Earlier this week we learned the surprising news that original castmember Ronn Moss (who is the only actor ever to play the role of Ridge Forrester) has been let go from the daytime drama series The Bold and the Beautiful due to failed contract negotiations. Today we learn the even more surprising news that Moss isn’t merely being let go, he will likely be replaced. Because Ridge Forrester is such an integral character on the daytime soap, it is being reported that when the character returns to the series he will be played by a different actor!!!
Ronn Moss’ decision to end his 25-year run as Ridge Forrester on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful — reportedly over salary issues — is quite the industry shocker! It also comes as a major disappointment to the guy’s massive fan base. What went haywire in his contract negotiations? A personal rep for Moss says the actor plans to make an explanatory announcement within the next few days. In the meantime Moss — one of the true gentlemen of the soap world — has taken to Facebook and urged his fans to not be “sad, angry, disappointed…It’s been a great run and all good things end eventually. As this door closes, others are opening.” What will B&B do without him? Will the role of Ridge be recast?
Here are some excerpts from a TV Guide interview with B&B producer/writer William Bell regarding Moss’s departure and possible plans for the Ridge Forrester character:
TV Guide Magazine: It’s long been a point of pride that you’ve been able to hang on to B&B’s original core four — Katherine Kelly Lang [Brooke], Susan Flannery [Stephanie], John McCook [Eric Forrester] and Ronn Moss. So how big a blow is this?
Bell: It’s huge. And it came out of the blue. I only found out last Thursday [Aug. 9] about Ronn’s decision not to renew. So I’m very sad but also very grateful for the 25 years we did have with him. Ronn is a wonderful man and a great actor and he’ll be sorely missed.
TV Guide Magazine: This came totally out of the blue? You had no inkling?
Bell: Well, I did have a plan in place because when it’s contract time you have to be prepared. It’s always possible things won’t work out but I did not think Ronn’s departure was probable. There was a point in the negotiations where I was not hearing back from him, so just in case I went ahead and wrote a wedding for Ridge and Brooke — a real retrospective sort of wedding that honors the characters’ 25-year relationship — and then I have them take off on a honeymoon. I’ve been in this business long enough to know I have to protect my show. The worst thing happened but at least I was prepared.
TV Guide Magazine: What can you say about the money you were offering him? Was it a big cut?
Bell: I will just say that I’m very proud of the offer we made to Ronn, especially in this day and age of daytime television and what’s going on in our industry.
TV Guide Magazine: What are your plans for Ridge? Death? Presumed death? How does a guy disappear during his honeymoon without a damn good excuse?
Bell: Right now I can only tell you this: Ridge will not be dead or presumed dead. He will just not be in the picture. I don’t want to do a presumed death because I don’t want the story that follows to be all about Ridge. This will be a Brooke story. Ridge is a pivotal part of the show and he will be back in a matter of time…and probably not all that much time. I will continue writing for the character. I’m looking at this in two phases, really. There will be a period of time without Ridge, which is where some new, interesting avenues for Brooke will come into play. But at some point it will be necessary for Ridge to return to the show. Who will be playing the role at that point remains to be seen.
TV Guide Magazine: So for all we know it could be Mr. Moss if he changes his mind? He wouldn’t be the first mega-soap star to quit and return in record time.
Bell: It could be Mr. Moss or it could be someone else.
TV Guide Magazine: If you recast, would you take advantage of the situation and cast a younger actor? Not that Ronn, at 60, doesn’t put most 30-year-old soap heartthrobs to shame.
Bell: I might go a little younger but we’ll be true to the age range that’s been established. I do have people in mind in terms of a recast — some very interesting people.
You can read the full text of this TV Guide interview HERE, William Bell makes it sound like Moss’s departure is all his fault … and that very well may be but what else is he going to say? I really hope Moss ends up coming back to the show and reprises the role of Ridge Forrester … it would be so weird to have a new character play that role. I have to admit, B&B has become practically unwatchable these days. The storylines are far too insipid to take seriously, even for daytime TV. But, that’s another tangent for another day. I guess we’ll have to see if Ronn Moss’s exit from B&B will be permanent … and if so, who will become his replacement. You gotta love that Soap Operas enjoy high drama even behind the scenes, in real life.