‘The Young and the Restless’ Shocker: Michelle Stafford Returning as Phyllis; Gina Tognoni Exits

Photo Credits: (l) Michelle Stafford/ABC; (r) Gina Tognoni/CBS

A major casting shakeup is happening at CBS’ The Young and the Restless. Emmy winner Michelle Stafford (Nina, GH) is leaving ABC’s General Hospital and will return to Y&R to reprise the role of Phyllis Summers. Gina Tognoni, who’s played the role since 2014, was reportedly released from her contract.

Daytime Confidential was the first to report the news. According to reports, Stafford and ABC could not reach a new deal to keep her at General Hospital, which resulted in CBS swooping in to re-hire the fan favorite back.

Michelle Stafford originated the character in 1994, playing her until 1997. The role was recast with Sandra Nelson from 1997-1999. Stafford returned in 2000 until her exit in 2013. A year later she stunned fans when she made an unannounced debut on General Hospital as Nina Clay in May 2014.

That same month, Y&R announced the hiring of three-time Daytime Emmy winner Gina Tognoni (formerly of One Life to Live and Guiding Light). Tognoni would go on to win a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in 2017 for her work.

There’s no word at press time when Stafford is expected to hit the air, or how GH plans to address her exit.

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.