Justin Hartley Was Almost Not ‘Y&R’s’ New Adam Newman?

Richard Cartwright/ABC
Richard Cartwright/ABC

As they celebrated their first anniversary as hosts of “Soap Box with Lilly & Martha” on Thursday, August 21, former daytime soap stars Lilly Melgar (“”) and Martha Madison (“”) had soap journalist , talent manager and online soap reporter on as guests as they discussed the week’s biggest soap opera news. No story was bigger this past week than the news of (“,” “,” “”) returning to daytime television to portray a recast Adam Newman on CBS’ “.” According to Bruno, however, there was a chance that the role could have gone to Hartley’s former “” co-star , “’s” or “’s'” .

When asked how the show managed to land Hartley, Bruno said, “They are obsessed, not just that show, with primetime fallen names. I actually felt very bad for Judy Wilson [‘Y&R’ casting director]. She’s a great casting director, who’s such a hard worker, and yet they expect her to get a primetime name and work for a dollar. And so it’s very difficult to find that. But they had feelers out for fallen nighttime names… Tom Welling, who was [on] ‘Smallville,’ also the guy from ‘Queer as Folk’ [Gale Harold], and Jason Lewis from ‘Sex and the City.'”

When Maloney noted that two of the guys Bruno mentioned would have looked too old for the part, Bruno stated, “That was all going out the door. They would have said in one sentence, ‘God, you look older’ and then we move on. I am telling you, you have to see this list.” The list Bruno was referring is the list of names of actors the show put together for potential Adam replacements, which Bruno earlier in the segment inferred included BBC America’s “Orphan Black” star Dylan Bruce (previously of “As The World Turns”), before ultimately signing Hartley.

READ ALSO: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Melissa Claire Egan and Chrishell Stause Take Part; Douse ‘Y&R’s’ Newest Star Justin Hartley

Watch the episode in its entirety below, but if you’re solely interested in their discussion about this particular topic, the juicy details begin to unravel around the 14:45 mark. Though, if you choose to watch the whole thing, you’ll probably enjoy the beginning portion where Melgar surprises Madison with a retrospective piece on their time together so far on the show. To learn more about “Soap Box” or to watch past episodes, click here.

If Justin Hartley didn’t accept the gig, do you think Tom Welling, Jason Lewis or Gale Harold would have made a good Adam Newman? Sound off below…

  • Joel


    I even cast Gale/Michael as brothers on my script-only webseries last year; I even paired Cady (Kelly) and Peter (Jack) on my webseries, too. But that was all before Y&R did.

    • Fox

      Love Gale, but frankly he reads older (imho), and Adam is supposed to be younger than Victoria and Nick.

    • Heather

      I know!!! He would have been awesome as Adam!! I would have gone back to watching YR in a heartbeat! This is a travesty!

  • chelle

    What ever happened to Trevor St. John (OLTL, Todd/Victor) playing the part of Adam? Soap Opera Digest had it on Facebook.

    • Fox

      I believe the rumor was that he wasn’t interested and passed on the role.

  • ChadamFan

    They made the right choice. The other guys are way too old to play Adam Newman.

    • Heather

      Gale is only 45, and is really youthful looking for his age.

    • Andrew Hass

      Michael Muhney is 39.Justin Hartley is 37.Dylan Bruce is 33.Tom Welling is 37.Jason Lewis is 43.Gale Harold is 45.Actors can play characters older and younger than them.

  • Stephanie Murray

    Jason Lewis would have been good, but I still want the Original Adam back

    • Chris Neal

      Too bad MM isn’t the Original Adam… Chris Eagen is. Is that who you speak of?

      • Heather

        Well MM took the role and made it his. Too bad they don’t know talent when they see it, as in Gale Harold. Guh. What a travesty.

  • Katie

    Yea I would have went with Gale Garold tbh he would have been really really good but I like Justin Hartley so hey its still a win/win. I don’t honestly think Tom would have been interested tbh but I guess you never know.

  • Darlene

    Who cares? The lucky ones are the actors who didn’t get the role! EP Jill Farren Phelps appears to be a very nasty producer to work for. If she doesn’t like you, she will make actor’s life miserable so that they will leave or she will let them go and go out of her way to ruin actor’s career. JFP fired or let go the following actors (most were fired!!): Genie Francis, Emme Rylan, Jeff Branson, actors who played Paul Williams’ sister and son, actors who played Daniel Romalotti and Murphy, Tricia Cast, actor who played Tucker McColl, Eileen Davidson (who JFP weirdly rehired), Michelle Stafford, actors who played Delia and Faith, Billy Miller, Michael Kinney, actor who played Jack’s son Kyle, Elizabeth Hendrickson, and David Tom. And I likely forgot somebody…but I wouldn’t want to work for anyone who does not value people and acts on personal whims. It’s not a good thing for Justin Hartley to have gotten this role. He’s gotten himself into a mess and in addition has to live up to viewers’ expectations after they have enjoyed enjoyed the extremely talented Michael Muhney for the last 4 years+. Over ONE million viewers left when Billy Miller and Michael Muhney left. More are going to leave as a result of Michael Muhney’s decision not to return to the show. Sony and CBS were considering rehiring Michael Muhney and negotiations fell apart over story lines. Who knows what JFP has planned for story lines for nu-Adam but rest assured it will NOT allow Justin Hartley to shine more than Steve Burton or to be more liked than Steve Burton. JFP has an unnatural obsession of Steve Burton and he has become front and center on the soap, carrying over their weird relationship when they were both on General Hospital. ABC had the wisdom to FIRE Jill Farren Phelps. And GH did not re-sign Steve Burton. Smart network!!

    • Myles Stevens

      Oh for god’s sake. Give it a rest.

      • This time next year Darlene will still be whining about Muhney and Phelps.

        • RedRiver38

          And here you go with your personal insults. Darlene has every right to express herself without your crap hurled at her. Screw you Bexxie. You just can’t help your sorry self.

          • Myles Stevens

            You accusing anyone of personal insults is the height of irony. You are a special kind of crazy.

          • You should have seen the type of nastiness she unleashed on Jay a few days ago. Creating multiple usernames to attack him. I’ll never understand lunatics who are obsessed with excrement’s.

          • Myles Stevens

            Yeah can’t say I’m surprised. I’m fairly certain she’s liking her own posts too.

      • RedRiver38

        Poor little Myles only likes to hear what HE wants to. You should give it a rest troll. It’s a free country d-bag.

    • sands of time

      The actor whom played Tucker is Stephen Nichols. Y&R could not make him as popular as his character on DAYS…Steven Earl (Patch) Johnson!!!

    • njviewer

      Not to defend her, but some of those actors were gone before the witch came aboard.

    • Wanda Wright

      I am really not liking Steve roles on Y&R..I think he was a better fit for GH…

    • Andrew Hass

      Some of those actors wanted to leave Y&R.For example Michael Graziadei who played Daniel wanted to do other stuff.Also Emme Rylan was recurring on Y&R when she got hired by GH.

      • CrimsonMistress

        Michael’s show is on Lifetime and its called The Lottery

  • Katie

    Hold on did they really think they could lure Dylan Bruce from Orphan Black?

    • RedRiver38

      Oh hell no. Bruce is on one of the hottest shows that is a global hit. He wouldn’t step back into Y&R’s mess.

  • Heather

    How the hell do you NOT PICK Gale Harold? He is wonderful in dark roles, and just as talented as Michael Muhney is. I’m speechless. Truly speechless.

  • Joshuatree

    Gale Harold would not do a soap opera, that is ridiculous, really beneath him.

    • Sammie Jo

      “beneath him”? Work is never beneath anyone.

      • Amen!

      • Joshuatree

        Oh PUhleeze! Soap operas are last resort for desperate and/or mediocre actors… The few that went on to be famous have had very short roles on soaps lucky for them! I know GH would rather do guest star roles on prime time and indy films or direct, or friggin sell motorcycles than lower himself to the soap genre… LMAO

        • Sammie Jo

          Oh PUHLEEZE yourself! Some actors love a steady paycheck and the challenge of daytime.
          Did you ever hear the old expression, “There are no small roles only small actors”?
          So I guess, if you believe that only mediocre and desperate actors go to soaps, that means Mikey Muhney is a mediocre actor? And I bet he’s really desperate now. lol

    • RedRiver38

      So true. Why would he ever want to subject himself to Eric Braeden’s legendary antics and arrogant BS.

  • Charles B.

    I’m sorry, but it’s well documented that daytime is the most demanding format of the medium – year-round original material, obscene amounts of dialogues and the eternal juggling act of balancing screen time for an large ensemble cast with pacing the stories to move quickly enough to be engaging and slowly enough that those that don’t tune in daily can still keep track. Daytime has trained hundreds of actors who’ve gone on to have great, steady, stellar careers. Some of them – like Julianne Moore, Nathan Fillion and as announced recently, Shemar Moore – have honored their daytime roots by returning for pivotal moments. While everyone in Hollywood has become youth-obsessed, daytime has created this safe space where veteran actors can still play engaging, multidimensional characters outside of the usual whore-wife-toting gradma paradigm. Daytime tackled the issues much before their primetime counterparts ever dared touch them, promoting awareness, acceptance, and tolerance to households, not just in America but all over the world, where these shows are broadcast in translated versions. Finally, Daytime has provided opportunities for gifted actors to make a really good living in an industry where the vast majority of people can’t make a decent living wage, where only a few are called, and where studios/audiences/producers seem to think talent is disposable – where yesterday’s it-gal can easily be your server today. Trends, shows, and stars have come and gone but, to borrow from Sondheim, Daytime’s still here.

    So you’ll have to forgive me if I find @disqus_vd9uQpvrpu:disqus’s comments particularly offensive here. Daytime has elevated so many, I don’t see how it can be beneath anyone, let alone actors who might have built a very solid and loyal fan base by playing an iconic character in a seminal series, but whose career since has been less than stellar.

    Clearly, I’m very protective of Daytime, and the many, many skilled artists and artisans who contribute their time, talent and passion to the medium. So if you’re going to put it down, you better come at it with a better argument than an actor who’s followed his break-out role with guest-appearances and failed series and has less hours on-air at this point than a 2nd-year supporting actor on a daytime drama. And odds are, if Harold is NOT the new Adam Newman, it’s most likely not because he’s the one who passed. Just sayin’.

    Rant – off.

    • JayTN

      Everything you said is true, but there are actors/actresses out there that still look at soap operas as “beneath them” or “inferior”. The soaps themselves have contributed to this perception with outlandish stories. While many now-big name stars started cutting their teeth on soaps (among the ones you mentioned, plus Meg Ryan and Jason Biggs), the negative stereotype that goes along with soaps still remains. Then there are the actors who don’t want the hassle of filming five new episodes a week all year long. Just because an actor doesn’t want to do a soap opera doesn’t necessarily mean that the actor has a negative opinion of the genre.

      • Charles B.

        Jay, I am in complete agreement with you: an actor not wanting to do soap does not necessarily mean he/she has a negative opinion of the genre. Everyone makes their decisions based on a number of reasons that are completely theirs. On that we absolutely agree. What I objected to was not that Harold (or anyone else) might or might not want to do it, it’s about this person who commented that soaps were beneath him.

        Yes, the stigma still exists about soaps being where you start or end your acting career, and in some ways the format does contribute to the stigma but that’s changing slowly but surely. To me it’s like the post-rat-pack pre-Cirque-and-Celine Vegas when it felt like it was the place where has-beens went to die but has seen a resurgence of headliners at the top of their form in the last 20 years. I feel that daytime’s on its way to something similar, though perhaps not on the same scale.

    • MattArmando

      This is seriously everything. Can’t tell you how many time’s I’ve tried saying this over & over again on other entertainment-based sites.

      Daytime (soap opera, talk, game) is a group of the most hardworking people in television. Yes, they are, because they work much harder & much more extensive hours of labor than those in Primetime (no offense to any in Primetime, at all, but it’s a fact. Numbers are there to prove it)

      Yet, those in Daytime barely match the salary of the lowest in Primetime. There are some exceptions, such as Tony Geary, Eric Braeden, Erika Slezak, Robin Strasser (who’ve all been reported to be gaining $1-$10 million for their yearly salary)

      But in general, Daytime is the most underrated & underestimated medium in the entire Entertainment business (film, TV, stage, music).

    • MattArmando

      Oh, and you also forget Academy Award-winner, SUSAN SARANDON, Academy Award-winner, MARISA TOMEI, 3-time Emmy winner, BRYAN CRANSTON, 5-time Emmy winner, ALLISON JANNEY, and Josh Duhamel, Kevin Bacon, Hayden Pannettiere, Ryan Phillippe, Eva Longoria, Demi Moore, among many, many others.

      It’s completely ludicrous. Example: JANNEY went from being the mousy maid on Guiding Light to being a 4-time Primetime EMMY-winne for her role on The West Wing.

      Within years of starring on Another World, Tomei became on Oscar-nominee and later an Oscar-winner.

      This issue irks me the most when speaking of TV, because everyone has such a wrong & tainted view of Daytime for no reason. Sorry for annoying everyone, but it’s true.

    • MattArmando

      and it looks like we also forget Oscar-winner, TOMMY LEE JONES. Who would’ve known. Mark Toland on ONE LIFE from 1971-1977. contract role.

  • Andrew Hass

    My guess is Y&R may have wanted someone who was on soaps before and not someone who may have needed time to adjust because doing soaps is very different than doing prime time.

  • Gale Harold would have made a fantastic Adam, however I don’t actually believe they came even close to snagging him.

  • MattArmando

    Gale Harold would’ve been a great Adam.

  • Nyzaria

    love this he does look younger but he is a great actor, very easy on the eyes and has the ability to be tough never disappointed with him, now the new phylis is another story I don’t like the recast one bit, never liked her acting always found it to be cheesy, and she is way too young to be paired as a love interest for Jack….ewwww!

  • JayTN

    Some of those names may have been wishful thinking. Tom Welling spent a decade on WB/CW’s “Smallville”. I don’t know if he would want to sign on for the rigors of fast-paced daytime. Jason Lewis and Gale Harold look too old for the part. Both Hartley and Dylan Bruce have previous daytime experience. If Hartley had not snagged the part, Bruce would have been a good alternative.

  • Herekittiez

    No one else can play Adam newman except MICHAEL MUHNEY, END OF STORY!!

    • It may be the end of your story, however the rest of us have and are moving on.

    • Michael Hassen

      Amen !!!!!

  • Michael Hassen

    There is only one Adam Newman, it would be like trying to replace Victor… CAN’T be done

    • Myles Stevens

      Uhh… No. Eric Braeden was there almost 30 years before Michael Muhney.

      • Michael Hassen

        Myles, years has nothing to do with it, In my opinion he could easily carry on Victors role as head of the Newman family.. when Victor dies off. Nick sure can’t or Victoria. They just are not good enough actors…I do like the guy that plays Nick and the girl who plays Victoria. But they just don’t have the WOW factor. Michael had it, or shall I say has it….

  • Mags123

    There is only one Adam.

    • Justin makes three, and not to mention those who played young Adam.

  • Allison Hardin

    The new Billy looks too old, so that couldn’t have been too much of an issue.

  • don

    If justin would say no well i’d pick tom welling as a second choice if not jason lewis as a fourth choice my third would be the original adam chris engen. I say good luck to justin and hope he will make a good black sheep and vilian but i will keep my comments on his performance when he appears in november.

  • Marie Davis

    I want the Real Adam back

    • Adam Newman isn’t real.

      • Myles Stevens

        Gasp! Blasphemy! How DARE you say such a thing?!?!?! 😉

  • Chanda Leer

    This whole discussion is just too ridic!!
    All Bruno says is that the YR casting director is under pressure to find “fallen prime time stars who’ll work for a buck” and then he says they “had feelers out” and picks three names he saw on a list or once had the hots for.
    Does not seem to be legit *at all*!!! None of those guys are “fallen” at all but here we all are talking about it, so who’s got the last laugh?.

  • christine

    All the men from The Young and The Restless and Day Of Our Lives and General Hospital and All My Children and One Life To Lives Guild Light and As The World Turn are gorgeous guys but the only gorgeous men from The Bold and The Beautiful who I think are gorgeous are Adam Gregory and Darin Brooke and Jacob Young and Thorsten Kay and Texas Battle and Zack Conroy and Don Diamont and John McCook and Jack Wagner and Winsor Harmon and Aaron D Spears and Sean Kanan and Ron Moss and Lawrence Saint-Victor that the only men from The Bold and The Beautiful that I think are gorgeous.

  • Blink

    Okay this sounds more like a “wishlist” not an actual chance at any of those guys. And the fact they did snag Justin Hartley leads me to believe they will shelling out a healthy salary. Y&R had no chance with the majority of the people they had on the list…..and I doubt Hartley signed on to work for the average soap salary either. At least with Hartley being familiar with daytime environment….he will be better prepared for all the backstage antics and drama more then an actor who’s never acted in the genre before. And what the heck does “fallen primetime” actor mean….it kind of sounds insulting.

  • [email protected]

    I would have loved seeing Gale Harold getting the role. He would have made a fantastic Adam Newman. I still watch episodes of QAF on Showtime 3 so as far as I’m concerned, he is not a fallen prime time star.

  • Ann Preston

    It will be MORE THAN INTERESTING to see how Justin Hartley plays Adam Newman. He better play him 100% the way Michael Muhney did – we don’t want a new Adam character or a new actor who can’t portray Adam Newman EXACTLY THE WAY MM did. Especially his smirk and mannerisms. Justin better be watching old tape of MM and be practicing being Adam in the mirror. We don’t want to be as let down with the new actor as we have been with the Billy actor!!

    • To my knowledge Justin and Michael aren’t identical nor fraternal twins. I’m confused why you are expecting two different actors to have the same mannerism, and acting style? If you are expecting to see Muhney in Justin, then you’re in for a very rude awakening. You should leave now, and spare the rest us your idiocy.

      • Ann Preston

        Justin has been hired to play the role of Adam Newman – that character should remain consistent and recognizable, unlike the debocle that has happened to the Billy Abbott character who is now unrecognizable.

        • Justin was hired to play Adam Newman NOT Michael Muhney. Mannerisms and “smirks” are not a factor. Keeping Adam true to character falls solely on the writers, not the actor.

          • Ann Preston

            The writers seem to be writing very playful lines for the new Billy but he sure is not capable of pulling it off and seeming fun like the Billy Abbott character always was.

  • Deborah V

    THANK GOD They didn’t go with any of the other 3 — if in fact they were being considered! NO WAY ANY OF THEM could have filled Michael Muhney’s Sexy Hot shoes! I can see Hartley fitting into them, IF HE DOES IT RIGHT! We will see . Hope he doesn’t blow it or we’re done! JFP has screwed this cast up so bad under her rein it’s a wonder CBS hasn’t gotten that although the fans LOVE Y&R, the FANS HATE HER and she needs to be REMOVED!

    • Myles Stevens

      Speak for yourself. Not all of “the fans” hate her, and most of the ones who do are either misguidedly blaming her for certain actors’ departures or holding grudges from General Hospital and other shows. Moreover, I fail to see how she has screwed up the cast. Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott, Peter Bergman, Jess Walton, Christian LeBlanc, Tracey Bregman, Doug Davidson, Kristoff St. John, Joshua Morrow, Sharon Case, Amelia Heinle, Greg Rikaart, Christel Khalil, Bryton James, Daniel Goddard and Lauralee Bell are all still there and driving story. Eileen Davidson is on her way back. Hunter King, Robert Adamson, Melissa Ordway, Mishael Morgan and Burgess Jenkins have been great additions. The fact that a couple of actors have left does not screw up the entire cast, and saying that is an insult to the actors who have been there for 20+ years and earned their stripes.

  • LindaB

    I’m with Deborah V

    when she says •”THANK GOD They didn’t go with any of the other 3″ Justin is perfection. I hate to lose him from Mistresses but since I’ll see him more often on Y&R, I’ll live 🙂

  • TMar

    Justin is PERFECT. I think he will play the part as well as Muhney did, if that’s possible. I can’t possibly think of a different actor. The others aren’t even close. I’m picturing him with darker hair.

  • Yrfan1

    I think Tom Welling would have been better, but Justin will probably settle into the role