Soap opera fans have often brooded over the loss of a favored actor, or a storyline that has gone awry. However, it takes a calamity of events to turn a large segment of loyalists against a show they considered to be their own. And, that's why passionate viewers of 'The Young and the Restless' continue to vent frustration at executive producer Jill Farren Phelps.
Her industrial resume is deep. Yet, at the same time, Phelps' daytime tapestry is deeply debatable.
The Carnegie Mellon University BFA graduate started entered the daytime world as a production assistant on 'Guiding Light' at CBS in the mid-1970s. She went on to become an Emmy Award-winning music director at 'General Hospital' during her initial run (1977-1984) at that ABC location.
Phelps leveraged her sound success into a position at NBC's 'Santa Barbara' in 1984 and eventually she became that acclaimed soap's executive producer. She was in charge of SB when it won three consecutive Daytime Emmy Awards (1988-1990) for Outstanding Drama Series.
From 1991-1995 she returned to GL and became executive producer. Later she served in the same capacity at NBC's 'Another World' and ABC's 'One Life to Live'. After leaving OLTL in 2000, she checked into GH again and remained its top front office boss until January 2012. Later that year Phelps was hired to lead YR and by October her first episode was seen on-air.
This industry-insider's four decades-worth of daytime connections surely paved her way to Genoa City. The old-school adage, “It's who you know, not what you know”, certainly appears apt in this case. Though, she's hardly the only person to ever benefit from established professional relationships and the numerous Emmy Awards her shows won shouldn't be dismissed.
Talent combined with success can easily inflate an ego. From that moment on, all isn't likely to be sublime.
Phelps' career has been filled with plenty of real-life drama. Could every instance be labeled as a misconception? And, were various show's ratings dips (including YR's current decline) always connected to other factors? How could either key question (or both) be answered with a yes?
Hardcore YR fans were keenly aware of Phelps' background long before she took over their fictional Wisconsin town. Vocal viewers didn't initially fear that she would create discord because they were paranoid. Those individuals expressed well-considered points-of-view in 2012 because of what transpired (major cast shifts and eventual ratings' declines) on other shows. Their reactions have been and are directly linked to sound historical facts, not irrational emotions.
Connected YR fans of all types (current, former and somewhere in between) have formed many collective questions over time. The most vexing one could be: If Phelps isn't written off the show at some point, will Genoa City's stories eventually end?