‘Young and the Restless’ Head Writer Shakeup: Josh Griffith Out, Shelly Altman In?

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Photo: Cliff Lipson/CBS   ©2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rumors of backstage upheaval at CBS’ The Young and the Restless may not be as unfounded as people think. According to a report from Highlight Hollywood, head writer Josh Griffith turned in his resignation, emailing his writing team that his exit was due to ‘irreconcilable differences.’ Griffith’s departure paves the way for a new head writer to be named.

If Highlight Hollywood’s earlier reports of alleged tension between Griffith and executive producer Jill Farren Phelps are to be believed, his exit should come as no surprise. Jamey Giddens of Daytime Confidential confirmed Josh Griffith’s exit on Twitter soon after tweeting, “I am hearing Tommy is right. Josh Griffith did in fact email the writers saying he is quitting.”

Griffith was hired last July to replace outgoing head writer Maria Arena Bell. It was the second time the Emmy winner would hold the position, having served as lead scribe during the 2006-2007 Writers Guild of America Strike. This is the second time Griffith has been fired from Y&R. In 2008, Griffith was let go amidst rumors of backstage turmoil; the late Paul Rauch was named his successor.

CBS Soaps in Depth reports via a source that veteran soap writer Shelly Altman (Another World, One Life to Live) will take over as head writer. Names floated as possible co-head writers include current Y&R staff writer Tracey Thomson (General Hospital, All My Children) and General Hospital scribe Jean Passanante (All My Children, As the World Turns).

The Young and the Restless has not confirmed or denied Josh Griffith’s exit.

Our Take: What I wouldn’t give to have the team of Kay Alden and Sally Sussman Morina as lead scribes, with Ed Scott returning as showrunner. There’s a reason why the late William J. Bell handpicked those individuals to help steer his legacy. A show such as Y&R has been able to stay #1 for decades because of its stability and writers who knew how to carry out Bell’s vision. I don’t know what in the hell was going on between Jill and Josh, but creatively the show is was suffering and a change was desperately needed. That said, change isn’t always a good thing…

About The Author

Omar White-Nobles is Executive Editor of TVSource Magazine. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.