Here in Los Angeles County, natural disasters include; earthquakes, wildfires and even mudslides, but Jill Farren Phelps, “Y&R’s” executive producer has caused more damage to Bill Bell’s once magnificent soap than anyone could have imagined. Yes, we warned viewers that they were drinking the Steve Kent, Sony Studios koolaid, as the failed studio plotted to oust all the Bell family from management of the soap opera that their matriarch, (Lee Phillip Bell) and patriarch, (William J. Bell) co-created.
There is no other Daytime television drama that has eclipsed the Bell family creations; “The Young and the Restless” and the most-watched daytime drama on the planet, “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Highlight Hollywood has learned from several Sony insiders and an insider in Angelica McDaniel’s office, that Jill Farren Phelps is in fact planning to add another one of her cronies to her team.
Chuck Pratt, who Susan Lucci famously credited with killing “All My Children,” is in negotiations to become “Y&R’s” head writer. A former “AMC” production manager tells Highlight Hollywood, “Chuck is the anti-Daytime drama writer and insider. He actually is quite snobbish and thinks he’s slumming to even go to ‘Y&R’, but he loves the paycheck. And Angelica McDaniel has promised him loyalty. She knows that ‘Y&R’ once the crown jewel of Daytime TV is being destroyed and they are desperate now to do anything to salvage this disaster. Chuck has sold Angelica a bill of goods, Jill coached him before his meeting with her, and she wants to put all of her cronies in place, incase Steve Kent and Sony are looking to shove her out the door.”
Sony just yesterday announced a whopping 2.15 billion loss for 2014. And the year is not over yet. Steve Kent and Sony are desperate now and can no longer pretend that things are not at a critical point with this soap, as the studio heads are looking to drastically change their entire franchise, including soaps.
A CBS insider in Les Moonves’s office also confirmed to Highlight Hollywood that Pratt is Farren Phelps’s choice, adding, “And you’d be stunned. After shoving the Bell family out of power, and showing them disdain and no respect, the family was not even consulted yet again on this new plan to retool the writing team, again. It’s as if they don’t matter to Sony anymore. They are as far as Steve Kent and his henchmen are concerned no more important to the show’s success than the fans have been. Sony hasn’t figured it out yet, the disdain they have for the Bell family, who created this drama, and the fans, who have supported this show, are the people who matter.”
An insider in Jill Farren Phelps’s office defends Jill’s decision to bring Chuck Pratt in. “Jill loves Chuck. He worked with her at ‘Santa Barbara,’ so when Jill went calling for his help, Chuck said he’d give it a try.” When pressed on whether Daytime TV would be Pratt’s first and primary interest, the source finally admitted, “he doesn’t really want to do Daytime, but who doesn’t need a paycheck?”
Really? Didn’t Jill Farren Phelps and Chuck Pratt help overthrow the Dobsons at “Santa Barbara?” Didn’t that help kill that soap as well? Entertainment insiders to this day, refer to what Jill Farren Phelps and her cronies did to the Dobsons as “dancing on their graves!” And again, another failed writer is headed for “Y&R,” whose demos are drastically down all across the board.
A longtime “Y&R” fan Amanda K. in Sherman Oaks, Calif. tells Highlight Hollywood, “I cannot believe it. They have thrown out the Bell family, the family that made CBS’s two most popular soaps in their network’s history. The Bells are the gold standard of daytime storytelling and that family has been replaced by hacks. Jill Firing Phelps as you call her so aptly, is a cancer to every show she helms. So, Sony is planning on letting her ruin their best and most successful show ever? I’m done, through with this show now!”
Another CBS insider in upper management admits, “Chuck [Pratt] is pretty arrogant, and his style of writing is right up Jill’s alley, his writing is of the stunt-type, not genuine storytelling. But no one can seem to break through to anyone here that Jill is a disaster of great proportions. She has to know where bodies are buried at Sony.”
“Y&R” fans can look for more shocking deaths like Delia’s, they can also expect tidal waves and tornados to hit the sleepy town of Genoa City. Chuck Pratt is the antithesis of Bill Bell’s elegant-style of writing. Whereas Bill Bell gave us rich characters and genuine emotions, Pratt will deliver tsunamis and more popular character murders.
A former co-worker of Chuck Pratt’s, from his ABC days, says of him, “He appears very cultured and smart, but feels above Daytime TV, so say goodbye to ‘Y&R’, as we all did to ‘All My Children.’ If ABC had listened to Ms. Lucci and other cast and crew, we’d be still on air today. I doubt after this stunt, that ‘Y&R’ will be revived. It’s sad. But, CBS and Sony seems determined to let Jill [Phelps] run that show into the ground.
You can follow us on social media at www.twitter.com/HighlightHwd or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Highlight-Hollywood/193119760769011, and now on Google+ at: https://plus.google.com/+TommyLightfootGarrett90211/about
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: CBS
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd