Young & Restless Shocker Behind-The-Scenes Raises Serious Concerns — Plus, Sally’s Pregnancy News Will Create Chaos

February 20 - 24

Adam tucker Sally Phyllis mashup Y&R

Credit: CBS screenshot, Howard Wise/JPI

The behind-the-scenes news involving five breakdown writers being fired has been the biggest shocker of February Sweeps, and to many who love Young & Restless it is the only story that matters right now. I’ll address that and then take a quick look at what’s working and what’s not as the month nears its end.

The Big Shake-Up

Young & Restless viewers were thrown for a loop earlier this week when an outlet called The Wrap reported that executive producer and head writer Josh Griffith had fired his five breakdown writers with the intention of taking on their jobs himself. As many will already know, breakdown writers are responsible for the ongoing narrative in episodes and contribute considerably to the organizational structure of the writing process on a soap opera. The news presents numerous issues, but we’ll hit the big ones.

First, most of the writers let go were reportedly women, including one African-American, who was hired in part to boost the diversity behind-the-scenes. Their voices were important ones, and the timing was suspect in that the Writer’s Guild contract negotiations are around the corner.

Second, Griffith’s offerings as head writer have long been criticized as under-whelming, with complaints ranging from tedious dialogue to questionable pairings and a lack of drama, which has left some fans worried as he takes on more.

Third, Young & Restless is currently celebrating its 50th year on air and the big 50th-anniversary show is coming up with loads of fun returns, but the uproar is even over-shadowing that:

One has to question how this move could be anything but negative for Young & Restless. It was touted as a cost-cutting measure but surely there would be other means of belt-tightening if that’s the case. If nothing else, the situation doesn’t seem sustainable for the long term. Feel free to share your thoughts with SOAPS in the comment section at the end of the column.

Sally’s Story

I was initially excited that they ‘went there’ and did a pregnancy story for Sally, but the way it’s played out has been less than thrilling. Sally’s vulnerabilities coming out was to be expected but they’ve taken her too far into ‘female needing to be rescued by her big strong man’ territory for the character. Sally pushing Nick away to do it on her own would be truer to form. I’m good with Adam being the father but the reveal was a dud. After promising the result would be a shock, it turned out to be exactly what everyone expected. Where’s the drama?! As for Nick and Sally, they’re in a rut of repeating the same dialogue. It hasn’t escaped fans’ notice:

As for what’s coming up, as news of Sally being pregnant by Adam begins to make the rounds, someone is going to find it so upsetting that they will go to great lengths to meddle. Watch for the details on this in an upcoming story.

What’s Working, What’s Not

I’m not sure where the February Sweeps drama is going to come in. Ashley buying Tucker’s debt was a nice twist, and their back-and-forth is arguably one of the best elements on the soap right now, but what’s next? The Jack spoiler here is pretty nuts but not unexpected at all, and Lily and Devon’s court case is afoot, but will there be a shocking outcome or will everyone end up holding hands and singing Kumbaya?

The preview teases Nate and Victoria crossing a line, which is messy (poor Elena will be wishing she took the job in Oregon), but also ‘meh’ as they’re not generating a huge amount of excitement as a pairing. “Teriah’s” story is taking place entirely offscreen, Kyle and Summer’s tiff (and his intrigue with Victor) ended with a lot of gushing about chicken salad and rosé, and Noah’s nowhere to be seen.

The big villain Jeremy is mailing out novels with happy face stickers, Daniel’s been a pill, Phyllis is sulking and refuses to scheme, and Sharon and Chance were teased only for her to disappear again (though it was fun watching Chance yell at Jack and Diane). Finally, the new romance in bloom is one few want to see — Billy and Chelsea.

These are my opinions. Please share your take on Young & Restless in the comment section below.

Take a look back on Young & Restless through the years in the photo gallery below.