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DAYS Kristian Alfonso Special Message To Fans: "Thank You For Taking The Journey With Us, With Bo & Hope."

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

For those who watched Friday’s episode of Days of our Lives, you know that the iconic love story of Bo (Peter Reckell) and Hope  (Kristian Alfonso) came to a tragic end.  But it afforded an opportunity for fans of the supercouple to get much needed closure, something they were not able to have three years ago when Peter Reckell left the series.

However, as we previously reported, DAYS delivered a tearjerker episode where Bo dies in Hope’s arms.  On Friday evening, after the episode had aired in all markets, Kristian Alfonso took to her Twitter account with a special message.  It spoke about the opportunity she and Peter Reckell were given decades ago joining the NBC soap opera, the undying love from the audience for Bo and Hope, and how this marked the end of an era.

Kristian tweeted: “Pete & I were given an incredible gift when we joined @nbcdays . Thank you all so much for all your Love & Support through the years.  Thank You for taking the journey with us ,with Bo & Hope ❤️”

Beautifully put, as sad as it is to know that all good things must come to an end.  Alfonso summed up how much the support from the audience has meant to both herself and Peter Reckell.  But in good news, Kristian had just signed a contract extension with DAYS to stay put, so expect lots of drama ahead for Hope.

Is hard to believe it’s the end of Bo and Hope?  When did you first fall in love with the duo?  Were you watching them back in the 80’s?  What do you think about the sentiments shared by Kristian to the fans? Comment below!

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JoAnne Holliday
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JoAnne Holliday

Friday was a sad show but Bo and Hope done a wonderful job.

I have watched Bo and Hope since the beginning I will miss Bo

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

Happy for DAYS fans that their supercouple had an entire episode devoted to beginning, middle and end of their relationship. GH fans will never have that for Luke & Laura, which is sad.

Justin
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Justin

That’s exactly what I kept thinking. As a GH viewer, I thought that Tony’s last episode should’ve been devoted to Luke and Laura. Good for Days for honoring one of the all time best Supercouples.

Kimberley Lovette
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Kimberley Lovette

Saddest day in the history of Days of Our Lives, but absolutely great acting by Peter and Kristin. Bo and Hope definitely was an icon and their stories on Days will be missed as well as Bo. DOOL will not be the same. Good Luck to Kristin on her future endeavors on Days and Good Luck to Peter and his family on their future endeavors. May God Bless You All!!!

Susan raines
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Susan raines

Bo and hope have done a great job over the yrs.I’ve been watching since I was a young teen bo and hope seem like part of our family.I have lot of shows of days on my ipod that I can watch when ever I want.bo and hope you are awesome. Sad to see bo.leave but I’m fine he’s on my twitter list and he post something every wk

Patti Whitt
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Patti Whitt

Yes I have watched Days from the first day it aided.with my mom.. She was in ICU on Oct 21, 1993. She threw a fit because she couldn’t have a tv in her ICU room.. We all laughted . But sadly at 1:30 she passed away. 30 mins into the show. She lived for it and so do I, We both loved to feel the love that Bo and Hope seemed to have from day one.. It was a fairy tale love that we could only live through them.. Will miss Bo deeply. Thanks for the joy you have brought… Read more »

maddiehayes
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maddiehayes

My mom was a huge fan too, like yours she had DAYS on in her ICU unit the day she died. Glad the show’s still on, it reminds me of her. Maybe your mom and my mom are chatting it up with MacDonald Carey and Frances Reid in heaven as we speak. 🙂

Blake
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Blake

Thanks for sharing that!

Debbie M. Taylor
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Debbie M. Taylor

I have thoroughly enjoyed you both. I have been right there, with you, since the beginning. I am missing you already. B happy hugs to warm your hearts God Bless you, both

Michelle
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Michelle

The final scenes were very well written and acted. It’s a shame so much of Reckell’s return was wasted with him locked in a cell.

Chloe
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Chloe

I agree. Friday’s show was one of the best. I put it right up there with the death of Isabella. But why did they waste over 2 months of Peter’s return with the cell scenes instead of getting him home quickly & letting Bope spend a couple of months together? Hope would have gone back to Bo had he returned then & we would have been spared the vilification of poor Aiden, who could have been paired with someone else [Jenn?]. The cell storyline crept along like a snail but the Bope reunion was so fast that if you blinked,… Read more »

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

The writers were thinking how much time Peter was willing to commit to DAYS.

All the captivity scenes were probably taped in two days. The scenes of him on the floor for a few weeks were taped in a day and sprinkled throughout the long period to lure a larger audience back. It was to prepare people for the end.

He most likely did everything in two weeks, but was paid for each episode he appeared in.

I seem to recall Peter and Stephen Nichols speaking of the two taping seven episodes in one day.

Chloe
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Chloe

Aha! I never thought of that, 4ever DAYS. That would make sense. Thanks.

BTW, I couldn’t find a “Reply” button under your post so I’m replying to my own. Not sure where this will end up. LOL

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

I happened to visit the thread again and did see your reply and now I’m using your original comment because your newest reply doesn’t have a reply option, Chloe. LOL!

Go further down in the thread and there’s a link I posted for a cool Bo & Hope video!!

Chloe
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Chloe

That was a great video! Really well done. Thanks for pointing it out for me. And nope, I can’t find that elusive Reply button again, either. There must be a shortage of them! LOL

Kim Tobin
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Kim Tobin

I am so unbelievably saddened by the ending of Bo and Hopes love story…I have watched Bo and Hope from the beginning and to me, they are the very best Soap couple ever! Thank you Peter and Kristian for bringing these characters to life!

wandawatch Bo and Hop
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wandawatch Bo and Hop

I watch Bo and Hope from start. Love this couple and not to many in storys stay together. Friday was said . I hate see Bo die after just coming back. Not sure I’m going keep watching.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Bo and Hope were already on when I started watching in March of 1984. I thought they were great (my favorites were Pete and Melissa)!

Bo was pushing Hope away because of all the danger. Larry Welch made a play for Hope and eventually Bo had to kidnap Hope from the church where she and Larry were to marry. Hope was then forced to marry Larry with the help of Stefano because Stefano’s daughter, Megan, wanted Bo.

Their popularity exploded with the visit to New Orleans and Oak Alley Plantation just outside New Orleans.

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

Remember when Howie Hoffstetter replaced Hope as Larrys bride and was wearing the wedding gown and veil…those were the Days and a favorite moment of mine…Days needs those little comical moments again!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Yes, Jimmy!

And Howie had the hots for Marie!

Heather yocum
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Heather yocum

I was six and I watched it with my mom. Bo and hope have always held a special place and ate one of my favorite couples.

Karen McLaughlin
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Karen McLaughlin

I have watched days from it first aired as it was my Mom’s favourite show which of course became mine. I was watching Bo and Hope from they first were on the show and have been part of their journey all the way through to the end. I am glad Bo came back to give closure to us (the fans), of course it goes without saying that I would have liked him to stay on and have Bo and Hope be the new Alice and Tom but I guess in real life it is not very often that would happen… Read more »

Carla
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Carla

I have enjoyed the ride with you both since the beginning. I hated to see it end, but wish Peter all the best for the rest of his days of his life. Glad you are staying on so we can enjoy more of your journey Kristian. Blessings to you both, thanks for all the memories!

Mary
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Mary

Goodbye Bo Brady (Peter Reckell). Thank you for all the years you gave us.

Stephanie
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Stephanie

I live in the Netherlands. I began to watch days around the time Gina/Hope opened the puzzlebox. From that moment I knew they where THE supercouple without knowing there history. After that I learned the history throug books, their flashbacks and the internet. It’s very special and rare. They don’t air days anymore in the Netherlands, so I try to catch up from time to time. And now that bo came back I was totally in this story. Fridays episode was heartbreaking but so beautiful. I will cherish their lovestory on days forever. I was born in the year they… Read more »

dinah
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dinah

From day 1, I remember they first kiss on 4th of July that they show on Friday, will always love Peter & Kristian And always love my BO & HOPE

mindy
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mindy

I loved bo and hope’s story but I hate they took Bo off was totally stupid I think! I hope they bring him back somehow !! Because on Days people Return from the dead and bo is worth bringing back!!! 🙂

Desiree sheppard
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Desiree sheppard

So sad, love u guys from day one back in 83 when I was in highschool.

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

His return ended before it started…well acted but i feel somewhat cheated…another month and them remarried one last time wouldve worked for me!

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Another month, another week either one would have made his dying come out of Sweeps, which was the point. If they kept PR on until Feb sweeps that might have work, but I don’t they were willing to shell out any more money to keep him around. I was surprised they worked out a deal for his this short amount of time. As I said on another thread story on soaps nowadays often dictated not for viewers but for a network bottom line.

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

Mary you are right…just a short visit and for sweeps…what networks want, networks get; viewers come second-too bad they dont realize this is part of the reason many no longer watch soaps!

Jennifer Carroll
Guest
Jennifer Carroll

I;ve been there from the start as well.Watching your fairy tale love grow and watching you both grow old together.You both showed the world what true love looks like .For the people in the world that didn’t no what that look like you gave them hope.That it could happen to you and for the people in a bad relationship it also showed them.So many parent are single and there children didn’t get to see truly how two people in love was suppose to acted together. you also gave the kids of dysfunctional families a first hand look at what two… Read more »

Tammie
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Tammie

Been watching this show since I was very little and still do 40+ years loved hope and bo he was my favorite I cried so bad when he died he will be missed

Christene neville
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Christene neville

I have grown up with bo and hope..I was 13 yrs old and you both became part of my family..I killed me to say bye to bo ..watching hope and bo say good bye..I admit I cried so much I got a headache .something I will carry with me till I die the good bye on Nov 20 2015. Good bye Bo R.I.P xo

Ursula Le Roy
Guest
Ursula Le Roy

It was very sad to know bo was leaving. But dying so he would not be back. I was happy too see him back and I thought it was for good. not gone so soon. Why is he leaving .? Miss him again

Stephanie perry
Guest
Stephanie perry

It was a very sad and I cried for hours after it and yesterday I cried some more . I have been watching days since I was 6 with grandmother and I am now 47 yesrs old. My favorite couple was Bo and Hope I have watched since the beginning of there era. I wish they didn’t have to end Bo and Hope., I understand Peter wanted to go and I wish him the best. But I will miss him badly he was my first love.

jean sheppard
Guest
jean sheppard

I wish Bo did not have to die I would have loved Hope and Bo to take over Alice and Tom place on the show . They do not have a couple to do that. I know things have to change but why Hope and Bo.Maybe Doug and Julie can stay and take over Alice and Tom.The show will not be the same with out Bo on it.

Linda Bussell
Guest
Linda Bussell

I started watching on the day they first met. I was home on maternity leave and my new son was napping so I turned the TV on. The first thing I saw was Bo in his leather with all that hair. I had never watched DAYS before but from that moment on I was hooked.

DDteach
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DDteach

I feel like part of my childhood died Friday.I can remember as a little girl watching Days with my grandmaw. One day we were watching Bo & Hope and I told her “it’s getting good.” Some read fairy tales. I watched Bo & Hope!

Catherine
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Catherine

Absolutely heartbreakingly beautiful!

Jennifer
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Jennifer

I think we all needed the closure but it was hard to watch. They both did a great job!

Jennifer Ruby
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Jennifer Ruby

I am and always will be a Bo and Hope fan. I have been watching days since I started freshman year in high school, 1987-1988. Peter and Kristen did a great job on days. Every time Kristen and Peter was on days of our lives I was always looking forward in seeing their story line. They always had a great love story line together. Looking forward in seeing what story line Kristen is going to have. Good luck Peter in what you do next and I hope you and your family will be doing well. Enjoy being with your family.… Read more »

Helen
Guest
Helen

Have watched DOOL since it first aired on TV . . . Loved the Bo and Hope storyline and will sadly miss . . . It is sad that Peter chose not to continue his role as Bo, but life goes on . . Peter and Kristin are both great actors, and I will miss you, Bo . . . I wish Peter all the best in whatever he goes forward in doing . . . Friday was a such sad day in DOOL history, did not think it would happen that soon . . . I now hope that… Read more »

D8riana
Guest
D8riana

I love Bo and Hope they were to be like Alice and Tom Horton. We love see Bo come back to Hope We the fans just wish he had more time with Hope ..The two of them were the show its hard ot think that hes one after he come back from being missing. I hope that this will be a really ba dream for Hope and Bo comes back. Having Bo and Patch come back . We missed them Kristian and Peter play there parts so well we love you both and loved the Journey you both gavr us… Read more »

diannmaynard
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diannmaynard

I am a day one fan of Days, have grown up with these 2 threw the years, I,ve cryed and laughed right with them, every time one of the actors left I cryed I have and always will miss the ones who have left the show and passed on, my NO.1 DAYS

Mo
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Mo

The episode was well done. Sad to say goodbye to Bo and Bope, but they were magic together. Thank you for the journey.

Bope4life
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Bope4life

I’m mad as hell over it to be honest. Bo and Hope should have never ended, these two iconic characters from two legacy family should have grown old together and been around for their great grandchildren and as a bope fan for 32 years it annoys me that we didn’t get that. I understand actors leaving etc but I would have rather Bo went to a clinic somewhere to try to be saved or stayed in prison instead of being killed. Yes it was a beautiful love story but I will always have issues with Bo being killed… I am… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

Having Bo go off to a clinic somewhere to be try to be saved or staying in prison would not have been fair to Kristin Alfonso (Hope) who would have been left in permanent limbo. The only way that would have worked is if DOOL intended to recast Bo because Peter Reckell made it clear he will not be back.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

I have not watched in years forgot to DVR it I am assuming I can go on line and get it? Kudos to them for letting Bo die in her arms and just so you will know this is a couple who did not always get along. They did it for their fans who helped put them on the map. Thank you!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Yes, professionals all the way!

maddiehayes
Guest
maddiehayes

Unlike some other actor we know 😉

Maryann
Guest
Maryann

If it HAD to end, what an ending! Thanks to Kristen and Peter for all the years. Peace and love to both of you <3

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

Friday’s episode was very sad and hard to watch. Bo and Hope we’re the couple that everyone wants to have. You both had a special bond. It’s hard to believe that it has come to an end. I loved the tribute though sad as it was, it was very touching to see all the flashbacks. Bo, you will always be a part of DOOL, and will always be remembered

Ces
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Ces

Watched them from the start. Best couple ever!!! Best looking couple ever!!! Saddest ending to them…sure, Peter & Kristian have both left the show at various times, even our beloved Hope was thought to be dead at Ernesto’s cruise and yet Hope returned as Kristian did. This time seems and is probably pretty final. Peter has done the gamut with Bo and deserves to live his life with his family doing whatever and I’m grateful he came back for the 50th! I’m grateful he didn’t poo-poo on flashbacks or Bo & Hope scenes. Thank you Peter for an amazing ride!… Read more »

Jackie
Guest
Jackie

My mom watched DOOL from day one. I grew up with the show but I didn’t become hooked myself until the day Bo Brady entered my life. I immediately fell for him and Bo and Hope as a couple While Friday’s episode was done beautifully, I was shocked by how quickly it happened and felt cheated by the weeks we wasted watching Bo being held prisoner. His time in Salem should have been with his loved ones. Seeing Peter back on screen and his amazing chemistry with all his co-stars will just make his departure hurt even more. I could… Read more »

Willa Sargent
Guest
Willa Sargent

#IAM50YRSDAYSSUPERFAN, and been there with BO & HOPE from day 1!! It was very best Days to me , back then .I knew that day we had something extra special in these 2 fabulous people!!! ! I had a gut feeling this was going to be a incredible ride of our lives with Peter Reckell! & Kristian Alfonso!!!I the casting really picked 2 best people for BO & HOPE!!! They both had that MAGIC, they looked really great together too!! I will support Petes decision to leave his role as Bo Brady,Pete does have a real life, if you are… Read more »

Jennifer Gist
Guest
Jennifer Gist

Bo will be missed. I liked when he was young with the beard, but if he was ready to leave it is over.

Marlene
Guest
Marlene

I have watch this soap since it came on tv. I’m 65 yrs. Old, but u have killed off to many of the top characters
Bo , Will, Daniel, EJ, Clyde and soon Ben. I’m done watching and so are many other lady’s . It’s soon going to be a teenager soap. I think u have taken the best people away.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

This will be a very sad Christmas in the homes of Caroline Brady, Victor Kiriakis, Roman Brady, Kayla and Steve Johnson, Jennifer Horton etc but most especially in the home of Hope Brady. I’m still crying over this decision to kill off Bo. They had better do justice to his funeral. And Hope, Shawn, Ciara and Chelsea had all better be sitting in the front row.

Audrey Stwncel
Guest
Audrey Stwncel

I have been watching Days for what seems like forever ! I started watching the Summer before I went into 6th grade and got my Mother to watch it with me. Watched Bo and Hope from their beginning. My most favorite shows were done in New Orleans at Oak Alley. I have been crying like a baby since Bo came back !!! Sad to see their story come to an end. Wishing Peter the very best as he moves on with his life and looking forward to watching Kristian continue in her role as Hope.

Vanda
Guest
Vanda

Crying for weeks, me too… Loves the NOLA scenes…

mark
Guest
mark

Love bo and hope and days forever!

Rob R
Guest
Rob R

Friday’s episode was how goodbye episodes are supposed to be done. The writing, producing, and acting was brilliant. And NBC kept it a secret that Friday was THE day……..but the sense of foreboding sadness was building and building as we viewers could see how extraordinary the episode was as it was unfolding.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

It was sad. It was wonderful. It was class! It honored the characters and the fans. Days has set the standard on how to take a legacy out. GH did not even come close to honoring the Luke and Laura story when Tony Geary left. So sad for what might have been. Writers, take a bow. Actors, take a bow. Directors, take a bow. I’m sure the actors, cast, writers, directors, whole team feel very good about their show. They can all hold their heads up high, knowing they have the full support of longtime fans who love a great… Read more »

maddiehayes
Guest
maddiehayes

Everybody associated with this episode knew what the fans wanted to see. And they gave it to us. GH gave us what the ACTOR wanted. Which soap would you rather watch? I’ll take the one that cares more about its fans.

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

maddie, you say “Which soap would you rather watch? I’ll take the one that cares more about its fans.” Not a Will fan, then? Days didn’t give a damn about Will fans! They had the actor sacked and the character murdered and then demeaned with anti-gay messsages (gay husband sitting in second row of funeral, gay husbands family not invited to funeral, no flashbacks for gay husband, no scenes showing Will in the bereft’s imagination as supporting character Paige got, and Bo; plus of course gay Will being shown as weak and unable to defend himself, whereas straight Chad can… Read more »

Liz
Guest
Liz

I’ve always liked Bope, and I’m glad Bope fans got the kind of ending they wanted and deserved. But I wouldn’t be crediting Days for being sensitive to what fans want to see. WilSon fans certainly didn’t want to see what they got. Bo got to die in Hope’s arms, knowing he was loved. Will and Sonny weren’t even allowed a scene together, even in the morgue. Gee, I wonder why?

maddiehayes
Guest
maddiehayes

Stephen and Liz, I was comparing Bo&Hope to Luke&Laura. Both were THE iconic ’80s couple for each of their respective soaps. Both of them ended this year. But GH chose not to give their iconic couple any recognition or flashbacks. DAYS gave theirs a romantic sendoff. I’m sorry about what DAYS did to Will and Sonny, but they can’t compare to Bo&Hope. Or Luke&Laura.

Ray
Guest
Ray

The show was incredibly special to long-time fans. As much as it is hard to think that Bo and Hope will not be together forever, I have faith the writers will know the audience expects something great for Hope in the future. I keep reading comments on how everyone thinks Kristian will win a Daytime Emmy. Is there an actress that deserves it more? I thought Kristian was robbed the year Zack died and the fallout with Chelsea. Since I have been watching, the hardest deaths to accept was Wayne Northrup’s Roman (on the beach with Bo), Isabella (dancing with… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

This is one of the best fan made DAYS themed videos I’ve ever seen:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P6SSLGFDRMQ

Harry
Guest
Harry

Hey, how did you do that, 4Ever?
I did not know we could post links in here.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I think if its related to the thread, there’s a better chance of acceptance. Plus, Mr. Fairman knows how hard it is to get such a fantastic result in making a terrific video. Michael put together the beautiful montage for DAYS’ 50th anniversary at this year’s Daytime Emmys!

Go back to the link and view the other videos by “Evy” where one is a DAYS 50th anniversary video created by her…Michael Fairman would be proud!

Also, the DAYS 50th which Michael put together is featured here at Michael Fairman Soaps…so check it out too!

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS
Donna Mackie
Guest
Donna Mackie

Congrats to Kristian and Peter..Hope and Bo..I watched your story from day one…A long long ride..a very moving classy end. Thank you. I met a wonderful Days fan this summer.. 95 years of age..who MUST see her show everyday..People will always remember Bo and Hope.

Renee
Guest
Renee

If I knew Bo Brady wanted to come back just to get killed off I would never supported it what’s the freaking point this 31 year viewer is extremely disappointed disgusted and outraged!!!!!

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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