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'The Young and the Restless': Ardent soap opera fans were right all along

More than a few fans feel passionately about YR's fictional characters.
More than a few fans feel passionately about YR's fictional characters.
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Billy Miller was well-liked. David Tom didn't last long enough, the second time around, to create, or alienate any honest fan base. So, how will Burgess Jenkins fare now that he's set to portray 'Billy Abbott' on 'The Young and the Restless'?

Soap fans, like all other segments of society, fall into different categories. Among the loyalists include viewers who fully recognize that a television show isn't real life. They recognize and appreciate the talents of their on-screen interests, but move on with their lives after each weekday's episode has aired. There are other personality types who feel they must champion various favored stars for whatever personal reasons. Then, there is a mixed group of devotees who appear to fall somewhere between the twilight of both aforementioned worlds.

YR's 'Delia Dies' storyline was riveting. But, it veered in a totally unexpected direction when not one, but two principal participants were erased approximately three months after 'Billy's' beloved daughter chased her dog through a poorly lit street and was taken from this world.

Longtime fans, of all persuasions, seemed to agree that Miller and Michael Muhney masterfully created mountains of scenes that hadn't been seen on this number 1 CBS' steamer in quite awhile. Each actor was clearly working through the finer, if not finest, extended moments of his daytime career. Under normal circumstances both actors should have parlayed their sharply scripted performances well into Genoa City's future.

Everyone knows that Miller and Muhney were jointly written off the show in late-January. Muhney's replacement has been teased, but not fully revealed, since that winter's day. Miller's near-instant replacement was 'Billy-1', also known as David Tom.

The creator of this digital space thought Miller was a solid actor, but was okay with Tom reclaiming his old role. With whatever overly-critical suds connoisseurs may think, that change made sense and Tom has been fine in his rebooted role. But, confirmed late-May word oddly announced that Tom will soon be seen no more.

Jenkins has been recruited for a role that is wrought with unreasonable expectations. How can he create chemistry with a fan base that is being asked to accept three different actors in the same key role within less than six months?

More than a few fans feel passionately about these fictional characters. And yes, more than a few fans go too far in reacting to business decisions that they honestly know nothing about. However, all fans deserve viewer respect. Every single one.

Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps surely seems to be upsetting an inordinate number of apple carts. Maybe the most passionate YR fans weren't overreacting when she was first hired in 2012? Those ardent soap opera supporters, whose numbers directly translate into millions of advertising dollars, appear to have been right all along. Seasoned experience allowed those individuals to predict that trouble was on the way and those accurate opinions are now indisputable facts.