Saturday, June 15, 2024

Soap Opera Shocker: “Young and the Restless” House Cleaning Begins with Actor Steve Burton


Mal Young, the new executive producer of CBS’s “The Young and the Restless,” is cleaning house. He’s fixing the mistakes made by Jill Farren Phelps, the worse EP in soap history (she presided over the deaths of several soaps and almost “General Hospital.”)

Now actor Steve Burton, who came with Phelps from “GH,” is leaving the show after four years. He Tweeted that he’s leaving at the end of December. His huge salary and perks will go with him. The end of the Phelps era is here.

Young has really spruced up the show in a short time. He’s ousted the horrid head writer, replaced him with a show vet, and brought back a lot of the actors/characters the fans wanted to see for some time. “Y&R” is still a soap opera, don’t be fooled. But slowly it’s starting to sound and feel like it might be directed to adults with a college education.

As for Burton, he’s the actor who brought James Franco disastrously — through Phelps– onto “General Hospital.” They shared a manager, Miles Levy. I’m told Burton lives in Nashville and Phelps had given him a nice deal where he could fly back and forth to LA. The new bosses didn’t go for that, apparently. How will they write out his character? On a soap, mass amnesia is not an unknown malady.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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