One of the four American television soap operas still airing since its inception in the 1980s is “The Bold and the Beautiful”, as it’s continued to entertain its viewers in its 35th year, becoming the most-watched daytime TV drama not only in the US, but also across the world. It was marketed as the sister series to another popular soap opera, “The Young & the Restless,” which was created by the same people at CBS. The cast of characters has changed over the years, and the casting door continues to revolving, saying goodbye to some while welcoming new ones to the “B &B” universe.
- 1 The origins of “The Bold and the Beautiful”
- 2 Original plotline and storylines of the series
- 3 “The Bold and the Beautiful” in its 35th year
- 3.1 Core characters of the series or B & B’s Fab Four
- 3.2 The new Sally Spectra left in 2020
- 3.3 Kiara Barnes bid goodbye as Zoe Buckingham in 2021
- 3.4 Jacqueline MacInnes Wood was rumored to be gone by the end of the 34th season
- 3.5 Thorsten Kaye filed an extended vacation break
- 3.6 The end of the ultimate B & B couple, ‘Bridge’
The origins of “The Bold and the Beautiful”
The husband and wife creative team of William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell switched to a glitz and glamor theme when they conceived “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
A family TV production
The Bell couple collaborated for many years, creating successful narratives for soap operas, but it was only at this time of their lives that it became a family affair, as their son Bradley Bell was included in the writing team, and The Bell family moved to Los Angeles from Chicago to focus on creating one of the enduring daytime dramas on the mainstream TV network. Bradley later took the helm when his father stepped down, and he was promoted to head writer and executive producer of the TV series. The soap opera up to this day remains a family production under the company Bell-Phillip Television Productions, Inc, which William and Lee established initially to produce the TV series.
Its former title and TV premiere
On the drawing board, the Bells initially called it “The Rags”, referring to the garment industry, but they all decided that the title, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” best described the daytime series. It made its television premiere on 23 March 1987 on the CBS network.
The original main cast of “The Bold and the Beautiful”
To make “B & B” different from all their previous drama series, the creators made it flashy, beautiful, elegant and fashionable. The original ensemble of actors for its main cast included John McCook as Eric Forrester Sr., Susan Flannery as Stephanie Douglas Forrester, Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke Logan, Ronn Moss as Ridge Forrester, Judith Baldwin as Beth Henderson Logan, Joanna Johnson as Caroline Spencer, and Clayton Norcross as Thorne Forrester. It was the actions and decisions of these characters in the first couple of seasons that spawned all the narratives eventually created over the years. The original actors in these roles played them effectively, which helped make it one of the most-loved American daytime dramas.
Original plotline and storylines of the series
The plotline was centered on the intertwined lives of the wealthy Forrester family and the working class Logan family. Amidst the complicated relationships between these two families came the cunning interference of the Spectra family, who created havoc in Forrester’s fashion empire.
The narratives of having secret affairs, corporate take-overs, star-crossed lovers, birth secrets – you name it, and the series has it all.
Eric, Stephanie, and Beth
One of the major storylines in “The Bold and the Beautiful” that started the ball rolling was the Eric and Beth connection. When there was a party being thrown at the Forrester mansion, Stephanie unknowingly hired caterers associated with Beth Logan. When Eric ran into her he initially didn’t recognize her, but knew something was familiar about her. Eric and Beth were college sweethearts, but had to break up because Eric impregnated Stephanie during a one-night stand, and had to marry her; they later had three children, Ridge, Thorne and Kirsten. On the rebound, Beth married Stephen Logan and had four children with him – Storm, Brooke, Donna and Katie. Stephanie and Eric’s marriage wasn’t doing well and when Eric found Beth again, it rekindled something in him. It was revealed later on that Ridge wasn’t his biological son.
Brooke, Ridge, and Caroline
Brooke met Ridge during the party and couldn’t forget about him. At that time, Ridge was engaged to Caroline Spencer, but her father, media magnate Bill Spencer, didn’t approve of Ridge because of his womanizing reputation. In the Logan household, Beth warned her daughter not to get involved with Ridge, as he was way out of her league. On the wedding day, Caroline was shown photos of Ridge sleeping with other women but she decided to go through with it, but fainted while walking down the aisle. Ridge tried wooing Caroline again, as he realized that he did love her but she continued to reject him. He then turned his affections to Brooke, and started dating her while Caroline became closer to Ridge’s brother, Thorne, whom she ended up marrying, which shocked everyone. Brooke and Ridge were engaged as well, but when it was revealed that Brooke hid a letter that Ridge wrote for Caroline with the intent of proposing to her, he broke off the engagement.
Caroline and Thorne divorced and Ridge married Caroline, however, she died of leukemia, but she pushed Ridge and Brooke together because she knew that it was only Brooke who could console her husband once she was gone.
The flamboyant Sally Spectra and her business shenanigans
The comfortable world of the Forrester family in “The Bold and the Beautiful” became rocky with the introduction of Sally Spectra, who made everything around her intriguing and scandalous. The woman did what she could to make her own fashion house as successful as the Forrester’s, including stealing designs from Forrester Creations, becoming engaged to Eric Forrester for a while, and scheming to break other relationships along the way. He only admired Sally for her tenacity, while Sally was quite crazy about him, and was obsessed with anything Forrester. She would often gatecrash their events, which Stephanie hated, and which started a long feud between the two women. It didn’t help that later on, her only daughter, Maci, married Stephanie’s son Thorne.
“The Bold and the Beautiful” in its 35th year
Most of the loyal fans of the daytime TV drama series genre asked before the start of 2020 if CBS would end “The Bold and the Beautiful”, as it has been around for more than 30 years. They were afraid that the tough competition on TV and the easy accessibility of online streaming services would convince the CBS executives to give the daily timeslots to new shows targeting the Gen Z population. They were relieved when it was announced in March 2020 that the TV network had renewed their favorite soap opera for two more seasons. 2022 is the final year of that renewal, and marks its 35th season on television. So many things had happened in the show, with some characters saying goodbye. Who stayed and who left in 2021?
Core characters of the series or B & B’s Fab Four
When the daytime series, “Bold and the Beautiful” received the Outstanding Daytime Drama of the Year from Daytime Emmy Awards, the show’s creator thanked his “Fab Four.”
Today on B&B, Deacon attempts to diffuse a tense confrontation between Sheila and Brooke.
It sparked an online debate among fans back then, as some didn’t approve of his choice of actors in the group. His “Fab Four” included Susan Flannery (Stephanie), John McCook (Eric), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), and Ronn Moss (Ridge). At that time, their characters were always at the center of all the drama within the “B & B” universe, always a part of all the storylines that were spawned from it. Generally, these four actors had the most loyal fans out of all the cast of characters in the show.
Out of the four core members, only John and Katherine remained in the show leading to its 35th year, continuing to play the characters given to them since 1987. When Susan wanted to quit the show, the Bells gave her character a permanent exit by letting Stephanie die of cancer. It was different when Ronn wanted to go back to his singing career in August 2012, as it was initially just for a short respite, so another actor, Lane Davies, took over the role. However, Ronn chose not to return after playing the same role for 25 years reported because he had problems memorizing his lines following a vehicular accident.
He also wasn’t comfortable with the fast-paced filming of the series, so the producers didn’t have any choice but to replace him permanently with Thorsten Kaye, and the character has continued over the years.
The new Sally Spectra left in 2020
One of the iconic characters in “The Bold and the Beautiful” that loyal fans loved to hate was the flamboyant Sally Spectra, originally played by Darlene Conley, who used the funniest and wackiest ways to try and outdo the Forrester family. However, when the actress died in 2007, the writers chose to let her character live in the south of France enjoying her cabana boys instead of killing her off. The fans were excited in 2017, when it was announced that another Sally Spectra would grace the B & B universe, in the form of her grandniece and namesake. Courtney Hope was given the role, and she received positive reviews for her portrayal. It was just unfortunate that Courtney left the TV series in August 2020, and fans were saddened by it only to find out that she did a crossover, bringing the character to the sister series “The Young and the Restless.” However, viewers continue to wait for the character to go back to its original home.
— Bold & The Beautiful (@BandB_CBS) March 23, 2022
Kiara Barnes bid goodbye as Zoe Buckingham in 2021
It was in 2018 when Kiara Barnes was first introduced to the world of “The Bold and the Beautiful,”tThe actress and singer portraying the role of Zoe Buckingham, older sister of Paris Buckingham, both daughters of Reese and Grace Buckingham. Their family shared a bad DNA gene in which they didn’t care about whomever was hurt, as long as they got what they wanted. Initially, she was a mystery woman who came from London and shared a romantic relationship with Alexander “Xander” Avant. When she arrived in L.A., she ingratiated herself twith Forrester Creations, and through cunning moves, she became part of the fashion empire. Her main purpose was to win back her former lover, Xander, who was in love with Emma Barber. Zoe was the quintessential possessive ex-girlfriend, who lied, schemed, and broke the law just to get her man back. She was successful, but in the process discovered a baby-switching scam orchestrated by her father, but chose to be quiet about it; that decision cost Zoe her relationship with Xander.
In 2021, Kiara bid farewell to the character of Zoe, informing everyone that one of her acting dreams came true as she became part of the main cast of the rebooted primetime TV series, “Fantasy Island.” Her character was written off as someone who opted to work for Forrester International in Paris. Apparently, after her relationship with Xander ended, she soon moved on with Carter Walton, a lawyer for the Forrester Creations. However, he cheated on her, and she lost everything she worked hard for in L.A. when it was revealed that she knew about the baby-switching scheme. She was then offered another start by a Forrester executive by moving her to Europe.
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood was rumored to be gone by the end of the 34th season
Rumors of Jacqueline MacInnes Wood leaving the series halfway through 2021 went around social media. Initially, it was said that it was because her contract negotiation with the show failed. At that time, the rumors coincided with her character as Steffy Forrester becoming heavily addicted to an illegal substance, and would need to be treated at a rehab facility.
Most fans believed that whenever characters go through this destructive path, they usually left the show. However, Steffy was in the middle of a recent major conflict in the show, having orchestrated the splitting up of Ridge and Brooke. She was halfway into her ultimate goal of getting her mother, Taylor, reunited with her father, Ridge. Some said that it was safe to say that there isn’t any truth to the rumors, but others believed that after this seismic change in the narrative, she’ll be written off as someone leaving L.A. to live somewhere else away from it all.
Thorsten Kaye filed an extended vacation break
In July 2021, Thorsten Kaye, who played the role of Ridge Forrester, shared in an interview that he’d already put an extended vacation leave request to the producers of the daytime series. He said he’d worked nonstop in the soap since 2012, and with his family living in New York, he often shuttled from his home to L.A. where filming takes place each season. Thorsten said that he wanted to spend more quality time with his family, and planned a small world trip with them.
Bradley Bell had already agreed that Ridge would be written off temporarily, and some fans believed it would happen in 2022, as Ridge and Brooke had another falling out since the return of Taylor Hayes in their lives.
The end of the ultimate B & B couple, ‘Bridge’
Due to the teasers that were aired for this 2022 season, it seemed that the ‘Bridge’ era is nearing its end. Apparently, Brooke and Deacon shared a drunken kiss during a New Year celebration which Douglas witnessed and shared with Ridge and Taylor’s daughter Steffy. It gave the girl ammunition to break up Ridge and Brooke’s marriage, and was successful as Ridge, even after being unfaithful to Brooke many times in the past, couldn’t handle the kiss, and took off his wedding ring. They had a heart-wrenching goodbye scene in February 2022, which left their fans devastated.
The Brooke-Ridge-Taylor has been a huge love triangle in the series, and fans could only wonder what kind of temporary ending would the writers choose to give Ridge.
Brooke and Ridge have been married and divorced several times. The ‘Bridge’ shippers were speculating online if it was the end of the ultimate B&B loveteam. The older fans of “The Bold and the Beautiful” believed that the couple would always love each other, but were destined not to be together. It was what creator and writer William Bell originally wanted for the two when he was still alive, saying in a past interview that the couple would be the ultimate star-crossed lovers in the show, but that narrative could change depending on Brad Bell, who now has the final say on the fate of these characters.
The daytime drama series has been a fixture in CBS network programming, and since TV is all about the numbers game, it’s safe to conclude that “The Bold and the Beautiful” is expected to continue airing. It still commands a decent number of viewers, even if just a fraction of their former numbers at their peak. With all the competition out there, ratings will probably stay similar to the past few years. It doesn’t matter who goes and who stays, as long as the writers continue to surprise the audience with unbelievable yet intriguing storylines; the guilty pleasure of watching them continues.