'The Young and the Restless' scoop: Head writer talks about Victor Newman verdict, and what's next for his (money-grubbing) children

Eric-BraedenImage Credit: Robert Voets/CBSIn light of today’s (shocking?) verdict on The Young and the Restless, EW talked with head writer Maria Arena Bell about the decision to put Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) on trial and what will happen next for ol’ moneybags. And SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen today’s big episode of the CBS sudser, you may not want to read past the jump.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did you decide to go down this path with Victor?
MARIA ARENA BELL:
Well, it is true that he loves his family, but he’s also been manipulative and I think this really shows how these kids have grown up and how each of them has felt burned in some way by him. Part of what was so interesting was how it all started with the least likely of all the siblings. The one that seems the most harmless is the one that is causing the most harm. That’s what was sort of fun and exciting about the story.

So this all started when Abby wanted to do that reality show, right?
She’s sort of like the mouse that roared. She looks like the innocent youngest child who’s sort of clueless and what she wanted was her financial independence to be taken seriously. She wanted to be seen as an individual and what ended up happening was she started in motion something that became even bigger than she ever imagined. She got caught up in it.

How did Nick join in?
It had a lot to do with setting up Adam and letting Sharon take the fall for the disappearance of Skye. So each of them in their own way have had this rocky and tumultuous relationship with their father over the years. They’ve seen him at his best, and they’ve seen him at his worst. And they’ve loved him throughout all of it.  Each of them for their own reasons has been pushed to the limit. I think that’s why they all joined together.

Is this verdict going to clean Victor out?
It’s a pretty major settlement. They’re gonna each be given a settlement in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s going to cause a major, major shift in how Victor’s going to operate in the future. It has major ramifications for Newman Enterprises itself and for the man himself, having really felt like he’s gone to war with his children here. And in essence, he feels that they bested him in this moment. It’s going to have enormous consequences down the road for him.

Are we going to see Victor get even angrier?
Well, I think it’s going to be very interesting, his reaction. It’s going to be a very complex human reaction, in that I think he is infuriated by the chain of events and I think he always felt throughout the entire lawsuit, he was right in everything he did. He felt it was groundless, these accusations, that he had mishandled their trust, because it’s a private company, he’s a mogul, he makes decisions, he moves money from here to there in order to acquire a company to make a business deal, and he never thought his own kids would question his decision-making. After all, it’s an empire he built himself. So he is pretty angry. The more emotional side of it is that he really, he does truly love his kids. It’s pretty heart-wrenching even though he shows it in different ways.

Fans are passionate about Victor. Are you ever fearful that they’ll think you’ve gone too far with that character?
I think he is such a compelling character to watch because he isn’t always Mr. Nice Guy. He is somebody who is much more complex. The genesis of this story was that similar cases transpired along these lines in real life with children and descendants whose families had massive private companies. Often times these kids win, but then you wonder about the price they pay in their families. I think the audience will be not infuriated at Victor but see the human drama of this, that he did offer a settlement, he did try to offer an olive branch but they weren’t interested.

So does he need to get even or will his children end up screwing up everything themselves?
What will happen next is more complicated than that. It’s a little bit of both. There will be interesting twists and turns in what he decides to do, and the turns their lives take now that they’ve come into this money [will be interesting]. It definitely is going to be interesting to watch, and I feel like it very much tracks what happens in real life with these major financial dynasties.

Will we see Victor have a meltdown?
Meltdown is never really the word I would use to describe his behavior, you know? I think he’s much more of someone who, against all odds, will hold it together and find a way. But it’s an interesting choice that he makes. By the end of the week there will be a startling decision on his part, because he always has to take action.

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  • Ms.b

    I love it. Most people either love or hate the mustache. Looking everything he has done i say well written show overall!!!!!

  • mydove

    God, never have I dislike a character more than I dislike Newman. He’ll come on the screen and I say to it every time, “God, I hate you, Victor”. That being said, he’s doing a good job if he’s soliciting such a visceral response.

    • Brenda Barrett

      Same here. I’ve watched Y&R intermittently for years and always hated this character — his hubris, his arrogance, etc. Seems like he never gets his comeuppance, so if he is now, GOOD!

      • ricky johnson

        Leave my boy alone I love victor character

    • Sina

      The only time I scream “I HATE YOU” at Victor is when I see his 103 year old behind karate kicking someone! Decean better whoop that old fart’s behind.

  • Brad Arnold

    Without Victor, his children would be working at McDonalds or Subway. They use relatively minor relationship issues with their Dad to justify taking hundreds of millions of dollars from him that they had no part in earning. Shame on them – Victor will always be on top, and his children will always be following him like the dogs they are. Go Mustache!

    • Mary

      Hey Brad you cannot have watched this show for 25 years like me or you would know how silly it is too say relatively minor relationship issues!! Also they did have a part in earning those millions they worked hard and ran the company too. Beauty of Nature ring a bell? Get a clue!!

    • Paulette Patterson

      I agre with you Brad. i have watched this show since Nikki was a a stripper and watched those little spoiled brats grow up. I hope it all blows up in their face especially Victoria.She is the master manipulator behind this whole thing.They have always had the best that life could ever give any child growing up.I think it might be time for them to start showing some appreciation.When they start going against each other with Tucker pulling the strings they will miss Daddy Dearest.

    • Vickie

      I totally agree with you. It’s Victor’s money and his company and they deserve nothing unless he choses to share. His big mistake was changing the trusts or better yet he should never made any ever.

    • Jen

      Minor relationship issues? Victor had Victoria arrested on her wedding day and thrown in jail while she was pregnant! Plus she was carrying out his dirty deeds for him. So th other two might not have valid reasons but she sure does!

    • shoozeyque

      I am a big Victor Newman fan, and have been watching this show since day 1. There has never been another soap like this.

      I will say the Newman kids are all spoiled little brats, born with the proverbial spoon in their mouths. They don’t know what it’s really like to be out in the real world where sacrifices are made every day by the common folks. I think this stinks that the little weinies won that huge settlement. When did they think they were entitled to it.

      That was all Victor’s money earned by Victor, not them. What gave them that sense of entitlement to something they didn’t earn? Victor set up trusts for all of them when he dies. No, they were so dam n greedy. These excuses they’re using for suing him for this money is totally ludicrous. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior. Victor is Victor, but he always provided well for his family.

      Maybe that was Victor’s problem. He provided too well for them, and they turned around and bit the hand that fed them.

      I don’t feel sorry for these brats at all. I am frankly shocked that Nick allowed himself to be s ucked into Abby’s and Victoria’s drama. That’s all it is, greedy inexcusable drama by the Newman daughters.

  • The Lover

    Maria Bell has f&*ked up this story every since she took over. First she forgot that there are loyal viewers who have watched Y & R since The character Victor Newman was introduced. And most all of us male viewers enjoyed “Victor power”. That has ceased since Maria went out and hired all those ATWT writers who wrote a show into cancellation. They Brought along Maura West to play Diane. She is a good actress,, but she is not a a Diane type. i now understand why the didn’t age Kyle to the same age as Abby, since they were born around the same time using stolen sperm bank sperm. Maura West would have been too young to play Kyle’s mother. In addition, i think tat the show ia going in the wrong direction. First of all ther is no need for tucker mccall. genoa city has always been a Newman/Abbott town so we don’t need any more billionaires in the same town. It wouldn’t suurprise me if Les Moonives cancels Y & R for poor writing.

    • Dee

      I agree. It seems like the writers change victor chacter when his contract expired and they took him off the show for awhile

    • Lunakit

      My father is a retired cop and watches Y&R with my mom just to see the “Victor power” you mentioned. He loves seeing him stick it to someone and loathes when he is portrayed as weak.

    • bootsycolumbia

      I agree that the head writer has screwed things up with this soap. Almost every storyline is dull or makes no sense (hello, Jana, Tucker, Gloria and her nitwit husband). I seriously wish the network would give her some cash and send her packing, hire some GOOD writers and get Y&R back to its roots: good, character-driven storytelling.

      • CHERI CANNON

        I HAVE WATCHED Y&R OFF AND ON OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS OR SO. EVERY MONTH IT FEELS AS THO YOU GUYS ARE GOING IN CIRCLES. I HACE SEEN THE SAME STORY WITH DIFFERENT CHARACTERS MORE TIMES THEN I CARE TO COUNT. I TAPE YOUR SHOW AND FAST FORWARD IT. I KNOW WHATS HAPPENING WITHOUT HEARING THE WORDS. BORING!!!! HOW ABOUT LET ME WRITE A SCENE FOR YOU GUYS AND YOU CAN WORK IT INTO YOUR SCRIPT. IT WOULD BE GOOD FOR AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS. SOMETHING NEW . GET BACK TO ME…I HAVE SEVERAL GREAT IDEAS. IF YOU DON’T THINK THEY’RE GOOD JUST WATCH YOUR OWN SHOW. I KNOW I CAN DO BETTER.

    • TorontoTom

      CANCEL?!? Are you kidding? This show, good or bad, has been the #1 daytime show for 25 years – that’s EVERY WEEK for 25 years! Making a statement that the network would cancel it for bad writing is about as naive as you can get.

    • Samskara

      No Tucker is needed. He’s the wildcard in this war between Victor and Jack. Fortunately, he’s not so caught up in the emotional aspects of the Newman/Abbott feud that he can’t remain neutral. I’m glad for Tucker McCall and Stephen Nichols.

      • LIza

        I agree Tucker isn’t needed in the story, he keeps showing up in it and it doesn’t make any sense. I don’t like him with Mrs. C either he’s too creepy to be her son.

  • TQB

    I was sick last week and watched Y&R for probably the first time and I admit, it was awesome. Overwrought and hilarious. I feel like perhaps the death of so many soaps has left us with only the truly good ones.

  • Rachel

    Victor is ruthless, I do love to hate him for sure…what will he do next? I take it he lost the lawsuit…

  • P Smith

    they need to be put down they are so spoiled Victor I hope is not leaving!!!

  • Laura

    I stopped watching Young & The Restless months ago when they had “Meggie” on and Victor decided that (as ususal) he knew what was best for everyone and didnt tell Nikki the one person he should be able to confide in since he was, yet again, supposed to have married her. They have taken his character way too far for me to even enjoy the rest of the show any more and brining Maura West on, was a huge mistake!

  • christine

    I love the Young and the restless and let me tell you I had to stop watchen them when i had to get a job and support my kids but now i am 64 years old and do not work anymore do to health reasons and I have started to watch young and the restless and I love the mature victor and I love the fact that if I am not able to watch it during the day i can watch soap net plus again on weekends they have y&r marathon . please let Victor keep up the part he is so great.

  • Flip

    So happy the kids won!! Victor is SOOOOO evil and it’s nice that he was finally beaten.

    • Peg

      I am so glad his kids won. Victor does wrong and sets up his son for a murder he did not commit. He thinks he is God and nothing ever happens to him for the wrong he does. I do not want him destroyed but I wish he would learn some hard lessons about what is right and wrong.

  • Nancy Bailey

    Have watched/taped Y&R for at least 15 years. 1. Send Maura West elsewhere – she doesn’t work well here 2. Get rid of the Kevin/gambling/Jana/Ryder/Daisy group – they distract, and no one wants to watch when their story line is on 3. GOOD start, getting Nicki and Victor back together today!! 4. Bring back Adam and let him be with Sharon – it’s interesting and compelling TV – he’s flawed, like his Dad, but has some goodness. 5. Get Jill’s new husband out of there, and kill the Jill/Lauren sister story line – it’s silly, and we don’t like it. It seems like a filler – came out of nowhere, is going nowhere. 6. Put Victoria at the helm at Newman, and make her and Billy the new power couple
    That’s all for now. I love Maura West, just not on this show or in this role. Also, her son needs to go. Just too many people/too many plot lines going on at once that no one cares about. Also, Heather is superfluous – we don’t need her, and you don’t seem to have a clue what to do with her – she needs to move on. NEB

    • LIza

      Oh no, keep Colin, Jill’s much more fun with a husband!Get rid of this Tucker, the first one was great but this new one is too crabby.

  • ruth

    I usually think Y&R is boring…But i love Victor..always have, always will. He’s the man.

    • watt

      victor newman ia and will always be the man . the day Eric B. leaves is the day I stop wathing this show.

  • Carly

    MAB is a Bell by marriage,this in No way equates her
    with the true, capable, and believable storylines that
    that generated from the onset by the REAl Bells who where immensely talented. She never researched
    the characters on Y&R, or understood the true essence of this show. Since she slid into this slot, the writing is desperate and awful. Fans have
    left in droves. Its painful to watch.

  • BJohnson

    For the old school fans, Victor is gonna have to open up that dungeon and have them kids “disappear.” LOL

  • Katie

    I havent been able to watch the show for years, but i think im already all caught up!! Victor was always my favorite, his decisiveness felt so comforting. He’s like my dad, favorite uncle, and fiance all in one well-mustached mug. love the victor

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