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43rd Annual Daytime Emmys: GH Wins Drama Series, Tyler Christopher and Mary Beth Evans Take Top Acting Honors!

Courtesy/NATAS

Sunday night at the 43rd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, it was ABC’s General Hospital that was the night’s big winner.

Not only was GH honored for the first time in five years for Outstanding Drama Series, but also the series took home 5 total Emmys last night making 9 wins for the long running series including Friday night’s Creative Arts victories.  Both ceremonies were held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.  General Hospital’s Tyler Christopher took home the gold for the first time in his career as Nikolas Cassadine, in scenes surrounding the dark prince trying to hold it together after his son Spencer (Nicolas Bechtel)  is badly burned in a fire at Wyndemere.  Christopher’s victory took away longtime GH icon Tony Geary’s (Luke) chance at winning a record-tying 9 Emmys.

Days of our Lives Mary Beth Evans won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a drama Series for her performance as Dr. Kayla Brady – the first for a role she has played for 30 years.  However, Evans set a record of her own this past weekend winning 3 total Daytime Emmys: a victory in Outstanding Actress in a Daytme Digital Drama Series for The Bay, and as producer for the series which took home Outstanding Daytime Digital Drama Series.   Both of those awards were given out on Friday night.   Evans won on the strength of her work with longtime DAYS scene partners: Peter Reckell (Bo) and Stephen Nichols (Patch).

Courtesy/NATAS

In the Outstanding Supporting Actress category, Jessica Collins won for her performance as Avery Bailey Clark on CBS’ The Young and the Restless.   It was a bittersweet victory for the actress who left the series almost a year ago.  Meanwhile, Sean Blakemore took home his first Emmy for his role as Shawn Butler on General Hospital in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category.  Blakemore was not present for the awards, so his one-time GH scene partner Vinessa Antoine (Jordan) accepted on his behalf.

True O’Brien took home a gold statuette in the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Paige Larson on Days of our Lives, and Bryan Craig celebrated Emmy night with some gold with a victory in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series for his work as Morgan Corinthos on General Hospital.

Obba Babatunde’ won for his performance as Julius Avant in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series on The Bold and the Beautiful, and B&B took home the Outstanding Writing Team in a Drama Series honors for the transgender storyline. General Hospital took home the Outstanding Directing Team in a Drama Series for its 52nd Anniversary episode led by director Bill Ludel.

Courtesy/ABC

And in other notable daytime category emmy wins last night:  Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan were named Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts in an ironic twist given all the behind the scenes drama at Live with Kelly and Michael that ensued between the two over the last few weeks.

CBS” The Talk was named Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment, and The Price is Right won Outstanding Game Show. Outstanding Game Show Host went to Craig Ferguson, Celebrity Name Game, and  Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host was given to Dr. Oz for The Dr. Oz Show, and Outstanding Talk Show/Informative went to ABC’s The Chew.  Outstanding Morning Program went to CBS Sunday Morning, while  Outstanding Entertainment News Program was taken by Extra.

What did you think of this year’s 43rd annual Daytime Emmy winners in the daytime drama categories? Share your thoughts below!

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Jay Trotter
Guest
Jay Trotter

General Hospital dominated at the Daytime Emmys this year!!! Best actor: Tyler Christopher Best supporting actor: Sean Blakemore Best young actor: Bryan Craig Best drama series: General Hospital Best directing: General Hospital Best casting: General Hospital Best technical team: General Hospital Best multiple camera editing: General Hospital Best costume design: General Hospital ——————————————————– Tyler Christopher winning his first daytime emmy on his first nomination in the lead actor category was the best news of the night. He was up against some serious competition with Tony Geary and Christian Le Blanc, whom have a combined 11 wins between them and have… Read more »

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

Gonna give a big “CONGRATULATIONS!” to GH’s Costume Design team. They deserve it. With the array of characters they have to dress, everyone always looks appropriate for their personality & economic situation. And, thank goodness the writers finally gave us back Crimson because now Nina & Maxie are always wearing amazing outfits, even when they’re suffering personally. That’s got to a dream come true for that dept. too.

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Great summation, Jay. I was especially thrilled with Bryan Craig’s win. Was there ever a more deserved victory? And he looked really hot too… just a bonus.

Patrick
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Patrick

NICE ! that this is at the top of the heap ! “…Tyler Christopher winning his first daytime emmy on his first nomination in the lead actor category was the best news of the night. ” TC has been on GH for 20 years ( debuted,July 15, 1996 ) he has been nominated in every category… 1998, Nominated at Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Younger Actor 2005, Nominated at Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor 2006, Nominated at Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor 2016, Won, “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” Daytime Emmys Stephen Nichols had to have been… Read more »

Dylan
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Dylan

I am fine with all the wins, but…Best Casting?? What did they submit for that??

Melissa
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Melissa

Agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said with the exception of Bryan Craig. I find his acting to be over the top and lacking in nuance — the opposite of the qualities which won Tyler and Sean their awards.

Les
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Les

I, too, was very pleased to see Tyler recognized this way. It has been a long time coming!

Jay Trotter
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Jay Trotter

PS: Great job in covering the daytime emmys, Michael.

We may not have gotten to see and hear everything in a live setting this year but you provided fast updates on the winners and posted some great pictures from the event and those of us who follow you are happy for the solid coverage.

davlestev1
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davlestev1

The entire awards show from start to finish is on soaps she knows website like nothing ever happened I’m going to watch later… Watch at your leisure…. Show is at end of the post

Patrick
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Patrick

soaps.com

su0000
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su0000

WTG !!! GH was honored for the first time in five years for Outstanding Drama Series.. ————— CONGRATS Ron Carlivati !!! It was RC’s writing that brought the gold home.. GH– I was a bit shocked that Tony did not get his 9th emmy.. Tyler Christopher is very good but he is not in Tony’s league. Maybe the judges were tired of giving it to Tony/Luke LOL .. Y&R– Jessica Collins,, good call.. she deserves the emmy ! GH– Bryan Craig / Morgan.. well deserved emmy! he has really brought his scenes home. And– General Hospital took home the Outstanding… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

No shock, here, su0000, re Tony Geary–he burned too many bridges inside and outside (with fellow actors and viewers alike). So sad still to think what he might have achieved–“he had such great promise”–lol!

Shell
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Shell

It’s nice to see this new chapter in GH’s history. It’s nice to see the show getting some much deserved recognition. 🙂

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

In all honesty, I thought TG’s depiction of Luke’s father showed ego and hamhandedness. I get that he was probably dissed for his outrageous behavior in leaving the show, but I wasn’t all that blown away by his acting in the scenes he submitted. JMO.

sonniorsolita
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sonniorsolita

I was grateful the academy recognized that Tony’s acting in the “Fluke” storyline (and Maura West’s acting as Denise, for that matter) really crossed the line into camp — the kind of thing soaps get mocked for — and chose actors who this year were more consistent. Congrats to Tyler and Mary Beth, who both had A-game years!

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

People don’t need to feel bad for Tony Geary. He is one of the most feted actors in daytime *and* nighttime. No one has won as many acting Emmys for one role as he has. And, if he had to lose, I think he’d be pleased to lose to Christopher, who began the role of Nikolas opposite Geary 20 years ago. There is a nice symmetry in that IMO, considering both his GH “sons” – Jonathan Jackson & Tyler Christopher – have grown into such fine actors.

Dan
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Dan

Actually Su, GH submitted two episodes in the Best Drama category, Ron Carlivati obviously wrote the 52nd Anniversary show, the other show was from December, written by Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman. They get judged on both episodes, so as much as you don’t like them, Jean and Shelly share in the award.

Dylan
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Dylan

Thank you Dan! Half of the submission was an episode penned by Ron and his team. As a special black and white episode, it is judged on more than just writing. It is judged on production values, acting, direction, etc, and in those ways, the episode was fantastic! While I do feel it was some of Ron’s best work, It doesnt erase or negate the year long meandering, history bending, over the top, hastily rewritten debacle that was the Fluke storyline. If the win for best show lied solely with Ron Carlivati, he would have won for best writing, which… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

“JUST” for you, @su0000

taken from @daytime emmys twitter

BOOM: Every award won by @GeneralHospital tonight featured material under the pen of @carlivatiron

Patrick
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Patrick

@su0000

I don’t know what happened to the rest of my post…. that post above was taken from #daytimeemmy tweetdom

congrats to you Mr. Ron Carlivati… no matter what was said about you… then and even with some of the “stars” at GH

you worked your stuff

Hi Sonny

it’s with complete aplomb that I celebrate : Anthony Geary did not… deserve to win his 9th

su0000
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su0000

hey Patrick..

Vicki Dummer
@vickiabc123
ABC Exec.
.. Tweeted Ron Carlivati..
Congratulating him on his ‘outstanding’ work/writing..

((the emmy win..

Fanny
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Fanny

Thrilled for GENERAL HOSPITAL…Drought over, well deserved.❗️❗️❗️
Tyler Christopher and Bryan Craig…BRAVO.

Jason Loves GH
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Jason Loves GH

Congratulations to General Hospital! Daytime drama at its finest!

Jason
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Jason

A very well deserved win, I watch all four soaps and right now GH is the best show, the rest of them really need to step up their game as far as storytelling, but GH does needs to improve they tend to drag out stories forever and dropping storylines that fans are invested in only to pick it back up months later and fans lose interest. It’s a shame it wasn’t televised.

Omar
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Omar

Shane Blakemore won!!?? WTF
Can someone tell me why?? SMH

clh
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clh

Agreed, he was rarely on and minimal story-line. He shot a gun and took the fall for someone else woohoo. Many others on GH more deserving.

mark
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mark

I know really!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I was wondering that myself!

Kevin
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Kevin

I wholeheartedly agree!

Soaphound
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Soaphound

Omar, I share your frustration. As much as I liked both the actor and the character (which we know doesn’t always happen), an Emmy seems a bit generous for the little time he had this season. I’ll just console myself that it’s an overall excellence award for his time on GH. The Oscars do it nearly every year as well and it’s equally irritating.

Harry
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Harry

I think the fact that Sean won speaks volumes about how pointless and erroneous the daytime Emmys are. GH best writing? In what universe and compared to what? Fifty Shades of Grey? Try Fifty Shades of Crappy! Best costume goes to GH? Really? Except for Maxie and maybe Anna, the female characters on GH look like they should be showcased on What Not to Wear. Some of the characters are wearing the most ill fitting, unflattering for their figure types and ages attire I have ever had the misfortune of seeing. To see really well dressed women, check out Y&–they… Read more »

Shay
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Shay

@Harry….Amen! As always, you say what I am thinking! Pointless, indeed! When I heard GH took the prize for best show, all I could do was wonder how bad the other three must have been…seriously! And as for the costume design, again, I had to ask myself what must the wardrobes on the competition look like???? You have so perfectly described my very notions on the fashions that the majority of characters don on GH….save for those two aforementioned ladies, and it is rumored Finola provides her own apparel, which would explain why she always looks so pulled together and… Read more »

Beth
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Beth

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. Awards shows where there are only 4 soaps left to battle for Best this and that are silly. It makes the entire award process seem false to me when all soaps left standing (and limping along) are nominated for best soap, best writing, best directing, etc. But if any of them had to win it, I’m glad it was GH. Y&R was dull. DOOL was often stupid in its storytelling, and wasteful of its talent. B&B was way overrated. GH disappointed me alot but it has more talent in its cast… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Never silly to honor work well done!

Anthony
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Anthony

Beth – I agree with you in part. It does seem a little silly that all 4 remaining soaps get nominated for “best” this, that, and the other thing, but it beats the alternative – no soap recognition at all. Back in the heyday of soaps there were 14-19 dramas going, but no daytime awards at all. To have daytime awards and not recognize the remaining soaps would be worse – and just nominating 2 of 4 would be odd, too. The only way to rectify this problem would for the networks to bring on more soaps and less food,… Read more »

davlestev1
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davlestev1

Geez negative Nancy that’s actually the number of big soaps all over the world in other countries so it’s not weird at all.. We just got used to 10 to 20 of them. We only need 4

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Not “negative Nancy”! Please note that I said it is “never silly to honor work well done.” All positive–nothing negative about my comment–maybe you were looking at someone else’s comment??

davlestev1
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davlestev1

Are you changing your name from beth to Nancy how on earth did you think that wasn’t too the original poster which want you.. Please review who posted what to who.. I didn’t even see your reply on the day I posted.. So yeah I was looking at beth post..

Rj
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Rj

Congrats to Mary Beth Evans! Always,enjoy seeing her on Days!

Congrats to the others, but I am not familiar with their work.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)

It actually was nice to see actors in first time wins instead of the predictable usually wins that made the show seem tired with the same old repeat winners…Days mistake was aging the teens when it already had fine younger actors who played Paige, Bev, and Rory!!!

Mo
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Mo

I too thought that–nice to see some first timers win.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Super pleased that True won for Paige. That was awesome, I can’t wait to hear her acceptance speech. I wish Paige didn’t die. True is a true gem. And, Days was not smart when they let her and Kassie go.

Patrick
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Patrick

the panel of judges could have went for the tried and true… the obvious

and YES… our dear little Emma… is golden… will shine for the rest of her life

True O’Brien… with the advent of new writers… was at last given material… and it’s not her “doing” that the 2 submissions… are quality

I sometimes… get miffed… that when an actor gets fired… let go
because the writing stunk

and the regime changes… “fire”

this lady… had it in her to feature

I applaud this choice…. and the “winner” is

from DAYS of OUR Lives… True O’Brien… ex-Page… Kassie’ daughter

Mo
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Mo

Congrats to Mary Beth, Paige, Obba. Nice to see Days get some love.

I’m super surprised Jessica won. I just did not enjoy her on Y&R.

I really think Linsey should have won. Also think B&B should have won for Best Show.

Why was Jessica’s win bittersweet, but Paige’s was not? Both left the shows they won Emmys for.

Mo
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Mo

Oops, meant True. Got her name and character name mixed up.

Jeremy
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Jeremy

Super pleased for Mary Beth Evans, she really had the strongest and most versatile reel. I was really rooting for Kassie, but a win from Mary Beth is just as rewarding and well-deserved. Awesome work from True as Paige, too!

Patrick
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Patrick

thanks Jeremy for sharing… it’s a tough win yeah… yeah.. yeah when a show falters when storylines “suck” what carries…. when an actor… pulls out all the stops… and frontburners it’s like the ole saying… you could watch… said actor… read the phone book oy! it’s that much more magnified.. when… top of the line.. top draw… just class all the way around this was an angst year I knew in my gut… it had to be… either or… Kassie DePaiva or Mary Beth Evans I wanted Kassie for the “win” I “knew” it would be “lights up my telee”… Read more »

Deborah Doucet
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Deborah Doucet

This show should have been televised! After all us, the fans, are the reason they win these awards! Other emmy shows are televised, why not this one. So not fair to us!!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I totally agree–be fair! Telecast them all.

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

It’s strictly a ratings decision. Awards shows are typically held in the evening, meaning broadcast or cable channels have to decide to give up hours during primetime to air them. They are happy to do it if the award show can bring ratings as good, or higher, than the shows that usually air. But, they aren’t going to give up precious primetime tv slots to an award show that can’t meet what is usually programmed. Sunday night has a LOT of shows that easily get 10 million viewers/hour. The last Daytime Emmy show that was broadcast got under 1 million… Read more »

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Congratulations to everyone who was honored for their outstanding contributions to Daytime Television. Of course there will be debates with everyone having a different idea who should have won opposed to who did win, but these type of awards are so subjective, unlike sporting events that have a clear objective to be declared the winner. Personally I am glad to see other people win in the acting categories other than the usual faces that win at Emmy time, it gives me hope the Emmy process is reforming itself and becoming more about awarding good work rather than being fixed by… Read more »

Harry
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Harry

You are exactly right, Mary.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Harry, you comments on Sean’s and Bryan’s win–and your comments on GH winning for best writing, TG’s “non-win,” as well as your comments on best costime award (not!) are right one, as usual.

mark
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mark

Congrats Mary Beth Evans!!!!! And Bryan Craig!!! And Tyler Christopher!!

Jillian
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Jillian

Thanks for posting this! Is there anywhere on-line we can view the awards ceremony?

aria
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aria

congrats to all the winners especially the ones from GH. to bad it wasn’t aired, i’m really disappointed in that.

Fanny
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Fanny

Agree aria…

jeremy
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jeremy

Congrats to all the winners, Especially General Hospital my only Fave Soap on Air 🙂

Tom
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Tom

Would love to have seen Maura West earn another Emmy, but so happy for Mary Beth. Kayla Brady (AKA Sweetness) has been rocking faces off for decades. Well deserved, Dr. Johnson.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Yea, Mary Beth! So good to see you win (wish I HAD seen it!) 🙁 So good to see a such a genuine, hardworking person win. No ego there–just gratitude. How satisfying and refreshing, for a change. Go, Mary Beth. Hope the writers will continue to write substantive stories for you and Steve Nichols. (PS Do you think the writers can make that “Joey smothers Eva” go away? LOL! Why DID they have to throw in such a sensational event as that? (I know: I know–they’ve been taking a page out of GH’s writers’ notebooks! LOL!)

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

And THREE Emmys for Mary Beth? See, she’s been working hard–for 30 years without ONE nom–and gratitude, just gratitude for all that time working. I say she is a model for everyone. (And she genuinely LIKES her costar, Stephen Nichols–you know I couldn’t resist THAT one!)

k/kay
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k/kay

Yep his sweetness took the gold!

Tay
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Tay

That’s one thing about MB & Stephen (him especially) – no one can accuse those too of not getting along/liking each other.

Tristan
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Tristan

Thrilled for Tyler Christopher. He always steps up, WHEN they give him storyline where Nic has a POV. Of late, his purpose has been to help deify the almighty Jason. But when he is given great writing, he gives a great performance. Currently my favorite leading man on GH. And never better than with little Nicholas Bechtel, or the wonderful Becky Herbst. Now…can we please get NIZ???????????

Rodd
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Rodd

So happy for everyone at GH for their wins and for MBE, too, (even though I was rooting for another actress)!

It’s such a shame we didn’t get to see it live, but I’ll trust the always on-top-of-it-Mr. Michael Fairman to post come pictures and interviews later on.

Tay
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Tay

While I love Genie as Laura on GH, I’m a little curious what she could do on the canvas at Days as maybe Kitty Horton or some other long lost character connected to the Horton’s/Brady clan.

Tay
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Tay

Sorry, that was meant as a reply to another comment.

Rodd
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Rodd

LOL! “some”….post SOME pictures and interviews later on.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Now it’s time for Genie Francis, who is a contemporary of Mary Beth, to have a story line where she can show her stuff like Mary Beth–writers, are you listening???

Tristan
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Tristan

Since when do GH writers listen to fans? However, I do like where “Jelly” are taking the show now, so…maybe THEY will hear us, re: the divine Genie F. I mean, Laura and Kevin??? An inspired pairing and we DO have “Jelly” to thank! Therefore, I am cautiously optimistic.

Anthony
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Anthony

Amen. Genie has been held back long enough! Story line – now!!!

Mary Beth Walsh
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Mary Beth Walsh

I am thrilled that GH finally received the recognized forits excellence. So sick of YR & BB always winning when they have been awful for years now.

Mo
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Mo

Y&R and B&B have not been awful for years. They are actually quite good.

Harry
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Harry

Sorry, Mary Beth but I think GH has been pretty dreadful for the last five years or so. I still try and hang on but do want every day.
I do DVR Y&R and I watch almost every episode because they still know how to entertain.

Les
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Les

Hear, hear!

Fabia
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Fabia

I am infinitely delighted for Mary Beth. She is very deserving of this award.
Congrats to all.

Timmm
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Timmm

First let me say, I am happy we still have FOUR soaps on the air. How does Y&R pull the big ratings but GH who deserved it, wins the Daytime Drama? Love it, though! I love Tyler as Nicholas. He did a wonderful job BUT Anthony Geary should have had his ninth Emmy for his Fluke story. Yes, the story wasnt all that good but his acting was superb AND the B&W episode was better TV than anything on primetime TV! Mary Beth Evans is great BUT Finola deserved the Emmy. All the ladies deserved the win but Finola as… Read more »

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

GH’s has been a big dud so far!

Timmm
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Timmm

Really? It just won and Emmy!

diane
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diane

The only soap I watch barely is the Young and the Restless. I am glad it did not win any major awards. Maybe that will open the eyes of the powers that be to how bad it sucks!!!

Jonboy
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Jonboy

Hopefully the results send a strong message to Sony/CBS and they make some necessary changes to YnR.

k/kay
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k/kay

Wonderful that somebody got the memo that we wanted some fresh faces on that stage getting awards for the hard work that they have put in. I was thrilled that Mary Beth Evans got it just jumping up and down a wonderful person a hard worker. Memo: Michael Fairman thank you so much for your constant updates you made it feel like we were there. Thanks again!!! Congrats to all the winners!

Lew S.
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Lew S.

Congrats to GH – Well deserved!! Also to Jessica Collins, who in the end, deserved a better storyline than she received.

Soaphound
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Soaphound

I was especially happy for Jessica Collins who was truly superb last year. What I always liked about her was that she overcame a character who was often inconsistent and not always likable. She gave a lot of layers to Avery Bailey-Clark. Her scenes with Scott Elrod and Gina Tognoni were especially powerful. She’s one of the few recent exits that I disagreed with (ditto Scott Elrod, Matthew Atkinson, and Kelly Sullivan) . Why can’t they ditch Summer, Natalie, Max, and Stitch instead?

su0000
Guest
su0000

OK-
Who were the judges?

Why are the Judges hidden in the dark?

Who judged the soaps??

Mo
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Mo

Aren’t the judges actors on the shows? They are judged by their peers.

Abruzzfan
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Abruzzfan

Good question Su! I have always wondered this myself?

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Michael had a whole program here with Laura Wright who said she was part of the judging for the best actor. According to her, she (and others, I’m sure) get the tapes and study them–and vote for whom they consider the best. A panel of judges–and I guess it varies from year to year.
To Michael Fairman–please correct anything I said that is not correct. Thanks, Nancy

Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

The only good thing about these winners is that Geary’s name was NOT called yet again…

jaybird369
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jaybird369

Yo, James…EXACTLY!!!!! That Geary dude has ENOUGH Emmys already!!!!!

Peace, Brother.

Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

We call ’em as we see ’em, Brother!

Charday
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Charday

I don’t really understand Sean Blakemore or Bryan Craig’s wins–neither had any remarkable scenes on GH that I remember. Still, congrats to them, but especially long-deserving Tyler Christopher. And then there was the two losers at Regis and Kathie Lee, er, Kelly the Ripper and Michael–that win made me laugh! The awards show supposedly will be streaming in its entirety on TheTalk.com beginning tomorrow.

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Congrats to GH and Jessica Collins – Well deserved!

Jp
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Jp

Congrats to all the winners!!! Also loved the memoriam featuring the song “for good” from the tony award winning musical to honor those we have lost this past year.However, it was upsetting that they forgot to include tony award winner Patricia Elliot who played renee Devine Buchanan for over 20 years on one life to live.

Ray
Guest
Ray

For 2017 Daytime Emmy consideration:

Heather Tom, Kate Mansi – Best Actress
Supporting Actress – Jane Elliott, Suzanne Rogers
Supporting Actor – Scott Clifton, Darin Brooks

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Yes, to Kate Mansi (Lead) & Suzanne Rogers!!!! Add, Melissa Reeves, to supporting.
And, if I may… Best Actor to Billy Flynn.

ELIZABETH
Guest
ELIZABETH

Jane Elliott definitely for her great storyline this year and all her work on GH for the last decade!! I would say she could even be in Best Actress category but she is not on enough. It’s a shame because she is a powerhouse.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

DITTO, for Genie Francis–now when was the last day she was on? Come on, writers–can’t you do better than that? I love it that Finola has a big story and is on lots AND was nominated. She and Genie are contemporaries–why does Genie not have a comparable storyline? And I’d love to see her and Finola working together. Wouldn’t that be great? Two consummate professionals–both with great senses of humor and the ability to improvise. I love that twinkle in Finola’s eye–and Genie had it again–with that impish grim–with her scenes with “Kevin.” Tell me there is more to come!

cindy martinez
Guest
cindy martinez

The strength of MBE’s work stands for itself. She is a true actress who has always been about working hard and being rewarded from the process more then the glitz. So happy for her

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

I second the emotion. 🙂

Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Production Designer, Tom Early, Shows Off New and Reimagined DiMera Mansion Set

It’s always great to see a face-lift to the sets on your favorite soaps.  So many of then have been around for years and years, and in these changing times need to be given new life and freshened up, as much as longtime fans may miss the comfort and familiarity of the originals.

2020 and 2021 has also definitely been filled with challenges and keeping everyone safe on set throughout the coronavirus pandemic on all of your favorite soaps.

Photo: TEarlyTwitter

Recently, Days of our Lives fans noticed a change to the famous DiMera mansion set, where for decades the likes of Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) graced the room with bluster and drama as only Stefano could.

With so much of the action taking place there in story, and several key characters living at the mansion, it was time for an update.

Production Designer, Tom Early took to his Twitter account and shared two views of the reimagined set.

Take a look and let us know what you think of the new look DiMera Mansion via the comment section below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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