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Y&R's Melody Thomas Scott Interview: 10,000 Episodes, The Newman Clan, Regime Change and Twitter!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Today is the airing of the 10,000th episode of The Young and the Restless.  And as the episode centers around Victor’s “funeral” and the star-crossed love story of Nikki and Victor on this very special day, we wanted to bring you a very special chat with one of the most iconic names of the series, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki).

Melody spoke with On-Air On-Soaps to discuss her thoughts on the milestone, and the episode, and tragedies that strike the Newman family.  Plus, she shares: what has it been like working with her on-screen children, the Victor/Nikki romance, the new Y&R regime, a preview of what may lie ahead, and if booze is once again in Nikki’s future.  Thomas Scott also talks about her loyal fans and followers on Twitter, and those who have supported the series for almost 40 years!

We really enjoyed our conversation with Melody, who is able to look at her soap life with humor, dignity and grace, and respect for the art form she has come to be synonymous with.  So happy 10,000th episode Y&R, and now here’s Mel!

Nikki is featured prominently in the 10,000th episode where she believes for all intent and purposes Victor is “dead”.  There is a scene at a gravesite that people have been buzzing about featuring you.  What can you tell us about the emotional scene and what to look forward to?

MELODY:  How many times have I cried at this gravesite??!  I lost count!  Each time you must make it seem like the first time, so it becomes a challenge.

Do you enjoy the gut-wrenching material when it comes to Nikki’s ever-lasting love for Victor, and the tragedy that strikes the Newman family?

MELODY:  Honey, I was born for tragedy!  Ever since I have been an actress, which is 56 years now, I have always preferred high drama, angst, and catastrophes.  I find it more interesting to play.  I guess it’s no accident that I found my way into soap operas!!!

Nikki left Jack for her concern for Victor on their wedding night!  Would you have liked to have seen Nikki and Jack last longer as a couple before heading off in Victor’s direction once again?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MELODY:  It was written as it was, so I don’t speculate.  She has done it before … perhaps she will do it again.  But leaving Brad at the altar stands out in my mind as another dramatic ditching! (Victor had just been shot!)

With Jill Farren Phelps and Josh Griffith coming in as the new EP and head writer of Y&R, some of the core contract actors have had meetings with the duo to discuss their character and story.  Have you had your meeting?  And, did you tell them things you would like to see happen to Nikki down the road?

MELODY: My meeting is today, as a matter of fact.  I have no idea what is going to be said in that.   However, I have never told a head writer what to write about.  Bill Bell (Creator, Y&R) would never have that, so it never occurred to me.  And so I just don’t.  I enjoy “the-what’s-going-to-happen” as much as the fans do.  So, I really don’t want to know.  I would never suggest anything, because I think that is telling them what to do, and it’s not my place.  I guess I am an old-school actor.  You just don’t do that.  I would never do that.  So I think it’s going to be a short meeting! (Laughs)  If he asked me, I would probably throw in, though, the Nikki drinking thing.

Thursday’s episode was Maria Arena Bell’s last script.  When you read it and performed it, did you feel that for the 10,000th episode of this iconic series that it honored it, focusing on the core families and relationships?

MELODY:  At the time we were shooting that I didn’t.  I think probably because it took us six days of shooting for that one episode.  So I wasn’t really aware of the, “Oh my God. This is the 10,000th episode!”  I didn’t think about that.  But now that you mentioned it to me, Michael, I thought, “Wow. This is quite something.”  And I thought it did honor the show, and focus on the core families.  My only problem with it is that I wish this very special episode did not revolve around the funeral, because it does.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

We know that no one plays a drunk better than you!  Is there any other actress that you feel in motion pictures, television, or theatre, plays a good drunk, too? 

MELODY: Yes Michael.  I think there are many that could do that.  I have to say I do enjoy playing drunk, as well.  Well actually, that does fall into the category of tragic. (Laughs)  As far as if booze is in Nikki’s future, only the writers know.

Would you like to see more airtime between you and Jeanne Cooper (Katherine)?  The on-screen dynamic of these two has always been something the fans have loved.  And, did you read Jeanne Coopers book … Not Young Still Restless?

MELODY:  Yes, of course.  Katherine and Nikki have a very special relationship, and they have a very special heartbeat.  And no, I have not read Jeanne’s book yet.  I have been too busy working, but I plan to soon.

What are a few descriptive words or adjectives you would use to describe your on-screen children, Amelia Heinle (Victoria) and Joshua Morrow (Nick)?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MELODY: Amelia is an angel straight from heaven.  I love just being in her air space.  Whatever problem you might have, it seems a little better when Amelia is present.  It is so true.  She is magical!  I don’t think she even knows she is doing this.  It just happens.  Amelia can do no wrong in my eyes, and she is an amazing actress to boot.  Joshua is also a very special soul, who can make you double over with laughter.  Ah, if I only I were younger and he weren’t my son … but rehearsals, that’s another story. (Laughs)

Did you ever think when you started on Y&R, that 10,000 episodes were a possibility?  Or, at some point did you know this show is such a hit that reaching 10,000 would not be a problem?

MELODY:   I never really thought about it.  These numbers are just a way of referencing episodes.  But every time we reach one of these milestones numbers, I do have to stand back and say, “Holy, Mike! This is really something!”   But this 10,000 is quite something.  It would take a primetime show 450 years to reach 10,000 episodes!

You and Eric Braeden, as Nikki and Victor, are the staples of the series.  Do you think there might come a time where Victor and Nikki might be happy together for at least a week? (Laughs)   Or, do you think the constant self-destruction of their own relationship is still as juicy as ever and it needs to happen all the time, or it wouldn’t be true to “them”?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MELODY:  No.  Not because it wouldn’t be “true” to them, but because it would be boring.  As Bill Bell always said, “conflict is the essence of drama.”

You have taken Twitter by storm.  What are fans saying to you, or asking you the most?  What feedback do you get?

MELODY:  Well, I am not sure about that!  But I will forever be grateful to all of my fans and followers on Twitter, for let’s face it, saving my sorry ass last year.  All of their comments have been very supportive, and I have made several friends in the process. Some nights I sit alone in my kitchen howling with laughter.  My husband just shakes his head, and my family thinks and knows … I am crazy! (Laughs)  I really don’t think I have ever had a negative tweet.  I have never had anybody be mean … never, ever, ever.   (Editors note:  At press time, Melody’s on-screen partner, Eric Braeden, finally joined Twitter @ebraeden, taking the Twitter world by surprise over the last few days)

Are you concerned that the soap genre, as we know it right now, will last only a few more years?  We have four shows left, and the two healthiest, at least from outside appearances, are Y&R and B&B.   But as had been reported, Y&R has had to make some serious budget cuts, and B&B is also tightening their belts.

MELODY:  I think all actors are almost trained from being in this business for so long to not think that way.  Being an actor is so precarious anyway, that to try and second-guess how long a show will last, especially something like Y&R, when a show has lasted almost forty years.  That’s looking for trouble, Michael.  I just wake up and go to work, still happy that it is still here.  I don’t want to put that energy out there, so I don’t think about it, and I put my head in the sand.  We are so blessed to still be on the air, and rightfully so.  I just take it one day at a time and the producers take me 13 weeks at a time! (Laughs)

What would you want to say to all of your fans on this milestone 10,000-episode day, who have followed all of the trials and tribulations of Nikki and have showered you with their loyalty? 

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MELODY:  Thank you so much for all of your love and support, and your loyalties through the years.  Y&R has the best fans of any show daytime or nighttime. Keep watching, as we never get tired of saying, “Thank you.”

What tease can you give us for what we should watch for Nikki over the coming weeks? 

MELODY:  Trouble follows trouble and when it rains it pours.  Another very tragic event happens on the heels of all of Victor’s trials and travails, and it struck me Melody, very personally.

So soapers, what did you think about Melody’s thoughts and comments? What do you think will happen to Nikki and Victor coming up?  Did you watch today’s 10,000 episode?   Did you give it a thumbs up? Weigh-in and let us know!

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jenny
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jenny

I just saw the episode-first of all I love how fast the story is moving. Y&R was way too sluggish and dragged out in recent months so today was refreshing setting up future ones while clearing up past ones for the most part.

Oh and I loved the new opening shots! Long overdue!

steve
Guest
steve

I HATE HATE HATE THE FIRST FEW EPISODES WITH THIS VICTOR AND NIKKI THING. SHARON SHOULD BE THE LAST ONE IN GC TO GO TO JAIL! I PRAY THIS RIDICULOUS CRAP IS FROM THE OLD MAB WRITING BECAUSE NO ONE BELIEVES VICTOR SHOULD WIN AGAIN AND HE HAS NERVE FROM WHAT HE DID TO SHARON!

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

Agree 110 percent the nightmare is about to be over hopefully over. Katherine & Nikki bitching about Sharon how many people has Nikki killed three Katherine killed her husband in a car wreck . They both made me vomit today MAB had every intention of getting rid of Sharon Case. And yes she can survive look at everbody’s track record in GC.

Christine
Guest
Christine

What can you say about Melody Thomas Scott that hasn’t been said? She seems like an amazing person. To have fame and fortune, yet still sit down at the computer and tweet with fans is really something. I could think of a million other things someone with her clout might do, but she is so giving of her time. I know because she has responded to me on more than one occasion. 🙂 I love what she said about Amelia – I know she referred to her as “the princess” when she threw a birthday party for her and she… Read more »

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

Christine did you get the feeling she was hinting at the Newman Ranch getting torched by Sharon? Or am I off base.

Christine
Guest
Christine

OH, kay/kay, that is a good guess and I did hear the rumors that Sharon does that. I could see how that would be personal to Melody if it is true. It could get worse than just the ranch – she could torch the stables too.

kay/kay
Guest
kay/kay

That set has been around forever I know how I felt when Kevin torched Gina’s just please do not let Faith get hurt please do not go there or I will be done.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Don’t be too sure burning down the Ranch will result in a set change. Remember a couple of years ago they blew up the Althetic Club? Well, when they rebuilt it it was exactly the way it was before- the same trophies in the trophy case, the same bowl of oranges on the counter- everything. And it took less than a week to do it. And how many times has Jack remodelled the mansion, under Sharon, Dr. Emily etc and somehow it still looks exactly the same.

Michael
Guest
Michael

If Sharon does torch the ranch, you can bet that Jill Farren Phelps is doing a major overhaul of the sets at the studio’s where Y&R is taped. A lot of those sets haven’t seen an update in nearly 20+ years. So, I can see her using the money she saved from letting go four high paying actresses (Marcy Rylan and Jennifer Landon excluded) updating the sets.

So, we could see new sets for some of our core families on Y&R, which IMO is badly needed.

Christine
Guest
Christine

Mary SF, if Jill is going to bring them up to speed looks-wise, I can see them doing a major overhaul on the sets. I still marvel at how beautiful the Metro Court on GH is with those vases and all the pops of green. This is one change I am looking forward to.

steve
Guest
steve

CHRISTINE MELODY T.S AND VICTOR ARE SO OVER AND DONE SO TIRED OF THEM. THIS SHOW WAS SUPPOSED TO ATTRACT YOUNGER PEOPLE AND THEY ARE HATING IT!

Christine
Guest
Christine

steve, I suffer horribly from migraines. Can you do me a favor and use the CAPS only for emphasis instead of whole sentences? Reading all CAPS hurts my head. 🙂 We will all have to wait until JFP and Griffith’s work airs on 10/12. It will take time to attract the newer viewers – so if you are one of them – give it some time. I have been watching Y&R off and on since the 80s and while 40, I am not exactly an old bag. I like the black and white opening, but I suppose they could do… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

I too watched today’s episode and quite contrary to many folks saying that the script for this episode was horrible, it was very well done. This was one of Maria Arena Bell’s last scripts and to be honest, she did the 10,000th episode justice. You have to give her credit for writing a wonderful script, whether you like her or not (I don’t……..I was one of those that led the campaign to get her fired and finally succeeded in July).

Christine
Guest
Christine

I agree, Michael. The only thing I would have liked to have seen was a montage of past and present characters or something like that. But you have only ONE 10,000 episode and it was nice to see Tracy, Christine, and Danny for the day to support the veterans.

It was great to see Nikki and Victor reunited for the umpteenth time … seriously, I loved it. And seeing Victor, kind of his castle, sort of reflecting and clutching the picture of him and Nikki was nice.

steve
Guest
steve

MICHAEL. YOU ARE CRAZY! THIS HAD TO BE ONE OF MARIA BELL’S WORST WRITING EVER! I THINK SHE TOPPED HERSELF IN THE RIDICULOUS POOR EXCUSE FOR VICTOR AND HIS CRAZY EGO ONCE AGAIN. I FOR ONE AND SEVERAL OTHERS HOPE AND PRAY DRUCILLA AND SHARON HAVE GREAT STORIES AND LESS VICTOR/NIKKI THEY ARE SO OLD AND DONE

kalamaty
Guest
kalamaty

I freaking love how REAL MTS is! Thanks for a great interview, Michael! Looking forward – as always – to the next episode!! 🙂

Matt
Guest
Matt

Great interview. Can’t wait for the future.

Doe
Guest
Doe

Lovely interview with Melody, Michael.I loved the scene at the ranch today between Nikki and Victor. I do wonder how long this relationship will last this time.It’s nice to see the softer side of Victor. Of course, there is still Sharon crazy lady lurking about with her next plan. I did like Victor’s finally thanking Billy for saving him at the docks. How long will that last!? I’m waiting to see who helped Daisy get out of rehab. Is it Sheila or Kevin? I will be wating to see…….

Christine
Guest
Christine

I like the playfulness Victor had with Billy too. What a treat to see Victor actually smile at Billy! It would be nice for them to be on the same side and make someone else the villain … like Tucker. It’s time for Billy and Victor to just get along.

I think it is Patty that broke out Daisy. It looked like the woman had her stature.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

I have two theories of who broke Daisy out. My first one is Isabella. I think she and Ricky were working together to frame Paul. Where did the knife go? Why did Ricky make that video? Why did he confessed to killing Daisy if he didn’t do it? Who dropped the rosary when Paul was at Ricky’s gravesite? I mean Paul just winged him, was that enough force to push him out a window or did Ricky go out on purpose? My second theory, although unlikely, but one I would love to be true is Phyllis is really Shelia and… Read more »

Christine
Guest
Christine

I know, so many questions remain. Those are excellent theories. You should write for them! 🙂

Maybeth lichaa
Guest
Maybeth lichaa

In an era now of ridiculous reality shows that depress and degrade, Melody’s acting and Y & R’s story lines are like a night out on Broadway.

Jolene Beth Morgan
Guest
Jolene Beth Morgan

In my opinion I think that Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott are the most convincing, exciting and beautiful ‘on camera’ couple since William Powell and Mryna Loy starred in the old ‘Thin Man’ movies years ago. There is so much chemistry between them that there must be smoke emitting from the set whenever they are doing a love scene. Eric Braeden’s lovely wife and Melody Thomas Scott’s dashing husband must be very understanding. Eric Braeden is a very lucky man, he has a beautiful blond wife waiting for him at home, and a beautiful blond to act like she… Read more »

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