Earlier today news broke that Steve Burton has signed with the Young and the Restless and will play Victor’s “partner,” according to a tweet by Nancy Lee Grahn.
It has been a little over 2 months since we last saw Steve grace our screens and, when it was announced in late August the popular actor planned to leave, fans were reeling. Initially the actor stated he wanted to move from Los Angeles to Nashville to raise his young family in a rural setting vs. big city.
Upon learning Steve is making the jump to the long-running CBS daytime drama, fans took to twitter in a frenzy, with some feeling it to be a betrayal. Others blame the new regime at General Hospital, Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Head Writer Ron Carlivati for Steve’s decision to leave after 21 years on GH. I completely disagree with that statement.
As some fans know from Steve’s events, he was very vocal about his disdain for the direction of his character over the past several years. In the last couple of years the previous regime continued to desecrate not only Steve’s character, but also Maurice Benard’s, and fans were screaming to bring back the real Jason Morgan/Sonny Corinthos. While the Franco storyline was intriguing at the beginning, by September 2011 it had taken a dark turn when Sam was sexually assaulted as a helpless Jason watched…on their honeymoon! Next up- who’s child is Sam carrying? Franco’s or Jason’s? DNA switches, Jason’s refusal to accept the baby…seriously? Of course who could forget the tragic storyline of Jake’s death? It was taxing on the entire cast and fans were in an uproar over that storyline.
Then, if some recall, this time last year they planned to make Jason the hooker stalker/killer, happening during “blackouts” due to his brain injury. I’ve learned that behind the scenes Steve was very upset by this. During a fan event he stated he didn’t even recognize his character any more. One of the things Cartini did immediately was drop that storyline, as well as clean up several others in preparation of resetting the show.
On the social media circuit this evening, fan wars again flared up between Jasam (Jason and Sam) and Liason groups (Liz and Jason), which I was dismayed to see. Most are touting the integration of 3 contract One Life To Live characters added to the GH roster as the reason for Steve’s decision. I disagree with this as well. Cartini has successfully brought back GH veterans with main storylines focusing on the show’s 50 year history. Our favorite villains have returned, effectively bringing past storylines fan’s loved to the forefront. I could understand fans feeling like the integrated characters were taking over if the storylines were all about OLTL, but they’re not! Nor have they been! Frank and Ron have turned a show around that was truly on the brink of cancellation, in less than a year, and instead of enjoying what we are seeing fans continue to find fault.
Obviously, when it was announced Jill Farren Phelps was taking over as Executive Producer for the Young and the Restless I was surprised. Fans were in an uproar when they heard Cristal Kahlil had been fired and rallied to get her rehired…which they did! Another upset was seeing veterans Genie Francis and Stephen Nichols unceremoniously fired, as well as key staff, which some say was in preparation to bring in Steve Burton. While this could be true, please remember…THIS IS A BUSINESS!!! Everyone that is associated with soaps behind the scenes knows this. Things happen and we have to roll with the punches. Soaps are very different in that they continually revamp over the years, as people come and go, the industry changes. Personally I think it’s a smart move by CBS and Sony Pictures since ratings for the Young and the Restless have plummeted. They know Steve has a HUGE fan base and they want to capitalize on that.
Ultimately I feel it was time for Steve to make a change and, as his fan, I am very happy for him. All of us on RHeart wish him the best of luck in the New Year and we look forward to seeing him on our screens again. Though we miss him on GH, he will never be forgotten! We love you Steve…
♥If you missed our Steve Burton tribute, check it out. He did tweet out he listened and enjoyed it!