Friday, July 27, 2012

Mystified Maria Bell: I Never Dumbed Down The Storytelling

Maria Bell / Photo by Kevin Mulcahy Jr.
In a statement posted last night her Facebook page, exiting THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and executive producer and head writer Maria Arena Bell shared that she was "mystified" over being let go from her post by Sony.

So it was announced today I am leaving Y and R... the show I have loved so much for so long. It is the legacy of my father in law... my mother in law... and all the Bells. The show has been my heart and soul. I loved working with the most talented writers in TV who were also the most wonderful human beings I know. They became a second family and my best friends. I loved the cast and crew. I am extremely sad to go because there are more stories I could have told. So much more I wanted to do. My ratings are strong... each week stronger than last year. The show is in a great place creatively. We are number one by the greatest margin in the show's history and have been consistently while I've been there. Under no one else's tenure as head writer exec producer have we won every demographic for so long. I am just shy of five years at the helm. It has been an amazing ride. So why am I leaving? I am mystified as are my cast and crew.

There have been a lot of tears shed in the last few days... by me and by my loyal staff and by our iconic actors. I was not given a reason and in fact I have heard nothing from Sony or CBS. They sent me a message through my husband Bill who had the terrible job of conveying that they'd gone around him and were letting me go. I fought hard for my vision and to keep the show on track with the characters that matter to the audience. Maybe I fought too hard. But I am glad I did. I never compromised on what I believed in. I never dumbed down the storytelling. I walked in the door at Y and R in 1988... as a young writer getting her first job. Today I leave there knowing it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I love you Y and R. Your story was my life story too. And to Victor... Nikki... Jack... and Kay... I will miss you.

SHAKE-UP: Sony Names Jill Farren Phelps Executive Producer & Josh Griffith Head Writer Of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; Wishes Maria Bell Well
The Paley Center Celebrates THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS' 10,000 Episodes!
RED CARPET INTERVIEW: Maria Arena Bell at the 39th Annual Daytime Entertainment Creative Arts Emmy Awards


  1. I never call for people to be fired but the Victor and Sharon pairing along warranted this decision.

  2. I'm sorry if this sounds coarse, but this woman is clueless as to how much the writing was lacking. Her ratings are not what I would call 'strong', inconsistent maybe and yes, this is how it is for daytime dramas (up & down ratings) but the quality (or lack thereof) and poor casting choices is the main factor driving once loyal viewers away in droves. At least it did, in my case.

  3. i think the only reason they had any ratings was the stunt casting they did hiring a big name actor/actress for a couple day story & people would tune in for that & then leave afterwards.
    i tried watching the show again when Maura West came over after ATWT was cancelled but i couldn't stand the other stories that were on & i even hated her story & quit watching it all together.
    i don't know how they have the numbers they had since most people i see talking about soaps say they don't watch this show but GH now since OLTL went off the air.

  4. She must be joking. Is she serious??? Maria Arena Bell damaged this soap opera more than anyone ever before. She led the way for Y&R to get canceled!!!!
    Her storytelling was horrible and nothing but plot-driven. Characters changed their personality within weeks. Eden Riegel had to find out on Twitter that she was fired and MAB tried to get rid of Maura West since the day she taped her first episode for Y&R. That's the kind of "boss" she was.

    Now Maria Arena Bell needs a reality check! Someone needs to tell her the truth. What's wrong with her??? Why twisting around the truth so much?

    And ... Y&R's ratings suffered! They suffered a lot. Do we even look at the same number this woman does???

  5. HEHE...she's not that dim witted is she?

  6. With material like this, the creative team at "Steamboat" could base a character on her.

  7. Fox, not sure if you watched my interview with Christian Le Blanc from the Creative Emmys this year but he talked about working with Michael O'Leary on Steamboat. So it could happen! LOL

  8. Before the explosion of social media, people who were "let go" didn't go running to publicly defend themselves, make excuses and jump on a soapbox. It would have been much classier if she'd taken some time and, at a later date, formulated a well-thought out response about the termination. (The same could be said of the recent knee-jerk Y&R writing...) That statement reeks of "victim" mentality. I'm sure it was a surprise to her, given her surname, but the reality is: That's Showbiz.

  9. Roger, I remember that! .. lol! We need more "Steamboat." Got any intel on that?

  10. Using her family connections to justify why she should be a writer on the show is ludicrous. And no, the show is not in a good creative place, it's not getting great ratings, nothing. She's made a complete joke of the show. Days of Our Lives and General Hospital are much better shows these days. The show has been at its most terrible ever. Her storylines are garbage, the Victor/Sharon pairing is revolting to say the least, as is the Phyllis worshipping, the dumbification of characters, the stupidty of the storylines. I applaud Sony and CBS for firing her and wish they would have done it sooner!

  11. I am one of the many, many viewers who left. I'm not sure when she took over, but once Sharon chose not to go back to Nick when he was free a couple of years ago, I knew that the show had changed beyond repair. So I stopped watching. Recently, when I found out that Sharon had been paired with Victor, I tuned in just because I felt like making my stomach churn with disgust. This is not the Sharon that I always championed on the newsgroups. I don't have a believable character to stand behind on this soap now. After 30 plus years of watching, I don't miss it at all.

  12. She is blind to the fact the her ratings were tanking and she we losing viewers every week.Do i really care about Sharon sleeping with gross old Victor no i do not. And she has a lot of dead weight on the cast.Eden Riegel she could not write for her it was sad seeing such a great talent go to waste at Maria hand.

  13. Wait until you see what Jill Farren Phelps does to the show.

    Even The Globe magazine had a huge article detailing just how much damage Phelps will do to the show once it's all said and done.

    Most of you will be wishing Maria Arena Bell was back in charge (and no, I am by no means a fan of Arena Bell!).