The Young and the Restless has held the spot of daytime's number one drama for three decades and counting, and with good reason: the CBS soap opera knows exactly what kind of show it is and exactly what viewers want -- well, most of the time!
Every once in a while, the show loses focus and needs a reset, which is what happened when former executive producer and head writer Mal Young stepped down, leading to Josh Griffith taking on the role of co-executive producer and head writer alongside Anthony Morina.
Griffith has been helming the series since January of this year, and he says there are definitely storylines that are better than others when it comes to writing for Genoa City.
"Well, you should never do aliens!" the scribe jokes to Soaps In Depth, adding that stories that focus on business seem to be the soap's sweet spot. "Y&R is one of the few shows that has always been able to do business because it's always been a clash-of-the-titans kind of show. I think the reason that Y&R has always been successful at business is because it's not viewing it as a story about business but a story about power. And when you are telling a story about power, then it's dramatic and interesting and relatable. It's not about selling stocks, it's about taking someone else's possessions."
In essence, it's people that make good stories, not plot points. And that's something that Griffith focuses on every day in his mission to keep Y&R as close to its roots and history as possible.
"Simply put, it's the characters on the canvas that make each show unique, and I think it makes Y&R especially unique because we have so many characters that have been on for such a long time," he shares. "They are what mark the identity of the show. It's their appearance, their vision, their wants, their desires, their interactions."
He continues: "Just like any town, when you look at it from an airplane, they all look the same. But when you get down into the town, Milwaukee is nothing like Boston, and L.A. is nothing like New York. So Genoa City is not like [One Life to Live's] Llanview or [The Bold and the Beautiful's] Los Angeles or [Days of our Lives'] Salem. So it's the town, it's the people, it's the world that they live in and how they interact that makes the show unique. As a writer, you tap into that. You should always be saying, 'Who are these people and what do they want?'"
For more from Griffith on the future of Y&R -- including why he and Morina brought Michelle Stafford back in the role of Phyllis, and what their biggest writing challenge has been thus far -- check out Soaps In Depth's interview with the soap exec here.
How do you feel about the way Griffith writes for Y&R and what his vision is for Genoa City's future? What changes, if any, would you like to see for the CBS soap opera? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.