Stepping in as Young & Restless’ Ashland, Robert Newman Admits, ‘I’m Scared to Death’
“It’ll be a new adventure,” the actor shared.
If there’s one thing for certain in the world right now, it’s that Robert Newman taking over as The Young and the Restless‘ Ashland Locke from Richard Burgi was the recast news heard ’round the world. Though initially quiet on the matter, Burgi has since spoken out about why he was let go — in the most gracious, classy way you could imagine. And with that, for lack of a better word, farewell, it certainly seemed like the perfect time for Newman to step in and say hello.
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And that’s just what he did, handling it just as graciously as the outgoing Ashland’s good-bye. Guiding Light‘s former Josh took to Facebook to address the fans in a grateful message of thanks that will hopefully lay to rest any of the worries over the surprise recast.
“Thanks to everyone for the sweet posts and messages about my joining the cast of Y&R,” he wrote. “I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ve had great respect for the show and it’s wonderful cast for many, many years. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
“I had a lovely zoom meeting with [headwriter] Josh Griffith and [producer] Anthony Morina last night,” he continued. “We talked quite a bit about the character, and I’m very excited by the scripts I’m getting so far. I’m scared to death, of course, but I think that’s healthy.
The actor concluded by saying, “I’m feeling pretty blessed to have the opportunity. Cheers!”
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And though we’re sad to see Burgi go, we’re glad that if Young & Restless had to replace him, it was with someone of Newman’s acting caliber. Whoever was stepping in was going to need to bring their “A” game.
While Ashland does seem a bit tamer these days than when he was first introduced, as we all know, he still has that huge secret about to break soon. And if there’s one thing we know about secrets, it’s that they always lead to plenty of drama! Of course, some fans have a theory about that mystery that could upend all expectations.
While you’re here and we’re pondering what’s to come with Ashland and his future with Victoria with all these changes and secrets, maybe it’s worth looking back over the past year and remembering how we got to a place where “Ashtoria” became one of Genoa City’s most popular power couples.
<p>It appeared as though Young & Restless was going to give us some ol’ fashioned intrigue, scheming and blackmail while re-teaming Kevin and Phyllis. Kevin exposed the information Gloria had rabbited away on a flashdrive to blackmail Victoria, and Phyllis found out about it, but rather than soapy deliciousness, we got Kevin convincing Phyllis to take the high road and drop the whole thing.</p>
<p>It looked as though history was about to repeat itself when the much younger Sally began to pursue Jack, just as Jill once did his father, John. With Jack’s son Kyle in the picture they could have truly re-created the Jack/Jill/John dynamic, but alas, it was another case of coulda, woulda, shoulda as Jack dumped Sally for being too conninving and never looked back.</p>
<p>We were so used to Young & Restless’ secrets from the past flopping that it was a pleasant surprise when a whopper was revealed… Kyle had a love child! Not only did he have a son he didn’t know about, but the kid came tied to a wealthy and powerful family, the Lockes, headed by a ruthless magnate known as the Locke Ness Monster!</p>
<p>Chelsea and Adam’s latest reunion hit a major snag when his scheming against Billy led to her falling in an elevator, hitting her head, being kidnapped and drugged, and ultimately landing in the hospital needing surgery after suffering a stroke. Adam thought it would be a great idea to jumpstart Chel’s rehabilitation by bringing in ex-wife/therapist to all of Genoa City, Sharon. It all went about as well as one would expect and ended up with Chelsea secretly recovering and framing Adam for the attempted murder of Sharon’s hubby after she became convinced they were carrying on an affair under her nose. When the jig was up and Chelsea was exposed, she agreed to spend some time in a mental facility to avoid jail time.</p>
<p>If only the cheating had led to the ‘Who’s the daddy’ drama we were hoping for, it would all have been worth it. Instead, Elena cheated on Devon with Nate, and then on Nate with Devon, who cheated on new girlfriend and his dead wife’s twin, Amanda, not once but twice… and it all amounted to not much of anything. Though Devon sucker punched Nate, who lost his ability to perform surgery, no one got raked over the coals, and no one even stayed mad!</p>
<p>While it was amazing to get a backstory for Amanda (and Hilary!) it was puzzling that their biological mother and father weren’t tied to the canvas in any way. New family members were introduced, however, that made us forget about the reservations we had… but the story was another, well… story. Amanda’s foray into the death of her father was yet another saga that took place in the past with characters we didn’t know and it struggled to hold our interest. After playing out over the year, the reveal that her grandfather was the killer, and his ensuing conviction, were anti-climactic in the extreme. No payoff, but we’re looking forward to Amanda’s mom, Naya, and sister, Imani, a real firebrand, moving into Genoa City.</p> <p> </p>
<p>After Billy’s expose on Adam brought Faith’s past into the future, specifically the story of her kidnapping as a newborn, the mean kids at school took it as an opportunity to bully her. Faith’s “friendship” with older girl, Jordan, seemed to be a saving grace, but actually introduced her to alcohol use and ended in tragedy when Jordan turned out to be behind the worst of the online bullying. Faith drank, drove, and ended up in a car wreck, only to be rescued by Adam, who later donated a kidney to save her life. Faith turned over a new leaf and took up with Moses Winters, who came to live with Devon.</p>
<p>After becoming trapped with Nick in a storm, expressing his desire to be on better terms, and subsequently proving himself by coming through for his brother and his brother’s daughter, Faith, Adam continued down the road to redemption he’d begun by reconciling with Victor. Sharon, who he was still in love with, was also involved in the tale, though the two didn’t get back together, only shared a kiss.</p>
<p>When Tara Locke showed up in town with Kyle Abbott’s love child, she managed to get herself invited to move into the Abbott mansion, but reigniting Kyle’s feelings for her promised to be much more difficult. Enter Sally, who wanted to get rid of Kyle’s fiancee Summer for reasons of her own… specifically, her job at JCV. Sally convinced Tara to use the power of Kyle’s love for his son to intimidate Summer into leaving town. The scheme was later exposed, but not until Summer had already dumped Kyle and moved to Italy. In the end, Tara and Sally were exposed and both paid the consequences for their actions.</p>
<p>Kyle and Summer reconciled and formed a family with Harrison, his child with Tara Locke, in Italy, where Summer was working for Marchetti. The pair was finally married, but the wedding took place offscreen despite being attended by their parents, which their fans felt was just another instance of their being no payoff in a storyline they’d invested in.</p> <p> </p>
<p>What started out as a love triangle with Victoria, Billy and his new love, Lily, took a turn when Victoria instead fell for mega-mogul Ashland Locke… even after losing the bid for his company, Cyaxares. The romance was a hit with fans, who were thrown for a loop when Ashland revealed he had stage four lung cancer and only six months to live. Victoria stood by her man and vowed they would live life to the fullest, while working to convince him to fight the disease. Ashland moved in with Victoria and proposed.</p>
<p>Devon, Lily, and their younger half-sibling, Moses, worked together to honor their father, Neil Winters and came up with a unique idea… a memory walk. Neil’s loved ones all participated in the tribute, which involved walking through spots that were significant to Neil in Genoa City, before ending with everyone dropping a flower at a memorial set up in Chancellor Park. There were loads of heartfelt touches in the episode, such as Sharon wearing Dru’s scarf, and Devon honoring Neil’s love of jazz music.</p>
<p>After Abby Newman married Chance Chancellor in a splashy wedding at the Chancellor Estate, planning immediately began to start the family of their dreams, but it was not to be that simple. Abby learned she couldn’t conceive due to scarring from her previous miscarriage and Chance’s sperm was (perhaps temporarily) not up to the task. Enter Mariah, Abby’s sudden bestie who was dying to help give her a child, nevermind that she’d never had one of her own yet, and Devon, who stepped up to fertilize Abby’s egg. The trio and their supporters formed the Baby Chancellor Crew after Chance disappeared on a covert assignement, and the result was a bouncing baby boy named Dominic, or Bowie, if you’re Mariah. Which brings us to…</p>
<p>Stitch came back to town and kidnapped a pregnant Mariah, locking her away in a room by herself, in a twisted attempt to regain Abby’s affections. Abby, of course, was alone as Chance was still on assignment and uncommunicative. Devon teamed with Rey and Victor to get answers when Mariah went missing, she was found whilst going into labor, and Stitch took off. This was all much to the chagrin of Stitch fans, who felt he was thrown under the bus for a nonsensical bit of drama in the surrogacy story.</p>
<p>After reconciling with Victor and making a successful bid for Ashland Locke’s Cyaxares, Adam took the helm at Newman Media. While we’re not entirely sure what they do there other than try to neutralize Billy and Chance Comm, one of Adam’s first moves was to hire Chloe to run their fashion division, with the caveat that when Chelsea returned to town she would join her. Chloe hired Sally, who sparked with Adam, and the two shared a kiss on more than one occasion.</p>
<p>After using his company, Chance Comm’s platform to do a devastating expose on Adam, Billy next set his sights on Victoria’s new man, Ashland Locke. Though he uncovered details of the man’s sordid past, Locke had already come clean to Victoria, who accepted him warts and all. Billy showed up at their wedding ready with Jesse Gaines, a man who knew Ashland’s past, in tow and was determined to stop the nuptials. In the end, Gaines was neutralized, Billy watched Victoria marry the man she loved, and his efforts to blackmail Adam and Victor by threatening to expose Locke’s past publicly, backfired. Once again, he proved to be his own worst enemy when he couldn’t let it go.</p>
<p>Victoria Newman and Ashland Locke formed Genoa City’s newest power couple in more ways than one! They not only merged personally when they were married in a lavish ceremony in Tuscany, but joined their companies together, changing the long-standing Newman Enterprises to Newman-Locke. Other twists and turns have included Victoria falling out with Nick over Ashland’s past, Victoria’s relationship with Adam thawing, first when she invited him to the nuptials, and later when he saved them by stopping Nick from halting the ceremony, and Ashland undertaking an experiemental treatment for his cancer in Peru, which resulted in the news that his cancer is no longer spreading.</p>
<p>After Jack drunkenly professed his undying love to Phyllis, and Sharon made an offhand remark about Nick “settling” with Phyllis, the inevitable cracks began to show in their relationship. Things were “off” between them as their bickering over his family came to a head around the time of his sister’s wedding and the inevitable break-up soon followed.</p>
<p>Unsurprisingly, since Jack confessed that he’d never gotten over her, Phyllis has gravitated toward her ex-husband since the split from Nick. While Jack has warned that he won’t go down the road of reconciliation without acknowledging the pain caused the various times she’s cheated on him in the past, it seems a foregone conclusion that they will get back together.</p>
<p>It was very exciting to see Noah Newman turn up at his aunt Victoria’s wedding and announce that he was considering a move back to Genoa City from London. Noah did, in fact, return with his dad, and has since settled in a bit. It’s his reconnection with Tessa, who cheated on him with Mariah and admitted to using him when they were involved, that has left many viewers scratching their heads and wondering where exactly the writers are headed with his storyline.</p> <p> </p>
<p>Abby was devastated when Chance was believed to have died in an explosion that took place at the safe house where he was on assignment in Spain. Refusing to believe her other half was gone, Abby took off to find him and was rewarded for her efforts when a clue in his things led her to where he was healing and hiding out. Chance came home to resume his life with Abby and to meet his son Dominic for the first time, but it’s been anything but easy. Chance has been plagued with feelings of guilt and is having a hard time readusting to civilian life.</p>
<p>Victor stepped back from Newman Enterprises to let Victoria run it, but threw his hat back into the business ring with Adam at Newman Media. When Jill returned to see to the mess Billy had made of Chance Comm, she let it be known that she too wanted to retire and step away from running Chancellor Industries. Billy wasn’t an option as her replacement, but his live-in girlfriend and co-CEO of Chance Comm, Lily Winters, proved to be just the person to fill the position. Though Lily’s a bit worried about her lack of qualifications, Jill has assured that she’ll stay on as an advisor to help guide her. Billy, meanwhile, has another plot to get back at Adam…</p>
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