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CBS’ ‘Young and the Restless’ Marks 25th Year as Ratings Leader

Now in its 40th season, the show's run as the top daytime drama began in late 1988

After winning 1,299 consecutive weeks, it wasn’t exactly a cliff-hanger when CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” tacked on one more week to its streak this month.

But in doing so, CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” can celebrate a feat that’s virtually unprecedented in any daypart — topping its competition for 25 straight years.

According to Nielsen estimates, “Y&R” averaged 4.99 million viewers during its most recent week, finishing well ahead of CBS’ own “Bold and the Beautiful” (3.83 million), ABC’s “General Hospital” (3.30 million) and NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” (2.68 million). (In a good sign for the soap biz, all four shows were up vs. the comparable week a year ago.)

Now in its 40th season, “Young and the Restless” has aired more than 10,250 episodes. It began its winning streak the week of Dec. 26, 1988.

Season-to-date, “Y&R” is averaging 5.10 million viewers. It’s also in first place among the daytime dramas in both women 25-54 (2.1 rating/13 share) and women 18-49 (1.4/10, tied with “General Hospital”). In women 25-54, it has finished on top for 354 of the past 356 weeks.

CBS’ entire daytime lineup has been No. 1 for 27 years, starting with the 1986-87 season. This fall, the net’s two soaps, “The Talk” and gameshows “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal” are all posting year-to-year growth in total viewers and/or the key women 25-54 demo.

“The Young and the Restless” is produced by Bell Dramatic Serial Company, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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