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Y&R: Highlight Hollywood Sony Investigation
Topic Started: Jul 31 2012, 12:21 PM (2,194 Views)
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Since its good to have all perspectives...

Highlight Hollywood Investigation, SONY Studios Plan To Make ‘Y&R’ More Like Nick At Nite’s ‘Hollywood Heights’ And To Backburner The Legacy Characters On The Soap, Saving Money The Bottom Line

Highlight Hollywood spoke with an executive at SONY Studios on Monday, who agreed to talk as long as he was not on record by name. Fans want to know what “The Young and the Restless” plans are for the new regime. Jill Farren Phelps, previously executive producer of “General Hospital,” canceled “Another World,” canceled “One Life To Live,” canceled “Guiding Light” and canceled “Santa Barbara,” has been named the show’s executive producer, a post previously held my Bel Air based producer and Emmy Award-winning head writer Maria Arena Bell. “Jill was willing to play ball. She wasn’t really happy after being fired by [ABC/Disney] from ‘General Hospital,’ and she wanted to go back to daytime. She has an agenda, she wants to prove she’s not poison to a show. She was not pleased just being relegated to ‘Hollywood Heights’, a super-cheap soap, and lobbied hard to get Maria’s job,” said the insider.

“Part of the problem with Maria Bell, was that any time one of her veteran stars had complaints about a lack of airtime, Sony would be told by her, that she felt she still needed to write for the veterans and legacy characters. Sony wants the youth audience, period. We feel like she was too involved with the talent, fighting for actors, and put them before Sony’s interests, and would not agree to bring in some young fresh blood and change the show to look a bit more like ‘Hollywood Heights, younger fresh-faces and hip.’ Jill was very open and willing to do so,” the exec continued.

“Whether you like it or not, Tommy, and I know you don’t. The young people are where this genre needs to go now,” said the source. When asked isn’t it a concern that Jill Farren Phelps has helmed so many failed series in the past, and all except one had been canceled, and that she doesn’t know anything about “Y&R,” and the beloved cast members viewers have been watching for close to 40 years? The source laughed, “Tommy, you are living in the past. That’s the problem. We are moving forward. And no, Jill was not chosen to write the show. Everyone knows that’s not her strong suit.”  Though when asked why Josh Griffith has been named head writer, especially after his inability to handle the pressures of the job before, having been fired twice as a writer for the show. The source said, “Well, that is worrisome.  But Josh has connections in very high places here at Sony. He’s very close friends with Steve Kent, who you know of, he’s got Josh’s back, and will do their bidding, both Josh and Jill are counting on him. All they must do is lean down the older cast, and that includes some of the veterans. Maria wanted to write for people, that frankly SONY never heard of. You guys may know them from years in daytime TV, but that’s not where we are headed,” the source continued.

This is all about money, I threw at the source. “What isn’t,” he quipped. “Getting younger people on the show, moving the older cast back and ultimately off the show, and letting the young people have their time. We believe ultimately this will benefit the ratings.” When I pressed that kids are fickle, and that “Y&R’s” loyal audience over 40 and over 50, are dedicated to their favorites, such as Jeanne Cooper, (Katherine), Eric Braeden, (Victor), Michelle Stafford, (Phyllis), Melody Thomas Scott, (Nikki). The source reminded me. “The public, the audience they are all fickle as you claim the young viewers are. Jeanne’s got a new book, Jill can just cut her back, and spin it, that she [Jeanne] is out promoting her book on tour now, as for others, they will just have to live with it. Because SONY is out to save money, stop spending on these cash burdening actors, and fans won’t miss them after a while. We will just have to bide our time, and I think you’ll come around too,” the source concluded.

A telephone call to Maria Bell’s home was not returned by press time.  We put in a request through her assistant for an official interview with Maria whenever she’s able to speak with us.  However, viewers had better expect some major changes for Genoa City. Backburner and minor storylines for several fan favorites, and cost cutting measures, that Sony doesn’t believe viewers will care about in the long run. Time will tell.

“Y&R” does not comment on storylines and contract issues, so no calls were made to the production offices today for this story.

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett Photographs are Courtesy: Sony Studios/CBS Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd


http://www.highlighthollywood.com/2012/07/31/highlight-hollywood-investigation-sony-studios-plan-to-make-yr-more-like-nick-at-nites-hollywood-heights-and-to-backburner-the-legacy-characters-on-the-s/
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Mason


I refuse to understand why these execs think it's all or nothing when it comes to the old versus young characters. How can they be so short-sighted and not realize that there's a very large audience that wants to see a multi-generational show? Whatever.
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3WishGenie
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This does NOT sound good at all! I don't even know what Hollywood Heights is but I have a feeling its a show I don't want to watch!

The problem they have not yet solved is the fact that the "younger" set they want to focus on sucks big time. None of those actors are any good and they barely have anybody in their 20s that are interesting. I guess they are trying to follow in the footsteps of B&B and focusing on the offspring triangles.

Edited by 3WishGenie, Jul 31 2012, 12:41 PM.
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LPS
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Mason
Jul 31 2012, 12:28 PM
I refuse to understand why these execs think it's all or nothing when it comes to the old versus young characters. How can they be so short-sighted and not realize that there's a very large audience that wants to see a multi-generational show? Whatever.
I agree. However, who MAB was writing for was not reaching the younger generation. No one wants to just watch 50 year old Phyllis live through a mid-life crisis or Victor act stupid. How canyone below 40 relate to that? MAB ruined the 20 and 30 ish crowd which YR should focus on. I hope they don't copy OLTL teen scene garbage.
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

Wow. If that's all accurate, that's a fascinating window into the back office. As a Days viewer, I expect Sony's taking the same perspective on that show.

I especially like the suggestion about actors/producers lying to the audience about being backburnered. That shows a lot of respect for the audience. I also doubt certain actors will go along with it. What would be their incentive?

Was the audience for Hollywood Heights that big? Or was it just really profitable?

ETA- I agree that soaps need a strong younger set. But you can't piss off your existing audience to get there.
Edited by px780, Jul 31 2012, 12:38 PM.
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Soapwatcher


You know if they do get rid of the older characters and just use younger actors unknown actors then we the older generation WHO HAVE MORE MONEY TO SPEND ought not buy their products how many Sony products do you have in your home, I think I can count on one hand how many I have. Also don't watch their other shows I don't watch Wheel Of Fortune now because I think its crooked, and I can easily stop watching Jeopardy, from now on I'm going to notice how many shows Sony is affiliated with and if they do irreparable damage to Young & Restless well I guess I won't watch them
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Mason


px780
Jul 31 2012, 12:37 PM
ETA- I agree that soaps need a strong younger set. But you can't piss off your existing audience to get there.
It's such a cutting off your nose to spite your face situation. Why the need to focus on one demographic/age group at the expense of the other? It's just unnecessary and counterproductive.

It's all about money, though. IMO, Sony (or whoever) doesn't want to pay the people who actually command salaries versus the people who collect peanuts, and so they spin the situation as 'the show needs to be all about the young people in order to be popular', which we know is a complete fallacy.
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Shick
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My reaction to current Y&R ...

I would be open to more "younger storylines" if the cast of younger people wasn't so pathetic. I mean Y&R has to have the worst younger characters in all of daytime. Kyle? Fen? Abby? Are we supposed to like these people?
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Queen B
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As long as they don't cut actors like Doug Davidson and Sharon Case then i'm fine with this.. Y&R needs a better set of young actors thats for damn sure
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LPS
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I want to know what they mean by "younger". The show is so focused to the past and the elderly that it is hard for a newer generation to connect. I am in my 20s and a lot of these storylines don't resonate with me. Don't get me wrong I loved the Kay/Marge storyline but I need to identify with more. The products advertised are usually geared towards the younger and YR has the oldest audience. YR has a demo problem.
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titan1978
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When these shows had higher ratings, they all featured young stories. But they didn't just dump the older characters.

On GH we still saw Steve Hardy and Jessie even when the Cassadines were trying to freeze the world.

On Days Tom and Alice were always there for their family.

I think in the rush for teens we need to remember balance and good stories.

Monica/Rick/Lesie AND Laura/Bobbie/Scotty on GH saved that show in the 70s. These were not only young people but the stories were good and the show had characters in lots of age ranges.

I think what is really missing on these soaps is romance. It counts for a huge percent of published books sold in the US, and as the shows moved away from romance the ratings really tanked.
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3WishGenie
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Shick
Jul 31 2012, 12:47 PM
I would be open to more "younger storylines" if the cast of younger people wasn't so pathetic. I mean Y&R has to have the worst younger characters in all of daytime. Kyle? Fen? Abby? Are we supposed to like these people?
Exactly! Gone are the days of Daniel, Lily, JT, Brit, Billy, Raul, Mac, Colleen!

Sure they want to save money but if the acting talent AND the writing is bad, the ship is sunk. I still think they should get Lexi Ainsworth to bolster that teen set.

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Shick
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My reaction to current Y&R ...

3WishGenie
Jul 31 2012, 12:55 PM
Shick
Jul 31 2012, 12:47 PM
I would be open to more "younger storylines" if the cast of younger people wasn't so pathetic. I mean Y&R has to have the worst younger characters in all of daytime. Kyle? Fen? Abby? Are we supposed to like these people?
Exactly! Gone are the days of Daniel, Lily, JT, Brit, Billy, Raul, Mac, Colleen!

Sure they want to save money but if the acting talent AND the writing is bad, the ship is sunk. I still think they should get Lexi Ainsworth to bolster that teen set.

Kay Alden did a magnificent job of mixing younger with older years ago when she introduced Mac, Billy, Raul, Brittany, JT and Colleen. I felt like I connected with the storylines and the characters, while also getting storylines/screen time from the older cast like Victor, Katherine, Jill, Jack, etc.

It can be done. You have to wanna care about the characters. I could care less about Summer and her whiny BS about not having a happy family..
Edited by Shick, Jul 31 2012, 01:03 PM.
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thentherewere4
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I want there to be younger characters to focus on. I want there to be a new generation of characters. I wish writers were able to create popular characters. They can't seem to do that anymore...
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Daytime
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I am in my 30's and I don't want a show full of younger actors... Just give me a more balanced show and I will happy.
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Only1Way
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The should find out just how many teenie-boppers actually watch Y&R. This is a "ME" generation and technology. Give them an Iphone, laptop, notebooks they are happy. Betting they don't watch soapies on them. Too many rock video's or "crash em-kill-em" games to play. The 30-60 age is what is kept the story on so long.
Clean it up or shut it down.
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soapflake02


Queen B
Jul 31 2012, 12:51 PM
As long as they don't cut actors like Doug Davidson and Sharon Case then i'm fine with this.. Y&R needs a better set of young actors thats for damn sure
I'vre heard Doug Davidson could be burnered bit it sounds like Sharon will be fine. Why would they make Sharon's character a priority if they were going to let her go? Just saying. I dont mind big character storylines but stop making them a year long stories with few characters, it limits other characters and stories. Don't start a big story and then backburner it as if you dont know whereto go with it(hightower, Daisy, Diane, etc.)
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Checkers
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Wasn't this the same site kissing MAB's azz? I'll take this with a grain of salt until I see what JG & JFP have in mind.
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soapflake02


Only1Way
Jul 31 2012, 01:44 PM
The should find out just how many teenie-boppers actually watch Y&R. This is a "ME" generation and technology. Give them an Iphone, laptop, notebooks they are happy. Betting they don't watch soapies on them. Too many rock video's or "crash em-kill-em" games to play. The 30-60 age is what is kept the story on so long.
Clean it up or shut it down.
yeah if they are banking on teens watching this, it will not happen.
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LPS
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Checkers
Jul 31 2012, 01:55 PM
Wasn't this the same site kissing MAB's azz? I'll take this with a grain of salt until I see what JG & JFP have in mind.


LMAO...I was thinking the timing and the substance was too fishy. I thought MAB wrote it so she could get fans to want her back but I thought that was too cynical of a notion.
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