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The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell: Creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful [Hardcover]

Michael Maloney , Lee Phillip Bell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 15 2012
The first and definitive biography of the soap world's biggest legend, William J.Bell
For the first time fans will be able to discover the true stories behind the creation and growth of the most popular and iconic soap operas of all time, and they'll learn about the man behind their favorite storylines. Filled with dramatic turns, dangerous risks, and an overall devotion to bringing life to the show, this biography will offer fans a backstage pass to the fascinating world of soaps!

Bill Bell worked from a love of his characters andhis family, and was never afraid to fight for what he knew to be important to both. For any fans of Bill's shows or anyone working on creating dramas, this is an unprecedented look into the life of one of the men who did it best.

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"A fabulous introduction . . . perfect for bedtime reading. . . .  The writing is direct and punchy, allowing the myths to shine…the sort of book(s) that you could get completely hooked on and plough straight through, wanting one more story after another. . . .  Highly recommended."  —Bookbag


"Some of the greatest stories ever told have never been more accessible than in these charming and eye-catching books which have an easy-to-understand text accompanied by exciting and high impact illustrations."  —Lancashire Evening Post
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Maloney is a contributing editor at Soaps In Depth magazine. A graduate of Boston University's College of Communication, Michael is a member of the Television Critics Association. He lives in Los Angeles.

Lee Phillip Bell is known to millions of TV viewers as a soap opera creator, co-executive producer, television talk show host and documentarian. She was married to William J. Bell for 50 years. Together, Lee and Bill co-created The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Lee lives in Beverly Hills.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
By Rhoda
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book gives you and inside look at the work involved in writing a continuous serial. The Young and the Restless is the highest viewed daytime soap opera to ever be on television and William Bell is the person responsible for that. I am heartened to know he is not alive today to see what is happening to daytime television. His vision gave us a great show, and provided long-term employment to many in the industry. It is too bad the loyalty shown by so may to Mr. Bell is not even looked at today. I reccomend this book to any fan of the show to understand Mr. Bells motivation to bring a great product to air.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Life of Daytime's Most Prolific Writer" June 1 2012
By Terrance Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell" is the autobiography of the man many belive, myself included, to be the best male writer American daytime soap operas has ever known. The book, which is co-written by Bill's wife Lee Phillip Bell and Michael Maloney, traces Bill's life in Chicago where he got his start working for the mother of serials Irna Philips who would become his mentor. It was through Irna that Bill learned the craft of soap opera story telling, something Agnes Nixon (creator of "All My Children") also experienced.

In the 1950's Bill was Irna's associate writer for CBS's "The Guiding Light" and he went on to write story and dialogue for the blockbuster soap "As the World Turns" upon its debut in 1956. Bill stayed with "World Turns" until 1966 when he received a call from Ted Corday who was trying to keep his soap "Days of Our Lives" from being cancelled. Unknown to Bill at the time Ted (with whom Bill worked with on "World Turns". Ted was a director) was dying and Ted asked if Bill could headwrite the new NBC soap. The next day Bill called Ted and said he would, much to the chagrin of Irna who though Bill would write both soaps, but Bill knew there was many things wrong with "Days" and he wanted to concentrate on it solely.

It was on "Days of Our Lives" that Bill really cut his teeth as a serial writer as almost immediately the actors knew the scripts improved dramatically and the ratings slowly rose. On this show Bill wrote stories with sexual themes and his storylines of brother vs. brother for the affections of a beautiful doctor (Mickey/Bill/Laura) and the battle between two former best friends for the love od a beautiful young man (Julie/Susan/David) saw the ratings go through the roof. Bill was also instrumental in casting on the show as he made stars out of Susan Flannery, Denise Alexander and Susan Seaforth Hayes.

By 1971 "Days of Our Lives" did the impossibe: it replaced "As the World Turns" as the #1 soap opera in the nation, the first time another soap had been #1 since 1958! CBS saw what was happening and contacted Bill about creating a new serial for their schedule.

Every soap writer's dream is to create their own show so Bill jumped at the chance to do his own serial. In 1972 he and his wife Lee went to Los Angeles and for a week stayed at the Beverly Hills Hotel and created a show about beautiful young people living in a town called Genoa City with the title being "The Innocent Years". CBS bought it, but Bill felt the title was proper since by the early seventies there was nothing innocent about that time with race riots and the Vietnam War in full swing. So the title of the new show became "The Young and the Restless" and the rest is history.

NBC would end up suing Bill for leaving "Days", but a contract was made making Bill the writing consultant for the show as he penned his new series. "The Toung and the Restless" became a huge hit for CBS hitting #1 and winning the Emmy as Best Daytime Drama only two years after its debut. Bill and his wife would beasked by CBS to create yet another show for them in 1986 and the outcome was "The Bold and the Beautiful" about the L.A. fashion world. That show went to #2 where it has stayed since and has become the most-watched soapopera in the world today with an estimated 26 million viewers.

An exceptional book. "The Young and Restless Life of Bill Bell" is an insight into a marvelous man who loved his family and loved the art of soap opera who died way too young from alzheimer's disease. Upon his death "The Young and the Restless" has seen a huge drop in ratings although it still manages to be the 31 serial in North America, but the stories are nowhere near as involving or interesting as they once where when Bill led the show.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More like a love letter than a biography..... July 11 2012
By Eleanor Rigby - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I realized that Lee Phillip Bell had selected this author to write the book on her husband's impressive career and rise to the top, I knew it would be biased, of course. But what I didn't know until the first chapter in was how this one-sided view of facts and events would paint the entire book with a shallowness and superficiality that was disappointing.

With admiration and awe dripping from every word, the author misses opportunities to delve more deeply into conflicts and behind-the-scenes insights that would have enriched the story-telling for the reader.

As a long-time fan of both Y&R and B&B, I did find the book overall enjoyable, but it left me wanting more. There is very little, if anything, in this book that one couldn't find on the Internet, and that is unfortunate.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!! July 21 2012
By BrodyIan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What a great read. An amazing story of a man and his show written as well as anything in this genre I've ever read.
I highly recommend this to anyone. If you loved Y&R, B&B, or any daytime drama, for that matter, it's a must read.
Well written and tough to put down. I can't say enough good things about it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You think you know it all...until you read this book Aug. 25 2012
By Fred Bloggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is FASCINATING. Absolutely could not put it down. I followed all the soaps in French so the American story behind the scenes is really interesting. Simone HJ. San francisco
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book! July 26 2012
By Kathy L - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you've ever been a Bill Bell fan, you'll find this book very interesting. He was great at what he did, and on top of all that, it seems that he was as nice as he was rich and successful.
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