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'The Young and the Restless': Michael Muhney's hands-on fan approach works

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A compelling parallel storyline developed after Michael Muhney was dropped by 'The Young and the Restless' last December. Viewer speculation about what might happen to the 'Adam Newman' role was instantly eclipsed by concern for the severed star. That's clearly when Muhney's connection to his fans moved to a deeper level.

Social media is unquestionably everyone's addiction. Savvy celebrities fully understand the symbiotic relationship that they must create, maintain and sustain in today's world. Bypassing traditional media outlets, an actor, athlete or politician can directly connect with anyone who has access to a wireless, or old-school wired connection.

Network television is yesterday's story. But, the 'Big 3' (CBS, ABC and NBC), also with a handful of other traditional media conglomerates, are still drawing large audiences when they beam images, audio and information to varied platforms. Despite descending numbers, YR consistently turns four million-plus sets of weekday eyeballs into plenty of advertising and related revenue.

Muhney smartly didn't retreat from the public eye. Instead, he's shown multiple glimpses of his personal life, mostly through Twitter tweets and related behind-his-real-scenes photographs. In so doing, he defended and maintained his own brand. The fans clearly want to follow him, not just his 'Adam' persona.

On a number of occasions YR has shown a male, who is playing the role of 'Adam', without revealing his face. The 'hands shots' of this beleaguered character are classic soap opera noir, with heavy dashes of cheese added to be sure.

Muhney, whose social media pronouncements are often laced with tongue-in-cheek comments, recently posted a picture of his own hands on his child's stroller as he was preparing to enter the Los Angeles Zoo. Was that a clue, or just a wink to what some people think they knew? Those who appreciate Muhney's fan-focused attitude understand his light-hearted back-and-forth volleys, with whatever their intended meaning.

Of course, current and understandably self-proclaimed 'former' YR viewers would welcome Muhney back to their show if all can be (or already is) somehow smoothed over. Well over a million more Genoa City viewers per day (at least) wouldn't tune back in because an accident (double-meaning heavily intended) had been resolved. No, Muhney's reinstated regular presence would be the only reason why they came back to his show.

Can 'Adam' come back? Sure, anything is possible in Hollywoodland. Will that character be played by Muhney again this summer, or maybe as late as the fall? That's a matter of pure speculation.

With whatever the eventual resolution to YR's dilemma, it seems likely that Muhney will survive and more to the point, thrive, whenever and wherever his paused career continues. That's because he completely understands that controversial publicity can pass with time, but a cultivated fan base will create opportunities to make his resumed career shine.

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