DC #681: Ding Dong The Witch is Gone



On today’s Daytime Confidential podcast Luke Kerr, Jamey Giddens, Jillian Bowe and Regan Cellura dive into the firing of Maria Arena Bell at The Young and the Restless. What led to event fans had long awaited? What will be the fallout? Former General Hospital executive producer Jill Farren Phelps has been hired to take over at Y&R. What can fans expect from the incoming team? Will the cast be cleaned up?  Jamey and Jillian share the scoop they’re hearing from sources.

After thoroughly dissecting the upheaval at Y&R, the DC gang dives into the latest headlines and storylines from The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital and Days of Our Lives.

All this and oh so much more on today’s Daytime Confidential podcast!

 


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Comments

Member since:
27 December 2009
Last activity:
1 hour 18 min

Wow.....I don't mind Judith Chapman's character on Y&R. I would keep her. I like how she has become the new Gina. However, Jeffrey and Anita can go.

Does someone know any more stories Maria wrote besides the chipmunk storyline?

LMAO @ the conference.

Yoryla's picture
Member since:
26 May 2012
Last activity:
4 hours 43 min

It's Monday! I want new info! Who's gonna stay and who's gonna go? Get cracking, insiders.

pferrando's picture
Member since:
28 June 2012
Last activity:
2 days 6 hours

It's interesting to read through all the comments on this thread. I think people forget that it was Lynn Latham that made Y and R unrecognizable starting in 2006/2007. MAB rescued the show, HOWEVER, she never really succeeded with the writing aspect. The production of the show is in great shape. People talk about the ratings, but it's still by far the #1 show. ALL ratings for all shows are not in goood shape. If JFP thinks she can come in and clean house, all she will do is alienate long time viewers. There are not a lot of NEW daytime viewers to get, so there is a fine line here and I predict if she makes changes, you'll see the show fall below a 3.0 share for the first time. I hope she has a short term contract, because I want her gone if the show heads south. As for Josh, I believe he was a writer under LML as well, so I don't have a lot of faith in him. We'll see. What we do need is to restore the show to the point it was pre-2006. I'd jump for joy is Kay Alden or Jack Smith, Sally Sussman or Ed Scott came back. They understand the show and it's history.

Member since:
23 May 2012
Last activity:
3 days 14 hours

Have mixed feelings about Jill Phelps taking over, I also watch General Hospital and between her and Bob Guza,s writings, the show became so dark, all about the mob, car bombs, killing off vets, etc. I stopped watching GH till I read Phelps was fired the beginning of this year. GH may not be perfect, but it's a heck of a lot better then it was under Phelps. Y &R desperately needed a change. First, get rid of the horrible couplings, Victor and Sharon-YUCK!!! Sharon just totally annoys me with her stuck-up blonde attitude. Eric Braeden, he is the star of the show, though his mumbling gets under my nerves. I loved Debbie Morgan on AMC but I can't stand her character of Harmony on Y & R. Get rid of the bad wig and stupid street talk. Also Sarge, just isn't working on this show. Most of the All My Children actors just haven't connected on this show. Billy, stop with those pyscho facial expressions and that wack-out smile!! And Catherine Bach, wow, plastic surgery at it's worst!!! I like Chelses and Adam, 2 good actors. A little less of Phylis, I like her, she acts and looks so old Hollywood, like a young Lauren Becall. But, I don't want to see her everyday. Genie Francis just doesn't work on this show, and I loved her as Laura on GH. May-be once Tristian Rogers returns it'll get better. I just hope Phelps doesn't make this show into a dark mess like GH was for a few years.

harlee490's picture
Member since:
6 December 2009
Last activity:
1 day 11 hours

I relished the podcast, excellent job guys! Cooking chicken! LMAO!

Question pferrando....how will she alienate longtime viewers (as moi) by cleaning house? I'm not in fear for the true vets (CBS & Sony has her on a short rope...noose) the newbies yes I want them axed. You're assuming the worse and JFP is going to go hog wild with no restraint...simply not going to happen. CBS & Sony wants to make it fan friendly and if JFP can pop the ratings back to 3.4 and stay in the next 6 months to a year CBS will be happy and probably renew for another year of two as Jamey stated.

First of all Y&R has never dropped below 3.0 (close) and new EP & writing is so needed. What makes me question your comment is the date you joined and then being so negative. If it was a longtime poster we could agree to disagree and I'm thinking more of "mole", could be wrong and probably am, but I don't trust anyone who just joined and being this negative if you are long time viewer you would want the best.

Jamey you had mentioned about staffing with some of Bill's longtime writers which ITA, Sally is available, but Kay & John is at B&B, (with huge ratings increase over the last year) not happening, but people forget some of other longtime writers w\Bill, ie Jerry Birn, Rex Best, for example could add the burning passion that fans what from Y&R...to Y&R again. Smile They were there with Kay & John.

Smitty's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
1 week 2 days

Luke Kerr I can't believe you ended the podcast like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL i was so ready to hear the discussion about Victoria Rowell. You owe us big time for this one! Wink

marknsprmo's picture
Member since:
14 June 2009
Last activity:
4 days 21 min

Sidesplittingly funny today guys! And you captured MAB and JFP perfectly Jamie. If more people knew who these two women were you could take that to start a one man show! Or better yet you could start your own websoap . A Soap within a soap! Maybe freeze frame pix with your delightful voice overs. I hope that you are correct about JFP not being able to kill off the vets. I don't need Nicki or Jill to suddenly kill off.

pferrando's picture
Member since:
28 June 2012
Last activity:
2 days 6 hours

Harlee-
I'm only negative because I'm a longtime viewer of the show and I know what works and what doesn't. Why would you be so suspicious about anyone who wants to post. Is this your site?

I think we both want the same thing. I'm just nervous because the prior two regime changes did NOT work. Jill's tenure at GH was not the best.

I never said Y and R fell below a 3.0. I'm afraid it may if more viewers become alienated. Jill's past reputation is to add new families and not use "older" vets. I need my Victor, Nikki, Jack, Kay, Jill, Nick, Sharon, and so on. Remember that LML killed off John! At least MAB has kept the vets on the so.

Let's see what happens. I'm just not dancing in the streets, especially since I like what's been on the show this past year. A huge improvement over 2011.

MsAgentProvocateur1's picture
Member since:
2 December 2011
Last activity:
25 weeks 2 days

For that reason, marknsprmo, I wish they'd bring Steamboat (the web series) back. I got on to it late (watched some episodes on You Tube just before they were pulled from the site) and I thought it was hilarious!

Thanks david46208 for including that clip of Dru vs. Nikki. That is the very Aristotelian definition of Drama (2 opposing forces in a clash with each with their own desires). Soaps need to bring back that coolly atmospheric method of confrontation rather than the constant yelling and screeching and catfighting that has now become the norm (e.g. compare that scene to Nikki and Sharon's barn fight...which one do you find more indicative of two high powered strong women? I know which one I'd pick).

And I definitely agree with harlee490 that these actors need to leave their egos at the door if they want to save this show (even if for a few years longer). I've never heard of a successful production where the actors ran the show, unless it was someone like Ricky Gervais who conceived and wrote the original The Office. If the actors are writing the show, that would be an entirely different argument. If not, feedback from the actors should be limited,jmo, especially in the case where you have a qualified, talented team of writers, which unfortunately did not characterize MAB's time at the helm. Perhaps that is why a few actors ran amok with power to the show's further detriment.

Member since:
26 July 2011
Last activity:
1 day 14 hours

@smitty yes Luke owes us! Left us on a cliffhanger I need a part 2 podcast just for Y&R. Everything Jamey said was true, but here what was posted from another site on the behind the scenes drama...Enjoy!

The show has always been jointly owned by Bell Dramatic Serial Company (the Bells) and Screen Gems Productions (which later was absorbed by Columbia Pictures and later by Sony). Corday Productions also has a very small ownership (about 1%), which results from Bill Bell being under contract with Corday Productions in the early 1970s to write "Days Of Our Lives". In order for Corday Productions to release Bill Bell from his writing duties long enough for him to create a new show (Y&R), he had to give Corday Productions a tiny ownership interest in his new venture.

So by and large, Bill Bell co-existed peacefully with Screen Gems (now Sony). Even though Bell's corporation and Sony were joint owners, Screen Gems allowed William Bell to have "creative control" of Y&R, since the show was his brain child in the first place, and they were primarily just investors from a financial standpoint. Screen Gems really had no reason to balk at Bell's decisions, because after all, the show was consistently successful and was returning a big profit for Screen Gems. However, there were shake-ups at various times. For instance, as Laird pointed out below, there was a point when Screen Gems and CBS wanted to expand the show to an hour-long format, while Bill Bell preferred the thirty-minute format. Eventually, Bill Bell got the message from Screen Gems that if he flatly refused to expand to an hour, a new head writer would be found for the show and he would be out on his ass. Bill Bell himself has admitted this publicly. Since Bell wanted to maintain control, he reluctantly agreed to change the format to an hour. (With the other Bell show, Bold & Beautiful, you'll notice that the Bells have refused to go to an hour, because a company like Screen Gems/Sony isn't holding the purse strings and making demands that the Bells are obliged to go along with.)

So as long as Bill Bell was writing the show (1973 to 1998), there was an agreement -- either formal or informal -- that the Bell family was in charge of the creative aspects of Y&R. But even during those years, Bill Bell didn't exactly style himself as a "showrunner". Yes, he was the head writer, but he always had input from a totally different person who served as the executive producer. For the first nine years, it was John Conboy. When John Conboy left about 1982, Wes Kenney came in as executive producer. When Kenney stepped aside, it was Edward J. Scott. At various times, Bill Bell was billed as the "co-executive producer" or the "senior executive producer", but to my knowledge, Mr. Bell was NEVER the sole executive producer and also the head writer. He felt -- or else Sony felt -- that making the head writer the sole executive producer was placing too much power and too much responsibility in the hands of one person.

In about 1998, Bill Bell stepped down as head writer and turned over the position to his long-time "right hand man", Priscilla Kay Alden Nelson.

My understanding is that at this point, the "management agreement", whether it was a formal document or an informal understanding, terminated. The Bell family no longer enjoyed complete creative control of the show, as Bill Bell was no longer the head writer. The show rocked along from 1998 to 2005, under the supervision of first Kay Alden and then Jack Smith (both of whom were trained by Bill Bell), and Sony was comfortable with this arrangement except for one thing -- the show was losing literally MILLIONS of viewers. Sony's profits were being greatly reduced. Sony became more and more involved in daily management of the show, in order to try to halt the viewership erosion.

Finally, in about 2005, Sony had seen their profits drop to a level where they felt compelled to exercise their authority in a more high-handed manner and dispose of the "Bell regime" that had presided over the drastic drop in viewership. So Sony stepped in -- with the input of CBS executive Barbara Bloom -- and installed Lynn Marie Latham as head writer, kicking Kay Alden and John F. Smith to the curb. But Sony made a drastic mistake when they did this. They named Latham executive producer as well as head writer, in effect giving her complete control over the show. This was never the way the show had been operated by the Bells. The Bell family had always split these two duties, enabling a system of checks and balances so that no one person was the King or Queen of the show. Sony didn't take this into account, and they in effect made Latham the Queen of the show. As the head writer and the executive producer, Latham could do any damn thing she wanted to do. If she wanted to fire somebody, she fired them. If she wanted to rewrite history, she rewrote it. If she wanted to hire her husband and her unemployed son as writers, she did it, and she answered to nobody. She was the Boss in a way that even Bill Bell himself had never, ever been.

This was a financial disaster for both Sony Pictures and for Bell Dramatic Serial Company. The show continued losing viewers, and the profits to both Sony and to the Bell family were continuing to drop. My understanding is that during the writer's strike in 2007 (when Lynn Marie Latham refused to write the show and also refused to PRODUCE the show -- which was her other job, for which she was being well paid), the Bell family went to their partners at Sony and basically said, "Okay, look. You've had your fun. You hired yourself a head writer and you hired yourself an executive producer, and it didn't work out. We're losing viewers, and you're basically ruining the show. It's time for you to give creative control back to our family."

From what I understand, Sony agreed and gave a 5-year period of creative control back to the Bells. Within the five-year period, the decline in viewership was supposed to stabilize, and the show was supposed to return to its glory period, or else creative control would once again revert to Sony Pictures. For the five-year period, Maria Arena Bell -- an alleged novelist who to my knowledge has never actually had a novel published but instead who has spent most of her time shopping and attending art galas -- was placed in charge of Y&R to represent the Bell family. Unfortunately, the Bell family made the same mistake that Sony had made with Lynn Marie Latham: they gave Maria complete control of the show, both as head writer and as executive producer. An astute person like Mr William J Bell would've told his children that this was a terrible idea. But the Baby Bells didn't know any better. So just as Sony had created a big-headed monster with Lynn Marie Latham, the Baby Bells created a big-headed monster with Maria Arena Bell. She did any damn thing she wanted to do. If she wanted to spend the day shopping at Neiman Marcus while the show fell apart, she did it. If she wanted to tell a story about silver chipmunks robbing banks, she did it. If she wanted to air the same worn-out opening credits for ten year periods, she did it. She basically had an attitude of "I'm the boss around here, so the rest of you can jump in the lake."

The ratings continued to decline. Sony's profits and the profits of the Bell family continued to drop. Meanwhile, Maria Bell preened around on red carpets at art council awards in her ugly Neiman Marcus shoes, sat in the Beverly Hills Hilton having cocktails with washed-up stars of old sitcoms and promising them short-term roles on "her" show, sat in her office flipping through Nordstrum catalogs picking out blouses to wear to the next arts council gala, and giving high-handed press conferences where she announced that her silver chipmunk/dueling doppleganger storylines were a tribute to her late father-in-law, Bill Bell, because "I am his heir. This show belongs to me. This is my vision, and I know that Bill Bell would be proud of my wonderful accomplishments", etc., and then flying back to her office to check-out the Neiman Marcus website on her computer. In other words, she became EXACTLY like the horrible Lynn Marie Latham, whom the Bell family had lobbied so hard to replace.

After the five year period began to wind-down where the Bell family had been awarded creative control of the show, Sony Pictures basically said to the Bells, "Okay, kids, this sister-in-law of yours is just as loony and incompetent as the Latham Hag she replaced," and the Bells all nodded their heads in sad agreement and said, "Yep, she sure is." Brad Bell pretty much admitted that his entire cast on Bold & Beatiful had been harvested from people that his deranged sister-in-law had fired in her one-woman campaign to prove to the Arts Council that she was the Big Bad Boss Lady of a daytime soap.

Sony said, "Okay, we want to get rid of Miss Arena and take back contol of the show its final two years of production. Do you Bell kids have any objections?" Lauralee Bell and Brad Bell said, "We've as tired of Maria as you are. Please fire her." The Sony representatives gasped and said, "Okay, we'll hire a new executive producer and a new head writer, but you kids have to tell her that she's fired, because we're just a little bit scared of her since she's such a lunatic." Brad and Lauralee said, "No way, we're not telling her; we're scared of her, too. She's nuts." So the oldest brother in the Bell family, Bill Bell Jr, was assigned the task of telling his fruity wife that she'd been relieved of her duties in the best interests of the Bell family and Sony Pictures. Maria immediately got drunk off her ass and started writing crazy things on Facebook (or FacePlace, as she would probably call it), proving to everyone that the correct decision had been made.

That's my understanding of what happened. And no -- it wasn't a surprise to me. I didn't think Sony would put up with the nutty Mrs. Bell much longer.

Coffee_Junkie's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
2 days 10 hours

If JFP loves the MOB maybe Jill and Colin will be returning as planned. Smile

Love the synopsis in #40, by the way, LOL!

MsAgentProvocateur1's picture
Member since:
2 December 2011
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25 weeks 2 days

Maybe someone can fill me in about the intrigue with the MOCA. I heard there is a power struggle of sorts on that Board.

Member since:
7 November 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 59 min

MsAgentProvocateur1 wrote:
Maybe someone can fill me in about the intrigue with the MOCA. I heard there is a power struggle of sorts on that Board.

ISN'T MOCA, SOME KIND OF COFFEE FLAVORING?

Member since:
14 June 2011
Last activity:
4 min 34 sec

MOCA stands for Museum of Contemporary Art... Innocent

Coffee_Junkie's picture
Member since:
30 March 2009
Last activity:
2 days 10 hours

And the Museum of Sex is called "MoSex". Is that still in New York?

tori87dec's picture
Member since:
13 March 2012
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9 weeks 3 days

Genie is wonderful on Y&R and she herself said she doesn't want to go back to GH and the shows producer just commented in an article that they're happy with all their daytime players at this time but wish Genie the best. GenV is becoming a very popular character on Y&R and her chemisty with Stephen Nichols is wonderful. She's great in all her scenes with anyone she plays against. Until the actress or show states she's leaving I will choice not to believe it and look forward to Tristan(Colin) and Jess Walton(Jill) to return in the fall to drum up alot of trouble for everyone involved. Everything remains to be seen!

david46208's picture
Member since:
15 January 2009
Last activity:
6 hours 26 min

@tori87dec: Genie is a wonderful mess! Like Margret Thatcher once said, "One must know when to go!"

I'm sure the new regime will give her the pink slip and quick. There is no need for her portrayal as a very bad version of Cruella DeVille. This ain't a Walt Disney production!
http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=10d02995b22afd579c6503f&skin_id=701...

jamison's picture
Member since:
19 April 2012
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33 weeks 1 day

WOW Luke fan of (Lumi). Jamey (?????)hates Alisons S acting! Jillian is more reasonable on her comments! Hmm & Regan NOT a fan of DAYS at all ( Hates Ej or James) unbelievable!!! A lot of negativity & Yes I'm an Ejami fan. This is just my personal opinion sorry!

jamison's picture
Member since:
19 April 2012
Last activity:
33 weeks 1 day

By the way Love Lucas & I'm glad his back!

Member since:
22 January 2008
Last activity:
18 hours 48 min

I do not hate Alison Sweeney's acting. I am actually a fan of Alison Sweeney and Sami, I just do not believe she should even be mentioned in the same sentence with General Hospital's Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky) when discussing acting chops — which is what Luke did. I also love Kristian Alfonso and Hope, but had Luke compared her to Erika Slezak or Judith Light in terms of acting, I would have had the same reaction. IMO, Luke mixes up his love for an actor/character with their actual chops, which is his right to do. But it's my right to blow a gasket. Wink