Over the past year, the twists and turns haven’t all been on-screen on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL, DAYS OF OUR LIVES, and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS, as unexpected comings and goings dominated the news throughout 2018. From surprising recasts to heartbreaking exits, these are the casting stories that kept viewers glued to their screens waiting to see what would come next.
Which casting news story left you stunned? Was it Eileen Davidson’s (Ashley) decision to leave Y&R? Maybe DAYS writing out Stephen Nichols’ legendary Patch? Or perhaps Jacob Young (Rick) deciding not to renew his contract with B&B?
Take a look through the gallery below to review some of 2018’s biggest casting stories and let us know which one surprised you the most!
For more B&B, Y&R, and DAYS casting news, keep reading the CBS edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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Eileen Davidson Called it Quits
After playing Y&R's Ashley Abbott on and off since 1982, Eileen Davidson decided to step down from the daily grind to spend more time with her family. Since she had also been playing Kristen DiMera on DAYS on the side a little bit, as well as appearing on REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS for a few seasons, so it's completely understandable that she'd need a little time off! But fans are still hoping Ashley will make a grand return to Genoa City some day in the future...
Stephen Nichols Patch
Salem's Mass Exodus
In 2018, there were quite a few exits from DAYS, like Kyler Pettis' Theo, Christopher Sean's Paul, and even Bryan Dattilo's Lucas. But none stunned fans of the soap quite as much as when Stephen Nichols' Steve was written out. Kayla has spoken to her husband on the phone a few times, and the legendary Patch has been mentioned, but he's still very much missed in Salem and viewers still hold out hope for his eventual return.
Bb Rick Maya Sad
B&B's Jacob Young Didn't Renew His Contract
Rick hadn't been seen as much on B&B at the beginning of 2018, and in April, Jacob Young explained why — He had chosen not to renew his contract with the soap so that he could pursue other opportunities. And he did just that, releasing new music, starring in some TV movies, and launching an online talk show! Unfortunately, although Young is technically on recurring status with B&B, there don't seem to be any plans to bring Rick back anytime soon.
Yr Devon Hilary Dying
Y&R's Hilary Died!
Y&R fans were upset when Mishael Morgan confirmed the rumors that she was leaving, but that was nothing compared to the heartbreak they felt as the soap penned an emotional farewell to her character. Just as Hilary was pregnant with the baby she'd always wanted and she was reunited with true love Devon, a tragic car accident left her on the verge of death. When she finally passed away shortly after becoming Mrs. Devon Hamilton once more, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Days Maggie Rex Sarah
Kyle Lowder Returned to DAYS... in a New Role!
DAYS fans were left slightly confused when Kyle Lowder announced he was returning to the NBC sudser, since the role he'd previously played, Brady Black, was now being played by Eric Martsolf, and he wasn't going anywhere. But when he finally showed up on the show, it turned out Lowder was actually playing yet another recast, this time taking over the role of Rex Brady, previous played by Eric Winter!
Yr Rosales Family
The Rosales Family Moved Into Genoa City
First, Arturo showed up as Nikki's boy toy and later Abby's boyfriend, then his brother, Rey, arrived to work with the Genoa City PD on J.T. Hellstrom's disappearance, followed by their baby sister, Lola, who quickly found herself smitten with Kyle Abbot. Add to that Rey's estranged wife, Mia, and there was a whole new family jockying for screen time on Y&R.
Yr Bauer Lynde Bennett
Old Friends Returned to Y&R
For its 45th anniversary celebration, Y&R brought back some familar faces for a real blast from the past. In addition to Lauren Woodland's Brittany and David Lago's Raul, there was a trio of really classic returns: Jaime Lynn Bauer as Lorie Brooks, Janice Lynde as Leslie Brooks, and Meg Bennett as Julia Newman! They didn't stick around long (although Woodland has continued to appear occasionally when Brittany's legal skills are required), but it was a great way to honor Y&R's history!
Bb Xander Zoe Emma
B&B Hired New Interns
First, Nia Sioux debuted as Forrester intern Emma Barber, then B&B added Adain Bradley as Xander Avant and Kiara Barnes as Zoe Buckingham, pushing the three newbies front and center as the two women fought over the guy and fans wondered why they were watching this love triangle instead of Steffy/Liam/Hope or Bill/Brooke/Ridge. Worse still, the whole thing fizzled out as Xander eventually picked Zoe and Emma didn't seem all that bothered by it!
Yr Chelsea Car
Y&R's Chelsea Took Off
When Melissa Claire Egan decided to leave Y&R, the soap had Chelsea return to her con-artist roots and steal a bunch of money to skip town with her kids. After having a change of heart, she left Christian with Nick, but kept Connor with her. The actress said at the time that it was only "goodbye for now," but fans are still waiting to see if she'll return to the show.
Bb Celeb Trio
Famous Faces Featured on B&B
B&B fans found themselves asking if that was really Robin Givens playing obstetrician Dr. Phillips (it was), and later recognized DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN's Joe Lando as Judge Craig McMullen. But there was definitely no mistaking Wayne Brady when he made his debut as Zoe's dad, Dr. Reese Buckingham at the end of November!
Yr Kyle Michael Mealor
Y&R's Kyle Came Home
The role of Kyle Abbott has been recast more than a few times, but when Michael Mealor took over the role in March of 2018, he made quite the impression. Although initially, that impression was bad as Kyle started off pretty unlikeable, over time, the character softened and Mealor made the role his own as viewers saw new depths to the guy and began rooting for his romance with Lola.
Bb Sally Wyatt
Sally Left B&B... and Then Returned
Courtney Hope surprised B&B fans when she revealed in March that she was leaving the soap, and Sally left town to live happily ever after with Thomas. But just a few months later, Hope announced her comeback, and the redhead brought Sally back to Los Angeles in style, quickly jumping into a new relationship with Wyatt and landing a new job at Forrester!