The Time Eric Braeden And Melody Thomas Scott Were Nearly Fired From The Young And The Restless

It might be hard to imagine "The Young and the Restless" without Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) and Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), as they've played such instrumental roles in many different storylines over the years. Scott made her debut on the show in 1979, while Braeden joined a year later in 1980. The pair have seen plenty of highlights over the years, including the expansion of their Newman family empire. But only some moments have been memorable in a positive way, as they've been involved in plenty of shady plot twists over the years. For example, Victor has been accused of blackmail, attacking Jack Abbott and his family, and using Chloe Mitchell to frame his own son, Adam Newman, among plenty of other schemes (via Soaps). Meanwhile, Nikki has had many controversies over the years, too. In 2019, she confessed to killing Victoria Newman's wayward ex, JT Hellstrom, according to Soap Dirt, and she's also had a long list of flings and affairs with various men.

And while both Victor and Nikki have done many eyebrow-raising things over the past few decades, life would certainly look different in Genoa City without them. However, Braeden says that he and Scott almost got fired for reasons that he can't even explain.

Victor and Nikki Newman almost got the boot

In March 2022, actor Eric Braeden admitted in an interview with Soap Opera Digest that the powers to be at "The Young and the Restless" were thinking about doing a cast reshuffle behind the scenes. When he was asked about bringing back his "old Victor" persona — the formidable patriarch — Braeden said, "The last regime introduced things that no one gave a damn about, okay? Let's call a spade a spade. No one gave a damn about some of those storylines, no one, because they were not part of the history of that show! I hate to say it, but obviously, the Newman empire is one of the main cornerstones of the show. What the last regime really wanted, to be frank with you, was to get rid of me and get rid of Melody."

Braeden's words certainly sent shockwaves in the daytime television world, even though he didn't name who this regime was that he was referring to. There was some speculation that he might have been talking about former head writer and executive producer Mal Young, who left the show in 2018, although that was never confirmed. Soap Hub pointed out that under Young's reign, ratings for "Y&R" dropped almost 5%. 

And while Victor Newman certainly still is alive and well in Genoa City, some rumors continue to plague Braeden's future on the show.

Eric Braeden fights back against exit rumors

"The Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden has made it pretty clear that if he ever left the show, he would be the first person to announce it to his fans. The rumors of his exit began after fans noticed that Victor hadn't been seen on the canvas for a while (via NewsBreak). It turned out that Braeden was simply spending some time off with his family.

After there was some speculation that suggested he was leaving the soap, Braeden took to Twitter to set the record straight. He wrote, "Please, don't fall for someone's rumor that I have been written off! If that were the case, I'D TELL YOU MYSELF, TRUST ME!!" Many of the actor's fans replied to his comment. One said, "There's no chance you would walk away from "Y&R," but I know nothing lasts forever. Just stay as long as you feel it's right for you." Another wrote, "Until you confirm, I'd never believe it anyway." One more fan commented, "The Young and the Restless without Victor Newman/Eric Braeden would be like Dallas [without] JR Ewing, The Jeffersons [without] George, Breaking Bad [without] Walter White. I can't imagine."

In other words, it doesn't sound like Eric Braeden is going anywhere anytime soon. We'll take his word for it.