The reality of it is that he expected to walk and be begged back on. That's the only way his bluff makes sense.
Sure a 50% pay cut sucks but a third of a million dollars a year is still an excellent salary and the hours at B&B are hardly mine work. And not to be unkind but it was always obvious there was no other acting work waiting for RM outside of B&B. His longevity on the show was his only trump card, not his talent.
So I think he made a bet that Bell couldn't recast a thirty-year veteran - original actor or that if he did, it woudn't take.
Whatever one might think of the way it changed Ridge as a character, it did take and now RM is unemployed. Sometimes when you play chicken you do end up losing!
The first 2 90 min specials on ABC 'Honeymoon Suite' and 'This Child Is Mine' won their timeslots.
ABC pre-empted gameshows for these and the results were:
Honeymoon Suite 9.9/33
This Child Is Mine (with Rosemary Prinz and Robin Strasser) 10.0/35
Of course they cost far more than the game shows to produce.
ABC continued with more 90 min specials and CBS followed suit but I think ratings dropped as the novelty wore off and ultimately it was just not cost effective.
Yep, he went into great detail about having to sell a house and make withdrawals from his IRA in order to pay his bills. He asked that his monthly child support payments be reduced as a result. The judge basically said, "Naw, you should've taken the $400,000 they offered you."
I can see both sides of it. Why would he want to continue working the same number of hours as before for about half the earnings? But on the other hand, how do you go from $700,000 income to $0? It would be a tough choice for a lot of actors, I guess. But that seems to be the reality that soap actors have been dealing with for the past ten or fifteen years. Raises seem pretty nonexistent, and very drastic pay cuts are the reality of the industry.