'The Young and the Restless' Executive Producer Jill Farren Phelps Says Daytime Soaps Today Have 'An Overall Hipper Viewing Audience'

The Young and the Restless executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, Peter Bergman (who plays Jack Abbott) and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Newman) recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about the rise in soap opera viewership this past year. Soaps are up 15% which bodes well for the industry.

According to Phelps, "The stories have more edge, there are quicker editing cuts and newer music. The pace, tone and sophistication have changed. We have smarter viewers, and I think that's true of all the soaps. It's an overall hipper viewing audience."

Bergman says, "Yes, we've reduced the number of soaps, but there are still enough people who think, 'That's my kind of entertainment; let's see what's left.'

"The writing has gotten so much better," Egan adds. "It's a shame that soaps get a bad rap [critically]. Many of the actors are amazing. It's like doing a new play every day."

It can seem that way for the viewers as well. The Young and the Restless sometimes feels like a brand new play soap opera on days when the focus is on recently added characters or new faces taking on existing roles (Billy has been recast twice this year, Kelly was recast, and soon a new Phyllis will be featured).

"Quicker editing cuts and newer music" were not the problems with Y&R that needed to be solved when Phelps took over in 2012. Focusing on core characters and their real history, while slowly integrating new characters into the fabric of a show has always been a recipe for success. It all starts on the page with compelling stories.

What are your thoughts on the current state of The Young and the Restless? Do you agree with Jill Farren Phelps when she says the stories edgier and more sophisticated now? Do you like the newer music on Y&R? Sound off in our Comments section below.

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