Although published reports indicate that supervising producers Anthony Morina and Josh Griffith will be taking over as executive producer and head writer, respectively, of CBS’ “The Young and the Restless,” both Sony Pictures Television and the network remain mum on who will officially be taking over from recently departed Mal Young. The British producer, who joined the series in 2016 as its top executive and a year later as its sole head writer, confirmed his exit early Tuesday following published reports late Monday night that he was being replaced by Griffith in some capacity.
“Just arrived in London for the holidays. I felt like it was a good time to move on. Never a good idea to get too settled on a long-running soap and I achieved all that I and CBS set out to do: improved scripts and production values,” said Young in a statement released to Showbiz411. “I have a project of my own that I’ve been developing and want to pursue that now. Plus running a show like this is all consuming and want to get a bit of my life back – and see my family occasionally!”
While Young’s comments seem to indicate it was his decision to leave the series, the network and studio would have been justified in making the decision to replace him. Despite recent upticks in the ratings, along with the soap clearing 30 years at number one in viewers among all daily serials, the drama has consistently shed audience compared to the year-ago period throughout the entire course of 2018 in viewers, with minor increases in the Women 25-54 and Women 18-49, the primary sales demos for daytime television.
If/when the Morina and Griffith news is confirmed, it’s expected that John Fisher will remain as supervising producer on the series with Matthew J. Olsen and Jonathan Fishman staying on as producers.
No stranger to “Y&R,” Griffith began his tenure at the CBS soap in July 2006 when he served as a creative consultant and as a breakdown writer on the series. He quickly took the reins as the show’s co-executive producer until departing in January 2008. During the infamous writer’s strike in 2007, and into early 2008, Griffith served as the show’s head writer after going fi-core status. He returned to the series as head writer in 2012. He remained in that position until 2013, when he decided to leave the series.
With extensive credits as a producer and director on a number of soaps, Morina is the husband of former “Y&R” head writer Sally Sussman, who preceded Young. Morina served as a producer and director at “Y&R” since the mid-2000s. He served in that capacity, or similar, on “All My Children,” “General Hospital,” “Santa Barbara” and “Sunset Beach,” among others. He was also involved in “Spyder Games,” a hybrid soap aired on MTV in 2001.
When contacted on Young’s replacements, a rep for Sony was only able to tell Soap Opera Network, “We don’t have any information on who is taking over yet.”
Stay tuned as this story continues to develop.