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'The Young and the Restless': Michael Muhney receives lasting birthday gift

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The overriding storyline to emerge from Michael Muhney's sudden termination last December didn't involve the 'Adam Newman' character. And so, as Muhney's thirty-ninth birthday came to pass, it remained obvious that fans of this actor were more devoted to him, than they were to CBS' iconic show.

'The Young and the Restless' continues to face a firestorm of criticism from fans across the digital spectrum regarding the real-life story that involves a beloved star. The strident number of devotees who turned away from YR since Muhney's late-January departure is bad news for CBS and for the soap opera genre in general.

After rising toward the six million daily viewer line nearly five months ago, YR has since lost approximately 1.5 million sets of eyeballs. There's no question that Muhney's forced exit, along with the loss of the also-respected actor Billy Miller, helped to drive ratings down.

When the out-of-work actor's June 12 birth date arrived, fan-passion for his plight had hardly subsided. Eternal flames continued to scorch throughout the now-powerful social media scene, as clamors for Muhney's rehire, or inclusion on another show, persisted. Owing, in-part, to his iconic portrayal of a key Genoa City character, a sizable chunk of YR's fan base are actually more interested in Muhney's personal future, than they are in his former character's fictional travails.

Hope that Muhney could reprise his ballyhooed role isn't irrational, as sudsers often make peace with exiled employees. Reinstating the last person to play 'Adam' wouldn't instantly solve YR's problems. But, any publicity bump also wouldn't be short-lived if, in fact, he's able to return.

In today's modern age, where the internet has enabled everyone to forge their own brash brand, Muhney's career, like his on-screen persona, hasn't been killed off. Instead, awareness of broad fan support seemingly ensures that this actor will remain center stage. That's a meaningful birthday gift he's surely grateful to receive.

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