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Departing Y&R EP and Head Writer Maria Arena Bell says, "I Was Killed-Off" & Previews 10,000th Episode!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

In a very bittersweet night for departing executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell of The Young and the Restless, the woman who steered the ship in Genoa City for the last five years, had a moment to address the actors, press, and the crowd in attendance at Thursday night’s, Y&R’s 10,000th Episode Celebration held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.

At the end of the panel discussion and Q&A session, moderator Brooks Barnes of The New York Times, addressed that Maria has left The Young and the Restless in her capacities as executive producer and head writer.  This opened up an opportunity for Maria to address her family who was present, the crowd, and her beloved actors on-stage.  These cast members included:  Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Jeanne Cooper, Doug Davidson, Christian Leblanc, Joshua Morrow, Melody Thomas Scott, Kristoff St. John, and Michelle Stafford.

Here below is how Maria ended the evening with her short speech on her departure from the series, and with the news that she indeed penned the 10,000 episode before her exit, and what to look forward to when it airs:

MARIA ARENA BELL:  “I am leaving the show and it’s a very tough thing to do. This show has been a part of my life since I was 25 years old.  I met the Bell family and my mother and father-in-law gave me a chance and put me in daytime.  I always wanted to be a writer.  I was a big soap fan.  Not only has this show been so important to me, but it has been the story of my life.  My entire family has been involved in this together.  I started in this business with my writing partner Brad Bell, and writing The Bold and the Beautiful, which is very close to my heart, and then The Young and the Restless.  So I have had an incredible journey with this show.  I think it’s the greatest show ever. I felt such an amazing kinship with my father in law in telling stories. I would come to CBS every morning and see my father-in-law’s photo and really feeling that he was my mentor.  It was a great, great experience. And like every good soap opera story, I did get “killed-off”.  (Laughs)  But I love all of these folks here tonight, and it has been amazing.  I had the most wonderful team of writers. This group of actors is extraordinary. “

Photo Credit: Kevin Parry

“I wrote a total of about 1600 episodes of Y&R, and I wrote the 10,000 episode and when you see the 10,000 it is very much about what the core of this show.  It’s not a big party episode.  It’s an episode that tells a lot of driving story, that also peaks a very important story, and has ramifications and fallout for almost every one here on stage, which are the main characters.  That is how I really felt comfortable going out.  Leaving on a very strong show and having had a great run here.  I am ready for the next part of my own personal soap opera, and I will never, ever forget The Young and the Restless, and I will always carry that with me.”

So what do you think of Maria’s sentiments above?  What do you think could be planned for the 10,000 episode?  Let us know your thoughts!

Leave a comment | 29 Comments


  1. Richard

    August 25, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Karma is a b@$%h

  2. Cassie Hicks

    August 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    While Mrs. Bell’s sentiments of “The Young & THe Restless” have been very touching, I’m going to miss her as a Head Writer and Executive Producer-literally and figuratively, because I thought she was doing a great job at that on the soap.:(

    • anne archer

      August 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm

      I don’t know how long you have watched this show; I have watched it since its beginning and MAB did not have a clue about the characters whom Bill Bell created. She must not have ever even read any of his descriptions of the characters; because you could not distinguish whom she was writing for. She wrecked many of the characters who were audience favotites… and killed off others!!

      I am glad that she was fired!

  3. Teri

    August 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    All I can say is life must be nice on her planet….

  4. Jared

    August 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    That woman reminds me of a politician. She puts her own selfish spin on everything. She actually continued the ruining of “the greatest show ever”, carrying on what LML so recklessly began and leaving the door open for JFP, show killer, to finish it off. She and her brother-in-law, Brad, are no Bill Bell. There was only one, and he was the greatest.

    • kay/kay

      August 26, 2012 at 9:51 am


  5. Michael

    August 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    All I have to say is, “Where is her brain?! Did she lose sometime between 2009 and this year?!”

  6. Faith

    August 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Good Riddance!

    • Avelina comes from Santorini Greece

      August 26, 2012 at 4:06 am

      Agreed! What she did to Sharon Cases character was horrible.

  7. boes

    August 25, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    MAB said some nice things, but she never had the talent or commitment to keep Y&R a quality show. It became an scary, sad, shadow of itself under her command.

    And there’s the problem. She had command not because of talent, but because of connections. The Bells didn’t build the show because of connections, they built it because of their talent. And for it to have been handed over to a daughter-in-law who played at both writing and producing while her primary interest was in building her reputation as an art patron and socialite was just ridiculous. And the show has paid for that mistake.

    MAB should take her millions and just go away. Far, far away.

    • Michael

      August 26, 2012 at 7:08 am

      Well as for Maria going far, far away. That won’t happen since she is married to Bill Bell Jr., president of Bell-Phillip Television, which created both Y&R and B&B. She just won’t be at the show anymore and she can devote most if not all of her time to her other “baby”, MOCA, which is the art gallery/institute in LA that she is heavily involved in.

  8. Scott

    August 26, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I don’t wanna hear her whining. She’s been in charge how long and has destroyed the show how long?? She’s a hack. She is NOT a Bell. She is too storyline driven and needs to be character driven. She took a bat to the show and it’s going to take a while to repair the bat smacks.

    • anne archer

      August 27, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Scott. I agree w/you about MAB; she is acting like a 6 yr old whom someone took a doll away from— and a doll dhe had only borrowed herself!! She in no way did anything GOOD for this show. I can’t wait for the things that the new producer has planned… AND she is NOT the show killer that folks are styating. I have watched Almost every soap opera that has been on since “Pepper Young’s family” and “Ma Perkins” and there has NEVER been one as good as Y&R– UNTIL MAB destroyed it!!
      Now I am not stupid enough to believe that Soaps will never change but do believe that they can be GOOD and still make money for the Networks. I refuse to watch the brainless “Reality” shows that are replacing all the Soaps and surely hope that the new EP and Head writer can get this show back in shape!!—–WITHOUT getting rid of our fave characters!!

  9. Cassie Hicks

    August 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Ooh, you cynics!:0

  10. Mo

    August 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    She really ruined a lot of things at Y&R.

  11. Michael (not Fairman)

    August 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I’m hardly going to defend her time in charge of the show, which has been mostly dreadful, but I also have to say that I’m beginning to think Sony will never be satisfied with a head writer/EP whom the viewers would think honored Bill Bell’s memory and wrote the show in a way he would approve of. They are apparently very typical of noncreative types (i.e., suits) who make decisions about soaps without the slightest understanding of them, and they clearly have no idea what it was the Mr. Bell accomplished during his long tenure and what it was that made Y&R special. I used to say that Lynn Marie Latham had turned the show from The Young and the Restless into Generic Soap, and I think MAB has continued that degeneration. Ultimately I wonder if both were not trying hard to satisfy both Sony and viewers and ended up satisfying neither.

  12. kalamaty

    August 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    BIG PROPS AND LOVE AND SUPPORT for her!; haters be damned! The Young and the Restless is the BEST show in daytime and she did an exceptional job of keeping that glorious ship afloat! I only hope that the new team has as much vision, love and respect for the show.

    • Bart

      August 27, 2012 at 6:14 am


      • kalamaty

        August 27, 2012 at 11:27 am

        Umm.. just the number one show in daytime. The same show you and millions of people around the world enjoy five days a week. That one.

    • CA

      August 28, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Kalamaty….you mind mailing me whatever it is you’re smoking, because that must be some good heavy shit

  13. Charles

    August 27, 2012 at 4:56 am

    MAB, as an executive and head writer’s,to all of the haters, you don’t have a clue on the writing process. She continued the history, brought the past full circle. Cane, Chase, Nina, bringing back Phillip Chancellor, the story arch, Katherine ‘s lost child, Jill mothers death and secret of her paternity, gives credibility, to her being Jill. She did a fantastic, job and the show is number one because of her writing and, not doing stunts, like the other network shows. Kudos too you Maria!!!!!

  14. mo

    August 27, 2012 at 5:56 am

    Y&R IMO is not the best show on daytime. MAB did some good stuff, but I would say overall, she ruined it and did more damage than good. It has been going downhill for a long time. I haven’t understood why it has stayed number one. I also watch B&B and Days and those have been better than Y&R. I would say people have been watching out of habit. The current storyline with Sharon and Victor is such a turnoff as well as how the character of Sharon has been destroyed. The Winters are boring; aging Kyle so much was a huge mistake, same with Summer. There are just way too many storylines going on. I do like Victoria and Billy together, but having them separated for so long as she did in earlier in the year was a huge mistake. They are the best couple on that show. Why waste the actors by having them apart? Gloria and her antics hooked me on the show and Y&R is better when she’s on. We’re seeing more of her now, but for quite some time she was MIA. Also loving Adam and Chelsea, but would have been so happy to see Sharon and Adam hook up and have a baby. I could go on and on.

    If it was the complete surprise she’s making it out to be, that’s too bad. If they were unhappy with her work, they should have told her and given her an op to correct things. That being said, I’m not sad she’s gone, but I’m also not sure her replacements are the right ones.

  15. Bart

    August 27, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Tell us, Maria Arena Bell – does it get lonely up on that pedestal on which you’ve placed yourself?!?

  16. Nikki

    August 27, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    This woman never ceases to amaze me- and I do not mean that in a kind way! Within the 1600 episodes she penned, she has worked to destroy the legacy, the soap empire, that her father-in-law created. That fact that she credited William Bell has her “mentor” is a supreme insult to the deceased soap honcho; it’s actually embarrassing that she even shares the same name has him. She ruined characters, disabled families (hello, the Carltons?), wrote zero storylines that were inticing or worthy of this #1 soap opera. She was a menace to this show and I am THRILLED she is gone and god help another soap if they choose to hire her.

  17. AMANDA

    August 28, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Personally, I think MAB did a good job overall. Nobody will please all viewers all of the time. The soap remained #ONE during her five years. She must have done something right.

    Best wishes MAB with your future adventures!

    • CA

      August 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

      Well Y&R hasn’t had much competition in the last 5 years. If you take a look at all the other soaps in the past five years, all of the writing hasn’t been particularly good, and that’s putting it mildly. The new regime will get this show back on track, and justify itself as being the #1 soap since 1989.

  18. Mary

    August 31, 2012 at 8:47 am

    I think it is bit unfair to blame the sucess or failure of any show on one person. Soaps by their nature have peaks and valleys, some storylines work, others fail. Some characters are interesting, others dull. Some roles are miscast, others are spot on that you cannot imagine anyone else playing that role. However, right now daytime drama as we use to know it is on the extinction list for many reasons that have nothing to do with the talent in front or behind the scenes. The genre was born in an different era and the formulas that worked in 50’s 60’s and 70’s, during the daytime hey day no longer work. But mostly soaps are dying because no one has the time anymore to invest months or years into a storyline and as result, storylines that used to be like great sex with lots of foreplay before the big climax are reduce to quickie in someone’s car, some thrills, but not as satisfying. For example, who cares about Kyle and Eden, who are these characters, what obstacles did they have to overcome to be together? None. Back in day, it would take years before characters would finally became a couple, like Victor and Nikki in the beginning to their romance. I will continue to watch until these last four soaps are gone, not because it is good storytelling, but because they are like lost love, no longer important to your life, but you don’t have the heart to forget them

  19. chug

    October 8, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I think she saw the “writing” on the wall some time ago and decided to ruin it so badly that it cannot be revived. She can walk away and say “see what happened when you fired me”.

  20. Linda White

    December 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Dear Ms. Bell, it’s been a while since the ‘suits’ @ CBS changed the writing staff for Y&R – – one of my all time favorites. Just want to say that, as expected, the new ‘regime’ is really messing up things, and I really, really miss your ‘scripting’ of the story lines. As long as Ms. Cooper, Ms. Scott and (especially) Mr. Braeden are in the cast, we will continue to watch Y&R, but it DEFINITELY is not as good as it used to be.

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#❤️ #😘

A post shared by Kristian Alfonso (@kristianalfonso) on

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Dante Dante Dante. #anactortrains #trainasif #healthycompetition #goodguydustin #dustinislosingit

A post shared by Mark Lawson (@themarkmlawson) on

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