Eric Braeden on SHOCKING Y&R Departure: “This Exit was ALL Calculated!”




Eric Braeden doesn’t buy Victor being transformed from a grouchy corporate raider into a depraived, sociopathic enabler being just a coinky dink with his tense contract negotiations any more than I do (Keep checking back for this week’s CBS/DAYS podcast)! In the blockbuster soap interview of the year, the former Young and Restless frontman tells TV Guide Magazines Michael Logan he  believes it has all been calculated by a hardball playing Sony!

How is Victor written out after his heart transplant? He’s been painted into such a dark and irredeemable place. Was this done to scare you?

Victor and Nikki go to Europe somewhere, Belgium or whatever, to some rehabilitation clinic. When I watch the show I realize—boy, oh boy—this exit was all calculated! They have now painted Victor Newman so black. He’s now killed this Colleen girl. He is responsible for the demise of everything. What he did do is hire that girl [Patty] and give her plastic surgery to get even with Jack Abbott. They’ve totally forgotten that Adam was gaslighting Ashley—now Victor’s held responsible for it. Jack Abbott is totally relieved of any kind of responsibility. It’s all Victor! They have forgotten all the backstory in order to make a rush to judgment. What they wanted to do—I’m thoroughly convinced of it—is make Victor look so bad to the public that the public will say, “Let him die.” So, yes, this is orchestrated and it happened at a very propitious time when my 26-week cycle was up. This is totally calculated from the top. It infuriates me, the conscious intention behind it. It’s a very dramatic story, a very good story, but it certainly has the potential for a permanent departure.

Well, we’ve been wanting a big business storyline on Y&R, who knew it would have to take place behind-the-scenes?

Photo by PR Photos

47 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Smitty
    Smitty

    Very interesting interview. Didn’t realize he had already taken a paycut before.

    Wow EB isn’t holding back, oh wait he never does. I am interested to see how this plays out…

  2. Profile photo of
    AlistairCrane

    Victor and Nikki get the EXACT same exit as John and Marlena from Days, also owned by Sony.

    Hmmmmmmm…………

  3. Profile photo of Smitty
    Smitty

    I don’t believe Nikki will be gone forever. She signed another contract so they will have to make up some excuse for her to return without Victor.

  4. Profile photo of Joan76
    Joan76

    Even though Y&R is number one in the ratings, think the ratings are bad now watch their ratings fall. If there doing this to Y&R, other soaps aren’t going to last much longer. Let’s Make a Deal starts today, they better hope it fails, or they are going to be replace by some crapy game show. I like Wayne Brady think I’ll pass, trying to get into GH. Just hard to get into another soap when don’t know their history.

  5. Profile photo of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    Everyone knows Eric Braeden and everyone knows that he speaks freely how he thinks, but I don’t know if this interview was a wise decision.

    Don’t get me wrong, EB is saying all the right things and I’m glad that someone from the business that has been a part of it for so long is speaking out about anything that should been said. But in his situation …. I just don’t know if it will do him or US for that matter any good.

    Some people in charge must be pretty pissed about that interview and make the way for EB to go back maybe even harder. So that I really think that we might see the last of EB as Victor Newman as of November 2.

    Don’t think that he has any regrets about this, but for me is departure is really turning into an exit.

  6. Profile photo of Scout
    Scout

    It took him this long to figure out what was going on around him? Did he think they would just bow down to him?

    Should’ve taken the paycut, EB! So long, old man…

  7. Profile photo of dkp
    dkp

    WOW great interview. I have a feeling this very well could be the last we see of Victor. That makes me quite sad and I will miss Eric and victor. Hopefully Y&R/Sony and Eric can work out an agreement.

  8. Profile photo of met
    met

    Why would anyone think Eric Braeden is going anywhere other than back to Y&R set? This is not shocking news, its just a stunt for contract negotiations and nothing else.

    This whole interview sounds like a crock. Eric still has a job and he should be happy that he is still getting a check other than unemployment like most of us.

    Besides, how many producers are lining up to use him? Or worst can he play anything other than Victor Newman.

    Oh Pleeeeze call me when he has real suffering like the rest of us.

  9. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie
    Coffee_Junkie

    I have no use for Braeden’s crying and painting himself as a victim in all of this. I think it would be hysterically funny if the ratings SKYROCKETED the week after Victor left for Europe.

    I hope he’s gone for good. Thirty years of his pompous ass on this show is long enough. Victor’s ACTUAL DEATH would bring about tons of storyline potential, and free up some much needed cash for the show.

    Have Nikki return from Europe ALONE, saying that the old goat had a massive heart attack and his ashes were thrown over the English Channel. Have TPTB FIRE Braeden and have Victor REALLY be dead.

  10. Profile photo of goyankees
    goyankees

    I won’t miss him, I’m just a girl (fan) who loves her Y&R but needs a break from Victor and that girl (Nicki)…I feel that if you are going to whine and cry about like a girl (baby) than you can just take your vacation. I would like to think Y&R is a great ‘gig’ to have…. and it’s job security if you’re potraying Victor Newman!

    I’m bummed about that girl (Colleen) got the axe, but as Team Abbott, again, I won’t be crying over Victor’s Haitus.

    YOU GOT THAT!!!???

    Seriously. Could stand to use the break….

  11. Profile photo of troymcclure
    troymcclure

    I actually don’t think the ratings will suffer with EB leaving. This will be Drake and Deidre all over again and DOOL managed just fine.

    I do think he has a point in saying that 30 years should count for something but at the same time I wouldn’t mind a change, not only behind the cameras but in front of the cameras as well. Having Victor be the same person he was 30 years with women throwing themselves at him isn’t cutting it anymore when he is 60 years old.

  12. Profile photo of DaytimeLuv
    DaytimeLuv

    I cannot stand this praise for Maria Arena Bell. She is the one who wrote Victor into a corner and could have easily written a less damaging exit story for the character. Y&R has become a plot driven mess that insults the intelligence of its audience. The show is filled with nonsensical storylines, degrading writing for female characters, and damn right insulting writing for minority characters (if they’re even on once a month or so). Y&R is in dire need of new writers & producers.

    Braeden should be so lucky to walk away from the mess Y&R is.

  13. Profile photo of Westcoaster
    Westcoaster

    So I gather by this interview EB is not coming back? Reading between the lines of this interview he is really angry and I can just imagine what was said off the record!
    As for replacing the actor with someone new it has been done before with the other cast members. With the exception of Traci, every member of the Abbott family has been played by different actors. Jack, Ashley, Jill,Billy,Colleen even Jerry Douglas was not the first to play John Abbott. Looking at the Newman family taking into account when they “age” a character, there has been only two times where a actor was replaced. Heather Tom was replaced by the current actress and when the actor playing Adam originally quit.
    When Terry Lester left the role of Jack and was replaced by Peter Bergman some said he would not be a good replacement. Well PB has been in the role for over 20 years now and won some Emmys so he must be doing something right!
    Maybe the suits at the Y&R are going about the wrong way and EB has some valid points. I do not think we will be hearing the last of this

  14. Profile photo of sodsince16
    sodsince16

    From a character perspective it is interesting that he mentioned everything that happened to Colleen, but I feel Victor’s cruelest moment was asking for Nikki just as Ashley was going nuts with pseudocyesis.

    Ashley gave up a life in Paris boffing cute younger guys like Rick Forrester to help Victor. She was rewarded by having to move into his old mansion with no maids, and his adult kids tormenting her.

    That Ashley Abbott Lassiter Bladeson Howard Carlton Newman is one nutty chemist, and I hope she is always central to the show, but I also hope she finds some relief soon.

  15. Profile photo of
    AlistairCrane

    “I actually don’t think the ratings will suffer with EB leaving. This will be Drake and Deidre all over again and DOOL managed just fine.”

    The ratings may not have suffered, but Days took a huuuuge nosedive in quality when Dee and Drake were fired. Now it’s not fit to flush down my toilet.

  16. Profile photo of jsg03jd
    jsg03jd

    30 years being employed at the same place no longer carries the same weight in this economy. Employer loyalty no longer exists and employees who expect that in this current climate are delusional. Everyone is fungible, even the almighty Eric Braeden. Y&R can go on without Victor Newman even if it eventually leads to cancellation.

    And ditto on the moolah being channeled to bring Victorial Rowell back, her detractors be damned.

  17. Profile photo of DanMan869
    DanMan869

    In post #16, Westcoaster mentioned that some people said that Peter Bergman would not be a good replacement (for Terry Lester as Jack) and yet he’s remained on the show for 20 years, garnered Emmys and therefore must be doing something right.

    I have accepted Peter Bergman as Jack and “recognize” him as that character. HOWEVER, if I had my choice (and it were even possible–which it isn’t), I’d take Terry Lester back as Jack in a heartbeat. Where Terry played Jack as a devil-may-care playboy with an endless libido…but who cared about his sisters and father, Peter Bergman has played him more as this posturing diva. No one can play the tender, caring side of Jack Abbott better than Peter Bergman, but… that’s not all Jack should be!

    If Terry Lester hadn’t gotten fed up with what he perceived as Y&R becoming “The Lauralee Bell Show” (which it really didn’t become until the a few years into the ’90s after his departure) and decided to leave AND he didn’t die (RIP), I would love to be seeing Terry Lester’s Jack go up against Victor AND deal with the return of Stacy Haiduk’s Patty. Can’t have all that, I know (death sure makes some actor returns pretty permanent *joke*), but… man, I prefer Terry Lester in the role.

    Oh! And just because an actor wins Emmy awards, doesn’t mean they were truly worthy in the eyes of every one of their peers AND the audience. There have been actors all over daytime who have been overlooked for Emmys and others who get them like an annual magazine subscription renewal in the mail–whether or not their performances really merited it.

  18. Profile photo of Llanview76
    Llanview76

    Troy McClure, I liked what you said: “Having Victor be the same person he was 30 years with women throwing themselves at him isn’t cutting it anymore when he is 60 years old.”
    This can be said about a lot of legacy characters on various soap operas – especially with the character of Erica Kane.
    DanMan I loved your statement regarding P. Bergman’s portrayal of Jack Abbott: “Peter Bergman has played him more as this posturing diva.” It totally summed up my impression of Peter Bergman through out the years. There just seems to be something about him that isn’t right.

  19. Profile photo of east.west
    east.west

    Loved this. They need to come up w/better ways to handle this contract business w/o it getting ugly. The last resort isn’t cutting your vets who made this show what it is. Sign of the times and I fully support Eric’s decision to stand by his guns even though he may be jobless for awhile.

  20. Profile photo of LoisKibbee
    LoisKibbee

    I hope Eric stays with Y&R – hopefully this will play out like Melody Thomas Scotts did (she returned!) earlier this month. It’s sad that at one time there were so many wonderful soaps…Edge of Night, Santa Barbara, Search For Tomorrow, Another World, Ryan’s Hope, Texas, and on and on…It makes me sad that we have so few now and the quality is really not what it use to be.

  21. Profile photo of The_Moustache
    The_Moustache

    dear Eric, this isn’t the 80’s & early 90’s anymore!!! Your show doesn’t get over 7 million viewers a week! It’s lucky it gets over 3!

    stop being a crybaby and do what your peers do and cut back or get fired!!!!

  22. Profile photo of californiaguy888
    californiaguy888

    Intersting article ! I don’t watch Y&R but I am aware of Eric Braeden and his role on the show. I’m thinking that I would rather watch the Eric Braeden Show than Y&R..He’s good! Maybe a sitcom where he plays an aging Soap Star who grants interviews here and there , goes through contract negotiations, fights with the headwriter (played by Kirstie Alley) etc. etc. I could totally see Valerie Bertinelli playing his Agent.

    Sweet.

  23. Profile photo of DOOLJunkie
    DOOLJunkie

    From what I understand, it isn’t that these actors won’t take paycuts. It’s that they are being offered these cuts outside of the negotiation periods. And I’m not sure it that’s what’s going on with Eric, but if it is, I don’t blame him.

    I do think this is the end of the big name stars on soaps. No longer will one star be held as the prize of a soap. Good for the other actors, bad for those who’d like a larger check.

  24. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Do some of you people lack basic reading comprehension? Braeden is willing to take a pay cut but he’s being forced to void his contract to do so.

    When the Chris Engen crap was taking place in the summer, plenty of you were decrying Engen for violating his contract. Guess what? Sony is shredding Braeden’s contract. If Sony isn’t willing to honor this agreed upon salary, what makes you think they will honor any negotiated salary?

    So, Braeden takes another cut in salary. He signs another 3 year deal. Then boom, 6 months later Sony shreds that contract.

    Contracts become worthless.

  25. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    P.S.

    Company loyalty is dead. Employees should not expect loyalty from their employers. Everyone is a widget to be replaced. Only CEOs with golden parachutes need not worry.

  26. Profile photo of Scout
    Scout

    Company loyalty isn’t dead, it’s a myth. No company is loyal to employees and why should they be? People work for a paycheck, not because they love the company.

    EB is between a rock and a hard place just like the rest of ‘em and, anyway, he’s old enough to retire and probably has more than enough money to do it right.

    The future is here, people! These soaps are dropping like flies because no one besides we few give a shit about them. And why should they? What does a soap have to offer a non-viewer?

    Unfortunately, not much…

  27. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Scout,

    You’re wrong. Company’s used to offer employees “loyalty” by providing full employment, pensions, and benefits. That has died. Most companies no longer offer pensions. 401k matching has disappeared for many. Health care is fading fast as a company benefit. Layoffs are done at a drop of a hat.

    The effects of these policies will have be devastating in the next 10 to 15 years, in particular, as retirement aged Americans from the boomers have no retirement benefits unlike their parents. IRA and 401k savings have disappeared for many with the 2001 and 2008 crashes.

    Eric Braeden is no different from a factory worker whose work is being sent to China. He’s expendable. His years of service to his employer are meaningless. His work can be done for less pay.

    I like Braeden. I separate his character Victor Newman from him. I applaud Braeden’s ability to have us hate Newman. That’s how good an actor Braeden is. He’s getting screwed over the same way a lot of other people are. Braeden, however, is lucky that he earned hundreds of thousands dollars annually. I hope that he saved some of it.

    Finally, I doubt Victoria Rowell will come back to Y&R. The show doesn’t care her fan base. That’s obvious.

  28. Profile photo of Scout
    Scout

    “Eric Braeden is no different from a factory worker whose work is being sent to China. He’s expendable. His years of service to his employer are meaningless. His work can be done for less pay.”

    Well, that was pretty much my point. What does he deserve for 30 years of work? He’s been well compensated, is more famous now than he ever was in primetime, featured on countless magazine covers, was able to take long vacations to Germany and has enough money to bankroll his own little vanity film projects. EB got a hell of a lot more than most working stiffs. He has a good life. Why does Sony or CBS owe him anything?

    Times are tough. And while he got screwed on the contract, so what? He’s damn near 70 and had a great job. He made his choice and has walked away. Big deal. Bring on the recast or the new asshole billionaire and get on with it.

    By the way, I am one of the grateful few who are glad TPTB have ignored VR’s fanbase. She and Vanessa Marcil should form a club for overrated ex-soap actresses. Alisha Minshew can join up with them soon.

  29. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Coffee_Junkie:

    Submitted by Jillian Bowe on October 6, 2009 – 12:18am.

    Coffeee_Junkie its 26 weeks for vets, 13 for newbies.

    Reading comprehension.. LMAO :-)

    You were willing to bash Braeden for sticking up for himself. The 26-week/13-week clause has been used typically to allow for storyline dictated exits or recasts not to force people to void their contracts in order to shove a pay cut down their throats.

    I’m all for soap stars for taking pay cuts to help their shows survive. But, I’m not for kissing some corporation’s butt as they abuse contractual clauses to get their way. That opens the door for tremendous abuse.

    Eric Braeden is not Victor Newman. If you hate Victor Newman, then congratulate Braeden for his acting abilities. He was hired to play a complex villain/anti-hero.

    Braeden negotiated in good faith with Sony. He has a valid contract until 2010. Why the hell shouldn’t Braeden fight for himself? He took a pay cut 2 years ago.

    If your boss came to you and said he’s cutting your pay 20% today and then came back 6 months later and wanted to take another 30% would you lick his feet and say “sure thing, boss!”? You wouldn’t fight?

    Again, if Sony doesn’t value contracts, what’s to stop them from coming back in another 26 weeks and demanding another cut?

    Brian Frons,

    Please hire Eric Braeden as Mikos Cassadine! I would be happy to watch him tear up Port Charles and wipe the floor with that punk Sonny Corinthos. Let Mikos charm and seduce Monica Quatermaine.

  30. Profile photo of Scout
    Scout

    “If your boss came to you and said he’s cutting your pay 20% today and then came back 6 months later and wanted to take another 30% would you lick his feet and say “sure thing, boss!”? You wouldn’t fight?”

    Well, they usually pull that crap to get you to walk out the door. And I worked for the Anti-Christ for a year and know what is like to work for shit bosses. Sorry, I just have no sympathy for old rich people who can walk away from good do-nothing jobs in this ecomony.

  31. Profile photo of Scout
    Scout

    “On the surface it seems that you have a defeatist attitude that devalues and accepts that people are worthless interchangeable parts.”

    It’s not an attitude. I just live in the real world. And people are indeed interchangeable. After all, if Eric Braden is forever gone from Y & R, is your quality of life somehow hampered by that? Probably not.

    Look, life goes on. Guiding Light was the longest running show in broadcast history and when the plug was finally pulled, no one care. In its last six months, after the cancellation announcement, GL still lost viewers left and right. The show couldn’t even get a decent sendoff on an awards show dedicated to honoring soaps.

    No loyalty, no nothing. That’s the way it is for soaps, actors and for us regular people, too.

    My dad is around EB’s age and can’t afford to retire despite his slowly deteriorating health. EB is able to walk away from Y & R, although not on his own terms, without worrying about money.

    And, yes, the downfall of this nation started with the election of Ronald Reagan, but things are how they are and they will not change. If that’s defeatist, so be it…

  32. Profile photo of jsg03jd
    jsg03jd

    Part of the good faith negotiations that ultimately led to the execution of the contract between Braeden and Sony is Sony’s ability to invoke that particular 26-week salary review clause. Each and every portion of the contract must be honored and one cannot cherry pick clauses or agreed upon items as VOID or undesirable just because one did not have the foresight or one was too egotistical to believe that said clause would not be enforced/invoked by the counterparty.

    If that’s Braeden’s sole argument for being resistant about paycuts, he’ll be laughed out of court. The document speaks for itself, and if that clause is clearly written and says what it means, no court will go outside the four corners of that document just because Braeden is now unhappy with a contract that he entered into willingly and in good faith. Good faith cuts both ways: there’s an expectation that both parties will follow the “private law,” i.e., the contract between them. That clause is apparently standard. Braeden should not be surprised that he’s NOT above being subjected to that clause’s terms. End of story.

  33. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003
    siomonstuart2003

    cannot stand this praise for Maria Arena Bell. She is the one who wrote Victor into a corner and could have easily written a less damaging exit story for the character. Y&R has become a plot driven mess that insults the intelligence of its audience. The show is filled with nonsensical storylines, degrading writing for female characters, and damn right insulting writing for minority characters (if they’re even on once a month or so). Y&R is in dire need of new writers & producers.

    Braeden should be so lucky to walk away from the mess Y&R is.

    **************

    Thank you. At first she was great, but now she is a horrible exec and writer that needs to get rid of Hogan and Scott and Paul or they really want the show to be done in 2011.

  34. Profile photo of ethark31
    ethark31

    Y&R won’t be the #1 show anymore. Victor, in my opinion, is Y&R. Why should he have to take a paycut? They need to get rid of useless characters like Adam, Daniel, Amber, Kevin, Jana, Chloe, Cane and Chance. Y&R needs to go back to the original formula focusing on the Abbotts and Newmans like back in the 80s. I am going to stop watching the show. Storylines are getting outrageous.

  35. Profile photo of Lauren27
    Lauren27

    I’ve lost all respect for Sony. What punks. Y&R has been the number one soap for many years but that’s obviously changing. The recent story line with Sharon and Ashley instantly going into labor and baby switch makes me wonder if they’ve hired writers from Jerry Springer.

    Eric Braeden has too much class for this type of television. This is the final straw, Sony deserves what they get. I feel bad for Peter Bergman and the other longtime actors.

  36. Profile photo of Jazzy
    Jazzy

    Dear Eric,
    I am familiar with your work(Y&R, The planet of the apes The night stalker And Many others including your most recent).I understand it has taken great writer to keep you interested in playing these roles such as your recent role with Ash, and being insulted with this and the previous pay cut outside of your contract. I realize you have maintain your standing for the sake of all. I know that bringing back Dru would have had the positive effect that brought the rating back to nomal. Now that you are leaving, I am not sure that the ratings will ever return. My community has made thier decision. They feel as if you are a part of our every day life. They want to know your opinion on certain important facts. Good luck to you.I will be looking forward to seeing you again. Maybe your next role will contain the contract that you write. DVR maybe taking a break.

  37. Profile photo of Jazzy
    Jazzy

    0:) My dad is around EB’s age and can’t afford to retire despite his slowly deteriorating health. EB is able to walk away from Y & R, although not on his own terms, without worrying about money.
    —- — Stand for something or you FALL FOR EVERYTHING!!!
    I hope daddys situation gets better. If your father was Eric then you would support him. Some employers donot have economic problems, but have found a way to get some people out including seniors.Erics situation affects your father as well.

  38. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie
    Coffee_Junkie

    “Do some of you people lack basic reading comprehension? Braeden is willing to take a pay cut but he’s being forced to void his contract to do so.”

    _____________________________________________________________

    Do you think maybe you could learn how to post replies without bashing other people? There’s no need to be a condescending asshole.

    Braeden is the one who must “lack basic reading comprehension.” Because he knowingly signed a contract that contained a clause stating that the contract could be renegotiated by either party (including salary negotiation) every 13 weeks, or I think it might be 26 weeks. This does not “void” the contract as you put it. Sony is exercising the right that is BUILT IN to the CONTRACT that the man SIGNED.

    If he didn’t want to take the risk of this happening, he should have never signed it in the first place. I suspect he thought TPTB consider him a GOD and that they would never DREAM of asking him to take a pay cut “early.”

  39. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Scout,

    On the surface it seems that you have a defeatist attitude that devalues and accepts that people are worthless interchangeable parts. I don’t believe that. I deplore the Wall Street attitude that has led to this current economic mess, whose genesis began in the Reagan years.

    The fact that people easily accept the notion that 30 years of service is meaningless speaks volumes as to what is wrong in our culture.

    The old days are gone. They should be mourned because they represented the best of the progressive movement’s success to enlarge the American middle class.

  40. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Jillian said,

    Josstheguy, who are you referring to, myself or someone else?

    Jillian,

    Nope, I wasn’t referring to you. Didn’t realize that you were participating in the thread when I wrote my comment.

    If you re-read the thread, you’ll see that I had been corresponding with another user.

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