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Y&R's New EP Mal Young On Soap Audience: "We've Got To Give Them What Surprises Them And Thrills Them"

Photo: MalYoungTwitter

Photo: MalYoungTwitter

The new Genoa City Sheriff is in town, and it’s a gent from across the pond.  British soap opera and TV producer, Mal Young is the latest executive producer of CBS’ The Young and the Restless.

Young, who was in charge of continuing drama series programming at the BBC and oversaw such shows as Brookside, EastEnders, The Doctors, Casualty and Holby City, brings a new fresh perspective to the Sony and CBS series. Now in his first get-to-know interview with Soap Opera Digest (in this week’s issue on newsstands now), Young discusses how British soaps are different, yet similar in their perception and storytellings, plus his hopes for the talented A-list cast, production, and writing teams, under his wing at Y&R.

When chatting on how much Mal appreciates a loyal and passionate TV audience, and in particular the daytime soap fans who always chime in on the the progress of their favorite characters and storylines, he expressed:  “If they weren’t vocal, I would worry, because their opinions count.  I love that.  I encourage that, but then you have to surprise them.  You can’t just keep saying, ‘Let’s give them what they want. ‘  We’ve got to give them what surprises them and thrills them.”

So, are you intrigued to see how Mal Young shapes The Young and the Restless? Do you agree with his philosophy, isn’t it more fun to be surprised by a story twist?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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chuck
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chuck

I hope he can work out the kinks , the first one would be get rid of pratt

Bart
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Bart

YES YES YES!!!

Y & R needs a new writing team!!

robert
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robert

Pratt needs to go. all the storylines are bad

Celia
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Celia

Absolutely, Bart. A writing team whose storylines are REAL and make sense. It is beyond incredible and realistic for any one body, including Victor Newman to play with justice and bend the law ‘ everywhichway ‘ he wants.
I understand there are crooked judges, lawmen etc., but no one on earth can get away with so much manipulation of the law….for decades. ‘Gimme’ a break!!

Jonboy
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Jonboy

Totally agree.

Melissa
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Melissa

Can he be made the EP of GH too?

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

and Days!!!

Celia
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Celia

Of course, surprising twists are high in demand. A soap is an entity on its own. Romance, mystery, mystique, villainy, love, war, conflict etc…..all attributes which make good storytelling. It is a process and I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is to create new, attention-getting stories on almost a monthly basis. However, when the same story is recycled for the umpteenth time; fans become bored and disinterested. No one wants to watch a show when he/she already knows the outcome. The best example for that is Victor. Same story over and over. The problem is; the ‘ragu’ has been… Read more »

robert
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robert

Y&R needs new story twists. one major problem Y&R has had is recycling the same lazy storylines. baby switches,dopplegangers,car accidents are lazy

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Celia, once again, you’ve put your finger on exactly what’s wrong with our beloved show. Too much repetition, especially regarding the same characters. STOP throwing Adam in jail (or threatening to), STOP making Sharon go off her medication and playing baby pong, STOP giving Victor the upper hand over EVERYONE, especially Jack, and STOP making core characters (Billy, Phyllis, Sharon, Neil) beyond redemption. Oh, and bring back Daniel, Avery, Fenmore, Lesley, full-time Jill, and a reformed Joe Clark.

Celia
Guest
Celia

These characters, Soaphound, need to be smaked upside the head, a few rounds.
I don’t know how much more I can take of Phyllis playing tug-‘o-war with Billy, the drooling lover, and Jack the enthusiastic pleaser. Sooooo not Jack!!!!!
I have been FF-ing many of the Billy-Phyllis scenes. They’re killing my sensibilities and making my stomach heave.

Celia
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Celia

Correction: Smacked….

Barb
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Barb

Reading his other interviews and who he deems worthy, I have no hope for this show…I did, but that has quickly changed…

Nikki
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Nikki

I missed the last interviews. Please tell me Summer is not one of his worthy! I’ve cut down to twice a week and only tune into the last 30 minutes.

padange
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padange

What did he say in his other interviews?

Nikki
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Nikki

I have no idea but if he is really listening to the fans that alone would be a first.

Timmm
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Timmm

Well, from the picture above it looks like we will be seeing plenty of Chelsea! UGG! Adam needs to dumb that nag! But anyway, I like how Mal thinks, listen to the fans but throw them a curve ball, as well. I down with that! I hope he cleans out the attic and this is what he needs to throw away immediately! Stitch and his psycho son! The Winters clan. Have Chucky whip up one of his famous sweeps disasters and have them all die! Travis. Cannot act and him and Vicki have no chemistry! Luca. One of the worst… Read more »

davlestev1
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davlestev1

BWAHAHA SUMMER. .very funny

Celia
Guest
Celia

I agree eith everything you suggest ( and the people who put a knot in my stomach ), Timmmy. Add Gina and Jason to that. I hope Mal will wow us with original stories. Funny how both Luca and Marissa lost their accents in a matter of days. At least she looks authentic!! I know I have said this a million times (pardon the hyperbole), but I also wish Mal will not present us with another facsimile of a supposed Spaniard with an Italian name, whose dark looks and ethnic festures do not resemble an Italian or a Spaniard. More… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I know Cee, I never thought Jason Thompson’s Billy would turn out like this. He is a great actor and wonderful with kids. I dont blame him for trying something different but this Billy Abbott is horrible. Burgess Jenkins, what are you doing? No, just kidding BUT, they need to rethink this. I doubt Mal can do anything because of the contract of Jason’s? I dont know, I was wrong, I thought Jason would work. Be more of a Foster than an Abbott? No, it doesnt matter! And your beef with KOOKA, I agree. AND, I dont like this new… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

@Timmm.
Yes, Timmmy….when you’re right, you’re right. Each Adam brought his best to the show….a personal ‘air’.
Actually I was wondering if you noticed Sharon vacuuming, doing housecleaning in stilettos. Really?

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

OMG Cee! Yes, when Sharon was cleaning her house I thought of two things. One, you cannot say that these “People” NEVER clean their houses again on soaps! And two, she ran that sweeper like she just snorted all the coke from the movie “Scarface!” THEN she specifically points out to Mariah that she cleaned the bookend but put it way over HERE! I am loving Sharon, Mariah and Kevin in this story together.

Celia
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Celia

PS.
Why must Chelsea constantly make Adam’s mind up for him? Can’t he think for himself? A young harridan…..Chelsea is as annoying as a hangnail.

Nanci
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Nanci

Adam never gets a chance to have his own thoughts anymore. Chelsea jumps
on him too immediately with her own take on everything! Super annoying!

jaybird369
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jaybird369

Celia…E-X-A-C-T-L-Y!!!!! And I thought that Chelsea’s mom Anita was ‘the pushy one’…LOL!!!!!

Have a good one, my friend.

robert
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robert

Adam is being watered down with Chelsea. Chadam needs to break up. i hate how Chelsea has become Adam’s mom

Celia
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Celia

@robert.
Wouldn’t it be interesting, robert, if Chelsea and Adam did break up, so to make room for Adam and Bethany?
Chrishell is Justin’s real-life girlfriend.

Timmm
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Timmm

MM’s Adam was more sadistic BUT all the Adams were confident. Justin’s Adam is smoking hot but a wimp! Chelsea were the Armani’s in THAT house! She just hovers in on EVERYTHING he does! ANY guy would feel overwhelmed and want OUT!

Celia
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Celia

@Nanci. Hey, there, Nancy, Chelsea has turned into a virago. Now she’s pushing Adam to stomp on his pride and integrity by accepting Victor’s seemingly clean ‘blackmail’. Adam’s arm is being twisted this way and that. Personally, I think Adam did the right thing. How to extricate himself from this imbroglio? From Victor’s twisted and diabolical brain? But, Adam will capitulate to his wife and bend to his father’s will. It is what it is…A SOAP… LOL!! Yet, Victor is such a cad. And he is a wh**e. He pimped himself ….the prison doctor, no less. I have never had… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

@jaybird369.
Yeah, haven’t seen ‘Daisy Duke’ in a while, lol. Between her and Chelsea, they could run GC.
Today, Adam asked his wife what gives her the ability; this talent of turning a negative into a positive.
Well, that’s easy, jay. Chelsea ‘knows’ the world through the eyes of a guttersnipe. She is a seasoned manipulator.

James
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James

Assumption based on a single picture?

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Its a start! Plus, she has already had her face on Y&R almost every day! UGGG!

MB
Guest
MB

Totally agree with you. Although Luca has grown on me and Travis has potential. The Winters Clan, Chelsea, and Summer all need to go.

I hope he brings the pace of the British shows. Shows like Red Rock, Hollyoaks, etc. are a thousand times better written, acted and produced. Even just changing the lighting to match those shows would be a big improvement. Not every room needs to look like it was lit by a solar flare.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

MB, thats funny, solar flare! I remember how dark all the scenes use to be and I wanted a burst of sunshine BUT you are right, it is too bright! Adam’s condo looks like the fine china floor in a department store! AND, please turn out the lights when Summer, Luca and Travis are on the screen!

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Personally, I rather have good old fashion story telling over surprises and thrills. When I hear the words surprises and thrills, I hear more of the same stunt story telling that is solely plot driven is coming down the pike. This is Y&R not Star Wars. When I read what he says, I hear– let’s not give them what they want, but what I think they should want—- and that my friends is never a good thing.

davlestev1
Guest
davlestev1

I agree Mary SF like the story where Ashley was held hostage and the door was rigged with a shotgun. .I wad on the edge of my seat. .or the shock of not expecting Jill to get shot in the shower. .or those great mountain remotes when Brad was held captive in the cabin. .not expecting Vanessa to jump off the balcony of a high rise because her hatred for Laurie was so strong. .once you got over the shock you busted out laughing. .OH LAURIE. .she got you but good lol

Ron
Guest
Ron

I’ll just say it once: Bell and Alden sustained great stories over 2 or 3 year arches, building the saga with twists and turns, rarely losing viewers because the story “dragged on.” They continually developed plot and subplot with purpose and meaning, and many times providing educational information in creative ways. Hope the idea with the new EP is to bring surprises along but not at the Irwin Allen time-warp speed. Bell and Alden told a story with great details; current storylines always give viewers information that happened “off-screen”– how ridiculous is that for a medium that is ON SCREEN.

April
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April

100 percent agree!

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

Ron…AGREED, dude!!!!! What I respected and admired about William J. Bell and Kay Alden was that they PAID ATTENTION to W-H-A-T they were doing…and…they knew W-H-A-T they were doing…EVERY MINUTE!!!!!!!!!! Yes.

Have a good one, Ron.

Ron
Guest
Ron

I know some claim there were “odd, unbelievable plots” in the course of the program’s history, they were still told in captivating and realistic ways! I PERSONALLY saw how Bill planned a story decades ago when he lived in Chicago. And Kay worked at a desk on the opposite side of the room in Bill’s lakefront highrise. And you are right: they paid very close attention to every detail!

Onward, my friend.

Celia
Guest
Celia

How well you tell it, Ron….best concisely and perfectly phrased overview on this board. I’ve been watching Y&R since I was a tot with my Gran……obviously, not understanding much. As I grew older I began ‘forming’ a few concepts. But, Ron, it wasn’t until I was 14 (in boarding school, lol) that I really started getting into the drama and loving it!!! The first most vivid memory for me, at that age, was when Mac and Billy (Ashley Bashioum and David Tom) were crowned king and Queen at the Junior Prom….It was the first step to young romance between the… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

I remember that story frame! What a great memory for you, Celia. I first watched the show when I was in grade school. I was home ill for a few days and lay on the sofa as my mom watched her list of soaps! I remember telling her that I liked Restless because the characters were young and the music was nice; it was something I never experienced in tv. I shared that memory with Bill Bell, later when I was in college. I also thought (and still do) that Lori Brookes was the best character he created; too bad… Read more »

Sprite
Guest
Sprite

I think he will be the show’s best medicine ever. I do hope he brings in a new head writing team. Fortunately, because he’s not from the same recycle center that is the American soap opera world, he likely could bring in super new fresh talent we’ve never experienced. THIS IS A GOOOOOOOOOD THING!

Geoffrey-Martin Cyr
Guest
Geoffrey-Martin Cyr

One can only hope that by replacing Phelps’ singular vision of poaching her own Rolodex that this show can rebound. But installing Young was only half the solution; (agreeing with chuck) they need to replace Pratt’s brash, in-your-face, shock-n-awe storytelling with a more balanced, nuanced scribe that appreciates longtime viewer loyalty and one that respects veteran character backstory. (Pratt has proven time-and-again, both on #YR and his past defunct shows (#GH, #SantaBarbara, #AMC, #SunsetBeach and #Titans) that he doesn’t much care for characters and is more concerned with making a name for himself at the expense of the legacy of… Read more »

robert
Guest
robert

Pratt’s style of storytelling works better in primetime. characters being changed for plot is killing the show,just look at their ratings. Y&R is losing young viewers in droves under his pen

padange
Guest
padange

All daytime shows are loosing demo viewers. It’s been a trend for years, nothing new. Or maybe part of the problem is that Nielsen audience measurement system fails to measure the viewership adequately? Or maybe TV is facing a big challenge in general – younger audience tends to online viewing and prefers it to TV.

robert
Guest
robert

i hope he can fix Y&R. the show has been very poor. his first order of business should be to fire Pratt. the show won’t improve until Y&R deals with the writing issues. i like what he said about the fans opinions counting. Phelps and Pratt have not listened to the fans at all,they were out of touch

Regina
Guest
Regina

I so agree!!! Pratt and his pathetic writing needs to GO!!!!

Jonboy
Guest
Jonboy

What surprises? These days you know what’s going to happen before it is even aired.

kevin
Guest
kevin

If TPTB don’t go back to the roots of Y&R and how it use to be, it will be a lost cause. I tried watching a few days ago…I could not handle it and I just turned it off. I like change but only if it’s for the good. The day that Kay Alden left as the writer that is when everything change. I have said it many times before, Y&R is no longer the same show and doesn’t even have the same feel. Even the actors/actress that have been on Y&R for years who I love and adore, their… Read more »

padange
Guest
padange

I’m pretty sure they’re trying to listen to the fans. All regimes. All the time. Their job depends on that. But it’s very difficult. Viewers like and want different things, what is a favorite storyline for some viewers, might be the absolute worst for other viewers. No social media channels are representative of general audience. Only representative research can show some real trends, which I’m not sure they are able to do. Ratings are their only more or less objective way to measure what works with the audience and what doesn’t but there are usually multiple storylines at the same… Read more »

su0000
Guest
su0000

Mr. Mal Young .
We need to talk.
Y&R desperately needs Altman and Passanate !!
I will arrange for Altman and Passanate’s return to you and Y&R.
I know you are thrilled over their return.
However; I do need you to meet with ABC/General Hospital to sign a few papers and thank them.

I am confident that Y&R under Altman and Passanate, once again, will greatly raise ratings and give the Y&R fans great exciting, intriguing, high drama, surprises, suspense and riveting storytelling. And the Y&R fans will be absolutely thrilled to have Altman and Passanate back!!

Mal, you can thank me later ..

JMER
Guest
JMER

Altman and Passanante are GH’s! Hands off 🙂 You all can keep Pratt. Just kidding. I’m sure Mal will bring in new blood.

Mr. X
Guest
Mr. X

Please take your sarcasm to another soap su0000. I want A&P gone from GH too but replacing Chuck Pratt on Y&R with the snooze sisters the sequel would drag the soap farther down than Pratt is currently doing. Mr. Young is new blood. Hopefully he’ll want the same in his chosen head writer or writers.

padange
Guest
padange

SARCASM? (I hope).

kelly
Guest
kelly

i am hoping he can fix the show

Mark Y
Guest
Mark Y

If he respects the show’s long, rich history, we’ll love him.

Tani Sterling
Guest
Tani Sterling

Celia has some very insightful comments. I am not sure what “surprising twists” suppose. Take the Winters: More recently , from what I can remember, they were in a plane crash, father and son were both in love with the same woman, both married the same woman, woman fell off of a cliff as well as falling into a coma . Father saved her from dying but was afraid people would think he pushed her over the cliff. Father hides her in a boathouse due to his fear but finds an especially talented doctor who handles comas. Woman comes out… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

I really do not know how I could have phrased my words ‘ surprising twists’ any differently. My definition would be a plot-line which makes one go “Hmmm! I did not see that coming!”. A scene which ‘strays’ from the norm….the unexpected. Thst is a surprising twist . That is what it’s supposed to mean. “A radical change in the expected direction or outcome of the plot of a novel, film or TV series etc.” It is basic writing 101, Tani. My point was supposed to have been: we do not see this any longer on soaps, as we did… Read more »

Tani Sterling
Guest
Tani Sterling

Thanks Celia. I was in praise of your comments. My use of “surprising twists” was referencing the introduction before the comments. Sorry if it inferred a negative take on your writing which was never intended. I will be more careful when using one’s name.

Celia
Guest
Celia

@Tani.
Hey, Tani,
No offense taken, Tani. I just assumed I did not make myself clear. I misread, perhaps?
But, I think the bottom line is: we both agree that there are no ‘surprising twists’ to be had anymore. Every plot-line is expected. The viewer is aware of the outcome. Peace.

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

I am all for something new in daytime. The last time daytime truly looked outside its own gene pool for talent was Hogan Sheffer at As the World Turns….and that paid off in ratings, critical acclaim, industry buzz, and Emmy glory. And I know I am in the minority here…but I was not a big fan of Y and R under Bill Bell. It was often mind numbingly boring…and when it wasnt, it was complete Chuck Pratt style schlock and awe!! David Kimble having KILLER carved into his forehead. Sheila’s impossible reign of terror. Brad’s ex wife keeping him in… Read more »

padange
Guest
padange

I think Days needs changes and all kinds of fixing more than Y&R does right now. Why couldn’t Sony/Corday prod. hire him for Days? Too expensive for that show lol?

April
Guest
April

If I want to see great epis, I watch Youtube from Bell/Alden writing era. A-list cast? Nope. Have some mediocre actors on now. Jess Walton is great but don’t see her much,

Belle
Guest
Belle

I want Victor out of prison; Chelsea to stop nagging Adam; Luca gone ; Gloria and Jeffrey back; Ray Wise and Neville to stay ; the Winters to become closer and any other excitement .

James Thomason
Guest
James Thomason

I am an english soap viewer and I saw on Mal Young’s twitter, a photo of the indoor set that is supposed to be an exterior (I think it is a garden) and he had put a caption saying, ‘a lovely time for a stroll’. It got me thinking about how he Produced a soap in England called Brookside that literally changed the way soaps were made. Although he was not responsible for this change, what the creator of the show did was buy a real housing estate and the series was shot there. When the characters went anywhere, the… Read more »

Audrey
Guest
Audrey

To solve most of the problems is a very simple thing. Eric Braeden/Victor Newman needs to be gone from the show forever. The show can’t keep pretending that a man in his mid seventies is a stud, leading man, dangerous dude who can beat up men in their twenties or thirties, have every high official in his pocket, kidnap, replace other characters with lookalikes causing murder, rape and hundreds of other illegal and vile things to happen. Then after all this he goes to prison but still manage to repeat all of those things behind bars and is still in… Read more »

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