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94 March 30th, 2011 Maria Arena Bell discusses state of Y&R storytelling & cost cutting measures!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The Young and the Restless, executive producer and head writer, Maria Arena Bell spoke with On-Air On-Soaps shortly after the official on set cake cutting ceremony celebrating the tremendous achievement of the series landmark 38-year anniversary on their soundstage at CBS.  Maria shared her thoughts on the state of the number one rated soap, addressed concerns from the viewers as to why certain decisions were made involving characters and storylines, reveals why the decision to let Emily O’Brien (Jana) go, and  gives us a small preview of what’s ahead in the coming months. Here’s our “quickie” conversation with Maria!

Many fans are concerned about the state of Y&R.  While the show is still number one in the ratings, there are weeks where the show is losing viewers, and there is concern about the loss of certain characters. Are you in the midst of a refocusing of the show and the characters that inhabit Genoa City?

MARIA: For me, the core characters are those classic Y&R characters that I love to drive story with. But it’s an every changing canvas of many, many people and many characters.  You know story arcs come and go, and the life of a character can end and be very profound, and really powerful in storytelling.  For me, my goal has always been to utilize the classic Y&R style with a modern twist.  I live in the modern world.  I think that for instance, in pacing and the way that storytelling is now, for me the show feels right. There is something engaging to tune-in to every day, and every day needs to be like a Friday. And, that is what we need to be to keep the viewers engaged and to get them to watch every day.

Are there cost cutting measures going on?

MARIA: There are always cost-cutting measures, and also some of it is to move more quickly in the studio and things like that. My main focus is to preserve what is so good about Y&R, and what the fans and viewers should not perceive as cost-cutting measures.  It should be in things that don’t impact them. The things that they really want to see are the great storytelling with this great cast, and their favorite characters. And, that is what is worth fighting to preserve on this show. When you sort of look at a lot of the other shows that have sort of lost their way, they also have lost some of their core characters, and lost some of what makes those shows what they are. I think Y&R is still quintessentially Y&R. We have those moments still.  Just in the last arc of shows surrounding Eric Braeden’s (Victor) performance around the company and having the children cause him to do what he never wanted to do and his anguish, to me, that is classic Y&R storytelling. It has the boardroom, the bedroom, and everything in between, and that is what we are known for. So, I feel like we are giving the audience classic Y&R.

Was it hard to decide to have Emily O’Brien (Jana) leave the show?

MARIA: I love Emily as an actress! She is one of the great young actresses on the show, and it’s much more about a character arc and a story point, and has absolutely nothing to do with her as a performer. She has always delivered and was always terrific. I am going to miss her very, very much.  But again, it’s about the storytelling and storytelling has to keep moving forward.

And for Spring, what can you preview is ahead in Genoa City?

MARIA: A lot of romance…some really shocking twists… and we are going to be seeing some fun new characters hitting the scene. And you see, that is how it works in the soaps.

Of the 38 years Y&R has been on-air, and of the time you have taken over the reins of the show, what in your mind resonates as one of the best Y&R moments of all-time?

MARIA: That is so hard. You know, we just flashed to some air shows about three weeks ago of Jack throwing the chair out the window with Victor, and those two great titans having a showdown.  And then the great, great moments we have had with Jeanne Cooper, under my tenure, just thinking of her playing Marge and playing Katherine and doing that funeral episode where she narrated. Just that moment of her, and seeing her humor, which we rarely get to see is so memorable. She is so funny. So that was fantastic. We had a great moment just a few weeks ago when you saw that it was Victor’s birthday and he had just lost the arbitration case, and in comes Nikki. You see that core relationship of the show of that love story that just keeps going on. And, Victor couldn’t say anything, and she couldn’t say anything, but they needed each other. Those are those moments. It’s hard to pick just one!

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  1. mary says:

    Too bad the question about letting go a character that works like Jana and keeping the worst recast of Y&R NuHeather was not asks!

    Why give NuHeather so much like air time, when most vierwers hates her?!

    MAB is never answering any questions anyway, she always have the same spiel.

    Reply

    Chlonanfan replied

    I know right! Jana was awesome and NuHeather is a disease that I can’t get rid of! MAB lost me as a viewer when she teased me with a Chloe/Ronan pairing only to have them dropped like a hot potato and giving sexy Ronan to that rodent Heather and Chloe shaking up with chipmunk Kevin. Along with the non-intersting rehashed story-lines that center around death and pregnancies and terrible pairings all around! It seems MAB doesn’t know how to write a good romance! Its all death and sex all the time back to back! Jana recently died, Sharon ‘died’, Cane ‘died’, Tucker is on death row right now, Adam ‘died’, Skye is ‘dead’, Chance ‘died’ like COME ON! Now Sophia is pregnant and don’t know the daddy! UGH! Where is the ROMANCE!!!!!! MAB SUCKS!!! The day she like gets fired or retires or leaves I will be a HAPPY FAN!!!

    Reply

  2. Cassondra Brotzman says:

    I have been watching Young and the Restless since i was in my mothers womb. I have never seen a love story hit me in a profound way like this one you just feel the love when you watch these two. Cane is one of the only guys that i know on the show that hasn’t done in anything mean to anyone and he deeply cares for his family and friends he has not cheated either. I was so devastated when young and the restless decided to kill him off I am hoping and praying that it was a fake death and i am one of the Daniel Goddard fans out there along with many others doing everything in our power to get him back on young and the restless go to his fan facebook page and there are tons of links that you can go to to express your love for the character and Daniel himself. I am also boycotting the show and only watching it when Daniel Goddard is on there. #BRINGBACKCANE oh and another thing Daniel Goddard is so sweet to his fans he has compassion for them i have never seen a star go out of their way like he has he responds back alot and he shares his life with us too he treats us like family and thats how we treat him he is a part of our family.

    Reply

    Electra Thomas replied

    Its not a very good idea to kill off one of your most popular your actors … Cane and Lily is a love story that has love, family, chemistry and excitement … I have watched Y&R since 1992, and Victor Newman is no saint … Why does he always have to be ruthless and mess over everyone in GC… This is why the youth of america are so messed up … To kill off and wonderful story line like Cane and Lily and bring back Diane , Phyllis, the town traps really makes me think Y&R doesnt care about what the viewers think and remember we are the one that give you your ratings … I agree with Ms Brotzman, about Daniel he is a very wonderful actor and human being and I cant see you saving any money by killling his storyline .. only losing money … I honestly think Y&R has a surprise for the viewers and Cane is not gone .. So please make us happy and bring him back … In the meantime I will do everything within my posting , writing, and calling ability to ask you to bring the young man back … thank you for reading

    Reply

    Barbara Hughes replied

    VERY WELL SAID!!!

    Reply

  3. Christina says:

    She says everyday needs to be like a Friday and keep the viewers engaged, but they have recently just lost big in the ratings. Is it me or is she just doing what she wants and not listening to the fans. I have watched for 30+ years, I know the characters very well. I can understand concentrating on the core members as she says. But, if a new character was brought on and the fans love that character (CANE ASHBY) shouldn’t they keep that character around. Then she talks about bringing on new characters. I am confused are we concentrating on core characters or new characters??? Not to mention the recent new characters are not what fans want, MEGGIE, RYDER, etc. Just please give the fans what we want. One of those things is CANE ASHBY. Thank you.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    I really liked the character of Cane, too, but stories evolve every day on shows all over television. This won’t be the last time that a character moves on…. it’s just the nature of storytelling, as she stated. It sucks for those of us who get attached to characters; I will really miss Jana, but the show must go on.

    Reply

    Christina replied

    Yes, it must go on, with CANE ASHBY!

  4. barb says:

    This is an early April fools joke interview, right?

    Reply

  5. Sondra says:

    I think the whole show is beginning to suck. We’re getting new interesting characters. Why not give old reliable characters more air time. Why do they always think what we need are more newbies.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    That’s what she just said they’re doing… getting back to the core. There are always going to be peripheral characters, but the focus has to be on the core. Chill out everyone!

    Reply

  6. James says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Focusing on core characters, doesn’t seem that way to this viewer, its the Newman hour, and I love most of the Newman’s and I’m saying that. And what is modern about it when the show does not represent the world we all live in today where diversity is a rare thing. Core characters, the Winters family is a core family and are used more as a prop than anything and they deserve more respect, airtime, and storylines that don’t always involve tragedy. Modern times would have either Rafe or Phillip have a sol about falling in love, oh and they happen to be gay, not we need to have a gay character to prop other characters. Show the whole canvas, not just the favorite part of the picture, maybe that’s why there’s been such a deep decline in viewers cause TPTB aren’t listening. So I’m all for core families and characters, but focus on all the core families, not just the Abbott’s and one of my favorites the Newman’s. Its not fair to the talented cast that the show has or the viewer. And please stop dragging out storylines for months that have no impact at the end as its been dragged on so long. Thank you.

    Reply

  7. Peggy Singleton says:

    I am an avid fan of Y&R and Daniel Goddard. I was so shock and disappointed when they chose to kill off Cane. The chemistry between Daniel/Cane and Christel/Lily is such that they can make their love for each other so romantic, believable and down right exciting to watch. I have met Daniel and he is such a sweet person and he interacts with his fans, sharing his life with us. Out of all the relationships on Y&R theirs was the one I enjoyed watching the most. I was hoping that now his father is in town that Cane’s story would unfoil to bring down the mob and they(Cane&Lily) could have a happy life, after all the turmoil they had had in their relationship. The fans are campaigning really hard for Daniel’s return back to GC to pick up where he left off. I hope it was all a set up and they will come up with a sloution where they can bring Daniel back to the show as Cane Ashby, alive and well. We want to see more of Cane, Lily, the twins and his extended family.

    Reply

    Barbara Hughes replied

    I’m not watching until Daniel is back as Cane! Y&R has lost a long time watcher (ever since it began), losing the character was the last straw!

    Reply

  8. Susan says:

    Y&R isn’t as good as it once was. Victor and Nicki’s children are spoiled brats with an aweful sense of Entitlement. Victoria and Billy’s marriage is doomed because the secret he is keeping would tear any marriage apart. Sharon is making a fool of herself over Adam. Her kids are secondary to her obsession with sicko Adam. Anyone who would steal my baby and passes it off as someone else’s is beyond redemption in my book.
    MAB is taking Y&R in the wrong direction if she wants to keep viewers.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    I am totally hooked on all of these story lines, so they must be doing something right! No one could ever accuse Y&R of being boring these days! I love how she wants every day to be a Friday cliff hanger!

    Reply

    Christina replied

    I find it to be boring, 30 year viewer. They rarely, these days, give a storyline they started, the ending it should have. Case in point, the Nick, Sharo, Adam, baby drama. I thought when Nick and Sharon found out their baby was alive, their would be this beautiful moment. A moment when they realized the baby Cassie predicted was alive. And, that would bring their love back together, BUT NO. They told that whole story and I felt like it was lame in the end. Like I watched all that time for not much of a payoff. They did the same thing with the Chance story. I was so shocked by Cane’s death, that I could careless Chance was back. Why do two huge story lines at one time. Just my thoughts, thank you.

  9. Rob says:

    Not only did moving away from the core families kill Guiding Light and As The World Turns, so did the showrunner’s disregarding the voice of the fans.

    Maria Arena Bell should get her head out of her a** and start paying attention. Nobody seems to like the Heather recast, everyone wants Patty back but now we keep getting Daisy and Meggie!?!?! Two of the worst characters and actors I have ever seen. Sean Young was unbelievably bad. Just when I am buying into Adam and Sharon they cast a new love interest for her. How about utilizing the players you already have!!

    LISTEN TO THE FANS, or watch the numbers dwindle. She should take a page from the people over at One Life To Live. Now THERE is a classic soap!!

    Reply

    daneerose replied

    OLTL is so good lately they have once again got me hooked. This is a problem for Y&R. They write these story lines that fail to captivate the audience and then they kill off a popular character, which drives the fans away. To fill the void of no Y&R viewers go to another soap like OLTL and the good writing reels them in. Who runs off a large fan base…..writes story lines that fail to intrigue the audience…..gives an interview saying all is well….and cannot figure out what has got its viewers in an uproar?
    Head Writer, no Head in the Sand, Maria Bell!

    Reply

  10. winkie says:

    When she says the for the upcoming spring is romance, I hope she MEANS romance and not this ripping clothes off. That is ok sometimes, and better if a couple have been together for a while. I mean that kind of thing is alright, but show us some good ol’ fashion romance, love scenes.

    Reply

  11. Patricia says:

    MAB has no idea what the fans want, Get rid of Eden Riegel the worst recast ever. Shadam isnt working, no woman would give up her children to stay with a man who kidnapped her baby etc. Get rid of the Chance charactor (he cant act).
    We want Daniel Goddard back NOW alive and well and with Lilly. MAB is out of touch with the fans thats why they are losing viewers. I have not watched for weeks now.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    Your loss! The show is just as exciting and engaging as it ever was. Cane and Lilly were a total bore! YAWN!

    Reply

    Patricia replied

    Dont agree with you at all. If you want to give your opinion do it in your own comment not mine. MAB needs to listen to the fans. Nuff said. The shows sucks right now that is why they are losing viewers FACT!

    Christina replied

    30 year viewer, I have 3 weeks worth of yr on my DVR, that I have not watched, WHY? Because it is BORING! Truly MAB is not listening to the fans. It is a shame, I have given a show 1 hour a day for 30 years and feel my voice does not count. And, I have never in 30 years, called, written or emailed. But, I don’t want YR canceled. Thank you.

  12. Leana says:

    Who wants to watch actors on a daily basis who we don’t even know???? I have watched this show for over 30 years. I would always refer to the cast as part of my family. It was like you knew them personally, since you welcome them into your home on a daily basis. She knows what the viewers want? How come the ratings do NOT show that???? Give the fans, viewers what we want to see and we would tune in. You do not have to kill actors off to get ppl to tune in. Besides Daniel Goddard, which I am hoping returns as Cane Ashby, look at the others that have been killed off. Then add all these new ppl who we have no idea who they are, is just pointless. For what? Hope she wakes up soon, before it is too late.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    Y&R is not in a death spiral. Everyone keeps talking about ratings tanking, but the show is NUMBER ONE! Does anyone read?!

    Reply

    Christina replied

    They lost the number 1 spot women 18-49 to GH. First time ever. The main rating soaps look at. That says something. Just because they R #1 by the skin of their teeth, which has not always been the case. Does not mean they will stay there. Thank you.

  13. Kalamaty says:

    I want to see a gay storyline and gay characters represented. Stop throwing us scraps and give us the real deal!

    Reply

  14. Suzane says:

    There comes a time in life where a person has to be able to admit that they are not perfect and that they have made a mistake. Someone should let Ms Bell know of this concept as if would appear she has never heard of it.

    Don’t assume that you know what the fans want and certainly don’t dismiss them and their ideas, because sooner or later, they will dismiss you!

    Reply

  15. Ellie says:

    She needs to put Chloe back with Billy and then ill start watching again!

    Reply

  16. Kristin says:

    Good grief! Pretty much all of the comments are negative. I watch Y&R & I have to say that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately. I can actually tell the difference in the story telling now versus last year. The whole arbitration story with Victor vs the kids was SO great! They played so many beats well in that one, especially the fall out of the decision with Victor. Classic story telling there. Villy & the baby drama also great story telling. They’ve done a good job of letting that story simmer only to pick up steam & boil over soon. And clearly it must be a good story cause AMC is somewhat ripping it off, just saying. Anyways, my point is I’m enjoying Y&R & I like the direction it’s headed in. I’m glad that both of my 2 favorite soaps (Y&R & OLTL) are actually focusing on their core families & those core characters! So yay for MAB!!! :)

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    Well said… there is always so much negativity and people attacking MAB and the powers that be, but these are the same people who churn out a number one show five days out of the week. They put in an almost herculean effort to produce this show and never get anything but CRAP! It boggles the mind. I, too, am LOVING my favorite show and can’t wait to watch it every day! Kudos to the writing team, cast and crew for delivering every day!!! :)

    Reply

    Suzane replied

    Ladies, you are entitled to your opinions, they are not right or wrong, just opinions to be respected, but so is everyone else’s. As a thrid generation viewer who has been watching since I was 15, I can tell you that I have never been so dissapointed in this show as this year. I don’t want this show to end as it is the only one I have been watching for all this time, but it really needs a change in direction, MS Bell just seems to be going in circles. As I said, just my opinion, but as good as anyone else’s.

    Debbie replied

    Kalamaty you act like we like saying these things. Guess what we don’t, we want this show to be great again. If they are putting in an almost herculean effort as you say and the garbage I see on the screen comes from that effort , then they definately need to go. I kind of suspect what others here have said is true and you may be connected somehow to the show. If you are , then I feel for you and totally understand your angst at us. Our opinions as fans are important , just like yours. What do you want us to do , lie and say we’re happy when we are aren’t just so we don’t spout negativity? If they think that crap is acceptable then they will keep feeding it to us. We want them to know. As I said you knowing so much makes me believe what has been said here , you are attached to the soap somehow. If so , please tell them what we are saying, if you go by the posts I’ve read here, people want a change for the better before we loose our favorite soap, most of us watch out of loyalty nowdays , because the show mostly is bad on a daily basis. Every now and then they get something right, but it hasn’t happened alot in the last few years. Personally, I think the writing is very kindergarten. No facts are checked and character history has been thrown to the wind. Most characters are unrecognizable from the way they were protrayed in the past. I mean we know it’s a soap , but the cheating storylines have been unreal, the unprotected sex by garbage dumpsters , we used to get fed that as a tease once in awhile, but Y&R was known for i’ts intrigue in the board room and great romances. Great character’s were built over time and we got to know them well- they all have multiple personalities now, and we don’t know from one day to the next how they will act. I feel it’s cheaply written with no care and no facts are checked before it’s thrown at us. Just because we watch soaps doesn’t mean we are stupid enough to want to watch the crap I see nowdays. MAB I think has no respect for the fan and thinks we are all dumb , uneducated , loosers I guess, if not then why do we get fed this junk. I think she has an over blown ego and thinks she’s smarter than most. She can’t prove it by what I’ve seen on the screen since she been around.

    Kalamaty replied

    What can I say, Debbie? You’re funny.

  17. Barbara says:

    I was an avid fan of Y&R, ever since Daniel Goddard appeared. I was extremely disappointed to watch Cane get killed off. I don’t understand the purpose .. ** thumbs down **

    Reply

  18. daneerose says:

    Good grief, I didnt think she could give a worse interview then she did about the AAs on Y&R. When she gave the excuse why we didn’t see as much of Malcolm and Sophia when they first arrived….was because she didn’t want to shove them down our throats. Well I guess she was being kind since we already have Abby,Diane and the Newmans shoved into our digestive system. Such a hypocrite. Now we get this . Honestly she makes me want to bang my head against the wall. Are we the viewers, the only ones that see what a hot mess this show has become. None of the story lines make sense. They are boring and when they do get interesting she has to kill a character or popular couple off to hide how atrocious the writing is. Or hire 15 new actors to a already bloated cast. The pacing is ridiculous. How in the world do you keep anyone interested in a s/l when you show the character every two weeks for 8mins per week? Not to mention the Newman hour. We need to add an extra 1/2 to Y&R just so we can see the rest of the cast once a month.

    What is classic about these story lines we are seeing today on Y&R. Bed hopping is classic? Sleeping with different family members is classic? Killing off a father and husband at the height of his story line is classic? Profound? Yeah maybe, when the fan base refuses to watch the rest of the story line during sweeps causing the ratings to fall.

    She truly thinks we as viewers are stupid and we will let Y&R continue to pee on our leg while they tell us it’s rain!

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    If anything else, she’s getting people talking….. that’s brilliant, in my book! Not only that, but if people aren’t happy with storylines, why do you continue to watch? Answer is simple…. it’s riveting TV and it’s a soap opera!!! If you want reality, there are lots of choices in that genre. Find one of those.

    Reply

    daneerose replied

    I no longer watch, because they killed Cane. I frequent the mbs and read this interview. I read recaps everyday hoping she will return Cane/DG to the screen and reunite Lane. I hear that DG will return but Cane will not and that means the death of Lane. So guess what like you say no reason to return and continue to watch. I am sure when the truth is revealed many Lane fans will also stop watching too. We will no longer care enough to even respond to one of her ridiculous interviews. Hasta Lavista Baby, I wont be back!

    Debbie replied

    We’re talking about how bad the show has become and most of us DVR and only watch a few minutes of one of our favorite characters if we are lucky enough to see them once every two or three months. We are loyal to our favorite soap, and have the hope that one day it will come back to the glory it once knew. I can’t get it, is she trying to ruin the show. She kills off popular characters and drives longtime one’s into the ground and makes them totally unrecognizable, they are written totally out of character, and then she brings on untalented newcomers daily ?

  19. Wanda Williams says:

    I have been a fan of Daniel Goddard/Cane Ashby since he arrived in GC back in 2007 (thanks to my deceased husband) and have followed him thru his fake marriage to Amber and breakup. Then his beautiful romance and marriage to Lily. When I saw him killed so brutally back in February 2011 I was devastated and that’s no joke! The deaths of my husband and parents are the only ones who topped his. So now I have joined forces with Daniel’s other fb/tweeter family in campaigning to get him back on Y&R and I am not going to stop until he is!! GOT THAT?

    Reply

  20. Carrie J says:

    Maria Arena Bell You’ve forgotten that without viewers, no “Y&R” exists !!!

    Reply

    ELiabeth A replied

    The fans are what make the show stay alive. We want Daniel Goddard back as Cane Alive and well and with Lily. imho MAB thinks it is totally her show and no one else in the universe matters. What does she care? she gets paid no matter what. Bad publicity is still publicity to her so she doesnt care. Does she care about the fans or what they want? NO! even if she brings him back at this point as Cane (which looks doubtful) look at the torture she has put his fans thru every single day since he was killed!

    Reply

  21. Ashley says:

    I am NOT a fan of this version of YR. While I am only in my twenties I have been watching for about 20 years. Seriously, since I was a kid, I watched with my mom. I can NOT stand the seperation of Shick. She dangles them in our face like carrots and like fools we take the bait. Not once, but TWICE. Then she shoves this Sham Shame Shadam flop in our face like they are soulmates. HELLO, he is a SOCIOPATH who stole her kid. It’s insulting to me as a woman and as a mother. The only s/l I am enjoying is the pairing of Nick and Diane. I like them together (prefer Shick, but will settle for Dick). And now we see this MS interview saying there is HOPE for PHICK! I refuse to watch PUKE part 2. I will not. It’s the one and only thing that will force me to tune out. I HATE PHICK! I want Cane back and I want Chance to stick around.

    Reply

    Christina replied

    I agree completely!

    Reply

  22. GUEST says:

    There will come a time when we will look back and discuss when this once wonderful show died and I will say it stated with the killing off of Brad, Colleen, the Winters family and finally Cane. This woman is totally clueless.

    Reply

    Christina replied

    I totally agree!

    Reply

  23. Yvonne Berry says:

    MAB is delibrately sanking YR. No professional writer or producer would make such statements after watching their show lose nearly 1 million viewers within a 4 week period. She should be pacifying viewers in every way to gain those viewers back. Just doesn’t add up

    Reply

  24. Jan says:

    It’s always the same with MAB. She talks around in circles and never gives direct answers and never seems to take responsibility. It might be better if she spent more time trying to recapture lost ratings and fans and less time giving interviews. Anyone can see that Nick and Phyllis as well as Cane and Lily have/had passionate fans and have big fan bases. They brought freshness to the show as well as passion, romance, humor, fun etc to the show. Killing off these couples drove fans away. Resurrect these couples, give them good, believable story lines and fans will find their way back to the show.

    Reply

    daneerose replied

    You are absolutely right. I am a Lane fan and held out hope even after Cane’s death that they would reunite them. After seeing today’s epi. I now believe that they are ending Lane for good. So not only did she take the fan base through the horrible death of Cane but now she is about to take this very same fan base through the ending of Lane forever. She will give them a consolation prize of Daily. That will totally unacceptable to most of the Lane fans and they will angrily walk away never to return to Y&R again. What a way to treat loyal fans.

    Reply

  25. Donna says:

    You can see MAB doesn’t listen to the fans. It is all her want,want want. The old Y&R is ok, but the fan’s want that and more. Yes we love to see Catherine & Jill and there funny moments. I do agree we need to laugh. But you have very few moments that there is something to laugh about. I must tell you were not laughing that you killed Cane off. I will tell you if you being him back as a ghost, twin,cousin anyone or anything as the real Cane. You think you lost fans since you killed him off. Well honey you aren’t seen nothing yet. If this soap goes down the hill and the ratings show it’s on the way you have only yourself to blame. You don’t listen to the fans of what we want. For your info your nothing without the fans. Think about it.

    Reply

  26. Lana says:

    I totally fell in love with Shadam and now Sharon is gettting a new love interest! It makes no sense at all. I’m so disappointed. Where is the continuity here? I think killing off Cane is what hurt the ratings. There was no reason to kill him off just as there is no reason to break up Sharon and Adam.

    Reply

  27. mary says:

    I have read this interview several times trying to understand what Maria Bell said—nothing.
    She did not answer any of the questions asked. For the last three years, Y&R has lacked balance, consistency, has killed or fired popular characters, kept characters that the viewers didn’t want, demeaned female characters, and lacked diversity. The one constant is that Y&R consistently disappoints. Falling ratings and the loss of hundreds of thousands of viewers indicates that Maria Bell doesn’t know what the viewer wants or simply doesn’t care. Incompetence and arrogance are not attractive qualities. I am a proud member of a group of thousands who are fiercely campaigning to have Daniel Goddard returned as Cane Ashby–alive and well and married to Lily–no twin or ghost.
    I would like to thank Maria Bell for this interview–it has given me a new energy to stay with this campaign and fight even harder to bring Daniel Goddard back

    Reply

    Lori Groppe replied

    Mary,
    I’m with you and the many others who had to re-read MAB’s “interview.” I give MAB a lot of credit…credit for saying absolutely NOTHING! I am one of the more than 15,000 “crazy” Daniel Goddard fans who’ve been very involved with getting the living & breathing Cane Ashby back on screen to be reunited with Lily and the twins. MAB is really dilusional if she can’t see how the ratings TANKED during February Sweeps! This is just one of the all important rating periods that determine how much a show is worth for advertising dollars. So, what did MAB do at the very first of February? Kill Cane! MAB can’t hear the ROAR of Daniel’s thousands of fans or just look at the true ratings for what they are…she trulyis pathetic. Actually, MAB isn’t a professional writer. She was just at the right place at the right time during the writers’ strike. Also, it helped that she married well! I’m sure Bill Bell, her father-in-law, is rolling in hs grave to see how she RUINED his “baby!” I’ve boycotted the show since Cane was murdered and only tune in IF I know there will be a Cane sighting. This viewer since 1976 has never written, called, signed petitions or emailed about anything regarding Y&R since Cane was murdered! Girlfriend better realize that the Winters family is a “core” family. I wonder, since contracts don’t seem to mean a lot (Jana’s contract had been renewed for 2 years & now she’s going), perhaps MAB’s renewed contract can be reworked? One can only HOPE! BRING BACK DANIE GODDARD as CANE ASHBY!

    Reply

  28. Danielle says:

    Reading this interview made me really think that Maria Arena Bell is very disconnected regarding the problems with Y&R. The Newman family are the only core family/characters that are being written and shown on this show. The Chancellors, The Abbotts, and The Winters are being treated as the red-headed ugly stepchildren. Soaps are going through a bad time, why would you get rid of your popular(s) characters and bring on newbies that the audience have no connection to and they don’t care what happens to them. This is one of the problems that OLTL and other soaps have on their shows they bring on newbies and do not really write for the characters/cast members that they already have.

    Reply

  29. Kalamaty says:

    I just want to say that it’s a no brainer that ratings will ebb and flow during the run of any tv show. Yes, Y&R has lost some viewers, but it is still number one and resonating with so many millions of viewers. People tend to lose sight of that very well publicized fact. It’s pretty unbelievable (and laughable) that people villify MAB when all she has done is consistently keep our favorite show at the top of the heap for what seems like forever. Get over it, people…. Y&R is the best soap on the air and everyone knows it. We can all mourn for the characters that come and go, but that’s the nature of the show. Storylines change, peripheral characters come and go….. first time watching?? Wow.

    Reply

    Christina replied

    Ratings do ebb and flow, correct. Check out YR ratings, they have dropped consistently for years now. Not days or weeks or months but a few years. I can read ratings and they are dropping. Not up and down, just dropping, for years. When GL was on it was one mistake after the next. Then they had a very popular super couple leave town. I said enough is enough and stopped watching. Look where they R at, CANCELED. I don’t want that to happen to YR, which is why I am voicing my disappointment with my 30 year soap. I want them to start writing more consistently and doing a better job of giving the fans what we want. Better endings to story lines, less new characters, keeping characters on the show that have been on for years (Brad, John Abbot, Collen.). I guess they didn’t rate in her showing core characters. Then keeping characters on that became VERY popular, Cane Ashby! Mark my words, if things keep going his way in a few years you will see the cancellation of YR, so sad.

    Reply

    Debbie replied

    It may be the best on the air right now, but considering how many have been canceled that’s not saying much. I agree with Christina, if things don’t change we will loose Y&R and I put the blame on the writers they’ve had for the past few years and MAB. It was once so great that we rushed home after work to watch the daily episode that we had taped. Now I FF most of it on my DVR because of the nonsense that doesn’t give me what I need which is to get my mind off of everyday life for an hour. I couldn’t care less what most of the characters are doing and when I watch something it’s a watered down, mess that jumps around , never ends or it’s done so fast we can’t even get into it. Nothing is believable or fact based. Crap Bring back the glory that kept me hanging and clammering for the next day episode. MAB has proved she can’t do it, so they need to get someone who can.

    Reply

  30. Wanda says:

    MAB needs to stop propping up the Sharon Newman story period. There are far more better actors/actresses in the cast.

    Reply

    Debbie replied

    I don’t like this kind of negativity, but I couldn’t agree more. I don’t like to down any actor on Y&R , but she cannot act. Her hand gestures are so fake and off timing. I don’t want her to loose her job, but as you said there are far better actors who could really bring it to the show that get no time. She may have been on the show a long time, but I think her looks carried her that far, because her acting from the day she started has been lame at best. The only thing I can think that would cause her to be pushed to the front with these weak storylines is that she is very friendly with MAB or someone in power on the show. The actress that played her daughter Cassie and was killed off, was young but could act circles around her, yet they kept Sharon. MAB must like her California look, I just tired of seeing her on my screen so much with her stringy hair hanging around her face all the time, her hairdo hasn’t changed or improved since she came on either. Makes you wonder why she gets special treatment.

    Reply

    Wanda replied

    From what I understand MAB’s very best friend was Sharon Case’s MIL.

  31. Marlin Bell says:

    You really have set the bar low if u think Y&R is good. THIS IS NOT THE Y&R I KNOW. I don’t see how any one can dare to justify what we are seeing. The cast is too big for starters. If you wacthed Bill Bells Y&R and watch MAB’s you will see what we are talking about. How long have you been watching Y&R kalamty? U sound like MAB herself

    Reply

    daneerose replied

    I was tempted several times to ask Kalamty was she MAB! Funny!

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    Just to clarify things… not that I feel I need to, or anything, but Kalamaty is a HE and HE has been watching this show since it started. I’m happy to be a part of this forum, and I’m sorry if I seem to be a little blunt, but I’m very passionate for my favorite show and feel like there are so many negative opinions here. The fact is that Y&R is the template that all soaps aspire to be. Not all on our fave soap is as bad as everyone would like it to be. Wake up, people! Any fan of this show worth their salt knows how this works. Actors come and go, storylines come and go. I don’t care if they make Melody Thomas Scott get back up on the stripper pole hopped up on ecstacy….. I’m still gonna watch, and so is everyone else who is a real fan! I enjoy my one hour escape from the real world, and think it’s too bad that many people here just refuse to move on and grow with the show. Your loss, I suppose. I, on the other hand, am going to continue to watch and enjoy every delicious moment of scandal, drama, sex and intrique.

  32. Lucas says:

    all the shows can bring in new actors for alot less money,and keep some off the older charecters/actors

    Reply

  33. scott says:

    Michael, i love your site but cn you please stop interviewing this silly women! Can you please interview some writers you haven’t aleady. Like amc or days.

    Reply

  34. Wise says:

    What was the purpose and intent of this interview?-I am baffled.
    If the purpose was to address the falling ratings and loss of thousands of viewers–Failure
    If the purpose was to address Y&R’s current lack of balance, lack of consistency, lack of vision, lack of diversity, and constant degradation of women—Failure
    If the purpose was to showcase Maria Bell’s disdain and ambivalence for the viewers–Winner
    This brings to mind a famous quote from “Macbeth” “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

    Reply

  35. Kalamaty says:

    Oh Dear God In Heaven….. what is the big deal with Daniel Goddard’s character dying? You would think that he was the second coming, the way people go on and on about his character! I am completely baffled. Nothing personal against the actor… I found DG to be very handsome and believable in the role of Cane, but let’s recap for a moment about his tenure on the GC landscape, shall we?

    I’ll sum it up quickly for everyone here….. he was a total LIAR from the minute he came to town. Not only that, but he continually LIED to the supposed “family” that adopted him after they gave him one chance after another!! Where is the redeeming quality here that everyone just can’t seem to live without? The character of Cane was a complete and utter dumb ass, who never trusted the people who loved him enough to tell the truth about anything…. EVER! So, he put his baby, wife and other people who loved him in harms way repeatedly. Jill, Kay, Lilly and the twins may STILL be in danger because of his bungling. Again, nothing against the actor, but holy crap…. how soon people forget. Just sayin.

    Reply

    Christina replied

    Every character on this show lies ALL the time. It’s a soap, that’s what they do. Daniel Goddard came on this show and despite all the lying written for his character, we still want CANE back! Why, because Daniel as an actor, is that GOOD. The word today, via soap in depth, Daniel Goddard IS STAYING, one reason given, the fan outcry. We want him back and we will campaign until he is on full-time again. But, this was not just about Daniel Goddard. It is about all the reasons I listed above. BRAD, JOHN, COLLEEN, CANE. The character Sharon being destroyed. The Chance story being ruined. The countless characters we don’t want to see-Meggie, Ryder, Hogan etc.

    Reply

  36. DG_Fan1 says:

    I understand that the world of soaps is unstable right now and constantly evolving is necessary. The loss of characters and introduction of new ones us just part of the process. What MAB needs to take more seriously is the classic y&r characters that she loves so much are most popular with an older age demographic. No disrespect to MAB or these brilliant actors is intended and in fact, some of them are needed, but the focus should be on characters and storylines that appeal to the 20-40 year olds who most likely make up their core viewing audience which ultimately ensures their good ratings. Yes, I am a die hard cane/lane fanatic. Yes, I was crushed to see cane killed. Yes, I want to see him back. But I also want to see the storylines appeal to my interests which currently they are not. While a big part of my anger is due to cane being killed, I feel as a fan in the core demographic my feelings and opinions are less importand to the writing staff as their desire to keep us in the good ole days! That is an insult to my intelligence and frankly…not cool!

    Reply

  37. Tanya says:

    Well I don’t know about everyone else but I know how I feel and that is because of Villy. I started really watching Y&R because of them, I mean like I can’t miss a single episode I even took time to read a little of the History of the Show. U know I use to be one of those People not too into Soaps cause of all the Madness, Dopplegangers anyone? I use to just watch Soaps for the sake of just watching Soaps whenever I saw them on my TV or when I see a Story that interest me, I can remember a few Y&R Stories, just saying I’m familiar with the Show. I watch Billy Miller took on the role of Billy Abbott from Day 1 but I never really like any of his pairings just prefer Villy. Now I can say i’m a true Soap Fan I watch Y&R, AMC, B&B, Days (I hate the Rafe 2.0 Story but..), GH & OLTL. So if MAB has done anything right for me it’s the pairing of Villy, Marcy Rylan, Michael Muhney, I hope to see more of Adam & Phyillis play Partners In Crime but not as a Couple though, Ronan, Eric Roberts, Maura West & more of Tricia Cast. MABs I hope we get to see more Romance cause the Show is lacking in that Department right now. Just my opinion.

    Reply

  38. Dawn says:

    I, for one, wish that MAB’s defenders would stop using the same old weak refrain “But, hey, it’s the #1 soap on television! Isn’t that proof enough that she’s doing a good job?” Uhhh… no. No, it’s not enough.

    Being number one doesn’t mean as much as it used to, considering the fact that the cancel-happy network execs have brought the number of soaps that are still on the air down to a measly six (!). And they’re not done with their cancellations yet, not by a long shot. I’m afraid that “The Young & the Restless” has become overly reliant upon its status as the #1 soap, and complacency has set in.

    If this show continues the nonsense –that is, bringing in new yet unnecessary characters every month, repeatedly writing their good characters into corners, and firing perfectly good actors who have loyal followings–they’re not gonna remain in the #1 spot for much longer.

    I really wish Maria Arena Bell would step aside and let someone who actually has genuine talent, respect for the medium, and common sense take over. But, hey… maybe this run of shoddy writing is some sort of freaky karma, ’cause I remember a lot of viewers were crabbing when John Smith was at the helm. At least when he was head writer, we were still getting a decent run of good storylines (Terrible Tom; the intro of the Fisher family; the return of crazy Sheila; etcetera).

    Nowadays, I don’t even bother to record the show when I can’t be home to watch. Considering the fact that I’ve been following Y&R since I was 14 years old (I’ll be 42 next month), that’s really saying something.

    Reply

    Kalamaty replied

    I’m really not trying to get into a war of words here, but perhaps you shouldn’t be commenting on a show you just admitted that you aren’t even watching. Just a thought.

    Reply

    Holly replied

    Wanna know how I know what’s going on? I watch it on cbs.com or I download the episodes from online websites that shall remain anonymous.

    This show is a TRAINWRECK and those of you who are defending this woman are not true fans. If you were true fans you’d remember the glory days of the 80s and heck even the 90s when the confrontations on this once former crown jewel of Daytime were FIERCE.

    The acting was FIERCE. The actresses wore clothes that were STUNNING. The men were MEN and had just as astounding confrontations over the women and business alike.

    Back when the ABBOTS were still a SOLID family unit.

    When the WINTERS were still a core family unit. When business storylines were IMPORTANT and actually interesting to follow.

    This woman is nothing more than a HACK.

    Dawn replied

    First of all, “Kalamaty”, you need to read a comment from start to finish before responding to it. Nowhere in my post did I say that I’m “not even watching it.” What I said was that I don’t bother to record Y&R on those days that I am not home when it airs.

    Let me translate for you: WHEN I AM HOME DURING ITS TIME SLOT, I ACTUALLY DO WATCH IT; WHEN I AM NOT HOME, I DON’T BOTHER TO RECORD IT, WHEREAS I USED TO RECORD IT NO MATTER WHAT. Capiche? Besides, it’s not necessary to watch EVERY single show EVERY day in order to keep abreast of the storylines. So I’ll thank you to refrain from misquoting me.

    Second: I swear to God that “Kalamaty” must be nothing but a pseudonym for Maria Arena Bell. Either you are M.A.B., her kid, her mama, or her PR agent. That’s the only reasonable explanation for your insanely rabid defense of her and her shoddy work. So, if that is really you, Maria (and I wouldn’t doubt it), please stop wasting time firing off rebuttles on message boards, stop churning out cliched trash, and start writing some REAL STORYLINES! That’s the least you and your writing team should be doing for us REAL fans.

    Dawn replied

    Hey, Holly: From one TRUE Y&R fan to another… Amen! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    Kalamaty replied

    I’m so done with this topic and you, but just wanted to suggest you go back and read your complete ranting posts and realize that you are delusional and hardly what I would call a fan of Young and the Restless. Why are you here, anyway? Maybe you should take up stamp collecting. Now there’s an idea! It hear it’s good for calming the nerves. You really need professional help if you think a fan of the show who is tired of reading baseless, negative comments about the top rated show in datime is, in fact, the headwriter of said show. Have a nice evening, Dawn.

    Dawn replied

    It’s too bad you lack the ability to recognize the tongue-in-cheek nature of my last post’s final paragraph. Then again, you seem unable to understand a lot of things (for e.g., the difference between good tv writing as opposed to garbage), so I’m not at all surprised.

    How does it feel to be an army of one, “Kalamaty”? Most of the people who have posted here understand what The Young & the Restless used to be, and believe that it has the potential to be better than it has been of late. You seem to be the only one unwilling to accept the truth.

    Funny how it’s always the craziest of people who are intent on calling others “delusional”. Anyone who believes that this show is being written as well now as it was in the days of Bill Bell or even Jack Smith is as wacky as Jana. I never would have thought that adults could enjoy Pablum too, but here you are.

    Take your own advice and find a new hobby… one that’s healthier than replying to EVERY post on this board that contradicts your assertions by stating the obvious. “I’m not looking to get into a war of words…” Yeah. Right. You obviously live for this type of thing. Admit it.

    Either way, I don’t really care, ’cause I’m done wasting my time here, exchanging posts with you. I have a life. I suggest you go out and get one, too.

    Reply

  39. Dawn says:

    Correction: That’s *Jack* Smith (not John).

    Reply

  40. Lucy says:

    The only reason I started watching Y&R is because of Lily and Cane…

    Next to Jason & sam of GH Lane is my next favorite couple….I hope Jasam get twins in the future

    Reply

  41. Ashley says:

    Like many of you I have watched for quite some time. I watched as kid. But as a teenager I was completely drawn in to the Shick s/l. I have to this day NEVER been so invested in a soap couple. Their on screen chemistry, even after a decade and a half baffles me. They are the epitome of a soap opera super couple IMO. I can remember being on family vacations during high school and rushing in at lunch to watch Sharon try to fight for custody of Cassie and not knowing if Nick was gonna come through for her. But of course he did, and he couldn’t have loved that little girl anymore than if she was his own flesh and blood. Kiling off CG/Cassie was a mistake IMO but it did make for good storytelling so I get that. But to hook Sharon up w/ the man that kidnapped her second daughter after she missed out of the first 6 mos. of Faith’s life was silly. Sharon lost the first 5 years of Cassie’s life and then her life was cut short and she missed out on a lifetime w/ her daughter. Her only son has disowned her and now she has lost custody of Faith b/c she has chosen a sociopath over her family. Do you even understand how that affects us as mothers to witness MAB? Especially when it’s our ALL TIME favorite character you are destroying. I don’t even recognize Sharon. And at this point could care less if you killed the character off tomorrow. I would rather not even have her on the show if you are gonna hook her up with that fool. Why he is your “golden boy” I will never understand. You have LONG TIME fans begging for Shick but you spit on us. I may only be a mother in my twenties but I have friends who feel the same as I do. You need to FIX this Lane s/l too. We know DG is staying, but is Cane? REUNITE SHICK ASAP! AND LANE 2!

    Reply

    Christina replied

    ITA, they are ruining Sharon. You pointing out she missed out on Cassie and now Faith too, was right on the mark. They keep bringing Shick back together, only to end it before we get our big finish. It is a soap and of course Shick will always go back and forth. But, at least finish a storyline correctly. Don’t get me Interested in the shick pairing again only to not give us a great finish to the story.

    Reply

  42. Elizabeth Hoelscher says:

    NuHeather is awlful and so is Meggie.
    Bring Cane Back.
    It’s discusting what has happened to Sharon, Ashley, and the other women on th

    Reply

  43. Lillian Burns says:

    Please don’t forget that Ronan “left” about the same time as Cane. If ratings fell – I know I have stopped watching/taping because of Ronan leaving – not Cane. Additionally all the sex without romance is ridiculous! I like a beautiful escape when I watch; a beautiful ending (Chance saved Ronan – OH WELL??); some continuity. Y&R has lost it and me.

    Reply

  44. Holly says:

    Are you guys freaking serious!?!?!?

    This woman is THE WORST WRITER to ever be a part of The Young & The Restless. She has absolutely DESTROYED THIS SHOW from DAY ONE.

    Cane Ashby is a HORRIBLE CHARACTER portrayed by a terrible actor who just chews up scenery and has NO CHEMISTRY with Lily. This show is a joke and I CANNOT WAIT TILL ITS CANCELLED.

    She is NOT embracing history. This show that airs these days is NOT classic vintage Y&R. Its cheap and pathetic and it has horrible story telling.

    Bring back DRUCILLA. Bring back the REAL VICTORIA. Bring an interesting TEEN SET. Why is Maura West portraying Diane Jenkins. She has NO CHEMISTRY with anyone on the set. For the LOVE OF GOD bring back Susan Walters…

    I honestly could say a million things more but I know that this woman is so deluded with herself that she believes everything she’s saying. Sorry MAB but your show SUCKS and its not because Cane is gone. If anything him and Jana leaving is just the FIRST of many crucial exits needed.

    When will you make the ABBOTS A STRONG FAMILY AGAIN?

    When will you get Chris Engen back who is the REAL ADAM NEWMAN?

    Reply

    Jewel replied

    I agree with everything you said, except what you said about the character of Cane Ashby. I love the character of Cane and think DG is a very good actor. I love CANE and Lily.

    Reply

    Carolyn replied

    I agree with you Jewel! I love Daniel Goddard’s portrayal of Cane! Daniel is one of the best actors on the show! I also love Cane and Lily!

    daneerose replied

    Holly, Daniel never had enough air time to even take a bite out of the scenery, no less chew it up. But when he was on he made the crap they wrote for him shine. He always did the best with what he was given. I miss this actor so much and without him on this show, the fact that it is awful, is undeniable. I overlooked a lot because he was there but without him it is impossible to watch. Love Cane and Lily. So you are a VR supporter, explains a lot.

    Reply

  45. Debbie says:

    This woman is on a power trip, she doesn’t care what the fans want. I have been watching since day one, my daughter watched, my granddaughter watched, 3 genrations and we all feel like somebody stole the show and it is being written by amateurs. I’m the only loyal one left watching because the “younger generation ” as she undoubtly thinks she speaks for , hate it now( in my family anyway). My granddaughter calls it a joke and kind of sick, my daughter thinks I’m stupid for hanging in. I personally think she has taken the older characters and made them foolish, cruel and sad. Victor has been protrayed horribly in the last few years growing steadily worse each year, Katherine as of late is just there for comedy relief. The younger women characters are all sex kittens of the couches in town , nobody has sex in a bed anymore on this soap. Everyone in town is crazy or a murderer and we have no good characters to fall back on for a little morality. If they are good when they get to GC they soon change or they are gone. Mr. Bell had his thumb on this show and knew what the fans wanted , she must have come from making sexy, slasher movies or something and has single handedly ruined a great soap and made it at times seem like Passions , a joke. Not everyone is liberal in their thinking or their morals, she only connects with her set of friends and is trying to bring the rest of the country around to her way of thinking. All 3 generations of women watchers in my family think the women on the show are protrayed as weak and dumb, the men are not men- they are all being lead around by the nose by sexbots without brains, and nobody works to make an honest dollar -they all want to take it from somebody else. It’s okay for a movie, but to be fed that kind of garbage on a daily basis, isn’t entertainment and to me she doesn’t understand anything but what is going on in her little world and she’s trying to shove it down our throats. We live in the real world , not all of us live in California and as a working woman I think she’s lost touch with real women today, if she thinks that we want to go back to a day when women were arm candy and dumb(Sharon) or that when we are struggling to make ends meet we want to see someone like Sharon doing what she’s done and have sympathy for her, she’s wrong. No, she doesn’t live in the modern world, in my eyes, because Sharon is a fallback to the 50′s, and she needs to get out and meet some real people and please stop ruining the best soap opera ever on tv.

    Reply

    Wanda replied

    What a terrific post Debbie.

    Reply

  46. Marlin Bell says:

    U get it dawn u get it. Kalmty is no other than MAB herself. Hey MAB stop wasting your time posting on here and focus on better stories for YnR

    Reply

  47. Kanuck says:

    Since when do ghosts use cell phones?,, If I am not mistaken, didn’t Cane use one last week after speaking to Lily at the cemetary? So, in my estimation, Cane is not dead, I don’t know what he is up to, probably out to get his old man. I think it was all a setup, imagine the people that are going to be peed off when they find out. Time will tell.

    Reply

  48. Abbey says:

    What a load of rubbish! The writing on this show has gone from bad to worse. Story lines like Sharon falling in love with psycho creep Adam who stole her baby – really? You honestly expect viewers to buy this and not feel totally disgusted and insulted in the process? I started watching this show from the begining but after that sheer stupidity I have stopped. This show has been veering farther and farther from any semblence of coming anywhere near to a believealble story line. Yeah…I get that it is a soap but please. I started to feel like I was watching bad Sci Fi. My only hope is that the Y&R will join the slag heap of the other soaps that are getting cancelled. This show needs to be put out of its misery and ours, the viewers.

    Reply

  49. danergirl says:

    Someone should really destroy this woman’s computer and get her a straight jacket because clearly she is as delusional as her alter ego Sharon!

    Reply

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