I have to admit a little secret here, but you have to promise not to tell my mom. When I was little, sometimes (ok more often that I care to admit) I would stay home from school “sick” and spend the day watching soap operas with my mom. More often than not, I was perfectly fine, but I came to really love the time we spent together curled on the couch under a blanket, even if I didn’t really understand the crazy subplots and twists and turns of each episode. One of the shows that was a favourite of my mom’s was “The Young and the Restless”, which last week celebrated its 24th year on the top of the daytime drama ratings.
“The Young and the Restless” premiered in 1973, and out of the thirteen other soaps on air at the time, is one of the four that remain today. The show currently follows the complicated, dramatic and business filled lives (and love lives) of the rival Abbott and Newman families who run competing companies in the cosmetics industry. While viewership of daytime drama has been declining, “The Young and the Restless” still pulls in about 4.4 million viewers a week and beats out other daytime dramas like “General Hospital”, “The Bold and The Beautiful” and “Days of our Lives”.
Angelica McDaniel, the senior vice president for daytime CBS is happy to have such a long running, successful show as part of their network. Even with declining ratings, she says that the milestone reached by “The Young and the Restless” is “definitely not something that we take for granted”.
The serial has won 111 Daytime Emmys, along with 334 nominations.
Long-time cast members like Peter Bergman (credited on IMDB for 1451 episodes) and Melody Thomas Scott (1350 episodes) work alongside new cast members and through storylines that span multiple generations. It is this effort to remain current and relevant, while still sticking to the format and families that made the show a hit in the beginning, which makes the long running soap a success.