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'The Young and the Restless': Jill Farren Phelps owns ratings' results

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On-screen and off-screen events have rocked 'The Young and the Restless' for years. But, the arrival of executive producer Jill Farren Phelps changed the dynamic in one of daytime's most iconic brands in 2012. Now, less than two years since her arrival, YR's ratings count as part of her evolving backstory.

YR is still the top-rated daytime drama on network television. So, despite what some of Phelps' most ardent detractors have expressed, it's not as if Phelps has killed the audience for CBS' iconic steamer. However, the decisions she's made and is making are surely debatable. Plus, this real-life story arc has yet to fully play out.

Approximately 4.5 million viewers were watching this unusually enduring soap opera before Phelps' first show was seen in the early-fall of 2012. As April 2014, with Michael Muhney-related oscillations fully accounted for, approximately the same number of fans are still following the show each week.

Clearly every audience fluctuates week-to-week, ratings' period-to-ratings' period and era-to-era. With consideration for planned, or unplanned, viewer turnover and the inclusion of newer media platforms, it's challenging to reach a hardened conclusion on Phelps' reign. Though it's fair to express evolved opinions, which are based upon available facts and common sense.

Genoa City has been the most popular fictional location for over a quarter-century. That's impressive by any standard, but doesn't prevent legitimate concerns from being voiced about the future artistic direction of this beloved program.

Phelps has been and will continue to be held accountable for whatever ratings' results are delivered. Her challenge is to grow and then maintain YR's audience. Her foes aren't likely to be silenced if she's able to accomplish those goals. But, their understandable passion would be marginalized to a certain degree.