The exodus at The Young and the Restless continues. Emmy winner Debbi Morgan (Harmony) is the newest cast member to be let go from the number one daytime drama and she certainly won’t be the last.
All My Children alum tweeted last night, “To all my twitter fans. Wanted to [be] the first to tell you the new regime has let me go from Y&R. Will tape my last show on [October] 5 [and] I move on.” Morgan is the third actress to be let go this week, joining the recently fired Genie Francis (Genevieve) and Marcy Rylan (Abby)
Morgan’s high-profile casting was met with much fanfare…until it was revealed she would be portraying Devon’s estranged mother and recovering drug addict Yolanda “Harmony” Hamilton. Lukewarm storylines plagued Morgan’s run on the soap. From Devon’s paternity, falling for Neil and affair with Tucker; all failed to resonate with the audience in spite of fantastic work from Morgan and her co-stars. The casting of Morgan’s former AMC co-star Darnell Williams (ex-Jesse) as Sarge also failed to generate any traction.
The firings are a result of recent behind the scenes changes at Y&R. New head writer Josh Griffith and executive producer Jill Farren Phelps have been assigned the difficult task of reducing Y&R’s bloated cast and revamping the long-running soap. In an interview with TV Guide’s Michael Logan last month, Phelps revealed what CBS and Sony expects from her. “The mandate is to make Y&R financially feasible so it can continue on. And also to bring the show into 2012. We will give it a more contemporary feel; shake up the way it looks and sounds just a bit, though nothing that will have the audience feeling uncomfortable.”
Though Phelps denied rumors of plans to cut characters brought in under Maria Bell because of their association with Bell, it can’t go unnoted that the three characters let go so far were all created and/or re-imagined during Bell’s reign.
The cast is currently filming new scripts from Griffith and Phelps, with their first episodes to begin airing October 12.