One of television’s longest running programs will be airing its 10,000th episode this week. Millions of us tune in to watch the Young and the Restless day after day aiding it in becoming one of daytimes most watched shows for close to four decades. Part of the dying breed of continuous episodic dramatic fiction that we have left, the Young and the Restless is showing no signs of slowing down when show number 10,000 airs Thursday, September 27, 2012. First broadcast in March 1973, it was one of the later soap operas, as many have been on for at least 10 years before it premiered, but it was geared toward a younger generation to try to attract a younger audience. And attract it did. The show would find itself as one of the top rated daytime dramas and gaining that top spot which it has held since 1988. Generations have literally been raised watching the drama unfold.Soap Operas, who got their name from their former bath product sponsors, were a way for anyone to escape their everyday real life and fall into a fictional world. The same is done time and time again in moves, music and many other types of medium. But soaps focused their attention on the female demographic. When they first aired back in the 1950s, women were mainly at home. Soap creators found them as a captive audience and that formula worked. In a growing trend we’d see moms watching their children while watching the show. The children would grow up watching the show. The husbands get involved as well. It’s a cycle that soaps have benefited from for over half a century. The Young and the Restless is still taking advantage of it as well. And while 10,000 episodes is a landmark, it’s also an accomplishment as soaps are loosing favor as more people are working and cheaper shows are making networks more money. To see any program grab the public’s attention for day after day is admirable.
We can say 10,000 is a lot of television. But how does it compare to anything else that’s on television? Well for starters, of the four soap operas left, the Y&R is third on the list of the most shows. General Hospital and Days of Our Lives had their 10,000th episode years ago. News programs though lead the way in most times on television. NBC news’ Today Show is the longest running news program that gives us our real life drama. But ESPN’s SportsCenter, which has run almost every night of the week, several times a night since the late 1970s has close twice as many shows as the Today Show with well over 30,000 episodes. It has more episodes than any other show in television history. There are other shows that have been on longer, but its hard to keep up with the frequency.
But who knows if the Young and the Restless could make it to 30,000. Until then though, we will enjoy watching the lives of Victor Newman, Jack Abbott, Katherine Chancellor, Nick, Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon, Neil, Michael, Lauren, Billy, Adam, all of their kids (and their kids). We get entranced to watch the dramatic turns, the suspenseful music, the awkward banter, the tears, the backstabbing, and the slaps. From the start of the show with the memorable piano and string instrument melody to the credits it’s something that’s new and fresh everyday and after a few episodes an impression has been left with the viewer.
Not for nothin’ but I have to say America is a better place because of the Young and the Restless. Sounds funny to hear, but some people can’t start their day, or end it without knowing what happened in Genoa City today. It effects their real life little to none, but an escape from reality allows people to function in their everyday lives. There are more realistic shows and characters that we can bond with, but they can hardly provide the excitement that seen with the Y&R. The show has helped CBS become a successful network and as long as its there with The Price is Right people will be occupied around the midday Monday through Friday for a very long time.