A fan favorite is leaving Genoa City behind.
Michelle Stafford is leaving the long-running CBS soap The Young and the Restless after 16 years, a source close to the show exclusively tells E! News.
Stafford’s exit follows the recent passing of beloved Young and the Restless star Jeanne Cooper, whom the show will pay tribute to with a special on Tuesday, May 28.
Nominated 10 times for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Leading Actress in a Drama Series category, Stafford took home the award in 2004. She also won the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1997.
Stafford played fan favorite Phyllis Summers on The Young and the Restless. After joining the show in 1994, she left in 1997 before returning in 2000. (Her role was taken over by Sandra Nelson.)
Daytime-TV grand dame Jeanne Cooper, who played The Young and the Restless‘ Katherine, passed away on Wednesday morning after being hospitalized, off and on since April, for an undisclosed illness.
Cooper’s elder son, actor Corbin Bernsen, shared the sad news on Twitter, saying, “She was in peace and without fear. You all have been incredible in your love. In her name, share it today with others.”
Bernsen just last week updated his mother’s fans via Facebook, upon her latest return to the hospital: “I said goodbye to her [Friday], and even then not fully meaning it or expecting that would be the last time I saw her. But now it will have to do, as we enter this weekend letting her final voyage begin…. I don’t want her in pain. I don’t want her in fear or agony…. So I’m giving her this weekend — take the holiday, Mom, make it yours, let it take you where it will. My final words to her last night were, ‘I’ll see you again.’ And I will, either here or there.”
Best known for her nearly 40-year run on CBS’ Y&R, which launched in 1973, Cooper’s career began in the 1950s with a role in the Western The Redhead from Wyoming. She then launched into a long string of roles on TV anthology series — including ABC’s Crossroads, NBC’s Tales of Wells Fargo and CBS’ Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater — and dramas such as The Adventures of Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Wagon Train and multiple appearances on Perry Mason, The Big Valley and Ironside.
On Y&R, Cooper played high society doyenne Katherine Chancellor (as well as, now and again, her lookalike Marge Cotrooke). The actress famously invited the daytime drama to weave in storylines mirroring her own life, including a mid-1980s facelift (the show used footage from Cooper’s actual procedure) and a recurring bout with alcoholism. The character of Kay also crossed over to sister sudser The Bold and the Beautiful for two episodes in 2005.
Over her career, Cooper amassed 10 Daytime Emmy nominations, winning once in 2008 after earning a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She also netted two Primetime Emmy nods, including for her turn as son Corbin’s L.A. Law mother.
Cooper took a brief medical leave from Y&R in October 2011, at which time her part was temporarily recast with Michael Learned (The Waltons).
The actress is survived by her three children, Corbin, Colin and Caren.
Y&R’s longest running castmember Jeanne Cooper, who has played Katherine Chancellor since 1973, was recently admitted to the hospital for an infection. At first, her condition had been regarded as very serious and her son Corbin Bernsen (ex-Todd, Y&R) posted on Twitter, “Need some prayers for my mom tonight. Not doing great. I don’t believe it is the end of her journey, but still a very uphill battle.” However, the Emmy-winning actress’s status has since improved. “Jeanne Cooper is still in ICU and is stable yet sedated,” tweeted Daniel Goddard (Cane), who has been closely monitoring her progress. Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) visited Cooper on Friday night and tells Digest, “Jeanne is the mom to us all on Y and R and my first stop in the morning is her dressing room. Our hearts and prayers are with her family and I am looking forward to Jeanne bossing everyone around as soon as possible!”
Hot on the heels of Emme Rylan‘s departure from Y&R to join GH as Lulu comes the news from Daytime Confidential that Melissa Ordway (ex-Chloe, HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS) will take over as Abby, starting April 22. The actress will join other HH alums Robert Adamson (ex-Phil; Noah) and Hunter King (ex-Adriana; Summer) in Genoa City. A Y&R spokesperson confirms that Rylan’s last air date will be April 10.
CBS has renewed its entire daytime slate for the 2013-2014 season.
That meansThe Bold and the Beautiful will continue like its sister soap The Young and the Restless, which was renewed earlier in a multi-year deal.
B&B averages 3.44 million viewers, up 6 percent from last season.
In addition, chatfest The Talk and game shows The Price Is Rightand Let’s Make a Deal – all of which have seen ratings gains in the past year — received pickups for another season.
“Over the past few years, we have successfully transitioned our daytime schedule to a balance of program genres with new creative energy, while maintaining our ratings leadership,” CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler said in a statement. “We are proud of CBS’s history of quality and leadership in daytime, thrilled with our current success and we look forward to more great things ahead from the outstanding creative talent in place at each of the shows.”
His fans are thrilled, except for the ones who are totally pissed. Emmy winner Steve Burton made big news — and crushed a lot of hearts — last fall when he left his role as General Hospital mob man Jason Morgan and moved to Nashville. So how come he’s back in L.A. and working at The Young and the Restless a mere three months later? Burton hits the CBS soap Jan. 29 as war vet Dylan McAvoy, the supposedly-dead ex of Avery Clark (Jessica Collins). TV Guide Magazine caught up with Burton to get the deets on this head-scratching career move. This star has some ‘splainin’ to do!
TV Guide Magazine: You can’t be broke yet. Why jump back into the suds so soon?
Burton: I’ve had an incredible time with my family, taking my daughter to gymnastics, coaching my son’s football team, shopping at Target — stuff I never got to do when I was at GH — but I never intended to retire. I’m a worker and CBS stepped up and made a deal. It all happened so fast, just like the telenovela I’m putting together with [Y&R exec producer] Jill Farren Phelps and James Franco for Sony. We’re inches away on that project. It’s looking very promising. The truth is, if I’d gotten an offer for a primetime show or a movie, I probably wouldn’t be on Y&R right now. I just want to work.
TV Guide Magazine: You weren’t out of work that long. Did you really have time to sit on your porch in Nashville — I’m assuming you have one — and really enjoy your new life?
Burton: I have a great porch! The move to Nashville forced me and my triple-A personality to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. I haven’t had three months off ever! And it seemed like a year. Pretty soon I was saying to my wife, “Okay, what are we doing today, honey?” It wasn’t that I was tired of sitting on my porch. I will never tire of that. But I was definitely ready to shake it up. People see me as Jason so much they forget I’m an actor. And an actor wants to explore! We’re so blessed in daytime to have jobs that go on forever, but it does keep you from trying other things. Actors are gypsies. They’re not supposed to have the same job for 20 or 25 years!
TV Guide Magazine: Word is, you have a very cool deal at Y&R that gives you tons of free time. True?
Burton: I’ll get a lot of long weekends and frequent weeks off so I can get back to Nashville. I don’t want to work five days a week like I did at GH. [Laughs] I was on the air so much even I was sick of me!
TV Guide Magazine: If GH had tried harder to accommodate your personal life would you still be there?
Burton: I don’t want to point fingers. I know there are a lot of disappointed fans. They don’t really understand what goes on behind the doors. They don’t understand why I wouldn’t go back to play Jason if I’m ready to work again. But what happens at GH should stay at GH.
TV Guide Magazine: It did seem like the new GH honchos weren’t trying all that hard to keep you. Do you think your exit fit better with their story plans and their interest in cutting back on all the mob activity?
Burton: I don’t feel it had anything to do with story. The flying back and forth was the sticking point. If I was still living in California, I’d still be with GH. It was too difficult production-wise to work things out and I understand that. I know how the business works and I’m not going to get mad over it. I don’t want a show to break its back for one actor. It’s not right. Besides, it really felt like it was time for me to go. I was gracious. They were gracious. There are no hard feelings with me and [exec producer] Frank Valentini.
TV Guide Magazine: You keeping up on GH since your exit?
Burton: Yeah, and I’m very excited they’re doing so well. That show has brought so much positivity back to daytime. A year ago, it was all negative Nancy, right?
TV Guide Magazine: Maybe we should leave Ms. Grahn out of this. Did you sign a long-term or short-term contract with Y&R?
Burton: It’s a short-term contract. We’ll see how it works out. No one wants to be forced into anything.
TV Guide Magazine: Your reception on The Talk last week was phenomenal but we gotta ask: What’s it like having Sheryl Underwood leap into the air and wrap her thighs around your pelvis like a boa constrictor?
Burton: [Laughs] Thank God I’ve been working out! I was ready for it! That whole situation on The Talk was overwhelming. I had no idea they were going to go that big or be that enthusiastic about this Y&R thing. It was crazy — like New Year’s Eve kinda crazy.
TV Guide Magazine: You do look a lot slimmer.
Burton: I had to get back on TV before I gained more weight. [Laughs] Robust isn’t my best look. I’m trying to be healthy so, yeah, I’m a lot thinner now. In fact, I’ve had an entire makeover! My Jason hair is gone and so are the black T-shirts. We’ll see how far Jill pushes me. She’ll be, like, “Okay, you have two more weeks and that shirt’s coming off!” The costume department is definitely wanting me younger. They dropped my clothes down a full size. [Laughs] They put me in a medium to make me look buff.
TV Guide Magazine: How was your first day on the job?
Burton: Awesome. People were so great to me. Christian LeBlanc [Michael] and Daniel Goddard [Cane] greeted me and really helped me out. So did Sharon Case [Sharon] and Joshua Morrow [Nick]. I have so many friends in that CBS building — Kristoff St. John [Neil], Doug Davidson [Paul], Don Diamont [Bill on The Bold and the Beautiful] — but I definitely had those first-day-of-school jitters because I don’t know who this Dylan character is yet. I just know I don’t want him to be anything like Jason. But, then, I’m even concerned about that. I don’t want to go too far away from Jason because that might be pushing it. It might get weird.
TV Guide Magazine: Are we headed for a Dylan-Avery-Nick triangle? Is Dylan going to beat the crap out of Nick?
Burton: I don’t know yet, but I’m definitely going to hold down Joshua Morrow and shave off that famous scruff on his chin. And if he’s going to be in a triangle with me, he needs to take off those goofy sweaters!
TV Guide Magazine: Any message for the fans?
Burton: Yes, please hang in with me on this! I’m a little nervous so cut me some slack. [Laughs] Maybe put the TV on mute for my first couple of episodes and look at the new hairdo. Everything’s gonna be great…I promise!
Daytime TV vet Steve Burton, fresh off his run as General Hospital mobster Jason Morgan, next will surface on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.
Burton announced Monday on CBS’ The Talk that he will play Avery’s ex, Dylan McAvoy, who is a presumed-dead war vet/architect who’s done two tours in the Middle East and is back in town to take over the family business. Such a “resurrection” surely would derail the romance between Avery (played by Jessica Collins) and Joshua Morrow’s Nick.
At Y&R, Burton reunites with his onetime GH boss Jill Farren Phelps. His first episode will air on Tuesday, January 29.
Burton’s GH run as Quartermaine golden boy-turned-brain-addled mob tough spanned some 20 years and ended this Oct. 30, with the actor winning one Daytime Emmy along the way. He and his family now live in Nashville; he told The Talk hosts he requested a work schedule that would allow him to spend most of his time in Tennessee.
“Without hesitation, CBS Daytime made that deal really quickly,” he said. “I’m just so grateful for the opportunity to have the best of both worlds for me and my family.”
His other credits include TV’s Taken and Out of This World, and the motion picture The Last Castle.
Daytime TV vet Steve Burton, fresh off his run as General Hospital mobster Jason Morgan, next will surface on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.
While TV Guide Magazine, which first reported on the casting, says that details on Burton’s Y&R character have yet to be revealed, Daytime Confidential (among others) speculates that he will play Avery’s ex, Dylan McAvoy, who is a presumed-dead war vet. Such a “resurrection” surely would derail the romance between Avery (played by Jessica Collins) and Joshua Morrow’s Nick.
At Y&R, Burton would reunite with his onetime GH boss Jill Farren Phelps. Sources say he would begin taping after the holiday break, landing his CBS soap debut sometime during February sweeps.
Burton’s GH run as Quartermaine golden boy-turned-brain-addled mob tough spanned some 20 years and ended this Oct. 30, with the actor winning one Daytime Emmy along the way. His other credits include TV’s Taken and Out of This World, and the motion picture The Last Castle.
As Digest first reported in the 11/12 issue, Y&R’s Michael Graziadei (Daniel) has opted to leave the show at the end of his current contract. On November 30, the cast gathered for a good-bye party on set, with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Joshua Morrow (Nick) and Peter Bergman (Jack) offering parting words. “Another scene with my Grazzzzz # reallycrying,” tweeted Stafford that day. The actor first joined the cast in 2004.
Digest has learned that Carolyn Conwell (ex-Mary Williams, Y&R) passed away in November. The actress, who joined the show in 1980, hasn’t been seen on screen since 2004 and turned down requests ever since to reprise her role. “Carolyn was the most effortless actress I have ever known,” says Doug Davidson, who played Mary’s son Paul. “She could make anything work. She never judged other actors and in the entire time I knew her, she never delivered anything but truth. She was always so positive and professional. I love her and will miss her deeply.”
Congratulations to B&B’s Heather Tom (Katie) and her husband James Achor, who welcomed their first son, Zane Alexander, on October 28. The actress shared via Twitter, “Zane is 8lbs 1oz- and so strong and healthy in every way.”
There’s a new sheriff in town. Better yet, he’s a kickass cop from New York! Argentina-born heartthrob Ignacio Serricchio, best known to suds fans as psychotic mob spawn Diego Alcazar on General Hospital, is heading to The Young and the Restless where he’ll be on the other side of the law. Serricchio is set to play a new character named Alex, a streetwise undercover officer who comes to Genoa City from the Big Apple with a big secret. A rep for the CBS soap tells TV Guide Magazine that the actor is expected to begin work in late October and will hit the air in December.
The Emmy-nominated Serricchio, who logged recent guest stints on The Client List, CSI: Miami, The Finder and Covert Affairs, has also been a regular on the hit internet soap The Bay. Is he the wave of the future at Y&R? When the soap’s new production czars, exec producer Jill Farren Phelps and head writer Josh Griffith, reported for work a couple of months back, they promised to bring a vibrant Latino contingent to the show. Clearly, they’re off to a great start!
In November, Y&R will introduce two new characters and their hunky portrayers. International model and soap newcomer Redaric Williams (r.) will play Tyler, while Lamon Archey, who also modeled, will portray Mason. Let’s not forget that Shemar Moore (Derek, CRIMINAL MINDS) was just another pretty face and professional poser when he landed the role of Malcolm on Y&R in 1995, for which he won a Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy in 2000.
Genoa City newcomer Lindsay Bushman (Summer) is out, reports Nelson Branco in Soap Opera Uncensored…. Longtime fave Eric Braeden (Victor) has signed a new, multi-year deal with the show.
The bloodbath in Genoa City continues: Emmy-winner Debbi Morgan, who joined the show in 2011 as Devon’s mother Harmony, has been axed. She is the third actress to receive her walking papers, joining Genie Francis (Genevieve) and Marcy Rylan (Abby).
On his Facebook page, Michael Damian reports that he is headed back to Y&R to reprise the role of Danny. “Yahoo! I’m back playing Danny on Y&R for the10,000 episode and lots more! Thank you so much for your amazing support! My first show airs Sep. 27th! Love, Michael.” He last aired earlier this summer.
After Digest put up a casting call yesterday that sounded suspiciously like Y&R’s Lily, rumors swirled that Emmy-winner Christel Khalil was out. Today, on her Web site, http://www.christelkhalil.net/wp, the following was posted: “Rumors can be such an ugly thing so here is the answer floating about the internet. Christel Khalil is indeed leaving The Young and the Restless. It is not her decision to leave. An agreement could not be reached during contract negotiations. I have confirmed this information with the source. At this time I do not have an end date for Christel’s last appearance on The Young and the Restless. The casting call posted by Soap Opera Digest yesterday is indeed a casting call for a new Lily Winters Ashby.”
In celebration of its 10,000th episode, Y&R will be holding a special event open to the public at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, CA, which will feature some of the show’s stars and creative team. Scheduled to appear as part of the panel for the Q&A session, will be cast veterans Peter Bergman (Jack), Eric Braeden (Victor), Jeanne Cooper (Katherine), Doug Davidson (Paul), Christian J. LeBlanc (Michael), Joshua Morrow (Nicholas), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Kristoff St. John (Neil) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis). Tickets are $15 and will go on sale July 28. For further information, check out www.paleycenter.org.
It’s official: Jill Farren Phelps has been named Executive Producer of YOUNG AND RESTLESS, replacing Maria Arena Bell, as first reported yesterday by Daytime Confidential. “On behalf of everyone at ‘Y&R,’ we extend our sincere thanks to Emmy® Award-winning Maria Bell for her contributions to the show over the last five years. We wish her the best of luck and continued success,” said Steve Kent, Senior Executive Vice President, U.S. Programming at Sony Pictures Television in a statement. Josh Griffith joins Phelps as the show’s new head writer. “We are excited to have such a talented daytime veteran leading our team at ‘Y&R.’ Jill has a stellar record of success in the daytime genre,” said Kent. “We are also happy to welcome Josh back to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and are looking forward to hiscreative input and ideas.” Phelps, who most recently helmed Nick At Nite’s HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS, has won seven Emmys, picking one up this past June for her work at GH.