The cast and crew of The Bold and the Beautiful have major cause for celebration this Saturday, March 23: the special date marks the CBS soap opera's 32nd anniversary. And if all goes according to executive producer Bradley Bell's plans, it's also the start of the next 32 years and counting of the internationally famous daytime drama.
The EP, who has been a part of the show since its debut in 1987, tells Parade that one of the main reasons he feels the show has been so successful is its unwavering consistency -- which he feels is rare in the daytime industry.
"I think a lot of [B&B's success] has to do with the continuity. Other soaps would go through upheavals with head writers and and executive producers. We've kept that consistent from day one," he shares. "We're very true to the audience and the audience is very perceptive and they know their characters. It's really been one vision all the way straight through these 32 years. That's very rare, if not unprecedented in television today."
Consistency, however, doesn't necessarily mean predictable. And it certainly doesn't mean boring. The show stays true to dramatic conventions -- jaw-dropping twists, emotional payoffs, spectacular weddings -- but, as Bell explains, the most important thing is " to have a product that touches the audience, emotionally and positively, that celebrates life and is very life affirming."
He continues: "The shows are about families and how families deal with crisis, and the characters are characters that you can respect and admire and root for and see as an extension to your own family. Everyone is dealing with issues between sisters or mothers and daughters or husbands and wives. We throw as many curve balls as we can at them and see how they overcome adversity and how the family pulls together and is able to triumph in the end."
As for what viewers can expect from 2019, Bell is excited to share that he's currently doing research to help him write another socially relevant storyline -- perhaps in the same vein as Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery) helping the homeless or Rick (Jacob Young) continuing to love his wife, Maya (Karla Mosley), even after it was revealed that she is transgender.
"I can't get into it, but for 2019, we're doing some research and that's something I look forward to penning this year," Bell teases of the upcoming social issue storyline, adding that he's also looking forward to the continuation of something currently happening on the canvas: "The secret of Hope's baby is one that's going to have so many twists and turns. I just feel so confident that this story is going to be a real standout for the series."
For more from Brad Bell about the future of B&B, check out Parade's full interview with the executive producer here.
What do you think about Bradley Bell's storyline plans for 2019? Do you like that the soap opera has been executive produced and written by Bell for its entire history, or do you like when soaps get a behind-the-scenes refresh? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.