As the World Turns seems to be pressing forward with the reintroduction of several characters not seen on the show in several years. While the show remains mum on the subject, recent casting calls all but confirm the news.
For fans unfamiliar with casting calls, the process is relatively straightforward - but that doesn't mean that there isn't a little bit of mystery in the process. When a show is looking to introduce a new role or find a new actor for a role, it will release a description of the role and character to various outlets. Agents can then review these descriptions and determine if any of their talent is suitable to audition for the role. When the show wants to keep the identity of one of its upcoming roles a secret, the casting call may use a fake name.
In this case, As the World Turns recently put out a casting call for a character being called "Nate." From the description and the audition scenes, many online speculators have determined that it seems a shoo-in that "Nate" is really code for Chris Hughes. The new audition scene has "Nate," appearing opposite Emily in Paris. Chris is a doctor and is one of Emily's former lovers.
When last spotted in Oakdale back in 2002, Chris was played by Bailey Chase. Chase has gone on to appear in primetime shows such as CSI and Ugly Betty. Chase was just one of seven performers to hold down the role of Chris in the past 20 years.
In other casting news, Chaunteé Schuler joins the cast as Bonnie McKechnie. The role of Bonnie was previously held by Napiera Danielle, who played Bonnie from 2001 to 2003 when Bonnie was sent off to jail. She reprised the role briefly in April 2004 when her character was released from prison. Bonnie then headed south for Miami where she presumably has been ever since.
Schuler is a newcomer to daytime television, but not to acting. Schuler appeared as Nala in the national touring company of Disney's The Lion King. Her work as Deena Jones in the Prince Music Theatre's production of Dreamgirls earned Schuler a Barrymore Award nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical. The Barrymores celebrate achievement in Philadelphia-area theatre. Schuler and fiancé Joshua Walker appeared as one of seven couples that made cut as finalists on NBC's “Today Throws a Wedding."
No word on when either of these characters will make their on-screen appearances. With things currently in the casting phase, it may be November before either hit the screen.