Melody Thomas Scott Leaving “The Young & The Restless” (Nikki Newman Quits “Y&R!”)

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And it’s all because one of daytime TV’s most recognizable stars has washed her hands of soaps.

Emmy-winning actress Melody Thomas Scott, who has played the longtime on-again, off-again lover of tycoon Victor Newman on The Young & The Restless for more than 25 years, has told producers of television’s No. 1 daytime drama to take their job and shove it after they tried to slash her seven-figure salary by forty percent.

Did you hear that? Somewhere in America a soap fan just screamed and blew a gasket!

Ratings and ad revenue are down for all daytime soaps, and slashing the salaries of some of the shows’ well-paid vets is just one way the networks are getting by in this recession. Y&R’s Nikki Newman would rather quit the series than accept a pay cut, insiders tell Soap Opera Digest. The star also snubbed the suggestion that she drop to part-time status, appearing on the show only on a recurring basis.

“They want actors to take huge paycuts — or face the ax,” says an expert on the drama behind daytime dramas. “Melody was incensed,” the insider adds, “The powers-that-be finally pushed her too far with their demands.”

The show’s only hope of keeping Melody on-board hinges on their ability to come up with new ways to save money — without slicing into her salary.

“If enough fans protest or pledge to stop watching, maybe the execs will reconsider. Melody’s one of the reasons Y&R is the No. 1 soap on TV.”

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