'The Young and the Restless' Airs 10,000th Episode Today
The Soap Will Celebrate Its 40th Anniversary in March
Ten thousand episodes … that's a lot of romantic triangles, cases of amnesia, children aging a decade or more in a summer and characters returning from the dead.
In fact, as CBS' The Young and the Restless airs its 10,000th episode today, Sharon Newman (Daytime Emmy winner Sharon Case) is on the third leg of an ongoing romantic saga that has found her marrying three Newman men (two sons and a father), several child characters have become adults over the course of the last year and the show's leading man, Victor Newman (Daytime Emmy winner Eric Braden), is about to return from a brief period of being presumed dead.
"In the 10,000th episode, surprises await the characters as they gather for the funeral of presumed dead billionaire Victor Newman," is CBS' official description of today's installment, which is part of the show's 23-year streak of being the number one-rated daytime soap (and sadly, now one of only four daytime soaps on the networks).
A few facts about Y&R as the show marks its major milestone:
-- The show debuted on March 26, 1973 as a half-hour show; it expanded to an hour in 1980;
-- The show takes place in Genoa City, Wisconsin, and though there is a real Genoa City in Wisconsin, it's nothing like the daytime soap version;
-- Y&R has won the Outstanding Drama Series Daytime Emmy seven times, most recently in 2007;
-- Braden, who joined the show in 1980, was hired to play a villainous character who would be killed off after a few months. Instead, Victor Newman has become one of the most iconic characters in daytime TV, and his ongoing romantic saga with former stripper Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) makes them one of the few soap supercouples remaining;
-- The show's Grammy-winning theme song is called "Nadia's Theme." It was originally titled "Cotton's Dream," but the name was changed after the tune was famously used during a montage of Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci's routines at the 1976 Olympics on an episode of ABC's Wide World of Sports;
-- Among Y&R's famous alumni: Tom Selleck, Danny Trejo, Dennis Haysbert, Cam Gigandet, David Hasselhoff, Eva Longoria, Penn Badgley, Vivica A. Fox, Shemar Moore, Corbin Bernsen (whose mom is Y&R star Jeanne Cooper) and president Gerald Ford's son Steven Ford;
-- Jeanne Cooper, who plays diva Katherine Chancellor, is the matriarch of all soaps -- she has starred on the show for 39 years (she joined in Nov. 1973) and is currently the longest-starring actress on any daytime soap. She has won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress, she has a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood and, yes, Katherine has been presumed dead, has had amnesia, has been involved in countless romantic triangles and found out her sworn enemy was actually her daughter. Cooper also played a lookalike character on the show and had a facelift operation performed on Y&R, which was written into the plot as Katherine also got a facelift.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS at 12:30 p.m. ET and 11 a.m. PT