New 1973 Soap Opera Targeted The Young And Restless TV Viewers

By | August 9, 2018

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THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS cast members. Image dated April 16, 1974. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

The soap opera was a fast-growing television genre in the 1960s and 1970s and viewers, mostly housewives, were glued to their TV sets in the afternoons to watch some of the more popular soaps of the day, including General Hospital, All My Children, and One Life to Live. By the early 1970s, CBS television executives were looking for a way to get younger viewers…teens and young adults…hooked on afternoon soaps so they created a new soap opera with a younger, hipper, cooler cast of characters. They called their new series, which debuted on March 26, 1973, “The Young and the Restless.” 

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Y&R Centered Around Two Families, the Haves and the Have Nots

When the soap opera was in its infancy, the writers centered the storylines on two fictitious families in the fictitious town of Genoa City, Wisconsin. The town’s wealthy Brooks family was balanced with the working-class, blue-collar Foster family. Two of the show’s main characters, Jill Foster and Katherine Chancellor, were feuding rivals from the very first episode and these characters have maintained that feud ever since. In fact, theirs is the longest-running feud in soap opera history.