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'The Young and the Restless': Michael Muhney's brand grows

Muhney's fan interaction makes his story stronger.
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Everyone, not just famous actors, have become brands unto themselves these days. For those who work in the televised world, that evolution is quite appealing. Actors are no longer held fully at bay by whatever their employer might say. And so the ever-intriguing issues surrounding Michael Muhney's real-life story at 'The Young and the Restless' grows.

Muhney assumed the role of 'Adam Newman' in 2009. Longtime fans, or those who were following this young man's developing career for awhile, knew that he instantly displayed power-potential to eclipse his on-screen father 'Victor Newman' in more ways than one.

Considering public knowledge regarding past Peter Bergman-Eric Braeden conflicts, which were basically based in backstage gamesmanship, Genoa City observers felt that a paternal price might someday be paid. Muhney went on to exceed early expectations by a million miles, which made reports of conflict between he and Braeden, vice versa or both, no surprise.

It won't be unprecedented if Muhney returns as 'Adam', as a variety of deposed daytime dramatists have reprised their old roles throughout the history of this genre. However, the impact and interplay of social media on this particular tale makes this storyline different.

Muhney appears to have maintained, or even to have grown, his audience since word first broke last December that his contract was suddenly ending. This is no small feat.

Despite an apparent gag-order that prevents him from discussing anything specifically related to CBS' steamer, Muhney decided to take control of his 'brand' (reputation) by offering details and current photographs of his life, mostly through his Twitter account. That was a gutsy choice and also knowingly fed YR viewers naturally need to simply know how he was doing. In effect, he's been writing a post-'Adam' script, unless, of course, he returns to that role.

Fans often wonder how close an actor's fictional persona comes to matching their real personality. Like most thespians, Muhney surely includes part of himself in every role.

YR fans loved the character Muhney created because he ('Adam') was so erratically electric. Since the still-unexplained 'situation' that caused his termination played out, he has risen from a beleaguered actor's spot to an entirely new level. His fans are cheering and likely will follow him to whatever new role he'll accept on any show, daytime, or not.

His is a comeback story filled with remorse, relief, redemption, renewal, rebirth or whatever interpretation anyone wants to see within a very subjective space. Muhney appears to have shown that he's more than just a strong actor. Unless something unexpected is ever somehow proven, or acknowledged, this actor has confirmed that he's a survivor. And that is something his fans (and most other people) value more than pure entertainment.