How The Young and the Restless got Eric Braeden back
by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 7th 2009 4:04PM
Sometimes it's true that all's well that ends well. And sometimes to reach that happy ending, arms are twisted, feelings are hurt, and bad blood is spilled. In the case of The Young and the Restless and actor Eric Braeden, there was a good deal of acrimony on both sides. The fact that Braeden is back in the fold now and he will continue as Victor Newman for the foreseeable future, doesn't obscure the fact that it was a nasty situation.
Braeden had seen how Jess Walton and Melody Thomas Scott had been treated. He pulled a power play with Sony, the power behind Y&R, and chose to go public. When Braeden threatened to walk, they called his bluff. He left and went directly to the media. His very vocal protest was enough to rile the fans.
Y&R was not deaf to the din. The message boards and emailboxes of soap sites and fan sites were jammed with complaints. Fans were vowing to give up Y&R if Eric Braeden was not playing Victor Newman.
According to TV Guide's Michael Logan, Sony was ticked off that Braeden had blabbed to the press. He said awful things about the company and the powers that be resented it. In retaliation, Sony leaked to the media that big names were being sought to fill the Victor role, including Peter Strauss, Paul Michael Glaser and William Devane.
Two days later, Eric had re-signed with the show. Coincidence? Probably not. And just to make the cheese more binding -- what an expression! -- Sony gave Braeden a shot below the belt by revealing he had been forced to take a half-million dollar pay cut (from $1.5 to $1 million). That's no reason to have a telethon for the actor, but it was a blow to his ego.
Boy, and you thought the stuff in front of the camera was over-the-top!