Last month, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) informed fans that, after more than 30 years, her time on The Young and the Restless had come to an end. Fans immediately bombarded the CBS soap with letters and emails expressing their desire to have Scott rehired.
"I returned to work on [approximately] January 7th, continued working regularly 'til [April 28th], when I shot what turned out to be my last scene," Scott revealed on Twitter at the time. "Last Friday [June 3] was my last air show. That was shot 5 to 6 weeks earlier. Of course, no one bothered to tell me that."
The fallout from Scott's "firing" boiled over at the Daytime Emmys. Things heated up even more when Scott announced that CBS "had to reschedule" her upcoming appearance on the talk show, The Talk.
According to Y&R head writer/executive producer, Maria Bell, Scott hasn't been fired -- and she'll be back on-screen at some point in the future.
"Melody is phenomenal. We love Melody. She's one of the hearts and souls of Young and the Restless. Don’t be worried. She will be back," Bell said backstage at this year's Daytime Emmys, where she won her first Emmy for Outstanding Writing Team. "[Nikki] is in a storyline where she left town but she will be back."
If that weren't confusing enough, show sources have even more explanations for what's going on. Among the theories: Scott was on recurring status to begin with, Scott has continually refused to take a pay cut, and Scott had appeared in more episodes than her contract allowed.
A setside source tells Soap Central that Scott's contract "limits how many shows she can appear in."
"Melody is over her contract limit," the source added. "When the next cycle starts up, she'll be cleared to return to action."
In the past, soap opera contracts guaranteed performers that they'd appear in a certain number of episodes during each cycle of their contract. Performers were assured of making a certain amount of many based on that guarantee. If an actor were to be used more than what was guaranteed in their contract, they'd have to be paid extra. If a guarantee was not met, the performer would still be paid for those guaranteed episodes -- and often those performers were released from their contracts to avoid paying for services that were not rendered.
Since Scott's status was first brought into question, Scott has gone back to Twitter to reveal that she and show execs are engaged in contract talks. The show, however, does not comment on contracts or contract negotiations.
Scott joined The Young and the Restless in February 1979. Though it may surprise fans, the actress has received just one Daytime Emmy nomination -- an Outstanding Lead Actress nod in 1999.