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The Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante Interview – The Young and the Restless

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In their first joint interview with On-Air On-Soaps as co-head writers of The Young and the Restless, Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante discuss many of the hot button topics, and latest storylines that are playing out in Genoa City, and tease what to look for as we approach the summer months of drama on the CBS soap opera.

As soap fans know, Shelly was already at Y&R when she got the nod to replace Josh Griffith and became the number one soap’s co-head writer.  Then Jean joined her after finishing up her time on the writing team of ABC’s General Hospital.  The last daytime soap where Jean made her mark as head scribe was As the World Turns in its final years, and she is known in the industry as one of the top writers of character development.  This twosome’s collaboration really kicked-off in the late fall of last year (when we last spoke with Altman) and now viewers have begun to get a sense of this team’s style, pace of storytelling, and ebb and flow of crafting stories.

Since Shelly and Jean have been steering the script ship many casting changes, replacements, and departures have affected The Young and the Restless, where beloved favorites have left for various reasons, and certain characters such as Phyllis and Adam will be recast.  During our chat, Shelly and Jean reveal how, if at all, that impacted the plans for their long range stories.

So, what is the next reveal in the Mariah/Cassie look-alike story?  Do Sharon and Nick stand a chance at happiness with a comatose Phyllis looming with the knowledge of the “secret”?  How will Ian try to tear apart the lives of the denizens of GC?  Will Victor and Nikki’s rift grow wider?  Is it Billy and Victoria, or Victoria and Stitch that is the romantic end game?  Will Chelsea and Billy come to love each other only for Adam to walk back into Chelsea’s life?  Will Kevin be devastated upon the departure of Chloe?  Could Hilary be the most viable romantic pairing for Neil since Drucilla’s death?  Read on to find out the answers to these questions from the writers themselves.

So let’s start with The Young and the Restless garnering 26 Daytime Emmy nominations!  But I know since it was for the 2013 calendar year, Jean was over at General Hospital writing at that time for most of it.

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

We are very proud of the number of nominations!

JEAN:

I had nothing to do with it.  I would be very happy to take credit for it.

SHELLY:

You know, Jean was moral support nonetheless even before she joined the team. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Jean, how has this been for you coming over from GH to work with Shelly as co-head writer of Y&R?

JEAN:

Shelly and I worked very briefly together on Another World for two weeks and on One Life and General Hospital.  So we have always wanted to do something like this, and so it turned out to be a wonderful thing.  I can’t imagine a better partner.

MICHAEL:

How do you play off each other in the writing process in terms of ideas, stories, and character development?

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

We have a very similar story sensibility… which is good … but we bring different touches to different characters in certain stories.  I think we compliment each other very well.

JEAN:

We have slightly different styles of working.

SHELLY:

I am hysterical and you are calm! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Have you had a moment between the two of you over a difference of opinion of a direction of a character on the Genoa City canvas?

JEAN:

I don’t really think so.  We are very respectful, and so I think if one of us felt absolutely passionately about something we would both try hard to see it that way.  We don’t scream at each other.

SHELLY:

We listen to each other and that is big thing, and like Jean said, if there was something that she felt super strongly about, I would take a step back and listen to her and hear why it wasn’t working, and I would come around to agreeing.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about the current stories on Y&R beginning with the Cassie lookalike storyline, and the set-up.  In a recent interview with TV Guide, Jill Farren Phelps (executive producer, Y&R) revealed that Ian (Ray Wise) was originally not intended to be part of this story.

SHELLY:

That was the one addition to the story that came later.  Other than that, going back as far as last August, it was already in long story that Cassie would be exposed as a non-ghost, and in fact, she would turn out to be Mariah.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MICHAEL:

At what point did you decide to erase Sharon’s (Sharon Case) memory to keep her secret?  Jean, did you come up with that? (Laughs)

JEAN:

(Laughs) How could you say that?  It just seemed like there had to be way to bring Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon together, and if she continued to lie about what happened that would have been very difficult.  Sharon is in much better shape now.

MICHAEL:

The character of Sharon had been ruined by different writing regimes.  She was the younger heroine for the show, and then it became hard to care about her when her antics were all over the place, even after giving her bipolar disorder.  Do you think this is your imprint on the history of Sharon now … to reset her?

SHELLY:

Yes. That, and that this was being done as much for Nick as it was with Sharon, that we needed some way to deal with what she had done.  Nick is a hero, and it didn’t seem right for him to be drawn more and more towards her while she was holding this enormous secret that affected him so deeply.  With the removal of that in her own mind, and in her own heart, she doesn’t know that she did anything, so she can be more purely Sharon, the Sharon that she was once, and therefore more viable a partner for Nick.

JEAN:

Courtesy/CBS

I totally agree, and it makes her be able to be loved by Nick.

MICHAEL:

Some fans remarked that this story with the Cassie lookalike (now Mariah) does not make sense, because when Cassie appeared before to Sharon she was a “ghost”, and now she is all of a sudden a real person who gaslighted her.

SHELLY:

That was true.  Sharon was having visions that Noah (Robert Adamson) knew about and told Victor (Eric Braeden) about.  Victor simply seized upon an opportunity to take it a step further.

JEAN:

When Mariah started appearing as Cassie, she made some mistakes.  She did not know what the figment of Sharon’s imagination found out as Sharon’s secret.  So Mariah does not know the secret.  The only piece of information she gleaned is that Phyllis also knows the secret.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

What do we know about the relationship between Ian and Mariah?  Is that a major mystery to this story?

SHELLY:

We have not yet revealed the full nature of their relationship.  But, it is clear that Ian cared for her differently than the way he relates to other people.

MICHAEL:

When you found out that you would be able to have Ray Wise (Ian) on longer than just several episodes, and through watching his performances, did it inform your story?

JEAN:

Sometimes the presence of an actor inspires storytelling.  Ray was so delicious and fun to watch.  It was an opportunity to pull him into more story.

SHELLY:

Seeing him triggers ideas for us as writers.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Everyone is betting that Sharon gave birth to twins, which explains why Mariah looks exactly like Cassie.  When do you see viewers getting more insight into who this character is?  Are you planning on revealing it? (Laughs)

JEAN:

We will reveal who this girl is.  I think that will be a lot of what this summer is about.  It has a lot of ramifications.

MICHAEL:

Camryn Grimes has really won over the fans of the show with her performance as tough gal Mariah.  What do you think about how she has handled the material … and were you surprised to see her that way?

SHELLY:

She is a revelation and wonderful.  I couldn’t be more pleased.  She has really delivered the many colors of this character.

JEAN:

I think it has been so much fun.  I wasn’t there from the beginning when she played the actual figment of Sharon’s imagination.  When I started watching, she was doing that and I thought, “Wow, what a sweet girl.  We are betting a lot on this sweet girl being a nasty critter.”  Then the minute you see her with Victor you could see that kind of edge.  It was startling and exciting, and there again, I think it’s a case of an actor inspiring story and where it might go.  It poses all sorts of possibilities given what the actress is capable of.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/SONY

JEAN:

You think?  (Laughs) ‘At some point’ are the operative words!

SHELLY:

I think it is clear that we have kept Phyllis alive as a character.  And even in her absence, she continues to be an extremely important player in Jack’s life, Summer’s life, and of course, in Sharon’s life.  But Sharon is unaware of how at the moment.

MICHAEL:

Do you have any reservations in recasting a character such as Phyllis?  Many times fans have knee-jerk reactions into seeing a different actor replace someone who has made their mark in the role, and until such time passes, they either come to accept them and like them, or reject them.

SHELLY:

Judy Blye Wilson (Casting Director, Y&R) is brilliant.  We do trust that she will find what we need and want for it.

JEAN:

I also think that we are in a sort of ‘Scarlett O’Hara mode’ where we will, “Think about that tomorrow!”  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Then you had Cynthia Watros leaving the role of Kelly, and Cady McClain coming in.  Was the impetus to keep Kelly on the canvas, because Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) needed a new love interest?

SHELLY:

The story was in place already.  Kelly was going to continue in becoming that love interest for Jack before we knew Cynthia got the pilot, which we are very happy about for her. 

MICHAEL:

Cady is a very different kind of an actress than Cynthia.

JEAN:

I think you do write with an actress in mind.  I have written for Cady on All My Children and As the World Turns, and I love her.  I love Cynthia too, but you are right.

MICHAEL:

I immediately thought of Cady’s time as conniving Rosanna on As the World Turns, when the decision was made to cast her as Kelly.   I have seen her play the complicated darker side to a character.

JEAN:

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Exactly, and I think people were surprised by Cady that she could play that after playing the sweet Dixie for so long.  Cady is a very complicated actress, and very interesting.  I think we are going to see all of that and more with her as Kelly, who is a complicated character with a lot of baggage.

MICHAEL:

With the departure of Billy Miller, and the switch to bringing back David Tom as Billy Abbott, did that casting change prompt you to think, “What are we you going to do with Billy and Victoria now, since it’s a different vibe seeing David with Amelia on-screen together than Billy with Amelia?”  Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle (Victoria) had developed such a unique quirky couple as Billy and Victoria.  How did the decision come about to mess with all of that … and perhaps, change the course of who would end up with who?

SHELLY:

Again, that was the long story.  We certainly had the heads up for some time that Billy Miller was going to be leaving, and the story was designed that the exit of Billy and Adam coincided.  We knew the character of Billy would emerge on the other side of that.  In general, recasts happen in this genre quite a bit.  We try to stay true to our story and right for the characters as much as possible.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Twitter/CBS

Nick and Sharon are star-crossed lovers on Y&R.  Recently Billy said to Stitch (Sean Carrigan), “There will always be something between me and Victoria!”  So are they really the couple to root for here?  And is Stitch’s ‘secret’ a vehicle to make him less than the wonderful doc?

JEAN:

What Billy said was true.  I think Billy and Victoria, to our audience and to us, will always be bonded.  There is something between them that we will want to see again, and we automatically want to see them happy again, but I think with the character of Stitch, he is a good guy.  It’s a horse race with a little caveat that there is something out there about Stitch that we don’t know about.

MICHAEL:

And … do you actually know what that ‘secret’ is?  (Laughs)  I remind myself of something along the lines of the movie Soap Dish, where the writers and the executives throw something in the script, but don’t really have any idea of where it’s going! (Laughs)

JEAN:

Oh, yeah!  I remember when I first started on soaps.  I was a network executive at ABC and completely naïve.  I went to one of the head writer’s office on one of the shows that I shall not name.  There was a big competition going on within the show between two characters and I said, “So who’s going to win?”  And he said, “I don’t know. Who do you think should win?” (Laughs)   I was completely stunned at writing in that kind of improvisatory way, which was just wild.

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Art imitates life, and we don’t necessarily know the outcome of our own dramas.

JEAN:

Right, but we tend to, Shelly and me, when we write.

SHELLY:

We do.  I think both of us tend to know the end of the story before we begin.  That doesn’t mean we don’t take side trips along the way, but it helps when you are headed towards a goal.

JEAN:

… And sometimes the goal changes.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

You have put Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) and Billy (David Tom) in each other’s orbit now.  What do you think of their on-screen chemistry when you watch back the episodes you have written?

JEAN:

I think there is a lot of fun there.  It’s surprising and unexpected.  These are two people that really shouldn’t be hanging out together.

MICHAEL:

There would be nothing worse for Adam than to walk back into Chelsea’s life, and who should she be with … Billy!

JEAN:

Exactly! What a great idea. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/MuhneyTwitterFanPop

So that brings us to the subject of Adam.  The Adam character is pivotal to the show.  You are planning on bringing the character back.   So, are you going to be, or have you been, heavily involved in the casting of the character?   And as the head writers, what qualities do you think the actor who plays the part has to have in order to pull this kind of role off?

JEAN:
We are in Tara again; theoretically.  We are in on all casting decisions involving roles as important as Adam.

SHELLY:

I think the actor would have to have an edge, and be the son of Victor Newman and all that entails.

MICHAEL:

Victor and Nikki are now having a huge rift, after Nick exposed Victor’s machinations with Mariah to try to get the secret out of Sharon.  Nikki then said to the mighty moustache that, “You are no better than Ian Ward!”  So is it major splitsville … again … for the most storied coupled in the history of Y&R?

JEAN:

Photo Credit: Jeremy Fraser/LA Exposures

I think Victor and Nikki are bonded no matter what, and she has been furious at him before, and he has been furious with her.  They never really throw in the towel for sure, but now we have thrown a huge obstacle in their path.  Over the summer, there will be another bombshell.

SHELLY:

Yes, their relationship will be challenged.  And as Jean said, they have certainly weathered storms before, but it remains to be seen whether this storm will be of biblical proportions! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Elizabeth Hendrickson has wrapped as Chloe, and fans will get to see her final episodes on-air later this month.  What can you say about losing a talent such as Elizabeth?

SHELLY:

She is terrific, and she did such an amazing job, in particular this past year with the emotion over the loss of Delia and her conflict.  We just wish her all the best, and again actors may leave but the characters will have left their imprint on the canvas, and Chloe will remain a factor even when she is gone.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have ample time to write an exit story for her, once you found out she was officially departing the show?

JEAN:

I really liked how we wrote her off.  I think probably it is something we could have done over a longer period of time, but I don’t think it suffers the way we did it.

SHELLY:

I think it came to a very logical conclusion.

MICHAEL:

What are your plans now for the talented Greg Rikaart (Kevin), post-Chloe?  Kevin needs a story!

SHELLY:

I think in broad strokes we can say Kevin will go on a journey of self exploration.  Kevin’s computer skills will be called on by other characters in a major way.  He will be involved in big revelations.

JEAN:

We can add that he will be certainly shaken up by everything that has happened with Chloe and her departure, and that causes the self exploration that Shelly talks about.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Jean, you wrote and helmed the same-sex love story of Luke and Noah on As the World Turns.  And you and I have talked previously about how much I admired that story.  Can you now foresee Y&R tackling a same-sex romance between two men?  Isn’t it time that the number one daytime drama represents this part of the population?

JEAN:

I think this show has historically pretty much taken on everything.  I can say that it’s part of the world we live and the show has touched on everything, and the experiences that people go through in life in a sensitive way, and so anything is possible.

MICHAEL:

The Neil/Hilary/Devon story is starting to become interesting.   Everybody always wants Drucilla with Neil (Kristoff St. John), and there is no Drucilla.  Neil has been paired with so many women and all the romances have fizzled.  So speaking of fizzling, at what point did you decide to break Neil and Leslie (Angell Conwell) up in favor of Neil/Hilary?

JEAN:

It felt like it could be more interesting to leave Neil in his state of dull panic of: “What have I done … and why did I get treated this way?  How did I suddenly lose this woman that I loved? And what does this mean about me?”  It puts him in an interesting perceptive state, and it does some interesting things to Leslie, which you will see later.  Neil is vulnerable and open.  He is trying to figure out “where did I go wrong?”  And then there is this gorgeous woman who nearly destroyed his life, but he was able to forgive.

MICHAEL:

And so was she apparently!

JEAN:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Exactly!  He is kind to her and she is so susceptible!  She goes right from a crush on Jack to a crush on Neil.  Maybe she has a bit of a ‘daddy thing’ going on.   To add Devon (Bryton James) to the mix, there is a flirtation that we had already seen between Hilary (Mishael Morgan) and him.  Then add Lily (Christel Khalil) who despises this woman.  It just seemed like a great big mess, with much story opportunity.

MICHAEL:

Is there a couple to root for here?  Is it Neil and Hillary, or Devon and Hilary?

JEAN:

I think we will have to wait and see.  I think there will be some complications thrown into the mix that will turn the rooting-ness factor on its ear a bit.

MICHAEL:

Do you now see Leslie as a bad person for her ditching of Neil, and marrying the yet-to-be seen Barton (Terrell Tilford)?

JEAN:

No.  I think she is a little impulsive.  She thought she didn’t want to be married, but what that meant is she probably didn’t want to be married to Neil, for what ever reason.  I think she meant what she said when she said it, but I think then she met this other guy and felt differently.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The Dylan/Avery cooking show storyline has some fans up in arms!  This has to be a set-up to something more, where Steve Burton (Dylan) will actually be given some meaty material other than tasting Avery’s (Jessica Collins) recipes? (Laughs)

JEAN:

I think it’s really a show about putting yourself in the public eye and the consequences, and also this blooms into a bigger and more global story with characters you probably wouldn’t obviously connect that are part of the story.

SHELLY:

It becomes a much bigger umbrella story.

MICHAEL:

So, you are touching on Internet crazed fans and obsession within this story that has become now part of pop culture?

SHELLY:

It certainly is an element of it, and all of us who work in the world today and are involved in social media know that there is a positive and a negative to that.  We are exploring that.

JEAN:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

But I would not say that is what the story is about.  It’s an element of it.

MICHAEL:

Is there a particular character, when you looked at the canvas, that you felt needed some propping up, or building up?

JEAN:

Yes.  I think in the summer you will see more of Summer (Hunter King).  She is a very important character and we get to put her in a completely new situation, and that is something we needed and wanted to do, and are glad we are doing that.

SHELLY:

I think that is true. We want to invest in the younger generation of the core families of Genoa City.

JEAN:

One of the things about this show that is so great is that the history of the show is so guarded and preserved, and so you do get to play younger characters in multi-generational stories, and being an important member of an important family.  We are planning ahead with something that will impact, Kevin, Michael and Lauren, Gloria and everyone else in their family.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

What is next for Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren (Tracey E. Bregman)?  Will Lauren’s false pregnancy dovetail into something that will come between this popular duo?

JEAN:

I think they came through that very well.

SHELLY:

They are in a better place than they have been in a long time, and yes, there will be more story for them on the horizon.  There is a lot of story being generated for many characters, and we hope fans will continue to tune-in to see what happens in the months ahead.

 

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bob kern
bob kern

I always have story ideas and I believe one of my ideas were used in the past. I will miss the Adam Newman character played by Michael Muhney and Phillis Newman played by Michelle Stafford. NOT THE SAME WITHOUT THESE ACTORS.

Elaine
Elaine

Bob,I am with you two brilliant actors and we need these characters in the present time not months and months from now.

Gail
Gail

Im ssssssssooooooooooo happy they are trying to make Sharon a better person. I loved all the Sharon days. Adam should brake up with Chelsea when they recast. i never seen them with chemistry . Adam needs a new leading lady or Sharon back

Jay Willis
Jay Willis

I watched Y&R to watch Michael Muhney. I’ve been reading how bad it is since he left. Now I know why after reading this interview. Glad I quit watching.

Melissa
Melissa

You and me both. Glad I took the Muhney Walk on Jan 30. My time is too precious to waste it on this garbage.

Tommy Moss.
Tommy Moss.

Sharon is my favorite character. i would love to see her married with a big wedding for summer and maybe a new baby 😀 I think Adam loves Sharon they also were great

Ella Broen
Ella Broen

I really dispise Victor and what he did to Sharon

Sherwood
Sherwood

My Lord, these two are running this show into the ground. The exodus of viewers is over 20% since the end of January. What does that say? It says the show is a true mess and the audience is leaving. When you hit all-time lows in the key demo of Women 18 to 49, these two should be shown the door.

David Tom’s nuBilly is a disaster. Now nuPhyllis and nuAdam are on the horizon. Just like Billy Miller, Michelle Stafford and Michael Muhney won’t be replaced either. So long Y&R.

Cassie
Cassie

Nu Billy was an awful decision. They should’ve found a way to keep Miller or written Billy Abbott off canvas for a bit

Jimmy
Jimmy

David Tom is not nearly as good in the role as Billy Miller was. As far as nuPhyllis is concerned, I think there is a plethora of great actresses in daytime that could do well in the role, like Robin Christopher or Sarah Brown. I’m with you on the Adam front, though. The only actor I could see doing well in the role is Trevor St. John, anyone else will likely fail, just as DT is doing as Billy now.

Lawrence
Lawrence

The show sure does suck with 2 headwriters. Y and R has not had an episode of interest in a while. The show is suffering from too many casting changes. The ratings have tied all time lows for 4 weeks in a row. Your audience is leaving y and r. Phelps, Altman, and Passanante should be fired. They are so delusional that they are actually thinking that the show is moving in a positive direction.

Rita Hopkins
Rita Hopkins

Sadly it sounds like these writers are going to completely ruin this show. With all the new characters plus re-casts of Phyllis & Adam & the departure of Billy Miller real fans do not even recognize Y&R. There is something to be said about popular characters. They keep people watching. The new writers & the producer care nothing about how important these characters are to the fans. There has been a mass exodus of really talented people from the show. Soon all the characters with a few exceptions will be newbies. There are so many actors that the show could do without, but these are the ones that are kept and that all the story lines written for. I watched Y&R for many years and was hoping against hope that the powers that be could see how bad the show has gotten & would get Y&R back on track. I see that that will not happen and Y&R will struggle to survive. I also noticed that Y&R received a lot of nominations for the daytime awards. I would just like to know who decides who is nominated. Some nominations are deserved and others absolutely are not. I guess in the end it really will not matter, because those awards don’t do much for an actors career, and the nominations will not turn Y&R around. Thank you for this interview, but it just confirms to me that the show will continue to feature mediocre actors and pathetic story lines.I am very sad to feel this way about a show that I once watched everyday.

Dee
Dee

The headwriter said their news would profoundly and
suprisingly effect those close to them. So we had
Chrstine and Paul considering trying for a baby after
talking to Like. Niw Chloe will ask Billy to have a
baby after talking to Lauren about babies. I wonder who
will be next? Kevin realizing he wants a family with a
woman who loves him after talking to Michael about
feeling sad about no baby? It does feel like salt in
the wound at this point, especially when that is all
they are being used for. Why are we not surprised we
always get the shaft one way or another they gave us a
story line yeah big BS all we saw was Lauren in Bed
with Carmine and yet we don’t get half of that amount of
time with Michael we saw her on a weekend getaway and
we NEVER got that with Michael although we have asked
for it for years. Should I go on at how we have been screwed over by the writers time and time again
It sucks and they have no respect or care about loyal Likey fans bring back Jack Smith and Kay Alden real writers DEE

chuck
chuck

Dee I hear you about the writing, But fans have to know is Not everybody is going to be “Pleased” BY what the writers write for example Jack smith when he wrote the on the run story Most Fans threw a Fit due to lack of Vets, He also got Thrown under the bus when he rewrote the Kay/Jill story of her being Kay’s daughter. I do think However Josh G was better then this two, He was doing well .

Dee
Dee

I agree Josh had a lot more variety of actors on these writers seem to be stuck once again on the Whole freakin Newman Clan and I dont mind others being on I just want Likey on more then once every 3 weeks

lelablanson
lelablanson

What happen to Cane and Lily Ashby? and Colin and Jill Atkinson ? are they still on Y&R ??

Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

No, they are not. Colin and Jill are too just run around talking about how/if they love each other. Cane and Lily are too just be support and filler for the Triangle from Hell.

Eliza
Eliza

No questions about Jill? She’s Y&R’s only original character that remains and some of us have followed her since the very beginning.

How about…. is Jill ever going to become rich and/or powerful? We’ve had 40 years of Jill attempting to make it. I still remember Jill’s first trip to the Chancellor mansion. It seems she’s still only half way ( if that) to her goals. I’m a little tired of the never ending quest always ending in failure. Katherine is gone and Y&R is in desperate need of a strong, powerful, and confident women. Jill has the business savvy and the strength, and we know and follow her- she should have the role. It’s time. Enough of chasing wealth it’s time for Jill to have the same problem as Katherine…..keeping it.

Jill’s story with Colin would have much more impact if Jill were truly rich and the owner & CEO of Chancellor Industries. Instead CI has disappeared into Newman & made no difference in the character of Victor, whereas it would have been a life-changer for Jill.

Not everyone can relate to a male dominated home life. I don’t live it, neither do my sister, brother, parents, or grandparents and neither does anyone of my husbands family. I can accept Victor & the Newman family as one type of family, but other types, and stronger women need to be represented. If that’s a problem for Victor (or Eric Braden) keep the story lines separate. The Chancellor’s used to have their own stories, so they don’t have to threaten Victor’s never ending predictable superiority in everything.

Linda
Linda

TOTALLY AGREE … Jill has been marginalized and this never ending jewelry box story and wedding to Colin who we all know is a cad and money sucker is beneath her at this point in her life! She has been single FOREVER and would never want a creepy old thing like Colin in her life–she’d rather be alone! And How about CBS NOT posting a portrait of Katherine in Chancellor Mansion? What’s up with THAT? Stephanie Forrester is over the mantel, JR Ewing’s portrait is at Ewing Enterprises, no KATHERINE CHANCELLOR??? She’s bigger than all of them! The fans of this show should be recruited to write this show …. instead of these idiots who bounce around from show to show and have no historical knowledge or vested interest! SMH!

Mysty
Mysty

I gotta disagree, the Jill and Colin pairing is about the best thing about the show right now, yes, Jill would be totally romantically involved with him because there’s true, true love there, it’s a pity that the writers can’t be bothers with given this pairing much care and at least talked about them in this interview. Jill should’ve had CI from the get go. They start up this musicbox and still doesn’t know what to do with it. That’s the problem..End this story with Jill getting CI, I don’t believe Katherine would’ve left CI for Victor anyway…But among the Rubbish? Jill and Colin are 1 bright spot on this otherwise dull show.

Geena
Geena

Wasn’t Jill supposed to challenge Victor for Chancellor when he inherited the company?? Wow was that dropped like a new york minute when these two became the new writers. Poor Jill is now stuck with Colin in this neverending sitcom, much ado about a music box.

Elaine
Elaine

Well Rita, I agree completely with every word you have written, I believe that my beloved Y & R is on a very slippery slop it is getting to me after 40 years I am thinking of leaving thank goodness for Peter, Eric, Melody and a few good acting youngsters is why I keep hoping the S/L will improve.
The S/L are pathetic ! With ll,due respect to both writers they have to wake up and give us some excitement
I can remember being so excited I couldn’t wait for the next days episode, I haven’t felt that for 3 years or so,there are so many new characters now who are really medioca a few exceptions have arrived this last few weeks thank heavens they are old soap actors and know the ropes !
I hope they hurry up and replace Phyliss and Adam because they are sorely missed in every way, Billy Miller is another wonderful actor gone I wonder how many more they will loose ?
Thank you Michael for your hard work trying to keep us up to date with things you are really much appreciated.

Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

Again, YR is in big trouble….. Once again, we have a team who does not know what the hell they are doing.

Sue
Sue

Laurel, So true! I don’t think these so-called writers know anything about Y&R back stories..Y&R’s needs help soon!

Linda
Linda

TOTALLY AGREE ….. They should have this stuff mapped out to know where they are going … instead they are flying my the seat of their pants, and ruining the stories and the families!

Lawrence
Lawrence

I think what would help these writers would be to get some familiar faces back on y and r. Spice up the romance. Bring back the boardroom battles and bring back the Friday cliffhangers. It may not be the best but it sure would be more watchable than what we are getting.

Kim
Kim

Dylan is Paul’s son, Ivan can’t have kids….that’s the secret he told his lawyer. Now he’s setting Dylan up to get back at Nicky. Didn’t take a rocket scientist !! And who really killed Deedee ?? Adam didn’t hit anything….remember ??

Desiree
Desiree

I don’t even recognize YR anymore. It’s falling apart and if they don’t do something the show will be can
Canceled because they have torn apart everything that was good on YR
They need to change and bring back Kay . Kay knew what the fans wanted and she listened thats why YR was so fantastic. Fix YR and Save YR.

Lawrence
Lawrence

I agree, Kay Alden worked closely with William Bell and she understands the show’s history. Unfortunately delusional Angelica McDaniel will allow Phelps to remain at Y and r until it tanks and they can have reality programming all afternoon

jaybird369
jaybird369

Desiree…OH, YES!!!!! And…Kay Alden (1) respected us soap fans, (2) cared about what we wanted and (3) valued and appreciated ALL KINDS of opinions from fans. UNLIKE those very laughable 3 SOAP STOOGES JFP, SA and JP!!!!! Yep.

marley j
marley j

I want some Jess Walton on every day but her living in northeast wherever must make things hard. Glad I have what I have when she is on cuz nobody is better.

hopeful for the Kevin story and for goodness sake make him gay. It’s time and more Gloria too plz.

Need a business story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joan
Joan

Michael I appreciate your interview with these new Y&R writers. It lets me know that after over 20+ years watching Y&R, I won’t continue. I loved Y&R’s fast moving and breathtaking episodes. Current stories are an insult to long-time viewers, especially since they make no sense. Favorite characters (smart, savvy, business people) are always victimized by new characters and written as clueless. That is ridiculous and old. Then these new writers make the characters behave in ways they would never behave. Plus, who wants to watch long-time couples always break up, as if they can’t do anything else.

I read that there are new Y&R viewers and ratings are higher. More recently I read that at least 111,000 viewers have stopped watching. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that Michele Stafford (Phyllis), Billy Miller (Billy), etc., all have left Y&R and then turned up recently on a different soap opera! Y&R has become too confusing and depressing for me. I’m glad that the writers are happy with it, but many viewers are not!

EC
EC

Summer is definitely not a character I care to see more of.

Cassie
Cassie

This just seems like a bunch of mumbo jumbo and the same crap we’ve been seeing.

I don’t have any clue what these writers are thinking. The show has lost more than a fifth of its audience since Michael and Billy left and the demos get lower and lower.

Is there a plan in place to fix this? Because these two certainly are not the answer. Where is Jack Smith or Kay Alden or Sally Sussman Morina. JFP’s regime has become a failure.

Sinny
Sinny

Shick is so passe. Been there done that over and over and over. Everyone on the show is a pathetic loser. These writers are the worst of the bunch. I thought this was one of the lamest interviews every. Nothing was really said other than them trying to pay themselves on the back for destroying the best soap in the business.

Geena
Geena

That’s the impression I got! Trying to make themselves sound like geniuses when they have no clue what they are doing. They knew from the beginning that Mariah was fake Cassie? No way!! Not from what we saw and heard on screen.

King
King

Haha! I won’t tune in because they only use Cane and Lily as fillers! They deserve so much better than this! Seriously why did they fire MAB? I hated MAB but there was no need to fire her FOR THIS!!! Those 2 head writers are horrible and JFP is even worse! MAB had better ratings when she was fired so let’s hope JFP and all her friends are given the boot (very) soon! It can’t get worse at this point except JFP stays… SONY and CBS better take action now before it is too late!

bunting
bunting

Hey at least they get screentime and love scenes. They put Likey through hell and back last year and when they spoiled a “passionate” encounter for Likey which fans got excited about it ended up being them sadly hugging in bed for 20 seconds because they found out they weren’t having a baby. They are lucky if they get a one minute long love scene a year. Now they have been backburned and are shown once every couple weeks and their family members are on even less. The Baldwin stories garnered Y&R four emmy nominations this year, and as a reward all three Baldwin actors have been shoved to the backburner.

Dee
Dee

Well said friend I am so disgusted at the treatment of Likey since Josh left. I h had hoped we would see them in as many love scenes as Lauren had with that disgusting pig Carmine and yet NOTHING and I thought MAB was bad.

big blue
big blue

This interview only confirms my conclusion that neither CBS or Sony give a damn about the future of Y&R. These two writers don’t have a clue about the history of the show or respect for its audience. How insulting. They know nothing about the characters they are writing for. It’s just plot driven drivel. To think they would have any input in selecting the replacement actors for Michael Muhney’s Adam and Michelle Stafford’s Phyllis is scary. Their selection of David Tom for Billy Miller’s Billy Abbott just shows how incompetent this regime is.

These two failed writers’ track records says it all. Y&R is headed for the same fate as ATWT, OLTL, and AMC. Get rid of them or just cancel the show.

Lawrence
Lawrence

I agree with you 100%. The writers are only interested in current new characters and could give less of a damn about the show’s history. I can’t see how Passante is praised for character development when she did the exact opposite at ATWT

Jewell
Jewell

Another thing that should have been brought up,is that many fans think Paul is really Dylan’s dad,which I hope turns out to be true,would have great storynooortunities.. After watchibgbtheir scenes,I would actually like to see Billy and Chelsea together..

Real Deal
Real Deal

These two writers don’t have a clue as to what the hell this show is about. Their description of Nick as “the Hero” was astounding. The man is serial adulterer and lied about his being the father of Summer. The man is not a hero.

The interview gave real insight as to why they have been writing for shows that have folded, like AMC and ATWT. This is just so sad. Y&R is a wreck right now. Now I know why. These two, plus the Executive Producer that hired them, need to be shown the door.

Sinny
Sinny

Nick is such a loser, he and Sharon are FF stuff now. He is not a hero. He is a cheating scumbag. Lily and Cane.. really? All they do is screw like rabbits while old man cane leers at Lily and rubs her in public like they are 12. DT is not working as Billy. I can only imagine how bad the Phyllis and Adam recasts will be.

Linda
Linda

We want to invest in the younger generation of the core families of Genoa City.
I’m calling “BS on JEAN”: “One of the things about this show that is so great is that the history of the show is so guarded and preserved, and so you do get to play younger characters in multi-generational stories, and being an important member of an important family.” Then WHY IN THE HELL did you kill Delia? She was the ONLY blood-related granddaughter of Jill Foster Abbott, the ONLY Grandchild of Esther, the ONLY child of Chloe (who is the Goddaughter of Katherine), ONLY Daughter of Billy Abbott!) THESE ARE CORE MEMEBERS OF THE SHOW! So much for preserving the younger generation of the CORE! You could have killed Fen or Summer and No Fans would have cared!

bunting
bunting

Bull, many would have cared if Fen or Summer would have been killed off. I hated Delia being killed off but that doesn’t mean they should have killed off Michael and Lauren’s only child or Phyllis’ daughter instead. ME and HK, who play Fen and Summer, are arguably the two best young actors they have on the show.

Millie P
Millie P

Are these writers for real? I couldn’t believe how unknowledgeable they are about the characters. The long time fans of this show should be respected instead of making up stories out of thin air that defy the show’s history. It’s disrespectful and insulting.

I have tolerated a lot of garbage these past five years or so. My favorite actor, Michael Muhney, was treated like trash by the show and the cast, but I stayed with Y&R. Now, I think I’ve had it. These people don’t know what they are doing. Passanante ruined ATWT. She’s destroying Y&R with her little friend right now. No thanks.

Name*Lon
Name*Lon

This interview did not help. These people have no idea what they are doing. And don’t seem to care that they are failing. Now our Michelle S. is on General Hospital and I am still p…ed about Michael M. He is Adam Newman! No one can play that character like Michael! He was treated unfairly. With the loss of three irreplaceable actors and this writing I can’t …

Katie
Katie

No mention of any of the black characters. Are we supposed to believe the people talking in this interview know squat about Y&R when nothing about Jill, the Winters, Lily, Cane are mentioned. You people do remember at one time 25% of this shows audience was African American. Shame on you Michael Fairman for ignoring these characters and for the writers in this interview to completely sidestep them.

Goodness and enough about Billy/BM and Adam/MM. You’d think they were the only 2 characters recast on this show. How about recasting Kyle with someone with some presence and talent, a greyer character with some brains to stick it to Jack, Billy, and Victor. And for god sakes, give Jill Foster Abbott Chancellor and let her anchor a part of the canvas. It’s ridiculous.

Donna
Donna

They did talk about Neil, Leslie, Devon and Hilary. So I don’t understand this comment. Are they not black?

Jimmy
Jimmy

If they really want to beef up the African-American set, they need to bring back Drucilla and Malcolm, two characters with boat loads of history and several connections to the canvas. Neil hasn’t had a real relationship with anyone since Dru “died” and Malcolm was a very interesting character, albeit not when Darius McCrary played him (terrible recast decision!) I’m still hoping Leslie’s husband Barton turns out to be Malcolm, because Terrell Tilford would do well in the role, IMO.

jane thomas
jane thomas

if these two are the writers for Y&R. I don’t expect to start watching again..I’ve never seen such low=brow SLs…and the nuBILLY? I can’t imagine a daughter to VN even being remotely interested in the little creep….his facial contortions, when he speaks, are laughable……..where did you find this actor…JR-HIGH drama club??? and NICK is a HERO????? He is a serial adulterer….he has sex with anything he can put on a desk.!!

George
George

Fire them please , I want my old young and the restless back with the original music, this show is unwatchable!:)

Sarah
Sarah

Nick Newman a hero?!! Thanks for the laugh. If this spoiled, selfish, hypocritical caveman is a “hero”, then I guess Victor Newman is the Easter bunny. Cute and cuddly. But seriously, this is the misogynistic crap we get with 3 women in charge?!! Female characters always have to be redeemed to become worthy of controlling and unapologetic men who never pay for their misdeeds. (And by “pay”, I don’t necessarily mean go to jail, but have other characters come down on them hard and stay mad longer than a day.) I agree with other posters who feel that these writers, (and basically every HW/EP since Smith and Alden) just don’t get who these characters are at core. Too much plot-driven, let’s-make-the-character-do-whatever-we-feel-like-to fit-a-dumb-story, hack writing. It’s insulting and NOT entertaining to watch our faves be altered to prop other characters (e.g., Dylan, Avery, Chelsea) or fit agendas. This longtime viewer is finally done.

k/kay
k/kay

At this point my dear ladies/writers I am Rhett saying to you “Frankly my dear I don’t give a dam,” Please continue to think about the Adam & Phyllis recast tomorrow like never. Adam, Billy & Phyllis were hard hitters to replace them bad move. You just admitted that David Tom is not cutting it you just too naïve to realize it.

YnRNoMore
YnRNoMore

I want Sharon and Nick to stay together this time. Just let them be a family and give them drama, but let them stay together already! Enough of this make-up-to-break-up stuff!

I don’t miss MM’s Adam or MS’s Phyllis. Out with the old, in with the new!

Jimmy
Jimmy

“Out with the old, in with the new?” Take me to the water so I can be baptized! There are only very few actors that can do as well as MM and MS did in their respective roles. Look at what David Tom is doing to the role of Billy. Technically, he is the old, as he was on Y&R fifteen years ago as the first adult Billy. Billy Miller was so much better in the role, and I highly doubt the show will find an actor suitable enough to play Adam as devilishly good as MM did, or an actress that will play Phyllis as fiery and sexy as MS did.

Shannon
Shannon

I’m over Y&R after reading this interview. It’s been made clear the new HW don’t plan on having what Sharon did to Summer and Phyllis come out and I have much better things to do then watch this garbage.

Wise
Wise

Despite, what I see daily on my screen, I have had the hope that things would get better and time and stories would evolve for other characters. This interview has quashed all hope. IMO, The show is now worse than it was in the last days of Maria Arena Bell.
The show no longer attempts to show their disdain for the audience. I was told that the show owes nothing to the audience, so, apparently the audience owes the show nothing. It is time to let go and find something else.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Shelly and Jean, despite my reservations, have truly continued making Y&R a soap once again worth watching. They’ve been writing interesting and compelling storylines, and I cannot wait to see what the next three years has in store for them. I’d love for Y&R to truly have an LGBT storyline; Phillip could return and have a lover, or lovers. I think it’s the one sole thing missing from the series.

They don’t write perfect couples, which there should never be in soap operas. They are compelling writers, and I cannot wait to see what comes next for the residents of Genoa City!

Truth Detective
Truth Detective

Scott, sorry but I’ve got to laugh. Jean Passanante destroyed ATWT and now she’s doing the same to Y&R. You’re comments just cracked me up.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Sorry that you feel this way, TD, but I disagree with you on every account. She has been saving Y&R, It’s Maria whose reign utterly destroyed the show. It’s funny how people complained about her story-dictated characters, but now that they’re character-driven, y’all complain more. Why are you never happy with the show? It’s the best it has been since before Maria Arena took reign.

And Jean did amazing work on ATWT.

Lawrence
Lawrence

“And Jean did amazing work on ATWT”

Too bad that her Amazing work led to cancellation

“She has been saving Y&R”

To bad that her saving y and r has led to the show hitting lows in the target demo for the last 4 weeks.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

I feel exactly the same as True Detective. I watched (“suffered” is probably a more accurate verb) the final years of ATWT pinned by alleged writer Jean Passanante. I will go to my grave thinking that woman’s writing killed ATWT.

So far, it seems that she is doing the SAME thing with Y&R —- bland, uninteresting plots that focus on new, uninteresting characters while inanely ignoring all the potential in the history of the show that could drive future plots.

The strange decision to revisit the minor plot from 30 years ago about Nikki in a cult in order to make Dylan her son (done thru Ian Ward, a character who NEVER appeared in that old plot!) reminds me of the type of things Jean did on ATWT —– revisiting Allison’s birth to reveal another fertilized egg that became her brother; constantly mentioning “Susan Hughes” during the Nancy Hughes funeral but NEVER mentioning Don or Penny, the only siblings of Bob that we actually knew. Meanwhile, she can’t seem to write enough for Dylan — who quickly is becoming the Janet Cicconi of Y&R.

Jean just completely is off the mark and, sadly, has absolutely NO clue what she is doing or that her writing is so godawful.

How does this woman remain employed writing for soaps??? She worked on AW when it was cancelled, was the head scribe for ATWT for several years until it was axed, then scurries over to OLTL to write just in time for it to get the hook. With a track record like that, who in the world would hire this woman to write for their show??

Is someone intentionally trying to get Y&R low ratings and cancelled??? It sure seems like that to me with the hiring of folks like alleged writer Passanante. She is producing the same quality of swill that she gave us on ATWT and we all saw where that ended.

I like this site. However, I would MUCH prefer if there were some hard-hitting questions for a writer like Jean Passanante, given her well-known background. This interview seems nothing more than a “puff”, PR piece.

Sinny
Sinny

LOL I had to laugh too Truth. This team of wack writers have ruined this show,.

toronto
toronto

You guys are ridiculous really…..I agree totally with Scott the show has been awesome lately and i feel the writing team has done a great job with character development and recovering from the mess of the previous regime….the show is now focusing back on character driven stories, lots of romance, intrigue and humour…..if you are such a YR fan then support the show through its highs and lows …right now it is on its high and very proud of the writers in making the show watchable again….Kudos to Jill, Jean and Shelly !!!!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Finally glad to hear a refreshing and positive take, such as yours TORONTO!

MPMAJOR
MPMAJOR

First of all, I want to say “Thank You” to Michael Fairman, for your interview with the headwriters of Y&R. I have to say after reading and gaining more insights or getting a feel of these two headwriters, I can finally heave a sigh of relief. I realized that as a whole, Y&R will never ever completely feel like Bill Bell’s Y&R again. Maria A. Bell and her headwriters left Y&R a complete mess and chaos. Character or characters were no longer recognizable and some destroyed and the Sharon character got the worst of this terrible writing. I am very happy that the headwriters realized that they have to clean up the previous regime’s writing in order to fix a character or characters so these characters can move forward or evolved. I think the writing team is finally hitting its stride at this point and I’ve been following all of their stories and now that the stories are coming full circles, the twists and turns, are very intriguing and full of surprises, and really been enjoying some of the acting chops of the younger generation, specifically, Camryn Grimes’s as a hallucination first, then a real lookalike, hired by Victor Newman, for example. I am invested in Ian, too, and how he is influencing the lives Genoa City folks, specifically Dylan and Avery, and the whole cooking show, and if Avery and Dylan are sitting ducks or being conned. So, it looks like there are going to be a lot of reveals coming up and who Mariah really is and what Ian is up to will have major effects on lives. Can’t wait to tune in for that.

Donna
Donna

I am loving Ray Wise as Ian Ward! They’ve definitely found gold in this very talented actor!

Donna
Donna

Are we ever going to find out who really hit Delia with their car? Most of us don’t buy that Adam was responsible.

And I really wished this show could have worked out something with Billy Miller. I believe he really wanted to stay, but Y&R didn’t seem to want to work things out. Big mistake because with Michael Muhney leaving too, this left a huge gap. David Tom was alright on the show all those years ago, but he definitely does not have the charm and amazing talent that Billy Miller had. And I used to love Billy and Victoria as a couple. But that magic is gone.

Donna
Donna

I am happy to see Sharon finally finding some peace and happiness. I never thought it would be with Nick, but I’m okay with this as long as Nick stands by Sharon and never hurts her the way he did after Cassie died when he cheated with Phyllis. And I know Phyllis will be waking up at some point, but maybe she won’t remember a darn thing. One can hope.

Geena
Geena

Y&R is failing on all fronts! Nothing in this interview is getting me excited about upcoming story. Just more of the same recycled stories we have already seen with the exception of Fassie becoming Mariah. How many stalkers can we have? How many baby daddy triangles can we have? WE already did these stories in 2013. Please give us something brand new!

I wish they would hurry and bring back Adam and Phyllis but they seem to be totally stalled. I wonder what actor will decide to leave next…that’s all they seem to do under JFP!

Nanci
Nanci

Failing on all fronts?
I so disagree!
Despite a few frustrations, I have confidence for
the future, am enjoying some of the current storylines,
characters, etc., too. I for one will never jump ship!

As for Adam, I think next week or the following week, he
will make his appearance. Hope so. Curious to see the new
guy, and how his return affects Chelsea, etc.

Carlos
Carlos

Michael, Thank you for a great interview of these two talented Head Writers. For those of you fans with limited space in your brains, it’s really time you should move on, stop watching Y&R, stop the hate, enough MM, is gone get over it already!!!!!You really don’t have a clue on what it takes to write a story….the story arch is great, and interesting, if only to me.unlike GH, which core family ties have been marginalized, and almost disappeared underneath the crime laced family ties, Sonny C……..his kids his connections…..the Young Restless is a great show

Kellie S
Kellie S

Funny thing Carlos, everybody has a right to their opinion and a lot of folks don’t like it right now. To insult those that disagree with you shows your own lack of respect for other’s and their views.

Y&R has damaged itself with its audience. Jill Farren Phelps has allowed this show to sink into a mess and they blame her for the exits of several big actors, including Stafford, Miller, and Muhney. Any you know what Carlos? A lot of people aren’t going to get over it, so you just need to deal with it.

The show is lousy and these two women write it. Well, they stink and so does Y&R.

Nanci
Nanci

“Y&R has damaged itself with its audience.”
What does that mean??

Sinny
Sinny

Amen to this. We all have the right to our views without some jerk trying to tell us we don’t. This show is failing and failing in a big way to obviously MOST of us. Count the comments here and you can see way more are unhappy then are happy. I also think this was a real puff of an interview with very weak questions. I think there is a real lack in the leading lady department. All of the women are written as weak and needy and that is not why I tune in. We need some strong female characters . SHARON the wackjob is not it. The show is boring.. that is the worst part about it.. B O R I N G

Paula Jackson
Paula Jackson

Wow, I’d hate to be married to you Carlos. How insulting can you get?

Deal with this: I miss MIchael Muhney A LOT! I WANT HIM BACK!

I think the show STINKS.

That’s my opinion…you can deal with it.

Nanci
Nanci

I agree about the challenge of writing a soap.
Day after day. Pretty much every day of every year.
No summers off, like primetime. Gotta keep the
drama going, the ideas flowing…constantly…all the
while dealing with actors suddenly needing time
off, or deciding to quit altogether to pursue other things,
and having to switch gears to work around these changes,
etc. etc.

But having said that, that doesn’t mean the networks don’t
have a responsibility, in my opinion, to stay on top of hired
writers and keep them accountable. If the ball is dropped
too often, then obviously the whole show suffers and viewers
walk. I will never walk away, but the current writing does need
some improvement. For now I will focus on all that I still love
about Y&R.

Lynda
Lynda

Dear Jean and Shelly

Thank you for the “reset” on both Sharon and Nick. Both of them were trashed by the previous regimes and I am just so happy to finally see them both return to the wonderful characters they were.

Now, if it could just come out that Sharon never changed anything about Summers paternity and it was all just a hallucination on her part.
Summer fits in as an Abbott much better than as another entitled Newman brat like Abby. I love seeing her mentored by her daddy Jack and hope to see more of her at Jabot as an executive in training..

Jimmy
Jimmy

I think it would be interesting to make Sharon Ian’s daughter, and bring her mother, Doris back to the canvas – played by Kim Zimmer! There would be so many story possibilities there, like maybe Stitch helping Doris recover from her injury and allowing her to walk again. Plus, it would bring a powerhouse actress to the show, and start a new storyline for Sharon, which she is in desperate need of. The interaction with Sharon and Dylan as brother/sister would be interesting, and seeing KZ and RW go head to head as Doris and Ian would be fantastic!

As far as recasts go, I think Robin Christopher would be a great choice as Phyllis, and the only actor I could see remotely replicating what Michael Muhney had as Adam is Trevor St. John. Obviously, I would love to see MS and MM return to their roles instead, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

As far as Billy goes… I don’t even know what to say other than David Tom is ruining the character. Some people say he’s the “real” Billy and the show made a good choice bringing him back, but Billy Miller was so much better in the role. Billy and Victoria were my favourite couple, and now I don’t want them together anymore because DT and AH do not have the same chemistry she had with BM.

Nate
Nate

OK–I agree Summer is a great actress, and the character, as annoying as she has been in the past, needs to be made more likable. BUT–as so many have said in the past, I hate when soaps in general focus more on the younger cast (in the summer months), and the core players become background for the stupid woes of the younger cast. We need to remain focused on the core characters, while having the younger cast woven into their stories. And PLEASE–I want to see Fen in a same-sex relationship!

Jared
Jared

I do believe these two writers are doing the best job since since the failed LML/MAB eras, but that’s not saying much, unfortunately. LML came in like a bull toward a china cabinet, and MAB was plain clueless. I guess that Bell name didn’t mean much after all, because she ruined this show like no one could. The best person to write Y&R, frankly, is I. I have watched this show since the 1970’s, and I understand its history and its rich character palette like only a handful of other people do. I would push to bring back Ashley Bashioum (Mac), Eileen Davidson (Ashley), Thad Luckinbill (JT), Greg Vaughan (Diego), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), and Heather Tom (Victoria). I would purge this show of all its excess baggage and return it to its legacy of cross generational character driven drama. New characters would be established slowly before integrated fully into the canvas. Old characters would remain true to their personalities and histories. I have storyline arcs for each of the main characters, and I’m ready to go. 🙂

Timmm
Timmm

Michael, great questions, terrible answers! These two women gave ZERO insight! A waste of your time and the readers time!

Sylvia Fisher
Sylvia Fisher

What I don’t understand is that iff these women are such terrible head writers, why were they hired? You can look up anyone on the Internet these days – see their history – see what their strengths and weaknesses are. Is there such a dearth of good head writers? These women gave non-answers. I am not amused.

Paula Jackson
Paula Jackson

These two have ruined soaps all over the dial. How did they get their jobs? Phelps hired them, so they must be two of her FOJ’s. It certainly isn’t talent that got them these jobs.

Look at how many soaps they wrote are gone. Passanate wrecked ATWT and snuffed it out. Altman nearly killed General Hospital until she got the boot with Phelps. Things look bad for Y&R.

Sinny
Sinny

They are bad.. GH is doing so much better now those 2 idiots are gone.. Y&R is tanking in a BIG way.

Lawrence
Lawrence

Sometimes I think that a cartoon writer will have more insight and creativity than these writers

jaybird369
jaybird369

Lawrence…your comment made my day…LOL!!!!! I agree. Also…ANY cartoon writer would do WAY BETTER than those clueless Shelly and Jean chicks. Yep.

Garrett Godwin
Garrett Godwin

I only have one or two things to say: bring back Michael Muhney! Reunite Adam & Sharon so they can be a family with Faith and Connor (little ‘Peanut’), take their revenge on Victor, the Newmans and the entire Genoa City hypocrites, rule Genoa City, and take on the entire world!

Lynda
Lynda

They are trying to “reset” Sharon, not further destroy her.

Amy Martin
Amy Martin

Bring back Michael Muhney and Billy Miller. Big big mistake to let them go.

I have an idea… have a contest (Sony and CBS) and let fans submit scripts. Can’t possibly be worse than what these two ladies are coming up with. They do not know the show; they do not care about the fans. Sad. This show was classy. Kind of an embarrassment now. Bring back Michael Muhney and Billy Miller.

Gail Gentry
Gail Gentry

The truth of the matter is they aren’t going to bring MM or BM back so what is the real reason they fired them because the fans are not happy at all and most of them are not watching the show anymore so then another soap gets taken off the air because of one jerk who don’t look into things before she starts firing somebody and then they need to get rid of her instead I wish they never let her get into this soap it has be on top for how long now and now it is going down hill because of her and her alone get her OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lael
Lael

Y&R needs a total *Reset* not just a single character! Its a complete and utter mess obviously with the penmanship of these writers and JFP. Reading this interview and their history explains volumes. The 26 Daytime Emmys nominations? They had categories to fill. I just do not understand all the recasts, firings of key actors, story lines that are going nowhere and frankly don’t care anymore to watch. This fiasco has gone on too long for this former viewer. I would rather watch my clothes dry in the drier…it would be more interesting than Y&R now.

Alan
Alan

“I think it’s really…about putting yourself in the public eye and the consequences, and also this blooms into a bigger and more global story with characters you probably wouldn’t obviously connect that are part of the story.”

I’ll be very surprised if the cooking show yawn-fest doesn’t end up being nothing more than Austin the camera-man becoming Summer’s first boyfriend and then turning out to be a stalker obsessed with Avery.

Didi
Didi

Good God. The last thing we need is MORE Summer Newman/Abbott. Blech. Zzzzz.

Connie
Connie

The show has lost alot of excitement. Sharon has been raised way higher than she should be. To write about Sharon, you have to remember all the things she did and said before she is considered the person we are supposed to except as the best person.
Sharon has been convining her whole time on Y&R. We viewers that have been watching for the full time remember all and hate to see it slip by the writers that have been added to the show.
Phyllis fans are at great numbers and want her to come back and settle the score with Sharon. Phyllis should be the hero of this storyline. Phyllis should be the one to get Ian out of Summer’s life. Phyllis is the one that needs to protect her child. Many of Phyllis’ fans are wanting to see Phyllis put Sharon in her place. Let Nick keep sucking up to Sharon because he has always been to her rescue. She will never be able to stand on her own. Now, when the writers try to get her to stand alone and pass over her muddy past, the Y&R fans really don’t like it.
Just let Y&R come back to the dark side it was on. Loved it when the show went off one day and you sat on the edge of your seat to see what was really going to happen. Finger bitting endings. I, along with many others would love to see that type of excitement return. Another thing is the show needs to end the storyline before moving on. Who killed Hightower?, who really killed Delia? ETC. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself here. I love the show the way it was. I am now beginning to not care if I watch it today or not. 🙁

jaybird369
jaybird369

Huh??? Are these two chicks for real??? This is, like, the most LAUGHABLE interview ever!!!!! Also…Nick is a hero and Sharon is in much better shape now?!?!? Oh, really…on what planet?!?!? Gimme a break already!!!!! Nick is acting like a clueless and lovesick college frat dude in heat and Sharon is becoming more and more dim-witted each day. It makes me sad that the character of Chloe is now off the Y&R canvas. But…I DO NOT blame Elizabeth Hendrickson for abandoning the sinking Y&R ship. At all. I APPLAUD her!!!!! EH did the right/sensible thing by leaving Y&R. Bottom Line Here: Shelly and Jean DID NOT answer any questions at all. All they did was give answers that were BLECH AND EVEN MORE INSULTING!!!!! No wonder Y&R continues to sink further and further!!!!!

TOTAL LAMENESS ALL THE WAY!!!!!

Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Interviews

Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: “Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me”

Over the weekend, The Young and the Restless Sharon Case reached her 25-year milestone in Genoa City! For Case, who was the third actress to take on the role of Sharon Collins, and once believed she would only last six months on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, has become an integral part throughout the years to the drama and the romance that happens on the canvas on Y&R.

To mark the occasion, Case sat-down with Michael Fairman on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped; to take a stroll down memory lane, and to share her thoughts with her legions of fans on the life and times of Sharon Collins Newman.

Photo: CBS

From her character’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks beginning, to meeting Nick Newman, to many of the memorable storylines and moments that were among her very favorites including: when Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria buried J.T., and of course, to her leading men through the years, Sharon reveals some backstage and on-camera Intel.   As viewers know, Sharon Newman had also had her share of catfights through the years in longstanding conflicts with both Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and of course, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), and Sharon discusses those moments too.

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Sharon and Michael also relive when Cassie’s death, was first aired on the show, and the impact that story has had for decades on everyone who worked on and has watched Y&R over the years.  In addition, Sharon discusses how she felt the night she won the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1999.

At the end of the interview Sharon relates this message to the fans of Y&R: “I have always felt like these 25 years wasn’t just working here and playing Sharon … or working here with all the wonderful people … it’s just as much about going through it with all of you, especially because of social media, but even when we didn’t have it, we always knew that you were there and we were partners with you … because it really is sort of a partnership.  I really have felt like we have been in this together the whole time.  We don’t have a studio audience, but we know you’re there, and we love hearing from you.  It really was just as much about you – this journey I have gone on, than it was anything else, so ‘thank you’ for being there and watching the show, and being faithful to the show, and thanks for going on the ride with me.”

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Now below, watch Sharon’s 25th anniversary from the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  For more feature interviews on the channel make sure to “subscribe”.

Then, let us know what has been your favorite storyline of Sharon’s through the years?  Comment below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Elizabeth Hendrickson and Greg Rikaart Talk On The Return of Chloe and Kevin

Fans of The Young and the Restless were overjoyed to learn a few months ago that Kevin and Chloe played to perfection by Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson were headed back to the CBS Daytime drama following the regime change at the top.

Rikaart had previously with the series for 14 years before he was taken off-contract, and then journeyed to Days of our Lives to take on the role of Leo, while Hendrickson went to General Hospital to take on the role of Margaux Dawson, only to eventually head back to Genoa City.

Michael Fairman sat down with the popular on-screen duo recently on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City for a special conversation via The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

When discussing what happened behind the scenes that led them back to Genoa City, Liz expressed: “It was definitely a surprise to get the call. I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere because I saw Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) was coming back and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) was coming back, and it looked like they were getting the gang back together.  I wasn’t sure if I was next on the list, but when I did get the call, I was really excited, and so I chimed in with my better half (Greg) and he was too, so then I was like, ‘Well, let’s do it.”  Greg related: “I had a conversation with Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) and expressed that it was nice being back in the building. and a little bit later, I got a phone call inviting me back.”

Photo: JPI

If viewers have followed recent developments on Y&R, Chloe and Kevin kidnapped Billy for is own protection (Jason Thompson) to a cabin, after he tried to kill Adam.  In the ensuing scenes, Kevin injects Billy with a syringe filled with a drug to knock him out.  Rikaart shared, “Doesn’t it make sense, that if anyone had something on them to knock someone out it would be Kevin .. on the ready!?”

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Liz said of Billy’s deteriorating mental health state and working with Jason Thompson (and Billy’s revenge against Adam): “Chloe also knows that Delia would not want her father to take revenge.”  As far as working with Jason Thompson, Hendrickson shared: “Jason is really, really wonderful.  I have known him personally outside of the soap world from mutual friends.  And in getting to work with him, Jason is just great. He is a really solid guy, as well.

Photo: MFTV Inc

Later, Liz and Greg weigh-in on their favorite all-time scene together.  Greg admitted, “The first one to come to mind is our New Year’s scene, because that is when we first got together. and the build-up to that was a really long time coming. I thought it was so beautifully played where Kevin had finally given up on the idea of them being together, and he is out with spray tan girl and it’s New Year’s Eve and all he is doing the entire time is complaining about Chloe. Meanwhile, Chloe is home in her pajamas eating ice cream with Esther – it was very much a throwback to a John Hughes 1980’s rom-com.”

On their return to Y&R, Greg concluded:  “I think the fans are excited that we are back, and I think that fuels my excitement too, because when I was gone I really missed this place and knowing people missed having me here, I realized I wasn’t crazy …. this was something special.”

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So are you happy to see Liz and Greg back on Y&R? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out their video interview!

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Video du Jour

Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

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Cynthia Watroa as Nina Reeves

General Hospital

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