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'The Young and the Restless': Fan boycotts and the big picture

Some viewers didn't like what Jill Farren Phelps brought to YR, so they stopped watching.
Some viewers didn't like what Jill Farren Phelps brought to YR, so they stopped watching.
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Viewer loyalty to any show involves individual blends of emotion and logic. That's why some viewers stop watching, delete their DVR setting, or opt not to download a formerly favored stream if they feel that their buttons have been pushed too many times.

'The Young and the Restless' finished the most recently documented Nielsen Ratings' week (March 17-21) with approximately 4.94 million viewers on board. That represents a 10% increase in total viewers since executive producer Jill Farren Phelps took the helm in October 2012. So, how do these facts jibe with reports of fan protests and boycotts of CBS' iconic show?

Corporations intentionally try to adjust their customer bases all the time. Think of CBS as 'Newman Enterprises' and 'YR' as one of its subsidiaries.

Phelps' hire surely occurred with planned consideration that this specific brand of soap was strong enough to sustain certain viewer causalities, while simultaneously adding new customers. In other words, a net viewer gain, with some old-school attrition, was the intended result.

Many viewers are emotionally invested in their stars and their shows. Corporate types are invested in making money to keep and expand their own jobs. And never shall these divergent forces meet.

This specific daytime show has been a target of certain soap fans for a number of years because it was the number one most-watched daytime show. 'YR' still bests its competition by far. As long as Phelps can keep nearly five million sets of eyeballs on Genoa City, or even up that average amount over time, CBS' executives won't really care much about who isn't watching.

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