Deep Soap: ‘ATWT’s Maura West Is ‘Y&R’s New Diane

Maura West at the 37th annual Daytime Emmy Awards (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Maura West at the 37th annual Daytime Emmy Awards (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

This year’s Daytime Emmy Winner for Outstanding Leading Actress, Maura West (Carly, ‘As The  World Turns‘), is joining the cast of ‘The Young & The Restless‘ this fall when she assumes the role of Diane Jenkins.

West will make her Genoa City debut on October 8. Her casting was first reported by TV Guide Magazine.

Diane, who is Victor’s ex-wife, was last seen in February when she brought her son Kyle to town so he could see his father, Jack.   Diane was previously played by Susan Walters, who now is busy as ‘Vampire Diaries‘ Carol Lockwood. The original Diane, Alex Donnelley, meanwhile has been playing small roles in movies like ‘Drillbit Taylor,’ and was romantically linked to singer Billy Joel in 2009.

In West, ‘Y&R’ has found a powerhouse Diane who can go toe to toe with Eric Braeden and Peter Bergman. I would love to see the character resume her feud with Victor, possibly by aligning herself with Tucker (Stephen Nichols).  I am most looking forward to seeing her in scenes with Michelle Stafford. Phyllis and Diane’s rivalry is epic.  Diane had no qualms about framing Phyllis for attempted murder.  And with Phyllis recently ending her stifling marriage to Nick and vowing to act like her strong, wild self again, these two are poised for a major battle.  West and Stafford together is going to be the daytime equivalent of Joan Crawford versus Bette Davis.

‘Y&R’ has not announced whether Diane will be bringing her son Kyle with her.  It strikes me that Kyle should be SORASed.  Given that Diane was pregnant with Kyle at the same time that Ashley was carrying Abby – a major story point at the time, given that they each had themselves artificially inseminated – Kyle should be in his early 20s, like Abby.  The show, however, might opt to make him a teen, since that age group is currently non-existent in Genoa City.

At this year’s Daytime Emmys, West made it clear that she wanted to keep working in daytime after ‘ATWT’ signed off.  She praised head of CBS Daytime Barbara Bloom, even as she criticized the network’s decision to cancel ‘ATWT,’ a hint that she hoped to land on one of the network’s other soaps.  Her diplomacy has obviously paid off.

‘Y&R’s Peter Bergman is surely pleased with this news.  Earlier this week he said, “In a perfect world, Kyle and Diane would show up again.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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