11 Facts Only the Biggest Y&R Fans Will Know
The Young and the Restless celebrated its 49th anniversary in March this year. The residents of Genoa City have been entertaining the audience with their steamy romances and gripping mysteries for almost five decades now. A ton of loyal fans of the show swear that they’ve seen every episode, which is impressive considering there have been more than 12000 episodes.
Today we’re rounding up eleven fun facts about the show that perhaps only the biggest Y&R fans would know. So let’s see how many of you know all of these.
The Innocent Years
The show you now know as the Young and the Restless, almost had another name. Did you know that the working title of the show was The Innocent Years? CBS executives wanted a new daytime series that was youth oriented to compete with other youthful soap operas on ABC like All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital.
But the creators of Y&R, William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell changed the name because they believed that young America had lost its innocence. They changed the title to the Young and the Restless because it reflected the youth and mood of the early seventies.
You can visit Genoa City
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it would be like to visit the Genoa City that they show on TV, you could actually drive up there because the small town of Genoa City, Wisconsin, is a real place. But the real-life town might disappoint you as it isn’t as glamorous as the fictionalized version.
The Bells named the setting for Y&R after the real Genoa City because they drove through the town on their weekend drives from Chicago to their summer home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The real Genoa City is a community on U.S Route 12 with a total population of 3,042. Moreover, it was named after Genoa, New York, which was named after Genoa in Italy.
Y&R in HD
The Young and the Restless was the first daytime drama to switch to high definition. The show began broadcasting in HD at the end of June 2001, improving the quality of the picture and sound of the program. Shockingly, its sister show, The Bold and the Beautiful, didn’t make the switch until a decade later in September 2011.
Weird Y&R Fact: Siblings played lovers!
Now let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts related to some of the craziest storylines on the show. For starters, did you know that a couple of real life siblings played romantic partners on the show? Real life brother and sister, Heather and David Tom, were seen as Victoria Newman and Billy Abbott when they both appeared on Y&R for a period of nine years.
As you know their characters went on to have a complicated romantic storyline, but this was only after Heather left the show in 2003. Amelia Heinle later portrayed Victoria when she returned from Italy in 2005 and began a secret romance with Billy Abbott, then portrayed by Billy Miller.
The Young and the Restless is known for its epic rivalries between families that last generations. But there’s a feud that withstood the test of time, lasting for almost 27 years. We’re of course talking about the rivalry between the two iconic female characters Katherine Chancellor and Jill Foster Abbott. In 2012, the official website of the Young and the Restless named this feud between Katherine and Jill daytime’s longest rivalry.
For nearly 27 years, these two women constantly got in the way of each other’s happiness, whether it was over men, money or children. In all their years of fighting, they briefly united a couple of times. Katherine and Jill joined forces to stop Phillip from marrying Nina Webster and later Jill supported Katherine through her cancer battle. But they were at each other’s throats in no time after Katherine recovered from her illness.
Iconic Jeanne Cooper plastic surgery storyline
Late actress Jeanne Cooper played the iconic Katherine Chancellor from 1973 until her death in 2013. In 1984, she made history by having her real life facelift written into the show. Katherine also underwent the same procedure as Cooper’s real life surgery was filmed and used on the show.
Thousands of fans watched on as the bandages came off, revealing Cooper’s new face. Her plastic surgery paved the path for so many people to get reconstructive surgery and improve their appearance. The actress shared that they would come up to her and thank her for showing her facelift on television. At the time of her death, she was one of the longest serving soap opera actors in television history, which brings us to our next fact.
Cooper’s Y&R legacy was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993. The Daytime Emmy Award winning actress is the first daytime soap star to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She passed away in 2013 at the age of 84 and her last episode was aired five days before her death.
Watch this video for other crazy storylines that Jeanne had on the Young and the Restless.
Most Daytime Emmy Wins
The Young and the Restless is a favorite at the Daytime Emmy Awards. The show has in total earned an astonishing 360 Daytime Emmy nominations across all categories during its almost five decade long run, taking home a total of 116 awards. Y&R has won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series 11 times, coming in second only to General Hospital. But it has the most nominations in the category and also currently holds the title.
How Y&R lost its number one ranking
When The Young and the Restless first began to air, the episodes were only half an hour long. As the show became popular, CBS pressured William Bell to write longer episodes to last one hour. Bell wrote in the book, Worlds Without End: The Art and History of The Soap Opera, that this decision cost the show its number one ranking in ratings.
According to Bell, it took them three years to become number one again and in the process lost some main cast members because performing one-hour shows had not been a part of their contracts. These would be the members from the then popular families, the Brooks and the Fosters. “It was then that I decided if one more actor from these families decided to leave the show, I’d have to do something radical,” Bell wrote in the book.
And that’s exactly what he did. As he studied the remaining cast, he realized that two characters, Paul Williams and Jack Abbott, had a relatively insignificant presence on the show. Bell started building his new families around these characters, against the advice of the head of daytime for CBS. His risky decision paid off well as the audience welcomed the new families wholeheartedly.
Succeeded by sister soap, Bold and the Beautiful
The Young and the Restless went on to dominate daytime ratings and became the top ranked soap in 1988. Its three decade reign as daytime’s most popular soap came to an end in March 2020 when its sister soap The Bold and the Beautiful topped the weekly Nielsen ratings.
Commending Y&R’s three decade run, the president of CBS Entertainment said in a statement, “Having the No. 1 show for any length of time in any daypart is a tremendous accomplishment… It’s a remarkable achievement and a testament to the extraordinary cast, gifted writers, talented producers and supremely passionate fans.”
Y&R is here to stay
The Young and the Restless isn’t going anywhere. In early 2020, CBS and Sony Pictures Television closed a deal to renew the show for four additional seasons, taking the daytime favorite through the 2023-2024 broadcast season.
So keep tuning to the Young and the Restless every weekday on CBS! If you’ve made it this far, you’re a true Y&R fan. Let us know in the comments if you knew all of these facts and also check out our official YouTube channel for the latest updates and news on the Young and the Restless.