BEL AIR—Normally we offer the gold standard to the best actresses and leading ladies who perform on TV each week. However, this week the gold standard goes to the most talented leading lady of daytime TV. Writer and producer Maria Arena Bell, who is a writer and producer is our choice for this honor. The 37th annual Daytime Emmy awards lit up the Vegas strip on Sunday night. “The Young and the Restless,” which is the most popular daytime drama in the United States for the past 21 years, was nominated in the Best Dramatic Series category. Though the show did not win, “Y&R’s” sister soap “The Bold and the Beautiful” and its talented producer and head writer took home the gold for Best Drama. Both shows are worthy and “Y&R’s” beautiful head writer and executive producer Maria Arena Bell is producing and writing an entertaining mind blowing daytime drama with her great talent.

Praise for Maria came on Sunday night and has been going on since she took over the show that her parents-in-law, Bill Sr. and Lee Phillip Bell co-created over three decades ago. “Maria transformed the show and made it so much better,” Eric Braeden recently told Canyon News. Joshua Morrow who portrays Nick Newman on “Y&R” concurred, “She has done an amazing job, and ”˜Y&R’ is better than it has ever been. I give Maria the credit for that.” Kate Linder also told Canyon News recently, “She’s marvelous and very talented. We are all excited about the future of the show.”

Ms. Bell is perhaps the luckiest lady in Hollywood. Helming such an iconic series is a dream for many writers and producers, but this scribe and production expert has created such amazing stories on the number one drama. Maria has shaken up Genoa City a lot recently. She makes sage and wise choices as the show’s head. Just in the past few weeks, Maria put the show’s favorite scion Nick on trial for a murder he did not commit, she knew mega actresses Jess Walton (Jill) and Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) needed to be paired as sisters and Sharon, Jack and Victor went on a mission to find the not-so-dead Adam Newman in Brazil.

From explosions to dual roles, Maria Bell knows daytime drama better than any other woman in the business, with the possible exception of her beautiful mother-in-law Lee Bell. Maria brought on film actress Sean Young in a pivotal role on the series, she also has recently signed Eric Roberts to play a sleazy attorney and fans can hardly wait to see the famous and talented Roberts in the role. In addition to this, Maria has convinced her sister-in-law Lauralee to return to “Y&R.” Lauralee Bell is the biggest soap star in daytime history, and talented as well. Not only is Lauralee an actress, but she’s also a producer and director on her hit web series “Family Dinner.” Fans are salivating with anticipation to see what Maria has in mind for Christine “Cricket” Blair.

We frequently give the gold to Maria’s great actresses in this column. From Michelle Stafford, Sharon Case, Kate Linder, Jeanne Cooper, Melody Thomas Scott and Tracey Bregman and Judith Chapman, to Jess Walton, who I’d offer my first born to work with on-screen, Ms. Bell knows how to write for women and how to make her characters so multi-faceted and exciting that even old men like me enjoy her show.

Maria may not have taken home the Emmy on Sunday night, but this is in no way a reflection on her extremely powerful talents as the head of “Y&R.” Someone wins, but when it comes to Ms. Maria Bell, no one loses, certainly not Maria. When you realize how great her show is, you realize she’s one of the most talented women in entertainment history.

Photograph Courtesy: CBS and Sony Television Studios