— Soap Opera Digest reported yesterday that The Young and the Restless’ Billy Miller (Billy) will leave the soap when his contract expires this summer. According to TV Guide Canada’s Nelson Branco, the exit is all about money and Soaps in Depth later confirmed that negotiations are still ongoing. So why should Sony and CBS come to a compromise? Well, for starters, Miller quickly became a fan favourite after he assumed the role in 2008 and many fans can agree that he finally made the role his own after two unsuccessful recasts (Ryan Brown and Scott Seymour) following the departure of David Tom in 2002. When the show announced that Emily O’Brien’s Jana would be written out, they told the actress that they wanted to focus on the core families that the fans want to see. Since Billy is an Abbott, he’ll be key to this “new” vision that they’ve suddenly come to realize. But it’s not like they haven’t used Billy. The character has been on the frontburner since his return in September 2008, so if Billy is suddenly written out this summer, it’ll really be noticeable on the canvas. Also, if they’re using him so much, then he should be compensated accordingly, just like all the other major players. If they need to rethink the show’s budget, maybe they should stop stunt casting with sitcom stars of the past and pay the current performers who deserve it. While many fans are happy of his pairing with Victoria (Amelia Heinle), there’s still a devoted “Chilly” following that would be eager to see Billy reunite with Elizabeth Hendrickson’s Chloe. In 2010, Miller won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama series and previously appeared on All My Children as Richie Novak (2007-2008). Earlier this year, he appeared on FX’s Justified.
— While Billy may be leaving, look for Victoria to be sticking around Genoa City. Amelia Heinle has inked a new deal with the soap. Heinle took over the role in 2005 almost two years after Heather Tom departed. Having seen Tom’s recent performance on The Bold and the Beautiful (where she plays Katie), it’s really made me miss the bitchy Victoria.
— Will Thorsten Kaye make a brief return to One Life to Live in order to usher out the departing Marty (played by wife Susan Haskell)? Well, that’s what Soap Opera Digest is hinting at. The magazine revealed that the show has put out a casting call for a “Thorsten Kaye body double” with “long hair.”
— Genie Francis’s Y&R character will be named “Genevieve.” The former General Hospital star will make her Genoa City debut in late May.