As they celebrated their first anniversary as hosts of “Soap Box with Lilly & Martha” on Thursday, August 21, former daytime soap stars Lilly Melgar (“General Hospital”) and Martha Madison (“Days of our Lives”) had soap journalist Michael Maloney, talent manager Michael Bruno and online soap reporter Michael Fairman on as guests as they discussed the week’s biggest soap opera news. No story was bigger this past week than the news of Justin Hartley (“Passions,” “Revenge,” “Mistresses”) returning to daytime television to portray a recast Adam Newman on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.” According to Bruno, however, there was a chance that the role could have gone to Hartley’s former “Smallville” co-star Tom Welling, “Sex and the City’s” Jason Lewis or “Queer as Folk’s’” Gale Harold.
When asked how the show managed to land Hartley, Bruno said, “They are obsessed, not just that show, with primetime fallen names. I actually felt very bad for Judy Wilson ['Y&R' casting director]. She’s a great casting director, who’s such a hard worker, and yet they expect her to get a primetime name and work for a dollar. And so it’s very difficult to find that. But they had feelers out for fallen nighttime names… Tom Welling, who was [on] ‘Smallville,’ also the guy from ‘Queer as Folk’ [Gale Harold], and Jason Lewis from ‘Sex and the City.’”
When Maloney noted that two of the guys Bruno mentioned would have looked too old for the part, Bruno stated, “That was all going out the door. They would have said in one sentence, ‘God, you look older’ and then we move on. I am telling you, you have to see this list.” The list Bruno was referring is the list of names of actors the show put together for potential Adam replacements, which Bruno earlier in the segment inferred included BBC America’s “Orphan Black” star Dylan Bruce (previously of “As The World Turns”), before ultimately signing Hartley.