It’s been about three months since new head writer Josh Griffith’s storylines began appearing on The Young and the Restless. In January, he took over for the show’s previous head writer, Mal Young, and Griffth’s shows began airing a few months later.
Recently, Griffith sat down to talk with CBS Soaps In Depth about returning to the helm of the show alongside executive producer Anthony Morina. Before the regime change at Y&R, many viewers stopped watching the number one rated CBS Daytime show because they felt that it no longer resembled the story they’d invested their time and energy into watching each weekday for so long. Young began telling a different story, and the fans felt the soap went off the rails even though it took home the Daytime Emmy Award for Best Drama with Young’s writing.
“One of the crucial things that Tony [executive producer Anthony Morina] and I discussed when talking with the network when we took over in January was that we really wanted to take the show back to its iconic core sensibility,” said Griffth.
“One of the reasons we brought Michelle [Stafford] back as Phyllis, and we got [Melissa Claire Egan] back as Chelsea, and we’ve got Greg [Rikaart] back as Kevin, and other surprises coming in the future is that we really wanted to get the show back to that identity that people so love about it.”
The head writer encouraged viewers to give the show a try again if they’d left, and he believes the current storylines will hook people again. For him, the entire show tells a story about power and powerful families — the Newmans, the Abbotts, the Chancellors, and the Hamilton-Winters. Of course, many of the Chancellors and the Hamilton-Winters families are gone. At this point, Jill (Jess Walton) is the remaining Chancellor, and Devon (Bryton James) is the only Hamilton-Winters on the canvas. However, lately the name Chance Chancellor, aka Phillip Chancellor IV, comes up all the time, and it seems likely one of the surprises Griffith teased is his return to Genoa City.
Interestingly for Griffith, one of the toughest parts about being a head writer is telling the story in a short amount of time. He is lucky, though, because the soap opera genre allows a lot more time than most primetime shows, which only get one hour a week during a short season to spin a tale. For soaps, Griffith has roughly five hours a week all year long to tell the stories of Genoa City and its residents.
Ultimately, since his return, Griffith has worked hard to transition the storylines from the ones Young had going when he departed into the ones that are airing now without viewers feeling that things changed too abruptly.