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Days of our Lives 50th Anniversary Week Episodes Brings In Another 20-Month High In Total Viewers!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

The 50th anniversary week for NBC’s Days of our Lives will go down as most memorable for the iconic soap opera with lots of fanfare before, during, and after the celebration.  But what a great way to ring in your golden anniversary with this excellent bit of news!

During DAYS anniversary week episodes airing November 9th through the 13th ( the shows golden anniversary was Sun Nov 8th), the series continued its upward climb in total viewers and increased numbers in the important key womens demo categories.

According to NBC, Days of our Lives has once again delivered its most-watched week in 20 months, averaging 2,806,000 viewers for the daytime ratings week of November 9-13, making it the most-watched week for the iconic soap opera since February 17-21, 2014 (2.836,000).

The November 9th episode was in particularily compelling with Bo (Peter Reckell)  saving the day for Hope (Kristian Alfonso)  as she was about to die at the hands of her new husband, Aiden (Daniel Cosgrove). Then  Bo and Aiden fighting to the death, which saw Aiden killed.  Ben (Rob Scott Wikson) trying to have sex with a pregnant and scared-to-death Abigial (Kate Mansi) realizing her fiance’ is the serial killer, while Chad (Billy Flynn) struggled behind bars to remember what happened that led him there, and Sami (Alison Sweeney) returning to Salem trying to bring down the DiMeras armed with ammunition from her husband EJ, who Sami thinks may now be alive!

And in more ratings numbers:  in addition to this being the show’s most-watched week since February 2014, in women 18-49 rating, the 0.89 makes it the top-scoring week for Days of our Lives in the past year (since October 13-17, 2014, 0.89), while equaling the show’s high in nearly 14 months (since September 15-19, 2014, 0.90). Among women 18-34, last week’s 0.53 rating is the show’s strongest in 18 months (since May 12-16, 2014, 0.53) and matches its best since one week before that (May 5-9, 2014, 0.56).  And overall for the past three weeks; DAYS total viewers have grown week-by-week as well as growth in women 18-49 and 18-34.

So what did you think of Days of our Lives anniversary week of episodes? Happy to know the show is still surging upward? Comment below!

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Lou Piikes
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Lou Piikes

Congratulations Days!!! Keep up the good work.

code85
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code85

Right own, true Days fan

Nick D.
Guest
Nick D.

The writers did a great job timing the stories to peak at the 50th and seem to being doing a good job of keeping the momentum going after that as well! While I don’t disagree it’s been a little dark (esp. with Bo’s medical condition coming on top of everything else), to be honest the show was already pretty dark under TomSell – at least now it is also entertaining and well–written. Feels like a much more intelligent show these days, for lack of a better description. Enjoying this new era quite a bit – looking forward to the Belle… Read more »

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

Good!

Mo
Guest
Mo

Keep it going. Hope the viewers will continue to watch.

James R. Poissant
Guest
James R. Poissant

This is great for DAYS but it means another soap has to take that last place position. I hate that—I wish they could all be number 1—all the shows are so good and I don’t want to lose anymore family members.

Guest
Guest
Guest

It was already renewed!

mike
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mike

A bad sign is that NBC has not given Days a renewal as an anniversary gift. If they were planning on keeping the show this would have been the time to announce.

Chrystie_Delancey
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Chrystie_Delancey

It got renewed for another season back in July.

mike
Guest
mike

Days last renewal in 2014 was for 2 years keeping the show on only until September 2016.

Mary
Guest
Mary

I don’t know this can be considered a positive sign; Kristin Alfonso has just renewed her contract on DOOL.

maddiehayes
Guest
maddiehayes

DAYS is better than it’s been in a long, long time. I’m glad ratings are going up, but I’m mystified why they are still in 4th place. I wish they’d done the anniversary episode the way they’ve done in the past, awash in flashbacks and reminisces. They’ve been very stingy with the flashbacks, IMO. Even non-fans would tune in for an episode like that, out of curiosity. I know I’d watch a Y&R or B&B retrospective, even though I don’t usually watch either of those soaps.

code85
Guest
code85

Days was in third for a couple of weeks and they have been putting up soild gains unlike inconsistent GH.

Chrystie_Delancey
Guest
Chrystie_Delancey

Billy Flynn is on FIRE! They have a real gem with this guy. He needs to be on more.

tatiana
Guest
tatiana

I agree about Billy Flynn. I tuned back into Days for the 50th anniversary and to watch Bo and Hope and Steve and Kayla reunite. I am a little disappointed that they did not have a ton of flashbacks in the last week to make us feel all nostalgic. Even the 2 flashbacks they had this week for Bo were terrible. I could come up with 10 better ones just off the top of my head! I am not really happy with the Bope reunion and Bo dying storyline. It feels too rushed. Maybe if they hadn’t kept Bo in… Read more »

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

He and Kate Mansi both are…in that cabin fire promo!…lol

Mo
Guest
Mo

I don’t like him.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I love it all and I’m looking forward to seeing more of Abe, Theo and Lani!!!

Blake
Guest
Blake

Congrats to Days! Well deserved! And with the way things look it should continue having great ratings. Ken and his crew just need to keep bringing it!

Reney
Guest
Reney

I have loved Bo and Hope since the 80’s.They were so young, lively and so beautiful.My favorite super couple for along time.EJ and Sami my other favorite.Bo and Hope’s lovestory is iconic.I literally shed tears as Bo and Hope were in that park saying
and remembering their vows and their life together.It was very touching and so heartbreaking.Peter R. thanks for all your great talent..You made the character Bo become so beloved..he will never be forgotten.Thanks for all the great tv memories.

Mary
Guest
Mary

I also cried at the end of the episode today. I knew Bo was going to die but the knowledge didn’t make it less heartbreaking to watch. I only wish that Marlena and John had both been at that family gathering in the pub.

mark
Guest
mark

Congratulations DAYS YOURE SIMPLY THE BEST BETTER THAN ALL THE REST(LESS).

Ray
Guest
Ray

The Friday episode was fantastic. I loved that only six characters were on during the hour (Caroline, Ciera, Steve, Kayla, Hope and Bo). The flashbacks today was DOOL at its best. I wish they would have shown more scenes in New Orleans. Thank you Kristian and Peter for incredible work. As much as I have loved the past few months, I am ready for some happy storylines. The deaths of Paige, Will and Aidan have been tough. If we have to see Hope have a nervous breakdown, it might be too much. Give us some great love stories. I am… Read more »

Belle
Guest
Belle

I like Chad; he is on fire. However, Abby is too weepy.
I want Abe with Maxine. What happened to their pairing? I hope the writers didn’t think that she wasn’t young enough for him because Alexis was too young. Abe needs a love interest. Put him back with Maxine!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

when my favorite lady love… Mary Beth Evans…. ( who is stand alone… knocking it out of the park) when Kayla hurts ( I hurt) when she told Bo… about his brain tumor and Bo having guessed at the outcome… didn’t lessen all the hurt and ache Kayla breaking down with Steve… to this forever couple… as much as it hurts these two… is an inroad to their finding their way back to teach other applause… to Peter Reckell… Stephen Nichols.. and Mary Beth Evans… making it all so real tip my hat to the command performance of Kristian Alfonso…… Read more »

jj
Guest
jj

It just keeps getting worse. Now you kill off Bo??? Shocked at the path the show is taking! Having the highest ratings in a year and a half isn’t that great with all of the returning characters. You would think it would be even more. And I”m sure there are many just like me that will stop watching once the 50th anniversary is over and Eve (one of the best characters in years!) leaves the canvas.

Sad in Salem
Guest
Sad in Salem

Not entirely surprising the ratings went up. First off, knowing it was the show’s 50th brings extra curiosity and attention. And throwing 10 pounds of murders and drama in a 5 pound sack makes it extra exciting I suppose
.
However it almost looks like dumping fuel before a crash landing. A lot of their main characters are being written off and won’t be available for more outrageous story lines come next sweeps week… Those new kids better get some good scripts and spend lots of time with the acting coach.

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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