Maria Arena Bell Speaks Out on Kay Chancellor Switcheroo at Young and Restless!


The Young and the Restless showrunner Maria Arena Bell has issued a statement to Soap Opera Digest concerning published reports of Jeanne Cooper being temporarily replaced as Kay Chancellor by primetime legend Michael Learned (The Waltons).


"Jeanne is an integral part of our show and we look forward to her imminent return," said Executive Producer/Head Writer Maria Arena Bell in a statement. "We have great storyline coming up for Mrs. Chancellor."

Learned, who won raves for a recent guest stint as a terminally ill patient on General Hospital, will first air as the Genoa City matriarch on Nov. 10. Cooper, who has been ill for a few weeks, is expected to return to Y&R later this month.

Photos by PR Photos

19 Responses

  1. Profile photo of alstonboy4315

    Great storyline? Maria Bell has no idea what that is.

    But either way, I hope Jeanne a speedy recovery. She is the heart and soul of the show and without her, it’s even less worthy of my time!!!

  2. Profile photo of pennywise555

    Awww, I hope Jeanne feels better soon.

    If it’s only going to be a couple weeks why do they need a temp? Her story climaxed with Tucker finding out about Devon last week, and Jabot is back with Jack. The November sweeps article below doesn’t mention any of them, and all the newcomers coming aboard don’t have anything to do with Katherine Chancellor that I can see.

    Can’t they delay whatever story is coming up for her until she is better? Jill’s completely out of story why not have Jill and Yolanda have a little fun in the mausoleum until Jeanne comes back?

  3. Profile photo of miztee246

    [quote=alstonboy4315]Great storyline? Maria Bell has no idea what that is.

    But either way, I hope Jeanne a speedy recovery. She is the heart and soul of the show and without her, it’s even less worthy of my time!!![/quote]

    Alston, I must co-sign your post! 100% — I know that’s redundant, but I consider Jeanne Cooper as irreplaceable in the Katherine Chancellor role as Susan Lucci is in the role of Erica Kane.

    I watch (or should I say suffer through?)GH and Michael Learned was excellent in her role there. I just hope for ML’s sake, MAB will take heed to the viewer’s comments and clean up the writing.

  4. Profile photo of harlee490

    I hope Jeanne has a wonderful birthday and she’s in my prays to mend fast. Even though it has been over 3 months since I have watched but through the promos and when I was watching she didn’t look well IMO. Long-time viewers of any soaps can see this on their TVs of these iconic characters…aka Nancy Hughes, Aunt Meta, Bert Bauer, HB Lewis, Ada Davis etc….all had changed in appearance and your heart just breaks after watching all of them for decades. We need Mrs. C and Jeanne on canvas. Is Hatchet-head Maria have a plan if she can’t return to recast Jeanne with someone else like Ms. Learned? It’s Maria’s M.O. to cast a role with a past prime-time person? Please Jeanne God-speed and hurry back so when I do come back to watch post-Maria era ( ;) I know you are there to be Mrs. C…not a character I don’t recognize on the show. Love you Jeanne Cooper!! :) :)

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

    :(( :(( :(( :(( Get well Jeanne – the scripts they gave you probably made you sick, as you (Kay) were definitely not yourself.

    The show needs Mrs C to be the voice of reason and not a female Victor- one of him is enough! :bigsmile:

  6. Profile photo of GHdoolFan

    *Sigh* Get well soon Jeanne! Please. I love her and I really don’t want her to be temp recast, BUT if it had to happen Michael Learned is a perfect choice. it will be awkward regardless of who it is but at least its a top of the line actress. Wow. I cried more during her stint and when she died than when most regular characters die. She made a huge impact in a short time there.

  7. Profile photo of harlee490

    Giogio…a friend always told me because of my longevity of watching CBS’s soaps can be a double edge sword. Sometimes good for knowing the history and sometimes bad because newer viewers might not know the whole history and being intrigued by actor or story. Good for you, like me watching Days now you don’t have the baggage as a longtime viewer and can see it through fresh eyeballs. I’m not saying ML is a bad actor. For me it would be super hard to swallow. NOBODY plays that drunken lush of Mrs. C…like Jeanne Cooper. God-speed once again Jeanne.

  8. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    Love Jeanne Cooper and wish her a speedy recovery. I’m a big fan of Michael Learned and I’m REALLY interested in seeing her take on Katherine Chancellor. Hey maybe Ralph Waite is available to play Murphy for a month, LOL! Michael Fairman looks old enough to be Learned’s GRANDPA. They’re going to have to send him off on another one of his long fishing trips.

  9. Profile photo of giogio

    Harlee – know what you mean. Never knew Katherine got drunk. See what I misseed. All I have ever watched was ABC soaps. Now I got so hooked on Y&R that I regret not adding it to my list. I hope I get to see her get drunk. Godspeed is right. Wish her all the best.

  10. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    [quote=alstonboy4315]Great storyline? Maria Bell has no idea what that is.

    But either way, I hope Jeanne a speedy recovery. She is the heart and soul of the show and without her, it’s even less worthy of my time!!![/quote]

    HEY! Alstonboy, I doubt that Maria Bell can even spell, GREAT STORY LINE, and I know for a fact that she sure as hell can’t write one. Hurry back Jeanne, we will miss you.

  11. Profile photo of tedew

    It is true that Jeanne Cooper IS Katherine Chancellor but I have certainly not been a fan of her character for much too long now. Could it be that the “writing” she has had to interpret as of late has damaged her health?

    At any rate, I also am very fond of Michael Learned (who is a very varied and accomplished actress) and am sure she will be a very capable substitute.

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