After A Week Of Bloodbaths For ‘The Young And The Restless’ Ladies, Now The Show’s Leading Men Are Prepared For Pink Slips, Highlight Hollywood News

Jill Farren Phelps, the new executive producer of “The Young and the Restless,” recently went on a public relations campaign to try to soften her image with the daytime viewers of CBS’s “The Young and the Restless,” and even went as far as saying, “I’m not as tough as people think! Someone came into my office the other day and asked for time off, and when I agreed, they said, ‘You are not like people say you are!’” No mention of who that actor/actress was, for sure. Phelps has been fired from “General Hospital,” “Santa Barbara,” “Another World,” “As The World Turns” and the list goes on.  However, her decision not to fire Genie Francis, which she stated in her interview, didn’t take a week and a few days before she axed Genie, as she had previously done on ABC’s “General Hospital.”

No comment from her office when questioned what she meant in her TV Guide interview recently, when she said, she and Genie had spoken and she was not going to fire her. Also, fans are worried about Stephen Nichols, who also worked for her while he starred as Stefan Cassadine on “General Hospital” as well. One thing has been abundantly clear over these decades of Jill Phelps’s reign. She says one thing, but she lives up to her reputation, and she simply using the old political adage, “Deny, deny, deny!” Even while she quickly slashed Debbie Morgan, Marcy Rylan, Genie Francis and Julia Pace Mitchell from the cast of “Y&R” as quickly as she claimed it would not occur.

Now the men on the show know their time has come. Friends of Jills’ will soon replace several major characters, and even some not so major. Kevin Schmidt, who portrayed Noah Newman on the soap has already been fired, without cause. And has been replaced by a Friend Of Jill’s from her hit Nick-at-Nite series, “Hollywood Heights.” It’s not that actors’ fault, Hollywood is a tough business, and anyone who is offered a job, should take it.

However, a set side source tells Highlight Hollwood, Bryton James knows he’s in Jill’s crosshairs. She’s already intentionally avoided seeing him several times. That’s the kiss of death for any actor in her employ. Also, Michael Graziadei and Billy Miller are expected to exit their roles, under their own steam. Billy was “this close” to upping his contract when Maria Bell was the executive producer and head writer. They had a great relationship, and he knows that’s not possible with this regime in power. Though head writer Josh Griffith would like to write for Billy Abbott, we all know, that Jill Farren Phelps has someone else in mind for the role. Perhaps James Franco? His name is the buzz over at the “Y&R” set daily. “She lets us know very frequently that they are friends, it’s almost like she has a crush on him. I guess if he joins the cast, it’ll turn into the mafia hour and she’ll blow up Genoa City Memorial,” said an actor, who did not want to be named.

Michael and Billy are hot commodities in Tinseltown, and their departures would be “Y&R’s” loss. Fans of the hit drama may have spent the past few years complaining about things. But it’s just beginning. One thing the Bell regime, whether William J. Bell or Maria Arena Bell, had in common, was that viewers could depend on their favorite characters hanging around, and not being murdered or recast at the drop of a hat. But that’s all changed now.

“This is what Sony wanted all along,” the Y&R actor tells Highlight Hollywood. “Ever since they famously let Eric Braeden go, cut Melody’s salary and even tried to push Jess Walton out before she agreed to take a pay cut, they wanted us to know, that the Bell family was not in charge of ‘Y&R’ anymore. They wanted us to know that we are nothing but cattle in the meat market to them. All replaceable, no matter how popular we are or what our characters’ relationships were to the viewers. They don’t care. They have their head-hunter now, as you call her. And we know that it’s only a matter of time before this show is just like what Jill Farren Phelps had at ‘General Hospital.’ Our fate may not be so lucky as ‘GH’s’ was, however, this is Chief Custer’s last stand. She ain’t budging.”

Look for more cast changes in the weeks and months to come. As Bette Davis said in “All About Eve,” “Buckle your seatbelts, this is going to be a bumpy night.”

“The Young and the Restless” airs weekdays on CBS.

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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: CBS
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