As previously hinted by soapcentral.com, The Young and the Restless has been quietly working behind the scenes for some time to recast the role of Billy Abbott. Now, the show, which has had an unusually difficult time casting the part in recent years, has managed to place a former All My Children villain in the role.
Billy J. Miller (ex-Richie Novak, All My Children) will take over the role of William "Billy" Abbott next month. Though a newcomer to the soap world at the time, Miller has taken ABC's All My Children by storm since his debut on the show in August 2007. Miller's Richie was troubled, to say the least, but fans were won over by, not just good looks and big blue eyes, but strong screen presence. Bad boy Richie was written into a corner and was ultimately killed off. The actor continues to appear as a ghostly vision, haunting the person who whacked him: his sister.
Several weeks ago, The Young and the Restless put out a casting call for a character named "Will." It was immediately assumed that the call was a covert way of looking for a new Billy Abbott. However, as most long-time soapcentral.com readers know, the names used in casting calls are often intentionally misleading. Still, the name in the casting call and the subsequent description of the actor desired for the role, seemed to be a clear giveaway to the show's intentions. Previously, the show used the name "Joey" as a smokescreen.
It is rumored that another former ABC hottie-with-a-naughty-twist was rumored up for the role of Billy. Recently dismissed Josh Duhon (Logan Hayes, General Hospital) was reportedly a front-runner for the part.
Since 2002, three different actors have appeared on Y&R as Billy Abbott. David Tom joined the show in 1999 and remained with there for three years. In 2000, Tom won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor. Upon Tom's defection to One Life to Live, The Young and the Restless placed Ryan Brown in the role. Brown lasted less than a year and Billy was quickly written off. In 2006, Scott Seymour attempted to win fans over, but his return lasted even less time -- just three months. The show's writers penned a gambling addiction storyline for Billy and he was sent out of town.
As part of the show's original casting call, "Will" was described as a young man who comes from money, but not necessarily someone that flaunts his wealth. It is unclear if an older Billy will now call himself Will.
A spokesperson for The Young and the Restless did not respond to requests for a statement at press time.