There are big changes coming to The Young and the Restless. The top-rated CBS soap has cast Emmy-winning actress Cady McClain (ex-Dixie Martin, All My Children; ex-Rosanna Cabot, As the World Turns) as its new Kelly
"BREAKING NEWS! @CadyMcClain replaces @watroswatros as Kelly on #YR," TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan wrote on Twitter.
"Wow! I'm truly excited," McClain shared on Twitter.
As first reported by soapcentral.com earlier this month, Cynthia Watros became unavailable for the recurring role when she landed a role in the new MTV drama series Finding Carter. Shortly after Watros booked her new gig, Y&R issued a casting call for the role of "Molly," which sounded an awful lot like Kelly.
The role was described in the casting notice as "a blonde in the mid-30s to 40 age range [who] has been down a difficult path in life, but is beginning to live again."
"I LOVED being on Y and R. A big hug to the cast and crew! You guys rock," Watros told fans on Twitter after news of McClain's hiring was announced. "My fans and my not fans. I love you. I hope I didn't let you down."
"We're all sad to see @watroswatros leave #YR for her new series on the East Coast," Angelica McDaniel, the head of CBS Daytime, shared on Twitter. "Please [...] welcome @CadyMcClain to Genoa City as Kelly!"
McClain is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner who began her daytime career in 1988 as All My Children's Dixie Cooney. McClain remained with the show off and on through its network finale in September 2011. McClain then reprised her role in the Internet relaunch last year. In between AMC stints, McClain also appeared as Rosanna on As the World Turns. McClain first appeared on ATWT in April 2002. After a series of ins and outs, McClain returned to the show for its series finale in September 2010.
Since All My Children wrapped production last year, McClain has gone on to direct two films. Her first project, Flip Fantasia, is an official selection of the Macon Film Festival. McClain will release her memoir, Murdering My Youth, in March.
To hear Cady McClain talk about her time in daytime (along with a special surprise from a former costar), her writing, and her new career behind the camera, please listen to Episode 216 of Soap Central Live. It is available as a free download from our web site or from the iTunes store. You can also stream the show for free on-demand from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
A show rep revealed that Watros will tape her final scenes on March 14, and those scenes will air April 16. McClain, meanwhile, reports for work March 26 and hits the screen on April 16.
McClain's first airdate was originally scheduled for April 24, but the date has been moved up.
What do you think of Cady McClain's addition to The Young and the Restless? Would you like to see Kelly featured more prominently now? Tell us in the Comments section below or share your thoughts via Feedback by clicking here.