COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX)--The Young and the Restless is America's number one daytime drama and if you spend any time on the set, you quickly realize what makes this show tick.
J.R. Berry recently sat down with the stars of the show in Los Angeles to find out why the show has been number one for the last 23 years.
With a big smile, Michelle Stafford, who plays Phyliss Newman seems to confirm this when she says, "Everybody here is really great. There are a couple you know, were not gonna mention them, but you know. But for the most part everybody's really cool".
Her co-star, Joshua Morrow agrees. When he's not playing Nick Newman he's joking around on the set. Morrow says, "We probably have too much fun. I hate the term set clown, but I like to take it upon myself to keep everybody loose".
Daniel Goddard, another one of the show's stars, who plays Cane Ashby, says "I just think our show is very real. It's well lit, the writing is great, our actors are amazing and I think you can see the quality of our show. You can feel it's high quality. It makes us stand out and I think our show supplies to viewers what they want".
Goddard's character of Cane has been paired with Lily, portrayed by Christel Khalil. Kahil's aunt and uncles, along with her grandmother, live in Greenwood, South Carolina. Christel told News19, "Its nice to have the fans love us so much and think we're great. It's so encouraging and it makes you feel good."
The Young and the Restless made it's debut in 1973. Set in Genoa City, Wisconsin, the show has gone through hundreds of characters.
Now the cast stands at more than 60 players and included among them is Angell Conwell of Columbia, South Carolina. She joined the show two years ago playing attorney Leslie Michaelson. "I remember the day I got the call that I got the role of Leslie", says Angell. "I was thrilled because it's my granny's favorite show. It was my papa's favorite show. It's the family soap. It's the one we all talk about the characters, as if we know them. We call them by first names. They're like members of our family".
Another familiar face on the show is Catherine Bach. Unlike her squeaky clean Dukes of Hazard character of Daisy Duke, she's up to no good in Genoa City.
"I just love it", says Bach. "It's CBS where I've always had a home. They asked me to the show and I said I can't. My husband passed away a couple of years ago and that was really tough on me. I didn't think I would work again. CBS and the people here said come on back to work. It's going to be good for you".
Like any daytime drama, the story lines on The Young and the Restless can be a bit far fetched. The show has a certain way of aging characters and sometimes the numbers don't always add up.
A good example is when the writers decided to make Phyliss Newman a grandmother, much to the dismay of her portrayer Michelle Stafford who says, "I have to joke about a writers meeting, the writers getting together and saying 'OK, of all of our characters, who should we make a grandma? Phyliss. Phyliss is the one. She should be a grandma.' I'm sure that's the correct character to be a grandma. She's not much of a mother you know. She tries but cant get things right".
There's always been talk of airing the show once or twice a year in prime time. That's something Michael Muhney, who plays Adam Newman, says isn't necessary.
"I don't know what the statistic is but it's like 30 to 40 percent of people who watch the show watch it on DVR and they don't watch during the day. They're watching it in prime time already. So I feel in a way that we compete in a healthy way against prime time shows but still maintain the daytime format which is important for the show".
Peter Bergman is feeling pretty good these days. He's been on the show for 23 years, winning three daytime Emmys, for his portrayal of Jack Abbott.
"You almost always see Jack wearing a suit on the show. I go back to my theater days as an actor who could not wait to get into costume. It helps me get behind Jack when i have my tie up tight and things are all polished. I feel like Jack. It's a great job", said Bergman.
Joshua Morrow has very little in common with his Nick Newman character. His personal life is pretty steady. He married his longtime girlfriend and they have four children. "I am the most boring human being on the planet. My life consists of sports, television and my kids. I truly have very little interest outside of those things. I'm not a real interesting guy when it comes to world issues and all that stuff. I'm truly simple and I like my life easy and as long as my kids are involved then my life is perfect".
Daytime soaps seem to be fading away.
Only four are left on network television and of those The Young and the Restless is the most popular.
The show just celebrated it's 10,000 episode and another milestone will take place next spring.
The show will celebrate 40-years on the air. Kristoff St. John has been a part of the show for 22 years playing Neil Winters. Says Winters, "It's great to be a part of history and with the genre sort of shall I dare say dying? No, I don't want to say that. It's just kind of slowed down a little and with all things it's cyclical at some point I think we'll see a resurgence of daytime soap operas again. They've become a little top heavy for the networks to carry but so far so good. we hopefully are gonna be the last man standing".