Tuesday, it was announced that four actors were leaving “The Young & the Restless.” That was just the beginning of a week of big soap casting news.Which star is returning to Y&R? Who is taking a leave of absence from “General Hospital“? Will the online version of “All My Children” actually happen? Here’s the scoop.
Fans of “The Young & the Restless” can rejoice. Nikki Newman is finally headed back to Genoa City. Melody Thomas Scott, who has been off-screen for five months due to contract issues has signed a new deal with the show. She will start taping scenes in October that will air around Thanksgiving. Scott told TV Guide that she had absolutely no contact with the show for months, blaming the show’s producing studio, Sony, for the lack of communication. Said Scott, “Whatever weirdness made this all happen now seems to be gone. They have come around and suddenly appreciate me again in the way that [Y&R creator] Bill Bell did back in the old days.” Scott promises that Nikki will have a meaty storyline, though she will not reveal any specifics. She also agrees with a lot of fans: Nikki’s decades long on and off-again relationship with Victor (Eric Braeden) is dysfunctional and abusive. “If Nikki was just going to be serving tea and being Victor’s slave I wouldn’t want to come back for that… Yes, he is emotionally abusive to her. And, yes, there are many, many couples out there who are the same way. I don’t have a problem with the reality of that. I just don’t want younger kids to think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
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“General Hospital’s” Kristen Storms, who plays Maxie, is taking a leave of absence from the show for undisclosed medical reasons. Soap Opera Digest reports that Jen Lilley, who starred in MTV’s “Disaster Date” will take over the role for what is expected to be one to two months. If you would like to get a taste of Lily’s acting style, you can watch a reel of her work. Her background in improv should help her nail the comedic aspects of Maxie’s character. The Emmy nominated Storms is one of the stars of E!’s upcoming reality series “Dirty Soap.” There is no word yet on whether Storms’ illness will impact her appearances on the reality show.
For “All My Children” fans, there is some good news, and some bad news. Cameron Mathison (Ryan) appeared on “Good Morning America” Thursday to report that the show’s cast is negotiating with production company Prospect Park to keep the show alive as an on-line series. Said Mathison, “I have been given permission to announce that I and others from All My Children have been approached by the company, Prospect Park, who bought AMC with the intention to move it online. Just as soaps were very pivotal in the transition from radio to television, they will be right in the thick of things again in the transition from television to the internet. It’s looking very good.” This contradicts earlier reports that Prospect Park was opting to focus exclusively on “One Life to Live” because Susan Lucci decided not to continue with the show on-line. However, it looks like AMC will go on without another one of the Kane women. Alicia Minshew, who plays Kendall, has decided that, while she is open to making occasional appearances on the on-line series, she wants to pursue other interests. She told the Hollywood Reporter, “If I could work it out where I could maybe be recurring, I could pop in every now and then, I could work with these people that I love and still be a part of this. I would be open to that” Minshew hopes to try her hand at comedy saying, ““I’d love to do a sitcom.”
Maybe Minshew should talk to “One Life to Live’s” Josh Kelly. Deadline reports that the actor, who plays the frequently shirtless Cutter, just booked a starring role in the MTV pilot “Dumb Girls,” the new comedy written by Lauren Iungerich, creator of the network’s hilarious teen comedy “Awkward.” It remains to be seen whether, if the pilot is picked up, he would be able to continue with OLTL when the show moves on-line.