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There’s a new face in Genoa City — both in front of and behind the camera.
The Young and the Restless, daytime’s No. 1 daytime, currently in its 41st season, recently hired Charles Pratt Jr. as executive producer and head writer. Pratt comes to the CBS show with a wealth of experience writing for daytime, including on General Hospital, All My Children and Santa Barbara, along with having written for primetime dramas including Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty.
As his story lines begin rolling out early this month, Pratt gave The Hollywood Reporter a preview of what fans can expect (in addition to an exclusive promo, above).
You’ve worked on numerous shows in both primetime and daytime. How does it feel to now be head writing the No. 1 daytime drama? And what sets Y&R apart from other daytime dramas?
Going to work on any show — primetime or daytime — is a challenge. In the case of The Young and the Restless I am stepping into a success story, years of being number one, and all that goes with that. There is the legacy of the great Bill Bell, and players on the canvas who have been at it for years. Finding out what works is easy; maintaining and building on what works is the goal. The key with this show is to listen to the audience and reward them with the quality of storytelling the show has been known for … inject some wild incident, and keep the stories coming from inside the characters. The show has a great cast, supportive network, top notch crew, savvy writers, etc. It’s all about collaboration, teamwork, and working together with a common mission; to inject new life and energy into a classic soap. This is my mantra. This is my goal.
Y&R has a loyal fan base and a rich history with numerous characters that have been on the canvas for 20, 30 years or more. What can the audience expect to see from veteran characters like Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) and Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman)?
Funny you should ask. These two guys still deliver. They are why people watch. I have followed them for years. One of my first stories will pit these two titans against each other. Meeting Eric Braeden and reuniting with my old friend Peter Bergman has been the coolest thing about coming here. They are both such major talents and personalities, who each have solid work ethic and enormous appeal. It’s unique to this show and to daytime to have a rivalry that has successfully spanned decades.
See more Famous Daytime TV Alums
Fans have come to expect jaw-dropping twists thanks to popular primetime soaps like How to Get Away With Murder, Revenge and Scandal. What are your plans to shake things up at Y&R and how do you plan to keep the audience tuning in five days a week?
My motto in daytime has always been make every day a Friday, so that our audience has to watch each and every day. That means more twists, cliffhangers and that primetime feel of “What the heck are they going to do next?” If you stay within character, and keep the stories coming from character, and throw everything but the kitchen sink at them, an audience will start to identify with them and relate to them both as friends, and as people they want to see succeed or find love or survive unthinkable tragedies. Isn’t that what we do in our own lives? How wonderful to live vicariously through the tangled web of family, love and friendship on The Young and the Restless.
Can you tease any upcoming storyline?
Victor and Jack will go head-to-head, and a mysterious new person will come to town. A major storm is on the way, guaranteed to turn lives and loves upside down. Secrets will be revealed. And when a plane goes down, lives are rearranged.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays at 12:30 p.m ET/11:30 a.m. PT on CBS.
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