In a very bittersweet night for departing executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell of The Young and the Restless, the woman who steered the ship in Genoa City for the last five years, had a moment to address the actors, press, and the crowd in attendance at Thursday night’s, Y&R’s 10,000th Episode Celebration held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.
At the end of the panel discussion and Q&A session, moderator Brooks Barnes of The New York Times, addressed that Maria has left The Young and the Restless in her capacities as executive producer and head writer. This opened up an opportunity for Maria to address her family who was present, the crowd, and her beloved actors on-stage. These cast members included: Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Jeanne Cooper, Doug Davidson, Christian Leblanc, Joshua Morrow, Melody Thomas Scott, Kristoff St. John, and Michelle Stafford.
Here below is how Maria ended the evening with her short speech on her departure from the series, and with the news that she indeed penned the 10,000 episode before her exit, and what to look forward to when it airs:
MARIA ARENA BELL: “I am leaving the show and it’s a very tough thing to do. This show has been a part of my life since I was 25 years old. I met the Bell family and my mother and father-in-law gave me a chance and put me in daytime. I always wanted to be a writer. I was a big soap fan. Not only has this show been so important to me, but it has been the story of my life. My entire family has been involved in this together. I started in this business with my writing partner Brad Bell, and writing The Bold and the Beautiful, which is very close to my heart, and then The Young and the Restless. So I have had an incredible journey with this show. I think it’s the greatest show ever. I felt such an amazing kinship with my father in law in telling stories. I would come to CBS every morning and see my father-in-law’s photo and really feeling that he was my mentor. It was a great, great experience. And like every good soap opera story, I did get “killed-off”. (Laughs) But I love all of these folks here tonight, and it has been amazing. I had the most wonderful team of writers. This group of actors is extraordinary. “
“I wrote a total of about 1600 episodes of Y&R, and I wrote the 10,000 episode and when you see the 10,000 it is very much about what the core of this show. It’s not a big party episode. It’s an episode that tells a lot of driving story, that also peaks a very important story, and has ramifications and fallout for almost every one here on stage, which are the main characters. That is how I really felt comfortable going out. Leaving on a very strong show and having had a great run here. I am ready for the next part of my own personal soap opera, and I will never, ever forget The Young and the Restless, and I will always carry that with me.”
So what do you think of Maria’s sentiments above? What do you think could be planned for the 10,000 episode? Let us know your thoughts!