‘The Young And The Restless’ Spoilers: Head Writer Josh Griffin Explains Neil Memorial

Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) pays tribute to Neil on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.
Michael Yarish / CBS

Next week on The Young and the Restless, Genoa City learns the devastating news that Neil Winters passed away. Neil’s family, including Devon, Lily, Moses, and Malcolm, will mourn their family member along with Neil’s friends and loved ones.

Head writer Josh Griffin recently spoke with Soap Opera Digest about writing Neil’s memorial so soon after actor Kristoff St. John passed away on February 3. He admitted it was a difficult task to undertake so soon after St. John died.

“It was devastating having known and loved Kristoff for so many years. But I also knew he’d want a dramatic send-off. And I owed him an emotional story. Because of that, writing it was an integral part of the grieving process,” said Griffin.

The show decided to have Neil die instead of recasting him, and part of that reason is that they believe that is how the actor would have wanted to see his character’s story wrap up.

“We felt it was the way Kristoff would want it done.”

The head of CBS Daytime, Angelica Rosas McDaniel recently viewed next week’s episodes, and she took to Twitter to express her feelings about what viewers will see on the No. 1 rated daytime drama next week.

She reported that she cried non-stop while viewing the work that Griffin wrote for the actors. She expressed her gratitude, thanking the staff, cast, and crew of Y&R for putting together such a beautiful tribute to honor not only Neil but also St. John, despite their grief over losing him so suddenly.

Actor Bryton James (who plays Devon) revealed that the writers and producers left some room for the actors — who knew and loved St. John after working with him for so many years — to give their own tributes to the late actor.

“The show did a great job with the episodes to give the time and respect that the character deserves. I really think the audience will be happy,” James explained.

Next week will be a rough week for longtime viewers. Indeed, there will be tears among fans as Genoa City officially says its goodbye to Neil Winters after nearly three decades. His family on the show will be changed forever.

“The ramifications to his family and friends will be overwhelming, and the reading of his will is going to have a major impact on the lives of several who were very close to him,” Griffin revealed.

This storyline will have an impact on the fabric of the show for some time to come.