In March 1987, the 30-minute daytime drama 'The Bold And The Beautiful' went on air after the 5-year-old 'Capitol' series became a memory in the world of soap operas. 'The Bold And The Beautiful' did not occupy 'Capitol's' 2:30pm time slot on CBS' juggled schedule. William J. Bell believed, "We have a better time slot and I believe whether a show is a half-hour or not doesn't really matter. If people like it, they will find it.
"I was doing 'Days of our Lives' when it was the first show offered an hour. I resisted for years. For 7 years, 'The Young and the Restless' was a half-hour." At the time, 95% of CBS affiliates agreed to carry 'The Bold And The Beautiful'. "I bent over backward to make the two shows look different. I didn't want anyone to say that this show was riding on coattails."
By 2012, publicists told Associated Press, "'The Bold And The Beautiful' is seen by 35 million people in over 100 countries and Italy is its No. 1 market worldwide. The show has 4 million viewers in Italy compared to 3.6 million in the United States." Richard Nilsen of 'The Arizona Republic' noted in 1992, "No matter how much we complain about American balance of trade, there is one segment of our economy that has been doing its part: Hollywood. A U.S.-made soap opera, 'The Bold And The Beautiful' is Italy's top-rated TV show. 'Pretty Woman' was 1990's No. 1 film in Italy, Australia, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Denmark and the No. 2 film in the United Kingdom."
Michael Brockman of CBS maintained, "The serial field is very specialized. Not many people have the capability to develop and write these shows with their complicated plot lines involving many characters." William J. Bell told Lane Crockett of 'Gannett News Service', "For this show, we wanted something that was glamorous and sensous, if you will.
"Fashion has so much going for it. I doubt there is any woman alive who isn't interested in current fashions. So we're using that device to back up the character stories. The characters must be appealing. Some will become your best friends, others you will despise. Characters can't be one-dimensional. Many people spend more time with our characters than with their own families.
"You can depend on them every day at the same time and live through their happy, sad and emotional times. That appeals to me, this dimension in daytime storytelling. I have had opportunities to do nighttime serials but I turned them down. For one thing I enjoy the pace of daytime because you do stories with more depth. Then, I have total control over what I am doing.
"I don’t think I’d have that in prime time. We’ll be doing something the first month that, I think, anyone who sees the first show will see the second and be hooked in a week. 'The Bold And The Beautiful' has the potential to be the fastest starting serial there ever was. It's all in technique and not panicking. You have to stay by your guns and know what you are doing. If that happens an audience most generally will respond."
Isobel Silden of 'Page-Up Service' reported in 1987, "Soaps have a staying power unmatched by most prime time series. Bill Bell Jr. did a lot of reading, specifically about the fashion industry. During Christmas week 1985 Lee and Bill Bell checked into L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills where they remained for a week, exchanging the ideas that had been germinating in their heads since 1975.
"When they emerged they had 36 typed pages: the 'bible' for 'The Bold And The Beautiful'. Every soap has a bible, which details the lives and backgrounds of the major characters and what happens to them during the show's first year, if not longer. Those 36 pages went to CBS. The new show got the go-ahead in just a few weeks. More than a year passed (until March 1987) before its debut, however.
"The Bells then got to work assembling their staff: producer, director and writers. Then came casting. Seventeen regular parts, 15 of which casting directors put out the word. Agents submitted photos, and actors and actresses came in for readings. Between October 1986 and February 1987, there were 1,243 actors and actresses attending the casting call. When taping began in mid-March, there was a comfortable reserve of 30 completed scripts, which were kept under lock and key. The cast and crew were sworn to secrecy about plot lines."
Lee Bell remarked at the time, "We are pleased with our budget, although we have to work hard to stay within it. The mores of society have changed in 15 years (or since 1970) but Bill and I have kept consistent values. His feeling is that TV is a responsibility. He demands a strong family connection and a strong mother and father image (in the series). That is the core. Then we get into character development and those emotions that haven't changed since the beginning of time: love and hate."
Bill Bell Jr. told Alan Carter of 'New York Daily News' in 1987, "I've never done that stuff (science fiction). I never will. In terms of storytelling, the family has always been the most interesting thing to me. I've had a lot of experience creating shows. I started a long time ago. I was with 'The Guiding Light', created 'Another World' and took over 'Days of our Lives' when it was in trouble."
Of 'The Young and the Restless', "I think we brought a new approach to daytime programming because we featured young people. It's a very contemporary show and we make good use of music and closeups in ways that hadn't been used before. Our stories are provocative. I won't say sensual because that would give the wrong impression, but sometimes they are. Can you think of a better place for a young actor to train? They get new material every day, filled with conflicts and romance, and they get stretched every way possible."
"Fred Silverman was the head of CBS programming then (in 1972)," Bill Bell Jr. recounted in 1988, who successful lured Bill away from 'Days of our Lives' to create 'The Young and the Restless'. "There we were (Lee and Bill) staring at a blank sheet of paper. We did 70 pages, which took the story through the first two years. It took the show a year and a half to get established. When you have a long-running show the audience grows older with the show. 'The Young and the Restless' was the first show to turn that around and attract a young audience for CBS.
"After one young actress (Jaime Lyn Bauer) told me she was leaving (in 1980) I knew it would be a mortal blow to try and replace her. I'd already had to replace several other actors. What I did was gradually move the focus from the Fosters and the Brooks and brought in two new families, the Abbotts and the Williamses. It was a fascinating thing, but we were also scared. We didn't know it would work. But the audience stayed with us and the show has grown in the ratings."