Comings & GoingsOn the Record

Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime: David Tom/Burgess Jenkins ‘Y&R’ Recast Was a ‘Hard Decision’

Sean Smith/JPI Studios
Sean Smith/JPI Studios

’” Billy Abbot has seen quite a transformation in recent months. After portrayer decided to walk away from the show in January of this year, former portrayer was cast in the role. But just a few short months later, it was announced that Tom — who previously played the character from 1999 to 2002 — had been ordered to pack his bags so that daytime newcomer  could step into the role. And while it was Miller’s decision to leave the character he’d played since 2008, the same cannot be said for Tom, who was reportedly very surprised to learn he’d been replaced with Jenkins after just four months of being back in the role! So what happened to lead to such a quick casting turnaround? We asked CBS’ Senior Vice President of Daytime, , who told Soap Opera Network that the recast was not an easy turn of events for anyone involved.

“We were so lucky to have David Tom reprise the role, but at the end of the day, we just had to make a hard decision,” she explains. “It was not an easy one, and it was not one that was taken lightly, and it was not one that was made quickly.”

As for why the show felt it necessary for Tom to go and for Burgess to enter, she says the pawns fell in place that way. “We just decided with where the show is, and where we needed the character to go, and where we are with the rest of the cast, it was just, again, a hard decision that we had to make,” she says. “But you know, we wish the best for David Tom… He’ll always be part of the family and you know again, a hard decision, but we wish him the best.”

Sean Smith/JPI Studios
Sean Smith/JPI Studios

Jenkins stepped into the role of Billy starting Tuesday, June 24, and McDaniel seems happy with the transition so far. “We just put him through the ringer,” she reveals. “He had a lot of scenes he had to shoot his first couple of weeks, but he’s settling right in. So we’re really excited about that.”

  • Fred

    Billy miller will always be billy abbot. He made the character popular. Without him or Muhney as Adam, no one cares about the characters. The show is terrible now. Boring casting and boring writers. Have no desire to tune in.

    • No desire to tune in, but you’re here every time there is a mention of Y&R? LOL OKAY Fred!

    • Virgo1991

      You are insane for so many reasons

    • richie

      Than DON’T tune in & you won’t be bored. Do us a favor.

  • truth

    So basically she gives no reason for this recast… and she seems quite embarrased for good reason…pathetic..lmaooooooo
    Soaps ‘press’ is really kiss ass incompetent compare to REAL press, it is unbelievable..eyeroll.

    • JFP, Jean, and Angelica strike me as having a sister circle, they are the type of women who read Twilight together. It’s amazing how all three are in complete denial that there is a problem at Y&R. Someone has to step in soon.

      • Mika

        I am okay with this sisterhood if they were doing a good job! Bad news for Y&R but YAY for GH!

      • Laurel Twist

        Excellent observation!

      • sands of time

        Problem? Y&R won the emmys!!!!!!

        • fanny

          Winning emmys proves absolutely NOTHING! DAYS won last year and they are still at the bottom of the ratings’ list. Jill Farren Phelps won many emmys for GH and they almost got cancelled. Emmys are just a pat in the back from people in show business and have nothing to do with the popularity or success of ANY show.

      • sands of time

        It’s the circle of trust. They all trust in each other. It paid off with several emmys. They just need to keep doing what they’ve been doing. No changes are needed unless Jill sees fit.

  • Make something happen and get rid of Jill. No one cares about the recast at this point.

    • sands of time

      Getting rid of JFP would be a mistake. She/they won the emmy!

      • Andrea Urbinato

        trhat doesn’t mean anything. She is ruining the show

        • sands of time

          A few disgruntled fans does not change the fact that Y&R is so good it won all those emmys. Things should stay as they are.

          • Sam Howard

            Yes the show is the best. Who cares about gh. Let them go. They want stay or end up getting fired. So long. Don’t get me wrong . They were the best actors but bye and so long.

        • fanny

          You are absolutely right! Winning emmys proves nothing!
          Jill Farren Phelps won tons of emmys and for the SAME storyline (death of a child) on “General Hospital” and she brought GH to the brink of cancellation. Winning emmys is not what attracts and keeps viewers, only good story-telling does, with respect to a show’s history and characters.
          Unfortunately JFP doesn’t give a damn about Y&R’s legacy.

  • Didi

    Burgess is a good actor, nothing wrong with him there. BUT, they have now changed the character of Billy completely, he’s not the same man. Literally & figuratively. This Billy doesn’t seem like someone who effs up and makes mistakes.

    • don

      burgess is good actor but not for the role of billy and sooner or later they will make the difficult/hard decision to let burgess and the character of billy go because burgess cannot play billy he would be better in a different role. Maybe the show is better off without billy if miller does not want to return to Y&R

  • FrankStrovel

    She really doesn’t answer the question as to why David Tom was fired.

  • Andrew Hass

    I don’t blame Burgess Jenkins for taking the job at Y&R because he had nothing to do with the decision of letting David Tom go.

    • RedRiver38

      Burgess Jenkins is an actor and he pursued an opportunity. No one can fault him. The fault lies at the feet of Phelps, CBS, and Sony. This disastrous mess has been mishandled by Phelps. The reasons for David Tom’s dismissal were lame at best and insulting to his talent. He did the best he could in following a powerful actor, Billy Miller. Now the character of Billy Abbott is a joke. If someone with a rational perspective doesn’t step in and get this show back on track and listen to the fans, this show is on the path to ruin. The current set of show runners, network execs, and Sony sure don’t get it.

    • don

      we are not blaming BJ we are pissed at the casting departement and at JFP that is all.

  • RedRiver38

    More crap from the network shill that has allow Jill Farren Phelps to take a sledge hammer to this once great show. Everyone who knew Phelps warned of the wreckage of past soaps she had tanked. She’s done the same to Y&R as she’s shoved her stud muffin Steve Burton down the audience’s throats. I feel sorry for David Tom and how he was cruelly kicked to the curb by Phelps, Sony, & CBS. It sure gives insight into the way these people do business and treat people. Big PR fail Angelica on your part. Shame on you.

  • Linda

    New ratings today show Y&R ratings are dropping faster than ever. What excuse can they give now. JFP, the soap killer, must go! She will not be allowed to run this show into the ground. Ever since Billy Miller, who asked for time off and was denied, left and Michael Muhney and Michelle Stafford, Ratings have nose dived. Save the show and bri g back MM and BM eventhough I heard their going to GH. Me too and 1.5 million other fans!

    • al petro

      Bring back the heart and soul of the show! I will watching GH now that the best has moved over!

    • Mags123

      GH is far superior to Y&R. Great writing, good story lines. BEST actors!!

  • Laurel Twist

    This interview reminds me of the joke, how do you know when Angelica McD. is lying…

  • JayTN

    Angelica McDaniel was likely just being diplomatic. Instead of saying that David Tom was no longer a good fit for the character, she opted for the non-answer answer.

    I do like that the article makes it clear that Billy Miller was not fired, but opted not to renew his contract. According to reports, Miller wanted more and more time off whenever his contract came up for renewal and Y&R/CBS finally had enough. Let’s see how long he stays at GH.

    • Andrew Hass

      Plus in July 7th issue of SOD there’s an article about Billy Miller possibly joining GH there’s a comment from a Y&R backstaged that said if Y&R had come up with better terms he or she was sure Billy Miller would’ve stayed for another year but then it could have been another year and then another.So maybe Y&R was willing to give Billy Miller more time off but they may have wanted him to sign a multi-year deal and not just another one year contract.That way they didn’t have to go through contract negotiations every year with him.As for the executive’s comments about letting David Tom go maybe she and the rest of TPTB thought it was better he was let go sooner rather than later.Plus like you wrote David Tom may no longer have been a good fit for the character because too much time has passed since he last played Billy.Sometimes you can’t go home again.

  • Fox

    “The pawns fell into place.” .. LMAO! .. That’s not any kind of answer at all … except to say that the last dozen moves made by TPTB on the chess board have been lousy.

  • Kat

    No matter..a faithful Y & R fan since day 1..and will continue

    • Mags123

      Enjoy it while it lasts. I used to love that show. Can no longer bear to watch it.

      • don

        If it continues like this it might be cancelled in summer 2015 despite it was renewed till 2017.

        • richie

          If you really think that’s the case, then GH & DOOL will be long gone FIRST….

          • sands of time

            GH and DOOL are on different networks. DOOL is stable and on it’s way up and GH is healthy. Y&R’s network is CBS. They have talk and game shows that are successful. They don’t need Y&R because they have a stable B&B.

        • Andrew Hass

          Yeah i’m sure even though Y&R was renewed through 2017 there might be a clause in the deal in which CBS can buy the remaining time out earlier if they wanted to.Most contracts i think have buy out clauses in them.

          • Darlene

            The only reason I’m still watching Is to find out who they are getting to replace Adam then I’m gone! People need to know we who watch love our actors, and while I also know if the big wigs are not lining there own pockets, us small people can’t get ahead. But if they are a main cast member who has been there and are making good ratings then they deserve more. Just common sense!

      • J’C

        If you can’t bear to watch it . Then why do you commit on it?

        • molliesugar

          It’s a habit.Hope to see it get better and…nothing else more interesting on at the time

      • molliesugar

        Us too.

  • Andrea Urbinato

    I didn’t mind David Tom.Great chemistry with Chelsea. This new guy is too stiff not sexy no appeal

  • sands of time

    Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller and Michael Muhney will be together again on GH. What happened?

  • sands of time

    People need to stop saying JFP should be fired. She is an emmy award winning EP! She can take Y&R in any direction that she sees fit! She’s even been known to tell fans “FU”! There is nothing the fans can do. We should just accept it.

  • Mags123

    Word Salad. This crazy broad said absolutely nothing…and used up a lot of words doing it.

  • J’C

    I’m a loyal Young and the Restless fan. I always will be, but come on . This new Billy,oh my god he looks older than crap!! too old to play Billy. Not to mention he looks like the same age as Jack!!!!! Let’s get it together people. Bring us a Billy , who fits and looks the part. You make the big bucks right??? The reason you make the big bucks, your supposed to know what you doing. But from where I’m standing, it’s looking like a mess. My understanding was that Phelps was fired???and if she wasn’t get off your b*** and fire this lady…….and one more thing about this new Billy , he has about as much as sex appeal as a snow pea. peace and blessings until next time

  • Fiorella

    I love the new Billy. Burgess Jenkins is handsome and sexy. He is so much more appealing! I once again like Billy.

    • Beth

      I completely agree!!

  • Joel

    I’m glad Angelica set the record straight, I knew there was never anything malicious set in motion for David’s exit. I just wish he had stayed, as I enjoyed him so much as Billy Abbott again. But Burgess, so far, is doing a fine job. He just looks a bit too old for the role for me, but that can be over-looked. It can be a realistic looking older than you truly are, like most real-life people are known to be.

  • pal

    I don’t think you gave David time to settle in . I liked him playing Billy a lot better then this new guy . The last scene he did with Chelsea would have been way hotter and more believable with David tom . What are you thinking if you don’t stop taking off long time characters the y and R will be the next soap down the tubes . Losing Michele Stafford is just tragic .

    • Eileen

      Are you kidding??? David Tom sucked as
      Billy Abbott. He may have been good as young Billy but not older Billy! Not sure of Burgess Jenkins yet. No one will replace
      Billy Miller Or Michael Muhney.

      • don

        Here’s my speculation, in the fall, the producers will realize that burgess is not a fit for billy so he will leave get fired and as the characeter of billy they will write him off because billy miller is not comming back that is better of everyone the show need to go in different direction without billy abbott in it.

  • molliesugar

    It appears that with the death of Jeanne Cooper,the Y&R that my wife…and I watched every day,is dead.Looks like in an attempt to gain new younger viewers at the expense of the viewers who have watched for years to make the show #1.I miss the traditional soap background music.Now the show is one long pop music video including as many scantily clad young characters.I guess every show has its time with a fan base but either I am outgrowing the show or the show is going down the drain.Btw,we have been watching since the first episode.

    • Restless Fan

      I’m with you! I feel like the new brass (Angelica McDaniel included) has given a finger to older fans. In addition to completely disregarding why Y&R was #1, in a sense I feel like they are trying to push us older fans out as well, by stripping the show of all the things we loved about it. If your a new fan who has no tie to Y&R history I guess the show is passible entertainment, even enjoyable. On twitter it seems those are the fans Angelica, Jean, and Shelly like. The ones who don’t why it isn’t working and just accept it for what it is. As far as this article goes, I think it says a lot about why Y&R continues to flounder. Angelica seems to always push this sense of family, yet JFP was hired under her leadership and was immediately allowed to fire several BTS people who had been with the Y&R family since Bill Bell was alive. Some of those who were there for decades and helped shape the show as we then knew it. Frankly, I find her response that David Tom is still part of the family condesending. It’s publicly known that DT was the last to know he was fired and her saying things like, it was difficult, we didn’t take it lightly, seem to only serve to make her look good. Lets be honest here, Y&R has been under a constant state of change since JFP was hired. There is zero stability there with story, actors, sets, even music changes often. The resistance to stick to anything is always apparent. This is not a show running like a well oiled machine. It’s in survival mode trying to figure out what it wants to be. If Angelica feels this upheaval is a gift to being in her “family”, I say best of luck to all of them. They deserve better!

    • Only watch Y&R and B&B on CBS

      And the irony of CBS’ continuing efforts to destroy soaps (we didn’t forget about GL and ATWT, did we?!) is that Y&R is hitting new lows in the younger key demos almost every week, too. So, they’re chasing away the young viewers as well!

  • Don

    Bj would be better in a different role

  • Toya

    It was a stupid decision. There goal must be to get rid of Y&R completely because all of these recasts are ruining the show.

  • Brook Jones

    Hes too old!!!! Bring the old Billy back!

  • Viewer

    Just bring Billy Miller back. Sheesh.

  • casper

    I hope General Hospital will give David Tom a good role along with Michelle Stafford and Emme Ryan. It would be great to have Billy Miller join them along with actress who played Chloe. I hope Eileen Davidson reconsiders now that she has won an Emmy and stays at Days of our Lives. Billy is Jack, Ashley and Traci’s younger brother but this guy certainly doesn’t come across that way. All the recasts are insulting to long time viewers.

    • Andrew Hass

      Eileen Davidson signed a 2 year contract with Y&R.So i think she’s tied to the show for a long time.As for David Tom it wouldn’t surprise if B&B picks him up down the line.

  • Weezer

    I don’t think Burgess Jenkins has the cocky attitude to play Billy. I must admit I hated to see Billy Miller leave, but David Tom was doing an ok job as Billy again. This was just a bad casting job! What are they thinking.

    • fan

      Poor actresses that have to act like they attracted to that new billy he is an ok actor but Billy Abbott no way. Billys character is fun loving and young and handsome this guy is none of the above.

  • Jules

    Jenkins does not fit in at all. He does not look the part nor does he act the part. Bring back Billy Miller or David Tom!

  • Doryphore

    Both David Tom and Billy Miller are 35. Billy Miller was cast to replace David Tom, because of his slight resemblance to him. This Jenkins guy is 41 and looks 50. He does not resemble either actor and is not a good choice.

    I had no problem with the role alternating between Tom and Miller. But, this guy is horrible for Billy.

    • Tracy

      I totally agree. I said above in another post that he looks 100 lol. He’s terrible, and the poor women have to keep exchanging saliva with different men lol.

    • ATLConsultant

      Agreed. And David Tom was finally getting the role down, after about the 3rd month. He should have been given more of a chance. Burgess Jenkins looks like he had never studied the role of Billy Abbott. He plays him completely opposite. Just not good acting.

  • nyvoter

    Wow … so much being said while actually saying absolutely nothing. Why bother, LOL .. what a ridiculous press release … and, as an aside, what does the “rest of the cast” possibly have to with this decision

  • Where were all these David Tom supporters when he was being crucified all over the internet? I swear some people just love to be miserable.

    • don

      they are not really david tom supporters, they are just people who realize that producers should have kept tom in the role if miller is not coming back and they go what they wished for david is out but with a price they hired some who looks older than the character itself and did not see that comming and complained that tom looks to young for the part teenager looking well the new guy playing billy is worst and won’t last long he may be out in november 2014 or january 2015 at the latest.

      • That’s why people say you should appreciate what you have. While CBS may not admit it I think part of the reason they fired Tom was due to fan backlash. Tom was doing better as the days went by, but no one wanted to give him a chance, so now fans hate what they got stuck with. If they get rid of Burgess they will likely just kill the Billy character, and bring in some new guy for Victoria and Chelsea to fight over.

        • don

          They might not kill billy abbott but just write the character off and move the show in different direction if jenkins is out in the middle of fall well this time they will not recast billy abbott.

          • I don’t see them getting rid of Burgess. The fan reaction is mixed, there isn’t an overwhelming amount of hate for him as there was for David Tom. I do find Burgess a bit stiff, but I’m at least willing to give the guy time to understand who Billy is and make the role his own. To me he seems nervous. But its’ something that’s going to take time, and Burgess seems like he wants to be there.

            Personally I think a lot of hate boils down to attraction to a particular actor and fans inability to accept change. For example, Y&R sent out a casting call last week for Helen Copeland, which is just for a mere two days of work, and of course people were outrage over this. Soaps are always revolving and new people will come and go. The thing I hate the most is that they are so many talented soap stars who are in need work and Y&R doesn’t seem to be looking in their direction. First order of business if Sony stepped in should be to fire the casting director then Jill and the rest of the writing team.

          • Don

            He won’t last as billy because he does not have what it takes sorry by the end of year he will be out

          • That’s a bit of a bold statement to make considering it’s merely an opinion. Who you think Billy is may not be the same version to others.

          • Gaston

            He look too old for the part and does not have what it takes to play billy he may be out in 7 months the more we go further the more it is getting worst they should have written billy off simple as that people will always compare him to Miller and does not come not even close to him that is the truth

          • You believing that he doesn’t have what it takes is your opinion solely. Just because you or anyone else don’t like him doesn’t mean he should be fired. He will be never be Billy Miller or compare to him, because they are separate people.

          • clayton

            where were u when u should havesaid that tom should have not been fired where u just asking and if what gaston is saying is the truth he won’t last long he may be out in 7 months or if he is lucky 18 months but my bet is that he will be out in 7 months and write the character off for a while that what they should have done months ago the excuse they are going to give is either lay offs due to pay cuts or storyline reasons.

    • sands of time

      Those crazy fans thought Y&R chose not to work with BM in favor of bringing back DT. They should never bring back a previous star as a replacement unless he/she is replacing an unpopular actor.

  • Only watch Y&R and B&B on CBS

    So much for “CBS doesn’t have much say in what’s happening on Y&R”…

    And so much for CBS continuing to ruin Y&R with incredibly dumb decisions…

    On purpose?

  • Melissa Martin

    Ms. Mcdaniel, please hire back Michael Muhney as Adam Newman. The way you and your team are treating long time viewers is such a diss. And, your remarks regarding David Tom are quite disrespectful to him. It truly seems like you are trying to ruin this show and you are doing a great job of it (ruining it). Please hire back Mr. Muhney as Adam. He can single-handedly put the dramatic glue back into the other characters to give the show heft and credibility.

    • Tracy

      They won’t hire him back. He was fondling Summer on set for no reason. She filed a harassment complaint to the producers after the 2nd time he did it. From a viewers point, I will totally miss his character. Let’s hope they don’t pick someone like the new Billy #3.

      • Lisa

        False KEEP up ! Those were false allegations.It was proven to be a malicious rumor by Nelson BLANCO

  • nyvoter

    Some of the twitter comments I have read directed toward Burgess Jenkins are, in my opinion, unnecessarily cruel. I do not watch Y&R so I cannot comment on the actor’s performance, per se, but such negativity seems unwarranted. Everyone has the absolute right to like who they do, to miss who is no longer there, but this actor is doing the best job he can … and he deserves civility. If you do not like an actor, or a couple, or a character … there is a fast-forward button; and there is always a complaint process. In my opinion …. and that is all it is, my opinion …. Y&R lost three very talented actors with Michelle Stafford, Billy Miller and Michael Muhney. In each case, however, the recasts … present and those to come … deserve at a minimum civility.

  • Darlene

    This article quoting Angelica McDaniel is total bullshit!! The way David Tom was fired was outrageous. DT reported that he was fired in a telephone call and he felt that everyone except himself knew he was being fired…cliques at their finest!! A contract employee certainly deserved better treatment than that. I can’t wait until Y&R is off the air. Animals are treated better than some of the actors who recently left. Wish there was a government agency policing employer behavior such as this. How does an actor get protection in these situations? Talk about NASTY!!!!

  • Meb

    Pay Billy Miller what he wants & bring him back! It’s just not the same. Couldn’t get into either replacement….

    • sands of time

      Supposedly, Billy Miller will be joining General Hospital.

    • oly

      I agree. It’s not the same with Billy Miller. It’s NOT A HARD DECISION! Just bring him back

    • Beth Ann Frey Coats

      I agree! Love Billy Miller! His personality really made his character funny. And the chemistry between Billy and Victoria was undeniable! Bring back Miller!

  • Congrats to Josh Marrow (Nick) who just celebrated 20 years at Y&R. People like to go on about the recent casting troubles, but truth is, they still have a lot of vets remaining. Jeanne who was a lifelong Y&R member till her passing, Doug Davidson, Eric Braeden, Melody Scott, Tracey Bregman, and many more. I don’t understand when people get upset about Muhney or someone like Billy Miller who we all know doesn’t even want to be in daytime.

  • sands of time

    I was never a happy flagger. I only flagged toward the end of the flagging war because of all my posts being flagged and removed from the start. Y&R has created a bunch of miserable happy flagging people whom don’t like my truthfulness. Watch DAYS and/or GH and be happy!!!

  • Watching since 9

    Neither one of the latest play Billy Abbott as well as Billy Miller. So sad.

  • Blink

    It seems David Tom took the heat from Billy Miller leaving, which allowed Burgess Jenkins to come in with somewhat more approval. Hollywood is a shady business and the way soap actors are fired by TPTB seems quite cruel at times. Wish Tom the best of luck and Burgess seems okay in the role.

  • Nerissa Hosein

    I find Burgess is the worst for the role.. He looks so much older.. And he just doesn’t fit.. BM made Abbott a charming, sexy, funny kind of guy and we all know if Miller was there, he and Vicky would be back together by now.. They would not have kept them apart this long. The only reason they have is because all these replacements have about an ounce of the charisma that Miller has.. Nothing against Burgess but he just does not have the sex appeal that BM had

  • Deborah Thomas

    In my opinion, Burgess clearly does not fit the character for Billy Abbott.. He is supposed to be Jack’s younger brother but looks older than Jack. He also looks too old for Victoria. He is a poor actor and not believable as the character of Billy. David Tom was a much better replacement.

    • ATLConsultant

      Wholeheartedly agree, Deborah. This is the worst re-casting i’ve ever seen on Y&R. I have to FF past his scenes now. So regrettable.

  • Renee Larson-Endsley

    After seeing new Billy and Jill together, I couldn’t help but see that Billy and Jill looked more like lovers than mother/son.