Earlier this week on Thursday, members of the cast of The Young and the Restless along with a bevy of special guests that included: Y&R co-creator Lee Phillip Bell, Y&R EP and head writer, Chuck Pratt Jr, senior executive vp programming at Sony Pictures Television, Steve Kent, who oversees daytime’s Y&R and DAYS, and new Y&R EP Mal Young were all on hand for an afternoon celebration for the series 11,000th episode milestone.
With the number 11,000 made into delicious cupcakes for those to taste, the cast, crew, producers and press gathered together to honor this special moment in the series 43-year-history. Cast in attendance included: Melody Thomas Scott, Tracey E. Bregman, Bryton James, Christel Khailil, Greg Rikaart, Mara McCaffrey, Robert Adamson, Hunter King, Sean Carrigan, Melissa Ordway, Elizabeth Hendrickson, Eric Braeden, Kristoff St. John, Eileen Davidson, Peter Bergman, Gina Tognoni, Jason Thompson, Melissa Claire Egan, Kate Linder, Beth Maitland, Lauralee Bell, Daniel Goddard, and Mishael Morgan.
Viewers of the series witnessed on September 1st the airing of the 11,000th episode of the top-rated daytime drama which featured the tragic turn of events for the exited Justin Hartley’s character of Adam Newman.
For this on set celebration on stage 41 at CBS Television City, only two speeches were given: one by Mal Young. and the other by Steve Kent. While Kent recalled how his career lead him to be the champion of the series over at Sony Pictures Television, Young offered up thoughts on being a Brit in charge of Y&R, Bill Bell’s vision, and what makes Y&R most unique and beloved around the world.
Below are some excerpts from the the newest executive producer’s speech as he addressed the cast, press, CBS and Sony executive notables, and more in attendance:
Mal Young: “As the only Brit involved in the history of the show, Y&R is known all over the world. Growing up I knew about it, and heard about it. Recently, my wife (singer, Mari Wilson) was on tour in Jamaica and this woman came over to her and said, ‘Are you Nikki the stripper from The Young and the Restless?‘ So she called me up and said, ‘Is that a compliment, or not?’ (Laughs) I said, ‘With the lovely Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) playing it, that’s a compliment!’ So, even in Jamaica we are huge.”
“There are so many amazing people that it takes to make 11,000 episodes of anything. We love you all … you are all hugely important to the show … but so is anyone who has been over the threshold of stage 41 and 43 at CBS over all these 43 years.”
“I will single out Bill Bell (Co-creator, Y&R). What an amazing vision he had. If you consider back in 1973, he came up with this amazing idea, and it was originally called The Innocent Years. They realized with what was going on in the world, The Innocent Years, didn’t really work. It was a few days after Y&R first came on to CBS, that the last Vietnam solider left and came back to America. We had kind of lost our innocence and the world was different, and that’s what grew into this new younger-type of soap which was The Young and the Restless. And I think that spirit of reflecting America, and reflecting all of these amazing characters as they have grown over 11,000 episodes has remained true to the spirit of the original vision of Bill and Lee Bell’s (Co-creator, Y&R), and that is my inspiration every day when we come over the threshold to these stages. I think, ‘What are we going to do today? What stories are we going to tell?”’
“If you were to binge watch Y&R – you need to get on your sofa with your pizza, and a lot of ice cream, and it’s going to be 10,126 ½ hours of TV, and if you were to watch it in one big go, it would take you 1 year, 1 month, and 26 days, and ½ hours to complete. That is a fun-feat we have pulled off, and we will continue to do so.”
“I was trying to find a superlative to describe in one word this fantastic show and what Bill Bell gave to us and the vision that he pulled out that gave us 11,000 episodes. I thought of ‘Amazeballs’, or ‘OMG!’ or ‘RAD!’ But that’s not going to be right coming out of a British person’s mouth. (Laughs) So there is one word I said I would never use around this place, but I am going to break that rule today, because it does best describe what you all are, and most importantly what the show is. The Young and the Restless is very, very ‘awesome”’!
So, what did you think of the excerpts from Mal’s speech? Y&R’s final stop on their 11K celebration tour which included retrsopective clip packages opening episodes of the series, the social media images of the cast showing the first episode number that they appeared in, and more? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and look for video interviews with the cast next week at On-Air On-Soaps!