Roanoke, VA

The Young and the Restless celebrates 50 years and once was a big deal in Southwest Virginia

Cheryl E Preston
Photo byassimo TV video screenshot

Five decades of memories for The Young and the Restless

The Roanoke Times recently acknowledged the 50th anniversary of The Young and the Restless which debuted on CBS on March 26, 1973. Reporter Mark Kennedy quoted Laualee Bell who portrays Christine Willaims on the soap and whose parents WIlliam and Lee Phillip Bell created the daytime series.

"My dad was not afraid of of being first. All the social issues he dealt with — date rape, AIDS, alcoholism, all of that. He really felt that if our audience bonded with these characters that they would learn," says Bell. "If we could even help one person, it was worth it.

The soap airs on local affiliate WDBJ 7 which recently shared an interview from CBS with two of the stars Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott) and Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) who shared their enthusiasm for the bicentennial celebration of Genoa City which is going on now. Local baby boomers in the area may recall watching The Young and the Restless during the summer with parents and grandparents.

I fondly recall my great-grandmother and the grandma of my cousins shushing us when it was time for their "stories." Children had to be very quiet and watch the show or go outdoors when The Young and the Restless came on. If anyone called on the phone we were instructed to tell them to call back after the stories were gone off.
Elieen DavidsonPhoto byCBS video via WDBJ screenshot

The Young and the Restless continues to be popular

The CBS soap has been number one for a number of years and is one of only 3 daytime dramas left on network television. I recall it was on in practically all the homes in my neighborhood when I was a teen if I visited friends or relatives during the time it aired. My middle brother talked about how he and the other guys were watching Search for Tomorrow and The Young and the Restless during Lord Betetourt High School football camp a few years later and my grandmother began watching in October 1975 after she lost her job when the Ideal Laundry burned down.
Peter BergmanPhoto byCBS via WDBJ screenshot video

One character has remained constant

When I began my first 40-hour job there was a TV in the breakroom and whoever had lunch during the time The Young and the Restless was on had to fill everyone else in the office in on what had happened. Men and women in the office enjoyed this daytime drama.

There is only one character who has remained on the show for the entire 50 years and that is Jill Foster Abbott Atkinson currently portrayed by Jess Walton. Brenda Dixon debuted in the role on March 27, 1973, and later Deborah Adiar took over. Be sure to tune in at 12:30 PM EST on CBS to find out what is happening in Genoa City.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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