Grand Opening, Grand Closing: Sally Sussman and Kay Alden Out At Y&R

Sally Sussman
Photo Credit: Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

A huge creative shake up is happening behind the scenes at CBS’ The Young and the Restless. According to reports, head writer/co-executive producer Sally Sussman Morina and creative consultant Kay Alden have “retired” from the long-running soap. Who’s the name reportedly taking over?

Picture getting your dream job — the job that you were destined to have. The job that was taken from you and given to several lesser qualified applicants. Picture finally claiming what was rightfully yours, only to quit 10 months later.

In a shocking turn of events, Jamey Giddens of Daytime Confidential broke the news that Sally Sussman and Kay Alden both are leaving the show and retiring from the genre. Co-executive producer Mal Young will assume duties as head writer and executive producer. This came after unfounded reports (from non-credible outlets) of turmoil within the highest rated soap surrounding Sussman Morina supposedly hiring of her son with plans to fire veteran scribe Kay Alden. Apparently, both claims were said to be false by DC, and both are hanging up their feather pens and heading off to daytime Shady Pines. With so much hype surrounding their hires such a short time ago, you have to wonder what went wrong. Did CBS write a check they couldn’t cash? Did Sally under-deliver on a over-hyped promise? Or did she and Kay simply decide to take their talents to South Beach?

There’s been immediate and swift reaction within #SoapTwitter. Those of us at TV Source Magazine have…mixed feelings.

It seems like the writing was on the wall a lot sooner than we may have noticed. Just recently I wondered about the increasing scrutiny and uncertainty of storylines. After an initial soap press push, Sally Sussman seemingly disappeared from the interview scene, leaving dealing with the press to Young, who had been very vocal. I still find it odd.

With all the flaws of ABC’s General Hospital at the moment, their scribes have never shied away from doing press with the magazines — detailing what is coming next and what they see for the show. Sussman on the other hand has been like a silent partner of sorts. Blink and you almost forgot she was there. And the one interview she did do turned fans off so much, I wonder if she was just never able to rebound from it.

We wish Sally and Kay all the best in the future endeavors while also making sure the doors are locked and key cards denied for anyone named Charles Pratt.

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About the Author

Ashley Dionne joined the TV Source Magazine team in December 2014. She served as TV Source's deputy editor from 2016-2019.

4 comments

  1. Yes. But I’ve also sighted that I have not been a fan of executive producers also having head writing credit, as I’ve seen it blow up in the faces of those it has/is happening to. I’m holding hope, as Mal is very experienced and has done wonderful things for the serial thus far.

  2. I’m confused. Mal Young IS from the UK. He was involved with Eastenders and a bunch of other soap-like productions. He was hired exactly for the reason you cite: to shake things up.

  3. This…. is a mess right now. Sally’s regime has been likable and has brought back some consistency to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, but it does miss some much-needed punch and excitement. In truth, I think Kay Alden would’ve been a better choice for head writer, and Sally Sussman as a consultant, but Sally’s regime was pretty good. I hated her TV Insider interview, though, as it smelt like she was holding her own personal grudge against the previous regimes, and her own tenure had its genuine bumps. However, the continued shake up of head writers is doing my head in, and it is time that CBS/Sony Pictures Television buckle down and create some damn consistency at this serial.

    However, giving Mal Young the role of head writer, to me, is a mistake. Every single soap, including Y&R, that has allowed the executive producer to be the head writer, has been a mess. Brad Bell has proven that he cannot handle multiple job titles, and his sister-in-law, Maria Arena, nearly dismantled the serial. A fresh take could be brilliant; after all, when Mal became executive producer, following Jill Farren Phelps, there were excellent changes made, so I’m hoping this change continues. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS is rich with history, and there is obvious reason why it was given a three-year renewal, so don’t screw it up!

    What I would do is hire a writer from the UK; UK soaps are edgier and don’t hide from shock-value, and US soaps need a damn shakeup story-wise, and the benefit of a UK writer could bring that to the forefront, and allow for THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS to purely shine. I don’t want a continued, recycled ring of the same storylines and plot devices. Give us something new, edgy and worth-while watching.

  4. The show had been a ratings & demographic failure under Sussman & Alden’s writing since December 2016. It’s plainly obvious that their storylines and writing styles were not connecting with the show’s audience. CBS & Sony both knew when to pull the plug. Let’s hope Mal Young can turn this ship around. He’s got a huge project in-front of him.

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