If All My Children does indeed move on to the internet as planned, it'll happen without Jacob Young. The Emmy-winning actor has struck a deal to rejoin CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful as fashion-industry scion Rick Forrester, a role he played from 1997 to '99. And get this: Young will hit the air September 26 — the Monday right after AMC ends its run on ABC! TV Guide Magazine got the exclusive scoop from this in-demand star.
TV Guide Magazine: Man, you don't waste time. Congrats!
Young: Thanks! When I started talking to B&B I didn't think it would happen so fast. But I guess it's good that way. I was looking forward to wrapping up AMC and having a bit of a hiatus, maybe a month or two to travel with my family. As it turns out, I'll probably have my AMC and B&B schedules overlapping and be shooting both shows at the same time. I'm like, "You guys figure it out and point me in the right direction."
TV Guide Magazine: Actors should have such problems!
Young: I know, right? I'm just so grateful for this opportunity. I have great memories of B&B.
TV Guide Magazine: You've been kicking big-time ass on AMC with JR's return to the bottle. I don't know why, but we love seeing your character suffer.
Young: So do I! He's the kind of guy who builds himself up and then falls down again... and again. He's much more interesting when he's suffering. I'm real happy with how the character's going down.
TV Guide Magazine: It would be so wrong to give him a happy ending when the show goes off the air.
Young: They've got me working right to the end with some really heavy stuff. JR's trying to get sober but he's going to spiral right out of it and go off the deep end again. Too many things are stacked against him. He's trying to get his son back, he's losing the company, the house is foreclosing on him. You're right, a happy ending would be wrong. And it'll be good to have some cliffhangers just in case this thing can get picked up.
TV Guide Magazine: Were you open to doing this internet version if the B&B offer hadn't come along?
Young: I sat in on the meeting with Prospect Park and was listening, that's for sure. I applaud their ambition. I think [the move to the internet] has a chance but my biggest fear is all that time in between.
TV Guide Magazine: It's a legit concern since it now appears the reboot won't be ready until January at the earliest. Millions of viewers failed to return to their soaps after all those preemptions for the O.J. Simpson trial.
Young: It will take a lot of advertising to bring awareness that the show has moved to the internet and to keep interest going during that gap. Also, this idea of the show moving to a Hulu-type [platform] is confusing to a lot of people. I took a little poll of my mother-in-law's friends — all of them watch AMC — and almost none know what Hulu is or how that sort of thing works. But these Prospect Park people are very credentialed and they told us they'd been developing a Monday-to-Friday serial of their own when AMC and One Life to Live were cancelled. Their take was, "This is exactly the format we're looking for. It has a built-in audience. Why don't we buy the rights, buy the sets, lease the building and see how it goes?" Hey, it's the future. Even if they lose money on this, it's the pioneer effort that will pave the way for everybody else.
TV Guide Magazine: First Debbi Morgan. Now you. How'd they take the news down at AMC that you're not continuing?
Young: [Laughs] The other day [AMC creator] Agnes Nixon was doing an appearance on our show and [exec producer] Julie Carruthers said, "Agnes is looking for you. She wants to say hello. She says she also wants to give you a spanking!" But Agnes, in addition to being a genius, is a lovely lady. She understood. When I found her she was getting her makeup done. I said, "Agnes, how are you?" She said, "Well, I'd be a lot better if you [weren't leaving]. Nah, it's okay. I just had to put that dig in there! You've been so great on the show and we've been lucky to have you." I think everybody understands. To let opportunity pass by during this time of uncertainty is just kind of silly. I couldn't wait around. I spoke to some of my cast members and advised them all to get out there in the business and see what's crackin'. Anybody with common sense would do that. I've talked to a lot of the AMC production staff and they're saying that if these deals with Prospect Park aren't put in place by September so that the production and the writing can get back up and rolling, it's going to be very difficult logistically. That January launch date would be very optimistic, to say the least.
TV Guide Magazine: There are still so many questions. What will people be paid? How restrictive will the contracts be? What about benefits and insurance? There's still a union deal to be struck.
Young: It was weird. At our actors meeting with the union, our union rep said, "So tell me what you want us to be fighting for?" And I was, like, "What the hell do you think you should be fighting for? Isn't that what unions are created for? You're asking us?" I've been paying for a pension since I was 18 and I'm not going to let that go. I had to strike while the iron's hot.
TV Guide Magazine: You went from B&B to General Hospital to AMC with barely a break in between. Did you ever think about not doing soaps for a while and see what's out there for you in primetime?
Young: I've been auditioning a bit lately — I went in for Pan Am and stuff like that — but I'm finding I'm in that weird age range. I'm slightly too young to play these leading roles in primetime and too old for playing the young guy. I'm between a rock and a hard place. But I know this daytime medium really well and I love it. I love the over-the-topness of it. I love working every day. It brings me a lot of joy. Cady McLain [Dixie] and I were talking the other day and I said, "I'd stay in this medium as long as it will have me, until I can't work anymore." It's brought so much to my life and that's the bottom line. To have a steady job and to work as many years as I have is an amazing thing. The whole world's unpredictable now, not just show biz. My uncle just lost his job after 30-some years. Laid off. Done. It's going on everywhere. Do you ever think about that ultimate question: If I was to die tomorrow, would I be happy with what I've achieved? Well, I gotta say yes! Sure there have been ups and downs but I've had a lot of success in my life and a great deal of it has to do with the daytime soaps. I don't regret a moment of it. And since I became a father, my priorities have definitely changed. It's all about family and security now, and in an industry that's so topsy-turvy you grab what you can get.
TV Guide Magazine: How did this B&B deal come to pass?
Young: Brad Bell approached my management and asked if I'd be interested in returning because he wanted to see the character really come to fruition. He assured me that Rick will return with some very heavy involvement. It was always at the back of my mind that I'd love to return to this role. It was my first part on television and the fact that Rick's still around is almost too good to be true. To go back and make the role my own again is a real thrill for me. I'm eager to work with Katherine Kelly Lang [Rick's mother Brooke] again. We had such a great rapport when I was younger. When they suddenly aged Rick and gave me the part she was, like, "I'm too young to have a kid this old!" That was when I was 18 and now I'm almost 32. [Laughs] I can't wait to go back and bust her!
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