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Gina Tognoni Interview – The Young and the Restless – 44th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners/Press Room

The Young and the Restless’ Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) chats with Michael Fairman shortly after receiving the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize at the 44th Annual Daytime Emmys. Gina talks about her Emmy-winning scenes, a special moment with Eric Braeden (Victor, winning her third Daytime Emmy in her career, her family and her co-stars: Peter Bergman (Jack) and Jason Thompson (Billy).

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Gina Tognoni rocks!!!


YOU KNOW…. this is a whole ‘nother person

she’s radiant

she’s smiling; laughing; happy; with a happy genuine personality

this is… the Gina that , perhaps translated to … when I knew and loved her… @Guiding Light.

not 100% … after all this is serial

knock me out… it’s easy to forget that pursed lip lock… uptight Phyllis

I hope … at the very least… since Y&R is ALREADY in retread mode…. pairing Billy and Phyllis back together… Oh I get it.. they have no ties to any one on the canvas so therefore it’s an open honest relationship


well… since I’m not watching… I hope, as read in SOD… this will open up door for Victoria to REEL and step up to the plant.. and ??? what ??? finally see her character fighting for her man… for the first time ??? as was said in SOD ?

so be it… I love Amelia Heinle

anyway… I posted she had the best reel. Congratulations



* step up to the Plate / plant

so what does it mean… have to answer to no one

an open ended no holds barred… sexual tryst ?

isn’t that only what these two should do ?


whatever the outcome… these two will move on; without




Jordi Vilasuso Previews His New Role Of Rey On The Young and the Restless

He’s played a young man growing up in a Mafioso family, a well-respected doctor, and a brother with a questionable past and future during his daytime career, but now Jordi Vilasuso takes on a mysterious new role on the top-rated The Young and the Restless, who we only know thus far by the name of “Rey”.

When Vilasuso debuts on tomorrow’s Friday, August 16th episode of the CBS daytime drama series, viewers will start to see just how his new character unveils itself, while we get to see one of our favorites back in action.

From his roles on Guiding Light, All My Children, Days of our Lives and his primetime and movie roles, Jordi brings his unique charm, acting chops, and sex-appeal to every role he plays.

Michael Fairman TV chatted it up with Jordi for this tease of what’s to come when he hits Genoa City, what it has been like working with his new co-stars, nabbing this sought-after role, and reflecting back on the journey that got him here.  Check out what he shared below.

When the news broke that you were coming to Y&R, fans of the genre were really excited.  I thought it was a great testament to you.

JORDI:  It’s great.  I mean, the way that the show has announced me and has been pushing me… from the promo that was just released this week, to my discussions with Mal Young ((EP and head writer, Y&R).  Everybody has just been asking me if I’m good, and the network is really responding to my work.  Because, you never know, right?  You put it out there, but when you get that feedback, it’s like, “Okay.  I’m doing the right thing here.”  There’s been a lot of reassurance, which is always great for people to get in a workplace.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel pressure now to deliver to Mal and to the audience?

JORDI:  Of course.  I always do.  What do they say?  Innocence is bliss?  Naiveté is bliss?  I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I first walked on to Guiding Light!  It’s such a great place to be in as a young kid.  I was just like, “I’m an actor.  I’m going to create a character…”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

And you won an Emmy!

JORDI:  And I won an Emmy … and then it’s “I’m going to go be a star, and I’m going to be in a pilot.”  I signed with a huge agency, and it was fantastic, and then reality sets in.  You get a couple of notches on your belt, and you get kicked in the ass a bit.  You learn, and then you crawl out of there, and you gain a lot of character doing that.  Really, in the last couple of years I’ve seen there are reasons for all of this stuff.  The lens that I’m looking through now is that of a father.  I just want to give them tools that can help them deal with life.  If they want to become actors, awesome.  Go for it.  I will support them.  Whatever it is they want to do, there are going to be ups and downs, and that’s all part of the journey.  For me, I think God has been molding me into the kind of man that I’ve always aspired to be.  .

From the Y&R promo this week, it looks like Rey is looking into what happened to J.T. (Thad Luckinbill)? 

JORDI:  Yes.  That has been revealed in the promo.  Rey is getting to know the heavyweights in town, and asking a lot of questions.

Speaking of heavyweights, what was it like working with Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) for the first time?

JORDI:  It was cool.  There was a little bit of that being in “awe” of him.  I never worked with him, but I always saw him on the cover of magazines.  I heard he’s very warm and open with other actors, which I got.  Playing with him on set, he kind of goes off the page a bit, which is fun.  After talking to him for about a minute, I felt like, “Okay, I get who this guy is.”  He’s very professional.

Will your new character be connected to anyone in Genoa City?

JORDI:  You never know.  It’s a soap!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I would assume if you’re on the number one soap, Rey might have a lover interest.  Who would you like to be in a romantic story with, if they should write it?

JORDI:  All of the women! (Laughs)  All of them have so much to offer from Tracy E. Bregman (Lauren), to Sharon Case (Sharon), to Melissa Ordway (Abby).  I know I may be a little bit cryptic, but I have to say, everybody has been extremely lovely to work with.

What can you say about the character in a broad stroke?

JORDI:  I think Rey knows what he wants.   He is very serious about his work, and he has a lot of ways of working through different situations.  Whether it’s a smile or knowing something about you that you may have not known… he may bring you into his orbit in that way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

He’s a mind reader!?  (Laughs) 

JORDI:  He can really read people, I think!  He’s very adaptable.  He can be put in any situation and have a conversation with anyone.  From Victor Newman, to Sharon, to Michael… he can talk to whoever is thought of as having the most status.  He has that knack.

Is Rey street smart, or intelligent smart?

JORDI:  I would say both.  I think Rey grew up very quickly, and I think a lot of that is street smart.  I wouldn’t say he is an intellectual philosopher.  I would say he leans more towards street smart for sure.

Were you informed on what the long term trajectory of your storyline would be on Y&R? Other actors on the show have talked about how Mal Young tells them where the character is going, so it better prepares them when they are doing their scenes.

JORDI:  Yes.  I found out on a Tuesday that I got the job, and I was asked to come in on Wednesday to wardrobe, and start work on Thursday, and I did four shows that week.  I sat down with Mal for an hour.  I had only met him at the screentest and there were a lot of heavyweights there up for this part.  He told me about his history, where Rey came from.  He showed me what he was doing on the show, how he was trying to change things, and some really exciting things that he was doing.  Mal was an open book, and then he did break down what he saw as the next couple of months for my character would be, which I fell in love with. I was like, “Yes! This is so cool.  This is a meaty story.  This has roots in a lot of things that I can pull from, that I am passionate about, and that are meaningful   I felt in a sense, that it was collaborative.  Even though he is steering the ship, he was interested in what I had to say as well and very open to questions.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

How does Rey stack up against your other daytime characters: GL’s Tony Santos, DAYS Dario, and AMC’s Griffin?

JORDI:  Man, it’s so funny, because somebody actually had sent me some clips of Tony the other day, and I was like, “Oh my God, that was crazy long ago!  Look at the clothes!  It was so mafioso,” but it was so cool and so fun.  There only will ever be one Tony Santos.  Then you go to Griffin Castillo who was a doctor and just starting to open up to Kendall (Alicia Minshew) and get that whole romance kicking on All My Children.  And as for DAYS Dario… God bless Dario … that poor guy.  What can I tell you about Dario?  He just couldn’t seem to make it work in Salem.  He couldn’t find his way, so he said, “You know what?  I’m going to run away!”  So, he just ran away, and who knows maybe he’s in Mexico running from the law, where I guess he resides now.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You were recently at the All My Children and One Life to Live reunion event.   What did the fans say when you got to inform them that you were coming on to The Young and the Restless?

JORDI:  They were so happy for me.  There was a lot of joy and a lot of happiness.  That was the one thing that I got from it.  I think they get what the business that we are in, which I really appreciate.  It’s such a hustle.  You wait for that other gig to come down, and when you get it, it’s a great moment to share.  They get it.  A lot of that empathy was shared from the fans, and I really, really appreciated that.

Your former AMC co-star Rebecca Budig (Ex-Greenlee) was there, too.  How was it seeing her again?

JORDI: I did see her, but just for a second!  I think she was so caught up with seeing everyone. She’s beautiful!  She hasn’t aged.

When do you think viewers will know what Rey is up to in Genoa City?

JORDI:  Sooner rather than later.  We have very good pacing for his entry on to the canvas.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We are wondering if Rey might be an adversary to Nick.  Did you know Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) before you came to Y&R?

JORDI: I wonder of Rey and Nick will be nemeses too!  But no, I didn’t know Joshua.   He’s such a dude’s dude.  From the get go, he said, “Do not look at me when you’re on set, and are you ready for my breakfast order?”  (Laughs)  I kind of bowed down and said, “You know, you’ve been on this show for twenty years.  Are you a vegetarian, or can I throw some ham in your omelet?”  (Laughs)

So, are you excited to see what goes down when Jordi debuts tomorrow on The Young and the Restless?  Do you hope Rey is on the right side of the law? Which woman in Genoa City do you think would make a good romantic pairing for the guy? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Executive Producer Frank Valentini Talks Returns, Exits, And Previews The Drama This Fall On General Hospital

Surprise returns, a wedding, a heartbreaking social issue storyline, romance, and heavy drama are all ahead this fall on General Hospital.

Executive Producer Frank Valentini sat down with Michael Fairman TV during the ABC TCA 2018 Summer Press Tour All-Star Reception to answer our rapid fire questions throughout the bustle of the industry event.

Valentini previewed what’s ahead in and around Port Charles for several characters and duos as the summer comes to a close, and a new season marks new beginnings.  He also addressed the recent cast exits that have seen fan favorites departing the ABC daytime drama series.

Now, as viewers will witness this week, there is some major distress ahead for several key characters that will play out over the next few months.

Here’s what the showrunner had to say about some hot topics that fans have been buzzing about, and more below.

Genie Francis (Laura) is coming back to the show, after all the uproar and demand for her to return.   You said there will be major story for her when she is back.  Is that true?

Photo: ABC

FRANK:  Yes, and we are very excited that she is coming back.  And yes, we have actually two big stories for Genie, and there is a little bit of overlap in them. When she comes back she jumps right into the big story, and the audience will know what the story is when they see her return. 

Chloe Lanier (Chloe) just wrapped up an incredible run on the show.  How do you feel about her departure from GH?  Did you know she was only planning on staying for a few years? 

FRANK:  We all knew that it was for a limited time. Nelle has sort of wreaked havoc on anyone she possibly could, and left in a big way and helped kick-off another big story with some other fan favorites including: Michael (Chad), Lucas (Ryan Carnes) and Brad (Parry Shen), and Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright), and the Corinthos family.  So, that’s another fun thing to look forward to.  Chloe is just a tremendous young actress.  We all remember her from the 52nd anniversary episode, which was the Luke (Tony Geary) episode, which revealed the origin story. Chloe just really stood out to us, and we brought her back.  Everyone loved working with her and she is a great friend. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Did you have any trepidation about doing another baby switch storyline?

FRANK:  Never, never!   This one has a twist on a double twist.  It’s a triple-axel! It will be gut-wrenching, for sure.

Then, Dominic Zamprogna (Ex-Dante) left GH.  How do you feel about him deciding to leave the show?

FRANK:  I love Dominic.  In fact, we just had dinner together a few weeks ago.  He is a great actor, but he wanted to try some other stuff.   We wish him all the best.  And you never know … the door is always open. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Fans on social media have been commenting how the Drew/Sam/Jason triangle featuring: Billy Miller, Kelly Monaco ,and Steve Burton had started, and then was just kind of dropped and has not been playing out on-air.  Have you made the decision to not play that triangle?

FRANK:  No, we are definitely playing it.  There are many iterations:  Drew and Sam are connected through their children, and their love, and the history that they have.  And as well, Jason and Drew being brothers, and that Jason and Sam have their own history, as well.  There’s way more to come! 

Fans have commented, “What happened to this story?”

FRANK:   It’s a big show with a big cast.  Everyone takes a turn stepping forward, and then stepping back.


You brought on Elizabeth Hendrickson (Margaux) as a potential love interest for Drew?

FRANK:  Yes, and I knew her work from All My Children and The Young and the Restless, and she is a phenomenal actress and we are really lucky to have her.  Margaux has got the flash drive with Drew’s memories on it and that is an important piece of information to have.

Peter August aka Henrik Faison (Wes Ramsey) is still on the canvas.  Is your plan to have Peter create more havoc in Port Charles?

FRANK:  Wes Ramsey is a phenomenal actor.  I think he did a phenomenal job when Peter was kidnapped and tied-up.  It’s not easy to be in scenes where you are tied-up for almost four weeks, and to act, and to stay present in the stage of being a hostage.  I just though he knocked it out of the park  He is Robin’s (Kimberly McCullough) brother, he is Anna’s (Finola Hughes) son and with whatever is going to happen with Maxie, they are connected.  He is Maxie’s brother-in-law and baby James’ uncle.  There is a lot of story there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Finola Hughes is back after taking some time-off.  Now, Anna and Finn’s (Michael Easton) relationship will be further explored as they now fight a common enemy.  What can you share about this duo?

FRANK:  Finola had a mini-vacation. She is incredibly hard-working, and we try to make sure actors’ have enough time in their personal life to have fun, and go on vacations, and be with their family. This was something we were able to work out story-wise.  But also, Hamilton will be involved with his family and there is some story there and also as you see, when Finola came back we launched into a big story with them.  There is so much to explore in their relationship. For Anna, she has only had two great loves in her life, Duke (Ian Buchanan) and Robert (Tristan Rogers).  So for her to open up her heart to someone else is a big deal, and we will explore that as well, and what that means.

Michelle Stafford (Nina) has been delivering in scene after scene as the grieving sister, following the death of her brother, detective Nathan West.  What is in store for her Nina and her relationship, Valentin (James Patrick Stuart)?

FRANK:  Valentin and Nina are separated right now, and that is never going to sit well with Valentin.  He is going to do everything in his power to try and win her back.  That will not only be fun to watch, but it will be interesting and full of twists, as well.


Chase (Josh Swickard) and Maxie seems like they could make for an interesting pairing. Will you explore that at this point?

FRANK:  There is a lot of potential with Maxie, but I don’t think Maxie is ready to be in a relationship.  She has tons of story with Lulu (Emme Rylan), and as well with her parents, and there will be lots of other fun things going on with her, but I don’t see a romance right now being front and center in her life.

Daytime Emmy winner, Lexi Ainsworth (Krstina) is coming back to GH.  Fans had been calling for her return.  Why the decision now to bring her on to the canvas?

FRANK:  We love Lexi!  Her parents are two of the most important people on the show, Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn).  It just seemed like a no-brainer, and she was available. We have a really fun story for her, as well.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, there is no Parker (Ashley Jones) in Kristina’s life, right now?

FRANK:  We will see as we go along, and we will uncover the truth about that relationship, as well. 

You brought one of the finest actresses in Tamara Braun back to GH.   Do you plan on utilizing her more … and will Kim be driving story?

FRANK:  Kim is going to have a very big story this fall.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What can you share on the future of Julian (William deVry) and Alexis?

FRANK:  They will be part of the Kim story as well, and their own story.  Alexis is going to be involved in different stories that will culminate in a story of her own, as well

Patricia Bethune was great as Nurse Mary Pat as Carly’s nemesis at Ferncliff.   She is an amazing character actress.  Did you plan on keeping her around as long as you have?

FRANK:  She is just a great actress and we really lucked out.  She played the balance of very deadly serious and dangerous, and also with a sardonic and sarcastic sort of comedic bent to it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Let’s talk Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth).  Is there a wedding? And if so, will it go off without a hitch?

FRANK:   There is a wedding coming in the fall.  And how could a wedding between Liz and Franco be anything but explosive and hilarious?  How funny was Roger Howarth in the remote scenes where they save Carly at Ferncliff, and he is sitting in the car and he says, “You knocked over my art supplies.”  I mean, that is pretty great stuff. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You recently had OLTL fan favorite Patrick J. Gibbons (Ex-Sam Manning) on GH, in role of Wyatt … the scout who tripped upon Peter being held hostage in the cabin.   How was it working with him again after your time together in Llanview?

FRANK:  Patrick and his family are very good friends of mine, who I have always had a connection with. When the writers came up with the part of Wyatt, I thought Patrick would be perfect for it.  He was wonderful.   Patrick has the right amount of innocence. He has grown so much as an actor, and he is still only 11.  I thought he was phenomenal. He played the wonder and the dedication to the scouts and trying to figure it out in fear of Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).   I thought he did such a nice job,   He is a lovely kid.  I was so happy to reconnect with him.

You have recast Vinessa Antoine’s role of Jordan Ashford with Briana Nicole Henry. Vinessa has gone on to be the series lead in the upcoming Canadian TV drama, Diggstown.  Isn’t it always hard to recast a role?

FRANK:  It’s always hard to recast and we never take it lightly.  We always want to make sure we bring in somebody good.  Curtis (Donnell Turner) and Jordan are in a position in their story where it’s important to keep them on the canvas, and write –off the character of Jordan for a frivolous reason. We would not want to do that to the audience.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

The Alzheimer’s storyline is one of the important social and medical issues of our time to shed a light on.  Through Max Gail’s (Mike) performances, it has resonated so much to the audience.  Do you plan on continuing taking the viewers through the most difficult and tragic moments in the journey of someone who cannot escape this illness, and the toll it takes on its loved ones?

FRANK:  I think that Max Gail, like Vernee Watson (Stella), took us by surprise at how amazing they are. The Alzheimer’s story is very near and dear to all of our hearts.  We want to tell it in a way that is very realistic, but to also emphasis the hope and the family connection, and the love that is that family. Sometimes in the face of tragedy, it brings out the best in human beings.  There is something very uplifting about that, even though we are telling a very sad story.  Mike realizes that this family loves him, even though he has made mistakes. There is a tremendous amount of forgiveness and a tremendous amount of empathy and sympathy, and reconciliation in moving forward.  I think the relationship between Max and Sonny is played beautifully by Max and Maurice Benard.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What is ahead for Ava Jerome (Maura West), now that the secret is out that the man she thought she could trust and who loved her, Griffin Munro (Matt Cohen) slept with her daughter, Kiki (Hayley Erin)?

FRANK:  Ava explodes over the next couple of weeks and has a major, major story. Maura West has never been better!

Photo Credit: JPI Studips

What is ahead now for Carly?  She holds the clue that there has been a switcheroo at Ferncliff involving her “therapist” Kevin Collins (Jon Lindstrom).  Will she be the one to figure it out? 

FRANK:  Carly will definitely be dealing with the repercussions from Ferncliff, and also some family situations, and also something big coming up with Sonny. She will also be helping Michael through his difficult time, because she is a good mother.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what story are you looking forward to seeing play out?  Are you excited for the return of Genie Francis? What did you think about the EP’s thoughts on the departures, the returns, and the plans for the characters in Port Charles this fall? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Val Chmerkovskiy Talks On Judging DWTS Juniors & How GH’s Kelly Monaco Changed His Career!

When ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: Juniors premiere with a two-hour series premiere on October 7th, three notables will be behind the desk judging the competition as celebrity kids battle it out, and show their dance moves along with the pros they are paired with.

The show has cast: “DWTS: Athletes” champion and Olympic figure skater, Adam Rippon; professional dancer, Emmy-winning choreographer Mandy Moore, whose credits include “DWTS,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “La La Land,” and professional dancer and “DTWS” pro Val Chmerkovskiy. to critique the competition.

This week at the ABC Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour All-Star Cocktail Reception, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Val to ask him about flipping the scenario, where this time he is a judge and not in the competition on the ballroom dance flooor, how he hopes to impact the kids in the running for the Mirror Ball Junior Trophy, and of course, for General Hospital fans, recalling his most memorable season and dance partner, Kelly Monaco.

As viewers remember, the duo lit up the dance floor when Kelly returned to the show (she won the 1st season) in 2012 for season 15.  That was the “All-Stars” season where she was paired with Val.  They took home third place.  Their friendship and chemistry was always much talked about, but it was Kelly who has had a great impact on Val as he notes below.  Here is what he had to share about his new gig and his time in the ballroom with Ms. Monaco!

How do you feel about being in the judges’ chair for the first time?

VAL:  I feel a great deal of responsibility.  I will be honest with these kids, and treat them with respect, and give them feedback that will better give them the ability to not just become better dancers, but better people.

At what age did you start dancing?

VAL:  I started dancing at 7-years-old against my will.  My brother, Maksim, started first.  We moved with my parents to America when I was 8.  They just didn’t have time to drive us to different places.  They were like, “Look, we’re going to work, so you go with your brother.” So, I started tagging along and it changed my life.  I thank my parents every day for that.


Between yourself, Adam Rippon and Mandy Moore, do you see yourself as the one being the critically hard judge on the kids?

VAL:  I think the approach to this is a little different.  Those that are judging are very passionate about the opportunity, and the last thing we want to do is patronize the kids, as well.  We want to tell them the truth.  I think people got it wrong with trying to shelter kids from honesty.  You can shelter them from dishonesty and brutally, but you can be honest with them.  Ultimately, my job is to give them constructive criticism. That is what I will do, and am currently doing,

With all the amount of seasons you have been on Dancing with the Stars, is it difficult to keep it fresh in the choreography and come up with new routines for partner, after partner?

VAL: Yes!  It is difficult. There are many times you to fall back into redundant type of choices, but ultimately that individual is that that new palette and new color that I get to paint with. So, every time I get a new dance partner, that partner provides me with all the inspiration I need to come up with something fresh.


What is your takeaway from your season dancing with General Hospital’s Kelly Monaco (Sam)?

VAL:  My takeaway is that she broke me into the mainstream.  She was my breakout season of Dancing with the Stars.  Kelly taught me a lot.  It was my third season on the show and I was really fresh to this industry and this town.  She always told me to, “Know your audience” and to know who you are talking to and you will always know the right thing to say.

Kelly is such a hard-worker and she really gave it a 110% in the competition with you learning the dance steps and battling it out with the other couples.  She’s a fighter who always perseveres. 

VAL:  She is from Philly and I am from New York.  I think there was that east coast connection between us.   Kelly is an incredible person.  We are great friends, and she taught me a lot, and I also in return, through dance, and through this show, was able to change her life in a lot of ways as well.

So, what did you think about the sentiments shared by Val on his former dance partner, GH’s Kelly Monaco? What do you think about the concept of DWTS: Juniors? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Monday night who will Becca choose … Blake or Garrett in the season finale of The Bachelorette? Watch the emotional season finale promo and then make sure to vote as to who you think will win Becca’s heart! Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

Chloe Lanier as Nelle

General Hospital

Airdates: 7-30- 8/3 2018