Bradley Bell Bradley Bell

Bradley Bell's no fool. The exec producer of The Bold and the Beautiful has Emmy winner Jacob Young — fresh from his scorching performance as badass boozer JR Chandler on All My Children — back in the role of Rick Forrester starting today. Young played the fashion-industry scion during the character's troubled teen years from 1997 to '99.

"Those were great times with Jacob and he's an even more exciting, intense and unpredictable actor now," says Bell, who nonetheless insists he's not bringing Young in to "take over and steal the show. We will slowly immerse Rick back into the Forrester family so viewers can remember and appreciate him. And then we're off to the races!"

Rick will eventually team with brother Thorne (Winsor Harmon) in a vicious battle with Ridge (Ronn Moss) over control of Forrester Creations. And that'll force Rick's mom and Ridge's lady love, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), to choose sides. Says Bell: "Ridge will become more drunk with power and driven by ego and that really pisses off Rick."

Also look for Rick to reconnect with his skanky ex-wife Amber (Adrienne Frantz). To set up that story, Bell will replay lots of juicy scenes from 1998 when Amber was two-timing Rick by sleeping with Raymond, an up-and-coming singer played by that then up-and-coming superstar Usher! "He was on B&B long before YouTube so scenes with him are hard to find — it's like the lost Usher footage!" says Bell. "You'll see him singing at Insomnia with very little backup. It's very raw but awesome, a chance to see him just before he broke out big."

As for Amber, Bell says, "She's not at the top of her game right now and she's a bit desperate. She will reach out to Rick, the love of her life, and try to bag the guy. But he knows what he's dealing with, so he's going into this hookup with eyes wide open."

So where the hell is Bell's big Emmy plot? He won the Outstanding Daytime Drama trophy three years running — for the 2008 suicide of Storm, the 2009 death of Betty White's character Ann, and the poignant 2010 plot about the homeless. But, so far this year, Bell's most talked-about story involved Brooke and her stepson Thomas getting lusty after eating psychedelic sex berries — surely not the stuff that wins industry awards! With the 2011 Emmy qualifying deadline just three months off, shouldn't Bell get crackin'?

"I was just talking to my writing team this morning telling them time is running out!" the exec says with a laugh. "Actually, we do have something wonderful lined up in November for Susan Flannery, something that's really going to stretch her as an actress and be very revealing. Her character, Stephanie, will be struggling with an issue that's very present in society. It's going to challenge our matriarch in a way she's never been challenged before."

Even more than the Stage 4 lung cancer she battled last year? This we gotta see.

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