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'The Young and the Restless': Ratings' answer hasn't been revealed

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'The Young and the Restless' may be in the midst of a ratings' transition. But, what's certain is that no one knows where this iconic soap opera's trend line may be heading.

The latest Nielsen Ratings still list YR at the top of daytime's scripted fare. For the week ending April 25, 2014, the show carved a 4.467 mark, which easily outpaced 'The Bold and the Beautiful' (3.333), 'General Hospital' (2.741) and 'Days of Our Lives' (2.353).

Those who feel that CBS' long-running steamer has lost its footing within the past few years have taken to the digital streets. However, YR was being seen by approximately 4.5 million viewers in the fall of 2012 when much-maligned executive producer Jill Farren Phelps officially took over. Through all cast upheavals, ratings' jumps involving Michael Muhney's departure and the aforementioned fan revolts, this show has obviously managed to hold its own.

The test of whether YR can maintain its audience, or increase its list of devotees, is currently being played out. As a nearly-complete shift in storyline directions take place through the spring, a full sampling of summer season numbers should subsequently be quite revealing.

With the 'Newman' family fronting numerous arcs, Camryn Grimes reincorporation back into Genoa City as the unveiled 'Mariah', 'Shick' having been reunited, Tristan Rogers serving as Jess Walton's post-'Katherine Chancellor' foil, the 'Winter's' family still working through their non-Drucilla lives, Steve Burton and Jessica Collins squaring off against masterful character actor Ray Wise, Greg Rikaart preparing for life after 'Chloe', 'Cricket' potentially expecting and other tales to be told, it's hard to predict that this steamer can't, at least, maintain the status quo. Number 1 for a quarter-century and still kicking.

Considering the evolving nature of entertainment in general and the plethora of viewing options that are available, YR should easily be visible through its guaranteed multi-year network television run. While loyal viewers rightly require digestible fiction, hardcore fans also understand that daily doses of soap suds are to be taken with a grain of salt and their egos left on the nightstand.

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