Here's an excerpt:
TV Guide Magazine: So, even though you must cut costs, there will be no huge cast purge?
Phelps: I'm not going to say there won't be one, but that doesn't mean there will be. I will only say right now that there will indeed be changes. We have a cast of really wonderful actors but, at the end of the day, we need to look at the entire canvas and decide who is catching fire with the audience. And where can we create fire where there isn't any?
TV Guide Magazine: You drive the fans crazy like nobody else in the soap world! No one's even a close second. Why? I personally think a good 75 percent of it is because you're a woman. A male producer would never cause so much...uh...
TV Guide Magazine: Exactly. But that's a subject for a whole other interview, if not a college thesis.
Phelps: Look, I'm sorry I killed Maureen Bauer on Guiding Light all those years ago, but I am not responsible for the death of Frankie Frame on Another World! That was not my doing and I am tired of taking the heat for having killed a character when I didn't! [Laughs] The other day we were in a network meeting talking about one of the Y&R actors who wanted out temporarily to go do something and I said, "Let her go do it!" And the network executive looked at me and said, "You're not nearly the monster I've been hearing about!"
TV Guide Magazine: Franco is what's known on the boards as an FOJ — Friend of Jill. What do you say to the rumor that Y&R will soon be overrun with FOJs?
Phelps: The rap I get for casting FOJs is legitimate. When you've done as many shows as I have and have been in the business this long, you accumulate some really wonderful actors as friends. Hiring people from my past shows is just a natural thing. They are fabulous actors and I know they can deliver. Nobody ever tells Steven Bochco or David Kelley they shouldn't keep hiring actors they believe in and bring them along from show to show. [Laughs] And let me be very clear that I am not comparing myself to Bochco and Kelly! My point is that you don't get that blowback in primetime like you do in daytime. That said, I have no current plans to bring on any FOJs. But if one of them is right for a role, I'm not going to ignore it just because the fans might be mad at me.
TV Guide Magazine: Which is exactly the kind of statement that makes the fans mad at you.
Phelps: I mean them no harm. In the course of my career I have made a very public mistake or four. Killing Maureen will go down as one of the biggest blunders in soap history and I agree! I have learned my lessons and, hopefully, I will never make those mistakes again. Many of the people who are mad have been mad for years and will probably stay that way. But I think I have also done some good stuff in this business. I want the fans of Y&R to know that I very much care what they think about the show, that I am here to honor its legacy and that I'm going to do my absolute best. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here and know that I am very lucky. That is not lost on me.
October 12 will be the first day of the Jill Farren Phelps era. Will you be watching?