Actor Joshua Morrow’s been working for CBS since 1994. That’s when he started playing Nicolas Newman, scion to local billionaire Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). Morrow has not been off the show in the last 24 years.
But last summer his character suddenly went from being a likeable young dad with no particular currency to an overnight brilliant businessman. His character suddenly got a new corporation to run, and new, dazzling sets. Fans were shocked and continue to register surprise on social media. Where did this Nicolas 2.0 come from?
It might not be a coincidence. According to the New York Times, Morrow had a special meeting earlier this year with Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS Television. Morrow was at best a supporting player on “The Young and the Restless.” Moonves has expressed dislike for all soaps, killing off 55 year old “As the World Turns” and 60 year old “Guiding Light” without regret. It’s unlikely that he’s ever shaken hands with Braeden. (Moonves appears in passing only in Braeden’s memoirs.)
So how did Morrow wind up getting a meeting with Moonves? According to the Times, Morrow’s agent, Marv Dauer, was in the middle of a complex situation with Moonves last winter when the CBS CEO was being investigated for sexual misconduct. The Times says Dauer’s client, Bobby Phillips, had been sexually attacked by Moonves in 1995. Now in 2018 she was looking for some payoff maybe–a role in a CBS show– and Moonves was trying to oblige her account of forceable oral sex surfaced. Was Dauer blackmailing Moonves?
“I wouldn’t even know how to blackmail someone,” Dauer told the Times. “Not in my wildest dreams. Yes, I did try to get my clients parts. That’s my job. That’s what managers do.”
Still, while he was back channeling between Phillips and Moonves, Dauer was sending his clients in to meet Moonves. Another was a D list actor named Philip Boyd, who’d had a short run on Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and Have Nots” on cable, but otherwise showed no sign of becoming a star. Since his Moonves meeting, Boyd — according to the imdb– has moved up from bit player to second male lead in some TV movies.
Another soap opera name also turned up in the Times story. Dauer represented Eva LaRue, who’d had a long run on ABC’s defunct “All My Children” in the early to mid 2000s. Then she moved into a long run on CBS’s “CSI: Miami” until the show was cancelled in 2012. Since then, according to the imdb, she’s struggled to find a new home, although did turn up briefly on CBS’s “Criminal Minds.”
In the Times story, Dauer persuaded Moonves to attend his 75th birthday party last spring, where the CBS exec was introduced to LaRue. She told the Times, “It’s been way too long since you’ve worked for CBS.” After the party, Dauer wrote to Moonves: “Thank you again so much for attending — I don’t know if there’s any way to express how grateful I am.” Dauer added in the email that Ms. LaRue was excited “that you would like her back working on your network! After they announce the new pilots I will start looking for things and bother you.”
Morrow, La Rue, and Boyd all became collateral damage in the Times story because Dauer found himself with a bit of leverage over Moonves. In the end, his original client, Bobby Phillips, got nothing, and returned to obscurity as Moonves’s long ago victim. Dauer’s other clients made out well, it seems, and probably knew nothing about what was going on.
Great reporting from the Times on an industry where everything, and everyone, is for sale.