Update: Debbi Morgan Also Out at Y&R
A third actress has been let go from “The Young & the Restless”. Debbi Morgan, who played Harmony will also be leaving the show. She tweeted, “”To all my twitter fans,wanted to B the first to tell you the new regime has let me go from Y&R. Will tape my last show Oct. 5th & I move on!” Morgan joined Y&R immediately after her previoussoap, “All My Children” ended. Arguably the most popular African American daytime actress of all time, Morgan won a Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of AMC’s Angie. It was considered a coup when she and her longtime co-star Darnell Williams joined Y&R.Unfortunately Morgan was saddled with the difficult to root for character of Harmony, a recovering drug addict and former groupie who abandoned her son. The Y&R audience never embraced Harmony. There is no word yet about whether Williams, who has not had a significant storyline since joining Y&R will also be leaving the show.
Genie Francis & Marcy Rylan Leaving Y&R
The new writing and producing team at “The Young & the Restless” have begun to clean house. Thursday, Soaps In Depth reported that Genie Francis, who joined the show to great fanfare in 2011, has been let go due to what sources claim are budgetary reasons. However, it is no secret that Francis and new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps did not get along when Francis reprised her iconic role as Laura on “General Hospital.” She has been open that she disliked the storyline that turned Laura into a weak, catatonic victim. Few are surprised that the two were not eager to work together again. Francis’s character, Genevieve, was, to put it mildly, not an audience favorite. She started out as a dark psychopath hellbent on revenge then, when that persona made the character less than viable over the longterm, morphed overnight into an aspiring business woman. Neither incarnation played to Francis’s strengths as an actress.
The moment the news broke, the speculation began about whether Francis would head back to GH. She has never worked with the show’s new regime, which has brought back several stars from the show’s golden era in the 1980s, including Finola Hughes and Robin Mattson, writing them as the strong, interesting, and in the case of Mattson, insane, characters that the audience knew and loved. There is no word from GH yet, though when he was asked about the potential of Laura’s return last July, executive producer Frank Valentini said, “There is a rich history of amazing wonderful characters on the show right now in addition to us wanting to bring back players. Unfortunately, contracts forbid us from discussing that. We are a big fan of Genie and wish her all the best. But I think we’re pretty solid right now.” With contracts no longer an issue, Luke currently single, and the show’s 50th anniversary coming up next April, it seems that Francis’s return, and some sort of Luke & Laura reunion, would be too good of an opportunity to miss.
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Thursday evening, Soap Opera Digest reported that Marcy Rylan, who plays the core character of Abby Newman, was also let go. It is surprising that the new regime would deem Abby, who as both a Newman and an Abbott has infinite story possibilities and is connected to nearly every character on the show, as expendable. Rylan, who was well liked by many fans and by her co-stars (Peter Bergman sang her praises when I interviewed him at the show’s recent 10,000th episode celebration), seems like someone that the show would want to keep. Budgetary concerns were again cited as the reason for her dismissal, but it seems unlikely that Rylan, whose only previous daytime credit was on the impoverished final years of “Guiding Light” had as much of an impact on the show’s bottom line as Francis. Rylan confirmed her departure tweeting, “I had a blast at Y&R and I’m taking all those awesome memories with me! I am so excited to see what will come next! Love you all! XOXOXO.”
There are rumors that several other actors will be departing Y&R, all performers who joined the show during Maria Bell’s tenure as headwriter and executive producer.
Why Won’t “Days of Our Lives” Give EJami a Chance?
Every now and then a fanbase is right. “Days of Our Lives” EJami fans – people who want to see Sami (Alison Sweeney) and E.J. (James Scott) paired romantically – have pointed out that every time the duo has a big, romantic moment, the ratings soar. While messageboards are full of posts arguing that one character or couple is responsible for that week’s ratings, the EJamis have a point. When Sami and E.J. had impulsive grief sex, the ratings rose. When they disavowed the encounter, and Sami was paired with Lucas, the ratings reverted to last place. When Sami went on the run with E.J. after the whole damn town sort of blew up (though apparently suffered no damage – amazing!), the show garnered its best ratings since the grief sex despite being pre-empted for two weeks due to the Olympics. Then, when Sami once again started thinking about Rafe (Galen Gering) and the EJami sexual tension went from scorching to lukewarm, the ratings returned to their previous levels. Thursday’s episode seemed to establish that Sami “should” be with nice guy Rafe instead of morally grey E.J. (I hoped, when Rafe claimed that Sami bringing a big purse on her date with E.J. instead of an evening bag was a sign that she wasn’t that into E.J., that she would pull a change of clothes out of her purse and tell him she thought there was a good chance she’d be spending the night with E.J.)
Granted, not every DOOL fan tunes in to see Sami’s love life. I am sure that plenty tuned in to see who died in the explosions (RIP, Madison) and that there is someone out there who is riveted by the burgeoning Jennifer/Daniel/Nicole love triangle. Still, shows dream of creating a couple that will raise ratings. DOOL appears to have one, and yet will not write an actual love story between Sami and E.J. Though the ratings always spike when they are sincere with each other, those moments are few and far between. I have no idea whether a sustained, genuine romance between the two of them would prove popular over the longterm, but given that the show’s future is uncertain, I cannot fathom why its writers aren’t willing to try it.