The second part of TV Insider's interview with The Young and the Restless executive producers Jill Farren Phelps and Chuck Pratt, who is also the show's head writer, covers everything from Michael's cancer storyline to Eric Braeden's (Victor) reaction to the Two Jacks storyline. Below are a few interesting excerpts.
Greg Rikaart recently gave an interview stating that he wants his character, Kevin, to be gay. What are the chances of that happening? There's a rabid camp of fans who want Kevin to get it on with Detective Harding.On Michael's cancer storyline:
Yep, Harding and Fisher. Their squish name is Harder.
Phelps: I never heard that before. I don't go online.
Pratt: With the right circumstance and right character—it could be Kevin or someone else—I would love to tell that story. I've told a gay storyline on every show I've ever been on, and it's odd that there isn't a gay relationship on Y&R.
Phelps: It would need to feel fresh and not just a box we check, just because that's what people expect. It needs to be more than that. It needs to be about characters the audience cares about. You can't do a gay storyline just for the sake of it.
Victor seems more and more like a Stefano DiMera-type supervillain. Is this the Mustache of the future?
Pratt: I talked to Eric Braeden about this a lot, before the story started, and said, "If you object to this, tell me now." He wanted to know Victor's endgame, so I discussed how this is a Frankenstein story where Victor has created a monster and there's no way you can make a monster do everything you want. Victor gets to the point where it's, "Oh, my God, how the hell am I going to get out of this?" The audience will be rooting for him as he tries to protect his family. Meanwhile, we're playing what I feel is the coolest part of the story—Victor's plan to merge Jabot and Newman Enterprises. I've written a lot of business stories in my time and this one is my only favorite.
There's a widespread feeling on social media that the African-American characters aren't seen as often since Chuck took over. What's your comment on that?
Pratt: I completely understand when people say that. We're not intentionally playing those actors less. But budget is budget. Money is money, and that affects some decisions. Sometimes a story is really thriving so other stories that are finishing up or moving into a new area will temporarily slow down. Actresses get pregnant. Certain things get in there and mess with us as we rebuild the show, but these characters and actors are of great importance to us.
Pratt: Nothing about this story is exciting me that much, but at least something's happening and there's some conflict now. I want the story to account for something. You don't want people to look back and say, "Oh, remember when they tried that story…" and roll their eyes. If there's anything that hurts daytime, it's telling a story and ending it too quickly or ending it dishonestly. And that was happening a lot on this show.On going with Sharon and Dylan as a couple and why Dylan and Avery never became as popular as expected:
Michael and Lauren were an interesting couple at one point, but they had become a little bit boring and I felt the same thing about Lily and Cane, so the idea was to push Lauren and Cane together. This was one of the most successful stories we did on Melrose Place. Marcia Cross' character was dying of a brain tumor and she pushed her cheating husband together with a hooker, Kelly Rutherford's character, never expecting they would fall in love. And that plot went on for years! I thought the two Y&R couples were mired in the same-old same-old and needed a fix. Yes, the audience likes them right where they were but, to me, in the show I envision, they weren't playable.
Pratt: I don't know why the thing with Avery wasn't as big as it should have been, but we will take it to a satisfying level and we'll come out of it with the right people elevated in the show.Could Avery and Joe be headed out of Genoa City permanently? It wouldn't be surprising.
Read the complete interview here.
- Chuck Pratt on Unhappy 'The Young and the Restless' Fans: "They Hate It But They're Watching"