A “daytime drama” is playing out at CBS’s top-rated daytime soap opera, where the executive producer and head writer has been ousted, Soap Central reports.
“The Young and the Restless” is giving the boot to Maria Arena Bell and bringing in multiple Emmy-winning executive producer Jill Farren Phelps ("General Hospital"), the story reports. Former "Y&R" head writer Josh Griffith will return to guide the writing team under Phelps’ oversight.
In a statement, Steve Kent, senior executive VP, U.S. programming, at producer Sony Pictures Television, said: "We are excited to have such a talented daytime veteran leading our team at ‘Y&R.’ Jill has a stellar record of success in the daytime genre. We are also happy to welcome Josh back to ‘The Young and the Restless’ and are looking forward to his creative input and ideas."
Phelps is a 14-time Daytime Emmy nominee as an exec producer, having won the award seven times. Her resume includes running "GH," "Guiding Light," "Another World," "Santa Barbara" and the prime-time "GH" spinoff "General Hospital: Night Shift."
Griffith has previously been with "Y&R" as a creative consultant, head writer and interim executive producer.
Bell was caught off guard by the move, posting on her Facebook page: "So it was announced today I am leaving Y&R… the show I have loved so much for so long. It is the legacy of my father in law… my mother in law… and all the Bells. The show has been my heart and soul. I loved working with the most talented writers in TV who were also the most wonderful human beings I know. They became a second family and my best friends. I loved the cast and crew. I am extremely sad to go because there are more stories I could have told. So much more I wanted to do."
"My ratings are strong… each week stronger than last year," Bell added. "The show is in a great place creatively. We are number one by the greatest margin in the show’s history and have been consistently while I’ve been there. Under no one else’s tenure as head writer exec producer have we won every demographic for so long. I am just shy of five years at the helm. It has been an amazing ride."