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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Ken Corday On Head Writing Change: "The Shows From This New Regime Will Not Start Airing Until After The Olympics, In Late August."

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Last month was key for the next leg of the 50-year-old iconic soap opera Days of our Lives.   After finally getting its reneweal pick-up by NBC for the 2016-2017 season, there was also a major shift in the head writing department on the heels of then co-head writer Josh Griffith’s decision to depart his position with the show.

Upon Griffith’s exit, DAYS named longtime staff writer, Ryan Quan to be Griffith’s successor.   Ryan will now co-head write the show along with Dena Higley, who remains in her position.  Currently, Days of our Lives is on a five week hiatus from production that will assist in bringing the show closer to the difference in airtime and filming.  The series has currently shot shows six months ahead of air.   In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, DAYS longtime executive producer, Ken Corday spoke out about the writing changes.

Ken related: “Josh chose to move on and write his next novel and we decided to promote from within and bring Ryan Quan up.  He and Dena will write the show. I have seen the story they have and am very excited for it to air. The shows from this new regime will not start airing until after the Olympics, in late August. We need to do something big to jump-start the show in August after the Olympic break, which we will do.”

The executive also was asked if there were further changes ahead with the new writing regime where he noted, “Not major changes … some are developing, as we speak.”

In addition, Corday praised Josh Griffith for his work and taking the show into its 50th anniversary and giving it strong stories and ratings, while increasing the demo during this key point in the show’s history.

So, what do you think the new head writing regime needs to do jump-start the show following the Summer Olympics?  Are you glad the show has taken a lengthy time off to enable new story ideas to be generated? What are your thoughts on Ken Corday’s comments on the writing change?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Angela
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Angela

I am not holding my breath that they will write for the Days of Our Lives that I know and love. I feel that the cast is bloated with pretty, but untalented newbies, that have not been able to create the passion and adoration as in the past. The cast doesn’t have to semblance of emotion that it used to. Now “supercouples” are created over a few weeks and then ripped apart to join with the latest guest actor/actress with a big name behind it, only for that character to be written horribly and then leave. Bring back the history… Read more »

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

I agree…i hate that they brought this Summer in…all they had to do is bring back a daughter Maggie already had….Sarah could return suffering mental illness and causing problems…we havent heard from her in ages!

Yvonne Hawse
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Yvonne Hawse

And then there’s Melissa, not sure what happened to her and Pete…so many characters could have been brought back. Why two kids whom Maggie gave up, supposedly?

Tay
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Tay

YES!! Why not bring Sarah or even Melissa back???

Patrick
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Patrick

well said… about Summer… it’s gotten to the point of ad nauseum

Daniel LORD Jonas… till death do us part

seriously! REALly…. argh!

can you imagine if Nicole and Theresa new business venture… DJ Wears.. or whatever… his picture and haloed persona will haunt us

Summer.. does bear a striking resemblance to Maggs… and it’s a delight to “know” that she’ll have a familial connection… but still hanging on to Daniel OUR Lord AND Savior

argh!

davlestev1
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davlestev1

What stories are you talking about

Lew S.
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Lew S.

Angela, AMEN!! I hope this isn’t another one of Corday’s, we realized what was wrong and we are going back to the true DAYS – REALLY!! How many times can he say that and expect the audience to buy into? He’s got an excellent cast; utilize them wisely and give us compelling stories.

Regina
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Regina

Find a way to bring back Peter Reckell and Bo permanently. Maybe star with a Hope/Rafe/Bo triangle. Then make Hope and Bo the next Tom and Alice. Keep them having exciting drama and always on the front burner and the ratings will skyrocket like they did when Peter brought Bo back for the 50th. Bo and Hope are what brings ratings.

Lou Piikes
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Lou Piikes

Get rid of the teen seen will be a positive start for the new writing team. Stop giving Maggie new family members. Bring Sara back to Salem to give Maggie something to do.

Tay
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Tay

Yeah these teens are certainly not the group of talent back in the late 90s w/ Shawn, Belle, Chloe, & Phillip. They were actually good & interesting. The guy playing Theo is actually the only one that seems comfortable

Anne
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Anne

Once they kill every character, or have them kidnapped by a maniac, what direction will Days take?

margaret annis
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margaret annis

why are they turning all the people in salem bad and murderers i have watched this show since the begining to bad they are turning everyone into stephano

Sara
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Sara

I agree with Angela. The newbies havent worked before so why load the show with them?
This year was better than the last few years because i got to see the couple i love but the show needs stories and not episodes. Once you start a story be sure to finish it. I’m for one still waiting for John and Marlena’s wedding…:(

Tay
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Tay

As long as they keep Mary Beth Evans around & in a good story, I’ll be happy (for the most part.) The Brady family has been key since the 80s when the show was at its glory days. Poor Roman is a joke with no real storyline since when? Josh Taylor has showed acting chops back in the day, but now we can hardly understand a word the poor guy says! Kimberly could visit more w/ Teresa but Patsy now lives in Jacksonville with little to no interest in moving back to LA. Bo is gone & sweet Caroline only… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

“if” DAYS… was, smart it’d hire… Kimberly Brady Donovan… for a short story arc… just to give the audience something to feast on… after all the dire death knell Patsy Pease is such a delight… and is so natural… in front of the camera… the few times DAYS was smart enough to welcome her back… she just lit up… the whole screen and the family as a whole… what a dream casting … and must return… she’d be I read in a SOD issue… that .. when she does make cameo visit to salem… Jenn Lilly … what a dream… Read more »

Ray
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Ray

This is another disadvantage of writing six months in advance. After reading Corday’s comments, it almost feels like another “reboot.” I have noticed the ratings have fallen from 2.1 to 1.8 in the past several weeks. I love this show and have followed it for years, but did anyone think that it would be a fun ride for the audience to see Paige, Will, Bo, Serena, Daniel, Stefano all die within five months? The deaths have not had any long-term fallout (hoping this reignites the Dimera/Brady/Horton feud). It is painful that so many of these characters have been written out… Read more »

Ray
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Ray

I am not sure why #8 turned into an emoji. LOL

Donna C
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Donna C

Everything has been going really good with relevant, plausible dialogue and storylines, It’s goften a little slow lately and director who did amazing work through time Bo came back must be gone. Devastated with Stefano death. ‘Hoping against Hope ‘ that he’ll rise again if/ when Mr. Mascolo recovers, Thaoo is essential to the show as Andre or Tony. Every time his been. written out, it’s a sign that bad writing is on the way. And ridiculous storylines, Don’t know why Mr Corday historically adapts such a passive role and allows things to go south, again and again, over the… Read more »

Donna C
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Donna C

PS.. Think the addiction story between Jennifer and Eric is very realistic and believable. There’s a great chemistry between them, Sorry he’s leaving, Love the actor’s portrayal of Eric. Hope he’ll be back.

Patrick
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Patrick

BRAVO !!!! @Donna C

well said ; I gavel this

“…Don’t know why Mr Corday historically adapts such a passive role and allows things to go south, again and again, over the years.”

I will continue to cheerlead this show… but evenso… the blame game has to go ON… I truly blame “Ken Corday” productions…

I’ve just had it ; with what seems like a lackadaisical leadership… what a disrespect to his parents legacy and history

Patrick
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Patrick

i’m going to start with; #5 5) I would like to see Dario have a triangle romance with Nicole and Chloe. this could really work well… and to the advantage of DAYS familiarity Nicole and Chloe as adversarial… no matter that they bonded with Daniel death this is familiar territory… that days desperately NEEDS for the audience to even want to tune in and… if the Hernandez family is going to be a prominent family.. may as well see what Dario can do I’d love to see Nicole mature and be seen as an adult now… to graduate her acting… Read more »

Mateo
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Mateo

DAYS suffers from boring stories. This whole Summer thing. Lord what a snooze fest. Now she is most likely Maggie’s daughter. Ridiculous. Brady and Theresa, already falling apart after all that effort to bring them together? The teen stories are yawnfests because none of them can act. Patch and Kayla are done as front burner characters. The whole scenario is so based in the 80’s. Can the writers make up their minds as to exactly who Hope is? Is she a villain or a heroine? She is floating between both styles without any conviction. Nicole is already gonna “get friendly”… Read more »

Jim Preston
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Jim Preston

I agree with Mateo – Brady is already boring, he doesn’t need any help from this Anne wanna be Summer – this week’s episode included the dreariest collection of old clips of Stefano. Die already and be done with it, geez – I honestly, sincerely could not continue watching it – I only have a short evening to watch these shows on an Ap (the NBC ap) and I thought, good grief I’ll never stay awake watching this. My dead turtle moves faster than this show. If Ben escapes from the Sanitarium, that will at least be interesting because he,… Read more »

Tay
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Tay

It’s unfortunate as Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols are capable of great work. The show needs Kayla with the dwindling Brady canvas, but she needs the right material. I agree that they just don’t seem to know who they want Hope to be.

Patrick
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Patrick

I could see… Rafe and Hope… carrying that secret… about Hope “murdering” Stefano… that these two… in the heat of the moment… just felt they had no choice… this could have been good stuff…. if Kristian Alfonso was able to carry out new layers for her character… but alas… she just doesn’t have the longevity and brevity to go forward.. past romance and familial bonding so… I could see why they brought in Roman… THIS took me by surprise… dirty cops in Salem…. woah! the good denizens who withstood all the DiMera over the past 4 decades.. must now cover… Read more »

Tay
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Tay

Patrick – I too am frustrated that they killed Ava off. Even aside from the Steve/Kayla story there was potential. I think she and Joey had almost as much chemistry as the JJ/Eve deal. But even more so, Tamara is a great actress who could have taken evil Ava all over the canvas. Regarding the Aiden/Kayla connection, I liked the idea of that pairing much better than when it looked like they were going to try to put Kayla & Abe together. Here’s my question… would Mary Beth go for Kayla being paired with anyone but Steve? MB is amazing… Read more »

Patrick
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Patrick

@Tay… we are watching the same show LOL… ie: Tamara Braun is bringing IT.. and she’s rocking with full throttle just how much she brings to the canvas… and is perfect foible to intercede any and all happiness or chance Steve and Kayla may have… that’s all the writers need to keep this threesome going.. especially with Aiden coming back…. I wonder who he’ll be? I hope they try to pair Kayla up with Daniel Cosgrove… if you were watching way back when…. their was instant palpable chemistry when Kayla and Aiden met… at the hosp…. MBE even talked about… Read more »

Mary SF
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Mary SF

When the show got renewed the fact was they had half a year worth of episodes already in the can, so basically all NBC did was give the show a six month extension before making a final decision to cancel it or not. It doesn’t bode well that they put Ryan in as the head writer, it sounds like they just needed a body to hold the steering wheel before the car goes off the road for good. So they are either taking this time to figure out how to save the show, to make one honest kick at the… Read more »

kevin
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kevin

I gave up on DOOL…It’s not the same show and it’s so dark. The background music is the worst…I know things need to change and I do like change but only if it’s for the better and that’s not the case with DOOL…

Patrick
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Patrick

August, 2016.. is a long way off… to … alas… wait this out.. for , the (ok call me long suffering Salemite) retooling and return of all that is; Salem the NBC Olympic games; August 5 – August 21, 2016 therein the debut of the retooling of DOOL.. w/Dena Higley and Ryan Quan I read .. what I hope.. is an optimistic impression… the latest SOD issue has an article featuring Ryan Quan it was enlightening to read that he’s spent his entire career.. as he puts it.. is an avid soap opera fan… and has spent his entire career… Read more »

Stephen
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Stephen

On Air On Soaps says above that “Corday praised Josh Griffith for his work and taking the show into its 50th anniversary and giving it strong stories and ratings, while increasing the demo during this key point in the show’s history.” AND NOW FOR THE REALITY : The ratings released today, for last week, show that the show is DOWN in every reported demographic, DOWN in total, DOWN in households, DOWN in share, FROM LAST YEAR. And this is right in the middle of Josh Griffith’s, thankfully cut-short, tenure! So much for that then! Any gains Days had gotten for… Read more »

Maxie1215
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Maxie1215

When I watched Will die, I knew I was watching the show die. The contempt and obvious presumption the audience would enjoy his death and suffering was shocking and disgusting. It said everything about the character of the writers and who they think the audience is. The grim, hateful amorality of the show since comes as no surprise. I still can’t believe NBC renewed them, and I don’t think any resurrection of Will (as rumored) can undo the inherent homophobia that they infused the end of the Will and Sonny story with on purpose.

Matthew Place
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Matthew Place

Wow! Just wow. You nailed it big time. I know people who refuse to watch DOOL for all the reasons you just stated. If they don’t address what they did and right the wrongs, many fans/viewers will NEVER return. Great post.

Kaylie15
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Kaylie15

The ratings continue to plummet…kill, kill, kill, rape, kill, rape, kill. Even the good guys are vicious killers but the people they kill “deserve” it. Will’s death was a homophobic pander, and it showed the moral bankruptcy of the writers and the show. Then someone decided the cute kid that Ciara bullied and then befriended should grow up to rape her. Truly disgusting thought process there. The writers presume the viewers a bad people – bigots, slut shamers, body shamers and haters who excuse any behavior from their favorites and spit on anyone they don’t like. There is no morality,… Read more »

Elle
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Elle

I am just happy the show is still on!!! If we start complaining about the show being bad….we could get another stupid talk show or Jerry Springer show!! Then I want be watching anything on Daytime!! I wish they would bring more soaps back on!!!

Matthew Place
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Matthew Place

Not complaining will not save any TV show, certainly not DOOL. Only better ratings will save the soap. Complaining is the only way to get a change (hopefully for the better), not complaining and being complacent is just waiting for the inevitable cancellation. Fans of cancelled soaps, particularly GL, refused to complain on some boards, there were no real changes near the end of its run — and look what happened.

kevin
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kevin

Exactly…unfortunately TPTB do not listen to the fans…I really they need to personally meet with die hard fans and respond. Oh how I miss Douglas Marland and William Bell…they knew what to do…They would be sadden of what has transpired.

kevin
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kevin

Sorry for the typo…I really THINK they need to personally meet with fans and listen to what we have to say but we know that won’t ever happen.

Tay
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Tay

I’m reading a lot of comments on here about the rape story line. Yes, rape is horrible and hard to see happen to anyone. The reality is, however, that it happens to thousands of women (& men) every day. If done right, stories about rape can draw attention to the need to support women who have been attacked as well as providing knowledge to people who just don’t get it. Rape on soaps is not a new thing. Luke and Laura. Todd and Marty. Jack and Kayla. Bill & Laura Horton. I could go on and on, and some of… Read more »

StephanieT
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StephanieT

Yes, rape is often and terrible… But they could have given the story line to a better actress. Not to some zombie-speaking lifeless girl who has no facial expressions or intonation in her voice! Every time Ciara speaks I cringe at the awkwardness of it all! The rest of the new teens actually aren’t bad and they are able to be dynamic. Unfortunately it is hard to feel sorry or empathy for someone who is acting hardly human.

Tay
Guest
Tay

Agree. That’s kind of what I said in my post about Ciara.

Maxie1215
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Maxie1215

I think most people here know that rape is a soap stable, and it can be done well. It’s just that it’s an important topic that should be written with sensitivity and respect. Days has done it in a nasty and exploitative way that is being done as a cheap ratings stunt with no comprehension of what victims go through and no respect for the characters. Chase had tremendous potential and an interesting backstory turning him into a rapist was short-sighted and just mean-spirited. Sadly, the actor who plays CIara isn’t up to the story either. There’s a core of… Read more »

Tay
Guest
Tay

That’s what I said in my post about Ciara. And I agree that most people know rape is a soap stable, but posts on twitter, message boards, and almost all the articles on Michael’s site have a handful that don’t express hate for the story line because of how it’s done/who’s in it but just simply because think it’s too dark. So I guess I was trying to say don’t be shocked that they explored another rape story or fight it being a story line in daytime… just address how they could do it more effectively.

Vicky
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Vicky

Get rid of the teens! Ew! They were great kids but not teens! Then bring back Sonny but not with Paul. Smeone new. Most of my famliar characters are gone. This is not the show I started watching and I have a very hard time paying attention to this boredm. And Kate Mansi ?) is leaving, too? This show just stinks IMHO, I’m sorry to say.

Mo
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Mo

This show needs a lot of help. All the crime and darkness is not what I want to see. Finally Ciara told someone about the rape, but why didn’t Claire tell Hope!!!! If all the teens left, Salem would be crime free and then we could get rid of that ridiculous police force. August is a long time to have to suffer through these bad stories and bad acting (teens, I’m referring to you) and I’ve heard Ken say he’s excited before, so I’m not holding my breath for anything too new. I do think it is a good idea… Read more »

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.

 

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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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