American daytime serial The Young and the Restless is celebrating four decades on air and also twenty-five years as the country’s most successful afternoon saga.
The show launched in 1973 and one of its winning features is, according to producers and casts, that the show has kept faithful to its roots and hasn’t changed to chase youth, different audiences or pander to fads and trends.
They’ve kept a lot of the main characters and most of the sets the same over the years. Producers and writers have also respected the structure that (series creator) William J. Bell put into place. – Jess Walton, who plays Jill Abbott told NBC
The same couldn’t be said for Britain’s most successful daytime soap – Crossroads. The series format was devised by Reg Watson who went on to create many other saga hits including Neighbours, Cell Block H and The Young Doctors, however bosses at Central became ’embarrassed’ by soap and meddled with its cast, sets and formats resulting in ratings free-falling in 1987. It was axed after 24 years as ITV’s most successful daytime saga, with 18 million tuning into it at its peak. It even rated better until its final months than primetime soap Emmerdale Farm.
Thankfully The Young and the Restless hasn’t had meddling management which has seen the series year-on-year go from strength to strength. While in Britain its counterpart was being deliberately killed off by Ted Childs and Andy Allen at Central over in the states back in 1988 The Young and the Restless was enjoying its first year in its top daytime soap spot – the spot it remains to keep twenty five years on. ITV doesn’t have a daytime serial anymore.