The thought of The Young and the Restless without its premier power player, Victor Newman, is unfathomable.
Yet, that became a real possibility after a brawl with JT (Thad Luckinbill) left Victor (Eric Braeden) in a coma clinging to life and his loved ones facing the possibility of losing him.
Then, JT took things a step further by turning off the machines in Victor’s hospital room. Although Victor survived, he suffered a stroke that’s left him unable to speak…for now.
While the Newman patriarch fights to regain his strength and settle the score with JT, it’s made us wonder if The Young and the Restless could survive without the great Victor Newman.
At Death’s Door
This isn’t the first time Victor has been knocking at heaven’s – okay, hell’s – door. After his wife Sabrina’s demise, he headed to Mexico to seek revenge against the cartel leader who ordered the car bomb that killed her.
When the boat they were on went down in a storm, both men were presumed. And, after Patty Williams (Stacy Haiduk) shot him, Vic was seriously failing until a heart transplant saved him.
Both times the soap flirted with Genoa City life without Victor, and the bold move spiked the soap’s ratings.
But would those ratings have stayed up if Victor had taken his last breath? Probably not. The show would likely take a serious hit if the Newman’s controversial leader really bit the dust.
Another Lost Leader
Not that the soap hasn’t lost a powerful leader before. Katherine Chancellor’s death was quickly scripted after Jeanne Cooper passed away in 2013.
Cooper’s 40-year reign as the grande dame of Genoa City was legendary. In fact, she even warranted a special tribute episode, complete with vintage clips and cast commentaries.
Afterwards, the show forged forward without missing a beat. While Cooper was a huge part of the soap, she was far from the formidable driving force that Victor is.
Successor in Waiting
If and when Victor ever does exit the soap, one thing must be in place – a mighty successor to the Newman throne. At the moment, there isn’t any.
Nicholas (Joshua Morrow) doesn’t have an interest in Newman Enterprises, nor does he possess Victor’s guile cutthroat qualities.
Victoria (Amelia Heinle) and Abby (Melissa Ordway) both share their father’s love for the family business and work smarts, but don’t evoke Victor’s fearless intimidating leader vibe.
Adam was the man for the job, the bona fide and ruthless heir apparent. The soap would be wise to resurrect the character and have him waiting in the wings, just in case. It’s the only chance Y&R and the Newman clan can survive with Victor.
The Young and the Restless (YR) airs weekdays on CBS. Check your local listings for airtimes.