The Biggest Mistake Young And The Restless Creator Bill Bell Thought He Ever Made

For over five decades, "The Young and the Restless" has managed to entertain fans with all of the twists and turns that their favorite characters usually encounter on almost a daily basis in this fictional town of Genoa City. The writers and producers of the long-running soap must be doing something right as the hit CBS sudster is continually at the top spot in the ratings war against the other prime daytime television soaps, according to Soap Opera Network

Actor Peter Bergman, who is best known for his role as Jack Abbott, has said that one of the reasons why the soap's storylines work so well is because the writers have done a good job of sticking with the same original formula that has always worked out the best for them. He told, "Real conflicts in families with real problems. There's a reverence for some of the older characters, but also the ability to weave some of the younger characters into that."

And while there's no doubt that many fans would admit that the drama surrounding the Abbott and Newman legacy families are just some of the reasons why they tune in to "The Young and the Restless" daily, creator William J. Bell did admit that there was one huge mistake that nearly cost the soap everything.

William J. Bell thought he made a huge mistake going to an hour

Nothing says family fights, fortunes, and flare ups more than soap opera television, which "The Young and the Restless" fans certainly know all too well. In the center of all the action is of course the major legacy families that reside and collide in such close proximity. Well, creator and showrunner William J. Bell did have a moment of self-doubt when he made a few structural changes to the show, according to the book "Worlds Without End: The Art and History of the Soap Opera." Because "The Young and the Restless" was gaining so much momentum in the ratings, Bell decided to expand the show to a full hour, which prompted some of the soap's stars to walk out. "The issue of performing in a one-hour show had not been part of their contracts," he wrote, per TV Insider. "And some of our leading actors understandably felt their popularity on 'Restless' would open the door to fame and fortune or films."

Since so many of the soap's leading stars walked out on the show, Bell had no choice but to shift some of the focus and storylines on new characters that were emerging from the Williams and Abbott families. Well, it turns out that the move didn't turn out to be a huge mistake after all.

The beauty of soaps is in its storytelling

As much as some people thought it would have been a mistake to expand "The Young and the Restless" from a 30-minute soap to a full hour one, three out of the four daytime television soaps that are still on air all have one-hour daily episodes. The only soap that still runs at 30 minutes is "The Young and the Restless'" sister soap, "The Bold and the Beautiful." Apparently, one of the reasons why a lot of soaps started off with the 30-minute format is just because there are so many little details when it comes to storytelling drama, as detailed by Book Revise.

Regardless of how many minutes are in one episode, something is definitely working right for "The Young and the Restless" as it is a soap that has managed to stay on air for over 50 years, according to Deadline. Soaps tell the kind of melodramatic story that you often don't get from primetime or full-length feature films, according to the BBC, and that's why there are so many people who are invested in them. "The Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) even said that today's soaps are still as good as they were 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. He told TV Insider, "I always go back to Bill Bell. He laid the groundwork, the foundation. I'm very grateful. Without the fans, the audience, we wouldn't be anywhere. If there's a raison d'être for what we do, they are it!"