‘Y&R’ To Air Special Tribute to Jeanne Cooper

Y&R_Jeanne_CooperThe cast and crew of CBS’s THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS will pay tribute to the show’s longest-tenured star, Jeanne Cooper, in a special episode on Tuesday, May 28th.

Cast members, friends and family of the beloved actress will gather on set next week to shoot a celebration of the life of their late friend who passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 84. Cooper, the Emmy Award-winning actress who portrayed Katherine Chancellor for more than 39 years, was the show’s longest-running cast member. She joined the soap about six months after its premiere in 1973 and remained a central character for most of those 39 years.

As part of the tribute episode, the cast of THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS will share their favorite memories of working with Cooper, along with personal recollections of their friendships with her. Additionally, interviews with Cooper from the show’s recent 40th anniversary and classic clips of her years on the daytime drama will be included.

“Jeanne Cooper was a legend and we want to give her the tribute she deserves,” said Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President, Daytime CBS. “The cast will honor their longtime friend, family member and co-worker in the greatest way possible, as we celebrate her life and vibrant spirit and share it with the audience who loved her as much as we did.”

Cooper’s final scenes as Katherine Chancellor aired last Friday. Our last glimpse of her character followed a conversation with her longtime rival Jill, played by Jess Walton. In the storyline, Chancellor had just returned home from the hospital where she had been treated for a brain tumor. As Katherine was about to retire for the night, Jill asked if she could help the frail older woman up the stairs. The ever-fiesty, independent Katherine declined the offer, and, after a pause, said, “Good night.” She was then shown ascending the stairs.

It wasn’t written to be Cooper’s final scene, according to a staffer with the show, but it certainly played like a fitting final appearance for her.

Daytime shows are normally taped up to a month in advance or more; Cooper’s final scenes were recorded on March 26th, which happened to be the program’s 40th anniversary date.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, recently nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama, has been the #1-rated daytime drama for more than 24 years. Set your DVR for the special tribute episode, Tuesday, May 28th in its normal 12:30pm-1:30pm time slot, immediately following LIVE 5 NEWS AT NOON.

Moss to Tape Final Scenes on ‘B&B’

After a quarter century, Ronn Moss is leaving THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. Moss’s character, Ridge Forrester, has been a central core character since the program’s premiere in 1987 and Moss himself is one of only four original cast members still on the program.

That changes after today, when Moss tapes his final scenes.

But wait, haven’t we heard this before from other soaps? Is there really ever such a thing as finality where a soap opera star is concerned? (At least, as long as the show is still on the air?)

Probably not, though in this particular case, it certainly sounds like a legitimate parting of ways.

Entertainment Weekly reported on Friday that Moss, 60, decided to leave the show over “salary issues.”

On Monday, Brad Bell, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, told TV Guide he didn’t see the departure coming.

“And it came out of the blue. I only found out last Thursday [Aug. 9] about Ronn’s decision not to renew.”

There’s no word, yet, on how Ridge Forrester’s disappearance will be handled on the show. Given that they apparently had so little notice on Moss’s decision, it’s possible that they may recast the role since his character remains heavily involved in the show’s plotlines.

Or, he may take a page from THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS‘s Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) and simply decide it’s time for a sudden vacation and just disappear for a while.

Bell seems to make it clear, however, that he has no intention of killing off the character, or even allowing the character to be “presumed dead.”

Moss’s final appearance will air on September 14th on Live 5 WCSC.

His departure leaves only three original cast members still on the show: Susan Flannery, who plays Stephanie Forrester; John McCook, who portrays Eric Forrester; and Katherine Kelly Lang, who plays Brooke Logan Forrester.

What happens after that…well, we’ll just have to stay tuned to find out.

Y&R’s Cooper Taking Temporary Medial Leave

Actress Jeanne Cooper is taking a brief leave from THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS for unspecified medical reasons. While we don’t know the specifics, Entertainment Weekly reports that the 83-year-old actress, who has portrayed Katherine Chancellor on the series since shortly after the show premiered, is okay.

In her absence, actress Michael Learned, who portrayed another famous matriarch, Olivia on CBS’s THE WALTONS, will fill in.

Learned’s appearances begin on November 10th.

Only once before can we remember a different actress filling in for Cooper, and that was in the 1980s when the late Gisele McKenzie portrayed Genoa City’s top diva for a few weeks.

Longtime fans of the show will no doubt object to the temporary replacement, but as the character is involved in several front-burner storylines, it wasn’t possible to write her off of the show until Cooper could return.

That return, incidentally, is expected to happen later this month, which would put Cooper back in her familiar surroundings some time in December.

Reality and Fiction Collide in Soap/Talk Crossover

A few weeks ago, Peter Bergman and Tracey E. Bregman, who play Jack and Lauren on CBS’s THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, made a guest appearance on THE TALK.

They appeared as actors, not their characters, to promote the Jabot cosmetics line.

Jabot is a fictional company on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, started by Jack’s father, John Abbott. But now Jabot is also a real cosmetic brand created to attract fans of the show who had heard the name mentioned for decades on the soap.

But here’s where it gets really interesting.  Or confusing, depending on your point of view.

On Thursday, during THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, the characters of Jack and Lauren travel from Genoa City, Wisconsin, to Los Angeles to appear on THE TALK. In that episode, they’ll be promoting the fictional version of Jabot Cosmetics while being interviewed by Julie Chen, Leah Remini, Holly Robinson Peete, Sara Gilbert and Sharon Osbourne, the female hosts of THE TALK, appearing as themselves.

If you understand all of that, you’re probably smart enough to solve the nation’s debt crisis.

Needless to say, the characters’ fictional appearance on the talk show was taped earlier on the same day that the actors appeared as guests.

So be sure to tune in to Thursday’s Y&R; there are sure to be surprises waiting for nearly everyone.

Veteran Soap Star Joins ‘Y&R’

Daytime legend Genie Francis will join the cast of television’s #1 drama, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS.

The actress is known for her long-running role of Laura Spencer on ABC’s General Hospital, from 1977 until 2008. Her character was half of the Luke and Laura power couple whose marriage was one of daytime television’s most-watched events.

On Y&R, she will portray the long-lost mother of Ethan “Cane”Ashby. Cane was killed in a shooting in February but has been haunting the town of Genoa City ever since.

Cane’s father, Colin Atkinson, is being played by Tristan Rogers, who is also a former star from General Hospital.

Her first appearance on the show comes towards the end of May.

This Week: More Basketball, But No Missed Soaps

This week, MARCH MADNESS kicks off on Thursday and Friday, pre-empting the CBS Daytime schedule, including THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL.

But unlike last week’s ACC TOURNAMENT carried by LIVE 5 WCSC, MARCH MADNESS won’t make you miss anything on your soaps:  CBS, which is carrying the NCAA Tournament across the Network, isn’t producing soap episodes for those two days.  That means that when soaps resume next Monday, they’ll pick up right where they left off this Wednesday before basketball.

We received complaints from soap fans last week because we had to move the soaps to our second channel, LIVE 5 PLUS, so that we could carry the ACC games.  Those games were not carried by CBS itself, which is why there were soaps to move to begin with.

So the good news is you won’t miss any of the developments with your favorite characters and couples!

CBS Soaps Move to 5+ During ACC Tourney

While Live 5 WCSC airs the ACC Basketball Tournament on Thursday and Friday, daytime programming including THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, THE TALK and LET’S MAKE A DEAL will move to our second channel, Live 5+. Continue reading

CBS Announces Soap Renewal

CBS renewed its top soap, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, for three more years, a move that will keep it on the air through the 2013-14 season.

The 38-year-old soap has been the number one daytime show for 22 years, so its renewal isn’t really a surprise, but a three year deal signed this early in the season should at least come as welcome relief for soap fans who’ve seen some mixed signals about the future of their favorite genre.

In 2009, CBS ended the longest-running program in broadcasting history, GUIDING LIGHT, which left the air after a combined 72 years on television and radio.  Earlier this year, AS THE WORLD TURNS left the air after 54 years on CBS.  But fans got a little relief after NBC decided to renew its 45-year-old Days of Our Lives.  Of the current soaps still on the air, the youngest one, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL, premiered back in 1987.

Variety reports that CBS is also close to signing a deal to renew B&B, Y&R’s sister soap.