Many fans of The Young and the Restless were disappointed to find Tonya Lee Williams' (ex-Olivia Barber) name missing from the list of actors returning for the on-air tribute to the late Kristoff St. John. After all, Olivia is an important part of the Winters family, being both Drucilla Winters' (Victoria Rowell) sister and Malcolm Winters' (Shemar Moore) ex-wife.
Viewers took to Twitter to express their surprise in what seemed like an oversight, but Angelica McDaniel, Executive Vice President, Daytime Programs and Syndicated Program Development, CBS Entertainment and CBS Television Distribution, cleared up Williams' absence on Twitter.
In response to a fan's query, the exec stated, "We really wanted Tonya too, but she's overseas working on a project and couldn't participate."
We really wanted Tonya too, but she's overseas working on a project and couldn't participate.— Angelica Rosas McDaniel (@AngelicaMcD) March 20, 2019
In addition to the disappointing news however, McDaniel also shared some good news: viewers can look forward to Christel Khalil (Lily Winters) returning to the screen for St. John's tribute.
"Lily will be back!" she tweeted in response to another fan's question about Williams and Khalil's status for the special episodes.
Lily will be back! Unfortunately, Tonya is out of the country working on a project and wasn't able to join.— Angelica Rosas McDaniel (@AngelicaMcD) March 20, 2019
Y&R's tribute storyline to Kristoff St. John is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 23, and will run until Monday, April 29, which is also the date the show plans to air an unscripted tribute in which actors share special memories of the late star. Shemar Moore, Victoria Rowell, and Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis Hamilton) are all scheduled to return for the tribute event.
As for what fans can expect when the tribute storyline begins airing next month, McDaniel shares: "This story perfectly illustrates who Kristoff was -- warm, dynamic, friendly and open."
This story perfectly illustrates who Kristoff was -- warm, dynamic, friendly and open.— Angelica Rosas McDaniel (@AngelicaMcD) March 20, 2019
What do you think about Williams being unable to return to Y&R for St. John's tribute? How do you feel about Khalil taking part in the tribute? What do you hope the writers have penned for the special tribute storyline? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.