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CBS Entertainment SR. VP Daytime Angelica McDaniel: "Soaps Are Bigger Than Game Shows Or Talk Shows In Daytime!"

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Soaps are getting some great recognition today in a new piece out from TV Guide, entitled, Why Soaps Are Bubbling” which details the upswing in the ratings in 2013 for the four remaining network soap operas, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Young and the Restless.

TVG spoke to Angelica McDaniel, senior vice president for daytime programming at CBS to get her thoughts on why the soaps are having a resurgence with the viewers at home.   Angelica commented that, “Soaps are bigger than game shows or talk shows in daytime.”   She went on to say, “For about a decade, daytime television was losing about a tenth of a ratings point every year, and it was accepted thinking that you couldn’t fight it.  Then I said, ‘We’re not going to accept this fate.'”

McDaniel also commented on how the loss of All My Children and One Life to Live did assist the other four remaining network soaps:   “There are daytime fans who like the routine of watching during the day. “Those people were looking for a new home.”

So, why do you think soaps are enjoying ratings uptakes in 2013?  Is it the storytelling? The fact that their are fewer options for the die-hard soap viewers, so they are checking out one of all of the four remaining networks soaps where they have not been before?  Do you think the executives such as McDaniel, have a better grasp on what the fans are saying and what the fans want to see?  Comment below!

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JonathanRobinPatFjimh(leave it to beaver)Llanviewer717 Recent comment authors
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jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Well, there ever be new soaps…not in the near future…imo…so we got to cling on to the remaining four and hope the upswing continues…

Troy Parkins
Troy Parkins

Too bad the Idiot executive(s) at ABC-TV that let All My Children be cancelled didn’t have the obvious foresight that Angelica McDaniel has.
Naturally, the other soaps are doing better and no one can deny that the dismissal of both One Life to Live and AMC are contributing factors to the increased viewership of the remaining soaps. I wish that CBS would pick up AMC at least as a half hour program. I know it won’t happen but we can dream.

lorenzo
lorenzo

cbs will never pick up all my children or one life to live. they are done. rip amc and one life to live.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

The same could be said about CBS too…and they cancelled As The World Turns and Guiding Light before ABC cancelled their soaps…so why is only ABC always the bad guy? All three networks shouldve had the foresight and not just one! (note: im not criticizing your opinion…im just saying we shouldnt blame just abc when the other two have done the same thing) i too have the same wish that you have but mine also included oltl but i think now both will never come back and if by chance they did i it wouldnt be the same since some actors have moved on!

Troy Parkins
Troy Parkins

That’s all right, we can all express our own opinions here. I know that it sounds like fans of ALL MY CHILDREN make abc-tv seem like “the bad guy” when really, I understand what you are saying about the two other major networks as well. I know that Soaps have had their time in the sun, we are no longer living in the 90’s, but I think that storytelling will always have it’s audience and if I were an Executive at abc-tv I would consider combining AMC with OLTL and presenting it as a Half hour program. There is an interesting TV show coming up this month (I believe on the TV Guide channel) regarding “Who Killed the Soap Opera” that I am sure many of us will be watching and responding to.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

You need to read the entire TV Guide article. From there, you can tell that CBS has no more “foresight” than any network when it comes to soaps. Television is a business, and needs to make money. So, CBS reduced by 50% the amount they were willing to pay for both Y&R and B&B. They aren’t investing more. In fact, they forced the production company to do with 50% less. If the Bells hadn’t been willing to cut their stars’ salaries & accept lower profits, CBS would have been willing to go without both soaps.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Thanks for reply…that show about soaps coming up seems interesting…thanks for mentioning it…i always like watching shows about soaps…i like the idea of combining both soaps…maybe’All My Life To Live’?

David Evan Smith
David Evan Smith

This looks like a puff piece from Angelica. It’s easy to say you weren’t going to accept this fate, but how does she mean? By NOT canceling Y&R and B&B? Well THAT’S easy to do when they are still at the top of the daytime heap ratings-wise, but it didn’t stop her (or CBS, since she wasn’t VP at the time, I guess) from culling ATWT and GL from the herd during the downturn of soaps’ ratings.

All it sounds like was her relishing the opportunity of poaching viewers of canceled series AMC and OLTL, not doing anything personally to maintain her own original viewers or to pull new ones by any strategy other than leaving the two top-rated soaps on air. Passively supporting the genre by not swinging the axe isn’t actively supporting the genre or looking for ways to truly save or revive it.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. I thought of ATWT as I read the piece. It is ironic that neither ATWT nor GL were even mentioned by name in the article.

From this article and the other comments that I have read from McDaniel, I am not impressed with her.

Jake M.
Jake M.

Angelica McDaniel commented that “Soaps are bigger than game shows or talk shows in daytime.” And? Is she planning to bring back ATWT or GL?

Jake

mary
mary

We told you soo. soaps are great and they have the most loyal and devoted fans. Most shows on TV can leave and people will not fight it, but when cancelled OLTL, they heard us , but still did nothing. The only good that came out of the AMC and OLTL is that Frank and Ron are at GH and are doing a great job.

su0000
su0000

When AMC and OLTL were canceled, the fans of the 2 soaps moved on to the remaining soaps therefore giving them a boost in the ratings/numbers of new fans..

Soap fans have an addiction, their soaps..
They will flock to wherever they can get their daytime soap fix .. lol
So yes. Loosing AMC and OLTL gave the remaining soaps new life..

GH came back to life in the hands of FV and RC through great story telling and an influx of ‘some’ OLTL fans helping the numbers and now GH has picked up ‘new’ viewers as well, and that is a very good thing..

Fran
Fran

no, I will not watch the remaining 4 OLTL was it for me or maybe if JVD , RS and ES goes on one of them that could get me to watch

JLH
JLH

I’ve followed GH for over 35 years and watched OLTL before that. I didn’t look for another soap to fill the hole left when OLTL was cancelled, and if GH goes I won’t be looking for another soap for a daytime fix. And considering talk shows bore me, without GH I’d be done with network daytime TV completely.

Rapids
Rapids

Remaining soaps did benefit from the cancelations and big shakeout. Survival of the fittest for a while longer but I don’t think for a minute the soaps are out of danger. Supposedly the soaps have cut big time paychecks veterans used to get and this helps the bottom line for now. Will the soaps be here in five or ten years? Doubtful

Torrey
Torrey

The four remaining shows are benefiting from the loss of AMC, OLTL, GL, ATWT, Passions, Port Charles and all the other shows that I’m failing to mention. People are looking for a new home to tune into. Plus with so many new ways to tune into the shows these days, Execs need to take that into consideration before just canceling a show because it’s not doing well in the Nielsen Ratings.

David
David

Who does this woman think she’s fooling. This is just PR on her part. If she really believes that soap operas are bigger than game shows or talk shows then why is her network airing “The Price is Right”, “Let’s Make a Deal” and that horrible talk show “The Talk” when they could be airing soap operas in those timeslots instead?

mary jonas
mary jonas

yay Angelica. may soaps live on forever and ever. love em all forever! Bring back World Turns!

Robert
Robert

She is 100% correct! Soap fans do not want or need another crappy talk show, game show or cooking show! The final straw was the cancellation of AMC and OLTL! CBS, has ruled for years in daytime soaps with Y&R and B&B (I do feel the ratings systems needs work because something is amiss). Soaps have more longevity than all the talk shows, game shows and cooking shows combined!

boes
boes

She’s got some nerve taking credit for the upswing in soap ratings, when ABC/Disney killed two of the shows, one of which, OLTL, was doing very well in the ratings. And if ABC hadn’t let Frons and Sweeney interfere so dreadfully with AMC, it’s possible it too might have been doing better than it did until the end.
General Hospital has survived IN SPITE of ABC, certainly not because of it. Bringing in Ron C. and Frank V. was the only smart choice ABC made regarding the shows. But as much if not even more important, the fans fought the cancellations very hard and were very vocal and the network felt the wrath of those fans in the ratings for the replacement shows, and also supported the only survivor on ABC, General Hospital.
ABC, quite rightly, feared the response if they cancelled GH too, since nothing they put on the air after killing OLTL and AMC came close to the ratings the cancelled shows had.
GH survives in spite of ABC, not because of it, in any way.

Now if McDaniel wants to show us the money and revive OLTL and AMC, then maybe, just maybe, she and the rat network might have a shred of reliability.

Till then, the survival of GH in particular is due to the vociferous soap fans who have refused to take no for an answer, even after losing OLTL and AMC, and to Ron C. and Frank V. who have made the show watchable again.

(And I say this as someone who often is no fan of Ron C.’s writing style. But credit where credit is due, he’s done a lot to keep people watching – and entertained).

su0000
su0000

boes
December 3, 2013 at 4:46 pm
She’s got some nerve taking credit for the upswing in soap ratings, when ABC/Disney killed two of the shows,
……………………….

You did not read with comprehension..
She never took credit , not at all..
She merely said her opinion why the soaps are having a resurgence with the viewers at home.
nothing more less than that…
and she did not take credit for any of it.. sheeshus..

boes
boes

I’m sorry, I had no business saying what I did about McDaniel. I didn’t see that she is CBS, not ABC. I don’t know about the sins of CBS against the soaps. ABC, on the other hand….

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

Ah, as a regular viewer of ATWT, I can easily say that CBS has blood on its hands from the slaughter of that show.

Patrick
Patrick

all I have to say on this headline…. “As the World Turns” was thee top draw event of the century…. nothing compared.

so take that CBS… I’m not so much interested in Y&R or B&B

I’ll keep Days of OUR Lives and General Hospital.

although… come to think of it… this is good press for Serial….

ABC and NBC: take heed, cover your bases… leave well enough alone… all networks need the remaining shows… to fully encompass what should remain

su0000
su0000

We are so lucky to still have GH!!
So many thanks to FV and RC and ALL with GH, for keeping it alive 🙂

ricardo
ricardo

i love angelica so much. she knows what she is talking about, soaps are here to stay. lets support our remaining 4 soaps. young and the restless has been renewed for 3 more years. thats really good news. too many people are complaining about the young and the restless, now the storylines are picking up. its still number 1 and still going strong. gh is also doing well. bravo to frank valentini for saving gh from cancellation.

Jake M.
Jake M.

Ricardo,

Where did you read Y&R was renewed for 3 more years? I searched online and there was a rumor on 11-1-13 Y&R will be renewed, but there’s no other news since then. Thank you.

Jake

ricardo
ricardo

I read it on daytime confidential and heard it on the radio 2 weeks ago, that the young and the restless will be renewed for 3 more years.

Charday
Charday

GH’s 50th anniversary brought me back to the show Nov 2012—I hadn’t watched it in years, but highly enjoying it the last year.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Take that alphabet network!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

su0000
su0000

..
ABC could not support 3 soaps..
ABC has been supporting their remaining soap, GH..
I see a great future for GH 🙂

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

If they could not “support” 3 soaps and are therefore done with them, then why not sell AMC and OLTL to someone who wants them? After all, the all knowing powers at the alphabet company said the audience wants information, not entertainment. No, the scum licensed the shows to PP, at a hefty fee, and then took actions to make their continued success difficult. It’s a classic case of “It’s mine. I’m done with it and don’t want it anymore; but, you can’t have it either.”

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

Well, they kind of are…all the way to the bank. GH’s higher ratings benefit ABC directly because it’s the only soap owned & produced directly by a network.

su0000
su0000

And it is a very good thing that GH is ”benefiting” ABC, when or if it stops to benefit ABC they will cancel it 🙂

DavidsMuse
DavidsMuse

Until this soaps “upswing” resurrects AMC, I pass!

janet
janet

Lady your network cancelled the two shows I did watch. Or tried to till the end was so ruined. I never turn your network on before 8 pm. The garbage you replaced my AS the World Turns and Guiding Light with. I have never and will never watch. I don’t watch Y&R or BB . Maybe tiic of soaps the networks shouldn’t have told me soaps were dead. I might not have listened and just shut them off. GH sometimes ,like right now they are great. Wonder why. They brought back the vets Scorpios. Robin. Anna etc. The talk shows are a joke.

Kate
Kate

I am watching Y&R for one reason only….it has the most AMC actors on it. Hope to see more added. Yes, JR and Zach are on B&B but that soap is unwatchable for me. JR /Rick and Zach/Ridge were playing characters with depth on AMC, the characters on B&B are all surface.

SABRINA
SABRINA

Unless she plans of resurrecting ATWT and GL, I can do without her opinion, thank you very much.

PatF
PatF

Regardless of what people are saying, you really need to look at the ratings trends for those cancelled shows.

AMC and GL could never have been saved. They were so low rated by the time they went off the air that no one could have saved them. No one. Passions was in worse shape. All had fallen to such lows I don’t know how they would have made money while trying to recover in the Nielsens.

ATWT and OLTL however were different stories. ATWT had a poor couple of years, but still had the framework to turn it around (similar to what GH just did) with the right team in place. OLTL was the real disappointment as it was cancelled while its ratings started to improve.

I hope all four can survive. Days seems to be in the most jeopardy as the entire NBC network seems to be in flux. GH also seems safe for now.

Chris Inman
Chris Inman

Actually, ATWT had an up rise in ratings when it was cancelled as well.

PatF
PatF

Yes, my point being that both ABC and CBS did the knee jerk thing. Cancelled their lowest rated show, and then didn’t even try with their other two even though they weren’t performing that badly.

It really was a shame to see ATWT go as I still consider that the premiere soap of all time considering its dominance during the heyday of soaps. It could have been saved or at least stabilized. I really think that was a nail in the coffin for soaps at the time.

Phil
Phil

It is great that soaps are on an upswing, but for how long? Frankly, I only enjoy two at this time. GH is great and entertaining. It is fun to see what will happen in one day. It is more of a fly in shock viewers with a twist kind of show though. I miss Guiding Light. That show had family, and in its heydays saw some well thought out storylines that were deep and character driven. The closest think to that today is DAYS, which I believe is the best soap on the air right now. I doubt we will see a new soap hit the networks anytime in the future. A shame yes, but I think it is too late for that. You will have to look at Primetime or online for that now.

Mary SF
Mary SF

I agree with all the comments that stated soaps are not on a upswing if networks are not investing in new product or giving more money to existing soaps. This lady sounds like she was hired to kiss and make nice to “soap fans” in order to give an appearance of support, but in reality, if CBS had another product they were sure could get them more viewers for less money they would dump both Y&R and B&B in a heart beat.

mgb357
mgb357

And maybe CBS can try something new by expanding their Soap selections…

I hear OLTL and AMC fans are still waiting for them to be resurrected from the internet. And they had decent ratings…

Just buy them from ABC and Prosoect park and they will have a built in audience who will be loyal beyond their imagination.

David
David

They cancelled ATWT and GL so why would you think they would want AMC and OLTL?

David
David

Are you on drugs or something?

They cancelled ATWT and GL so why would you think they would want AMC and OLTL?

mgb357
mgb357

Not drugs… just cold medicine and some wishful thinking..

Chris Inman
Chris Inman

Exactly David. If CBS wants to bring shows back they will bring the ones Les Moonves killed (ATWT and GL) to give his little wifey a trashy talk show. Not soaps from another network.

David
David

Are you on drugs or something? Get real.

They cancelled ATWT and GL so why would you think they would want AMC and OLTL?

Susan Miller
Susan Miller

I think she is doing an excellent job of brunging more soaps back into our daytime shows !!Thank u angelica !!

David
David

Where did you read her saying anything about bringing more soaps? She only said that she believes that soap operas are bigger than game shows and talk shows. She never said anything about adding more soaps. Of course this is just PR on her part. In case you have forgotten, CBS cancelled two daytime soap operas (in 2009 and 2010). They’re not going to bring back more soaps. If anything, they may actually cancel Y&R and B&B if they start doing bad in the ratings. Fortunately, we’re not there yet; Days has more to worry about than the two CBS soaps.

Chris Inman
Chris Inman

They are having a resurgence in ratings because fans from the other shows are flocking to the only four left. They haven’t got better, that is for sure. I personally have no interest left in soaps now that the only two really good shows are gone, ATWT and GL. Cancel the rest and bring them back, along with AMC and OLTL, see how fast their ratings rise.

Jenny Brooks
Jenny Brooks

I’m not sure of the reasons, but I’m just grateful somebody finally noticed!

RLeternal
RLeternal

I stopped watching soaps after ATWT was cancelled. If they ever resurrect ATWT without the stupid CG and JP at the helm; then I will watch it. But, since that’s not going to happen; I’ll continue my focus on sports events and reality shows shown on TV. I love Judge Judy. I hate talk shows; I have never watched them and never will; it’s a colossal waste of time listening to the crap of talk shows.

Robin
Robin

Well if Angelica really believes this then it would be beneficial to speak with the writers of Y&R and ask them to stop the trashing of Sharon Newman and that fan base. We have watched patiently and loyally for over 7 years while various writers have trashed our favorite character beyond recognition. The latest stunt of putting her in Summer’s paternity story line to appease other fan bases may prove to be their downfall. I certainly hope that they clean this story line up and put the blame for the DNA story where it belongs; on Nick Newman.

Jonathan
Jonathan

ATWT was the best and historical,

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DAYS Promo: What’s Going To Happen At Jarlena’s Wedding Anniversary Shindig?

Coming up next week on Days of our Lives, prepare for drama, drama, and more drama! From the looks of the latest promo for the NBC soap opera, the action takes place at Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) surprise one-year wedding anniversary soirée, where things could take a deadly turn!

But with the Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) masquerading as “Nicole” plot reaching new heights, Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley) and Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis) back in Salem, and the promo telling viewers “For one guest, the party, is over” followed by Sonny (Freddie Smith) yelling, “She’s got a gun!” and Brady’s (Eric Martsolf) ending line, “Oh, my God!” there is plenty to conjecture.

Also seen in the teaser is Kate (Lauren Koslow) trying to rip off the face of Susan Banks (Stacy Haiduk), and Stefan (Brandon Barash) and Gabi (Camila Banus) getting hot and heavy and Eric (Greg Vaughan) yelling, “No!”

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DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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