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44 January 22nd, 2015 B&B’s Brad Bell Shares Thoughts On Series 7,000th Episode Milestone, Stage 31 Dedication In His Name, And Previews What’s Next!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

On Friday, The Bold and the Beautiful will officially celebrate its 7,000th episode milestone with its viewers and fans with a special retrospective look with special cast commentary, original screen test footage, a look at fashion through the years, and so much more in a very special broadcast of the almost 28-year-old series.

However last week, B&B marked the occasion with an on set celebration and dedication ceremony to Brad Bell, the executive producer and the head writer of the CBS Daytime drama. Brad, one of the hardest working men in television, was acknowledged for his achievements, and now has Stage 31 at CBS dedicated in his name.  While executives, his family, cast (past and present) surrounded him, Brad spoke eloquently and emotionally about being the son of the late great Bill Bell (creator of Y&R and B&B), and what this day, and the significance of it, held for him.

After the dedication ceremony and subsequent festivities, On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the man of the hour to share in the emotion and spirit of the day, and to get his thoughts on: the current state of The Bold and the Beautiful, his red hot storyline with Rick (Jacob Young) at the epicenter of it, Brooke’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) return, and even writing the exit story for the beloved Kim Matula (Ex-Hope).

Before our interview with Brad, we have first included some excerpts from his speech below, so you could also read his words that resonated with such heart to all those who have worked with him.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

BRAD BELL SPEECH: “In 1992, I stood here as did some of you in the same place, only facing in that direction when CBS dedicated Studio 43 to my father at the completion of 5,000 episodes of Y&R.   My dad Bill Bell was a brilliant writer, a true gentleman, and an extraordinary father, and today to have these plaques across the hall from each other makes me so incredibly proud.  We were in an inseparable writing team for many years, and now in someway I feel like we are joined together again.  To share this with my family: my business partner Bill, my beautiful sister and accomplished actress Lauralee, the ambassador (Wife Colleen Bell), and our son Chasen, a fantastic young man who is here, and the co-creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, my mother Lee Phillip Bell, makes this a milestone to remember.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

‘Team Bold and the Beautiful’ has been like an extended family. Some have been here for months, and some longer, and some even longer, and even longer.  This show has taken us around the world to Italy, Australia, Paris, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and beyond. All have been amazing experiences.  I’ve tried to think what has been my favorite B&B experience of all-time and after going over it, my true favorite B&B experience happens every time I walk on to Stage 31.  I am greeted with smiles and welcoming waves, an occasional kiss on the cheek from a beautiful actress, hugs and handshakes for a team that means the world to me.  Nothing beats that, and I can’t thank you all enough.  To see this empty box transformed into another world through the magic of all departments is astounding. Assembled here we have the finest in the business: the finest talent and the finest people.  And finally, my dad always said when I was stressing out, “Don’t worry, son. I didn’t hit my stride till I was 50 years old.”   Well … I have recently turned 50!  I think this B&B is team is hungry, and we are in top form. We are ready to reach new heights, and this plaque is an honor of 7,000 episodes completed.  But, it is also a launching pad for the best is yet to come (and I am going to say it) … on the Bradley P. Bell Stage 31!”

INTERVIEW

The speech you made had every one choked up, including yourself.  This accomplishment has got to be so special for you.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

BRAD:  It was so special, and I can’t find the words. When you lose a parent, there are times when you think about them a lot, and there are other times when you are busy with your lives, and this really makes me reflect back in a way I haven’t in a very long time.

When you think about the legacy of The Bold and the Beautiful, and that you worked together with your father the great Bill Bell Sr., and he handed the reins of the show over to you.  That is a beautiful moment to recall.

BRAD:  I know.  It’s been such a wonderful ride, and to have parents in my life, and such a great mentor and teacher as my father.  One of the things that I am most thrilled about is that my mother could be here. because I know that it is a special day for her.

Was there ever fear that once you took over B&B that you could not measure up to your dad, Bill Bell?

BRAD:   It was a fear until I decided to be different.  His storytelling was epic and at unbelievably high caliber, and mine has its own merits and its own style.  We are two very similar writers, and yet two very different writers at the same time.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

When you look at the 7,000 episodes and this honor of having the studio dedication in you honor and the plaque that is now here and what it symbolizes … what runs through your mind?

BRAD:  It is pretty special. What runs through my mind is; I remember when dad got to the 5,000 episode, it was such a big number, and now to look up here and see 7000 … it does feel like a big accomplishment.

Your wife Colleen Bell, now U.S Ambassador to Hungary, said such loving and moving words about you in her speech.  She had been the constant in your life.  Has she been able to champion you on in your professional career, if there were moments of difficulties or challenges, or even if there is a day where you think you just don’t want to do this anymore? 

BRAD:   There have been moments.  When the show is not going well the audience can tell, and the writers can tell, too!  And, try to put on a happy face.  But, those are tough times, and it’s so wonderful to feel that I am in a spot where the cast is brilliant and the stories are flowing.  And, when the stories aren’t flowing, I rely on Colleen, and I rely on Colleen now.  She will say to me, “Oh, you love this … you will figure a way out of this.”  I haven’t felt like that in a long time, the show is awesome right now.

I also want to commend you and your team for the beautiful job you did on such short notice with coming up with an exit strategy for Hope’s exit when Kim Matula decided to leave the series.  The use of slo-motion, the music, and the dissolve where the character kind of vanishes into thin air … were all very effective.

BRAD:  We spent a lot of time on that ending for her, and we sort of dreamed it up. I thought, “You know, this is one where I am just going to be a writer, and my character is just going to disappear.”  Don’t ask how, and don’t ask why, but Hope is gone and Kim is gone, and Jacqui’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Steffy) back!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Currently, the Rick (Jacob Young), Maya (Karla Mosley) and Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) drama has captivated the audience in such huge way!  This story really is must-see television.  Did you think this story would become such a bonafide hit?

BRAD:  I had hopes for it, and these are all very fine actors, and sometimes you have everything in place and it doesn’t work.  This one not only worked, but it exceeded my hopes and expectations. The roll out of this story is going to blow people’s minds!  We have a few twists and turns up our sleeve that are going to be amazing.

Brooke’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) back!  When I spoke with Katherine, she said you have big story coming up for her, but it’s not centered around a man this time?  True?

BRAD: No, it’s not … but of course it is! (Laughs)  But it’s more than that; it’s not simply a triangle, or a love affair.  There is more to the story, and it will be something she will be battling that she has never battled before.  I am excited for that story, too!  This is going to be a great 2015.

What did you think of the portions of Brad’s speech, and his comments about his iconic father?  What are your thoughts on the accomplishments of B&B reaching 7oooth episodes?  In story; is the Rick, Maya, and Caroline story one of the best stories in recent memory on the CBS Daytime drama series?  Share your thoughts below!

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  1. Jen says:

    Ummm, Ridge/Thorsten KAYE is part of the epic story with Caroline, Maya and Rick. Disappointed you excluded him. The Ridge/Caroline angle is best part of the storyline! Sure hope the twists and turns coming up don’t cut short their romance!

    Reply

    Robert Seganti replied

    I agree with you.

    Reply

  2. Nadia says:

    After reading this interview it became very clear that Brad Bell really has no idea about what viewers want. At the time KM (Hope) left Brad said that Hope was an important part of this sl and if KM wasn’t coming back that Hope would be recast as the sl is heavily revolved around the character Hope now he ‘s saying Hope is gone and KM have gone but JMW is back????? Does he just sprout words just to hear his own voice and forgets what he’s said before??? If he thinks that viewers want JMW back he must be dreaming just look how ratings soared when she left what he thinks viewers want and what viewers actually want are quite the opposite. This show needs Hope whether it be KM returning or a recast she and Liam were the heart of this show and after Bell spent over 5 years building up this super couple now he’s just going to erase what drew us viewers to the show he’s mistaken. Bringing JMW back even for a handful of episodes just won’t cut it we need Hope. End of rant.

    Reply

    Kathy replied

    You’re kidding, right? Since the departures of both Kim Matula (Hope) and Lang, the soap has been firing on all cylinders in the ratings! People are loving the diversity and balance in storytelling. The battle for Forrester between Ridge and Rick is a much-see! It’s about time that you’re seeing an ensemble cast instead of a select few hogging the canvas. Jacob Young, Karla Moseley, Linsey Godfrey and Kaye have been riveting. The return of Jacqueline M. Wood as Steffy will only up the ante, as her character Steffy embodies the fire and spirit of Stephanie Douglas Forrester. Fans have been campaigning hard for her return & it’s about time! So glad that B&B has gotten out of the “kiddie pool” and we’re seeing the adults. It’s long overdue to bring the Forrester/Douglas legacy back to B&B!

    Reply

    Sunnyday replied

    Question is are you kidding? This diversity you’re speaking of is nothing more than a joke, just looks like someone doesn’t like Brooke and or Hope. Hope, Wyatt, Liam, and Ivy have been replaced by Caroline, Maya, Rick and Ridge. Other than those four, just like the previous quad, you have floater characters that appear from time to time. Same writing, same writer style. But what I find most hilarious is the need to criticize “the kiddie pool”, when the character most of you want back spent most of her time there. Doesn’t that add to the problem most say they don’t want? 

    Kathy replied

    No I have never liked those two characters. People forget the core premise of the show is the Forrester family & the show strayed from that format until those two left & more of the cast was given the opportunity to shine. Neilsen ratings have soared without these two “central characters” because we are FINALLY seeing B&B and NOT “One Tree Hill.” Times are a-changing & it’s not all about them for a change

    Sunnyday replied

    Well there you go , you’re entitled to your opinion, however it would probably be best to drop balance pretense , since it’s clear that a show ”centered” on the Forrester family wouldn’t be classified as balance. Then again Brooke is as much a Forrester as Taylor, Katie a Spencer, leaving only Hope and Donna as pure Logans (not much has changed). Still doesn’t answer why you’d want a character back who never really contributed significantly towards the ratings , after she left, “The Hope show “ brought the highest ratings in years (since 2008), and even when they went down some, it still regularly out ranked the ratings of the previous year with the Leffy /Lope drama. The show is doing well, but the “two stars” , since they apparently have so much control on whether or not Bell writes correctly ,have done better 

    Kathy replied

    Supply proof that Hope/Lope produced higher ratings since 2008. You can’t because Hope/Lope didn’t appear on the canvas until 2010. Typical Hope/Loper who would rather attack and bully someone who doesn’t worship all things Logan. I am not going to stammer and hold my breath until I get what I want. As a 27 year vet of B&B, I pretty much know how the show started. Produce concrete evidence of your fan favorites increasing the ratings more than the other.

    Sunnyday replied

    No one said anything about Liam and Hope, i just said Hope. Lope isn’t really my couple, but if you want to make assumptions, feel free to continue. I like the Logans , but i also like other characters too, I’m not the one whom needs more Logan ,or in your case Forrester/Douglass, to prop my view of the show. But since you asked, here you go. “The Hope show “produced the highest ratings the show had seen in 6 years.

    Sunnyday replied

    January 16th, 2014

    “The Bold AND THE BEAUTIFUL delivered a weekly audience of 4.14 million viewers, it largest audience since the week ending Feb. 29, 2008,”

    Ann replied

    Ah, really? And Steffy is not the kiddie pool? The “fire and character” of Stephanie Forrester? You mean the hypocritical slime of that character, don’t you, as she propped up her grown son and picked his women for him. And we have Ridge calling Rick “Ricky” and how he needs to grow up? Um, isn’t Ridge referring to himself?

    nancy56 replied

    No there are LOTS who want Steffy back and I will bet that today’s show will be a huge boost in ratings because there are those of us who love Steffy and are happy to see her back. So please don’t speak for me and for those of us who love seeing Steffy back and say no one wants her back because you are wrong speak for yourself and if they bring Hope back in years to come then you can be happy but for now Steffy has been gone awhile and we are glad to see her again. I can tell you are one of those kind of people that are not glad for others just because you disagree.

    Reply

  3. T says:

    Thorsten is nothing but filler. He keeps walking through his scenes.

    Jacob is owning this storyline. He’s the driving force behind it. He is well on his way getting his 2nd Emmy.

    Reply

    Lynn replied

    Yeah if you say so, riiiggghhhttt *rme*

    Jacob is great, but given how the emmy’s are, I won’t be surprised if he’s overlooked

    Reply

    Harry replied

    I don’t watch B&B but I ADORE Thorston with the heat of a thousand hearts.
    The man can sleep walk through a scene and I would call it Hamlet.

  4. T says:

    Thorsten is walking through his scenes like a zombie. Jacob is the driving force behind this storyline and should win his 2nd Emmy for this sl.

    Reply

    Lynn replied

    You’re the same poster from above, LOL. You thihk if you say it enough it will be true, don’t think so ;) Nice try though, pressed fans crack me up

    Reply

    Nikki replied

    We got it you like Jacob! I doubt anyone would argue with the fact that he’s doing a great job but Thorsten walking through his storylines???PLEASE the man can only do what his lines tell him to do. Ridge was always a cool character, who seldom to never lost his cool, even when he was angry with Brook for being with Bill he just walked away the Ridge way. That’s just the way the story goes.

    Reply

  5. katka says:

    B&B is unwatchable crap without Ronn Moss. Thorsten is only fake Ridge.

    Reply

    Be be replied

    So glad RM is gone. TK is so hot. Goodbye girly Ridge, hello smokin hot Ridge.

    Reply

    toscanti replied

    I agree!

    skeetskeet replied

    Agree as well. Ronn Moss lost his appeal in the 90′s.

  6. Laura says:

    Interesting interview! Looking forward to the 7000 episode. Congrats to everyone. Pleased to hear that The beautiful Jacqueline is back as Steffy. I just cannit wait! Love her! Bell is a genius!

    Reply

    Beacon replied

    Genius? No way.

    Reply

    Sunnyday replied

    I assume that compliment had more to do with the return of a certain someone instead of any literary brilliance on Bell’s part. Now, if it were some like Shelia instead, then I’d be genius.

    Ann replied

    I agree. No way is he a genius. The writing needs a total overhaul. It’s the actors who deserve the credit for making the most of unimaginative storylines.

  7. BandB4everFan says:

    As a day 1 viewer, I am so proud of my favorite soap reaching this fantastic milestone of 7000 episodes. Through the good, the bad and the down right ugly episodes, I have enjoyed being there with my faves!! Brooke & Ridge, Darla & Thorne, Bill & Katie and most recently Hope & Wyatt, Caroline and Rick are my favorite couples! (Hint! hint! on Hope & Wyatt and Caroline & Rick – get them back together} I never thought I would miss that meddling Stephanie as much as I do, but the show lost something special with the end of Stephanie & Eric. Looking forward to 8000 episodes and Brooke being in everyone of them – she is my ALL TIME FVORITE! Kudos Brad Bell and ALL!

    Reply

    Ann replied

    Yes, kudos to KKL!!! The best heroine on the show. She is total CLASS all the way! Bell needs to give her better material!

    Reply

  8. Faye says:

    Interesting what I read here is your not your father so no the storyline will be different. There have been good ones but most of all to long never ending. Glad to hear Brooke is going to be a stranger woman . I always liked her and Ridge the love story your father created. Glad Steffy is back even for a short time hope she has Liam’s child to start the next generation.

    Reply

    Nadia replied

    I agree about most of the storylines being never ending but Has Liam’s child????really and how is that going to happen??? I haven’t heard or read that a star shone in the East lately or did I miss that? The next generation of what exactly is Steffy going to start?

    Reply

    Nadia replied

    I have to agree about the never ending story lines it gets frustrating when there’s no end in sight but Steffy having Liam’s child?????Did I miss the breaking news that a star shone in the East? Produce the next generation of what exactly????We already have more than enough Manipulators, Liars desperate Forrester’s and would be Forrester’s on this show we really don’t need any more. At this rate they should change the name of the show to “The Forrester Saga”

    Reply

  9. joycekyto says:

    vous nous promettez une belle année 2015 , Hope est partie , mais j’espère que Steffy restera , même si elle n’apparait pas toutes les semaines mais de temps à autre , je serai contente, un grand bravo pour ce que vous faites de cette série, continuez

    Reply

    Ghlover replied

    Bonjour!!!!!!!! Un fan de Montreal ici!!!!

    Reply

  10. Mija says:

    The Ridge/Caroline is best part of the storyline ! I am a big fan from Ridge (TK); he is a very talented actor . With BB are some actors their whole life and only to read the text . I could they also described as a eternal zombie !!!!

    Reply

    Be be replied

    Love Caridge. About time there was chemistry between a couple.

    Reply

    Ann replied

    Yeah, chemistry with her grandfather. Yuck!

  11. Beacon says:

    People have short memories. Kimberlin Brown put B&B at the top of the ratings as Sheila. If not for her, it would not have survived and thrived.

    Reply

  12. Ghlover says:

    Bring back Sheila as Ivy’s real Mama

    Reply

  13. Filomena says:

    I’m just now able to leave a comment and I have to say that I’m disappointed in Mr. Bell’s words about Kim Matula. Hope and Brooke are my favorites and it’s very hard to accept that, from what it sounds like, that the Hope character will not even be replaced at all. The character is central to the show as Brooke’s daughter and I can’t imagine that she will not be replaced. She brings something to the show that none of the other young characters do.

    If I’m inaccuate at what I think is being said, I wish someone would tell me. Very disappointed.

    Reply

    nancy56 replied

    I don’t care for Hope but I know how you feel about your character. I have read this interview many times and I don’t see that it says she is not coming back it just says Hope is gone and Kim is gone but JMW is back. It does not say she is not going to be replaced it just says she is gone. I have heard rumors that in an interview Bell say she won’t be back for years but if this is the interview they are talking about it does not say this.

    Reply

  14. Patricia K says:

    You are so wrong and are swallowing Bell’s lemonade. The fan base I am HATE Maya and the disgusting pairing of Caroline and Ridge. Caroline is the future of this show. Brooke and Caroline are the only successful characters. Bell had to ruin Brooke and Bill and destroy another popular super couple, just like he demolished Brooke and Nick. The show never recovered its fan base after that disastrous story line trashing.

    Reply

  15. nancy56 says:

    Talking about Brooke… it’s not simply a triangle, or a love affair. There is more to the story, and it will be something she will be battling that she has never battled before.

    Reading this over again I am thinking that what she battles is not health issues it is loneliness and I can see her turning to alcohol. Brooke has always been with a man never alone she went through all the Forrester men and then some and always thought that she would have Ridge to fall back on. It will a triangle between her Caroline and Ridge but the love affair will be Ridge and Caroline and Brooke will be alone, this is something she has never battled before, she always had someone waiting in the wings. I think it is a good storyline if this is it because not everyone has someone and there is loneliness out there and we will see how she gets through it.

    Reply

    Ann replied

    No I think it will be a health issue. They have been there, done that, with the booze thing with too many actors.

    Reply

  16. JLouise says:

    How will you explain how “Maya” paid the $$$$$$$ dollars at such a young age, for all the surgeries, hormones, etc to change from a man into a woman?????? Since she was kicked out of her home at a young age, who paid the tab????

    Reply

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