Daytime drama is fairly unique in that shows can bring back characters who’ve been off the canvas for months, years, and even decades. Returns are most often met with success as soap viewers have long memories. We’d like to see one soap, The Young and the Restless, employ this method more than it’s currently doing.
The Young and the Restless Fan Favorites
Y&R debuted in 1973 and went through a major overhaul in the early 1980s when the show went to an hour. Original clans the Fosters and the Brooks were (mostly) out and the Williams, Abbott, and Newman families shifted to the front-burner. There are plenty of folks to bring back to help rejuvenate stories.
The Bold and the Beautiful recently re-introduced Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown), which has given the show a shot in the arm creatively and gave the show a ratings bump, too. On the peacock limited streaming series, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, DAYS fans saw the returns of Shane Donovan (Charles Shaughnessy), Billie Reed (Lisa Rinna), Austin Reed (Austin Peck), and Carrie Brady Reed (Christie Clark) as the story of the missing Alamainian Peacock jewel was told.
General Hospital excels at bringing characters back to the show in order to flesh out storylines. Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) occasionally checks back in to check up on her family. Mac (John J. York) and Felicia (Kristina Wagner) will appear here and there as story calls for it. Going off to prison doesn’t mean the end of someone either. Shawn Butler (Sean Blakemore) finally got sprung from Pentonville and Brad Cooper (Parry Shen) paid a quick visit to General Hospital after he was attacked in the big house.
Y&R Favorites Have Returned
Yes, Y&R has brought some fan favorites back in recent months. However, it was troubling to see former leading man Stitch (Sean Carrigan) show a dark side to himself that now has everyone feeling unsafe. Nina Webster is back but her portrayer, Tricia Cast, is a Daytime Emmy-winner, and we’d love to see her driving story and not just being Abby’s (Melissa Ordway) “talk to.”
Here are four characters from Y&R’s past we’d like to see return. First, there’s Dr. Olivia Hastings (Tonya Lee Williams). Olivia could come to town to check in on her son Nate (Sean Dominic) and take a position at Genoa City Memorial Hospital – and also be given a front-burner tale. Another candidate is Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian). Why not tie rock star Danny into Devon’s (Bryton James) music label? Danny has relationships with Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford) and Nina (Tricia Cast). His return could provide story for them.
Y&R teased us a few times over the summer when Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) mentioned Leslie Brooks (original cast member Janice Lynde). The character popped up briefly for Y&R’s 45th anniversary a few years ago but why not have her back on a more regular basis? Her father Stuart (Robert Colbert) published the newspaper Genoa City Chronicle. Maybe Leslie could usher in a team at the Chronicle that could compete with other media companies on the Y&R landscape.
Back From The Dead
Lastly, Y&R could bring back Ryan McNeil (Scott Reeves). Yes, we know Ryan went to that great soap in the sky nearly 20 years ago after he took a bullet meant for his bride Victoria Newman (then, Heather Tom; now, Amelia Heinle). Ryan’s unbalanced ex, Tricia Dennison (Sabryn Genet), tried to rub out Victoria but took out Ryan instead. Y&R dug Phillip Chancellor (Thom Bierdz) out of the grave. Perhaps, the show could do this with Ryan, too? Or Reeves could play a double or twin whose presence would make an impact in the lives of both Nina and Victoria?
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Genoa City, check out all the latest that’s been posted on Y&R spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.