What’s old is new again on CBS Daytime. Emmy winner Billy Miller (Billy) has opted to leave The Young and the Restless after five years. David Tom, who originated the role of teenage and later adult Billy Abbott, will return to reclaim the role he vacated 11 years ago.
TV Guide’s Michael Logan broke the news on Twitter Monday evening. “WOW! Massive @CBSDaytime NEWS! #BillyMiller OUT at @YandR_CBS and guess who’s the NEW Billy Abbott??? DAVID TOM is BACK! Deets 2Morrow AM!”
Last week, Daytime Confidential was the first to report that the casting calls breakdowns for “Andrew Abbott” and “Josh Williams” were actually meant to screen actors for potential Billy Abbott recast. Soap Opera Digest reported contract negotiations between Miller and Sony/Y&R broke down over a month ago. What was thought to be a negotiating ploy was apparently the real deal.
Normally, losing such a popular actor would be a huge blow to a show, especially one playing an even more popular character and one who is one-half of a popular “supercouple. In this case, a return to old might be just what was needed.
David Tom, the younger brother of ex-Victoria and current Bold and the Beautiful star Heather Tom, joined Y&R in 1999 as the newly aged teenage son of John Abbott and Jill Foster Abbott. As Billy, the actor anchored one of the show’s most popular and remembered younger sets – an era that included Lauren Woodland (Brittany), Thad Luckinbill (J.T.), Ashley Bashioum (Mac) and David Lago (Raul).
Tom received two Daytime Emmy nominations for “Outstanding Younger Actor” in 2000 and 2001 for his work. He took home his first and only win in 2001. After departing The Young and the Restless in 2002, Tom would resurface on ABC’s One Life to Live in 2004.
He reunited with sister Heather Tom (who joined OLTL as Kelly Cramer in 2003), playing Kelly’s long-lost brother, Paul Cramer. David played an integral part of OLTL’s big crossover storyline with All My Children. Paul staged a crash and switched the babies of AMC’s Babe and Bianca, taking Babe’s son and giving to his sister; while stealing Bianca’s daughter and giving her to Babe. Tom was written out later that year and Paul was murdered.
“I respect Billy Miller’s decision to move on and wish him great success in his future endeavors,” tweeted CBS Daytime president Angelica McDaniel. “Please join me in welcoming Daytime Emmy winner David Tom back to #YR and @CBSDaytime as Billy Abbott’s exciting storyline continues.”
Miller received critical acclaim for his portrayal of the Abbott family’s black sheep, nabbing three Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor (2010, 2011, 2013); taking home the statuette on two occasions, in 2010 and 2013.