Today marked the day when “The Young and the Restless” officially ushered in the Mal Young executive producer era.
He took over for Jill Farren Phelps after her departure in early June, having announced his new gig as supervising producer via Twitter last New Year’s Eve. By taking over, he joins a rather small and exclusive club.
The Reign Begins
You may be thinking, “Why is this a big deal?” Let’s put it into context. Unlike most shows that suffer constant executive turnaround, Y&R has found its success in consistency since it premiered in 1973.
In its 43 years on the air, the show created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell has only had 11 executive producers. Frankly, they’ve been fast and loose with the title in the last decade, so let’s say prior to 2006 – in 33 years – they’d only had five executive producers.
Coincidentally, “The Young and the Restless” has seen a lot of turnover in its cast over the last decade. One thing the show always used to boast about was how it retained its veterans.
Fans could count on seeing the Newmans, Abbotts, and Chancellors in recent years. In the past, the Fosters and the Brooks were central families. Why is that important? Because if you want to keep viewers and get lapsed ones to return, they need to see familiar faces.
It’s a Challenge
Young has inherited a show in transition. How to do you take an “old” show and revitalize it for today’s world? Well that’s a whole other article. There is one very encouraging thing in his background. He has plenty of experience working on British soap operas, but his most impressive has to be the wildly popular and long-running “Eastenders.”
If you’ve ever seen a British soap, they harken back to the way soaps used to be–using diverse characters from all walks of life–and not just a focus on the rich. It will be interesting to see if he can bring back Y&R’s former glory while making it palatable for today’s audience.
Let us know what you hope to see in the comments.
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