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So much for Shemar Moore ever reprising his role of Malcolm Winters on “The Young and the Restless.” Beginning next month, the character will be played by former “Family Matters” star Darius McCrary, according to EW.com.

McCrary signed a multi-year deal to assume the role beginning with a taping on Nov. 18, the Web site reported. His debut will air on Dec. 29.

“We are thrilled to have the character of Malcolm back on Y&R,” according to a statement from Maria Bell, the drama’s co-executive producer/head writer. “Malcolm, Neil Winters’ brother, has always been a catalyst to exciting stories. He’s coming back to town to see his brother and to reunite with his biological daughter, Lily Winters, as she fights for her life. Malcolm is a photographer…someone who lives on the edge and who always pushes the envelope.”

Moore left the soap in 2005 to co-star in CBS’ “Criminal Minds.” According to EW, “it seems obvious that Moore’s busy schedule (‘Minds’ is about to air its 100th episode) — combined with the fact that Bell wanted the Malcolm character back full-time – made it impossible for Moore to return (one insider even said that Moore has been approached before about coming back to the show but it was clear that it wouldn’t work out because of his commitment to ‘Minds’).”

McCrary will find a familiar face on the Y&R set; the Emmy-winning Bryton James (Devon) used to co-star as Richie Crawford on Family Matters, as well.

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