The current COVID-19 pandemic has already affected The Young and the Restless' Genoa City, bringing life for the fictional residents of the town to a temporary halt. And there's a strong possibility that when production of the CBS soap opera resumes, the coronavirus pandemic will factor into the characters' lives -- because the writers may have no other choice but to introduce the virus into storylines.
In a video interview with 4WWL in New Orleans, actor Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) discusses whether or not the Y&R writers are planning to bring COVID-19 to Genoa City, and he points out that social distancing rules, rather than creative choices, might dictate the answer to that very question.
"When a lot of current events happen, the question [has been] whether to include them, and I think the answer they always get is 'This is an aspirational show,' as far as a fantasy, and you are using this show, I think, to enter another world," he says. "People use this as escapism, so I don't know if they will include this. I don't know if they might have to include this, as far as how do you start shooting the show again when we get back if we're having to keep six feet away from each other?"
Take Michael and his wife, Lauren (Tracey Bregman), for example. "We're all about the love!" LeBlanc points out. "So, it's a hard one to negotiate as far as how this is going to look and how long, because again, we'll go back to work when the world goes back to work."
Like most people in the entertainment industry, LeBlanc isn't sure how filming might resume or when the cast is expected to get back to work. "Like everybody else, we have to navigate this whole new world as far as it's going to depend on what kind of isolation, the testing, all the things we've heard about in the news, as far as who can come close to you again," he says. "Because we've also got crew and cameramen and makeup people who are coming very close to you. So, it'll be interesting how this all starts again."
In the meantime, Y&R viewers are being treated with walks down memory lane via theme weeks that feature throwback episodes filled with cherished characters and classic moments. The audience response has been positive, which is no surprise to LeBlanc.
"The benefit of having a 47-year-old show and an audience that has tracked you, many people, through those whole 47 years, is that they love this," he enthuses. "This is right up our audience's alley."
Check out LeBlanc's video interview below and let us know what you think about the possibility of Y&R including the coronavirus in future storylines.
Do you think Y&R will have to write the COVID-19 pandemic into storylines? What other creative ways could you see the writers handling social distancing if social distancing rules are enforced on set? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.