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Y&R Showrunner Jill Farren Phelps on Soap's Changes: "It's an Overall Hipper Viewing Audience"

Jill Farrne Phelps

These aren't your big mama's soap operas! In a new piece for The Hollywood Reporter entitled: "Revenge of the Soap Operas", The Young and the Restless showrunner Jill Farren Phelps spoke out on why her sudser has adjusted its storytelling and music. Here's an excerpt:

Jill Phelps, executive producer of Y&R who has the distinction of having held that title on six soaps over the past three decades, says the shows have been made over for a cooler audience. "The stories have more edge, there are quicker editing cuts and newer music," says Phelps. "The pace, tone and sophistication have changed. We have smarter viewers, and I think that's true of all the soaps. It's an overall hipper viewing audience."

The Young and the Restless recently climaxed a storyline where a cute, 20-something boy used an online cooking show's message boards to stalk the host. The sudser has also gone away from its once classic score, adding modern music, and a slew of new establishing shots.

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This past ratings cycle,Y&R ceded the top spots in key Nielsen demos to ABC Daytime's General Hospital, and recently hit a new low among women 18-49. There are bright spots, however.

The fictional Winters family are experiencing quite the resurgence in Genoa City. Long-ignored veteran actor Kristoff St. John (Neil) is at the center of a red-hot Arthurian saga, with his young fiancée lusting after his son.

Additionally, the soap kicked off an arc last week revealing mega popular characters Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) and Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) are the parents of increasingly-central war vet Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton). This story could prove a game-changer capable of resetting the canvas in a positive direction. Here's hoping.

What are your thoughts on the current state of Y&R? Sound off in the comments!