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'The Young and the Restless': Michael Muhney disappears as David Tom arrives

How will this soap's fans respond to change?
How will this soap's fans respond to change?
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Michael Muhney's run as 'Adam Newman' on CBS' 'The Young and the Restless' from 2009-2014 became famous. David Tom's portrayal of 'Billy Abbot' from 1999 through 2002 wasn't nearly as lauded.

However, Tom is a strong actor whose skill set might catch viewers off-guard during a reprise that began this week. He's also set to turn 36 on March 23, which makes him surprisingly older than the now-departed Billy Miller (September 17, 1979).

Some believe that the 'Delia Dies' storyline could earn Miller, who voluntarily left his namesake's role last week, a third (2010, 2013) daytime Emmy award. The most recent 'Billy' opted to leave 'YR' because of his desire to moonlight full-time. That choice is one that various actors understandably make throughout their careers.

A partial reference to ABC's beloved mid- to late-1980's detective dramedy 'Moonlighting' appears apt, at least to this fourth-wall breaking scribbler, because Bruce Willis 'David Addison' and Cybill Shepherd 'Maddie Hayes' made a variety of off-screen choices that surely impacted that nighttime show's colorful history.

Willis was on his way to becoming a major movie star toward the end of that series five-season run, whereas Shepherd's day on the big screen had mostly passed. On a more meaningful personal note, that sharp actor had just given birth to twins. So, she was ready for the series to end by the time 1989 arrived.

While Willis' and Shepherd's roles couldn't be re-cast, the same isn't true of Miller's spot. Of course, longtime soap fans also recall that Tom was 'John and Jill Abbot's' son more than a decade ago. That history will help him blend into Genoa City far more easily than a new actor would.

Muhney has dominated this digital dimension for the past few months, which is why his name led this piece. Now that 'Adam Newman' will be moonlighting somewhere for an undetermined period of time and 'Billy' managed to escape that black SUV's second accident scene, an age-old soap opera question has been resurrected: How will this show's fans respond to change?

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