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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!!!!!

Days Of Our Lives

NATAS President, Adam Sharp Talks On Daytime Emmy Review Findings & Plans For Change To Competition Process

In the aftermath of the letter that was sent to NATAS from daytime drama executives and producers demanding immediate change to the Daytime Emmys contest procedures, guidelines, or they would boycott participating in the upcoming 46th Annual competition, earlier today NATAS and its new president, Adam Sharp, released the findings of an independent investigation into the allegations levied against the academy and its annual competition.

After the full findings came to light , seemed to address most of the concerns raised by the four network soaps, Michael Fairman TV spoke with Adam Sharp to dive into what the reports means for change and evolution of the Daytime Emmys, and if it can resolve the issues so that General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Days of our Lives will come to the table and participate in the only kudofest honoring excellence in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes for daytime programming,

Here’s what Adam had to say about the key points addressed in our conversation below.

Transparency was a key issue noted by the soap producers in their concerns levied against NATAS.   One of the points centered around if NATAS had prior knowledge of the winners before the opening of the envelopes at the ceremony and the integrity of the contest.  What can you detail what the investigation found?

ADAM:  On the matter of whether anyone had prior knowledge to the winners, the reports clearly state that there is no evidence to support that. To the concern raised on the arm’s length distance necessary between us and the accountants we use to tally the votes, again there is no evidence to suggest that there was anything short of what you would expect of the standards of the competition. What it did find was that there were processes that either by virtue of generosity and us trying to be helpful when they asked, or by a lack of documentation to make people aware of policies and procedures, that created the appearance of unfairness, or unbalance in the process that may have been completely unintentional.  For example, the report noted that we did not have a published procedure for appealing decisions or filing any concerns or complains.  Some of this started because of one entrant in a digital category that raised concerns, and it was certainly elevated when the four soaps sent their letter, but without a published procedure, you’re really putting the onus on the entrants to know who to call and how to bring their concern.  So, that creates a system where there’s an imbalance because someone who doesn’t know who to call, doesn’t get the same hearing.  Likewise, if someone has made a mistake or technical error in their entry, and they happen to have entered the process early, and we catch it, we, in the past, have gone back to people and said, “Hey, I don’t think you intended to do this.  Would you like to resubmit?”  But if someone is entering at 11:59:59 on deadline night, they won’t necessarily have that.  Again, completely unintentional, but it could be argued that it created an imbalance or bias in the process, and the report made that clear.  For those types of things, we are going to crack down and be more consistent about our policies.  I told Brent and David that it’s going to mean saying no a lot more often in terms of giving waivers and extensions, and the types of things that we have done in the past to help people along. It is going to mean being more transparent and public about what our policies and procedures are so that every entrant has the equal set of knowledge to work from.

Courtesy/NATAS

Does this mean a demotion for David Michaels, Senior VP Daytime Emmy Awards?

ADAM:  Absolutely not.  That’s something that I want to put a very strong pin in right here.  David led the 2018 Daytime Emmys to record participation and a growing audience.  This new resourcing of the team allows him to be more singularly focused on doubling down on that success for 2019.  The Daytime Emmys are the only entertainment award show to have posted year-over-year audience growth from 2017 to 2018, and more than 30% increase in the number of entries.  The report rightly noticed that we did not do enough administratively to scale to that growth and to bring the resources to manage that added audience, and that added interest from competitors.  So, now we are going to make sure that David and Brent Stanton (Executive Director, Daytime Emmy Awards) each have the support and focus they need to be successful.

When the letter from various soap producers pointed out a “conflict of interest” for having the executive producer of the Daytime Emmys ceremony also be the awards administrator, many were wondering how that would shake out, or how NATAS planned to deal with this complaint.

ADAM:  Obviously, “conflict of interest” is a legal term of course, but I think that what the reports found was that it was not a conflict of interest.  It was a conflict of time, and many of the more specific errors that were raised in the report, as I said to David, occurred in the 25th hour of the day.  So, that is where it was really a resourcing problem, and a lack of procedure and policy problem.  The lack of resourcing created the environment for something to go wrong, and the lack of policy and procedure created an ad hoc nature for how we address those problems and made that ad hoc response open to questions because there was no prior documentation that this was how these things should be handled.  So, hopefully we have addressed each of these areas going into 2019, and that gives us a chance at a fresh start with the community.

 

Courtesy/NATAS

In response to the internal investigation findings, you mentioned you would bring additional resources to the Daytime Emmys, additional help in the operations, and you would add a “second pair of eyes”.  Would you potentially let people know who is in those positions that would be working with David Michaels and Brent Stanton?

ADAM:  Yes, so we are absolutely at a minimum committed to adding one full time position, and a handful of part time positions for that initial vetting process of the competition; that review of entries to make sure they meet the technical requirements, rules, and guidelines of their categories.  Now, in the past, there would be one individual, one set of eyes conducting that review, but now, we are modifying our policies such that before any adverse decision is made, such as disqualifying an entry, a second pair of eyes review it and give their independent assessment of the technical criteria and qualifications of the entry, so that there can be more confidence that multiple perspectives were employed before making any decision that could have an adverse effect on an entry.

Could a daytime drama actor participate and submit their work on n their own without the show being a part of it, if let’s say, the soaps won’t participate as a whole? And on that note, what would be the plans moving forward for the Daytime Emmys if the soaps decide not to participate in the competition?

ADAM:  If an actor or actress wishes to enter on their own with their soap still not participating: our rules permit anyone to enter independent of their program.  So, there is not a requirement that a show participate for an individual performer on that show to participate.  That said, they need to have the actual material to submit, and certainly a performer on that show is not necessarily the owner of that show and the owner of that content.  So, the question of whether they would have the necessary access to and rights to the video material to submit, that would be a question to the show producers as to what they would allow of that. In terms of the Daytime Emmy ceremonies moving forward without the soaps, the old saying goes, ‘the show must go on,’ and hopefully, it won’t come to that.  We have had constructive conversations with each of the broadcast soaps and believe our response and support goes a long way to addressing their concerns.  So, we are looking forward to having them.  Of course, they have a number of colleagues in digital drama, children’s programming, gameshows, and the rest of daytime television that we still expect to have a robust program at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmys in May of 2019.

You had mentioned that when you saw the results of the report that you felt it was very thorough, and you felt it pointed out things that needed to be fixed.

ADAM:  Yes, the report was exceedingly thorough and fair.  It delivered criticism where criticism was due, and there were a number of areas where we should have and must do better in the management of the Daytime Emmys and our other awards competitions.  I think the report certainly examined every issue that had been raised by members of the Daytime community and then some.  It allowed us to think about what actions we can take as a team to address each of those points.  I don’t think any awards show in our space has ever undertaken such an in-depth introspection of their procedures, yet alone made it public.  So, hopefully we are a trend-setter here.

The report indicates that NATAS will work more closely with the Television Academy (ATAS).  That seems to always be a point of contention.  How do you see yourself improving participation with them to engage that academy in more of the process?

ADAM:  So, the relationship between the two academies has strengthened incredibly in the past year, largely through the leadership of our respective chairman, Terry O’Reilly, the chairman of NATAS, who was elected earlier this summer and Hayma Washington at the Television Academy.  Obviously, they are going to have a new election soon as Hayma is retiring from the role.  So, we can continue that momentum into 2019.  What we note in our response to the report, was that one element of concern raised in the letter from the four soap producers was the mix of Television Academy members on our judging panels, and we want to be responsive to that.  We are prepared to make Television Academy membership a much higher priority in our consideration of judges for these panels, but obviously accessing that membership and engaging that membership requires a deeper partnership with the Television Academy, and we will see to that.

You are starting the call for entries on Monday, November 12th.  If the daytime dramas don’t participate within the timeframe you’ve given, do you see yourself adjusting the timeframe for the soaps if they were to say, “We want to work somethings out before we commit,” or are you just going to move forward if they are not participating in the deadlines you’ve set?

ADAM:  Our deadlines are going to be rather firm for all entrants.  We have a show date set for May and a process that moves backward from there in terms of the time that is needed.  Certainly, the fact that we have added additional review steps and procedures makes that timeline even more critical.  So, we are not going to be in a position to be extending extensions really to anyone.  In fact, the report specifically discourages granting extensions to anyone because that could create the appearance of unfairness that some types of entries get more time than other types of entries.  We welcome everyone, and if by the entry deadline there are particular genres, programs, or individuals that choose not to participate, we will miss them, hope they attend the show in May, and hope we can reengage them for 2020.

If the soaps did not participate in the 46th annual Daytime Emmys, but decided to come back later, it is my understanding that there would just be one drama category whereby web series and daytime soaps would be competing together in that.  Is that potentially what could happen?

ADAM:  I don’t want to go too many branches down off a tree of ‘what if’s,’ but our policies and guidelines do allow that if a category does not have a sufficient number of participants to be competitive, then that category can be eliminated or merged with another category or have its entries moved into another category for the competition.  So, we will look at all of the categories once we have the entries to see which ones remain viable and which ones do not.  Certainly, the fact that we do have digital drama categories gives us a place to contribute to have a drama competition regardless of what mix of entries we have.  I suspect that once you combine those, it becomes very difficult to uncombine them in the future, but obviously the call to entries is revisited every year, so, I can’t think of any long-term prognostications beyond 2019.

Since you are relatively new to your position with NATAS, you probably weren’t expecting that the producers that signed the letter demanding that change and issues be addressed in regard to the Daytime Emmys or they would boycott, would be something you would be dealing with off the bat.  How did you feel about it?

ADAM:  Well, I’m obviously rather new to the role.  My first day as interim president was the day after the Daytime Emmy show this year.  I was only named the permanent president last week.  It was certainly a trial by fire.  I would not say that I had enough history with the daytime drama community to have any expectation one way or another, and I think that is also true of our chairman, Terry O’Reilly, who came into office on July 1st.  That said, in a world of looking for silver linings, I think it gave us an opportunity for a blank slate and a fresh start.  By the community raising these concerns to our attention, and allowing us to conduct this deep review and make it public and be responsive to the issues they raised, it gives us a lot more opportunity to strengthen that relationship in 2019 than if a lot of these concerns had just continued to deteriorate and be whispered about at various cocktail parties, but never really spoken up and therefore, never really addressed.  So, while it was a painful process and there were parts of this report that were difficult to read, I think it gave us the opportunity to start from scratch and to put some of that history behind us.

So, do you think NATAS has addressed the concerns of the daytime dramas? What did you think of the points raised by Adam Sharp in this interview? Do you hope the Emmys will continue as usual with all four network soaps participating? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson Farewell Y&R Interview: From Her Exit Storyline, To Her Co-Stars, And Her Decision To Leave

In a candid and heartfelt conversation, The Young and the Restless exiting Daytime Emmy-winning star, Eileen Davidson sat down with Michael Fairman to discuss her decision to exit the series after playing Ashley Abbott on and off since 1982.

Eileen’s final episodes are now airing on the CBS daytime drama series.  Just how will it end for Ashley?  How will she leave the canvas?  How sad will be her goodbyes?  Y&R fans are counting down now to just a few more airshows that feature Eileen.

During this interview for the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen clarified many points that the audience has wanted to know about or come to understand, in particular, what led to her making the decision to call it quits, and would she ever return and how would she feel if the series recast her role.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In regard to what went into her decision to depart Genoa City, Eileen expressed: “It’s something I gave a lot of thought to.  Not something you can just go, ‘Gee, this week I want to leave!’  I was really thinking about it for over a year ago.  I talked it over with my husband and he was very supported of me.  My son is in high school and my stepson had left the nest and it had gone by so quickly.  I was like, ‘Wait! What happened?’  I was spending a lot of time in my car commuting; like two hours a day, and a lot of time in my dressing room, because our days are longer here than they used to be, and a myriad of reasons went into it.  It was not just one simple thing.  It was actually a whole bunch of reasons.  Even though I won the Emmy (Eileen won Lead Actress back in April of this year) I had pretty much decided long before then.  (Winning the Emmy) That was like “Oh, my God!”  That actually made me feel my timing was really right … I get this incredible nod right before I’m leaving.”

The emotional part of leaving the place she has called her home away from home for Davidson is saying goodbye to her beloved co-stars including; her on-screen big brother, Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott).  As Y&R viewers know, over the years Jack and Ashley’s relationship, and Bergman and Davidson, have shared plenty of screen-time together.  Eileen also gives a very special thanks to the fans who have supported her through the years and who have followed Ashley’s journey.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Davidson expressed on her final storyline revolving the “Blood Abbott” clause and how it all ties up, “It’s such a great way to go.  It’s so awesome how this whole thing comes up, and you realize how being an Abbott has affected her to her core.”

Now below watch Eileen’s farewell interview filled with clips from her performances and time on Y&R, and more heartfelt topics of conversation.

Then in the comment section below; tell us what you have thought of Ashley’s exit storyline?  What do you hope happens for Ashley? What was your favorite part of this interview and the sentiments shared by Eileen?  

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General Hospital

Genie Francis Talks On Her Return To GH, Fans Outcry Of Support & Her All-Time Favorite Storylines

On Tuesday, Genie Francis participated in a Satellite Media Tour with television stations and press outlets around the U.S. chatting it up on her return to her iconic role of Laura on ABC’s General Hospital.

Francis, who quickly wrapped-up her run after she was taken off-contract with the show back in January of this year, saw her and Laura exit Port Charles swiftly in a story-move that felt stilted to the audience.

Courtesy/ABC

After a huge outpouring of support on social media, GH fans cried foul on the play and wanted one of the series mainstays of all-time back where she belonged.

Francis elaborate it on that in our interview on seeing the show of support: “I couldn’t believe how long it went on and how big it was.  I think part of that was it looked like they were finally giving me a story with the major storyline, and then they yanked it so quickly, and I think people felt cheated.”

GH listened and brought Genie back to the canvas with a new storyline that puts her front and center on the series, as Laura is unaware that her husband Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) is locked up in Ferncliff, while his evil twin Ryan (Jon Lindstrom) has taken his place. Now Laura is reeling from the strange behaviors being exhibited by her “husband”. Will she figure it out in time? Will she run for mayor again?

Photo Credit: ABC

During her conversation with Michael Fairman TV and the Michael Fairman Channel, Genie touched on what she knew was going to be happening for Laura when she came to the show: “I knew we were going to start with the Ryan beat, which I thought was great. Everyone loves a good sociopath (laughs) and Jon (Lindstrom) is a wonderful actor.  It makes for an exciting story!”

Genie goes on to say that she is: “Just happy to have story, because it’s awfully boring to just be hanging around. I don’t want to be window-dressing. If it came to that, I think I might just leave.”

As to if Laura has a vendetta against Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) who for all intent and purposes murdered her son, Nikolas, Genie weighed-in: “She absolutely has a vendetta. I think right now, Laura who has the biggest heart and is kind of like the heroine of the show in many ways –  but this is the one person on the planet who she truly hates, and it would be interesting if she had to go through the exercise of forgiving him, but I also like that there is that one place where we can see all of that negativity and evil come out. I like that Laura has a dark side.  I really like that.”

Courtesy/ABC

To find out some of Genie’s all-time favorite storylines and least favorite storylines and more on her return watch the video below and make sure to subscribe to The Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming interviews.

What do you think about Genie’s return to GH thus far and the sentiments shared in this interview? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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The Young and the Restless

Airdates: 10-24-26-2018

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