It’s all change behind the scenes of America’s top-rated daytime soap as Josh Griffith has been made head-writer and Jill Farren Phelps executive producer on The Young and the Restless. The duo replace Maria Arena Bell who has held both roles since 2007 when she became head-writer after crossing the picket line during the Writers Strike to keep the soap opera going; Y&R was created by Bell’s father-in-law William Bell.
Maria Arena Bell addressed the new on her Facebook page in which she wrote “I am mystified as are my cast and crew. There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few days… by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors…..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.”
Until earlier this year Jill Farren Phelps was executive producer on ABC’s struggling medical series General Hospital. Phelps had produced the veteran soap since 2001 but was let go and replaced by Frank Valentini who had headed up ABC’s top-rated soap One Life to Live before it was unexpectedly cancelled in 2011 by the broadcaster. Since her exit from GH Phelps has been serving as producer on new Nickelodeon teen soap Reach for a Star which is based on the Mexican tele-novela Alcanzar Una Estrella.
Via Entertainment Weekly