Friday, June 14, 2024

Soap Opera at The Young and the Restless as Head Writers Fired, Replaced by Executive Producer, and Former Star Twists in Wind


I always say, if the “The Young and the Restless” put their backstage mishegos on screen they’d have higher ratings than they do now. And they’re the number 1 soap. CBS just renewed them for three years. But it’s koo koo for Cocoa Puffs over there.

To wit: head writers Sally Sussman Morina and Kay Alden are out, abruptly fired, after being brought back to save the show from low ratings and tangled storylines. Now executive producer Mal Young is head writer, doing both jobs, which never works.

Sussman (as she’s known) and Alden are “Y&R” vets who actually did what they were supposed to. But now there’s some internet gibberish about Sussman trying to get her son hired as a writer on the show, fighting with Alden (who was there for years when soaps were popular), and so on. I’m hearing Sony stepped in and took them both out.

Meantime, actor Michael Muhney twists in the wind. Fired a couple of years ago he’s still campaigning to get his job back as character Adam Newman. He’s very popular. There’s a really crazy back story here about CBS Daytime chief Angelica McDaniel, an actress named Hunter King, and the show’s nominal star Eric Braeden. Muhney’s fans are vocal on social media. The show’s ratings would be helped by his return. But I think Braeden still stands in the way.

Braeden may be lurking behind all of this. Since Sussman and Alden came in, his airtime has diminished, I’m told, in favor of younger actors (he’s 75). Really, they should just turn the cameras around and make it a reality show. It’s not like the old days with Procter & Gamble’s soaps. They fired people, killed off characters, no one spoke. It was like the Kremlin. Fear abounded. It was ‘another world’ to borrow a phrase!

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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