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News for the week of 06-Aug-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) surmised that recently replaced executive producer/head writer Maria Arena Bell suffered from having to tend to two major jobs – on the soap and the one at the Museum of Modern Arts. While MAB put out fires at MOCA, she trusted the writing team to do their part at Y&R, Cooper explained to Michael Fairman (August 1, 2012). Quite often, Cooper added, the results were schizophrenic for the legacy characters who had to behave uncharacteristically. “Sometimes you would receive a script where you would see something that the characters would never do or say. The writers would shoot an idea rather than a storyline. For instance, you have to make Katherine do something that is very Katherine, not just saying, ‘Hello? You shouldn’t do that.’ Maria thought everything was being taken care of and it just failed at one point. You cannot take away characters people have grown up with and say, ‘You can’t have your aunt or your uncle or your grandma or grandpa.’ You cannot rob a person of their emotions, and the fans who have supported the show for years and years. I think had Maria really listened to the audience that was already there for many years, it may have helped her.”

Reason to celebrate: the hottest actor in town, Graham Shiels (ex-Cody, GH: Night Shift, Leverage, The Mentalist, True Blood, The Event), will appear starting September 10 in scenes with Genevieve and Victor – as a recurring character who may or may not be a cutthroat scoundrel.

CBS Daytime just joined Twitter and is asking Y&R fans to engage. Engage by supporting the legacy characters and the veteran cast, nicely.

Gossip for the week of 06-Aug-2012

by Carol Banks Weber

With a new executive producer (Jill Farren Phelps), comes cleaning house. Nelson Branco tweeted last week that the next one to go is writer Hogan Sheffer.

A new writing staff and a new executive producer aren’t the only changes afoot over at SONY Studios’ Y&R. Highlight Hollywood’s Tommy Lightfoot Garrett (July 31st interview) got a SONY Studios insider to preview the horrific nightmare to come—all based on the bottom line and the mistaken belief that, if you aim for younger, viewers will come. Why do you think they picked former GH executive producer Jill Farren Phelps to take over for Maria Arena Bell? MAB stood up for the veteran actors/legacy characters too much, while Phelps is known in the industry for doing whatever TPTB asked of her. Phelps was also hot to trot to prove herself as legit to the soap industry, right after her shocking GH firing, this insider claimed, and lobbied hard to be MAB’s replacement. SONY execs are looking to save money, bring in young, fresh talent, and shelve the vets, period, this insider said. “Getting younger people on the show, moving the older cast back and ultimately off the show, and letting the young people have their time. We believe ultimately this will benefit the ratings,” the SONY insider said. “…The public, the audience they are all fickle as you claim the young viewers are. Jeanne’s got a new book, Jill can just cut her back, and spin it, that she [Jeanne] is out promoting her book on tour now, as for others, they will just have to live with it. Because SONY is out to save money, stop spending on these cash burdening actors, and fans won’t miss them after a while. We will just have to bide our time, and I think you’ll come around too.” If this SONY insider is legit, Y&R is done.

Yvonne Zima (Daisy) returned last week to film some scenes, prompting Daytime Confidential to freak out a little that this could be catastrophic. I suspect it’s just for flashbacks, so calm down.

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