Michael Muhney on Young and Restless Viewer Erosion “How Do You Plug That Leak?”

The Young and the Restless' Michael Muhney is one who never pulls any punches. Muhney spoke with TV Watercooler regarding his thoughts on what can make the #1 show in daytime live up to the title.

Days of our Lives is going through a reboot to bring back the viewers they lost, what about The Young and the Restless? It's been the number one rated soap opera in the United States and Canada, however the ratings are falling. Fans aren't too happy with the current storylines. They want to see Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) back for instance, rather than new characters that aren't working out. What's being done to make fans happy?

I have just heard some good news. There's optimism that can be had on the horizon, in terms of steering the ship in more finer, maybe acute direction. Just a couple of weeks ago, there were folks that were let go from the show [Tristian Rogers (Colin), Darius McCrary (Malcolm), Sean Patrick Flanery (Sam) along with Eden Riegel (Heather)]. I sniff on the horizon that perhaps another three or four in another six months ago. There's been talk by journalists, my fellow actors, by fans and by the network that we have a rather large cast. What if we streamline the cast and knock off, and this is just an arbitrary number, 10 folks and we really cut the fat off? I think that's happening.

I want to tell people that I think there's going to be a stronger focus on core characters. I think it's going to take some time, after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas. It's already happening. I can sense that the show is telling stories about more core folks and getting rid of other characters.Yeah, it's losing viewers. It's hemorrhaging viewers at times, and you have to wonder, how do you plug that leak?

To read the entire interview, click here!

38 Responses

  1. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Michael, I love you. But you refuse to say what really needs to be said, “As long as Maria Arena Bell holds the reins at Y&R, the show will never be as good as it has been in the past and can be again.”

  2. Profile photo of harlee490

    Michael is just plain wrong. I read this a couple of days ago and it sounds like spin to me. But the drumbeat is getting stronger and CBS and must be starting to feel the pressure. Sony, who knows because of the guy in-charge and his email address is not reading any of the emails he’s deleting all. So snail is the best way and still been sending one out once a week. As long as Murdering Maria and the whole writing staff is intact nothing will change. Maria has made many statements how she writes “character driven” stories…is a big fat LIE. If Sony really wants to step in and do something then put the pressure on who needs to realize Maria is NOT the right person for the Y&R is Bill Bell, Jr. her husband. The Bells are in denial or they just don’t want to make the change because of family. Family is one thing but business is a whole another ballgame. MAB is destroying this soap, the cast has to also be feeling the aniexty of the fans. Regardless of who they try to put out front, God Bless MTS for coming back but until MAB is gone I won’t return as a viewer.

  3. Profile photo of Myst Stied
    Myst Stied

    No offense, but letting Tristan Rogers go was not good news especially to this viewer..Actually letting him go is the main reason this longtime viewer will stop watching when he leave… Taken away Jill Abbott (a legacy character) love interest especially when Jess and Tristan chemistry was so amazing and Jill and Colin was becoming a popular pair) does not endears fans to the show. It was not a good move period….They really need to bring him back..The actors ain’t the problem. The show need news writers that knows how to write for soap operas and tell 18traditional soap stories.

  4. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    Michael Muhney is entirely too mouthy for his own good and he’d better be careful sounding off the way he does or he’ll be one of the remaining five that they let go. He keeps whining in his tweets why they keep giving him long stretches of time off. They do the same thing to Kristoff St. John whenever he says “too much” to the soap media.

    True, Tristan Rogers was one of those refugees from another soap, but (IMHO) it was a DREADFUL mistake letting him go. Plus Y&R is not *trimming the fat.* Every time they let someone go they hire 3 or 4 new people. We have some American Idol reject coming on, some chick pertaining to Billy’s storyline, Lauren’s son Scotty coming back, and a couple more characters I can’t think of at the moment.

    This show is a TRAIN WRECK. And I’m about to get off.

  5. Profile photo of koalygirl

    What an ego. Of course he is putting himself in that circle of “core characters” but I’m sure he’ll gritch when he sees the teflon Victor stealing all the screenspace and Adam having less time. On the other hand, kissing up to MAB may be the safest thing to do. Get on her bad side an you’re out. Be on her good side (ahem… Genie Francis) and you stay on no matter how much fans complain. I’m wondering about”Occupy Beverly Blvd” (CBS) or “Occupy Washington Blvd” (Sony) events, because these corporations use us for our money (through ratings and sponsors), claim “CBS Cares” (rme), yet throw us all under the bus. Bell got rid of pure gold in having Tristan on the show. She taunted us with a feast, and let us get a good taste, and then slung it off the table in lieu of moldy oatmeal.

    Yes, yes, yes, the cast is too full, but look at how easily Bell adds unnecessary parts that bring nothing. Tristan filled out a need for Cane and Jill, and answered (or was supposed to answer) questions about Cane’s past. Colin bolstered Jill’s part and I smiled and laughed during my show for the first time in a long while. Sure cut some part, like GenV, Yoharmony, the incoming mobsters that have nothing to do with Colin. While you’re at it, get rid of Adam.

  6. Profile photo of jetty

    I haven’t watched Y&R in about two months and won’t go back until MAB is gone and at least some of the storyline travesties are fixed. The story with Delia’s leukemia was the final straw for me (my mom died of the same illness and I didn’t want to revisit that), but the dreadful, never-ending stories and loathsome characters on this show made it very hard to watch at all.

    I’m convinced TPTB are in line with what the networks want: To destroy the remaining daytime soaps on all networks by spacing out the cancellations of the remaining shows (don’t need to send up another red flag like the joint axing of AMC/OLTL), replace them with cheaper programming, keep the highest upper management execs in network berths, and fire middle management, cast, and crew.

  7. Profile photo of soapbaby

    ^^ jetty, I am sorry to hear about your mother and do not blame you for not watching the Delia s/l, it’s disgusting enough with Victor and Michael’s behavior without the possibility of kicking up sad memories.

    I agree with you about the networks wanting out of soaps. But Sony oversees Days of Our Lives and with it’s reboot, it’s been very good.

  8. Profile photo of jetty

    Thank you for the kind remarks, soapbaby!

    I’ve never been a regular DOOL viewer (although I used to keep up with all the shows through Soap Opera Digest and weekly soap updates in the paper), but I did watch a couple of episode on SoapNet since the reboot. It looks a million times better (a lot less purple!) and was happy to see familiar faces. Hope the ratings start to reflect the show’s improved quality.

  9. Profile photo of Restless Fan
    Restless Fan

    As long as Maria Bell and Hogan Sheffer are allowed to smear their stink on this show it will never get better. The storytelling needs to be radically overhauled. These writers rush through plot like the show is about to end. They write cliche story after cliche story. They have no respect for the history of it’s characters and almost all of the new characters they have created have been inferior to the legacy ones.

    Focusing on the vets is nice (and sadly it took them losing almost a million viewers since May to figure that out) but with the limited creative talent of both these writers the problem will always exist. Get rid of both these hacks now!!!

  10. Profile photo of soapbaby

    You are welcome jetty.

    Ya know, I am just a “see it to believe it” kinda girl. I mean, I counted DAYS out years ago and upon September 26_ BOOM_ back in love again! Y&R and GH both need major overhauls. I will not believe any statements of improvement until I see it played out on screen. DAYS is delivering quality and while it does, I will support it. Just that simple.

  11. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    Sony & CBS need to fire MAB & her team. Get rid of Scott Hamner, who somehow is still there from LML’s era.

    Then get back Ed Scott as the executive producer. Maybe even rehire Kay Alden. She was ten times better than MAB on her best day. I rather have some stolen sperm storyline than this nonsense.

    As for Michael, it’s great that an actor makes his opinion known. I’m all for it. But how they are writing the character of Adam has really become part of the problem. When they broke that connection between Sharon and Adam (that he would never hurt her intentionally again), his character was dead and buried to me.
    In this interview, I thought it was very sad what we found out about Maura West’s last days on the set. Just be glad that you are off that horrible show, Maura!!!

  12. Profile photo of Cyberologist

    I realize the guy can’t say his boss has to go I mean especially since she is a Bell but actually that is the problem IMO an Executive Producer/Headwriter rolled into one…

    Even when Niki was on the canvas how was she written? As a Victor Newman doormat.

    I mean its the writing basically you can get rid of character X, Y Z but if the “storytelling is the problem” then you got a problem. Personally I am not pleased with the way Tristan, Genie, Stephen are being written…

    core what?

    I mean aren’t the Newmans in story? Aren’t the Abbotts in story many fans want Jabot back in Abbot hands yet Maria refuses to do this …

    Aren’t the Winters in story? Devon finally has a storyline without SiLLy. I like Cane but I’m tired of this I hate my mummy /daddy crap now we get two other icons of daytime Debbi Morgan/Stephen Nichols in a I hate my mummy /daddy storyline…so?

    Isn’t Phyllis in a storyline with her sister who I don’t give two hoots about…

    Its how these stories are told Also treating your actors lie crap them finding out they’ve been fired online isn’t endearing Maria get your shit together for the good of the show admit you’re burnt out and delegate. You’re still the big cheese.

  13. Profile photo of ldylkng

    Go away Michael, He acts like he has been a core character! Well, if I were in charge he would be gone,baby ,GONE!!!

    Yes, he can act, But the writers destroyed the man early on, he needs to go to prison,Pay for his sins, and come back in a couple of years as the man his Mother would have really raised. Hope would be spinning in her grave.

  14. Profile photo of gato1

    With all due respect to all the Colin/Jill shippers, I dont get it!!! They were on together maybe once a week & his relationship with her was always an afterthought!

  15. Profile photo of Pure_Diva

    I’m aware that Y&R was losing viewers under LML,but it was a trickle. I don’t think the deluge started until Adam’s gaslighting of Ashley and the unfortunate fireplace incident. Not only did he get away with it, but they tried to make him look like a victim. And before that, we had Victor telling Nikki that he wished her dead instead of what’s-her-name. I mean, I almost quit Y&R myself after that. No offense to MM, but The Newman Show turned a whole lot of viewers off, so I don’t get why he’s feeling so secure. MAB/HS/SH have taken this show in a direction that viewers just don’t want to go. The misogyny, the overused doppelgangers, the senseless killing of characters, the way long-term characters are behaving in ways they NEVER would before… there’s just not enough bandwidth to describe the depths of my anger over the HW’s butchering of what used to be a classic soap.

    We need Headwriters who respect the audience and the genre. As a woman, I am constantly insulted by what they write for us.

  16. Profile photo of For Whom the Bells Toll
    For Whom the Bells Toll

    I recently watched parts of old episodes from the 80’s on YouTube with Jerry Douglas and realised what the show is missing – characters you can respect, who are GOOD people with hearts. There is too much evil,nastiness and ruthlessness now. No more murder mysteries are needed or characters straying from their innate personalties. The show needs to give us more love and romance and incorporate storylines that are relevant to the 21st century.
    Also, how many times does Jack have to try to get control of Jabot – LET HIM HAVE IT and stories can develop from this. :crown: :crown:
    Victor has become the “father from hell” : I thought Colleen’s heart might have redeemed him in some way but he now thinks he can play God and he is an awful character! >) >) >) >) >)
    Michael is another character who has become a “yes” man and he now has no morals or heart in regard to the assignments he takes. Would Lauren approve of what he is doing to Billy? He is a father for God’s sake!!! ;)
    Get new writers in and get them to read the history of the show and also sit them down to look at old episodes to get a feel for what is good story-telling………….please!!!!! :(( :(( :(( :(( :(( :((

  17. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    [quote=gato1]With all due respect to all the Colin/Jill shippers, I dont get it!!! They were on together maybe once a week & his relationship with her was always an afterthought![/quote]
    I totally agree with you. Not to mention that Colin was another poorly developed character under MAB. Tristan Rogers is a fantastic actor and his chemistry with Jess Walton was great … but seriously, his character – this awful background mess of Cane didn’t do Colin any favors. And then … he had to be a mob boss.

    I won’t be missing him. Y&R isn’t that kind of show that needs a character like Colin.

  18. Profile photo of AshleyFan

    This guy who plays Adam has a gigantic ego. Who is he to comment on the fate of other actors? I truly hope Adam leaves the show, because he and nuHeather are the reason I stopped watching!

  19. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    For Whom the Be….

    I agree with your assessment. I find it difficult to root for ANYONE on this show anymore, because they are all either a.) too ruthless, b.) too bitchy, c.) too stupid or d.) too boring to give a rat’s ass about. There is nothing of any real substance that is worth the emotional investment anymore.

  20. Profile photo of Pure_Diva

    [quote]This guy who plays Adam has a gigantic ego. Who is he to comment on the fate of other actors? I truly hope Adam leaves the show, because he and nuHeather are the reason I stopped watching![/quote]

    The ironic part of MM’s “genius” (side-eye) analysis and comments about the fate of other actors is that HE was whining all over another MB not that long ago about people who didn’t like Adam because he had a family to support and implied people who were calling for Adam to leave Genoa City would put his job in jeopardy.

    But I guess it’s OK to get rid of every other character except for his. Nobody else needs a regular income right?

    The Adam character is actually one of the worst things to happen to this show and MM is not the second-coming of YR.

  21. Profile photo of Chelley62

    [quote=Restless Fan] The storytelling needs to be radically overhauled. These writers rush through plot like the show is about to end. They write cliche story after cliche story. They have no respect for the history of it’s characters and almost all of the new characters they have created have been inferior to the legacy ones.

    Focusing on the vets is nice (and sadly it took them losing almost a million viewers since May to figure that out) but with the limited creative talent of both these writers the problem will always exist. Get rid of both these hacks now!!![/quote]

    Spot on! They made the mistake of not checking the history or think viewers don’t remember old storylines- sorry but WE do! We know what good story telling and execution is because many of us have been watching for decades and this is NOT it!

  22. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    Restless Fan and Chelley 62, your posts speak eloquently to the state of this show today.

    I’ve watched Days since the eighties and Y&R since the early nineties. When Days was bad, I felt really sad and embarrassed. My history with that show goes back to my childhood, so it was like being hurt by a family member.

    Now that Y&R is bad, I’m not sad; I’m furious. It feels like being betrayed by someone you thought was a really good friend. I try to keep my posts on any particular topic balanced. There is way too much negativity in the world. The only positive thing I can say about Y&R is that at least the veteran performers are still there.

  23. Profile photo of harlee490

    @SoapArmageddon ….So true about Y&R. I’m like you with CBS and Y&R does have their vets still present they are being pushed aside for the most part except the Newmans and MAB has one by one changed or destroyed the characters for her own ego trip because she carries the last name of Bell. Even LML didn’t destroy the characters like MAB…I can’t believe that came out of mouth but it’s true. There is absolutely no ROMANCE on canvas, its dark, violent and increasingly will get more violent with the new family of singing Sopranos. Balance Balance Balance..Bill Bell Sr. kept a balance show…his son Bill Bell Jr. is the business executive and needs to step in and say “honey, I love you but you’re fired”. Y&R isn’t so far gone which could be corrected and show why they been #1 since ’88. When the day comes and see on DC Marie Arena Bell FIRED…I will dance a jig and come home. MAB could be possibly hurting some outstanding actors for future roles because they will be remembered are their last disastrous role on Y&R not mentioning could be hurting the whole industry. The big wigs will see “well if Y&R is this bad daytime is dead”. It makes me furious because of my deep seeded love for CBS’s soaps.

  24. Profile photo of YR Southern Observer
    YR Southern Observer

    I just had to stop watching my dvr’d episdodes from this week Y&R…I had no idea Genie Francis was coming back this week. I am sorry, but I just cant’t watch her. It is beyond painful. Seriously, how do they let go Tristan Rogers and keep her?? I have watched for over 30 years and for a good while now, it just doesn’t seem to matter if I watch or not. What have the writers, producers etc done to this once wonderful show??

  25. Profile photo of tedew

    For Whom The Bells Toll … your Victor paragraph above is just so right on. I am so fed up with his running the lives of others and getting away with all that he does to do it. Someone just please finally stand up to him! If Victor had just one ounce of humility in him or just one more (actually even one) layer of depth to him then I could possible stand what he does. But he doesn’t so I can’t.

    I’m still thinking that Victor did set Billy up. At any rate, whatever he did that was so bad can’t really be all that bad. Billy … just snap to it and fight for yourself and for your life. Set the ball rolling for all to finally realize once and for all exactly who and what Victor Newman is!

  26. Profile photo of harlee490

    SoapArmageddon …what can i say..I’m die hard “Lighter” and have many pictures of GL & ATWT and love to change them up. It has just got me so damn excited about DVD collection and being able to watch my soaps again online come the new year…even if it I know what will happen and they will not be new episodes makes me giddy to simply enjoy some good old fashion soap opera. But never say never because if this is successful who’s say we can’t visit Oakdale and Springfield again in the future…HMMMM ;)

  27. Profile photo of RebeccaJ

    Of course MM isn’t going to say anything about MAB directly and really why should he jeopardize his job? It’s not like he has the entire cast behind him supporting him if he gets the old heave-ho. That’s the problem. They didn’t stand together and look what happened to Kristoff, as someone else pointed out.

    BUT I have to say MM’s comment about how the show is going to get better “..after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas” had me rolling. So he’s admitting currently it’s utter crap? Gonna make the next month and a half seem like an eternity.

  28. Profile photo of Dyllan

    Personally, I’m sick of MM. Why does he think he is not the “fat” that needs to be trimmed. What makes his character a legacy? Puhlzee! This guy is way too full of himself and his acting is not that good, IMO.

  29. Profile photo of Restless Vixen
    Restless Vixen

    [quote=RebeccaJ]BUT I have to say MM’s comment about how the show is going to get better “..after Thanksgiving, but before Christmas” had me rolling. So he’s admitting currently it’s utter crap? Gonna make the next month and a half seem like an eternity.[/quote]

    LOLing with you RebeccaJ. Sometimes you gotta read between the lines with MM. He’s not going to declare that Y&R is crap right now. But at least he’s not treating fans like we’re stupid for hating the show right now with myriad plot points going nowhere and insignificant characters in what is now a humongous cast. Hate his character all you wanna, but at least the man is (subtlely, mind you), agreeing with frustrated fans that something needs to change. We surely wouldn’t get that much from Hackerena (love this), Sheffer, or the other guy (Jeff, Josh, Scott, or something like that)

    I don’t blame Michael Muhney for considering himself part of the “core” either. Adam is Victor’s son for one thing, and Victor isn’t going anywhere. As much as many hate Victor (myself included), I highly doubt EB will leave unless it’s his decision to retire. And as polarizing as the Adam character may be, it’s clear that MAB loves him. You can practically hear the “squee” whenever she mentions him when she graces us with her presence for an interview.

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