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'The Young and the Restless': TV ratings rise along with loyal fans' ire

Nielsen's most recently reported daytime measures show that YR increased total daily viewership.
Nielsen's most recently reported daytime measures show that YR increased total daily viewership.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Even bad publicity can be good, as the cliche goes. So, is it possible that 'The Young and the Restless' is experiencing a ratings' rebound despite ongoing fan protests of the show?

A small sample size can't be used as conclusive proof of any long-term trend. Yet, Nielsen's most recently reported daytime measures show that YR increased total daily viewership by approximately 286,000 sets of eyeballs in June 2014. The number of viewers and weeks being referenced include: 4.319 million from June 2-6, 2014, 4.405 million from June 9-13, 2014 and 4.605 million from June 16-20, 2014.

That percentage increase isn't dramatic. It may account for additional viewers being added as the school year ended across many parts of the United States. Plus, interest in the 'Paul Williams' (Doug Davidson) shooting storyline has to be considered as well. But, an increase is an increase. As to whether CBS' top-rated daytime show can sustain momentum is a debatable question.

It can be argued that a hardcore segment of YR's fan departed after Michael Muhney and Billy Miller were last seen in late-January, 2014. A resulting and ongoing negative social media storm serves to underscore that point.

Muhney's supporters, in particular, felt personally betrayed by his termination that somehow was connected to a still-unconfirmed situation, or situations. Removing a lauded actor from the cast of any show at the height of that person's popularity wasn't logical and naturally created rampant speculation because no full explanation was subsequently offered.

But, the fans didn't just react on an emotional level. YR's customers weren't given enough facts to form a reasonable conclusion about the matter and were basically forced to develop answers on their own. That's not unprecedented in the entertainment world, but it was irregular.

All of life is subjective to varying degrees. So, any view of the TV numbers shown above can rightly be challenged.

Soap operas have played to shrinking audiences in modern times. Yet, four dramatic daytime enterprises still receive top-billing across three major network's television schedules.

The statement that follows represents pure opinion, not fact, and serves as this author's final scripted scene on today's digital page. True fans of this genre appear to value quality acting, plausible soap stories, off-screen leaders who respect their employees and the viewers whose collective numbers fund each show. Here's hoping that each of television's enduring plays manage to reverse trends and stay on the screen indefinitely.