Recently, The Young and the Restless was renewed for another four years, taking the show to its 50th anniversary in 2023. The show debuted in 1973, but it has a second birthday, too!
It Was A New The Young and the Restless Era
It was 40 years ago this week that YR went to an hour on February 4, 1980. The first daytime drama to expand to 60 minutes was Another World on NBC. Slowly, but surely, other serials followed. In 1980, it was YR’s turn. Believe it not, the show’s creator/head writer/executive producer William J. Bell wasn’t a fan of the genre expanding.
Bell shared in an interview with the Television Academy in 1998 that CBS execs called him in the spring of 1979 to tell him YR was going to double its air time each day. “I was on the phone for a total of four hours with several people including Bud Grant [CBS Entertainment, president],” Bell recalled.
“They wanted me to agree to the hour, but I just couldn’t go there. Finally, they [the network] said, ‘Bill, just know this: the ship is going to sail — with or without you.”
Asking viewers to devote an extra half-hour a day came at a cost, Bell recalled. “We lost four share points when we went to an hour under protest. It took us three years to get them back.”
YR didn’t stop after regaining those points. In late 1988, the show became the top-rated daytime drama in total viewers, a position it has held ever since. In the promo clip below, posted by the Twitter account, Reva’s Clone (Guiding Light fans will understand that name), viewers can see clips from YR that showcase actors Jaime Lyn Bauer (Lorie), Darlene Conley (Rose DeVille), Roberta Leighton (Casey), and others.
YR was created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell. Today, Tony Morina serves as executive producer. Josh Griffith acts as head writer/co-executive producer. The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. Check local listings for air times.
— Reva’s Clone (@CloneReva) February 4, 2020