In his first in-depth interview since returning as head writer of The Young and the Restless, Josh Griffith in a fantastic chat with TV Guide talks about his plans for Genoa City, and all the cast changes at The Young and the Restless. Griffith served as Y&R’s head writer and executive producer back in 2007-2008 during the infamous writer’s strike and now is back in full force dealing with the fallout from Maria Arena Bell’s direction for the beloved characters of the number one series. Here are just a few interesting excerpts from the interview
Griffith on if he was thinking of changing the previous regimes scripts before they made it to air, since his material does not start airing till October 12th: “It was a more interesting challenge to work with what I was left with and tailor my ideas to pick up from there. You don’t want to go in and start messing with what is already written and suddenly shift the story 180 degrees. The audience would feel jerked around. It’s always a challenge in these transition periods. Sure, we made little tweaks here and there but we made the decision to officially start our work with show number 10,011 and only look forward.”
Griffith if Sony had specific requests on who should get fired which included in this round: Genie Francis, Marcy Rylan, Debbi Morgan and Jennifer Landon: “No. They asked Jill Farren Phelps (EP, Y&R) and me where we wanted to go with the show. We told them which characters we felt would give us the most heat and which ones wouldn’t, and they were fine with our choices. We were inclined to make even more cast cuts but both Sony and CBS wanted to be careful. They felt too much head-lobbing would not bode well for the way the fans see our tenure. We also came in with a budgetary mandate from Sony and really had to tighten the belt. We looked at the characters that didn’t have long-reaching history and connection to the heart of the show and made the tough call to cut them loose so we can focus on the core.”
Griffith on the mess of character Sharon Newman played by Sharon Case, and how he plans on resolving the character’s psychotic behavior and getting her back to the Sharon fans had originally come to love: “In order to rebuild the character of Sharon, we’re going to take her to the edge and over it, to a point where she has a total mental breakdown. And then she’s going to find salvation in a very surprising — yet inevitable — way. She will cause major damage to the Newman family, damage that’s possibly irreparable, specifically to Victor , Nick and Victoria. And out of that absolute breakdown she’s going to be rescued and nurtured back to mental health, so we come out on the other end of the story with a stronger, more together, more evolved Sharon, with a love story at the center of her recuperation. When I first saw what had been done to the character I went, “Whoa!” Then I embraced it and saw it as the opportunity for an even bigger story that will take three to four months — the fall and the resurrection of Sharon.”
So soapers, what do you think of Griffith’s take on how he will reposition Genoa City? Are you happy with the decision of the recent cast-cuts? Are you glad to hear how Griffith wants to take the character of Sharon Newman? Weigh-in!