By Lynette Rice
Updated June 10, 2011 at 05:33 PM EDT
Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Fans of The Young and the Restless are bubbling mad about a series of Tweets from star Melody Thomas Scott that appear to indicate she’s off the CBS daytime drama — at least for now. Scott, who has played Nikki Newman since 1979, was last seen on the No. 1 sudser a week ago. Her character was entering rehab for drinking.

“All I can say is what I know,” Scott tweeted Thursday. “My last tape date was 4/28, aired last Fri. & I have recd no scripts since.Y&R has not contacted me.”

If her absence is over a contract dispute, it’s unclear whether Scott seems open to a pay cut since she’s endured several already. She went onto Tweet today that “I’ve taken as many, if not more than my share of pay cuts.”

So what’s the story? A source close to the sudser stresses that Scott is not leaving but declined to comment further.

It seems likely that Sony, which produces the drama for CBS, is continuing to look for more ways to shave the salary budget — especially given what happened to Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) more than a year ago. The soap has a massive cast, and it just took on another high-profile (see: pricey) star in Genie Francis. Though the show remains the top-rated sudser in daytime, Y&R needs to remain lean and mean if it wants a future on broadcast. That may be why Maura West — who came to Y&R from As the World Turns — has been notified that her character, Diane, has been cut. West’s last airdate is in August.

Still, Nikki is a core character and fans would no doubt revolt if she was gone for good. More news as it becomes available.

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