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'The Young and the Restless': Latest ratings confirm viewer apathy

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Jill Farren Phelps was hired to be the executive producer of 'The Young and the Restless' in 2012. Her first show was seen in early-October of that year. Considering the most recently released ratings' results, fan outrage is no longer the top story. Apathy has replaced that emotion instead.

Everyone knows that daytime dramas have been shedding viewers for years. A combination of changes within society and the entertainment trade's cultural shift away from scripted fare represent some reasons why many shows are now only fondly remembered. But, the genre has survived and is occupying a niche within the media marketplace.

Insert Phelps initial shows into the YR picture. Her first set of scenes appeared after CBS' top-rated soap garnered a 4.45 rating in late-September, 2012.

Phelps' supervisors surely held certain expectations when she was hired. As with any top TV position, her job was to boost viewership. Increased ratings enable networks to eventually receive more revenue through higher advertising charges in multiple forms.

As of the week ending April 11, 2014, YR was seen by an average of 4.43 million viewers per week, which represents a digital dip below Phelps' first week of shows. While soap opera viewership has always been volatile, a downward trend line is hardly what CBS was hoping for nineteen months into this well-known executive producer's reign. Plus, Nielsen Ratings' May Sweeps are soon set to arrive.

The Michael Muhney episodes, both on- and off-screen, were pivotal points in this currently-confirmed ratings' revolt. But, it's now obvious that viewer outrage has moved on and that resulting apathy is Phelps' new neighbor. That could be deadly, because serial television is dependent on viewer passion.

If Phelps can't reverse YR's trend line this calendar year the calls for her removal will rise among remaining fans. Whether, or when, corporate suits will respond is an open-question. This steamer can still be rescued, but nothing guarantees that hopeful action, or a corresponding positive result.

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