While millions of soap opera fans across the country are busy preparing for the holidays, the powers that be at CBS are busy preparing for something big, as well: the future of The Young and the Restless. Executive producer and head writer Mal Young confirms that he has exited the long-running drama series, which leaves an air of uncertainty around the soap opera during a time the industry usually quiets down for the holiday break.
CBS has remained mum about who will be taking over in Mal's absence and where Y&R will go from here. But some of the show's biggest stars are weighing in on the change and how it might affect future storyline in the new year.
One of the most controversial changes Young made during his 2016-2018 tenure was to move veteran actor Doug Davidson (Paul Williams) off the canvas. The move did not sit well with fans, who have been vehemently crusading to get the Emmy-winning actor back in Genoa City. Now that Young is out, might the door be open for Davidson's return?
"I don't know what the future holds," the actor shared with fans shortly after news of Young's exit broke. "I cannot thank you all enough for carrying me through a very difficult time. You buoyed my spirits and kept me looking forward. Regardless of any outcome, I will be forever grateful. God bless you all."
I don't know what the future holds. But, I cannot thank you all enough for carrying me through a very difficult time. You buoyed my spirits and kept me looking forward. Regardless of any outcome, I will be forever grateful. God bless you all.— Doug Davidson (@DougDavidsonYR) December 19, 2018
The majority of Y&R fans seem happy about Young's exit from the CBS soap, but some have expressed their support for the entertainment executive, who made changes to the soap that garnered critical praise. The Liverpool native is responsible for developing the storyline that focused on Dina Mergeron's (Marla Adams) Alzheimer's diagnosis, crafting Mariah (Camryn Grimes) and Tessa's (Cait Fairbanks) love story (the show's first fully realized same-sex relationship), and introducing the show's blue-collar Rosales clan, which many viewers have grown to love.
Though Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) has been critical about many of the decisions Young made as executive producer and head writer, the fan-favorite actor took to social media after news of his exit with a reminder about how difficult the job of writing soap operas can be.
"Before more well meaning comments continue (and some not so well meaning), let me just say that writing for a soap is, by far, THE HARDEST JOB IN OUR BUSINESS!!" he shared. "I wouldn't want to do it!"
Before more well meaning comments continue ( and some not so well meaning 😹), let me just say that WRITING FOR A SOAP IS, BY FAR, THE HARDEST JOB IN OUR BUSINESS!! I WOULDN'T WANT TO DO IT!— Eric Braeden (@EBraeden) December 19, 2018
At the time of this report, no successors to Young have been officially named. However, a show insider tells Soap Central that former head writer and co-executive producer Josh Griffith is expected to take over as head writer. Meanwhile, Daytime Confidential is reporting that Anthony "Tony" Morina, who has been with the series since 2004, will step in as the new executive producer.
What do you think about the comments Doug Davidson and Eric Braeden made in response to Mal Young's exit from Y&R? What changes would you like to see the show's future EP and head writer make? Which current elements of the show, if any, would you like to see continue? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.