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Life in Genoa City is, to put it mildly, com­pli­cated. And it turns out that it’s just as com­plex cre­at­ing all those love tri­an­gles and tem­per tantrums for THE YOUNG & THE REST­LESS! Soaps In Depth sat down with ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer/ head­writer Mal Young for

CBS Soaps In Depth - - Contents -

Soaps In Depth: You re­cently in­tro­duced the Ros­ales fam­ily. What mo­ti­vated you to bring them in?

Mal Young: In the early days, [Y&R’S cre­ator, the late Wil­liam J. Bell] started with the haves and have nots. Then the show went through dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods of de­vel­op­ment. Now there are a lot of rich peo­ple in [ Genoa City], which is great, be­cause you can show that no mat­ter if you are a bil­lion­aire, your life still sucks! (Laughs.) But I wanted to in­tro­duce a dif­fer­ent class of peo­ple. The [ Ros­ale- ses] are blue- col­lar, but they’re also aspi­ra­tional. That’s im­por­tant for view­ers to see. It feels like more of a re­al­is­tic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of life.

In Depth: Do you have a tech­nique for in­tro­duc­ing new char­ac­ters?

Young: What we try to do is cre­ate a char­ac­ter, then live with him or her for three months, maybe lon- ger, so we know who they are. The char­ac­ter of Nate was on the can­vas many years ago. But this is a new in­car na­tion with Brooks Dar­nell. Or like Michael Mealor’s Kyle. We hand the char­ac­ter over to the ac­tor, and they are now the cus­to­dian of the char­ac­ter. We want that. I love the vibe of writ­ing for the ac­tor. It be­comes a two- way street,

[ blend­ing] what we’re writ­ing with the ac­tor. There’s some­thing ex­cit­ing about that!

In Depth: Y&R looks fab­u­lous right now. What changes have you been do­ing be­hind the scenes?

Young: We’ve changed the way we write the show a bit. When I came in, I wanted it to run like a prime­time show. We have a writ­ers’ room up­stairs now and two sto­ry­lin­ers, which was a po­si­tion that didn’t ex­ist be­fore. They work with me on the long- term pro­jec­tion of the show but also the de­tails of each day to get the best pos­si­ble sto­ry­telling.

In Depth: Look­ing for­ward, what can we ex­pect in over­all sto­ry­telling?

Young: We’re turn­ing up the heat! It’s not good enough to have Clif fhanger Fri­days — we’ve got to have a cliffhanger ev­ery day! Peo­ple don’t watch five days a week. They’ll pop in and out. We’ve got to re­ally make it as com­pelling as pos­si­ble with those big, talked­about sto­ries. We re­ally want a good mix of the big drama mo­ments, and the big, “Oh my God, I never saw that com­ing!” [shocks]. We love to play the game of, “Well, the au­di­ence will think this, so let’s do that.” When I watch TV, I want to be sur­prised and en­thralled! I think we can bring a lot more hu­mor to the show, but we also want deep emo­tions [to] make peo­ple cry or lean in on the edge of their seats!

“We’ve got to have a cliffhanger ev­ery day!”

Pick up the next CBS is­sue of Soaps In Depth (on sale Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 15) for the rest of our chat with Young!

J.T.’S death was the mix of high drama and shock­ing mo­ments for which Young strives.

The Ros­ale­ses are help­ing Y&R get real.

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