied all of its series lows during Bell’s tenure including this season.
Bell’s statement continued with the following:
“There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few days… by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors. I was not given a reason and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS. They sent me a message through my husband Bill who had the terrible job of conveying that they’d gone around him and were letting me go. I fought hard for my vision and to keep the show on track with the characters that matter to the audience. Maybe I fought too hard. But I am glad I did. I never compromised on what I believed in. I never dumbed down the storytelling. I walked in the door at Y and R in 1988… as a young writer getting her first job. Today I leave there knowing it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love you Y and R. Your story was my life story too. And to Victor… Nikki… Jack… and Kay… I will miss you.”
Bell’s facebook message was first posted on the CBS Soaps in Depth website.
“The Young and The Restless” is making major changes at the top. Executive Producer/Head Writer Maria Arena Bell is leaving the show and is being replaced by Jill Farren Phelps, who will be the new Executive Producer, and Josh Griffith, who will be the new Head Writer.
Co-Head Writer Scott Hamner is also leaving the show. The status of Hogan Sheffer, the show’s other Co-Head Writer, is currently unknown.
via Press Release
LOS ANGELES, July 26, 2012 – Jill Farren Phelps has been named Executive Producer of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, daytime’s number one drama, and Josh Griffith joins the series as Head Writer, it was announced today by Steve Kent, Senior Executive Vice President, U.S. Programming at Sony Pictures Television.
“We are excited to have such a talented daytime veteran leading our team at ‘Y&R.’ Jill has a stellar record of success in the daytime genre,” said Kent. “We are also happy to welcome Josh back to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and are looking forward to his creative input and ideas.”
“On behalf of everyone at ‘Y&R,’ we extend our sincere thanks to Emmy® Award-winning Maria Bell for her contributions to the show over the last five years. We wish her the best of luck and continued success,” he added.
Phelps has been the executive producer of five daytime dramas and two prime time cable dramas: “Santa Barbara,” “Guiding Light,” “Another World,” “One Life to Live,” “General Hospital,” the first season of ”General Hospital: Night Shift” and “Hollywood Heights.” As an executive producer, Phelps has been nominated for 14 Daytime Emmy Awards and has won seven times (1988–1990, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2012).
Griffith’s writing career includes “As the World Turns,” “One Life to Live,” “Santa Barbara,” “Sunset Beach,” “General Hospital,” ”The Young and the Restless” and “Hollywood Heights.” He has received four Emmy Awards and four Writer’s Guild Awards.
THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS has been the number one rated daytime drama for more than 23 years and is in its 39th season. The show is broadcast weekdays (12:30-1:30 PM; 11:00 AM-12:00 Noon, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and is produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company, in association with Sony Pictures Television.
Nickelodeon has tapped former “General Hospital” executive producer Jill Farren Phelps and former “One Life To Live” head writer Josh Griffith to adapt the popular Mexican telenovela “Alcanzar una Estrella“ for Nick at Nite. Phelps will be co-executive producer with Hisham Abed (“The Hills” and “The City”) and Griffith will serve as the head writer.
via press release
NICKELODEON AND TELEVISA BREAK NEW CREATIVE GROUND WITH “REACH FOR A STAR”, FIRST-EVER TELENOVELA ADAPTED FOR THE U.S., TO AIR ON NICK AT NITE
80-Episode Daily Series Centers Around Teenage Girl Who Reaches Stardom and Wins
the Love of Her Teen Idol; Produced in Association with Sony Pictures Television
Miami, FL – Jan. 24, 2012 – Nickelodeon, in partnership with Televisa, has ordered 80 episodes of a groundbreaking, original one-hour U.S. adaptation of the popular Mexican telenovela, Reach for a Star (Alcanzar una Estrella) for Nick at Nite, it was announced today by Cyma Zarghami, President of Viacom’s Nickelodeon Group; and Jose Bastón President of Television and Content from Televisa. The first telenovela ever adapted for the U.S. audience, Reach for a Star is a single-camera, daily series following a teenage girl whose life changes completely when she becomes a star and wins the love of her teen idol. Reach for a Star will be produced in association with Sony Pictures Television and is set to premiere later this year on Nickelodeon’s nighttime block for families–Nick at Nite. Production begins in March in Los Angeles, Calif.
“We have experienced first-hand the popularity of the daily scripted format with our kid audience through the success of House of Anubis and our teen audience with DeGrassi: The Next Generation,” and our Nick Latin American channel has already had great success in producing telenovela’s with Televisa,” Ms. Zarghami said. “This partnership brings together Televisa’s un-matched leadership in the telenovela genre with our expertise in making content, and we’re looking forward to introducing this first true English-language telenovela to Nick at Nite’s family audience.”
“As part of the steps towards building a strong presence in the Anglo TV market, Televisa is excited to coproduce with Nickelodeon one of the many successful scripts from our library in a daily series format,” said Bastón. We are convinced that the daily series will be well received by Nick´s family audiences, and will capture their attention daily as it has happened in different markets in the world where Televisa has exported its production capabilities. The Televisa and Nick alliance will certainly result in a successful formula, and we envision Reach for a Star as the first of many joint projects.
“For more than a decade Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) and Televisa have been strategically building upon their regional partnership that today encompasses, distribution, consumer products and co-productions,” said Pierluigi Gazzolo, Chief Operating Officer, VIMN. “Reach for a Star marks a dynamic new phase in our partnership and VIMN is incredibly excited to once again be expanding our content portfolio with Televisa.”
Reach for a Star follows Nickelodeon’s success with its live-action serialized series, House of Anubis and Degrassi. Nickelodeon has also experienced tremendous success with the format in Europe and Latin America. The Reach for a Star series is an adaptation of the hit Mexican telenovela, Alcanzar una Estrella, first broadcast on Canal de las Estrellas and Univision in 1990. The success of the series led to a film and sequel telenovela starring Latin American pop sensations, Ricky Martin and Sasha Sokol.
Reach for a Star follows a smart, shy and independent high school senior, Loren, who has ambitions of being a songwriter and secretly sends her song lyrics to her celebrity crush, rock superstar Eddie Wild. Loren’s wildest dreams come true when she not only wins a songwriting competition sponsored by Eddie, but strikes up a friendship with her idol. Eddie sees beyond Loren’s potential as a songwriter and gives her a first break as a singer, and when the truth about his less-than-faithful girlfriend Chloe is revealed, Eddie and Loren’s friendship blossoms.
The series will be co-executive produced by six-time Emmy Award-winner Jill Farren Phelps (General Hospital, One Life To Live) and Hisham Abed (The Hills and The City). Josh Griffith (Young and The Restless, As The World Turns) will serve as head writer.
Nick at Nite is Nickelodeon’s nighttime programming block that features popular hit family comedies including the Emmy Award-winning series Friends, My Wife & Kids, George Lopez and The Nanny.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — In a statement released via Soap Opera Digest, “One Life to Live” head writer Ron Carlivati says, “I am both excited and honored to remain with ‘One Life to Live’ as Head Writer and Consulting Producer when the show moves online. My heartfelt thanks to Executive Producer Frank Valentini, as well as to Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz of Prospect Park for this incredible opportunity.”
“I would also like to express my very sincere gratitude to everyone at ABC Daytime, especially Jill Phelps at ‘General Hospital,’ for supporting me in this decision.”
Back in June it was announced that Carlivati was expected to report to “GH” as a script writer after the conclusion of “One Life to Live” on ABC. In July it was announced that his canceled soap would live on via Prospect Park’s licensing deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group. It was announced earlier today that the writer would join several of his cast as the soap transitions to the web in January 2012.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — After fifteen years of working in various positions on the “One Life to Live” writing staff, including serving as the show’s head scribe for the last three years, ABC has announced that Ron Carlivati will be joining “General Hospital” as a script writer. The move will fulfill the remainder of the three-year contract Carlivati signed with the network last September. A similar two-year deal was hammered out at the time with “One Life” Executive Producer Frank Valentini.
Despite the timing of the news, “OLTL” fans breath a sigh of relief, however, since Carlivati is not expected to begin his new duties until after the show wraps production sometime in mid-November. “One Life to Live” will air its final episode on January 20, 2012.
Carlivati echoed the sentiment in a press release, saying that “I remain fully committed to Frank Valentini and ‘One Life to Live’ as the show’s Headwriter until the series concludes in January of 2012. It has been my distinct honor to write for Agnes Nixon’s groundbreaking soap opera for the past fifteen years, and it will be with a heavy heart that I, along with my incredibly talented team, pen its finale. At that time, I am happy to announce that I will then be joining the writing team of ‘General Hospital,’ and am thrilled to be working once again with Executive Producer Jill Phelps as well as new Headwriter Garin Wolf.”
Wolf was just named “GH” headwriter last month by Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, upon the firing of the show’s former head scribe Robert Guza, Jr.
The news of Carlivati’s move to the L.A.-based “Hospital,” was broken Thursday by “One Life’s” soon-to-be-departing leading lady Robin Strasser, who tweeted that ” JUST TOLD but NOT told it wuz SECRET: Ron CARLIVATI to #GH as script writer-hopes 2 b co-head writer? Yo,I’m taking heat for leaving early?” Strasser, as we previously reported, is leaving “OLTL” this summer to have back surgery. Her final tape date is Friday, July 1.
Carlivati, along with his writing staff, won a Daytime Emmy in 2008 for their work on “One Life to Live.” He began his daytime career on the soap as a Writer’s Assistant from 1996-1998, before being promoted the the position of Script Writer. In 2001 he was again promoted, this time to the job of Breakdown Writer. In May 2007, he was appointed Co-Head Writer (along with Dena Higley). In September of that year, he was named the show’s sole Head Writer following the network’s dismissal of Higley, where he has continued to serve (minus a brief hiatus during the 2008 Writer’s Strike) in the same capacity.
Click here to read an interview Soap Opera Network did with Carlivati in March of this year, one month before ABC announced the cancellation of “One Life to Live” and sister soap “All My Children.”