Despite his claims that he had "pulled the plug" on his future with The Young and the Restless, Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) and executives at Sony have reached a deal on a new contract. Though the terms were not made public, the new contract will keep the 30-year veteran in Genoa City.
"We're very happy that Eric will be remaining with The Young and the Restless," CBS said in a statement. "Victor Newman has been an important part of the Genoa City canvas for nearly 30 years, and we know our audience will be tuning in to see what his plans are next."
It may very well be audience reaction that prompted both sides to get back to the bargaining table. Since news of Braeden's impending exit hit the Internet, soapcentral.com has been inundated with email from irate fans threatening to stop watching The Young and the Restless on November 2, the day that was to have been Braeden's final airdate.
"All's well that ends well," Braeden told EW.com in an exclusive interview. "Both sides were reasonable. We were both satisfied with the outcome. This business is tough."
Tough times call for tough words. In his post-firing media circuit, Braeden was outspoken in his disdain for the way executives at Sony, the production company for The Young and the Restless, handled negotiations.
"I have shown flexibility, they have shown none. It is over. I pulled the plug. That's it. No more. If I show good will, I expect it to be reciprocated. If there is a rigid attitude on the other side, what is there to negotiate? That's a sign of utter disrespect," Braeden said in an interview. "I will not negotiate with people who remain aloof and arrogant about the whole thing. Not after 30 years, I won't do that. I'm saying this with a great amount of sadness because I've had nothing but respect for my fellow cast members, I have deep respect for the crew who has done an extraordinary job year in and year out, and I have enormous respect for [head writer] Maria Bell."
"We are thrilled to have Eric Braeden continue as the one and only Victor Newman," Bell said in a statement of her own. "We look forward to his timely return ... and we are delighted that Eric will continue his extraordinary work on The Young and the Restless."
Published reports claim that Braeden accepted a reduction of nearly $500,000 to his seven-figure salary in exchange for a three-year contract.
Meanwhile, Braeden, who joined The Young and the Restless in 1980, will last air on November 2 as originally scripted. Instead of an open-ended stay at a European rehabilitation center, expect Victor to return to Genoa City when the writers devise a way to pen the character back into the show.