The Young and the Restless Continues Its Shameless Parade of Old Sitcom Stars

Who needs Nick-at-Nite or TV Land, when you can catch all your old sitcom favorites on the soap opera formerly known as Bill Bell's The Young and the Restless? In addition to Daisy Duke (Catherine Bach), Mr. Belding (Dennis Haskins) and Grace Kelly (Brett Butler), Genoa City will now welcome beloved, 70's single mom, Ann Ramano from One Day at a Tme aka Bonnie Franklin. Sigh.

 According to Entertainment Weekly, Franklin has landed the role of a streetsmart nun, who will interact with Victor (Eric Braeden). It sure would be nice if TPTB at Y&R could somehow manage to figure out how to balance their budget well enough for beloved contract players like Don Diamont and Eileen Davidson not to be shown the door, and for the likes of Jess Walton, Melody Thomas Scott and others not to have endure demeaning, strong arm tactics every time their contracts come up for renegotiation.

Sure, these former sitcom stars probably work for cheap, and likely don't come at the expense of veteran performers, but when a soap is making headline after headline for not being able to reach agreements to keep the stars fans really want to see, it makes this endless parade of old school sitcom stars all the more ridiculous. 

Photo by PR Photos

35 Responses

  1. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    I guess Schneider was busy.


    When I saw this yesterday, for one brief moment, I thought it was a joke. Then I remembered this is what Y&R is known for at present.

    I just don’t get it.

  2. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @Jillian: I watched my first episode of Love and Hip Hop last night. And you know what? It was pure soap opera. I could see the scenes on that show being played out daytime in the good old days. So while the language was a bit crude and the women looked atrociously plastic. Just looking at it from a writing standpoint, the stories were interesting.

    In that one episode I saw a mother confronting her daughter-in-law for leaving her son for “dead” in the hospital and the daughter-in-law reminding the audience of the past when her husband left her when she lost their baby. Pure soap! And their confrontation reminded me of the old Kate and Sami on Days!


    I saw a woman trying get her career going and another woman jealous that her producer/friend was forging a business relationship she feels is going to threaten her future. Pure soap! Think of the good old days of the Newman vs Abbott business wars or Erica Kane and anyone she felt was competition.

    I saw relationships falling apart and a friend consoling her friend. Pure soap! Think Olivia and Dru.

    Then I saw women having a confrontation over a false belief that one woman was sleeping with the other’s man. Although it turned out not to be true. While these women were meeting they still established that there was no love lost between them. Pure soap! Reminded me of Erica and Brooke!
    Now with all that happening it was far more interesting than 80% of what we see on Daytime. This is what is missing.

    Sad when women with too much makeup and bad weaves…When men wearing 3x shirts, big jeans and gold teeth/chains are fare more dramatic (in a good way) then the model it was built off of.

  3. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @MsAgentProvocateur1: Here’s the script I want to see in real life:

    Maria Bell: You’re gonna have to try a hell of alot harder then that!

    Sally Sussman Morina: One way or another you’re leaving this building. You’re no longer working here. I am. The guards will side with me.

    MB: This ain’t Generations. You don’t call the shots around here.

    SSM: But your sister-in-law and Sony does. now what do you think your sister-in-law will think when she find out you were escorted out this building by Sony security guards.

    MB: She’ll probably want you thrown out next.

    SSM: Will you finally get it through your head Maria? That was ask by your sister-in-law and Sony. The high office of this daytime serial. To help them save this show from getting canceled. And i’m here to do that job whether you like it or not! And I wanna sit in that chair that you are sitting in right now. I like it! I want you out of it! And I want me in it!

    MB: You like this? You want this chair? Have a seat on me!

  4. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @ Jillian Bowe: I know what you mean by that. I had the same problems too. But they did have all the elements of daytime that were missing even if it was a minstrel show. So I can could see one element of why it gets the ratings it does. ;)

  5. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    That’s the “Y&R” of 2012. A mix of fan-favorites from other shows and these old sitcom stars in guest roles.

    From a creative point, “Y&R” is a big mess. It seems like the show is only there to get out a casting news every other month or so that either some big soap star from another show is joining the show or an Entertainment Weekly exclusive about a guest-stint for an old sitcom star.

    Well done, Maria. Your father-in-law would be proud of you. NOT!

  6. Profile photo of Marcelle

    [quote=david46208]@Jillian: I watched my first episode of Love and Hip Hop last night. And you know what? It was pure soap opera.[/quote]
    You’re so right. If people look past the language, this show is pure soap opera. The plots are straight out of soap opera 101, just as you’ve pointed out. It even has great dialogue at times, LOL. If you can get past her accent, Joseline has great one liners.

  7. Profile photo of angrierblackerman

    Even though I loved One Day At a Time and Bonnie Franklin, I think it’s disgraceful that they keep spending all this money on washed up 80s and 90s stars and can’t even hire soap actors or work out contract deals with its vets.

    Right on target Jillian!

  8. Profile photo of maca42

    Geez Bonnie is a class act she must be desperate for work. This show is a mess right now she wont put up with much BS I am sure. I am done with these soaps.

  9. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @Jillian Bowe: Yes the dialogue is bad. And I cringe to watch it. But many of the stories have the soapy elements to them. It’s just a hood opera following the lives of hoodrats, hoes, Thug Misses, no good bortha’s, wanna-be-rappers, wanna-be-pimps and soft-thugs. It’s a mess. But if you took the stories and changed the cast to well-to-do black people who speak proper English and have professional careers it would be a decent show to watch. ;)

    Now if Y&R could get back to the days when they wrote book on rivalries and corporate intrigued that spawned love affairs and more, then we’d have a soap again. But now all we are getting are these woman and men you have rightfully ranted about.

  10. Profile photo of TV Gord
    TV Gord

    Bonnie Franklin has been stage actress for more than 40 years, and she works whenever she wants to. She’s not a washed up actress, and Y&R should be lucky to have her, even if it’s for only a day. She could have become one of those TV hangers-on after her ONE sitcom ended, but she didn’t. She went away and went back to the stage.

    The next time someone looks their nose down on a soap actor trying to break into prime time or movies, I’m sure I’ll keep in mind the snobbery I’ve seen here, too.

  11. Profile photo of Camp is not a sustainable model
    Camp is not a sustainable model

    @TV Gord: None of the actors they bring on are washed up. But the fact that they are bringing them on in the first place is the problem. Month after month, year after year. Where is the bottom? Where is the bottom so that Maria cannot go any further?

    So it is not a gem to have someone who fans didn’t ask for in the first place. No one ask for numerous old sitcom stars to grace their screens. No one cares what media attention it may get you. If there the stories are not there then you could cast Oprah Winfrey and it wouldn’t make a difference.

  12. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    I go back and forth on this. It would be good if we could see a Victoria Wyndham or a Marj Dusay in some of these parts but most of those actors don’t live in southern California. And it’s not really practical for them to fly out for such minor roles.

  13. Profile photo of Marcelle

    [quote=Jillian Bowe]@David and Marcelle I said I rebuke thee! [/quote]
    LOL, you can deny it all you want, but it’s true. If I had the time right now (gotta go to work, lol) I could cite several storylines from Irna’s beloved creations, and point to their corresponding counterparts on Love & Hip Hop, LOL.

  14. Profile photo of met

    [quote]The Young and the Restless Continues Its Shameless Parade of Old Sitcom Stars[/quote] Please! Old sitcom stars need jobs too. And if Y&R bad stories are available, I say go for it. Can be any worst than some of the awful slasher movies that goes straight to DVDs.

  15. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    Plenty of celebrities used to do cameos in the 80s and 90s and it was fine. I joke about Bonnie Franklin, whose worked I enjoyed as a child on One Day At A Time (although it was in reruns by then) but the point is that these shows ought not to be throwing all these actors here and there when the storylines are so imbalanced that you have recurring and even contract players sitting on the sidelines with very little compelling storyline.

    Used to be the shows would spread these cameo appearances judiciously, now it is as if they are on a cameo binge. TPTB build up these appearances to get press and although they are successful at getting the attention, the result is often just BLAH.

    When they used the actor who played Mr. Belding, all I could think of was “Wouldn’t it have made more impact if they had used Corbin Bernsen’s Father Todd? Why couldn’t they get him back?” Then I remember the last time he made an appearance and despite public avowals to the contrary, this just proves that Corbin’s original tweets were telling the truth of the matter, which is a real shame.

    The point is that this show no longer knows how to use the cast they already have, so they go out and hire people for a day or two of work then cry about the budget come contract negotiations time. Those of us who are making jokes can’t help but find this aspect Utterly Ridiculous! Sorry if others just don’t get this.

    @david46208, I wouldn’t be surprised if that dialogue you wrote ends up being featured almost verbatim in the next confrontation scene between Nikki and Sharon.

  16. Profile photo of

    I’m telling you Maria Bell casting Lark Voorhies as Sarge’s long lost daugther.

    If this heifer brings Eddie Haskell, Wally and The Beavs on this show. It curtains for me! Cancel Christmas!

  17. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    How about the girl from Saved by the Bell who was in Showgirls? Then her and Mr Belding could be apart of my imagined strip club run by Phyllis and Summer.

  18. Profile photo of tedew

    Again I don’t have a problem with a short term stint by a blast from the past. Maybe these people just get a kick out of the opportunity. Guest sports are no rarity and prime time Emmys are given out each year to those who get to do it.

    Some of these people really are actually perpetually employed (as mentioned above). In fact … Laurie Metcalf is currently on the London Stage along side David Suchet in A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

  19. Profile photo of eurekasjm

    At least she can act. Bonnie Franklin has genuine acting chops where the others do not. I’m OK with this casting. And yes…there are a lot of other actresses (soap actresses) who could have filled the role but maybe they said no or didn’t want to do it. Is it stunt casting…no. Stunt casting would be like the old days when Elizabeth Taylor and Carol Burnett were cast in roles. This is just an actress who was offered a role and took it.

  20. Profile photo of Dyllan

    [quote=modee]I don’t get why it’s shameless.[/quote]
    Because the writers have a history of hiring big name stars as a solution to the failing ratings, instead of focusing on the writing. This is symbolic of the writers failure with Heather # 2, Heather # 3, Maura West, Malcolm #2, etc.

  21. Profile photo of Scout

    I’m sorry, I don’t see how giving Bonnie Franklin or any other old sitcom star a day or two of work is shameless stunt casting; first off, I’d have to give a damn about Bonnie Franklin for her casting to be considered a stunt.

    Secondly, I don’t see what the hiring of glorified day players has to do with the questionable exits of Diamont or Davidson.

    There are so many epic fails on Y&R these days, this just feels like a buncha bitchin’ over not much of nothin’.

  22. Profile photo of acela

    Regarding keepscomingback statement, ” I don’t get the big deal”, you are right, but on this site any excuse to hate on Y&R is the thing to do.

  23. Profile photo of marknsprmo

    The way I see it is that the stunt casting is a little free advertisement (or atleast cheap advertisemtent in the mainstream press. Which can’t be a bad thing for soaps. She is getting the brand name out there and not spending much to do it. I doubt anyone thinks that having Bonnie Franklin on the show is somehow gonna salvage it ( love Bonnie Franklin though), but it got a write up in Entertainment Weekly. When was the last time Eileen Davidson got a write up in EW? And as far as ratings are concerned, I haven’t watched Y&R in over a year because it is so bad and having Eileen on the show did not one bit make me want to turn in. In fact the only times I have tuned in was to see Michael Lerned playing Mrs C and Nina, Cricket and Danny showing up. So stunt casting does work some lol. It got me to watch for a day!

  24. Profile photo of Bartman202

    I luv Bonnie Franklin – grew up watching “ODAAT” in the ’70s!!


    I still feel Maria Arena Bell needs to go ASAP!

    All these needless and silly stunt-casting ‘cameos’: Brett Butler, Ellen Greene (as ‘Primrose DeVille’ – another wasted opportunity by our 3 co-hacks/head writers!), Ken Howard (all he did was lie in bed – added nothing to the Phyllis back-story – even worse, we’re stuck with Avery!), Catherine Bach (another MAB/HS/SH character that needs to go or at least played by a woman who DOESN’T look like Family Guy’s Glenn Quagmire!) – my list can go on, but I think I have made my point.

    Perhaps this right-wing socialite/show killer should actually try to WRITE A PROPER STORY for once I/O having the show’s casting director find roles for those in the “Where Are They Now?” file!

  25. Profile photo of seascape70

    Although I do not watch Y&R on a regular basis. I respect that Catherine Bach is working (and I feel good in the role) after the tragedy in her life. She is truly a good person trying to earn a living. Bonnie Franklin is a wonderful bast from the past and hopefully they have a role that suits her talents! Y&R is an uneven mess…. And I am a HUGE fan of Hogan Sheffer from his time at ATWT but I feel that he has not been given creative control from his time at Days or Y&R. I am also thankful that Eileen Davidson is leaving the show and going back to Days!!

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