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Maria Arena Bell

Ever since it was revealed that Emmy-winning actress Eileen Davidson will be returning to “The Young and the Restless” as Ashley Abbott this September, fans have been chomping at the bit for more details regarding her return — including how the deal, which allows her to also appear on the Sony-owned NBC sudser “Days of our Lives” — came about. Soap Opera Network went straight to the Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime, Angelica McDaniel, to find out!

In a new interview with Highlight Hollywood, former executive producer and head writer of "The Young and the Restless," Maria Arena Bell, has clarified a statement she made in Soap Opera Digest after the publication released their report on Michael Muhney's firing from the daytime drama series. In it, she said, "Michael brought amazing dimension and complexity to the role of Adam Newman, and his and Sharon’s [Sharon Case] was a great dark love story. Sadly, that story was seriously derailed in the last year, so I am not surprised that the show would look for a solution to their problematic storytelling decisions. It will be a tough role to recast." However, with a report by TMZ that says the actor was let go following alleged claims he fondled the breasts of one of his co-stars, Bell now says, "Frankly he should have been let go months before because of his behind the scenes actions."

In Soap Opera Digest's reporting on the firing of Michael Muhney as Adam Newman on "The Young and the Restless," in its January 13, 2014 issue, the magazine included a quote from former executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell. In the piece, Bell, who hired Muhney back in 2009, is quoted as saying, "Michael brought amazing dimension and complexity to the role of Adam Newman, and his and Sharon's [Sharon Case] was a great dark love story. Sadly, that story was seriously derailed in the last year, so I am not surprised that the show would look for a solution to their problematic storytelling decisions. It will be a tough role to recast."

TVGN is proving why it's now the "the new way to watch soaps." With the network already picking up encore airing rights to "The Young and the Restless" this past summer, and "The Bold and the Beautiful" earlier this month, the network plans to provide soap fans with even more "soap" for their viewing pleasure courtesy of the new documentary, "Who Shot the Daytime Soap?" Airing Monday, December 16 at 8:00 PM ET/PT, preceded by airings of “B&B” at 6:30 PM ET/PT and “Y&R” at 7:00 PM ET/PT, the documentary tackles the history of daytime soap operas as told by those who were there during the good times, the bad times and the new times.

Just as the fall season gets ready to kick into high gear next month comes word that "The Young and the Restless" may have lost its head writer as a result of creative differences with the shows executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps. Josh Griffith, who took the reigns from Maria Arena Bell one year ago, has reportedly given notice to Sony Pictures Television and Bell Dramatic Television of his decision to leave.

In an interview published in the newest issue of Soap Opera Digest, Maria Arena Bell, the former executive producer and head writer of "The Young and the Restless," shares that the soap submitted episodes #9,999 and #10,000 as part of their Emmy reel in the category of Outstanding Drama Series for the "40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards."

Maria Arena Bell, who was let go as Executive Producer and Head Writer of CBS' "The Young and the Restless" earlier this year, was honored on Wednesday, December 12 with a Humanitarian Award for her dedication to arts advocacy during the 14th Annual Women's Image Network (WIN) Awards, which recognizes and honors exemplary men and women in the entertainment industry including those from the television, film and advertising worlds.

During tonight's Paley Center LA event in Beverly Hills, CA, celebrating 10,000 episodes of "The Young and the Restless," former head writer and executive producer, Maria Arena Bell, joined cast members Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott), Eric Braeden (Victor Abbott), Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams), Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin), Joshua Morrow (Nicholas Newman), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman), Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters), and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Newman) to talk about the shows legacy.

When Maria Arena Bell was fired as head writer and executive producer of "The Young and the Restless" on Thursday, July 26, just one day earlier Soap Opera Digest reported that Scott Hamner, one of the soaps co-head writers, would also be leaving at the end of his contract. "I had decided to let my contract expire but Maria[Arena Bell, executive producer/head writer] asked if we could call it a sabbatical instead," explained Hamner in a statement. "She really didn't want me to leave, so I agreed to take a few months off. She has been so gracious and generous about my need to take a break and I appreciate that." Meanwhile, with the appointment of Josh Griffith as Bell's replacement as head writer, many began to wonder whether Hogan Sheffer would remain as the other co-head writer of the soap.

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).
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