Longtime fans of the #1 daytime drama, The Young and the Restless, have a big adjustment to get used to in the coming weeks on the series. According to a new report, Y&R head character honcho Victor Newman (played for 30+ years by actor Eric Braeden) is being written off the show. Braden refused to take a pay cut from the show (which was asked of all the actors on the soap to keep things afloat) and was informed that he would be written out of the show. Does this sound familiar, Y&R fans? Melody Thomas Scott (who plays Nikki Reed-Foster-Bancroft-DiSalvo-Newman-Abbott-Landers-Chow on the series), who’s been on the show almost as long as Braeden has, tried to pull the same stunt earlier this year … and she was written out of the show, too:
Stop the presses! Emmy winner Eric Braeden has been written out as the iconic Victor Newman on Y&R. The actor has already taped his last scenes. Reportedly, Victor and Nikki go on vacation. For the past few weeks, Braeden has been involved in intense negotiations. While his contract is up at the end of 2010, Y&R has been asking actors to take pay cuts when their 13-week cycles expire. Actors like Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), who this past summer was written out after she balked over the same issue, are furious; not over the fact that they are being asked to take pay cuts but that they are being expected to re-negotiate their contracts during their 13-week cycles. It is important to note that they are willing to take pay cuts but at the end of their contracts. “Everyone knows they have to take a slash in pay,” says an insider. “That isn’t the issue — the issue is that their current contract isn’t being respected. Once you open up a contract during a cycle, the original contract is null and void and you must start over from scratch. Eric thinks he should be paid his current salary until next year. The same thing happened to MTS. Her contract wasn’t up this summer — her cycle was.” As previously reported, Y&R is currently transitioning Adam Newman to inherit his father’s complex history. Additionally, the sudser has announced it’s casting a new millionaire bad guy named Tucker with a big name to cover their bases. “The casting call is not a scare tactic,” says an executive. “Tucker is a real role.” During Braeden’s last tape date, the actor gave a speech to the cast saying he may not come back and thanked the cast and crew for decades of memories. “He said he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be back, and thanked everyone for their hard work,” says one co-star. “He got emotional towards the end. After his speech, there was dead silence. We were all stunned,” says another witness. If you’re a fan of The Mustache, Soapgeist suggests you start writing into CBS, Sony, and Y&R like yesterday.
To be honest, none of this is surprising. And, as a longtime fan of Y&R, I don’t mind it so much anymore. I was more upset when I learned that Thomas Scott (Nikki) was being written off the show but I’m not so broken up about Braeden’s departure. I understand that Braeden the actor is almost as pig-headed, stubborn and uncompromising as his Victor Newman character is. Not only is he a horrid actor but he really doesn’t bring anything new to the show. I don’t understand how it seems more desirable to say no to a pay cut and get written off the show. The fact that neither character (Nikki or Victor) is being killed off is a good sign for them … should they wise up, they can come back. Should they not wise up, the actors can be (shudder) replaced when those characters eventually return to the show. While it’s true that losing these characters would be a big change for fans of the series … I personally would be fine with the changes. I would rather lose a couple of characters than risk losing the whole show because their selfish paid contract demands were being met. Any Y&R fans out there? What do y’all think?