‘The Young and the Restless’: ‘Winters Week’ Has Been a Bittersweet Hit With Fans

The Young and the Restless is one of the most beloved and longest-running soap operas in television history. Known for shocking twists, dramatic reveals, and love triangles, the show is the quintessential American soap opera. The show has told the stories of a large variety of families including the Abbott, Newman, and Baldwin families. One of the most popular groups on the show is the Winters/Barbers, and their extended family members. CBS recently ran a Winters Week to celebrate the family as part of their rerun theme weeks while new episodes are delayed. So who is the Winters family, and what was the extremely popular special theme week about? 

Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) with family and friends gather for Devon Hamilton (Bryton James) and Hilary Curtis' (Mishael Morgan) on 'The Young and the Restless'
Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) with family and friends gather for Devon Hamilton (Bryton James) and Hilary Curtis’ (Mishael Morgan) on The Young and the Restless | Johnny Vy/CBS via Getty Images

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What is ‘Winters Week’ on The Young and the Restless?

Due to the production stoppage as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions, The Young and the Restless showrunners have decided to air throwback episodes, with a different theme each week. One of the most popular theme weeks was the show’s Winters Week, which featured episodes celebrating the popular Winters family of the show. The featured Winters family episodes contain fan-favorite moments including when Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John) and his brother Malcolm (Shemar Moore) made their first appearances on the show, in 1991 and 1994 respectively. Some of the more recent moments that were shown during the week include the adoption of Devon Hamilton (Bryton James), by Neil Winters and his wife Drucilla (Victoria Rowell). Neil and Drucilla’s relationship and multiple marriages are a key aspect of the families’ multiple-decade long run on the show. Neil was a fan-favorite for many years, until his death in 2019. St. John spent 28 years on the show, which is still the longest lasting black character in the show’s 47-year history. 

Fan-favorite Winters family characters 

One of the characters that fans have enjoyed seeing again the most is the patriarch of the Winters family, Neil. Neil was a fan-favorite character for many years, due to his charismatic and self-assured demeanor. Neil is one of the more level-headed soap opera characters but is still dragged into a series of classic genre situations. Many of these situations involve Neil’s dealings with his brother Malcolm, as well as the Barber sisters. The Barber sisters are Drucilla and Olivia (Tonya Williams), who marry, divorce, and interact with the Winters brothers throughout the show’s history. The foursomes romantic dealings are the basis for the show’s years of episodes involving the beloved Winters family.

One part of the appeal of Neil and his family is the positive representation of black lives on the show. The soap opera genre is mainly dominated by white characters, so the Winters were a popular change of the norm. St. John’s portrayal of Neil was extremely popular with fans and critics alike, earning the actor two Daytime Emmy Awards, and eight NAACP Image Awards. Fans have loved being able to see the legendary Neil and the other Winters family members during Winters Week. 

Fan reactions to ‘Winters Week’

Much to the joy of long-time fans, The Young and the Restless has shown various classic episodes while shooting is halted. Each week, the show has sorted and shown these episodes with a special theme. These themes include the show’s most beautiful and beloved romances, as well as an entire week dedicated to the great Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper).

One of the most popular theme weeks was Winters Week. Fans took to social media to share their love for the episodes dedicated to the family. Many of these fans have especially enjoyed seeing Neil Winters in his prime, as he and his brother were a heavily featured part of many of the classic episodes. Fans of The Young and the Restless and the Winters have enjoyed seeing the family so much, they are calling for the current members of the family to be a more featured part of the show once filming starts again.