The Young and the Restless Star Melody Thomas Scott marks 45 years as Nikki with a celebratory tribute to soaps

Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2024 10:59:19 AM
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Melody Thomas Scott marked a major The Young and the Restless milestone in February with a very special tribute.

There are few current soap stars more recognized and enduring than The Young and the Restless' Melody Thomas Scott. The actress celebrated 45 years as Nikki Newman on February 20 as her character is back in the forefront battling both alcoholism and a crazed stalker named Jordan Howard.

That feels like just another day for Nikki, as Scott has taken the character from former cult member and stripper to lady of the manor and matriarch of the Newman clan. Scott grew up in the Hollywood world, making her feature film debut when she was just a child in Alfred Hitchcock's classic flick Marnie.

By the time she was in her early 20s, she'd landed a recurring role on The Waltons, but in 1979, everything changed when she took over the role of Nikki Reed on Y&R, where she has remained ever since.

Through the years, Scott has seen her fair share of change in the world of soaps, but she still has unabated passion for the genre. She shared some of her thoughts on the soap genre, its past, and its future, with a guest column in Deadline on March 12. The first thing Scott points out in the column is just how few soaps there are now compared to when her daytime career began.

"When I started playing Nikki in 1979, there were 13 daytime dramas on the air. Y&R was No. 3 in the ratings and would claim the top spot in December of 1988," she wrote, while marveling at how different it was for fans to watch soaps live before the days of Internet recaps and spoilers.

Scott was quick to note that soaps took a major audience hit in 1995 from which they never recovered, thanks to wall-to-wall news coverage of a real-world trial.

"During that time, viewers were deprived of their favorite soaps for months as this real-life courtroom drama played out in front of our eyes," she explained. Unfortunately, all of the soaps lost a significant amount of their audiences when viewing habits were broken."

Still, Scott remains grateful and proud to remain a starring player on one of Bill Bell's soaps and marvels that he had a hand in three of the four of them still on the air today. Bell created Y&R and The Bold and the Beautiful. Before that, he served as head writer for Days of our Lives.

"I'm proud that Nikki is among the handful of characters created by William J. Bell who are still on the Y&R landscape today. There is no other medium that would have given me the opportunity and good fortune to have the same scene partner, the extraordinary Eric Braeden, for four decades!"

What do you think? Do you agree with Melody Thomas Scott's assessment of soaps? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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