nikki victor gallery Victoria and Ashland's Wedding -- Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) of The Young and the Restless on the CBS Television Network.Pictured (L-R): Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki Newman and Eric Braeden as Victor Newman.Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: CBS

Needless to say, the boxing enthusiast pulls no punches.

Eric Braeden is not a man who minces words. So he held nothing back when he recently discussed Mal Young’s tenure as The Young and the Restless’ executive producer/headwriter.

“Look, let’s be very honest. The last regime introduced things that no one gave a damn about, OK? Let’s call a spade a spade,” the Emmy winner told Soap Opera Digest. “No one gave a damn about some of those storylines, no one, because they were not part of the history of that show.”

Among the plots that were twisted under Young were Hilary’s death and J.T.’s “death,” Paul and Chelsea’s exits, Summer’s pursuit of mom Phyllis’ then-lover, Billy, and Victor and Nikki’s stab at having an open marriage. “You must remember that people who come onto the show as new executive producers have their own egos,” said Braeden, “and they think they can rewrite it, they can redo it.”

But the soap’s late, great co-creator William J. Bell had already invented the wheel — it didn’t need to be reinvented. He had given The Young and the Restless a solid foundation on which to build its future. “If you want to veer away from that foundation,” Braeden suggested, “it will begin to flounder.”

More: Tribute to the ‘father’ of Young & Restless

And heaven help the boss who tries to take a wrecking ball to it! Though Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott are as closely associated with the daytime drama as “Nadia’s Theme,” “what the last regime really wanted… ” he said, “was to get rid of me and get rid of Melody, if you want to know the truth.”

Can you freaking imagine? Rather than even try to, why not ease on into the weekend with the below photo gallery, a collection of 75 of the most breathtaking images ever taken of favorites past and present.