Who really got Eric Braeden back on The Young and the Restless

Today was a big day on The Young and the Restless. It wasn't just that Fridays are always big for story revelations -- and there were some doozies today! -- it was the return to the show of one of the biggest stars in the business. Eric Braeden, as his alter ego Victor Newman, made a dramatic entrance just as his two sons were beating the crap out of each other in Victor's office. In typical Victor fashion, Braeden strode into the office and growled, "What the hell is going on here?"

Ironically, Y&R fans were saying the same thing a few months back when Braeden quit the show after a contract dispute. Instead of remaining quiet, the fans spoke out and according to Braeden, there were two major influences that got him back. One was Les Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS Corporation.

"But who essentially stepped in was Les Moonves, who has always been a friend and supporter," Braeden told TV Guide's Michael Logan.

"I don't know how it eventually was solved, but in the end this sort of thing becomes a pissing contest, and there's a point where you say, 'What for?'"

Maria Bell, the head writer of Y&R was the other principal involved in bringing Braeden back to the show. "When I realized how truly, deeply concerned she was, and how appreciative she was of my contributions, it helped sway me."

And, of course, Eric heard from the longtime viewers. "It really was something, wasn't it? And I have to say it had a little bit to do with my decision to come back. I'm a cynic at heart -- I've been doing this Hollywood s--t since 1962 and you learn a thing or two -- but I was very touched by the response."

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