Three-time Emmy winner Rick Hearst jumps to Bold & the Beautiful
by Allison Waldman, posted May 13th 2009 8:02AM
You may think the soap world has thrown in the the towel because 72-year-old Guiding Light has been canceled, but think again. Daytime TV is buzzing along as usual, and that includes The Bold & the Beautiful snagging three-time Emmy winner Rick Hearst from General Hospital.
Hearst, who was facing the prospect of a demotion to recurring status (as opposed to a contract player), will return to B&B as Whip Jones, a character he introduced and played for a brief stint in 2002.
For GH fans, this is a blow because as Ric Lansing, Sonny's evil half-brother, Hearst was a superb villain. Smarmy, smart, diabolical and still sympathetic in a twisted, neurotic way, Hearst earned those three Emmys for making Ric a character you loved to hate. He'll be missed and it doesn't look like he'll be replaced in Port Charles any time soon.
On the other hand, Whip Jones was not a fascinating character the first time around on B&B. He was kind of a flop, actually, which is why he only last six months. Presumably, Executive Producer Brad Bell has an agenda for Whip that includes a much stronger story. He is one of Brooke's ex-husbands and has been working at Forrester International overseas. Stephanie hires Whip away from Forrester to Jackie M, where he'll head up the PR department. Hearst resumes the role on July 17.
Since B&B has also recently landed another big-time soap star for the show, Don Diamont from The Young & the Restless, you have to wonder if something is brewing on the CBS soap. I'm wondering if the 30-minute soap might be gearing up to jump to an hour time slot. Even as CBS is talking about a game show replacing GL, it would need two half-hour shows to compensate for the one-hour soap.
What about the possibility of B&B taking one of those half-hours, letting CBS launch just one game show, and the daytime soap schedule looking like this: The Young & the Restless, The Bold & the Beautiful and As the World Turns. That would be three solid hours from 12:30 - 3:30 in most markets.