Somebody call the Vatican, because there's a freakin' miracle happening on The Young and the Restless! On May 11, Beth Maitland will once again return to the soap as Traci Abbott — earth mama, moral compass, the very soul of Genoa City — and this time she'll be mixed up in the big Abby Newman (Marcy Rylan) drama. Though Maitland won Y&R's very first acting Emmy back in 1985, the beloved actress fell out of favor with some of the past producing teams and, for a while, was only showing up for weddings and funerals. Then she wasn't seen on the show for two full years. Thankfully, the current powers adore Maitland and keep finding cool ways to bring her back — no small thing in an era where so many of our great suds vets are considered as disposable as Handi Wipes. "When Beth shows up on our set, it tells me that the folks who run our show do indeed know the importance of heart and remember the value of family," notes Maitland's TV bro Peter Bergman (Jack). "People like Traci who look you in the eye and tell the honest truth are a rarer and rarer breed — in soaps and in life." TV Guide Magazine spoke with Maitland about her upcoming stint, her remarkable renaissance and — gasp! — her "double life" in Hollywood...
Laurence Lau by Steve Fenn/ABC
Lau of Attraction: Former All My Children idol Laurence Lau (who can forget Greg and Jenny?) joins As the World Turns Aug. 18 as Brian Wheatley, who'll run Oakdale's new foundation for sick kids. Cougar alert: Look for granny Lucinda to get the hots for him. Beth in Show: Beth Maitland, the incandescent actress who brought The Young and the Restless its very first acting Emmy (back in 1985), returns to the soap Aug. 13. Her character, Traci Abbott, shows up at a Jabot board meeting where they're choosing the next CEO. Her ex-hubby Brad wants the job but doesn't get it.The Billy Club: Billy Miller, brilliant but way too evil to stay in AMC's Pine Valley as psycho Richie Novak, will be the new Billy Abbott on Y&R. The character's previous portrayers include Ryan Brown and Emmy winner David Tom. Michael Logan