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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!

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Karma is a b@$%h

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.:(

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!

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

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.


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

Good Riddance!

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

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.

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.

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.

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!!

Ooh, you cynics!:0

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

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.

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.


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.

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

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!!!!!

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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

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”.

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.


The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood to Visit ‘The Talk’

Hot on the heels of this week’s shocking and controversial episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful, three-time Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) is one of the guests on the upcoming Monday March 4th episode of The Talk.

Wood, has been at the epicenter of the storyline, which saw this past Monday that Steffy presumably stabbed and killed villainess Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown) to her death. Following Sheila’s apparent demise, Steffy’s husband Finn (Tanner Novlan), who is the biological son of Sheila, finds out his wife stabbed his mother.

Instead of showing more concern for his wife almost being attacked by Sheila, Finn has shown his ‘inner-Sheila and can’t seem to get over the fact that Steffy ‘killed’ his birth mom, which is causing trouble in their marriage and as fans ultimately believe, will lead Finn into the arms of Hope (Annika Noelle).

Photo: JPI

Clearly, Jacqui will have plenty to ‘talk’ about with The Talk co-hosts: Akbar Gbajabiamila, Amanda Kloots, Natalie Morales, Jerry O’Connell and Sheryl Underwood.

Photo: JPI

In addition to Wood, The Talk will also welcome actor Scott Caan (son of the late James Caan) who will be on-hand to promote the premiere of his Fox series, Alert: Missing Persons Unit which begins its new season on Tuesday night, March 5th.

The Talk airs on CBS and streams live and on demand on Paramount+ weekdays at 2:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT.

So, are you rooting for Steffy in this one? Should she break-up with Finn? Will Sheila be revealed alive in a few months? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Steve Burton’s ‘General Hospital’ Return Previews Jason Has Blood on His Hands

Monday, March 4th is the day that Steve Burton returns to General Hospital in the pivotal role of Jason Morgan. The story of Jason’s re-emergence on the canvas has been kept under wraps.

However, PEOPLE has a first-look photo, and in it, Jason has blood on his hand. Not only does he have crimson on him, but he is dressed in black and standing behind a dumpster.

When viewers last saw Jason it was back in November of 2021, when a tunnel collapsed on him as he was attempting to save his brother Drew (Cameron Mathison). For the past two plus years, every one in Port Charles has believed that Jason had died.

Photo: ABC

Burton’s initial run as Jason was from from 1991 till 2012. After exiting and signing on with Y&R to play Dylan McAcoy, the actor eventually returned to the daytime drama that was his home in 2017. Later, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he was let go from the series by the end of 2021 for not adhering to the Disney/ABC vaccine mandates at that time.

While away from GH, he rejoined the cast of Days of our Lives in 2023, resuming his original soap role of Harris Michaels that he played in 1988 and the year prior on the Peacock limited-series Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem Chapter Two. With the tape schedule well ahead of streaming, Burton will be doing double duty for a short term, where fans can catch him on DAYS, and now on GH.

Photo: JPI

Previously, Burton said on his upcoming GH storyline, “I got to talk to the head writers. This story is going to be sick. It’s gonna be awesome. So, make sure you keep watching, because the pieces of the puzzle are gonna be fit for when I return.”

Fans should also make sure to catch today’s Friday, March 1st episode of GH as Jason’s return story begins to unfold.

So, what do you think will be how Jason returns to GH starting next week on all-new episodes of GH? Comment below.

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All My Children

EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Young, Joan Collins and Nadia Bjorlin to Prague to Film ‘Murder Between Friends’

On Thursday night during the Michael Fairman Channel’s livestream interview centering around Jason Cook’s (ex-Shawn, DAYS and ex-Matt, GH) latest movie Four For Fun which stars Brytni Sarpy (Elena, Y&R) and Jacob Young (ex-JR, AMC, ex-Rick, B&B and ex-Lucky, GH), revealed another upcoming film project with some very familiar faces.

Jacob Young shared an exclusive that he is set to direct, produce and star in a Agatha Christie-like murder mystery feature film aptly tiled Murder Between Friends.

Speaking on the upcoming project, Jacob said, “I’m flying at the end of the March to Prague to direct, produce and star in a film with Joan Collins (ex-Dynasty). Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe, Days of our Lives) is in it, and Toby Alexander Smith from Eastenders (ex-Gray Atkins). Plus, a couple of my Broadway friends and a very well known Czech actress (Hana Vagnerova).”

Photo: BBC

According to Jacob, the production start date is April 1st. He added on the premise of the film, “It’s very Agatha Christie sort of ‘Knives Out’ without having a hundred million dollars to shoot it, but still will be a lovely film nonetheless.” Young said the plan is to finish all principal photography by April 17th.

Photo: JPI

IMDb has more on the film. It shared that former All My Children star Trent Garrett (ex-Asher Pike) is listed as co-directing the feature. Mark Rozzano is listed as writer of Murder Between Friends.

So, what do you think about this upcoming feature from Jacob that will feature Joan Collins, Nadia Bjorlin et al? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

Then below, check out the full livestream conversation with Jason Cook, Brytni Sarpy and Jacob Young on ‘Four For Fun’ and their notable soap roles.

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