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GH’s Roger Howarth Talks Franco’s Childhood Abuse, If Friz Can Be Happy, And Bad Guys On The Soaps

Courtesy/ABC

He’s an original, respected by his peers, beloved by the fans of the soap opera genre, a Daytime Emmy winner, and can make any scene he is in intriguing and draw you into wanting to know what will happen next.  We are talking about General Hospital’s Roger Howarth (Franco)

This soap veteran who played One Life to Live’s Todd Manning and As the World Turns, Paul Ryan, has a history of portraying complex bad boys who have done some dastardly things, while yet, at times, displaying a heart of gold.

In Port Charles, Franco has had a violent and dark past (yes, the character had a brain tumor which explained most of his heinous acts), but with that comes an underlying danger that often rears its head for the character, as well as others. Earlier this year, GH viewers witnessed Roger’s heartbreaking performances as Franco came to grips with, and recalled the sexual abuse he suffered as a child by his abuser, Jim Harvey (Greg Evigan). This added yet another layer to Franco’s tragic past, while as fans know, the show has tried to find ways to redeem the character and make him someone to root for; which Howarth does a mighty fine job at doing any way, no matter what material is sent his way.

Coming up this fall, “Friz” fans are anxiously waiting for the nuptials of Franco to his lady love, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst). Can Franco get out of his own way and find some peace and love as Liz’s new hubby? Only time will tell! Michael Fairman TV caught up with Roger to talk about: his recent tough and impactful storyline, his love and commitment to his craft, and the importance of bad guys on your favorite daytime dramas, and more. Here’s Roger!

You delivered Emmy-worthy performances during Franco’s storyline where he remembers his childhood sexual abuse.  How did you feel going through that as an actor?  Were you hoping that it was going to help explain more about the emotional make-up of Franco?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

ROGER:  I’m very proud of the work that we did, and I think everybody pitched in.  I liked being a part of a story that encompassed several different characters and everybody’s different points of view, and I think everybody was pretty well-represented.  In terms of an explanation … I just think it was my job as an actor to put myself in that situation and have the character live through it.  Whether it explains something to the audience, or not, isn’t something that I can control, so I didn’t really engage in that.  I do believe that their intention might have been to offer an explanation to Franco’s behavior, and his impulsiveness, and his deep-seated anger and his desire to control.  Historically, I think real people do kind of repeat behavior, until they remember.

Courtesy/ABC

I always felt GH has tried through various storylines to humanize Franco in some way, because of the horrible things that the character has done in the past.  They obviously want Franco to also be this leading man on the show.  With that, does it get muddied up, or problematic for you when trying to play the character? 

ROGER:  It doesn’t get muddied up for me, because I’m pretty much a worker-bee in that I get a script,  I learn the script, I perform the script, and the other actors and I are responsible for just our acting.  I do think that it might have presented a problem for the writers, and that they were trying to address what you’re talking about. But, I don’t think that fish know that they’re swimming in water, and Franco doesn’t know that the audience thinks he’s a bad guy. (Laughs). You, know what I mean?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There was this recent scene where Franco is kind of pulled in to the situation at Ferncliff by Jason (Steve Burton) in an effort to help free Carly (Laura Wright).  It’s clear Franco doesn’t want to be there, and he is going back in forth with his conscious on this, and the right thing to do, and whether he should help Jason out.  Franco doesn’t know how far to go with it.  What do you think those of those kinds of moments?

ROGER:  Well, I wasn’t there when Franco and Jason were interacting, because it was a different Franco (played by James Franco).  I know that when Steve came back, the writers knew they had to address the fact that while Elizabeth and Jake (Hudson West), and the other Jason (now Drew, played by Billy Miller), had a perception of Franco, that they couldn’t necessarily ask the original Jason to see Franco, differently.  From Jason’s perspective, Franco was, in fact, the old Franco. So, from what little I know about the old Franco and the old Jason relationship, I think Franco has a real need for Jason’s approval.  In those scenes, I thought that here was a guy who was doing something and he wasn’t sure what was motivating him to do these things.  I thought that it was kind of cool and beautiful in that the pleaser and the killer are kind of different parts of the same person.  I think on a very basic level, he really wanted this other man (Jason) to like him.   I thought that was very human, so I liked that part.   It’s like, everybody else thinks he’s a changed man, so why does this one person just not see him for who he really is?”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What do you think about the relationship Franco has with Drew, who was the brother he grew up with as a little boy, before Drew was taken from the family?

ROGER:  I think that is an important relationship for Franco to have.  Drew was a key to his past.  I think moving forward these two will have a bond, despite themselves.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think that if Franco found happiness and actually married Elizabeth, and it actually worked out, that he could deal with it?

ROGER:  I don’t know if that’s a Franco issue, or a human issue.  I think that people say they want intimacy, and they’ll do everything they can, and when they’re actually confronted with the possibility of it, they do sabotage, and they do run away, and they do find a way to screw it up.  I think that’s part of the hook.  Her perspective is something that I would hope would be written into the story, also.  Elizabeth has her past, and these two people are complicated.  I do think there’s something really sweet about the way that these characters feel about each other.  What I hope is that we’ve set up a dynamic that the audience is hoping that they can manage to be together.  I hope we are appealing to the part of the audience that doesn’t want to screw up their own lives.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Franco is great with Jake, and Liz’s other children, as well.  Why do you think that is? 

ROGER:  I think there’s an honesty and spontaneity to him, and I think Franco’s developed those survival skills, because of his own history.  He relates to kids on a really honest level that I think some children appreciate.

What was it like working with Greg Evigan in Franco’s childhood abuse storyline?

ROGER:  Greg was fantastic.  He did a great job, particularly when Franco actually got to confront him.  I think he was very successful in having his character’s point of view be heard.  For as dark and twisted and perverse as Jim Harvey’s thinking was, that character didn’t know that.  What they wrote was a man who said that he really loved these children, and that’s really difficult to write, play, and be a part of.  I think Greg owned it and did a really good job, and I think he was committed.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Would you have liked to have had a scene with Franco and his father, Scott Baldwin (Kin Shriner), where Franco went to his dad, and told him about the abuse he suffered as a child?

ROGER:  I do think that different roles provide different flavors, and there were some scenes in the park for instance, where Franco did tell Scott what had happened to him, and Scott’s reaction was very generous and supportive.  Franco told him what happened to him off-camera, because I’m guessing that the network thought there were some sensitive issues, and they never actually said the specifics of what happened to Franco, which is tasteful.

Courtesy/ABC

With what is going on in the world today with the news cycle, stories of sexual abuse are sadly more commonplace.  Do you think they wouldn’t get into more specifics about the abuse, because of this being a daytime soap opera and its audience?

ROGER:  I can’t tell whether they can’t say it, or they know who their audience is, and they can just point to it.  I think with the Bensch/Kiki storyline for example, they left things to the imagination.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought that it was so sad what Franco went through.  That a molestation of a little boy happened over and over again.   It must have affected you when playing out this story.

ROGER:  I did get upset and sad.  I just can’t imagine that one person would do that to another person.  As an actor, I’ve played characters that have done horrible things, and it’s surprising to me that people are so resilient.  It’s just so sad what we do to each other.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you want to see your character progress in his life, or continue to be tortured by his past?

ROGER:  I think that the dramatic tension of it all is: “Will these people figure out their stuff?” I think that is intensely human and beautiful.  Every relationship is problematic for one reason or another, so I really hope that there’s a rooting value.  I don’t think that there can be a rooting value without an obstacle.

Have you ever gone to the powers-that-be to tell them what you’d like to do, or see happen next with your character?

ROGER:  No, I don’t get involved in any of that.  I’m not the best judge of what we do.  I’ve learned over the years that we have to commit to everything, because sometimes the things that you think are problematic wind up being the fan favorite.  So, I’m more of the: “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it, and I’ll try not to screw it up.” (Laughs) They shouldn’t let the inmates run the asylum. (Laughs) Because then you get into a weird situation where you’re saying, “My character wouldn’t do that,” and that’s really limiting.  That’s the whole point of what we do.  It’s supposed to be challenging and out there and large-scale.  We are supposed to be really brave and accept the challenge.  We aren’t supposed to control where these people go.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Will you tweak the lines of dialogue in small ways to fit your character, if necessary?

ROGER:  Very rarely, and honestly, not as much as people think. I work really hard to make it appear spontaneous.  By the time it comes on air, I’ve said it forty-five times.  You just have to see that character think that thing for the first time on the TV, because Franco didn’t get a rehearsal.  He doesn’t know what’s going to come out of his mouth, and the stimulus are supposed to happen to these characters, and you’re supposed to watch them react in real time.  Franco is a spontaneous human being, and I do think there is a responsibility for some characters like Nina (Michelle Stafford), and Franco and Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) to have a different set of synapses. I’ll give you an example: Elizabeth is going to the stand for the Kiki (Hayley Erin) trial, and they wrote a line where she says, “I’m going up there,” or something like that, and Franco says, “Good luck,” and then he turns downstage and says, “Me too.”  They didn’t know that the guy at the “Me Too” trial can’t say, “Me too,” so I told them that I would like to say, “Me also.”   So, there was a conversation about it, and they just wrote a different line.   I didn’t just tell them I wasn’t going to say that.  So, there are some conversations.  There are fewer conversations now than there were in New York at One Life to Live, because our head writer at the time, Ron Carlivati, was physically in the building.  At GH, there is a three-hour time difference between L.A. and N.Y. where most of our writers live, while we are taping on the west coast.  So, who do you talk to?  For the most part, it doesn’t happen.  There’s a luxury for me to even change “Me too” to “Me also.”   I do think that we are supposed to come up to the floor with a set of ideas and a way to get it out of our mouths.  I do think that they give me a bit of a longer leash, primarily because they understand that I kind of can’t do it another way.

Courtesy/ABC

What do you think of Franco’s relationship with Obrecht? What does he really think of her?

ROGER:  I think he really appreciates her support.  I don’t think her at times, insanity, bothers him.  I think he appreciates it.  I think he doesn’t want Obrecht to do harm to people, but expects her to be peculiar.

How would you feel if they wrote that Franco did harm people again?

ROGER:  Great.  Then we will do that.  It could be.  It is a little strange, and it seems to me, that they’ve grown reluctant to have some of the primary characters on the canvas behave poorly.  I think we do ourselves a disservice when we bring in a fantastic actor to play the bad guy.  I don’t know why the child abuse of Franco wasn’t from his actual father, Scott Baldwin.  How cool would that have been?  I do think that soaps need bad guys.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What do you think about the journey you’ve had as an actor?  Do you feel that you’re a better actor now at this stage in your career?  You started out, I believe, when you were found by an ABC casting search and development program.

ROGER:  There was something that brought in to ABC: Michael Weatherly, Laura Wright, Rebecca Gayheart, and Roger Howarth.  We all came onto Loving at the same time, and I was terrible, and they fired me immediately.  I really thought that it should be played the same way that you play Shakespeare. (Laughs)  I was abysmal. I look at it that I am half-way through.  I made it to halfway in my career.  I’ve got another twenty-five years in me.  I don’t know what that will ultimately look like, but I just like acting.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You’ve never lost the passion for acting?  Some in your profession often sound jaded about it after doing it for a long time.  Do you still get the same thrill when you hit the set?

ROGER:  Every time I walk on a set, I think it’s amazing.  It’s cool what I do.  I love it.  I love what I do 100%.

So, are you looking forward to Franco and Liz’s upcoming nuptials? What did you think of Roger’s performances earlier this year when Franco recalled his sexual abuse at the hands of Jim Harvey? What did you think of Howarth’s comments about how key bad boys are on the soaps?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

 

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Deanna
Guest
Deanna

I have admired Roger for many years. He is a very gifted actor. The pairing of Franco and Liz. Roger and Becky are fabulous together. Looking forward to their wedding!

Carolyn
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Carolyn

I love his facial expressions.

Sher
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Sher

Great interview. Roger is my favorite soap actor .

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Excellent read! That’s for posting this interview Michael. It’s always great to get perspective for someone as talented and intelligent as Roger Howarth.

Carolyn
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Carolyn

I never saw Roger do an interview like this

Jenn
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Jenn

He rarely does any interviews. When he does though, it’s always a great read.

mike
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mike

The best actor on daytime.

Lucy D
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Lucy D

What a smart dedicated actor Roger is. I am in awe of his talent and his dedication to his craft

Denise A Daniel
Guest
Denise A Daniel

I’m so happy you did this interview because Roger rarely does them. Franco & Elizabeth are hands down my favorite characters on GH. I’ve loved Becky since she first appeared 21 years ago. It never dawned on me that they could pair Becky & Roger but they are like lightning in a bottle together. They can seamlessly handle the angst, the banter, the romance, the comedy. The journey of Friz falling in love was truly rare for today’s soaps. They had the classic slow build which is unheard of now. Six months before a kiss & 18 months before they… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Franco seems to be a polarizing character, but I like him and think Roger Howarth is a dedicated, creative actor. I hope they continue Franco’s evolving friendship with Drew; Roger and Billy are dynamite together. But heck, when is this wedding going to happen? Their engagement is lasting longer than many marriages.

Joanna Dotson
Guest
Joanna Dotson

Roger brings up some issues. He is a marvelous actor whom I have admired for a long time.

Jimh
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Jimh

Still prefer Todd…

Pat Sasso
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Pat Sasso

I love Franco. Bad guy or good guy you just like him. He is such a wonderful actor that he draws you into his character and you react. Remember Him from As The World Turns and I felt the same way. Like His new Haircut

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

Thank you for this article it’s so great to hear Roger’s perspective on his character and career. It’s easy to see why he is so well liked and respected in the industry, he really understands his craft. I would love to see a joint interview with Becky for the wedding!

Shan
Guest
Shan

Such an insightful interview! Roger’s answers go beyond the usual talking points and bring a unique perspective from the actor’s lens. I am hopeful that his fabulous work this year is recognized at the Daytimf Emmys.

Thx for sharing and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for an interview with his acting partner, Rebecca Herbst, soon!

Rodd
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Rodd

Fabulous interview, fabulous actor! Never tire of watching what he does.

Kat lee
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Kat lee

Roger is one of my all time favorites. I loved him as Todd Manning, which was my introduction to this actor. I won’t say That the cleansing of Franco has been easy on the fans of JaSam, which I’m unabashedly one. I often think that we all suffer from PTSD from the original storyline. I was never happy with the “brain tumor” story and the get a free pass from accountability, that was given to the character. Nor was I thrilled when they paired him with Elizabeth for two reasons, one, she is a rape survivor and two it grates… Read more »

su000
Guest
su000

Franco is too mushy wussy..
Roger can play a great edgy bad boy with a heart of gold.
This powder-puff Franco is a stale bore, he needs to get his darker bad boy side back and still hold onto his good side.

Putting Franco with Liz (the mother nun) was a bad move.
He was 100% more interesting/colorful/vivid/intruging with Carly and Nina; Franco and Liz are like toe-nail clippings BLAHHHH.

Franco should never ever be a mushy wussy stale bore, never.

BabyMarie
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BabyMarie

I agree I have always loved RO HO wen he plays bad guy.. he doesn’t play a good goodie two shoe.. I 2ould love to see him to go back to being Dark again.. I don’t feel he should be paired with Liz who is a Rape Survivor.. I liked Franco with Nina and Ava him and honestly O Brecht would be great together.. my fav with him was Blair on OLTL.. please bring the Dark side back out of Franco..

Barbara
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Barbara

Roger is a great actor but i would like him better with nina or ava.i am hoping franco and liz break up

BabyMarie
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BabyMarie

I agree

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

I like his attitude very much–and he is articulate about the way he works–and candid and upfront with his opinions. I like that; however, he came on to play a character that he “set” the character before he got that. A bit unfair for him, granted. BUT the violence that the writers have done to the true (evil, black and white) character is a barrier he can’t get over. So he does the best he can with what he is given. Too bad. They should have let the evil Franco lie–and brought him on in a totally new character on… Read more »

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

I am really unhappy with this interview! The majority of Roger’s scenes are with Rebecca Herbst but he didn’t pay her one compliment! He talks about Franco has changed but admits he doesn’t know much about the old Franco. Roger says he thinks the show is reluctant to have the primary characters behave badly – is he on another show? No way can he be talking about GH with their nonstop redemption arcs! Roger thinks the show does itself a disservice when they bring in great actors to play bad guys – the disservice is to the audience who gets… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

I agree with you, Tracy. I have mixed feelings about this interview. First, it seems to me that the actors (I don’t know how many but judging from Laura Wright’s and now Roger’s, don’t take the time to learn the history of their character. They seem to play to whatever’s happening in “their” time. On a soap, particularly a soap which is a genre of continuity, a genre where audiences spend YEARS with certain characters, the actors should know who they’re playing and what happened in their character’s past. I’m still reeling from Laura Wright not seeming to know that… Read more »

Lucy D
Guest
Lucy D

First, Roger mentioned Scotty as an example of using characters on the show as villains, not that specifically Scotty should have been one. Second, he was hired to be a completely different version of Franco than James Franco was. They obviously were trying to erase most of the traces of that character, so not sure why Roger should have studied James Franco’s performance. Plus James Franco’s character was a disgusting person, created for buzz, not for story. I think as horrible a person as Jim Harvey was, he did think he was doing something out of a perverted sense of… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Actually, if you reread the interview, Roger specifically said “I don’t know why the child abuse wasn’t from his actual father, Scott Baldwin, How cool would that have been?” There is no misinterpretation there. Second: I know who he was hired to play. I know who Franco was in James Franco’s version and I understand how they redeemed the character in order to keep Roger on the show. I am a huge fan of Roger’s and was thrilled that in the midst of a bad decision to cast him as Franco, they found a way to turn it around (although… Read more »

Lucy D
Guest
Lucy D

I did not say nor mean to imply that Harvey was misunderstood or anything but a horrible person. What I said was in his head he thought he was not a creep.

I

JMER
Guest
JMER

I agree with Tracy and with Rebecca1 as well. If not knowing history is the only way for these actors (and Roger is highly likable, no doubt) to navigate these scripts, that’s a red flag for this show.

Pam
Guest
Pam

Thank you for this interview. Personally I believe Roger plays better dark and not the goody, goody. He doesn’t sell good well at all. You see him light up when he is plays the darkness. I hope they let him go back to playing dark. No Friz wedding for me not a Friz fan at all.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“… He’s an original, respected by his peers, beloved by the fans of the soap opera genre, a Daytime Emmy winner, and can make any scene he is in intriguing and draw you into wanting to know what will happen next. We are talking about General Hospital’s Roger Howarth (Franco)” this is all very good and nice. TO A POINT . it’s a lot of “fluff” and “FOLD” I am once again throwing in the towel… on Roger Howarth’ Franco – AND – Michael Easton’ Finn. BOTH of them buoyed marqueed a star END they both once again… WERE stars… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I didnt know much about Roger coming to GH. I liked Todd. I was glad when James Franco and Franco died. THEN to resurrect him, WHY? So, I have always had a bad taste in my mouth for Roger’s Franco. BUT, him and Scotty are magic and him and Greg Evigan were the best! Now, as I read this interview, I see that this guy Roger LOVES what he does, respects his craft and lets the writers write and does his job! I admire that!

elm1951
Guest
elm1951

i have adored roger since his early days as teenage todd on oltl – no matter what character he plays he does not ever disappoint……………..very talented actor!!

Debbie Reider
Guest
Debbie Reider

Great interview! Roger has such an appealing way of speaking. He really draws you in. What a terrific actor and beautiful personality. Can’t wait to meet him in November. Totally stoked!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“…I think that’s part of the hook. Her perspective is something that I would hope would be written into the story ”

GEEZ – at least we may be seeing a glimpse of Roger Howarth “championing” Rebecca Herbst.. HIS only reason for existing on this dire show. ham any one

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

so much ^^^^ wordy went in to his discussion about his relationship or LACK OFF .. with either Jason or Drew. I mean really … with RH schmoozing hamming and “courting” the audience if you will.. is all that he’s doing. WHEN he helped Jason rescue Carly with his car… Jason basically dumped him off at the hospital… where Franco tried to offer his presence… she said nothing and they drove off !!!!! I was so floored and livid that this is what is going to continually happen… WHY would the writers extend any emotionally bonding with Jason ??? or… Read more »

Kt
Guest
Kt

Loved this interview. Roger Howarth is so talented and so much fun to watch. So happy w the way Franco is written & I love his pairing w Elizabeth.

Maria
Guest
Maria

Roger is such a giving and intelligent actor. It’s no wonder why his cast mates speak so highly of him. He’s an actors actor. He’s unpredictable about how he’ll approaches a scene. But totally predictable that he will treat the scene and his acting partners with respect. Not many actors could have taken the character of Franco and not only humanized him but made him root worthy. The love story he and Becky Herbst are playing for us fans is unlike any other couple in daytime. My only complaint is we don’t get enough of him.

mealso
Guest
mealso

This interview is way too focused on storylines and fictional characters (in the big scheme of things, who cares?) than in what he THINKS and FEELS about the job. That would have been way more interesting than whether or not he believes Franco’s tumor could come back and make him behave badly.

Marjorie
Guest
Marjorie

I like the character Franco. He loves Elizabeth and the kids and wants them to be his family. Roger howart portrail of Franco for me is very good. I think it was a very good idea to bring up Franco’s childhood abuse because abuse of young boys is often forgotten in the media. GH has to be very careful about political correctness because if taken too far would destroy the essence of GH altogether. I’m not big on homosexuality and there has been more time given to those characters than usual.Keep as much normality in the show as possible please… Read more »

Wilhite59
Guest
Wilhite59

Roger, Becky, Billy, Jon, and Greg. Were great in these scenes. Especially Roger. The man is brilliant when it come to delivering dialogue. They don’t come any better than him.

Breaking News

NATAS Reveals Categories to be Presented at 49th Annual Daytime Emmys and Creative Arts & Lifestyle Ceremonies

On Monday, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced which categories will be presented at the 49th Annual Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle and the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Award ceremonies.  Both award shows will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

The Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy ceremony will stream live at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on Saturday, June 18 at watch.TheEmmys.tv and via The Emmys apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku. while The Daytime Emmy Awards telecast will be presented live at 9 PM EDT (replay at 9 PM PDT) on Friday, June 24, on the CBS Television Network and streamed on Paramount+.

Check out the alignment of categories for each show and ceremony below.

The 49th Annual Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy Awards

Saturday, June 18, 2022 

Categories to be awarded:

Outstanding Culinary Series

Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program

Outstanding Lifestyle Program

Outstanding Travel, Adventure and Nature Program

Outstanding Instructional and How-To Program

Outstanding Arts and Popular Culture Program

Outstanding Entertainment News Series

Outstanding Daytime Special

Outstanding Short Form Daytime Program

Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program

Outstanding Daytime Promotional Announcement

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Culinary Host

Outstanding Daytime Program Host

Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Directing Team for a Single Camera Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Directing Team for a Multiple Camera Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Music Direction and Composition

Outstanding Original Song

Outstanding Lighting Direction

Outstanding Technical Team, Camera Work, Video

Outstanding Cinematography

Outstanding Single Camera Editing

Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing

Outstanding Live Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

Outstanding Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design

Outstanding Casting

Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design

Outstanding Costume Design/Styling

Outstanding Hairstyling

Outstanding Makeup

Outstanding Special Effects Costumes, Makeup and Hairstyling

Lifetime Achievement Award: This Old House

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC, JPI

The 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

Friday, June 24, 2022

Categories to be awarded:

Outstanding Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Game Show

Outstanding Informative Talk Show

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actress

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actor

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actress

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actor

Outstanding Younger Performer in a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Game Show Host

Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host

Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Directing Team for a Daytime Drama Series

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Aniston

So, what do you think about how NATAS has chosen to give out this year’s gold statuettes?  Looking forward to the ceremonies? Comment below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: What’s Up With Elizabeth?

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, finally moved the story of the haunting of Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) along a bit, after it has been a very slow build for the audience. As it turns out, and with the new developments, it appears that Liz has been going in and out of a catatonic state, while sleeping walking.

With a tip from Violet (Jophielle Love), Finn (Michael Easton), who is chatting with Gregory (Gregory Harrison), recalls Liz was having trouble sleeping and was that she given a sleeping aid. He thinks he may be on to something so he decides to go to Liz’s house to talk to her.

Meanwhile, Liz comes to her house and tears Finn and Violet out of the picture that Violet drew, and then gets a scissors and starts cutting pieces off of the drawing, bit by bit.

Cameron (William Lipton) comes home and see his mother.  She does not respond to him and appears in a trance-like state. He is getting more upset by the moment, and then Finn arrives on the scene.

Finn is able to get the scissors from Liz, and also get her to snap out of her trance.  Liz talks with Finn and wonders what is happening? She doesn’t even remember how she got home.  When Cameron fills Liz in on what she was doing … cutting up the drawing and all … Finn tells Liz he believes she is the one who is haunting herself.

In tears, if what Finn is claiming is true, then it is she who is responsible for slashing her dress, setting fire to Franco’s studio, and hitting Chase over the head.  In that moment, a teary-eyed Liz recognizes that something is terribly wrong, saying, “What’s happening to me?”

Finn promises Liz they will get to the bottom of this as Cameron looks on.

So, what is happening to Liz and why? Is this just a case of another sleeping pill storyline on soaps, where someone does not recall their actions or where they are going in the middle of the night a la Nighttime Hope on DAYS? Is someone controlling Liz to make her do these things?  Is something else physically wrong with Liz causing her behavior? Share your thoughts on this storyline … and where you think this is all heading via the comment section below.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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