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'The Young and the Restless': Fan protests may enable Michael Muhney's return

It's possible that the one and only 'Adam Newman' will return.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Sometimes hope becomes reality. Yes, ongoing fan protests are capable of forcing decision-makers at 'The Young and the Restless' to rehire Michael Muhney. It's possible that the one and only 'Adam Newman' will return, but more work needs to be done.

Soap opera fans, who easily rank among the most valuable viewers in televisionland, have power. The advent of social media enables far easier (and free) access to Hollywood, as compared to old-school letter-writing campaigns. And with that, ongoing organized efforts can succeed.

TV ratings allow networks to set advertising rates. Just as the 'Delia Dies' storyline triggered a million-plus viewer increase in Genoa City's daily scenes last fall and early-winter, so too did the joint exits of Muhney and Billy Miller cut Nielsen's customer mark after January 30, 2014.

There's no question that a singularly great actor is capable of carrying a soap opera through an extended period of superiority. Of course every show's writers matter, as this humble author surely attests. But, any scripts, even strong ones, are only sold to an audience through the talents of those who are allowed to interpret each word.

Anyone who witnessed Muhney assume the role of 'Adam' in 2009, or who watched him rocket through his initial run (hopeful sentence insertion purposely added), knows that few thespians have ever created as many must-see daytime moments as he definitively did. Muhney offered YR fans passioned, purposeful, poetic scenes that created an epidemic of digitally addicted viewers.

Despite all speculation, or reasoned opinions that have been presented by anyone thus far, Muhney's return remains possible. And, remember that hope is more likely to force renewed reality when accompanied by relentless persistence.

To all who were left on the cliff that late-January day, there is only one message: Remain connected with like-minded friends, keep singing those 140 character-max songs, continue creating impassioned videos, pin those pictures and exercise your right to write below every story about this topic. Digital democracies give viewers power, which must be exercised with purposeful responsibility.

In the old world a few people would determine how this real-life storyline plays out. Instant access to power doesn't guarantee a desired result in the modern world. But, at least people can express their collective voices in collaborative ways that weren't previously possible.

Unless there is a provable legal reason why Muhney simply can't return, which the public obviously wouldn't have been informed about, then YR should find a way to reinstate him. In lieu of that result, hardcore viewers seem likely to continue tuning out and never looking back.

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