Morality play, soap opera, daytime drama or to put it simply, continuing story had been described as "uniquely American".
"There is more intimacy about the soaps than in any other dramatic form," one observer remarked. "The writers are well aware that they are on a person-to-person basis with their audience." Usually storylines for soaps would have been planned anywhere between 6 months and 2 years in advance. The head writers would normally developed the weekly outlines before assigning the staff writers to write the daily episodes based on those outlines. One soap specialist pointed out, "Right now (1979) a storyline of 'Search for Tomorrow' involving an actor and actress named Rod Arrants and Sherry Mathis is very hot...But I predict that in 2 or 3 years, no matter how hot this charming young couple is, if they went to another series they wouldn't take the audience with them. It's the story that has the loyalty."
Between September 1969 and March 1972, 'Bright Promise' went on air. Set in Bancroft College, 'Bright Promise' - created by Frank and Doris Hursley and produced and directed by Gloria Monty - sought to explore the life of students on campus and around the college faculties and administration. At the time, Mark Miller shared, "I never thought of myself as religious...in strictly conventional use of the word. I always believed in God. I could sense His presence wherever I went; in whatever I did. Whether it was working on a construction gang, or wildcatting for oil, or sweating out a performance in front of a tough audience. Or welcoming each of my 3 daughters as they were born. And, of course, marveling at the love that ties me closer and closer every year to my beautiful wife, Bea. Wherever human emotions are put to a test – and triumph – you can be sure that some Divine intervention was at hand. But, as for actual church-going religion – no. I never thought of myself in that role. I didn’t think it was necessary to go to a building someone put up to find Him. I always believed it was enough just to be aware of Him all the time."
One year after 'Bright Promise' ended, 'The Young and the Restless' went on air. Of its popularity, Bill Bell believed, "While you have to keep abreast of the young people and learn how they think and what they do, you also keep in mind that the basics of relationships are quite the same regardless of the time period you're writing in. The way people romance today (1992) really isn't that different from the way they romanced 35 years ago, or even 19 years ago, when 'The Young and the Restless' went on the air."
Bill described 'The Young and the Restless' as "a very contemporary show and we make good use of music and closeups in ways that hadn't been used before." In 1987, its spin-off, 'The Bold And The Beautiful' went on air, "(The actors) get new material every day, filled with conflicts and romance, and they get stretched every way possible." "As a writer and storyteller," Bill insisted, "you feel so much more a sense of fulfillment in knowing that what you're doing has some meaning for people...Essentially, we're telling stories about families. What happens to any one of the people on these shows always involves the family unit in some way."
Of 'The Young and the Restless', Bill made known, "Incidentally, the title I had in mind for it for some 4 or 5 years before it was produced was 'The Innocent Years'. Then I became aware of the obvious: that between the time when I first thought of the title, and the time when the show was ready to air, the word – 'innocent' – was no longer an operative word. We, as a country, had lost our innocence."