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News for the week of 26-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Katherine’s memorial service takes place September 3-4 with the late Jeanne Cooper’s real-life son, Corbin Bernsen, coming back as the character of Father Todd to preside over the proceedings. Other familiar faces will also resurface for the memorial service, all in memory of Cooper and her Y&R legacy character, including: Tricia Cast (Nina), Lauralee Bell (Christine), Patty Weaver (Gina), Adrienne Frantz (Amber), Beau Kazer (Brock Reynolds), and Michael Damian (Danny). Real-life rock star Damian will sing “That’s When I’ll Stop Loving You,” the same song that played at the soap’s tribute show in May. Jeanne Cooper, 84, passed away in May.

Leave it to Eric Braeden (Victor) to get down to brass tacks regarding last week’s Twitter controversy. A fan asked him what he thought about the rumored exit of head writer Josh Griffith and he tweeted that he was pissed off about it. A lot of people reading that tweet thought he meant he hated Griffith and what the new regime was doing to Y&R. Not at all. Braeden—and I believe the man—said he doesn’t involve himself in what TPTB do, he just doesn’t like change, and Griffith leaving was yet another regime change. That’s what he was responding negatively to. Furthermore, Braeden doesn’t have a problem with any of the regimes, past and present. He’s only differed in opinion with writers on storyline/character twice in his career. Otherwise, he steers clear, lets them do their jobs, and keeps it strictly professional, by principle. “I never have personal relationships with anyone in this business because I've seen too many people come and go,” he elaborated. “To establish personal relationships with the people you work with is stupid, because you never know when the winds will change. I try not to get too close to people. That doesn't mean I don't care about the show. I care about it very much.” It took him awhile to warm up to new executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, but that’s because he was so loyal to the Bell family and the last of the dying breed [MAB having to leave]. He actually likes Phelps and the way she’s hands-on with the actors, adding that she really likes them. He also enjoys his storyline very much, even when there isn’t much of one (the actor’s resigned to the cyclical demo focus; summer’s for the youth demo), and feels his show’s doing well, better than before really. “Our ratings are up! I know there are those who feel the veterans are not getting enough attention but that happens every summer, doesn't it?” Braeden said. “I've been at Y&R for 33 years and each summer I see them make the same egregious mistake of emphasizing storylines that are supposed to lure the mythical young demographic. As the Wall Street Journal reported in an article a few years back, billions upon billions have been misspent in the search for this young demographic, who are not the primary spenders in our society! That misinformation is a cause of enormous frustration for a lot of creative people. But it's industry-wide and everyone abides by it.”

I can’t wait for his memoirs to come out. He’s working on one with writer Lindsay Harrison. That is, if he can get over the weirdness of whether the public would even want to read what he has to say. Hint, Mr. Braeden: They do very much. –TV Guide, August 22, 2013 interview by Michael Logan

Christel Khalil (Lily) fired the first shot in her breach of contract suit against Mavrick Artists Agency via the Wrap in an August 7th article. Now, it’s the agency’s turn to fire back. Representing Mavrick Artists Agency, attorney Max Sprecher went to the Wrap to counter the actress’s complaints. It’s simply a matter of Khalil trying to back out of her contract agreement months ahead of the expiration date and using flimsy excuses to do so, the Mavrick Artists Agency claimed. While Khalil believed the agency owed her money it stole from her, the agency said she’s the one owing them about “20,000 in additional commission,” which she refuses to pay. The agency did acknowledge that it may have made a simple error in submitting her for a Y&R role, but haggled over the term Khalil used, saying that wasn’t an audition. This entire misunderstanding could’ve and should’ve been handled in a private arbitration process per AFTRA rules, the agency’s lawyer continued, but Khalil chose to air all her grievances in public to add weight to her case and cause humiliation.

Here’s an excerpt from the Mavrick Artists Agency’s official statement:

“In response to the allegations in the lawsuit, Mavrick Artists Agency has never ‘stolen’ a penny above its contractual rates for commissions due from any client. Also, the claim that Mavrick Artists Agency was involved in any intentional withholding of funds due Ms. Khalil for her guest spot on ‘2 Broke Girls’ is not simply false -- it is absurd.

What is not disclosed in Ms. Khalil’s lawsuit is that the only dispute over commissions -- which arose after Ms. Khalil prematurely terminated the agency's representation -- involves Mavrick Artists Agency’s right to withhold a grand total of $290.00 in outstanding commissions due on another project. Mavrick Artists Agency also notes that during the year it represented Ms. Khalil, Ms. Khalil was paid directly by her employers (or through her management) on all but two isolated occasions when payment was made through Mavrick Artists Agency. …

In closing, the following facts should be noted. Ms. Khalil, a talented, Emmy‑award‑winning actress on the daytime drama ‘The Young and the Restless,’ signed representation contracts with Mavrick Artists Agency in June 2012. In March 2013, she expressed a desire to leave the agency. Subsequent to her exit from the agency, she expressed a desire not to pay future commissions owed to the agency pursuant to the representation contracts she signed in June 2012. In order to avoid these commissions, Ms. Khalil engaged counsel and manufactured the spurious claims repeated in her complaint.”

Based on a cursory review of the fall previews, Y&R isn’t worth watching. Nothing changes and most of the characters are either at a standstill or made to look incredibly stupid and insufferable. TPTB are still going to stick with boring Hilary, Lily, and Cane. Hilary looks to be the mysterious blogger (yawn) and could really do major damage to the Lily/Cane franchise. Victoria and Billy weather another manufactured storm, but the shadow of his gambling addiction and Victor’s meddling continue to loom close. Not to mention the weirdness going on with Billy and his ex-, Chloe. Who cares about Melanie? She’s merely a plot device, a pest to Adam, and a Wile E. Coyote one at that. Tyler and Abby… Who?! One of them isn’t ready for a serious relationship.

Meanwhile, the old soap adage — Never try to pass off your baby as someone else’s — has never been more true than in Chelsea’s case as she is forced to tell the truth when her infant shows signs of suffering from the same genetic blindness as Adam’s mom. It’s only a matter of time before Adam finds out Connor is his, and he will blow like Mt. Vesuvius when it happens.

Watch Y&R turn Sharon into the town joke, yet again, as she cartoonishly goes after Nick at Avery’s expense. Avery will notice and begin to wonder what’s really up. Sharon could be her own undoing.

Summer and Kyle still want to jump each other’s bones. (Supposed) DNA doesn’t change their ardor one bit. The tension lingers as Jack futilely tries to make inroads as Summer’s insta-daddy. He’s pushing her a little too much as well. But Jack pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

Gossip for the week of 26-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

With no official confirmation of head writer Josh Griffith’s exit, Highlight Hollywood’s Tommy Lightfoot Garrett continued the onslaught by contending in his August 20th update that executive producer Jill Farren Phelps is feeling the heat, trying to do damage control, and saving her own hide by pimping the upcoming Katherine Chancellor death story: “Jill Farren Phelps is wasting time making the rounds whining to her few supporters in the media, trying to leak details about an exciting upcoming  storyline about Katherine Chancellor’s death, which is currently in disarray, just as every storyline has been since she took over the helm of ‘Y&R’ and hired her then-buddy Josh Griffith to be her sidekick.” JFP is using the veteran angle in this new story to assuage disenchanted fans, Garrett wrote, but it’s not going to work. Just look at JFP’s history of coming in on good, solid soaps, running them into the ground playing favorites, and talking a good game. “One thing daytime viewers learned decades ago, is that Jill Phelps will say just about anything at any time, and it cannot be trusted. Just days after she proclaimed Genie Francis was staying at ‘Y&R’ as Genevieve she was gone. Not that viewers cared about the character, but it was the set-up for what we know is simply Jill saying whatever she wants, lying to the media and getting a pass, just because she has Friends in the media.”

The big bosses up at Sony have finally begun seeing the light about the Titanic that Y&R has become, which doesn’t bode well for JFP at all, a Sony insider told Garrett. “The pressure is building on Jill’s loyalists, Angelica McDaniel is getting lots of complaints and Sony’s Steve Kent also now is second guessing his stance to say no, to any fans who want Jill Farren Phelps out. They are prepared to dig in their heals, but the tensions have most definitely created a great deal of friction between the parties.”

The worst part in all of the behind-the-scenes drama is JFP’s attitude. She’s acting like she can do no wrong and her job’s safe. A CBS insider described, “Jill is smiling as if nothing is going on. She’s truly either the best actress, and should be on a soap, definitely not running one, or she knows something on someone, and knows she’s not going any place. She just feels untouchable, and blame fans for being mean to her. This woman is truly oblivious. She’s going to probably be allowed to continue to run ‘Y&R’ into the ground, if fans don’t revolt pretty soon. So far, she says, she’s safe.”

As if Steve Burton (ex-Jason, GH) isn’t already saddled with a deja-vu storyline on Y&R, playing a character parenting another man’s child. Soon, he’ll show Chelsea another, darker side to him, c/o PTSD, aka Jason Quartermaine showing his darker side after a car crash turned his brain into a killing machine. Btw, is Port Chuck doing a farewell tour?

Of all the soap characters to choose from for favorites, Marlena De Lacroix chose Y&R’s Avery Clark? To me, she’s inoffensive, obtuse, self-centered, hard and brittle, and narrates instead of shows me her milquetoast personality. To De Lacroix, who once ruled the soap magazine world with her Soap Opera Weekly columns, Avery’s a great find. “She’s the only soap character I can think of that I ever wanted as a personal friend. She’s mature, intelligent and compassionate. In other words, a great soap heroine. Everything’s gone fine with her for a while, but will her heart be broken before her scheduled walk down the aisle with Nick Newman? [‘They Make My Day,’ August 24, 2013]”

Young and the Restless News & Gossip, Copyright © 2014 Carol Banks Weber. Published by SoapZone.com / Jeff Jungblut. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be representative of SoapZone.com or its advertisers. Don't steal scoops.