If you couldn’t get enough of Cynthia Watros as “Guiding Light’s” crazy Annie Dutton Banks or as “Lost’s” sympathetic psychologist, Libby Smith, you’re in luck: She’ll be tackling an equally intense role during her upcoming stint on “The Young and the Restless.”
When thinking of who to cast as Kelly, a grieving mother who lost her son and connects with Billy (Billy Miller) over the recent death of his and Chloe’s (Elizabeth Hendrickson) daughter, Delia, “Y&R’s” executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, knew Watros would shine, leading her to contact the actress’ agent. And as soon as the Michigan native heard the details of what Phelps had in mind for Kelly, she was sold. “I really wanted to work with Jill again… and daytime has always been very special to me, because that was my first job, on ‘Guiding Light.’ So I feel very happy to return,” the actress says. “The characters [on “Y&R”] are rich in depth, and it’s just a really well-constructed soap. So I was excited to be part of [it].”
Hollywood’s obsession with soap operas just won’t quit, with the latest cross-over being Academy Award-winning writer-director Francis Ford Coppola making “The Young and the Restless” an offer they couldn’t refuse: A visit to the sudser’s set!
Things are about to start looking a bit different in Genoa City, as “The Young and the Restless” has named its new headwriters: Current ‘Y&R’ scribe Shelly Altman and daytime writer Jean Passanante will share the position, along with ‘Y&R’ scribe Tracey Thomson, who’s been promoted to co-headwriter within the new, all female headwriting team.
As previously reported, CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” will honor the life of Katherine Chancellor on Tuesday, September 3 and Wednesday, September 4, when the soap opera pays tribute to the character and her portrayer, Jeanne Cooper, in a two-part memorial service.
Per a website dedicated to the character, Katherine died on Thursday, August 1 after a short illness. Cooper died on Wednesday, May 8, also from a brief illness. Fan favorites Lauralee Bell (Christine), Tricia Cast (Nina Webster), Beau Kazer (Brock Reynolds), Adrienne Frantz (Amber Moore), Patty Weaver (Gina Roma) and Michael Damian (Danny Romalotti) will return for the service along with Cooper’s real-life son, Corbin Bernsen, who will reprise his role as Father Todd. The character will preside over Katherine’s service. Damian will perform “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You,” the song that aired in the tribute episode dedicated to Cooper in May.
Just as the fall season gets ready to kick into high gear next month comes word that “The Young and the Restless” may have lost its head writer as a result of creative differences with the shows executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps. Josh Griffith, who took the reigns from Maria Arena Bell one year ago, has reportedly given notice to Sony Pictures Television and Bell Dramatic Television of his decision to leave.
Griffith’s possible exit couldn’t have come at a worse time for the soap as several of its stars recently told Soap Opera Network of their happiness with the material they’ve been given leading into the fall and that the storyline involving the death of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), which begins airing today, lends itself to plenty of tales for “every.single.character” in the months to come.
Representatives for CBS and the show have not commented at press time on this developing story.
Beginning with today’s episode of CBS’ “The Young and the Restless,” the citizens of Genoa City will honor the life of Katherine Chancellor, whose portrayer, Jeanne Cooper, passed earlier this year after a short illness. According to the network, loved ones of Katherine’s will begin receiving postcards asking them to gather at the Chancellor Estate, where they’ll learn that Katherine died while exploring the world with her husband, Murphy (Michael Fairman).
Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, “The Young and the Restless”) may have been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor twice before, but the veteran actor admits that the honor never, ever gets old. In fact, he says the onset of social media has actually made receiving the honor all the more spectacular! “The support we get from the fans is so immediate now, because of Facebook and Twitter and all of that, and it’s almost like they’re riding along with you. So it’s really exciting!” he says. “Everybody should have something like this in their job, where you step back and get recognized by your peers.”
“The CBS Daytime family mourns the loss of our matriarch and beloved Jeanne Cooper. Her legacy will live on in our hearts forever,” read CBS Daytime’s tweet after news of Cooper’s (Katherine Chancellor, “The Young and the Restless”) passing spread through social media.
Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President, CBS Daytime, added, “Jeanne Cooper was a TV icon who touched millions and will live on in our hearts. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.”
In a statement released to Soap Opera Network, Jill Farren Phelps, executive producer of “Y&R,” said, “It is with immeasurable sadness and our deepest condolences to her family, that ‘The Young and the Restless’ mourns the loss of our beloved Jeanne Cooper.”
As Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime, Angelica McDaniel is ultimately responsible for the daily operation of television’s most popular daily lineup consisting of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Let’s Make a Deal,” “The Price is Right,” “The Talk” and “The Young and the Restless.” A few weeks ago, Soap Opera Network had the opportunity of speaking with McDaniel about her diverse lineup filled with soap operas, game shows and talk shows.
When “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” debut with brand new episodes on Monday, April 29 on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes, they will have the full support of CBS Daytime. Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President, CBS Daytime, wishes Rich Frank and Jeff Kwatinetz, whose Prospect Park licensed the two soaps from ABC in 2011, nothing but the best.
“Congratulations and best of luck on the success. Your success is our success and vice versa. And it’s just a thrilling new experience and I look forward to seeing where the journey takes you,” she said in a message relayed via Soap Opera Network.