Home Television Soap Opera Chaos: “Young and Restless” Ratings Drop, Actors Leaving, Old Exec...

Things are getting worse, not better, at CBS’s “The Young and the Restless.”

The ratings are dropping fast. Actors are leaving. And now an old executive producer-headwriter has returned. This spells a 911 call.

For the first time ever, “Y&R” was dethroned last week in the key demo by ABC’s “General Hospital.” The CBS show is now number 2 in the 18-49 demo. “Y&R” also had two days between August 13th and 17th below 4 million viewers.

This news must have sent the folks in the executive suites at CBS into war mode. So they brought back Josh Griffith, an old Y&R hand. He will have to sort out an un-win-able plot in which four main characters killed and buried another one without a possible realistic resolution. Maybe it will all have been a bad dream.

Mal Young, the current EP-HW, is on his way out. After a promising start, he’s more or less sent the show into a tailspin. Since December he’s lost 800,000 viewers with very unpopular stories and an inability to keep popular actors.

I’ve already reported the departures of Eileen Davidson and Mishael Morgan, over money issues. Morgan made public that the show hasn’t given raises for five years. Losing Davidson, who’s the star of the show since 1982, is a devastating blow. Another long time favorite, Christel Khalil, just announced she’s out, too. Morgan and Khalil also happen to be African American, so that raises other issues.

Soaps should be so easy to maintain. They’re on every day, the fans respond in real time. Just give ’em what they want. But executive producers– like Jill Farren Phelps, some others, and now this guy, Young– get crazy with power. Not one of them re-watches the great parody ,”SoapDish.”


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