Due to the show's production schedule, it will take The Young and the Restless a couple of months to be able to properly address the death of Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) in storyline. In a newly published interview, Y&R's executive producer, Jill Farren Phelps, explains what the show's plans are for Katherine, and dispels a rumor that made its rounds on the Internet.
Phelps tells TV Guide's Michael Logan that The Young and the Restless has already written scripts through July, so the top-rated CBS soap will not be able to explain Katherine's absence until somewhere after that time. In the interim, Katherine will be said to be out of town on a trip with her husband, Murphy.
"We decided, for the sake of the audience and the characters, that it was important to have closure with Kay," Phelps tells TV Guide. "And, contrary to rumors, we never gave a thought to recasting the role -- not for a minute! Y&R was forced to do it when Jeanne was out ill for a bit a couple of years ago, when she was replaced by Michael Learned. But that was a temporary situation. You cannot replace the irreplaceable. The greatest way to honor Jeanne is to make Kay's exit as dramatic and meaningful as possible."
The Young and the Restless will, however, pay tribute to Cooper in a special stand-alone episode set to air on May 28. The special episode will feature Y&R cast members, family, and friends sharing their favorite memories. The show will also include past interviews and classic clips of the Emmy-winning actress. For more on that episode, please click here.
For more on the death of Jeanne Cooper, please read our extended coverage, including reaction from the world of daytime.