Blind Item: Popular Soap Abruptly Fires Actor, Rewrites Mystery Arc

This Blind Item has been burning a hole in my pocket during my two-month winter hibernation… er, career transition. A seasoned and extremely well-known actor who had a recurring role on a popular primetime soap was canned after several show staffers — both the on-camera kind and off — voiced complaints about the star’s unprofessional behavior while at work.

Apparently, the onetime big-screen A-lister (who over the past decade carved a niche for himself on the small screen) was making inappropriate comments to a number of women. At the risk of having the situation escalate, producers abruptly wrote out the actor, which forced them to tweak a major crime story/mystery in which his character was revealed to be the culprit. Now word is, the bad boy has been forever banned from appearing on any of this network’s shows.

So, who’s the blacklisted vet? Submit your best guesses below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Andy says:

    Gossip Girl –> Billy Baldwin?

    My rationale:

    1. Gossip Girl is a popular primetime soap.

    2. Billy Baldwin is a Baldwin brother, and therefore likely to make inappropriate comments toward women.

  2. Jennifer says:

    No idea. I’m just thrilled your Blind Items are back!!

  3. Me says:

    James Franco.

  4. Luke says:

    I’m guessing someone on the Desperate Housewives set is touchy feely…but really I’m just stumped! Tell us!!!!!

  5. Jake says:

    Let’s go with Jack Wagner of B&B

  6. Betsy says:

    I’m going with Rob Lowe.

  7. Jake says:

    Ah true.

    So I’m guessing this already TOOK place? Then Rob Lowe might be a good guess.

    And Michael: will U ever reveal ur blind items?

  8. Melissa says:

    Rob Lowe!

    • tory says:

      There was no murder mystery on Brother and Sisters that he was abrubtly written off the show by making him the culprit. He was written off b/c he died as a result of a car accident. Since he was on Brother and Sisters prior to Parks and Recreation, i would say it sure isn’t him

  9. jacqulynmcc says:

    It’s that victor Newman guy from yr

  10. Kiki says:

    Rob Lowe is my guess, too. Any guy who makes a sex video with an underage girl is always suspect in my book.

  11. Joseph says:

    James Franco is a good guess but you said “primetime soap.” Blind Items are stupid so I guess we will never know the answer to this one.

  12. Travis says:

    Rob Lowe wasn’t recurring on B&S. He was regular cast after his initial recurring role in season 1.

  13. Kate Astor says:

    Eric Roberts – he was playing Vance on Y&R and poof…he was gone

    • Danielle says:

      Not Eric Roberts. He’s from a daytime soap, and he left Y&R because he’s in “rehab” (Dr Drew’s reality show rehab, lol)

    • halem says:

      oh, geez, how many dyslexic patients!

      primetime soap
      onetime big-screen A-lister
      who over the past decade carved a niche for himself on the small screen

  14. Cari says:

    Rob Lowe is on Parks and Rec now, a comedy. And he was killed off Brothers and Sisters last season, so I don’t think it’s him.

  15. iva says:

    The actors description sounds alot like Rob Lowe to me.
    onetime big-screen A-lister – check
    over the past decade carved a niche for himself on the small screen – check
    bad boy – check

    the trouble is I can’t see where he fits with the soap part..

    2nd option is Bryan Austin Green, but then again he was never an A lister

    perhaps someone on Greys

  16. George says:

    If this is from awhile back it could be Ryan O’Neal (Teddy’s dad on 90210). I know that a couple cast members from that show had mentioned in interviews that he was originally supposed to involved in the car accident storyline that killed Jasper’s uncle, but things changed.

  17. Dave says:

    Maybe Kyle McLachlan on Desperate Housewives?

    • Jen says:

      I don’t think it’s KM. Desperate Housewives just brought him back for another episode long after his storyline had run, and I can’t think of any plots for which he would have been a logical choice as the culprit.

  18. Brian says:

    Well first we have to look at the clue of “former big screen A-lister” – there aren’t too many of those around in primetime – Gary Sinese is one name to throw out – but is CSI a soap? Patrick Dempsey is a consideration – Grey’s is absolutely a soap – but was he an A-list star?
    Richard Dryfuss was recently on Weeds – he was an A-list star.

  19. Doug says:

    I can see the Rob Lowe connection, but I wouldn’t classify Parks and Rec as a Primetime Soap…

  20. M says:

    Definitely Ryan O’Neal on 90210. They spent a long time trying to cast Teddy’s dad and then he just suddenly vanished without a trace. And he was originally supposed to be the hit and run driver, but that whole aspect of the storlyine was dropped. Plus, 90210 is a PRIMETIME soap, Ryan O’Neal used to be an A-list movie star, and he’s spent the last several years working on TV. Also, he tried to hit on a woman at Farrah Fawcett’s funeral…a woman who turned out to be his own daughter. Clearly the guy is slimey with women.

    • dd says:

      it says the character was revealed to be the culprit of the crime/mystery. annie was the culprit from the beginning

      • Kyle says:

        No, it was pinned on Annie from the beginning.
        The article states that this person was going to be revealed to be the actual/culprit, which makes 100% sense. I think it’s Ryan O’Neil too, it all completely adds up why they totally botched their season finale and scrapped everything about it!

        • dd says:

          read it again. it says the person was revealed not going to be revealed. also, what kind of niche has ryan oneil carved out on tv? so not ryan oneil!

          • HoldenC. says:

            Could be O’Neil. He’s was also a frequent guest star on Bones.

          • M says:

            You’re misunderstanding it. It says they had to tweak a storyline in which the character was revealed to be culprit. The storyline was tweaked so that someone else was revealed as the culprit.

          • Media Ho says:

            This may be a stretch, but RO’N got his start in television as one of the leads on Peyton Place (in the ’60s). He co-starred with Farrah Fawcett in a short-lived tv sitcom about co-anchors on a news show. I’m not sure if this is a “niche,” but it is a presence.

    • Sara says:

      And before Bones and 90210 he did that show with Alicia Silverstone and James Roday on NBC.

  21. Sean says:

    Alec Baldwin?

  22. Kristin says:

    Rob Lowe was my first thought, but he managed to go through all those years on West Wing without any controversy, so…

  23. stephanie says:

    Perhaps Billy Baldwin on Gossip Girl although he’s also been appearing on Parenthood which I can’t foresee having a murder plotline.

    Also it’s an a-lister who has carved out a niche for himself in the past decade on the small screen. I don’t think that describes BB…I’ll keep thinking!

  24. Melissa Brown says:

    I was thinking Alec Baldwin, but 30 rock isn’t really a primetime soap (is it? I don’t watch).

    Hope to hear who it is!

    • Sean says:

      He recurred on Knots landing, and he is more an A- Lister than the other choices, alas 30 rock wouldnt be a crime/mystery show

  25. Stephanie says:

    Lol, Yes, Rob Lowe is the culprit on a huge Parks and Recreation crime mystery….come on peeps.

  26. Melissa says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with Ryan O’Neal!

  27. LA says:

    This is SO Ryan O’Neal.

    Quit guessing Rob Lowe, it doesn’t fit, for heaven sake!

    • dd says:

      can’t be. he was never revealed to be the culprit it was annie from the beginning.

      • mrdhollins says:

        Ryan O’Neal also plays Brennan’s dad on “Bones” and did murder folks in that role…

      • Kyle says:

        People are reading it wrong. It’s saying:

        “which forced them to tweak a major crime story/mystery in which his character was revealed to be the culprit.”

        Meaning, the plan was to after a season of making it look like Annie was made to look the killer of Jasper’s uncle, it would finally come out it was Teddy’s dad, aka: Ryan O’ Neal’s character. However, because of his behavior it forced the producers to scrap him and tweak that storyline where he was going to be revealed as thing, therefore they just kept it as Annie.

        Makes perfect sense.

  28. iva says:

    when i think ryan o’neal, i think bones.. they were full of praises for him. 90210 cast isn’t big enough to get anyone kicked off from their show,not to mention network..could be anyone

    • Ellen says:

      Of course they’re big enough if a cast member is sexually harassing other people working on the show. If it was Ryan O’Neil then a pat on the back for the CW for taking it seriously.

      Having said that – it bothers me to think that we’re speculating on this and an innocent actor’s reputation might be unfairly tarnished if we reach the wrong conclusion. Then again I’m the one reading and commenting on this article, so I guess I should stop complaining.

      • iva says:

        world is unfortunately not that nice. we can claim we’ve gangbanged a heard of horses with Rob Lowe and it still won’t matter till someone with credibility (or National Enquirer :D ) prints it

  29. Rock Golf says:

    Hmm, Donald Sutherland (Kiefer’s dad) was on Dirty Sexy Money. Was definitely an A-lister in the 70’s (MASH, Ordinary People, Klute). Now on Pillars of the Earth, but on cable.

  30. brian says:

    Is 90210 a POPULAR primetime soap?
    I never would have tapped RO’N as an A-list star, and this article indicates the star has Recently been fired and the Writers have had to tweek the storyline – not past tense as in they had to tweek last seasons storyline.

    • Erin says:

      Ryan O’Neal absolutely was an A-Lister at one point. Main Event, What’s Up Doc, Love Story, Paper Moon….all big movies.

  31. Erin says:

    Do we ever get the answers to the blind items?

    • Rob J. says:

      Ausiello does answer more than a few of the blind items — but he doesn’t answer *all* of them. Depends on how big a bridge he might burn with a source (because the nature of the rumor might be so specific that it could be traced from the other side by the subject of the rumor or someone else involved in the given show) or a studio/network and/or if there’s a serious legal issue involved. It’s safe to say, though, that *if* he reveals the identity of a Blind Item, it’s been cleared not just by Legal at his employer, it’s been cleared by his source — and maybe even unofficially by the network/studio in a plausible deniability sort of way.

  32. michelle says:

    I’m thinking lawrence fishburne. Csi? Is that his name?

  33. Jeremy says:

    Tom Selleck, perhaps?

  34. Joshua Stevens says:

    David Spade… my guess

  35. Ms N says:

    Learn to read people. Can’t be Selleck, Spade or Fishburne, as they are regulars, not recurring; plus Spade is in a comedy, and Fishburne & Selleck’s shows cannot be described as “soaps.”

  36. Rolfe says:

    Since most of these guesses are outrageous, I’m just going to throw Rumer Willis into the mix.

    What ever happened to Rumer’s character on 90210? lol

  37. stavs says:

    Peter Gallagher???

  38. Buffy Freak says:

    The only thing worse than rarely (if ever) getting the answers to these blind items are the people who reply with such ridiculous guesses. It clearly says former movie A-lister with a recurring role on a primetime soap and people are guessing actors from daytime soaps or primetime comedies or people who haven’t been fired or stars of their shows.

  39. Peng9803 says:

    My only problem with it being Ryan O’Neal is that Ausiello says he’s been holding on this for a mere couple months. Ryan O’Neal has been off of 90210 since before the end of the last season. But I will admit that it does make some sense… Why did the ending of last season change? Annie was supposed to have been exonerated from running over the homeless man… but she wound up truly being guilty of it.
    Grimes: Yet another fun fact that our writers didn’t fill us in on before we all started running our mouths! Basically, what happened is that Teddy’s father, played by Ryan O’Neal, was supposed to come in and take the onus off of Annie. I don’t know if you remember this far back, but in the original finale of Season 1, when I hit the guy, you see a car pull up at the end. In the premiere of Season 2, we pick up that it was Teddy’s car that pulled up right after I hit the guy. What was supposed to happen was Teddy going back to save his dad’s ass and make sure there was no evidence because it was his dad who killed the guy while driving drunk. But then Ryan O’Neal wasn’t going to be on the show anymore, so that changed and Annie’s ass got probation.

    I think Ausiello miswrote “At the risk of having the situation escalate, producers abruptly wrote out the actor, which forced them to tweak a major crime story/mystery in which his character was [add: TO BE] revealed [to be – changed to AS] the culprit”

    • M says:

      Well Ryan O’Neill may have been on the show last season, but Ausiello may have only gotten the scoop a couple of months ago.

  40. Kristen says:

    Can we at least have a list of shows that you would consider primetime soaps?? That would be helpful .. **wink,wink**

  41. Jenn says:

    John Stamos is my bad guess!

  42. Cincy says:

    George’s answer for the win! Ryan O’Neal must have been pretty pervy for them to blackball him.

  43. Rob J. says:

    Working it backwards, it makes sense that if a network was going to ban a person from all of its shows entirely for inappropriate behavior, it’d be The CW that would do that. With young women being the stars of virtually every show on the next except Supernatural (and arguably Smallville, even though it’s guy-centric this season), the ban-ee would be an issue on every one of the network’s shows that he could possibly be considered for.

    It also helps that the CW is the only network whose parent studios (in this case, CBS and Warner) currently produce all of the shows on the network, a situation that would make banning the given actor
    from the network’s entire lineup more easily enforceable than it would be on any of the Big Four networks, which all carry series from both parent- and non-parent-studios.

    From there, the network-wide ban plus the fact that the whodunnit story change tracks to the 90210 cliffhanger — it all clearly equals Ryan O’Neal on 90210. Given the ease of guess the subject from both ends, I would hazard a guess that this is one of those Blind Items that Ausiello will eventually confirm.

  44. Gregg says:

    I think it’s Kyle Mclaughlin. He is a recurring charachter, a former A-lister, on a prime time soap, which is in the middle of a murder mystery. Seems to fit the bill…

    • Rolfe says:

      But Kyle just reappeared on the show.

      • Cheryl says:

        And also, Paul Young isn’t dead (and isn’t even in critical condition), so there is no murder mystery going on right now. And Orson (Kyle’s character) really doesn’t have a motive to shoot Paul, anyway, because he wasn’t even around when all of Paul Young’s shenanigans really went haywire. He had already left Wisteria Lane by then. One of Lynnett’s kids has a better chance of being the shooter than Orson.

        Also, KM has never been an A-List movie star, his niche has always been television.

  45. Zub says:

    It’s definitely Ryan O’Neal on 90210.

    To quote Ausiello’s frenemy, Kristin Dos Santos:

    “What Went Missing: Ummm, how about the whole “who really ran over that homeless guy” storyline?! Back in March, Trevor told us the season two finale would answer the question left open from season one’s final ep. “In one of the last scenes of the finale, you find out who actually hit the homeless guy,” he teased. “I can guarantee it comes out of left field.”

    But come finale night, the only thing remotely left fieldish was the complete exclusion of said reveal. How do you explain that one, CW?!

    According to our reliable 90210 source, some story changes were made post-production (and post-press tour in Trevor’s case), and the rumored “real” killer twist was canned.”

  46. Dee says:

    Could it be John Corbett (soon to appear on Parenthood)?

  47. echo says:

    Y’all have me convinced this is Ryan O’Neal.

  48. silverrose says:

    im gonna go with jeff goldblum. i know its unlikely, but who knows nowadays.

  49. Ethan Maisel says:

    Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods?

  50. irg19 says:

    Ryan O’Neil fits the bill and that homeless hit and run thing was supposed to have a twist…but that means that he was fired last spring…kinda long ago.