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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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Richard
Guest
Richard

Karma is a b@$%h

Cassie Hicks
Guest
Cassie Hicks

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
Guest
anne archer

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!

Teri
Guest
Teri

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

Jared
Guest
Jared

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
Guest
kay/kay

AMEN!!!!!

Michael
Guest
Michael

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

Faith
Guest
Faith

Good Riddance!

Avelina comes from Santorini Greece
Guest
Avelina comes from Santorini Greece

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

boes
Guest
boes

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… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

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.

Scott
Guest
Scott

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
Guest
anne archer

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… Read more »

Cassie Hicks
Guest
Cassie Hicks

Ooh, you cynics!:0

Mo
Guest
Mo

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

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

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… Read more »

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

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
Guest
Bart

WHAT SHOW HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING?? THIS SHIZZ IS ATTROCIOUS TO THE NTH POWER!!

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

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
Guest
CA

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

Charles
Guest
Charles

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!!!!!

mo
Guest
mo

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… Read more »

Bart
Guest
Bart

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

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

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… Read more »

AMANDA
Guest
AMANDA

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
Guest
CA

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.

Mary
Guest
Mary

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… Read more »

chug
Guest
chug

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”.

Linda White
Guest
Linda White

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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GH’s Charles Shaughnessy On Victor’s Villainy: “He’s Just Making Trouble for All of the Fan Favorites! He’s Just Making Their Lives Miserable”

In pretty short order, Victor Cassadine’s re-emergence in Port Charles, and now played by daytime vet, Charles Shaughnessy, has caused plenty of havoc on ABC’s General Hospital.  Shaughnessy, who was much beloved as Shane Donovan on Days of our Lives, debuted on GH back in September of 2021.

You can look at the body count, or the people Victor has under his thumb, to know the impact he is making on the canvas.

In a new interview in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest (on newsstand now), Shaughnessy weighs-in on being the treacherous Cassadine.

 

Charles shared: “I mean, he’s just making trouble for all of the fan favorites! He’s just making their lives miserable.  He’s the guy who killed Luke Spencer.  He’s the guy who put Anna in jail and tried to break up her relationship with Valentin.  He’s just miserable to Holly. He’s just dreadful! But it’s such great fun, I mean, the more dreadful the better, really. He’s the villain you love to hate.”

Photo: ABC

So, how and just when Victor will get his comeuppance is on everyone’s mind in the viewing audience as well as for characters such as: Laura (Genie Francis), Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), Lucy (Lynn Herring), Holly (Emma Samms), Anna (Finola Hughes), Ava (Maura West), Selina (Lydia Look), and many more.

Victor’s evil deeds seemed to reach new heights during the Holly Sutton storyline. Now the question is, who will he go after next, given what would seem to be his quest for the necklace containing diamonds from the Ice Princess?  Stay tuned.

What do you think of Charles’ portrayal of Victor? Who do you hope takes down Victor? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Eric Kim Named Exec VP of Current Programs CBS Entertainment & CBS Studios; Will Oversee Daytime Programming

As the executive shuffle continues at CBS, and through many entertainment conglomerates in Hollywood, Eric Kim has been named executive vice president of current programs. In his new role, Eric will oversee current primetime and daytime programming for the CBS network and for the studio.

Kim replaces Amy Reisenbach, who was recently promoted to president of CBS Entertainment.  In a statement on Kim’s new position, Reisenbach shared: “I’ve worked closely with Eric for over a decade and have always been impressed with his incredible programming instincts, skill in working with showrunners on our biggest hit shows and strong relationships throughout the creative community. I’m very excited for him to take on this significant role. He is a proven, smart executive whose leadership and input will be vital to the success of our series.”

David Stapf, president of CBS Studios who Kim will also report to expressed: “Eric’s creative instincts and his ability to champion new writers and producers complement his strong relationships with established showrunners, making him an exceptional executive. His leadership has earned the trust and respect of both the industry and his colleagues at the Studio and Network. As Eric steps into this new role, I’m looking forward to seeing the impact he makes both within the creative community and on our series that are enjoyed by global audiences.”

Eric has been with CBS over the last 11 years, and has overseen all phases of production on both comedy and drama series including; Blue Bloods and CSI.

Prior to joining the network, Kim worked in live action series for Nickelodeon and Teen Nick from 2009-2011. He was also vice president of current programming at the CW from 2006-2009, and was part of the creative team that launched the new network when The WB and UPN networks merged and was also an executive at UPN from 2004-2006.

Soap fans, of course, are hoping that Eric will be a huge supporter of the soaps, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful as well as the entire CBS daytime line-up.

So, what do you think of the latest executive change at CBS? Hopeful that Eric Kim will continue to support in-full Y&R and B&B’s efforts? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Laurence Fishburne to Present Levar Burton with Lifetime Achievement Honors at ‘Children’s & Family Emmy Awards’

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced today that Laurence Fishburne (ex-Josh Hall, One Life to Live 1973-1976 ) will present Levar Burton with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming Children’s & Family Emmys on December 11th from the Wilshire Ebell theatre in Los Angeles.

Fishburne, who collectively had won a Tony, NAACAP and Emmy Awards, will honor his longtime friend for the body of his work. Most notable among their many collaborations was when Burton served as executive producer for the 2016 remake of Roots, which starred Fishburne.

As many know, Levar Burton is an actor, director and educator who has taught generations of children about the joys of reading through his show Reading Rainbow. Throughout his career, Levar has been honored with 13 Emmy Awards, 3 NAACP Awards, a Grammy Award for Spoken Word Album, a Peabody Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other accolades.

Burton is the award-winning author of The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm, A Kids Book About Imagination, and his Grammy Nominated book, Aftermath. His podcast, LeVar Burton Reads, has been downloaded more than 25 million times. Recently, he launched the LeVar Burton Book Club via the Fable app.

The Children’s & Family Emmy ceremony will be hosted by former 30 Rock star, Jack McBrayer, and will be streamed live on NATAS’ dedicated viewing platform powered by Vimeo, available on the web at Watch.TheEmmys.TV and via The Emmys apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku.

What do you think about Levar Burton receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming ‘Children’s & Family Emmy Awards’ and from Laurence Fishburne, no less? Comment below. 

 

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