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Maria Arena Bell's Farewell Message On Her Ousting at Y&R, "I was not give a reason, and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS!"

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

“As the Dust Settles”, could be the name of the soap within the soap with all the back stage drama unfolding at Y&R this week.  As fans know, yesterday it became official that Maria Arena Bell was let-go in both her capacities, executive producer and head writer.  In her place comes Jill Farren Phelps as EP and Josh Griffith as head writer.   Bell took to her facebook page to let her initial feelings be read by fans of the series, and her colleagues.  Below is what she had to say citing she was “mystified” at the decision and that no one at Sony or CBS gave her a reason why she was being terminated in both positions.

Maria Arena Bell :  “So it was announced today 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. T hey 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.   My ratings are strong… each week stronger than last year. T  he 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. I t has been an amazing ride.  So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew. “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,” she continues. “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.”

So soapers and Y&R fans, what do you think about Maria’s farewell message?  Let us know your thoughts after reviewing her comments!

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Well if their were tears out of Sharon Case they were tears of joy what you and that hack Hammner did to her character is criminal!!!

I love your comment. I agree 110%. Sharons character was DUMBED DOWN for the sake of that awful Chelsea and that bhorrific Chadam pairing.

Perfect comment “kay/kay”! I still get upset thinking about what they did to Sharon.

I did find it odd that during the Emmy broadcast she spoke about how she felt like she was being constantly chased down by the “Indiana Jones ” rock rolling behind her back. In other words, there’s a lot of pressure on her. However, I did not hear her mention all of the other writers, actors, crew, office staff and producers who also had the ball rolling behind them. Soaps are an intense collaborative effort, and to not acknowledge the people who are holding you up, bothered me no end.

Good ridden’s -she was awful!

Well, I am glad she’s gone. I know a lot of fans are as well that have expressed how unhappy they have been with the writing. Case in point, the character of Sharon Newman. She has distroyed the integrity of that character. She also writers plot driven stories rather then character driven stories. I for one am glad she is out. Maybe Y&R can finally get back to the show it once was.

Glad she is gone, hope JFP comes in humble with the veterans. She can be a monster when it comes to the vets. Time will tell!!!!!!

Maybe Maria Arena Bell should go look for a job on THE CHEW because she sure sounds a lot like that Carla girl whose comments received over 150 replies (on this website) to her craziness and delusion.

You can tell this woman is very full of herself.

OMG, MAB is totally delusional. Never dumbed down the storytelling? Biggest margin in the show’s history? Over the past 5 years, there has been little to no positive feedback about anything about Y&R. As far as I am concerned, MAB picked up the torch of destruction where LML left off, and unfortunately for all of us decades-long Y&R fans, JFP is going to be the final nail in the coffin. I am saddened that Sony had this opportunity to right some wrongs and hire some new creative talent to run this show, someone who understands the show’s history and the characters’ motivations. Instead, they hired someone with a proven record of show destruction.

I see Maria going to Y&R’s sister show the Bold 3 Show JFP was the beginning of the end of Guiding Light

Maybe now the show has a chance of being as good as it used to be!

You must be kidding, clearly you have no idea what JFP is about…

Well, she was “mystified” & had no idea what was happening etc. How did Melody Thomas Scott feel last year when she was just sent home & never heard a word from anyone about HER status? Shoe’s on the other foot, huh Maria?

Actually YR has lost viewers since last year just becaus e your #1 doesnt your not bleeding viewers. Later MAB

MAB is something of an enigma. When she first showed up, fans loved her–she fixed the Katherine/Jill/Cane mess, brought Ashley back to the show, and most of the actors had nothing but good things to say about her. And she seemed, honestly, to be a nice woman who stopped listening to fans and paying attention to the ratings. How could she not see that the show bled over a million viewers? I don’t understand what went wrong, but now we’ll all get a chance to see a true hack, JFP, at work.

Has anyone heard if Hogan Sheffer will still be around? Because I’m no fan of his writing and won’t expect any improvement if either he or Hamner are still around.

Who cares……………..

You haters can suck it! Try to argue the incredible stats that she named off in her message above. I loved the storylines during her tenure at Y&R and am hoping that the show will continue to be the template that all others aspire to be under someone else’s creative vision. Thank you, Maria!

Not much for quality in your viewing pleasure, eh Kalamaty??

Perhaps a floating plastic grocery bag in the distance is considered entertainment by your standards…

MAB was a hack – she decimated many a character with preposterous situations (death by volcano; Ashley carrying her unborn dead fetus; Angelo & Angelina;) and worse yet, she retconned many classic Bill Bell tales by SORAS’ing characters’ offspring to the point where the timelines made no sense!!

The evil is gone – let’s see how this plays out – the masses have spoken!!

Oh boo hoo. I don’t feel sympathy for her at all. Bye!!!!!

Neither do I! They should have gotten rid of her a long time ago. Hopefully, Y & R will improve significantly in her absence.

It should improve. Maria should have been sacked back in 2010. She’s taken a character-driven series and made it all plot, which is not a soap opera, especially a Bell soap.

Hammer is gone, they haven’t said about Sheffer, but I doubt Griffith will want him around.

Sorry *Hamner

THis will kill the show Jill will f it up bad!

OMG! FINALLY! This just put me in the best mood! Seriously, Maria Arena Bell is delusional. She was a HORRIFIC head writer. There have been NO compelling storylines within her tenure at Y&R and her talking about the Bell legacy is a JOKE, since she almost ruined her father-in-law’s creation. Hopefully we get some good headwriters now, that know how to entertain an audience, use veteran characters in a way that is a beneficial, and put an end to endless quicky weddings and one-night-stands viewers have been subjected to since MAB came on.

This is all devastating news that Sony/CBS appear hell-bent on closing the door once and for all on the brilliant art from that is the dramatic serial. Bill Sr. must be turning over in his grave. The magical, mythical place that is Genoa City, WI, a lush, wonderful, unique escape for 42 minutes every day has been on a tumultuous decline since the control of the ship was handed over in the 2000’s to LML (disastrous) and then MAB (initially promising but ultimately disappointing) right down to the loss of brilliant casting director Marni Saita who never cast anyone for their looks but rather chose appealing, complex and skilled actors for every role. The shift in focus off of such things as core families and veterans, family unity, a good mix between young and old, happy times and sad, stability/dependability and lunacy/uncertainty, and the killing off or writing out of such beloved, complex and compelling legacy characters as John Abbott, Drucilla Winters, Brad Carlton and now Ashley Abbott (the spectacular, under-used Eileen Davidson) in favor of the psycho of the week (Patty, Sarah, Daisy, Ricky), plastic surgery look-a-likes (Sheila/Phyllis, Patty/Emily, Lauren/Sarah), rampant wasted and poorly-timed SORASing (Kyle, Fen, Summer), reverse aging of character re-casts (Diane Jenkins), character destruction and inconsistency (Sharon, Neil), incestuous inter-generational and age – parental – role model inappropriate pairings (Victor/Sharon, Jack/Sharon, Phyllis/Ronan), wasteful stunt castings, and annoying shrill side-show diversions (Angelo/Angelina) have all combined to be more than any loyal viewer can bear, severly watering down the experience that is Y&R, and making it difficult to continue caring and watching regularly as much as one might want to. A rising tide lifts all boats, and the only way to save this show (and therefore the few others that also survive) is to hand the reigns back over to Bill Sr.’s brilliant protege, Kay Alden, as head writer or someone else like her with her unique skills, values and vision. Shift the focus back onto core, legacy families and characters, character-driven story with consistency and character growth and evolution, slightly slower pacing and build with long term pay-off and more. The emotionally compelling and rock-solid heart and soul of Y&R today: Michael and Lauren as played by the incomparably magical and appealing duo Christian J. LeBlanc and Tracey E. Bregman. One positive being left behind by MAB: the redemptive love story and character evolution of Adam and Chelsea which is a gold nugget in the canvas right now (Melissa Claire Egan is a star). Other reasons to watch: Jeanne Cooper, Jess Walton, Eric Braeden, Peter Bergman, Melody Thomas Scott, Michelle Stafford, Doug Davidson, Lauralee Bell, Tricia Cast, Greg Rikaart, Joshua Morrow, Billy Miller, Christel Khalil, Elizabeth Hendrickson, Marcy Rylan, Beth Maitland, Judith Chapman, Ted Shackelford, Kevin Schmidt and others I know I’m forgetting. I’ve no idea of the corporate and Bell family politics involved behind the scenes of this emipre and of course this is a business that must ultimately turn a profit, but hopefully between CBS, Sony, and the superstar Bells there is still someone who truly understands why Y&R has been #1 all of these years and has stood far and above all of the rest as the gold standard of the genre. We can only hope.

I just want to comment on how beautifully written this ^ was. I truly enjoyed reading this. You should consider freelancing for whatever soap site accepts work like that. Kudos to you!

I’m a newer viewer to Y&R since OLTL and AMC were cancelled (I figured I’d pick up another show in solidarity for the genre) and have been both laughing and scratching my head that this mess could possibly pass for #1 of the dramas. In the small window of time I’ve watched, there have been more than a dozen weddings or almost-weddings (I’ve counted!). I have found all the characters to be insufferable, boring or just plain awful (with the exception of Adam whose transformation from a one-note bitter angry son to a more layered and calm character has been a delight). Not having any root-for-characters or root-for-couples is keeping me at an arm’s length distance with the show and not allowing me to connect in a way I normally do and that too has been a problem. Stories have no substance to them and are the epitome of plot driven. And if I may be so bold, even the actors seem uninspired! No one’s really on their A-game (again with the exception of Doug Davidson faced with the possibility that Paul failed and killed his own son). There has nothing thus far that has made me a fan.

I said this in Michael’s other posting about Maria’s firing, I’m all for new blood. I know first hand the destruction the trifecta JFP, Bob Guza and Frons caused on GH and am abreast of JFP’s history maligning other shows. Still, with full knowledge of what I’m getting, I am happy for this change. I want to like this show. But it’s given me no reason to. JFP won’t bring it back to its glory days and maybe even won’t make it better, but I’m willing to give someone else a shot because what they have now aint working.

Again, you people are freaks! Just wait and see what happens before you start pressing panic buttons. My God! If there ever was a need for extra “extras” I think they would have no problem…. just come find the histrionics here!

I am very disappointed. I do agree that some of the stories were boring, cut short or stayed too long at the forefront. I don’t ike the NEW Sharon. She reminds me of her previous self when she was trying to fit into Nicks world. But at least we had the core cast we have invested time in. Now hearing that Jill Farren Phelps is replacing her is just plain scary. It seems every soap she goes to ends up being canceled. DIdn’t they just replace her on GH? I hope she doesn;t mess with the core cast which I have read thay she does constantly until she finds cast she likes. Y&R is one of only a few soaps still on the air and If she starts getting rid of the cast then I guess it will be time for me to let go and stop recording and watching it every day. Oh well

This woman was an absolute WITCH to Sharon Case! I hope Sharon is celebrating right now!

The fact their has been no tweets from any cast members singing MAB’s praises tells me all I need to know but they are also frightened about JFP. But Sharon Case has been destroyed I do not know how you bring her out of this unless complete break down and bring an awesome looking guy on as her shrink. LOL!!

Also I can not stand the names the so called fans are calling her character like any of this is her fault she must have done something to somebody’s wheaties over there.

I am so glad this women is gone thank you Sony she cries that she was never given a reason. well us fans were never given a reason to why she trashed my favorite show. And my favorite character Sharon Newman . I was a loyal watcher from the beginning i no longer watch what Maria has turned into my opinion trash. So long i hope you never write again.


Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes Plan to “Spill the Tea” on Launch of Their Podcast ‘Amy & T.J.’

December 5th will be, and was, a memorable date in the careers of the controversial pairing of former ABC news anchors and GMA3 co-hosts, Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes.

The duo will officially launch their iHeartPodcast Amy and T.J tomorrow on Tuesday. The series is hosted and executive produced by the couple, who last night stepped out for the first time together at the iHeart 2023 Jingle Ball.

Their outing was quite the strategic one, right before the premiere of their new show where in the teaser released by iHeartPodcasts, they play up the scandal of it all.

Photo: iHeartMedia

Making the drop date of Amy and T.J. all the more salacious is that one-year ago on December 5th, 2022 Robach and Holmes were removed from their hosting duties on GMA3: What You Need to Know.

Promoting their new podcast, the couple shared in a promotional photo: “Why yes, we be serving tea… One week from today, ‘Amy & T. J.'”

Photo: iHeartMedia

According to the press release on their new audio venture, Amy and T.J. will use their decades of experience delivering headline news and captivating viewers nationwide as they get behind the microphone to explore meaningful conversations about current events, pop culture, and everything in between where “nothing is off limits.”

The two anchors intimate relationship first became public knowledge when photos of the two together holding hands surfaced back in November of 2022. Both were presumably married to their spouses at the time. Holmes to Marilee Fiebeg, and Robach to former Melrose Place star, Andrew Shue.

Take a listen below to the intro teaser for Amy and T.J.  Then let us know, what do you think about how they are working the scandal that got them ousted from ABC? Intrigued to hear if they reveal anything about their relationship and what really went down behind the scenes in the season premiere of their new podcast? Let us know via the comment section.

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Judith Light to Star Alongside Billy Crystal in Apple TV+ Limited Series ‘Before’

Whenever we get to see more Judith Light on our screens is always a good day. Almost every project she touches, or appears in, sees her delivering yet another magnificent performance on her already more than impressive acting resume.

Now comes word that the former two-time Daytime Emmy-winning star from One Life to Live (Ex-Karen Wolek) and two-time Tony Award winner will star along with Billy Crystal in Apple TV+’s upcoming limited series, Before.

According to the loglines on the series, Before is a 10-episode atmospheric, character-driven psychological thriller about Eli (Crystal), a child psychiatrist who, after recently losing his wife, Lynn (Light), encounters a troubled young boy who seems to have a haunting connection to Eli’s past.

Photo: JPI

Seductively enigmatic, Lynn (Light) is the love of Eli’s life, but her recent death may not be quite what it seems. As Eli digs deeper into the hidden life of the wife he thought he knew, he soon finds Lynn haunting him from beyond the grave.

According to Deadline, Adam Bernstein is set to direct the pilot. He previously directed the pilot episodes for  Fargo, 30 Rock, and Scrubs. His most recent directing credit include Apple TV+’s Silo and Showtime’s Billions.

Photo: JPI

As for Judith, she had continued to work project after project. She also received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can see Light in Max’s Julia and Starz’s Shining Vale as well as Peacock’s Poker Face.

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Winsor Harmon Hopes Audience Reaction Will Prompt B&B’s Brad Bell: “To Start Writing for Thorne Again”

On tomorrow’s December 5th episode of The Bold and the Beautiful, Winsor Harmon makes a return as Thorne Forrester, as Eric (John McCook) is set to throw a major Forrester family party since he plans on saying goodbye to his loved ones as he was given only a few months to live.

The last time Harmon visited the CBS daytime drama series was back in 2022 during a dream sequence of Brooke’s (Katherine Kelly Lang).  Harmon has appeared on and off the series since from 1996- 2016.  For a short run, Ingo Rademacher took over the role from late 2017- to early 2019.

Joining Harmon during his return will be another B&B favorite, Ashley Jones who reprises her role as Bridget Forrester beginning on the December 6th episode of the soap opera.

Photo: JPI

Speaking with SOD on his latest comeback to BOLD, Harmon expressed his hope’s that out of his appearances will come a potential new story for Thorne down the line.

Winsor shared, “We’ll see how the audience reacts and I think things will start popping in Brad’s (Bell, executive producer/head writer) head and he’ll start writing for Thorne again.”

Photo: JPI

In terms of what Harmon was told when the series offered him to make a comeback for some upcoming episodes, the actor revealed, “They didn’t tell me anything.” So, apparently Winsor was in the dark when he said “yes” as to just what the story would be.

Coming up, look for some emotional moments for the Forrester family, as some people know of Eric’s condition, while other’s in the family do not.

So, do you hope that Brad Bell decides to write future story for Thorne Forrester and bring back into the canvas for a longer run as played by Winsor Harmon? Comment below.

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