Plus, Emmy-winning star Jason Thompson tells EW about being back at work during the pandemic.

By Lynette Rice
August 07, 2020 at 11:00 AM EDT

Genoa City is finally open to the public.

After a very long hiatus due to the pandemic, The Young and the Restless will return to original episodes on Aug. 10. To help celebrate its return, EW has obtained an exclusive sneak peek from the episode and an interview with Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott). Here, the recent Emmy winner talks about their new normal at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, where the CBS sudser is taped.

Young and the Restless star Jason Thompson
Credit: CBS

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What it's been like to be back at work? 

JASON THOMPSON: It's been actually really great. It's been great to see everybody and get back to the stage and do what we love to do. It feels very safe. Everybody's done a great job of making sure we all take the precautions we need to make sure that everybody's safe. We haven't really had any problems. We're getting the job done. What's interesting about what we do too is how we can turn this show around pretty quick and get episodes back on the air. I mean, we're already having new episodes on Aug. 10! That's huge. We know how to do it quickly. So I think the network is looking to us as a little bit of a guide to show how it can be done. We're going into our fourth week right now [of filming].

How long were you gone from work?

I would say a full four months. That's a long time. In that time, obviously, you're not doing what you love to do. You're not seeing the people that you're used to seeing every day. So we're very happy to be back. It's amazing to see everybody get on the same page and realize what we can accomplish. There's definitely social distancing. Everybody has a mask on, and on top of that, the crew was cut down quite a bit to make sure everybody is at least six feet away from each other. The only ones who aren't wearing masks are the two actors who are filming the scene. We wear the mask for rehearsal and blocking. When it's time to actually shoot the scene, we take our masks off.

Remind folks where Billy was before the break.

Billy had a little bit of a rough year and his mom was trying to get him back on his feet. She came up with the great idea of starting a communication division. She put Billy and Lily in charge of that. We're kind of splitting the duties. Of course, it's the Newmans and the Abbotts, and we never really get along all that well. So in this episode, it's a little bit of a recap about where we and where we left off. It's the anniversary of Katherine Chancellor's death, so everybody's gathered to remember and celebrate her at Chancellor Park. Billy and Lily take the opportunity to interview people there [for the new division], which is a way for us to kind of regroup and recap where we left off for everyone.

So why is Victor bagging on Billy in this scene?

Oh you know, he's a very frustrated man and he just needs to let it out on Billy. I'm okay with that. It keeps it exciting.

Congratulations on winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in June! Are you looking at it right now?

No, I don't have it yet. I've said to our publicists, I'm not going to believe any of it happened until it's sitting on my cupboard. But when I do get it, I'll stare at it for a while.

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