Last week we learned that Maria Arena Bell was fired from her family soap as executive producer and head writer. Whenever I drop by twitter all I see are complaints about the soaps. these come from people who claim to love soaps and want to keep the genre alive. Many negatives were against Maria Arena Bell and her writing and producing. A lot of these fans are long time Y&R viewers and claim she was not true to the characters. I am fairly new to this wonderful soap 7 or 8 years of being entertained and totally understanding it’s constant #1 in the ratings. I really am not in favor of the nitpicking and tearing apart of the shows we all want to remain in production and worried about the consequences.
Now I know why I worried, since Jill Farren Phelps(Hollywood Heights, GH) will be the new EP. I am not a fan of Ms. Phelps and saw how she slowly destroyed General Hospital among other soaps and cannot for the life of me understand why the #1 soap wants an EP who brought GH from the #2 spot to the bottom of the ladder. She turned GH into mob central and took down some of the most loved characters and turned them into something unwatchable, i/e Dr. Rick Webber for one.
In my opinion this is a very bad move and I am horrified to think what she will do to Jack Abbott and other marvelous characters. Will she forget to write for the top actresses, Jeanne Cooper, Melody Thomas Scott or Michelle Stafford? The GH women were all but locked in a closet somewhere off camera and this would mean the utter destruction of this highly rated soap opera. Josh Griffith is coming on as the head writer and I do know he was a big part of Y&R for years, but we all know who will hold the reins, so I am not feeling good about my favorite soap.
Ms. Bell spoke on her Facebook page to transmit her feelings to the cast and crew and to the fans of the series. Maria Arena Bell :
“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. 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. So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew. “There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few day, by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors,” she continues. “I was not given a reason and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS.
They sent me a message through my husband Bill who had the terrible job of conveying that they’d gone around him and were letting me go. I fought hard for my vision and to keep the show on track with the characters that matter to the audience. Maybe I fought too hard. But I am glad I did. I never compromised on what I believed in. I never dumbed down the storytelling. I walked in the door at Y&R in 1988… as a young writer getting her first job. Today I leave there knowing it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love you Y&R. Your story was my life story too. And to Victor… Nikki… Jack… and Kay… I will miss you.”
Well dear soap fans, many of you must be so happy you have gotten your wish, but remember the old adage “Be careful what you wish for”.
Young and the Restless can be seen weekdays on CBS at 12:30 p.m./est