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DAYS Delicious Doppelgängers, Chabby Drama, Hernandez Bro Conflict: Ron Carlivati’s First Three Episodes Raise The Bar To Engaging and Entertaining!

Courtesy/NBC

Right from the start of this past Wednesday’s episode of Days of our Lives through to cliffhanger Friday, when viewers tuned-in to see the debut of heralded head writer Ron Carlivati’s work on the NBC sudser, longtime fans could not help but notice the vast improvement in dialogue, story pacing, nods to the shows history, and humor and dramatic conflicts that are signatures of the Daytime Emmy-winning scribes work. In addition, the editing of the episodes seemed quicker and more intense, and when the scenes went to commercial break, it felt it was at just at the right spots to leave the audience clamoring for more.

Courtesy/NBC

So, how did Ron make us keep glued to our screens to see how the action played out?  Well, let’s start with the return of the doppelgangers orchestrated by Morgan Fairchild as Angelica Deveraux in her plan to snare Justin Kiriakis (Wally Kurth) all for herself.  However, she has brought in some bubbling cons to assist her … chief among them, Hattie Adams (Deidre Hall) who is trying her best to learn “shrink” jargon to parade around town as Marlena, such as when quizzed how she would handle a patient’s anxiety dosing.  Hattie spouts “I’d zap the dula with a gargantuan dose of diazepam.”  In another moment Hattie mixes up “bipolar disorder” by calling it “bisexual disorder”.

Courtesy/NBC

Marlena (Deidre Hall), who finally gets to see her man return to Salem John (Drake Hogestyn) is then not so happy to learn he is running off with his son Paul (Christopher Sean) to try to find the real killer of Deimos Kiriaskis, since Sonny (Freddie Smith) is in jail.  They are off to talk to another convict, Xander!  It was also good to see Paul Telfer back on our screens and in some snappy repartee’ especially when he snarls at Paul that Sonny would not be, “Man enough to kill Deimos.”

Meanwhile, Hattie is roped into Angelica’s plan, because she wants Roman all to herself and Angelica pivots that if she sticks with her they both will get what they want.  You can see the stage is set for some major miscues and interpretations once Hattie infiltrates Marlena’s life. At the end of Friday’s episode, Angelica enlists Hattie to do one more thing …  to go back to Statesville prison and get none other than Adrienne’s doppelganger, Bonnie Lockhart (Judi Evans) be part of the master plan.   And as viewers saw, conflict is arising between a jealous Lucas (Bryan Dattilo) vying for the attention of Adrienne against Justin.  Looks like, trouble is ahead for all involved.

Courtesy/NBC

Carlivati also re-set the story of Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abigail (Marci Miller) as star-crossed lovers, now that Dario (Jordi Vilasuso) has turned into one bad dude.  Abigail learns about his embezzling of the money from Countess Wilhelmina, and wants to tell the police and Chad.  Dario blackmails her with a photo of Chad kneeling over the body of Deimos, which looks like he could be the actual killer.  He turns the tables on Abby.  Later, she finds out from Kate (Lauren Koslow) that Dario lied to her about his immigration papers and status and trapped her into marriage.

Courtesy/NBC

At TBD, Chad confronts Dario, but he still doesn’t know the full extent of what evidence Dario has against him and is hiding from him.  He tells Dario in their heated exchange, that he is going to get “all of it” back that is his; meaning the money and Abigail.

Dario is glib, and with Dario being in trouble with the law, it put some conflict into the relationship of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and Rafe (Galen Gering), when Rafe admitted to his lady love that he knew of Dario’s plan to marry Abigail, and what he was up to which was to keep him from being deported. Hope is not happy that Rafe lied to her, but later Rafe arrests his brother, just after Dario talks to his contact Myron and tells him to speed up their plan.

You can watch the promo for next week’s DAYS after the jump, which indicates some major drama is about to go down for Chabby.

So, what did you think of the first three episode of Days of our Lives under head writer, Ron Carlivati? Are you encouraged for what is to come since the show tapes six months ahead and his new stories will also begin to reveal themselves? Comment below.

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JRobert in Jersey CitydmrPatrick4ever DAYS Recent comment authors
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David
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David

He’s back! Praise the soap gods, he’s back. Most entertaining soap all week! (And I am a lapsed Days viewer.) I started with the episode before Ron’s return, which was slow and the pacing was terrible. In one episode, everything changed. I was riveted.

Karen Clark
Guest
Karen Clark

Next not so big surprise I expect is Raines being the one masterminding Dario. Hoping it leads to Police Commisioner, Hope Brady!
Ron knows how to write soaps.

Celia
Guest
Celia

I so agree, Karen…..I am really anticipating a complete alteration of stories and characters. About time….do what you do best, Ron!!

Boop
Guest
Boop

I like Raines as Commissioner.

Mateo
Guest
Mateo

Ron Carlivati takes no prisoners which is what I love about him. I haven’t watched DAYS steadily since Abby was left crazy after killer Ben. It got so boring with the horrible teen set and the snooze fest stories. I started watching again when Ron took over the writing reigns. Now I am not a fan of doppelganger stories but I do love the humor of Ron’s writing. It makes the story enjoyable through laughing. Deidre Hall is good when she gets to be someone other than Marlena. She has some comic timing I think. Hattie cracks me up. Then… Read more »

Marissa
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Marissa

The first three days of NewDays were strong. I can’t wait for the first full week!

Judy
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Judy

It wasnt shown here in tx because of the changes in the white house and one day it wasnt on because of O.J I had just watch it on fox news so I didnt what to see it again guit interution are shows

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

I started watching again with Ron’s first episode. The difference is obvious. The pace is faster. The dialog is energetic. There is humor. Ron is definitely breathing much needed life into Days.

Jon
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Jon

Llanview fan here too. Yeah totally agree!

Frank
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Frank

I think Ron is great and would not be surprised if Days moves above GH in ratings. I think it would be well-deserved.

Chrystie-Delancey
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Chrystie-Delancey

I keep thinking Deimos’ murderer was someone not even at the party, but hopefully they don’t make Zander the culprit because it would be a waste of Paul Telfer who should be a leading man.

Boop
Guest
Boop

I agree ; I love Zander!

Douglas
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Douglas

I watched the episode before his first one, too. Amazing difference. I haven’t watched Days in decades but I loved it. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Patrick
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Patrick

I am so hoping that DAYS is making a place for Paul Telfer to stay

Mo
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Mo

I like him and Xander too.

Jon
Guest
Jon

I started watching on Monday to try and figure out characters and story. Bit boring and slow, then Wed hit and it was like a new show. Love Ron’s writing and the only reason I am watching. It was much faster paced and the dialogue was MUCH improved. I bet the actors were happy when this switch occurred 6 months ago.

Dottie
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Dottie

Go Ronnie C! Yes. Love you and excited for more.

Robert in Jersey City
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Robert in Jersey City

He already has the boys in tight tank tops! Go Ron!

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi Robert..
you’re going to have many ”twists & turns” RC will keep you on your toes!
RC is the Master of twist & turns and Surprises! WOW! moments..
and- you will have laughs!! he has great humor.. (sugar to ease the vinegar)

blake
Guest
blake

Lol true. I think he’ll have Ava’s son on for a long time. Maybe we can get him to bring back that bellhop boy that got with Paul.

Jon
Guest
Jon

Don’t know any back story on anything Days but so far like Chad, Abigalle, Justin, and the computer hacker kid, reminds me a bit or Rex Balsom from OLTL.

blake
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blake

I think the best scene was at the end of Friday’s episode when Hattie went to see Bonnie at the jail. Those two were cracking me up! I can’t wait to see what they do, I hope they are around for a long time.

Ron C. has brought the energy and fun back to Days! james O’Reilly has to be loving this from heaven.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

was at Target yesterday… and I was reading some story on Judi Evans… and her “delight” on playing two roles. She also shared… she had NEVER , WORKED, with Deidre Hall. AND THAT they were having the best time doing so. isn’t that something… you know… I don’t mind in this case that it’s “doppleanger” or whatever… we’ve seen these two before… so it’s not like it’s that far out their. just saying…WE GET – more – Judi Evans.. and MORE POWER and creativity for Deidre. I posted… I’d love it if Hattie and Eileen Davidson Susan connect. argh! I… Read more »

blake
Guest
blake

That’s great, you can tell Judi Evans and Deidre Hall are having a great time playing Bonnie and Hattie.

Hard to believe Judi and Deidre never got to work together after all of these DECADES!

If they interacted with Eileen’s Susan, that would be so awesome that the world might explode! lol

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Judi either forgot she worked with Deidre or meant she hasn’t worked with her on a larger scale…They’ve had a few scenes together, including the argument between Marlena and Adrienne in the hospital a few years ago when Marlena confronted Adrienne about Adrienne’s remark that Will wasn’t good enough for Sonny, especially because of Sami.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

@4.

you are correct.

perhaps she meant that the two of them, are being scripted @working together, to drive story, for the first time.

that was some NICE NICE work by Judi Evans. only looking out for Sonny.

WOW… I’ve got me some DAYS back. oy! I plan on keeping up this time around. it’s tough to balance two shows. this is worth it.

Salute

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

So much fun!

gwill
Guest
gwill

I pretty much stopped watching on a regular basis right around the time that Ben Was revealed to be the neck tie killer. It got stale and boring after that but If Ron can do what he did in the last few years of OLTL and breath some new life into it, I will be back Daily!

Julien
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Julien

I do not understand why people love Ron C so much. He’s a terrible head writer. And they need to recast Anjelica with Judith Chapman.

Jaime
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Jaime

So far I have really not enjoyed the past 3 episodes of Days. the new writing is sub par and yes terrible

Jovin
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Jovin

Awful! Banal, trite, and more of the same. How can anyone really find Bonnie and Hattie entertaining? They are written as utter gutter trash with only a doiuble digit IQ between them. No way could either of them be believable for one second as Marlena and Adrienne. Let’s just talk motivation here for a few seconds regarding Anjelica. She was always a little manipulative, but she was never an outright delusional psychopathic stupid lunatic!! She was a mature wealthy woman who faced reality and lived accordingly. She would now charitably be 70 years old. She comes to town after 26… Read more »

mails24 (@mails24)
Guest
mails24 (@mails24)

I totally agree. Ron’s writing is very bipolar. The highs are highs and the lows are very low. I absolutely loved his OLTL, but I came into it new (and didn’t really know the show’s history). That being said i loved most of his story lines like -Clint going bad -Tale of 2 Todd’s -Initial story line in Paris, TX, -Almost everything David Vickers related, -The Jessica/Natalie wedding confrontation that led to the return of Tess -The Ford Bros’ dad murder mystery -How Ron kept all of the guys shirtless and in tight briefs That being said, his lows were… Read more »

Boop
Guest
Boop

That’s the reason we have the word ,opinion; you have yours and I have mind. I love Ron’s writing!

Mo
Guest
Mo

Judith is on Y&R.

Phil
Guest
Phil

I absolutely loved the first 3 episodes of Ron’s! DAYS is about to become THE soap to watch! I was very impressed with the pace… DAYS hasn’t been fast paced since James Reilly wrote for the show. I find the doppelgänger story to be very amusing…. I agree that Morgan Fairchild is not a great choice for the role. If Jane Elliot cannot come back, how about Marj Dusay? Keep up the good work Ron! Love Abby!

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

The Hattie and Bonnie storyline is funny, Phil. I wish the negative posters had doppelgangers to take over their lives and keep them from posting here, LOL!

HR
Guest
HR

Some might say the same about those who love trashy stories. When you lash out at others you deserve the same treatment

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

I have mixed feelings with this storyline since doppelgangers stories have been done to death- but i will let it play out to see if i like it or not…show needs some comedy relief…would make a nice twist if Marlena learned Hattie was really twin Samantha who faked her death and Bonnie was really Adrienne’s unknown twin who was taken from her mother at birth!!!

Jovin
Guest
Jovin

Jim…there is no doubt that that is where they are going with Bonnie and Adrienne. Jo Johnson was a downtrodden abused wife. She could have easily given away one of her twinndaughtersmeaning Bonnie. Not that I want to prolong Bonnie in Salem…but that’s will be her get out of jail free card. Kristen…Hattie…Bonnie../that’s too much female psychotics, combined with a Batshit Anjelica.

Mo
Guest
Mo

One day was not shown due to OJ parole hearing.

Glad Dario is leaving.

Bonnie is jailed for a murder Mimi committed. What?

Shows were good. We’ll see if it holds up.

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Was NOT delicious. it was AWFUL. HAD TO DELETE AND DEPROGRAM DVR. THIS WAS FOOLISH BAD CARTOON AMATEUR HOUR. HOPE THIS IS NOT GOING TO CONTINUE. IF SO RON MAY BE WORSE THAN DENA EVER WAS.

Boop
Guest
Boop

Stop watching ; everyone won’t be pleased ! That’s life!

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

I tried watching DOOL since Ron has returned and I didn’t even make it through the first 30 mins…I am no longer interested in DOOL. I won’t be watching and was a fan from the 70’s through the 80’s…it’s not what it use to be…

stevie g
Guest
stevie g

I like soaps and love cartoons (well the old ones I grew up with, I mean). But I don’t like my soaps to be cartoons. Has Bonnie been in jail for the ten years she’s been out ofthe show? Surley not? Why is she so nasty on Maggie, when Mickey passed away years ago? And Hattie was kinda nice last time she was in the show, she was a Godsend to Hope, one would think she could have found easier ways to meet Mr Roman and even get stuck into Andre. This whole storyline dosn’t make a lot of sence.

Mo
Guest
Mo

I totally forget how Bonnie exited. I don’t understand either why she is so hung up on the late Mickey.

Helen
Guest
Helen

The doppelgänger story line pushed me over the edge ~~ how stupid does RC believe viewers actually are?

Matthew Place
Guest
Matthew Place

NOT loving it, but maybe it’ll get better.

Jim Larson
Guest
Jim Larson

Well, of course the “look-a-like” characters are a bit ridiculous but at least they tried to inject a little humor here and there, it’s better than recent months with Nicole crying and crying and crying during that insufferable baby storyline- enough is enough of all that. This show has been so awful the last five or six months (including the ghastly ‘teen storylines’) that almost anything would be an improvement.

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

He has to finish up the Dena stories somehow, not his fault he came into a mess ! I myself am enjoying Bonnie, always liked her better than Adrienne !

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

DROOL – is FINE. just hotted me out. finished Friday, 7/21 ep. even with losing the first 21 minutes to Sean Spicer quitting. dag! the menfolk sizzle. from Rafe to Dario to Xander to Eric to Brady to Chad. plus the fun of Andre. DAG.. the standout… well he knocks you out when you first see him any way.. Xander. bowled me over… when he went to visit Jenny Bear. it was like telling her : “look at all me toying with you ” SEXY every thing. zing zing zing me every where… the hotted out best is in Salem.… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Greg Vaughan’ Eric Brady – SEXY every thing.

that scene with Jenny Bear… had so much sizzle sensual and stimuli.

WOAH

if any of you still have that scene. LOOK AGAIN. “Greg Vaughan”

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Monday – 7/24 ep. scorching searing sexy as all get out.

Eric pays Jenny Bear a visit. LOOK AGAIN

Robert in Jersey City
Guest
Robert in Jersey City

I also noticed the greatly reduced use of Aqua Net on the performers.

dmr
Guest
dmr

Hysterical, because I when I watched today’s show, I thought the opposite, haha!

Robert in Jersey City
Guest
Robert in Jersey City

LOL, I meant the men.

dmr
Guest
dmr

I watched a little of today’s show (Weds. 8/2) while home at lunch. I haven’t watched in months (maybe longer). It sounds as though Ron’s cartoonish theatrics have begun; although, his writing has got to be better than the drivel we have been served for the past year+. I have to comment on Morgan Fairchild-wow. Ms. Fairchild was so beautiful in the early 80’s. I remember watching her in a made for television movie when I was younger, and I thought how stunning she was; then, she looked great while she appeared on Friends. I wish she allowed herself to… Read more »

J
Guest
J

Ron c version of days is the worst!!!
He turned a fan into one ready to cancel. The dual roles are awful. Propping obvious hiring but demoting favs ! Not happy at all

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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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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Breaking News

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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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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