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EXCLUSIVE: Behind The Scenes Of VIRAL Starring Melissa Archer & Jessica Morris With Sean Carrigan, Rob Scott Wilson, Eric Nelsen and Brandon Goins!

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

What happens when five very creative people get together, some very familiar to daytime soap audiences, and come up with a genesis of an idea that touches upon the social media, and pop culture one-minute-of-fame phenomenon we all live in?  The answer lies within a new concept for a comedy series entitled Viral, which is set to have its online debut next Monday, August 10th on the show’s website: www.viraltheseries.com

Viral reunites former One Life to Live castmates: Melissa Archer and Jessica Morris, and Emmy-Award winner producer/director Sonia Blangiardo, with her writing and producing partner Brandon Goins, and former OLTL associate producer and editor Teresa Cicala as the creative five EP’s who have formed Steel Penny Productions.  Their first project out of the gate is a funny, irreverent romp that features Archer, and Morris in a comedic turn with plenty of heart, along with other soap notables including: The Young and the Restless Sean Carrigan (Stitch), Days of our Lives Rob Scott Wilson (Ben), and former All My Children and The Bay’s Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler).

On-Air On-Soaps went behind-the-scenes, and on location for a very exclusive first look at Viral while it was kept under wraps as a top-secret production in Los Angeles.  We chatted with Melissa and the gang to get the details on how Viral came about, which features a moment in time captured on video that no woman would ever want to have happen to her!  Fans who follow Melissa and Jessica on social media, may have noticed that over the last few weeks a short viral video that was a teaser to the show was circulated.  We caught up with many of the participants in and around their filming to get some answers to what viewers can expect when the three-part installment of Viral bows, and how the producers created the hilarious “Sophisticated Ladies” auto-tuned viral video that is part of the show, and so much more!

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

Melissa Archer explains her character and the backdrop of the story: “I am playing Kat.  She is a bit of a wild one, and eager for any attention that she can get.  She’s the one that becomes a little violent when she drinks; basically she is the shit-stirrer! (Laughs). Kat gets into a bar fight and gets kicked out of the place, apparently it’s her third fight there in a month!  And she and Jackie are trying to convince Dave (Sean Carrigan, Y&R) to let them back in.  But once they figure out that is not going to happen, Kat comes up with a better plan, and then all hell breaks loose!  Kat has a huge crush on Dave, and he has a crush on her.  He is that person in her life that would call her on her stuff, as well as her bff Jackie.  However Jackie, who was kind of like the partier as well at some point, has now gotten involved with this preppy dude, Teddy (Brandon Goins) and has become a little more of a snooze-fest.  The show is really about what happens when a private moment turns into a very un-private moment?  What is funny about it is Kat is excited by it when it actually all takes place, and she finds out that this video actually did go viral.  She sees she is becoming famous, and is totally getting into it, while Jackie on the other hand, not so much. (Laughs)”

Courtesy/Steel Penny Productions

Jessica Morris added: “It’s interesting to see how different people handle that – some people like the fame, which Melissa’s character does, and my character is having problems with her relationship with her boyfriend Teddy.  His family is very conservative, and Jackie is a little more conservative, too.  So this video going viral is not a good thing for her, and it’s ruining the whole image she has going for herself.  She’s just trying to gain respect with her business, and his family, and they are engaged.  Jackie does not want to ruin that by coming off as a ‘dirty slut’. (Laughs)  In the story, Jackie and Kat have been going to this bar for years, and they’ve gotten into a lot of trouble there.  But we are going to have a girl’s night out, because it’s Kat’s birthday, and Jackie decides she is going to let loose, because Jackie does not go out that much anymore.  However, she has no idea what’s in store for her!”

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

As for how, the idea came about to have two drunk women caught peeing that would be the jumping off point for the story of Viral, that was Brandon Goins brainchild!  Sonia Blangiardo revealed: “Brandon kept saying,  ‘The characters need to do something outrageous that can go viral.’ That was all him.  I would not have come up with two girls peeing and throwing up!” (Laughs)  Brandon chimed in: “I did not actually think they would do it.  I said, ‘You know what would be funny?   If they got caught doing something outrageous on video like peeing, but it can’t be just peeing, because that’s not funny, so one of them has to throw up on the other one.  And then they say a bunch of embarrassing stuff.’  I said to Sonia, ‘They will never do that, will they?’ And Sonia, says, ‘I think they will!’ (Laughs)  We all had lunch a couple of days later to discuss it.   Melissa and Jessica went, ‘Yes! That sounds hilarious. We’re in!’  I said, ‘Really?’  I guess, I know nothing about women apparently!” (Laughs)  Sonia added: “It also showcases what people want to do with their ten minutes of fame.  And, if you ask a ten-year old child, what they want to do when they grow up?  They often say, ‘I want to be famous.’  That is sad, but that is the world we live in, and so we definitely wanted to show the negative side.  Now, if you are famous because you are following a passion then that’s great, but if you want to be famous just for the sake of being famous, that’s a little sad.”  Brandon followed with the message of Viral: “We are hoping to illustrate to people, ‘Be careful for what you wish for.’  It could be the glitz and the glamour, but it could also ruin your life and embarrass the hell out of you, so much so that you never want to show your face anywhere again.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

And to think, all of this started from a moment in time from Melissa Archer: “One day I woke up and said, ‘I want to start a production company.’  I had all of these ideas.  I didn’t want to do it all by myself, but I wanted to do it as a collaborative effort.  I wanted people who had different aspects to bring to it.  I actually cast it based on how we would look all walking into an office to pitch it to programming executives.  I totally did! (Laughs)  Meanwhile, Sonia called me, and I swear to God, within a day or two of that thing happening with me, and she said, ‘We need to talk. Let’s go have lunch.’  So we got together for lunch and she is like, ‘Listen, I have an idea.’  Basically we had similar ideas, but we melded the ideas together!  I was like, ‘Let’s do this.’  We brought in Jessica Morris, and Brandon, and Teresa Cicala.  It was like ‘Boom’ here we go, and we were doing it!  This happened back in March of this year.  That day we were coming up with ideas to be funny, and Jessica and I were half-acting them, and doing a bunch of silly stuff, while we were all sitting around at this table.  Two days later, we basically got a script with almost everything we said that day in it, and it was awesome!”  Jessica Morris concurs: “Little did we know Sonia and Brandon had a script up their sleeves, and like two days later there is this script from them, and it was perfect! They said in the script I had an ‘arresting bitch face’!” (Laughs) As to if the actresses had any hesitation about being seen as super trashy and squatting in the show, Morris joked: I am pretty much up for anything with some limitations (Laughs). When it says that Jackie had to pee I was like, ‘Great!  Whatever you need me to do … I will go for it.’ (Laughs)  I feel like the funny moments in life are the real ones, anyway.  There is a lot of humor in life, if you can look at it that way.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

Rob Scott Wilson and Eric Nelsen play the two dudes that create havoc in the lives of Kat and Jackie, to which Rob weighed-in on his “type” casting: “It was too easy for me to play, and for Sonia to think of me as a douche-bag! (Laughs)  I just did my duty and I just showed up! (Laughs)  It was great; everyone was so awesome to work with.”  Eric added: “I ended up in this, because when I heard I got to play a douche next to Rob Wilson, I thought it would be easy money … like old times back on the set of All My Children. (Laughs) Just kidding! (Laughs).  I was glad to have the chance to work with Sonia again.  And when you have a couple of best friends getting to hang out on set together – and its been over a year and half since we got to do that – it’s cool.” Jessica thought the two soap gents were perfectly cast: Oh, they were great.  They were so perfect in their roles, as they were pissing me off! (Laughs)  They were just really going at it and mocking us, and laughing at us, and it made me so furious.”

Wilson also added. “This is a little passion project of Sonia, and Melissa, and their team, and it’s just so great to be a part of it, and work with people we care about.  It’s Saturday at 1AM in the morning, but we are all here.” Sean Carrigan echoed Rob’s sentiments: “It was so much fun to work with Melissa, Jessica, and Sonia.  They put a lot of energy into this project, while also creating a very fun and collaborative atmosphere.  I can’t wait to shoot more stuff with them.”

Photo Credit: Steel Penny Productions

On seeing his script with Sonia come to life, Brandon Goins revealed that all the actors, “Exceeded my expectations, and they took it a whole other level.  I thought Rob and Eric would be kind of douche bags, but they played it brilliantly, because you also kind of like them!  Sean Carrigan came in, and he was fantastic as Dave the bartender.  As a writer it’s fun to see, because you think people are going to play your jokes one way, and they take it another way, and you go, ‘Oh, that’s brilliant!’  It’s great that these talented actors have gotten do to something they don’t get to do that much being on a daytime soap. This show really showcases that they are all very funny in their own rights.”

As far as the hope and future of Viral, Blangiardo says there is more in store if the group can generate enough buzz and interest:  “We have great twists that we are planting, and great characters.  I come from a world that if you’re not character driven you lose the audience, and you lose everybody’s interest.   So what’s great about this is Kat and Jackie have such distinct characters, and are very, very different from each other.  They have very different lives, and yet something bonds them together.  They each have a unique point of view – one sees what happened as a blessing, and the other sees it as curse – and that’s where I think the story has its comedy.”

Courtesy/Steel Penny Productions

The viral video from the show (the auto-tuned “Sophisticated Ladies”) hit the Internet over the last few weeks as a teaser for the show wanting to rev up social media, Melissa explains what happened: “We decided as a group we were going to go off the theme about what the show was about, and take the viral video that was in the episode, and post it online and just see if anyone might grab it and think that it’s real.  We knew that it was kind of a long shot, because it was sort of polished, and it could have easily looked stage, but with a little help from us, we were hoping it might go in that direction, and maybe people would talk about it, which people did. (Laughs) Unfortunately, it wasn’t the media; it was the fans, which was super awesome.  In fact, it was pretty cool.  They were very protective of us.  So, I think it actually helped calm the video down from spreading, instead of it going more viral! (Laughs)  The fans were so amazing!”  Morris agreed, “It’s good to know if someone did try to shoot us without us knowing about it, that people out there have our backs!”  Melissa added: It’s really ironic!  You would have expected people to exploit it, but it just goes to show you, our fans are some of the most loyal out there.  So, thank you guys!”

The viral video emulated the style of The Gregory Brothers who have gotten quite the name in the creation of these ditties mocking pop culture.  Archer commented: “It’s a really interesting style if you go on their You Tube channel.  They have so many hilarious songs.  There is one of President Obama speaking in congress, and it’s basically him rapping but they auto-tune him.  The concept we did was very cool, but I don’t know that people caught on to that aspect of what we were doing, either.” (Laughs)  Jessica related, “I didn’t know who The Gregory Brothers were, but Brandon was familiar with their work.  So that was the inspiration they had for editing the video of us peeing, along with funny images, and a whole song that went along with it.”

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc

To show the continued spirit and collaboration of those that have worked, and continue to work in the daytime soap medium, Blangiardo stated it best: “All of our actors volunteered their time.  It’s a sweet legacy to my world, that when you make connections in the soap genre you kind of stay together, because you are sort of a family, and it’s not just a cliché.  When you call someone literally 24 hours before a shoot, because someone had to bow out, (which is what happened in the case of one of our actors) they show up.  They show up because they want to, and they also are willing to be here, and to really give it their all.  That’s why we are doing this – we just want to work with people we love again.  Teresa flew out from New York to be here in LA to do this.  I can’t get ever get her out of her apartment on a Friday night to grab a drink with me back in New York … and she lives 20 blocks from me there! (Laughs)  She won’t come out, but she flew here to do this, and that says a lot!  This has been a labor of love.”

Check out the sizzle reel for Viral, and the “Sophisticated Ladies” music video below, and make sure to follow the show on Twitter @viraltheseries.  Then let us know, what do you think about the show concept?  What do you think of the cast? Looking forward to checking it out next week?  Comment below!

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AnacarrieLlanviewer717StephJoeyscott Recent comment authors
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Brittaney P
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Brittaney P

I was one of many fans that was say being protective of Melissa & Jessica but then when us fans found out it was a new project well it is nothing less than awesome. I have been a fan of Melissa’s since the start of her career and to see how far she’s come is amazing. I was happy to see it wasn’t real because when I thought it was I was fumed lol, but glad to see what Melissa is doing can be humored into something like this project. I can’t wait to see the episodes on Monday! I… Read more »

blake
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blake

I loved Melissa and Jessica when they were on OLTL, it was really great when they were on together. I watched both clips, they both were very funny.

dani
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dani

This looks so funny…can’t wait…MA is so funny..this is right up her alley.

Sammi
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Sammi

I CANNOT wait! The whole thing is just hiflippinglarious. MA and JM just shine <3 Congrats to all, this looks like a hit. Thank you MF for another stellar interview!

scott
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scott

Just watched the clips….OMG…these girls are hilarious….wish Melissa Archer would have been able to show her comedic side on DAYS…opportunity wasted there…..and Jessica is as equally hilarious…..definitely will watch….

Joey
Guest
Joey

I don’t like this, I LOVE THIS!! Hysterical. “The Pee-Pee sisters! Queen of the Yellow Nile!”. “Say Pee….PEE!” I lost it when Melissa’s character joyously said that, LOL, LOL! I saw the video being passed around the net but as Melissa said I was afraid it was real and didn’t want to spread the embarrassment factor, lol. I was laughing when I saw it and thought it was one of the funniest things I had seen but felt sorry for Jessica and Melissa at the same time. Now I know it’s a show, I can crack up and laugh at… Read more »

Anacarrie
Guest
Anacarrie

OMG they are so silly. I am so glad Melissa is keeping busy; can’t wait to tune in.

Steph
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Steph

Love it!

Llanviewer717
Guest
Llanviewer717

This is hysterical. I so loved Melissa and Jessica on OLTL. They both do such excellent work. I’m looking forward to this.

Anacarrie
Guest
Anacarrie

I just watched the first 3 sneak peek episodes on YouTube; IT WAS HILARIOUS. I didn’t think I would be entertained but I was; if you haven’t already, check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfTJIlCom6A

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Molly Burnett Promoted To Series Regular on ‘Queen of the South’

Wanna know where you can find Salem’s Melanie Layton, sorta?  You can watch her killing it on USA’s drama Queen of the South.  That”s where former Days of our Lives star, Molly Burnett has just been upped to series regular for the show’s upcoming fifth season.

According to Deadline who broke the news, Burnett will continue to play her complex and delicious role of Kelly Anne.

Soap fans Molly as Melanie on DAYS from 2008-2016 and when she stepped into play the role of Maxie Jones for Kirsten Storms on General Hospital in 2016.

Queen of the South is based on the bestselling book La Reina del Sur by Arturo Pérez-Reverte. It tells the story of Teresa Mendoza (Alice Braga), a woman who is forced to run from the Mexican cartel and seek refuge in America.

Burnett’s Kelly Anne is a frequent member of Teresa’s drug operation, has already killed her abusive husband, was an informant, and had a cocaine habit.  When viewers last saw Kelly Anne she was finding her sobriety and her way back into the Teresa’s operations in New Orleans.

Since exiting Days in 2014, Burnett has also been seen on  CSI: Cyber, Relationship Status and True Blood. 

So intrigued to watch Molly on Queen of the South? Comment below.

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Breaking News

Days of our Lives Returns To Production After Temporary Halt Amid COVID-19

UPDATED:  According to Deadline  the cast and crew of NBC’s Days of our Lives will actually be returning tomorrow, October 20th to begin taping ahead of schedule after a positive Covid-19 test shut production down originally scheduled for two weeks.

The outlet cited, “Following a thorough investigation including contact tracing, quarantines, testing, and a deep cleaning of the studio, the health and safety experts at Days of our Lives have determined that it was safe to return to production before the end of the two-week period. As a result, the show will be back on set tomorrow Oct 20.”

The word of the early return initially got out Monday, although at that time unconfirmed by the show, apparently, via a posting by Lauren Koslow on her Instagram account where she is pictured in a Kate Roberts outfit in her dressing room.

Koslow shared: “Stepping into Monday in alice + olivia black velvet,” She also tagged the post #dressingroomselfie and the words. “Stay strong.”

She also added a quote from poet Maya Angelou: “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

So, happy to hear it seems like DAYS is back … once again? Comment below!

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Days Of Our Lives

Kristian Alfonso Bids Farewell to DAYS as Final Episode Airs Today Sharing; “Thank YOU From The Bottom Of My Heart For Welcoming Me Into Your Homes All Of These Years”

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 marks the final appearance of Kristian Alfonso’s iconic run as Hope Williams on NBC’s Days of our Lives, a role she played on and off for more than 37 years.  Make no mistake about it, Alfonso was a staple of Salem and the DAYS family since she made her debut back in 1983.

However, over the summer viewers learned she would not be returning to the show when the series began production again in September, after she was told they were planning on resting the character of Hope for five months or so.  A decision that prompted Kristian to make a decision to leave the show for good and start a new chapter in her life.

To celebrate her run and to say a thank you to everyone at the show and her enduring fans, Kristian posted a video on her Instagram account of some backstage moments through the years to the tune of “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life”.  She accompanied her post with these words of thanks to everyone that has been by her side every step of the way:  “Being today is my last airshow, I wanted to share some of my favorite memories onset & behind the scenes I hope you enjoy it.  Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me into your homes all of these years.  And making me a part of your lives #xoxo ❤️  Thank you Ken & @nbcuniversal @nbc for a #beautiful #ride . #❤️ #😘”

 

So, are you sad that Kristina will be gone for DAYS on-screen after today?  Share your thoughts om this, her final airdate, via the comment section below.

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