Y&R’s Beth Maitland Praises Maria Arena Bell For Re-Inventing The Abbotts

The Young and the Restless fan favorite Beth Maitland is back in Genoa City as Traci Abbott. TV Guide’s Michael Logan caught up with Maitland, who talked about her storyline opposite Abby (Marcy Rylan) and reflected on how previous creative regimes dismantled the Abbotts, while current showrunner Maria Arena Bell put them back front and center.

TV Guide Magazine: Who's the angel over at Y&R who keeps bringing you back? Is it [exec producer] Maria Bell? One of the old-timers on the writing team?

Maitland: I truly have no idea. I have to think it's Maria but I don't know for certain. [Laughs] In the last two years I've seen her twice, both times in the CBS parking lot, but we've never really had a conversation. It does feel like this is part of her commitment to keeping the core families important and reminding people what the Abbotts are all about. In previous regimes, there was a lot of dismantling done to the Abbotts, especially when they decided to kill off John [the patriarch played by Jerry Douglas]. Traci has kind of moved into his spot to make everyone accountable in the Abbott universe. She's the conscience everyone has to 'fess up to.

32 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Carol2

    Nothing says reinventing the Abbotts like killing off Brad and Colleen, repeatedly and permanently distancing Billy from the family and rewriting history to suggest John was a deadbeat father, cutting Abby away from most of the family for the sake of her being yet another of Victor’s slow children, minimizing Jack to the point where he only showed up to weep or make sour-lemon faces over Sharon and Phyllis, and repeatedly having Ashley choose her boyfriend over her family (although this isn’t new).

  2. Profile photo of bishbay

    I’m with you, Carol2. I have no idea what BM (who is great) is talking about. I guess she’s trying to get more work? Anyway, whoever is doing that poor woman’s hair needs to be pink-slipped. Her hair looks unspeakable on this latest run.

  3. Profile photo of Carol2

    She’s been used more than LML used her, so I can see why she’s going to praise the show. I have always liked Traci and if Beth towing the company line means she won’t be ruined the way MAB has ruined so many other characters, then good. But I can never agree that MAB has done anything other than pick off the last few bones of the Abbott family. All she cares about is the Newmans, and she has just assimilated the family into Victor’s sick cult.

  4. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Beth Maitland is doing the SAME thing that other Y&R actors, such as Peter Bregman, Michelle Stafford, Tracey Bregman, Eric Braeden and Christian LeBlanc have done in the past, they are singing Maria Bell’s praises because they want to keep their jobs and make sure that they don’t get their airtime chopped into.

    Kristoff St. John committed the “cardinal sin” of pointing out Maria and Hogan Sheffer’s bullcrap a few years ago, and what happened to him? He got put WAY, WAY, WAY on the backburner. And I believe Melody Thomas Scott has even suffered a little bit for being a little too “candid and honest.”

    These actors are not fools. They know that you get more flies with honey than vinegar. Criticizing your bosses is the quickest way to end up in the unemployment line.

    We all know that she’s laying it on PRETTY thick, but who can blame her? I’d kiss ass too if it could help my net worth and career progression.

  5. Profile photo of Carol2

    Eric has criticized stories in the last few years, but he’s Eric Braeden, he has more freedom.

    I don’t blame Beth for saying what she has to say. I just don’t buy any of it. I hope when Y&R or MAB are out of daytime, some of these actors will speak their minds about her so-called “honoring history.”

  6. Profile photo of Restless Fan
    Restless Fan

    I’m in agreement! The vets certainly can’t look at MAB’s Y&R and say it’s even equal to that of Bill Bell’s Y&R. She is incredibly uneven. Like LML she has some good ideas but lots of bad ones. Usually stories are killed in the execution. Not a big fan of hers.

  7. Profile photo of emblazoned

    MAB did reinvent the Abbotts. When she first started writing the show, Jack and Colleen were the ONLY Abbotts left (Brad does not count IMO).

    MAB brought back Billy, Ashley, Abby, and Traci, as well as continued to use John as his kids’ moral compass. Sure, she killed off Colleen, but without MAB, Jack may very well be the only Abbott we see on Y&R.

  8. Profile photo of tedew

    It is good to have Beth Maitland around for a while again and I think her hair looks better than before (shorter and more honeyed than straw). However Traci is rather cloyingly sweet and innocent about much of what goes on around her. She could probably use a juicy but believable story line for a few weeks.

    But since Michelle Stafford seems to be running the show much will be revolving around her. That will go on until she fails her own personality test and gets herself kicked out of her cult.

  9. Profile photo of Carol2

    [quote=emblazoned]MAB brought back Billy, Ashley, Abby, and Traci, as well as continued to use John as his kids’ moral compass. Sure, she killed off Colleen, but without MAB, Jack may very well be the only Abbott we see on Y&R.[/quote]

    It feels like Jack is the only Abbott anyway. Billy was rewritten as resenting his family, feeling John was a bad father, and preferring the Newmans. He only cares about his family when he needs something. Abby is a Newman and her Abbott ties are usually only when Jack is manipulating her. Ashley always puts other people before her family, unless she needs something.

    The days of this being any type of family seem long gone.

  10. Profile photo of miztee246

    I am glad to see Beth Maitland return as Traci, who should tow the company line to ensure her return is not short-lived.

    Those story lines are somewhat disjointed. The writers should stop playing games shuffling Victor between Nikki and Diane. Victor appears to be having unexplained mood swings, first having annulment papers drawn up for Diane, then tearing them up. (Let’s hope it is Diane who gets killed in the car crash.)

    No matter how poorly written the s/l is — I thoroughly enjoyed the beyatchslap heard across Genoa City. For once Ashley grew a backbone and gave Abby precisely what she deserved. I had to rewind that scene a couple more times. (It looked like a real slap, too, not one of those fake for-the-camera ones.) Sadly all that slap did was make Abby more of a petulant pissant than she already was.

  11. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    To be fair to Maria Arena Bell, she most certainly has reinvented The Abbotts. LML killed John, fired Jerry Douglas and Eileen Davidson. Made Jack a cartoon villain and put Gloria front and center with the underlying rhetoric being that the Abbotts were vile. I only wish Maria had cared as much about the Winters, but she did put the Abbotts back together and I credit her for that. Brad wasn’t an Abbott. He was an in-law and as much as I loved Colleen, we have Abby and Billy front and center as the next generation of the family. The Newmans lost Cassie too. Death happens.

  12. Profile photo of GLTURNS70

    I don’t think Maria is the worst show runner on Daytime I sing her praises as well. At least with Maria most her stories a rooted in character and character history and central families. Not all of her stories are a hit but at least YR has their main families still viable and intact.

  13. Profile photo of Carol2

    I don’t think Abby or Billy can be the next generation of the family when they are solely involved in Newman stories. I’ve never believed that this version of Billy cares about any of the Abbotts. I remember the scenes where he went to Victor for advice on being a father. They also had him sleeping with his brother’s wife, and not caring that much, and hitting Traci up for money right after Colleen died. They also implied more than once that John wasn’t much of a father to him. I think they see Billy as being superior to the Abbotts.

    Brad was tied to the Abbotts very closely and he also helped block Abby from just being another one of the brain dead Newman kids who jumps up and down waiting for Victor to notice her. Ever since he died, that’s what Abby has been.

    The Newmans lost Cassie, but they are still a family unit revolving around Victor and what Victor wants or needs or in opposition to Victor. They also have their own families. That’s really not true of the Abbotts. Jack’s children are either gone or are not closely tied to the family (Kyle had more scenes with Phyllis or Victor). Ashley just has Abby. Billy’s kids are mostly tied to stories that barely involve the Abbotts.

    I would call them a family in name only. The same as what has become of the Chancellors.

  14. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    They also had him sleeping with his brother’s wife,

    Yes, the very same way Jack slept with his father’s wife. They even touched on that historically. Jack was getting it back in spades.

  15. Profile photo of Carol2

    [quote=Jamey Giddens]Yes, the very same way Jack slept with his father’s wife. They even touched on that historically. Jack was getting it back in spades.[/quote]

    The main difference was that the story with Jack and John went on for years. The story with Jack and Billy barely lasted 3 or 4 months, if that. Jack yelled, Billy tried to squeeze out a tear or two, and that was it. It had nothing to do with family drama. I don’t think it had a purpose beyond degrading Jack, which the show does again and again. If it led to anything interesting for the family I didn’t see it.

  16. Profile photo of goyankees

    Ohhhhh, Bishbay, couldn’t have said it better. This picture, her hair is so pretty. Whenever she came out of the Abbott kitchen the other day and greeted Abby, I jumped out of my skin. Not only is it a style only Sophia Petrillo would lust after, it has a Pink hue (shaking head) how awful.

    And then at the Rehearsal Dinner for Mother Tucker and Assley, (attended by 5, in case ya missed it) Ash say’s “And I love your haircut!” (shaking head faster now) …..

    So we had THAT and Mumbles sexing up Nikki in one day. Give the Damn Emmy to ME for sitting through that!!!! :-)

  17. Profile photo of Dyllan

    In the beginning MAB reinvented the Abbotts, but they have become nothing, but props for the Newmans. All the Abbotts do is prop the Newmans and lost their independence.

  18. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    While I agree with Jamey that MAB&Co are attempting to bring the Abbotts back from their near ruin by LML&Co, I think the Abbotts are a bit too meshed into the Newmans, especially with Abby being half Newman and Billy being married to one. I’ve been calling them the “Newbott” orbit recently because they have completely become an intersecting Venn diagram. Jack and his ex-step son Nick share two ex-wives and Diane (Victor’s wife) between them. Ashley is engaged to a man that owns Jabot and is trying to steal Beauty of Nature, a Newman company. This is vastly improved from LML damn near writing the Abbotts off the show, but I would love if the Abbotts had some storylines completely independent from the Newman orbit.

  19. Profile photo of ChrisGa

    I don’t love everything MAB does–her tendency with regards to redundant (cough*doppelgangers*cough)and occasionally lazy, ankle-deep storytelling doesn’t do this show’s history any favors–but I do appreciate that the current regime does try to lend some focus to the Abbotts, who in my mind have long been the very best family on soaps. Bringing Beth Maitland back periodically(though I still wish she was on contract and used more)just makes me appreciate the good things about this show; there’s nothing more gratifying for me(someone who’s been watching this show on and off for the last thirty years)than to see scenes with ALL the Abbott siblings. I enjoy Billy and Abby both to some degree, but the Abbotts for me will always be Jack, Ashley, Traci and, until his death, John.

  20. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    Beth/Traci looks a little better with the shorter hair cut, but it is still not flattering to her. A light shade of brown might be okay, but not the two tone or the awful whitish blonde that is so obviously from a bottle.

  21. Profile photo of marknsprmo

    I would love to see more Abbot family including Jill. She was always the mover and the shaker in the family. John was the level head and the morality. Jack was the wild card. Ashley the one who is on the edge. Tracy the sweet and afiable one. One never really got a handle on Brad. He was always this big mystery. Who exactly was Brad? Dina was Auntie Mame, blows in declares a holiday and blows back out. Coleen sweet and nuturing like her mother. Abbey well Abbey needs a spanking (and no not the kind she would enjoy). Billy was once the good kid with bad luck who is now the spitting image of his brother. I have always enjoyed the family but they are not a family unit anymore. There are no breakfasts, or family meetings or long discussions in the living room (always loved their house). I think it’s time Jack settled down got married and became the patriarch of this family that it deserves. This might sound a little strange but I think he should hook back up with Jill and they pull this once great family back together along with rebuilding the family company.

  22. Profile photo of Angie Lucy
    Angie Lucy

    I agree that Jill is an Abbott. I always hated how far removed from them she became when they rewrote her maternity 20 times.

    To me, Jabot symbolizes the Abbotts. Jack was dead on when he told Katherine off about her never selling Jabot back to him. If she wants to keep it because it’s a good investment, then say so. But don’t keep it because you think you’re the new parent and it’s your place to determine which Abbott is worthy of the family business. Katherine’s treatment of Jabot is like MAB’s treatment of the Abbotts: “Yeah, you’re an ‘important’ family, but only if you can stay in line, behind the Newmans. You can’t become potent again because you’re not responsible enough.”

  23. Profile photo of The_Moustache

    its high time Jack was in charge of Jabot again (even though his mismanagement is why he lost it in the first place)!

    maybe this time around things will be different and they’ll SORAS Kyle to be his right hand man.

  24. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    I think its way overdue that the Abbots re-gain control of Jabot as for what Beth is saying I don’t quite see it that way but whatever…for whatever reason. I’m just glad Traci is back and I’m hoping Jack and Ashley can win a few rounds.

  25. Profile photo of glowery

    I am glad to see Beth back, I wish it was on a permanent basis. But to hear her sing the praises of MAB really irks me. Is that woman’s ego that fragile? As far as MAB writng good stories on occasion, well even a blind hog will find a grain of corn ever once in a while.

  26. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    [quote=glowery]I am glad to see Beth back, I wish it was on a permanent basis. But to hear her sing the praises of MAB really irks me. Is that woman’s ego that fragile? As far as MAB writng good stories on occasion, well even a blind hog will find a grain of corn ever once in a while.[/quote]

    This might have been interesting except for the kissing up to that worthless MAB, that is the poorest writer ever on this soap.

  27. Profile photo of pennywise555

    The re-invented Abbotts need to inform Billy, that his mother, who’s name is Jill (MOM to him,) is still alive. In addition he should be aware that she owns half the Chancellor mansion and resides there with his daughter Delia.

    Billy also needs to be informed that both Lucy and Delia are his Mom’s granddaughters and maybe he should call her an let her know that both of them are involved in custody battles. I think he should his mother know before he informs faux-blood-Abbott Ashley.

  28. Profile photo of tedew

    Jill is still alive!?!? Who knew?

    At any rate, if Jill were to come fully back to life and teamed up with the purported dragon lady Kay; the stale dated Phyllis would not stand a chance!

  29. Profile photo of wiggum

    [quote=pennywise555]Billy also needs to be informed that both Lucy and Delia are his Mom’s granddaughters and maybe he should call her an let her know that both of them are involved in custody battles. I think he should his mother know before he informs faux-blood-Abbott Ashley.[/quote]

    Yeah but Billy doesn’t know that Ashley isn’t his sister though and I would assume that Jess Walton is more expensive than Eileen so that’s why we don’t see as much of her

  30. Profile photo of GLTURNS70

    THE NEWMANS AND THE ABBOTTS ARE DAYTIMES biggest family rival I think it’s only fair to add that Abby and Billy&Victoria are the pay off of that last 20-25 years of story. I think its a just pay off because Billy & Victoria are wildly popular and Abby is a pretty dynamic character in her own rights. I think its important to look at the products of the Newman Abbott fued and to understand how it has inpacted what we see today.

  31. Profile photo of Carol2

    If boring Bacteria and overaged Abby, who veers between Paris Hilton (how daring…in 2004) and bad plot device, are the product of years of Abbott and Newman stories, then it’s a pretty shabby statement.

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