'The Young and the Restless' has been projecting success through the small screen for a quarter-century. But, a recent corporate decision, which will dramatically affect a major plot line by the end of the month, has many diehard fans enraged.
Viewer loyalty has long been the hallmark of daytime television. Ages before painfully plain panel talk shows and family-based reality drama became the low-cost rage, scripted soap operas were the bread and butter of every broadcast network.
Tens of millions of viewers delivered heavy advertising revenue in days gone by. That old money often spiked when a lovable villain dominated the airwaves. Even though television's landscape has been transformed, modern daytime dramas are still supported by a sizable core of reliable audiences whose trust has carefully been maintained.
The notorious appearance of 'Adam Newman' on a dark October road was initially spiked within the 'Delia Dies' story line. However, real-life December drama subsequently caused Michael Muhney to be stunningly dismissed from Genoa City. And with that, his character is also set to disappear in short order.
Flash reactions were quickly aimed at the easy target of executive producer Jill Farren Phelps. But, termination speculation regarding a behind-the-scenes cause has overtaken reason since the pre-Christmas news was dropped on everyone's heads. (This article's author won't add to easily available digitally-based rumors because of his belief in the importance of old-fashioned facts that have been confirmed by reliable sources.)
So, Muhney loyalists find themselves backing an actor who they believe was cut loose for unjustifiable reasons. Meanwhile, a different segment of the fan base has chosen to move on.
Controversial plot lines lie at the heart of compelling cliffhangers and seemingly endless story arcs. But, those fictional issues are always resolved by staffers.
This steamer's current cast issue hasn't been helpful. With whatever information is eventually revealed, or contained, only future ratings numbers will reveal if real damage has been done to CBS' reigning daytime dream.