How The Young And The Restless' Head Writer Plans To Change The Show

"The Young and the Restless" is starting to feel different in the spring of 2022. Stories that have been lingering with little payoff for what seems like forever are finally moving at a more intense pace while moving the plot along to new levels. The return of old characters and the introduction of new ones also make the CBS soap seem like it has a new lease on life, meaning if you miss a day, you miss a lot. That is exactly what a writer wants for a soap so that audiences keep tuning in day after day.

Head writer Josh Griffith was brought on to guide the soap in 2018 when British soap producer and writer Mal Young left the show and American soaps behind (via Showbiz 411). More than three years later, Griffith feels he has "Y&R" on the right course, according to Soap Opera Digest, and some big recent moves both behind the scenes and on-screen are poised to change the course of the show.

The return of Diane Jenkins

Shocking returns stemming from back-from-the-dead tales are a staple of daytime drama and they work best when the character who is resurrected wasn't just presumed dead, but declared dead with viewers actually seeing a body. That was the case when Maura West left the role of Diane behind in 2011 and her body seemed bludgeoned to death, but apparently, she there was still life left in her because Susan Walters returned to the role in March of 2022 (via TV Insider).

Josh Griffith told Soap Opera Digest that he wants to re-establish the Abbott family and feels that bringing in a character who has a big connection to Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) would do it. "That would be Diane, and bringing her back to the Abbott world and causing conflict with Phyllis," Griffith said. "So we decided that was the way to go because that would mean connecting the Abbotts to the Susan Walters version again. From there, everything just fell into place."

Griffith also had another way to bring the Abbotts all together again and that was by resolving what happened with a long-lost family member, and then adding a new family member from that.

The introduction of Allie

It turns out Jack Abbott has a grown granddaughter he never knew about thanks to the show revisiting the fact that Jack learned he had a son he never knew about in the 1990s. When Jack learned he had fathered a child while serving in Vietnam (via Soaps In Depth), it was a major story and fans had been wondering where Keemo (Philip Moon) was for decades.

Jack recently had to confess they had been at odds for years right before he learned Keemo had died. While visiting Keemo's home in California, Jack meets a young woman named Allie (Kelsey Wang). She is Keemo's daughter and set to change the dynamic in the Abbott family. And she had already struck up a friendship with Diane before Jack learned the mother of his other son, Kyle Abbott (Michael Mealor), was alive (via

"It was always there, that unfinished business for Jack, but how can we make it so it's not the typical reunion between father and son? What's the other level to that?" Josh Griffith told Soap Opera Digest. "Okay, what if Keemo is dead and there's a grandchild, a whole new Abbott out there? It was one of those things that we just kept getting excited about, and by adding Diane, wow, Genoa City would explode."

The Newmans are also affected

Much of the town does not even know Diane is alive as of this writing, but when the truth comes out, everything is going to change — especially for Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), who still believes she killed Diane (via Soaps In Depth).

"On one hand, Nikki will be, 'Oh, thank God I never killed her,' but on the other hand, 'Now I want to kill her!'" Josh Griffith said (via Soap Opera Digest). "We're doing a slow simmer on that side that will be building because we have two great players in Susan and Mel [Thomas Scott, Nikki] that will make this all fantastic."

That will also lure Diane away from the Abbotts for a bit as she spars with the Newmans, the other family she wreaked havoc for over the years. With Diane being such a combustible character who has done some horrific thing over the years.

"I love when stories cross over because then it's a story about the town. It's not isolated anymore and stays in its own little box," Griffith added. "That's the great thing about Susan, her Diane has so much history with the Abbotts and the Newmans. Victor will have some choice words for Diane when he finds out she's alive"