CBS’s former powerhouse soap opera “The Young and the Restless” is in trouble. For the week of Sept 15-19 the show lost 180,000 viewers from the prior week. That’s a huge drop considering 42,000 of those viewers were ages 18-49. In the same week, the ever-crazy but fun “General Hospital” was up 6,000 in 18-49. And “GH” lost only 9,000 total viewers. That 180,000 drop is alarming. They were also down 94,000 from the same week in 2013. “GH” was up 219K.
“Y&R” has been destabilized for some time, with a parade of bad executive producers dictating crazy story lines to headwriters. Last year CBS and Sony brought in Jill Farren Phelps, known for taking shows to their deaths. She almost got “General Hospital” cancelled. Now she’s hired a new headwriter named Chuck Pratt, reviled among soap fans for destroying “All My Children.”
Is CBS setting the stage for a “Y&R” finale? They did the same thing to “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light,” turning viewers off with unpopular stories until the audience was small enough to kill them. I know Les Moonves would have rather have cheap reality programming, talk shows or game shows. If the combination of Pratt and Phelps really murders “Y&R” ratings, we may be seeing “The Match Game” again.