HOLLYWOOD—The things behind the scenes at the soap opera “The Young and the Restless” feel like an actual soap opera itself. So many things have transpired in the past few weeks on the soap, that it will have fans either in a frenzy or uproar.
First and foremost, all are aware that Michelle Stafford who portrayed Genoa City vixen Phyllis Summers, left the show nearly a year ago, and has now jumped ship to the ABC soap “General Hospital” portraying Nina Clay, Silas’ (Michael Easton) not so dead wife. Now many would argue, that a character like Phyllis is impossible to recast, but those at “Y&R” think otherwise, because the role has been recast with Emmy-winner Gina Tognoni.
Name doesn’t sound familiar; you might remember her from her work on “Guiding Light” and “One Life to Live.” When I first heard the news I thought, “Hmmm.” Perhaps that’s because I can’t imagine the actress without blonde hair, but if she’s stepping into the shoes of Phyllis, I’m certain she will be dyeing her hair. Not concerned about the acting front, as I’m certain Tognoni will take Phyllis in a new direction. She’s expected to hit the small screen late this summer.
In explosive news, David Tom, who recently assumed the role of Billy Abbott has been let go! What? Yep, Tom who just took over the role from Billy Miller who vacated the role earlier this year is out. On a side note, rumors are running rampant that Miller might assume the role of Jason Morgan on “General Hospital.”
Audiences know Jason will be returning, but who will fill those shoes are up in the air. Reports are also running that recently axed “Y&R” star Michael Munhey could be filling those shoes as well. A lot of people from “The Young and the Restless” are heading to “GH,” just saying.
The role of Billy Abbott will now be played by newcomer Burgess Jenkins. Not sure where the writers are planning to take Billy now, but it must be to a place audiences have yet to see. This week marked the tearful goodbye of Chloe Fisher portrayed by actress Elizabeth Hendrickson, who has decided to opt out of her contract with the show.
Hendrickson has portrayed the character since 2008. It was indeed a bittersweet moment for the character that audiences have come to love over the years. This past year had Hendrickson delivering some of her best work while grieving the loss of her character’s daughter Delia. The Emmy race will be tough to predict this year, but I do believe Hendrickson could eek out a win. While the character has been carted off to a mental hospital to get treatment, there is a strong chance the role will be recast? Any guesses or ideas that might be perfect fit for the character when she returns to town?
For weeks, audiences have suspected that Adam Newman is very much alive as he’s been keeping tabs on his family. It’ll be hard for him to return to town considering the fact that hit and killed a little girl with his vehicle. Audiences will be eager to see what actor the powers that be choose to cast to fill the shoes vacated by Michael Munhey. He’s a fan favorite, so it’s difficult to recast such an iconic character. Unfortunately, that has become a trend on soaps this past year. Look at “The Bold and the Beautiful” who recast the role of Ridge Forrester which was played by Ronn Moss for more than 25 years. It’s almost like Thorsten Kaye filled the shoes without any hiccups. So it’s very possible.
“The Young and the Restless” airs weekdays at 12:30 p.m. on CBS.
By LaDale Anderson