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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.
Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “All My Children, “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.
In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.
Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.
Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy Curlee, Melissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.
Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:
Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor
Today “Young and the Restless” co-executive producer Paul Rauch announced that he will be stepping down from the drama series as of Friday, April 1, which ironically enough is April Fool’s Day. This of course is no joke.
“My collaboration with Steve Kent, and Maria [Arena Bell] and Bill Bell [Jr.] has been very rewarding,” said Rauch in a statement. “I had great pleasure working with ‘Y&R’s’ magnificent cast and crew. I feel that I’ve accomplished everything that I set out to achieve, and it’s now time for me to return to New York.”
Rauch was named co-executive producer in October 2008 alongside executive producer/head writer Arena Bell. Prior to joining “Y&R,” he served time as executive producer at “Another World,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” and “Santa Barbara.”
“The Young and the Restless” Swings the Axe!
Soap Opera Network has just learned that Executive Producer and Head Writer Lynn Marie Latham has been fired from CBS’ “The Young and The Restless,” effective immediately. Latham’s husband, Bernard Lechowick, who served as a Creative Consultant and Writer, has also been let go. Other writers exiting the show are Marina Alburger and Lynsey Dufour. More writers from Latham’s team are expected to follow.
Josh Griffith, who went on “Financial Core” status and replaced Latham as Executive Producer, is expected to remain in that position. However, there is no word yet if Griffith will remain as Head Writer. The status of Co-Head Writer Maria Arena Bell and Writer Paula Cwikly were unclear at press time.
“Y&R” is the second Sony Pictures Television owned soap to have mass firings. On February 1, 2008, nine writers from NBC’s “Days Of our Lives” were given the axe.
Stay tuned to SON as more details become available.
EXCLUSIVE: Soap Opera Network has learned the names of soap opera writers who declared “Financial Core” status to keep on working during the strike. By going “Fi-Core,” these writers can never be members of the WGA again but they continue to pay reduced union dues and the Guild is obligated to continue providing services such health insurance, pension and residuals. Though they can still work on Guild projects, Guild members will not be keen to hire them.
Here is the list of “Fi-Core” writers:
- “All My Children”: James Harmon Brown & Barbara Esensten (returned to work in late December)
- “The Bold and The Beautiful”: Kay Alden
- “Days Of Our Lives”: Hogan Sheffer (went “Fi-Core” in early January), Meg Kelly (went “Fi-Core” in late November), Victor Gialanella, Mark Christopher Higley
- “General Hospital”: Garin Wolf (went “Fi-Core” immediately), Michael Conforti
- “One Life To Live”: Gary Tomlin, Fran Myers, Jeanne Marie Ford, Michelle Poteet Lisanti (all went “Fi-Core” immediately)
- “Passions”: James E. Reilly, Shawn Morrison, Pete T. Rich (went “Fi-Core” immediately)
- “The Young and The Restless”: Josh Griffith, Maria Arena Bell, Paula Cwikly (all went “Fi-Core” immediately)
There are no “Fi-Core” writers at “As The World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”
At “DAYS” the show decided not to use the services of Hogan Sheffer and Meg Kelly; instead they were paid to stay at home. This signifies that “DAYS” will name a new Head Writer.
Still at “DAYS,” it is unclear as to whether or not that the fired writers (Tom Casiello, Frederick Johnson, Gordon Rayfield, Judy Tate, Judith Donato, Renee Godelia, Richard Backus) will be returning to the show. More on this story in the upcoming days or weeks.
Over at “Y&R” there have been rumors and speculation about the departure of Executive Producer and Head Writer Lynn Marie Latham. However, there has been no word if these rumors are true or not.
UPDATE: April 18, 2008
The WGA released a letter today naming more writers that I didn’t originally have.
The list of writers are:
- “The Bold and The Beautiful”: John F. Smith
- “Days Of Our Lives”: Dena Higley (went “Fi-Core” just before the strike ended in February)
- “Passions”: Marlene Clark Poulter, Clem Egan, Darrell Ray Thomas Jr.