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The Young and the Restless television show centers on the members of the town of Genoa City, Wisconsin. Genoa City does exist, but it is nothing like the one on the show. This daytime show is one of ABC's most popular soap operas. Originally titled The Innocent Years, the show was later changed to The Young and the Restless; it seemed to fit the mood of the seventies better. It took 540 people to audition before the final 13 were chosen. These 13 were the youngest actors and actresses ever to be cast on a soap opera.

At the start, the soap opera focused on two families, one of which was rich, and the other of the working class. The original families were written out of the show, and two new families took their place. The only characters that stayed were those of Jill Foster Abbot, played by Jess Walton, and Katherine Chancellor, played by Jeanne Cooper. The feud between them brought them together and pulled them apart.

The families on the show are the Chancellors, the Abbots, the Williams, and the Newmans. The lives of these families are intertwining, as they marry and divorce, moving from one family to the next. Jill, who had an affair with Katherine's husband, marries John Abbot and has his son Billy. When dating John, Jill has an affair with John's grown son, Jack. This causes a rift in John and Jack's relationship, which is later repaired, reuniting the father and son. John Abbot was played by Jerry Douglas until the death of John Abbot, leaving Jill a rich widow. Jack is played by Peter Bergman.

Victor Newman, played by Eric Braeden, the richest man on the show, is also the most powerful. Victor has a relationship with Nikki Reed, whom he later marries. Nikki Reed, played by Melody Thomas Scott, was a stripper; Victor turns her into a lady of grace and power. Ashley Abbot, played by Eileen Davidson, has an affair with Victor, causing hatred between her and Nikki. Victor bounces back and forth between Nikki and Ashley as the two ladies try to outdo each other. Ashley gets pregnant with Victor's child so the two marry, yet when Ashley aborts the child, Victor goes back to Nikki.

Ashley Abbot along with being Victor's other woman, and then wife, is also the daughter of John Abbot and the sister of Jack Abbot. She works for her father who owns Jabot Cosmetics, a company that Victor tries to take over. The fight over the company also makes rivalries between the Abbots and the Newmans.

Although the main characters of the show seem to be Ashley, Jill, Victor, Jack, and Katherine other characters come in to enhance not only the show but also the characters. Families grow and decrease as members are born, die, marry, and divorce. As the original characters age their children are taking center stage. The show deals with the problems of parents dealing with children along with dealing with ex-family members. Children are born, children die, children being kidnapped, children turn against family, and families turn against children, yet in the end they realize that they are family and families stick together.

The Young and the Restless seems to describe the people on the show. They are young and they seem restless as they go about their lives. For some of the characters it seems they are never satisfied, so they search for ways to antagonize others. Other characters seem always to be the ones trying to keep the peace.

Over the years, The Young and the Restless has won numerous Daytime Emmy Awards. They received the award for Outstanding Drama Series seven times. They have also received awards for younger actress, younger actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, and the Lifetime Achievement Award. They were also the first soap opera to be broadcast in high definition. The Young and the Restless has been on television longer than any other soap opera so they must be doing something right.

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Weekdays 11:00 AM et/pt on CBS
20 Seasons, 2739 Episodes - Currently Airing
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