Five years after taking CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful by storm, fan favorite Kim Matula (Hope) is exiting the show according to an official message on the show’s social media account.
The @BoldInsider account tweeted about Matula’s departure shortly after 5:30 PM/EST. “We wish #KimMatula the best as she moves on to other opportunities. We love Kim & she will always be a part of the #BoldandBeautiful family.”
— BoldInsider (@boldinsider) November 5, 2014
Kim Matula was cast as Brooke Logan (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Deacon Sharpe’s (Sean Kanan) daughter, Hope Logan, at the end of 2009. She made her debut in the January 11, 2010 episode. Texas native quickly amassed a strong fan base with her portrayal of a young ingénue coming into her own.
Hope’s romantic life has kept her at the center of storylines, as the triangle between Hope, Liam (Scott Clifton) and Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) took center stage. For years, Hope and Steffy went to battle over the young Spencer heir, and ultimately Hope won out. Like most things in soaps, their happiness didn’t last very long. In 2013, the summer of 2013, a new party was inserted into the storied Hope and Liam romance – Liam’s long-lost half-brother, Wyatt Fuller (Darin Brooks). Hope wed Wyatt over the summer and the couple is currently expecting their first child.
Will The Bold and the Beautiful recast? That’s a tough question. Hope is arguably the driving force for many of the show’s storylines, though there are other characters that could fill the void should the show decide to write her out.
There’s no information about a final airdate. We’ve reached out the show’s reps for further comment.
Our Take: Wow. A year ago I would have said Kim Matula’s departure would be a huge blow to the show, especially following the exit of Jacqueline MacInnes Wood. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a huge loss, but head writer/showrunner Brad Bell seems to have a foresight for this kind of thing coming. In recent months he’s shifted more focus to the rivalry between Caroline (Linsey Godfrey) and Maya (Karla Mosley), introduced new Forrester ingénue Ivy (Ashleigh Brewer), and still has veteran female leads in Katie (Heather Tom) and Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) to fall back on should the show need a reset.
The big question facing the show is whether or not they recast. As much as I love Matula, the Hope character is too important to leave off the canvas long term. Should they recast, I recommend going with a name actor. The show has found success with a string of high-profile castings over the last couple of years (Scott Clifton, Thorsten Kaye, Rena Sofer and Darin Brooks to name a few). Hopefully they’ll be able to tap into that again. Chrishell Stause (ex-Jordan, DAYS; ex-Amanda, AMC) would be an interesting choice, though I think she’d be better off as Steffy. Other names on my shortlist include Julie Marie Berman (ex-Lulu, GH), Natalie Hall (ex-Colby, AMC) and Emily Wilson (ex-Ellie, GH).
As for Kim Matula’s future, the world is hers for the taking. She’s beautiful, young and talented. Any network would be lucky enough to have her. One thing she has going for her over her contemporaries is international appeal. The Bold and the Beautiful is the world’s most popular soap opera, her casting would be a big win for a show hoping to get a footing overseas.
How do you feel about Kim Matula’s exit? Do you think the show should recast? Hit the comments below and share your thoughts.