It turns out the rumors were true. The Young and the Restless has recast the role of Summer Newman. Beginning next month, Y&R viewers will see newcomer Allison Lanier in the role.
While the recast might shock some fans, in February, Soap Central reported that The Young and the Restless put out a casting call for "a dynamic, attractive woman in her late 20's -- savvy, fun-loving, and refined, from a powerful and rich family." The notice referred to the part as a contract role with the potential for a three-year deal. As is the case with most high-profile castings, Y&R did not provide a character name, but the description seemed to describe Summer to a T.
Last year, King and co-star Michael Mealor (Kyle Abbott) exited the top-rated CBS soap after contract talks between the two performers and the show reached an impasse. As a result, Kyle and Summer moved to Italy. While King and Mealor did pop up on-screen a handful of times after their exit, fans were disappointed that Skyle's -- the couple's smooshed name -- wedding took place off-screen.
Last month, it was revealed that Mealor would be returning to the show for more than just a guest appearance. There was no mention of Summer returning.
Almost immediately, fans took to social media to question how Kyle could return on a permanent or even a semi-permanent basis without Summer. Speculation ranged from Summer having to stay in Europe for work to the couple splitting up.
It might take some adjustment for fans to see someone other than Hunter King in the role of Summer Newman. After all, King has played the role of Summer since October 2012 and picked up two Daytime Emmys for her work on Y&R.
This will be Lanier's first daytime role. Lanier recurred as Annabelle on the Amazon series, Red Oaks. She is also featured as Megan in Michelle Morgan's It Happened in L.A. and has appeared in the indie films Mia and Fish Bones.
Lanier first appears on Y&R later next month. Yes, that just happens to be May Sweeps.
As for King, the actress told Soap Opera Digest last year that she has decided to focus on her education -- majoring in psychology. "I'm in the pursuit of learning as much as I can and constantly growing as a person," she said.
How do you feel about Y&R recasting the role of Summer Newman? Are you glad that Summer will return to the canvas, even if it means a new actress will be seen in the role? Will you miss Hunter King as Nick and Phyllis' daughter? We want to hear from you -- share your thoughts in the Comments section, on our message boards, or on our social media feeds!