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The Young and the Restless Writer's Thread/Index


mikelyons

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This thread/index is for discussion about the many writers (head, breakdown, and dialogue) who have written for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

Any names, dates, stories, etc. are welcome!

 

Head Writer

1973-1998

William J. Bell

 

Early Y&R Scriptwriter (Dialogue Writers)

1973-75

Kay Alden

Kay Lenard*

Elizabeth Harrower

Bill Rega*

 

*Worked with Bell on DAYS while writing Y&R

 

For the first two years of Y&R, Bell used some of his dialogue writers from DAYS to script Y&R. Kay Lenard quit Y&R in 1975, but kept working on DAYS.  

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Sherman Magidson was a Chicago lawyer who Bill Bell  used as alegal consultant and writer on Days in the 60's and later on Y&R and B&B.

I remember seeing his name on Y&R credits in the 80's as legal consultant

He died in 2014.

Kay Alden wrote

What will I miss most about Sherman? Everything. His great laugh, his wonderful sense of humor, his readiness to help our family at any time with no questions asked, his brilliant mind, and right now I wish I could be consulting with him on The Young and the Restless. After 40 years of great friendship, my heart is heavy with this loss. But Sherman will live on in my memory, and in the memories of Vern, Conci, John, and Noah forever. Godspeed, dear friend.

Magidson was not a member of the WGA so no doubt was involved with writing the show during the strikes.

 

CHICAGOAN SOAPS AWAY THE TRIALS OF HIS PAST

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
 

When Sherman Magidson helped gain a hung jury in last year`s retrial of Daniel McKay, the suburban Chicago veterinarian accused of killing his newborn child, it capped another stellar courtroom performance.

But it was very much a cameo appearance by a criminal defense lawyer who has left grit for glitter in the latest episode of a decidedly full life.

As the strike by film and TV writers dragged on, Magidson continued his labors as full-time legal consultant and writer for two premier soap operas that remained on the air despite the walkout, ''The Young and the Restless''and ''The Bold and the Beautiful.''

Rather than aiding real-life rogues or the unjustly accused, he melds fact with fiction for an audience far greater than all the juries he has swayed.

For example, he concocted a complex and legally credible scheme for ''The Young and the Restless,'' in which conniving Nikki Newman tries to rip off $40 million from her mogul husband, Arthur, only to be thwarted by an Arthur counterattack, replete with counterfeit stock certificates. It`s a scheme so subtle that it might impress investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Magidson, 55, was one of Chicago`s prominent criminal defense lawyers when he chose to embrace his second love, the soaps; in particular the two shows created by the husband-wife team of Chicagoans Bill Bell and Lee Phillip.

''It was all so sudden,'' said Chicago lawyer Sam Adam. Here was an about-face by a man near the top of his competitive trade who had lived and breathed the combat of criminal litigation since a teenager.

In a world of inflated reputations, egos and jealousies, he was widely respected as tough, aggressive and genial, notes Cook County Criminal Court Judge James Bailey. A street-smart, rumpled Yale University graduate, his clients had included the late Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, reputed mob ''hit-man'' Joseph Lombardo, TV weather forecaster Jim Tilmon and the late Metropolitan Sanitary District Commissioner Chester Majewski.

''This was just an opportunity to climb another mountain and get some sunshine,'' he said last week, content and at ease in short pants and sports shirt in the house that serves as his home and computer-filled office.

 

Magidson may know the often byzantine, ethically clouded Chicago courts better than anyone. His mother was secretary to Charlie Bellows, a legendary Criminal Court defense lawyer of the 1940s and `50s, and Magidson was helping to write briefs by age 16.

After completing Northwestern University Law School, he worked with Bellows and, later, with Harry Busch, another fabled defense attorney. To some, Magidson was exiting his mentors` vast shadows at the time he headed west.

 

But he always had reflected eclectic passions and intellect. Sure, he was a lawyer, but he also was a military history buff, professional photographer, scuba diver and founder of the Lawyers Assistance Program, a successful drug and alcohol counseling service in Chicago.

His double-life is traced to 1960, when he had met Chicagoan Irna Phillips, a cantankerous grand dame of the soaps who wrote many episodes of

''Days of Our Lives'' in the `50s and `60s.

That acquaintance, and a friendship with Bill Bell, a young Phillips aide who took over the writing on ''Days of Our Lives'' in 1965, spurred a second career unknown to most.

He`d be lawyer by day and soap writer at night, crafting stories of murders, custody fights and even a critically acclaimed rape trial for ''The Young and the Restless.'' It was an exhausting schedule but one derived from the mix of his diverse talents and longtime suffering from insomnia.

Two years ago, Bell sold the idea for ''The Bold and the Beautiful''  to CBS and asked Magidson if he`d come aboard full time. He initially declined because he was nervous about leaving his hometown, mother and two of his four adult children. But he relented.

Bell`s timing was fortuitous. Magidson was spending as much as 40 weeks a year in courts, getting worried about his health and chagrined over the ramifications of Operation Greylord, the federal investigation into Cook County court corruption.

Greylord was at its height, and public respect for the profession Magidson loves was plummeting.

''When I was a kid, you said you were a lawyer and people looked up to you,'' he said. ''In the mid-1980s in Chicago, a lawyer became synonymous with `crook.` It was deeply painful to me.''

In March, 1987, he came to Los Angeles in a move that took by surprise even those who knew his ties to the soaps.

''I admire him for having the guts to make a change,'' said Loop attorney George Cotsirilos, underlining that Magidson was blossoming into

''one of the real big guys in town.''

Magidson, who is not a member of the writers guild, concedes tremendous difficulty in adapting to the ''social milieu'' in Los Angeles. He gets along well with Bell, Phillip and their colleagues, many of whom are Chicagoans, but gets queasy around most others.

''People in this world are different,'' he said. ''The criterion is often how much you make, not what you contribute. You`re gauged by the car you drive and the diamonds you wear.''

He misses ''the action of being an attorney, though not the heartbreak. I miss being the big dog in the courtroom. Here, I`m a speck.''

At times, he even finds himself playing drama coach, perhaps showing actors the small gestures and attitudes that can bring an air of reality to law-oriented, especially courtroom, scenes.

But there also are realities he`s happy to leave behind.

''The money is better in that you don`t have clients who give you stiff checks and hollow promises, especially in criminal practice.''

Anyway, you can always take a loan from the underhanded Nikki Anderson if she ever steals $40 million from Arthur.

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3 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

Sherman Magidson was a Chicago lawyer who Bill Bell  used as alegal consultant and writer on Days in the 60's and later on Y&R and B&B.

I remember seeing his name on Y&R credits in the 80's as legal consultant

He died in 2014.

Kay Alden wrote

What will I miss most about Sherman? Everything. His great laugh, his wonderful sense of humor, his readiness to help our family at any time with no questions asked, his brilliant mind, and right now I wish I could be consulting with him on The Young and the Restless. After 40 years of great friendship, my heart is heavy with this loss. But Sherman will live on in my memory, and in the memories of Vern, Conci, John, and Noah forever. Godspeed, dear friend.

Magidson was not a member of the WGA so no doubt was involved with writing the show during the strikes.

 

CHICAGOAN SOAPS AWAY THE TRIALS OF HIS PAST

CHICAGO TRIBUNE
 

When Sherman Magidson helped gain a hung jury in last year`s retrial of Daniel McKay, the suburban Chicago veterinarian accused of killing his newborn child, it capped another stellar courtroom performance.

But it was very much a cameo appearance by a criminal defense lawyer who has left grit for glitter in the latest episode of a decidedly full life.

As the strike by film and TV writers dragged on, Magidson continued his labors as full-time legal consultant and writer for two premier soap operas that remained on the air despite the walkout, ''The Young and the Restless''and ''The Bold and the Beautiful.''

Rather than aiding real-life rogues or the unjustly accused, he melds fact with fiction for an audience far greater than all the juries he has swayed.

For example, he concocted a complex and legally credible scheme for ''The Young and the Restless,'' in which conniving Nikki Newman tries to rip off $40 million from her mogul husband, Arthur, only to be thwarted by an Arthur counterattack, replete with counterfeit stock certificates. It`s a scheme so subtle that it might impress investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Magidson, 55, was one of Chicago`s prominent criminal defense lawyers when he chose to embrace his second love, the soaps; in particular the two shows created by the husband-wife team of Chicagoans Bill Bell and Lee Phillip.

''It was all so sudden,'' said Chicago lawyer Sam Adam. Here was an about-face by a man near the top of his competitive trade who had lived and breathed the combat of criminal litigation since a teenager.

In a world of inflated reputations, egos and jealousies, he was widely respected as tough, aggressive and genial, notes Cook County Criminal Court Judge James Bailey. A street-smart, rumpled Yale University graduate, his clients had included the late Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa, reputed mob ''hit-man'' Joseph Lombardo, TV weather forecaster Jim Tilmon and the late Metropolitan Sanitary District Commissioner Chester Majewski.

''This was just an opportunity to climb another mountain and get some sunshine,'' he said last week, content and at ease in short pants and sports shirt in the house that serves as his home and computer-filled office.

 

Magidson may know the often byzantine, ethically clouded Chicago courts better than anyone. His mother was secretary to Charlie Bellows, a legendary Criminal Court defense lawyer of the 1940s and `50s, and Magidson was helping to write briefs by age 16.

After completing Northwestern University Law School, he worked with Bellows and, later, with Harry Busch, another fabled defense attorney. To some, Magidson was exiting his mentors` vast shadows at the time he headed west.

 

But he always had reflected eclectic passions and intellect. Sure, he was a lawyer, but he also was a military history buff, professional photographer, scuba diver and founder of the Lawyers Assistance Program, a successful drug and alcohol counseling service in Chicago.

His double-life is traced to 1960, when he had met Chicagoan Irna Phillips, a cantankerous grand dame of the soaps who wrote many episodes of

''Days of Our Lives'' in the `50s and `60s.

That acquaintance, and a friendship with Bill Bell, a young Phillips aide who took over the writing on ''Days of Our Lives'' in 1965, spurred a second career unknown to most.

He`d be lawyer by day and soap writer at night, crafting stories of murders, custody fights and even a critically acclaimed rape trial for ''The Young and the Restless.'' It was an exhausting schedule but one derived from the mix of his diverse talents and longtime suffering from insomnia.

Two years ago, Bell sold the idea for ''The Bold and the Beautiful''  to CBS and asked Magidson if he`d come aboard full time. He initially declined because he was nervous about leaving his hometown, mother and two of his four adult children. But he relented.

Bell`s timing was fortuitous. Magidson was spending as much as 40 weeks a year in courts, getting worried about his health and chagrined over the ramifications of Operation Greylord, the federal investigation into Cook County court corruption.

Greylord was at its height, and public respect for the profession Magidson loves was plummeting.

''When I was a kid, you said you were a lawyer and people looked up to you,'' he said. ''In the mid-1980s in Chicago, a lawyer became synonymous with `crook.` It was deeply painful to me.''

In March, 1987, he came to Los Angeles in a move that took by surprise even those who knew his ties to the soaps.

''I admire him for having the guts to make a change,'' said Loop attorney George Cotsirilos, underlining that Magidson was blossoming into

''one of the real big guys in town.''

Magidson, who is not a member of the writers guild, concedes tremendous difficulty in adapting to the ''social milieu'' in Los Angeles. He gets along well with Bell, Phillip and their colleagues, many of whom are Chicagoans, but gets queasy around most others.

''People in this world are different,'' he said. ''The criterion is often how much you make, not what you contribute. You`re gauged by the car you drive and the diamonds you wear.''

He misses ''the action of being an attorney, though not the heartbreak. I miss being the big dog in the courtroom. Here, I`m a speck.''

At times, he even finds himself playing drama coach, perhaps showing actors the small gestures and attitudes that can bring an air of reality to law-oriented, especially courtroom, scenes.

But there also are realities he`s happy to leave behind.

''The money is better in that you don`t have clients who give you stiff checks and hollow promises, especially in criminal practice.''

Anyway, you can always take a loan from the underhanded Nikki Anderson if she ever steals $40 million from Arthur.

Thanks for sharing this article! I remember seeing Sherman's name as a consultant on Y&R scripts as late as 2004. 

From what I've been told by credible sources, Kay Alden was very much running the writer's room on Y&R from the early-90s. Bell supplied the long term story, but Kay was responsible for executing the long term story, working with the breakdown writers, and editing the final scripts. By the time she took over in 1998, it was a formality. Also, when John F. Smith was promoted to head writer, he'd been serving as head writer, but wasn't credited as head writer. 

 

Associate Head Writer

Kay Alden (1980-1997)

 

Head Writer

Kay Alden (1998-2006)

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Just now, mikelyons said:

I believe so!!

Haha for some reason everytime I see Mitchell on the show and see the name “Sherman Magidson” in the credits I often think Mitchell looks like someone who would represent the Bells IRL. He must have been patterned after him.

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One month after Y&R debuted a writers strike began May 14th 1973 and continued till August 24th 1973.

I wonder how Y&R was affected?

I guess Bill Bell may have has a stockpile of scripts completed when the show began but surely not several months worth.

Maybe he had some detailed outlines but who wrote the actual scripts? Was Bill Bell sole writer at the beginning or did he have a scriptwriter also?

Sherman Magidson is a possibility as a non union writer.A book extract online says he returned to soaps in 1973 when the former producer of As The World Turns asked him to help with another show. That could mean Y&R as the timeline fits. That ATWT reference could be a misquote.

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24 minutes ago, Paul Raven said:

One month after Y&R debuted a writers strike began May 14th 1973 and continued till August 24th 1973.

I wonder how Y&R was affected?

I guess Bill Bell may have has a stockpile of scripts completed when the show began but surely not several months worth.

Maybe he had some detailed outlines but who wrote the actual scripts? Was Bill Bell sole writer at the beginning or did he have a scriptwriter also?

Sherman Magidson is a possibility as a non union writer.A book extract online says he returned to soaps in 1973 when the former producer of As The World Turns asked him to help with another show. That could mean Y&R as the timeline fits. That ATWT reference could be a misquote.

This was also when the Watergate hearings were being televised. Y&R lost something like 3 weeks worth between May to July, roughly. So that may have allowed him time to catch up. He has said he would write 7 weeks in advance (approx) Maybe back then he was a little further in front, since the show was new. 

 

Bell has always said he mostly wrote the show by himself in the very beginning. However I figured someone else was probably doing some script work. I doubt he was 100% going it alone, especially since he was still at Days during this time as well. 

 

If he did write the show with someone else and they were not in the union, maybe he had "chats" with them about the show, during the strike, haha.

 

Bell wrote ATWT with Irna didn't he? maybe the producer part was misquoted and they were referring to Bell from his time at that show. Maybe not

Edited by will81
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From documents I've obtained, Bill had a contentious relationship with the WGA from the 60s with regard to the international royalties from DAYS. He chaffed at writing long term story and daily outlines for the show, but having to pay his dialogue writers 50% of his take-home pay. He resisted the same calculation with his international royalties for DAYS.

If I remember correctly, Bill wasn't a remember of the WGA for many years because he didn't want to become a scab writer on Y&R. (I wish I'd made a note of that source!) This makes sense to me, especially in the first year of Y&R when he was largely writing the show alone with the help of a few dialogue writers from DAYS.

Bill wrote ATWT with Irna until they created ANOTHER WORLD and then he was placed on DAYS.

@Paul Raven The producer Sherman is referencing could be Fred "Freddie" Bartholomew. He produced AS THE WORLD TURNS for Benton and Bowles from 1971-73 and then 1980-81. Since Bartholomew had been the VP of Benton and Bowles and produced and/or directed EON, ATWT, and SFT, he may be our guy.

Sherman was a bit of a fox!

https://books.google.com/books?id=3t5zDrReoyQC&pg=PA275&lpg=PA275&dq=Sherman+Magidson+as+the+world+turns+1973&source=bl&ots=dA52NCwB9G&sig=ACfU3U2kQJcLQ5zG0rZe1QNJtYZ0fuTWXQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj1yqy688HpAhVCqZ4KHYFoCyYQ6AEwCnoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Sherman Magidson as the world turns 1973&f=false

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Thanks for starting this @mikelyons! Hopefully we can get some information. In the meantime I looked up that guy Mark Waxman’s biography and this is what it said:

“After graduating UCLA with a BA and MFA in Cinema (and being captain of the varsity fencing team), I  joined CBS, becoming the youngest network programming executive in the history of broadcasting. After several years of developing prime time comedy and drama series for CBS, I rose to the rank of Vice President of Children’s Programming. During that time, I also wrote scripts for the daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.“

 

No dates are included, however it seems Mr. Waxman enjoyed children’s programming more than soaps and went on to create Beakman’s World. I do believe his tenure may have been more accurately in the early 80’s actually looking at the below:

 

 

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The first credit I could find for Linda was 1989

 

Jim Inman and Mark Waxman are also listed as writers in an August 1980 article I found, though I have since misplaced it. They don't seem to be there by 1982, so I wonder if they were just there when the show went to an hour and left by 81 or 82

 

Eric L. Roberts came on board somewhere between 80 - 82

 

Meg Bennett came on in June 1983, she was to replace Kay Alden who was going on maternity leave (Not replace her in her associate head writing role, but just as a script writer) Meg was also a dialogue writer ETA: She stated she had written an episode of 'Search for Tomorrow' that I think never got produced, she showed that to Bell who took her on board.

 

Jack Smith said he started in 1979, maybe he replaced Elizabeth H. An interview with Kay Alden from 1979 said there was only one other writer on the show besides herself and Bell and they were in California. No name is mentioned but probably was JS. At some point before 1988 Smith became an associate Head Writer

 

Sally Sussman came on in 1983 as a story consultant and eventual script writer. She left by December 1987

 

Enid L. Powell came on around 1985

 

John Randall Holland (Randy Holland) came on as a writer in either 1983 or 1984

 

Since we have the German eps for 1986. Here is a tally of writers and the actual credited episodes

Eric L. Roberts 19

John Randall Holland (Randy Holland) 15

Meg Bennett 11

Enid L. Powell 10

 

Sally Sussman was listed on every credits list available for 1986. I assume she was a senior writer on the show at this point.

 

There was a big shift in 1989 listed writers for that year (that have not been mentioned) include

Rex M. Best

Thomas D. Walker

Jerry Birn

William J. Asher

 

This seems to be most or all of the writers for the show in the 80's that I know of

 

1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

Eric W Friewald is reported as having written for Y&R from 1980 to 2010 (his death at 82)

His daughter Linda Shreiber also wrote for the show from mid 90's till 2010.

This one is confusing as IMDB lists Eric Friewald as Eric L. Roberts, but there are two pages for him. I guess he changed his last name??????

 

 

I also found this. It is a list of all scripts Bell gave to Online archive of California. It lists episode numbers and airdates or production dates. Some errors but very minor and is a good resource for episode numbers. They all add up. Worth saving this too. Most interesting is the scripts stop on Oct 24, 1997 for Y&R. Is it possible Bell stopped writing the show then and Kay actually took over, but they kept Bell's name on the show, maybe so he would be there through the 25th Anniversary? Also there are scripts for B&B that go through Nov 95 and then for a year between Jul 96 - Aug 97. It does not say if all these scripts were written by Bell or if they have a complete collection

 

http://pdf.oac.cdlib.org/pdf/ucla/pasc/wjbell.pdf

Edited by will81
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1 hour ago, Paul Raven said:

Eric W Friewald is reported as having written for Y&R from 1980 to 2010 (his death at 82)

His daughter Linda Shreiber also wrote for the show from mid 90's till 2010.

 
Wow! I recognize the names but I had no idea they were related! 
 

Years ago I remember someone was interviewed in SPW I  can’t remember who for the life of me it was but said they enjoyed working on family soaps like Days/Y&R/B&B a whole lot more compared to corporate or network soaps. I want to say the name but won’t because I’m not sure if it’s the person I’m thinking of. 

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7 minutes ago, cassadine1991 said:

What was Bill Bell’s last airdate as HW and EP?

In the Y&R old articles thread someone (sorry I forget who) put up screen shots of credits showing Bell's name as HW for Jul 3 1998 and gone the next episode Jul 6 1998

 

The script collection I posted shows scripts to Oct 24, 1997. So Maybe that is when Kay became co-head writer or maybe they just don't have his last few months of scripts

 

As Ep I thought he held the title until he passed in 2005, but his illness was such that I doubt he was doing much with the show in the last few years of his life

Edited by will81
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