It's been an action-packed couple of weeks for CBS Daytime's The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless, both on-screen and off. B&B just celebrated its 28th birthday and knocked everybody's socks off with the surprise unveiling of a transgender storyline, while Y&R just celebrated a 42nd birthday, switched out head writers, and began delving into the topsy-turvy story of Adam's [Justin Hartley] return. To top it off, both shows earned numerous Daytime Emmy Award nominations, meaning the next several weeks will see the excitement continue. The network's senior vice president, Angelica McDaniel, is naturally at the center of all the great buzz, so Soap Central snagged a few moments with the executive to get her take on the CBS soaps' big moments.
soapcentral.com: You all work so hard to produce these shows, so I imagine time must fly by. Does it feel like it's really time to be celebrating the shows' anniversaries again already?
Angelica McDaniel: Time does go by quickly. On a soap, when you're doing 250 episodes a season, 50 plus weeks of programming, you're just so used to the daily grind of getting it done every single day, and before you know it, it's another cake cutting, another celebration, another year... and we're also coming up on another Daytime Emmys! I don't want to jinx anything, but we have some great nominations, and we had some strong, compelling story. Of course, we have amazing actors, and so hopefully we're able to celebrate some great noms and some wins with our fans.
soapcentral.com: You've said numerous times that you and everyone involved with the shows are always working hard and striving to do better. How are you working hard and striving to do better this year for Y&R?
Angelica McDaniel: As we begin year 42 at The Young and the Restless, we're thrilled to welcome [Charles] Pratt as our new EP and head writer. He comes with obviously a lot of daytime experience but also primetime experience, and the great thing about Chuck is what he was able to implement very quickly with story. We saw things really start moving, we saw the twists and the turns, we saw the moments that drove tune-in and made you want to say, "Okay, what's going to happen in the next scene? What's going to happen tomorrow?" So that's really great, to see the story moving at a different pace... We've seen just a small handful of new characters as well, with Kelly Sullivan entering as Sage, and we have Adam's return, so now we're going to start seeing, "When does Genoa City find out that Gabriel is really Adam Newman?" We have all these great things around the corner, so it's a really exciting time to be headed into the 42nd year.
soapcentral.com: How do you go about choosing major positions like head writers? What were you looking for when you decided that Charles Pratt was the man for the job?
Angelica McDaniel: When you have a show that's been on the air for 42 years, making any sort of changes, especially something at the top, is never something you take lightly. You really have to look at the culture of the show, the direction you want the show to stay in and/or head in, and you really have to find someone who's going to be the right fit in a lot of different ways. And so with the addition of Chuck, we just knew that he was going to be a very passionate visionary. He's obsessed with these characters, he's obsessed with this show, he thinks about it 24/7, and that's what you want in a head writer. And that's what is very exciting and refreshing to have in Chuck. And also, he's just such a personal guy. He's an excellent storyteller, both on paper and in person. He's great with the actors and the cast and the crew, and it's a thrill to have him here. He's been a great fit.
soapcentral.com: I heard he promised not to kill any major characters. Is that true?
Angelica McDaniel: He might have said that. [laughs] We might have demanded it, but he also might have said it right out of the gate, because he knew it would be a request. As any head writer, Chuck really values the history of this show and knew, "I want to come in and I want to take it all in and then make decisions and not just make any knee-jerk decisions or rush into anything too quickly."
soapcentral.com: Speaking of big decisions, congratulations to you and B&B for all the buzz the Maya/Myron storyline has received.
Angelica McDaniel: It's a tribute to [executive producer/head writer] Brad Bell. He really wanted to tell this story.
soapcentral.com: It was all his idea?
Angelica McDaniel: Yes, it was his idea. He's a great storyteller, and he has great writers on the show who are telling that story in a very responsible, respectful way. And of course, Karla Mosley [Maya] is already knocking it out of the park. It's just a great story at the end of the day about love and acceptance. And so we look forward to that story playing out on The Bold and the Beautiful.
soapcentral.com: It's a big year for both shows Emmy-wise, as well. Are you looking forward to celebrating at the Warner Bros. Studios this year?
Angelica McDaniel: The exciting thing about the Daytime Emmys this year is that they're going to be back on television. Thousands of people work so hard, and this is a culmination of all of their efforts, so for their family and friends and all of the viewers of all of these shows to be able to watch it on TV is so great. And they are shifting to an iconic lot, the Warner Bros. lot, and I've been told we're going to have a very glamorous red carpet. It really is the year of a return to glamour. The show is going to really pay tribute to all of the genres in daytime, and it's going to be about gowns and big moments and big set design and some great nominees, and hopefully some great wins for CBS Daytime!