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Kristoff St. John And Y&R Celebrate His 25 Year Milestone As Neil Winters!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Courtesy/CBS

Last Friday, cast, crew, press, executives, and family (including Kristoff’s beloved dog Brando) gathered together on the set of the Genoa City Athletic Club at CBS Television City to celebrate the 25 year milestone of Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters) with The Young and the Restless.

Throughout the celebration honoring the powerhouse actor, several speeches were made all illustrating Kristoff’s unwavering commitment to the material, bringing Neil Winters to life day in and day out, and touching upon Kristoff’s inner-strength in facing the unimaginable for any parent, the tragic death of their child.

It was day of emotions, tears, and laughter for one of the finest actors working in our genre including; Kristoff reading a heartfelt congratulatory note from his father, acclaimed actor and director, Christopher St. John. On-Air On-Soaps was on hand to listen to the speeches and share in the festivities.  Immediately following, we were able to chat with the guest of honor, up close and personal, for some closing thoughts on this special day.  Here are some of the highlights below:

Photo Credit: MF Soaps Inc

Y&R’s executive producer Jill Farren Phelps kicked off the celebration with these words: “In the course of his 25 year journey as Neil Winters, Kristoff has won 2 Daytime Emmy Awards and 8 NAACP Image Awards.  In watching the material that you submitted this year for the Emmy’s, I was reminded of what we all know; you are an extraordinary actor. Neil Winters has been married 5 times, raised Devon and Lily (and Moses too!), and just in the 4 years since I’ve been here, he’s lost and regained his sight in a sensitive and gripping performance while giving us the haunting and heartbreaking portrayal of a man battling his darkest demons in the bottom of a bottle . . . Bravo Kristoff.  You’re a fierce actor.  You’re your own man.  You’ve shown remarkable courage and heart against all odds.  And you are a valuable member of our Y&R family.   AND you have the cutest dog!  Thanks Kristoff.  Congratulations and much love. ”

Courtesy/CBS

Next, Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman) took to the podium and offered up to his co-star: “You are an incredibly talented actor, and I have enjoyed watching your work.  You can tell the true measure of a man in how he handles adversity, and brother, I have seen you slay dragons and stare down demons.  I have seen you rise up and show everyone what you are made of.  It has to be some of the strongest stuff the world has ever seen.”

Bryton James (Devon) in an emotional, and off the cuff speech told Kristoff: “You set this standard of commitment and excellence of every scene I have seen you in, and every scene I have been in with you, and it’s taught me.  You have shown me and guided me every step of the way.  You showed me not only how to go about being an actor, but how you go about being yourself in life, too.”

Courtesy/CBS

Christel Khalil delivered a short speech which included: “It’s so easy to work with Kristoff.  If I have to cry in a scene all I have do is look at him, and I just start bawling.  We just have that connection. ”

When it was finally Kristoff’s turn to address his Y&R family he noted, “This is very humbling to hear these words you have said, my family.”  He then told how his life in Genoa City began: “Bill Bell (co-creator and former head writer, Y&R) said, ‘How would you like to work on this show? I said, ‘Of course I would.’  I had come from the last place show.  I knew Y&R, because I had watched it while I was in my dressing room at Generations at NBC.  The biggest difference between Generations and Y&R was not the writing, but the look of the show.  It was the seasoned actors that are on this show.  It was unlike anything I had every watched before.  So when I got here I was in awe. The first person I met was Victoria Rowell (Ex-Drucilla), and the second person I met was Eric Braeden (Victor), and the other men on the show, such as Peter Bergman who is the ultimate professional.  The difference between he and I is Peter will come out to the stage on a two-scene stand by, while Kristoff is just getting in the shower!” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Following the presentation, On-Air On-Soaps asked Kristoff some questions about his journey at Y&R,  beginning with the ups and downs of being on a soap for an amazing 25-year run: “Nothing is easy, but when you have a family near and far, it can be rather dysfunctional, and in that dysfunction, you have a happy balance of acceptance and dislike.  So when you do come together for a joyous occasion, it’s all about the joy, and on the set it’s all about the joy. Drama off the set is a whole other thing, even when people at times here haven’t brought the joy.  I was going to say one thing in my speech about one person who told me once; “You don’t have a story.  And you want to be careful, because you want them to make note of you.  You want to get out in front of them, and you need to remind them.  I have a lot of story and I guarantee you that I am the new breed, and you need to make sure you become that.”  I felt like knocking his block off, but what does that service?  That was a family moment between someone that was here, and someone who is no longer here, who thought he would be here forever. ”

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Kristoff on reflecting on his on-screen children; Bryton James and Christel Khalil, and the sentiments they shared: “Like they said about me, I value them like my real family, my personal family.  They have been surrogate children for me.  Everything I do on stage with them, and acting as their father is a piece of me that I have been able to learn from my children: Paris, Lola, and Julian, and how to be a better man and how to be a better father.  But those two have put me in my place a number of times, and stopped me from going off the deep end as a man. Christel and Bryton have been the glue here for me at the Y&R stages.”

Kristoff on if being at Y&R helped pull him through the most heartbreaking of personal tragedy following the death of his son, Julian: “The show didn’t really factor in until I looked out over Julian’s funeral and I saw a sea of my peers and they were all there. That meant everything to me.  I don’t know if everyone realizes that.  I wanted to say things up there today about it, but I knew I would fall apart, and I couldn’t have gone on. I was able to come to work a couple of weeks after being off, and man, it was during that part of the storyline that deserved a personal experience that came from the depths, and unfortunately it was through that experience of the death of my son, that I was able to parlay good performances with people that I love and respect here.”

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Kristoff reflects on his 25 years of storylines; when Neil has languished on the back-burner, or has been front and center, and how he has kept that in perspective, as well as his thoughts on his current storyline:  “I had a lot of great stories.  I also had to mention Victoria Rowell in my speech.  I had to.  But when you have real meaty story it becomes the show for a period of time, it does.  It’s months on end, whereas I have always felt somewhere in the middle.  It’s not back-burner, and then we go to the front, and then we go in the back, and we are relegated to what I like to call, ‘Winters Wednesdays’. (Laughs)  But this past year has been fantastic!  For some reason, this storyline with Bryton and Hilary (Mishael Morgan) has been dragged on longer than any storyline I have been a part of.  I am not sure why other than I believe Bryton and Hilary’s characters became extremely popular, and so the fight has to be for Neil rescuing the relationship, and realizing he can’t, and then going off on a tangent to force it to happen, but I have been the villain. I like playing the villain, too.”

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Kristoff on after hearing the accolades that he is a ‘great actor’, and if he views himself that way: “When you are good at something you can tell people about it. When you are great at something than other people will tell you about that.  How do I dare accept when someone uses the word ‘great’, when there are so many beautiful actors out there in the real world? I am but one of many, many, many. Interpretation is everything. Acting is reacting, and I somehow am able to bring realism to the work that I do. I don’t know how great that is, but I know how natural it feels. I think part of that is because I started as a child, and by the time I reached my adult years I was able to draw on stuff.  Luckily, I have had a great character to play.”

Share you congratulations to Kristoff on his 25 years with Y&R in the comment section below! And let us know, what did you think of the thoughts he conveyed and the admiration and respect shown by his co-workers and friends? What has been your favorite moment in the life and times of Neil Winters?

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So happy for him! Congrats Kristoff!

I love Kristoff and am still praying for him as he now lives life with such a heartbreaking loss.

It’s ashame they can’t write something better for him to do then fall off the wagon for the hundred time.

Aw, he has a Shiba Inu. I love them. They look like foxes.

I was impressed by the speech from Joshua Morrow. It was very eloquent. Too bad his dialogue on Y&R is not as good as that.

I would really like to see Neil Winters moved away from this whole Hilary and Devon mess, Lily’s problems with Cane, and get a new romance. I bet Kristoff and Gina Tognoni could be smoking together. Jack is a bore and I KNOW that Gina has more passion than what she has had to stifle with Peter Bergman’s Jack. They are mismatched and each needs a new costar.

Class act. Sadly correct about Winters Wednesdays. I hope he gets a great storyline because he can bring the goods.

Kristof St. John : Neil Winters

“Bravo” and kudos to his person…for affecting; his, profession and character, being

“I had a lot of great stories. I also had to mention Victoria Rowell in my speech. I had to ”

Nice

I’m still going to mention… one thing came to mind… and it’s CBS / Sony / Y&R PROBLEM…

the Neil Winters Clan will always have an asterisk… what, coulda would SHOULDa been

rehire her

so much of the show would take care of itself… and this means diversity … and you’re welcome from the audience

i’ll say it again… Lily and Devon… are complete snore

Congratulations Kristoff!

Congratulations!

Love my baby Neil winters!!!!

The measure of a man is his compassion and kindness. Kristoff exudes both in his professional and personal life. In my very limited contact with him on Twitter, he has proven to have humility, strength beyond understanding with the loss of his son, appreciation for others caring about his profound loss. Will always wish him well both on YR and in life. His goodness shines.

Personally I always felt the love story between Neil and Dru was one of the shows best, in fact one of the best in daytime. Unfortunately when you are one half of an amazing couple and the other half leaves the show, most times the remaining half languishes in no man’s land.

The fact Neil has stayed relevant to the show even after VR left says a lot to his talent. Winter’s Wednesday may not get you the cover of the soap magazines too much, but he has been a stable of the show for years.

I am not a fan of the story line the character has right now. One minute he wants Hilary, then he doesn’t, then he does– and Hilary is no better hopping between Devon and Neil without breaking a sweat– for me the only way to redeem this story is have Hilary be the bitch she was when she first came to town– find out she is playing both of them–

but that is a different topic, congrats on the milestone, not many actors can get a gig that lasts that long.

Very well said!

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S K R I S T O F F!!!!!!!!!!

I remember Kristoff from when he was a kid doing ‘Bad News Bears’. I even told him that I remembered him from that show one time on twitter when I had a twitter account. He was so surprised that anyone would remember him from that period. He’s an exemplary actor and so professional too. He’s had his share of controversies over the years (including his getting suspended from the show for speaking out about the lack of diversity on the show). But in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn’t matter today. What matters is that he’s still a fantastic actor who continues to bring it day in and day out.

Congrats on 25 years Kristoff!

Breaking News

CBS Orders Michele Van Jean Soap Opera ‘The Gates’ to Series; Set to Debut January 2025

Great news! Soap fans are getting the first new daytime drama in 25 years with the news today that CBS has moved Michele Van Jean’s The Gates to a series order.

In addition, the show is set to bow in January 0f 2025, which means that it appears that the new soap will replace The Talk, which was just canceled and will end after its upcoming 15th season in December of 2024.  No specific time period, or exact premiere date has been set as of yet.

In the premise of the The Gates it follows lives of a wealthy Black family who live in a luxurious gated community.

Photo: CBS

The Gates has Val Jean as its writer, showrunner and one of its executive producers. Soap fans know Val Jean’s work best for her work on the writing teams of General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful.  Taking to X, Michele shared: “It’s go time” citing the news on the show coming to CBS in 2025 via Deadline.

Sheila Ducksworth, Leon Russell, Derrick Johnson and Kimberly Doebereiner will serve as executive producers on The Gates production team. The soap has been in development through a the joint venture between CBS Studios and the NAACP, which was established to help elevate a diverse range of voices and increase the visibility of Black artists.

The series will be produced by the CBS Studios/NAACP venture in partnership with P&G Studios, which is a division of Procter & Gamble, who used to be very big in the soap opera game.

Are you excited to know that we are truly getting the first new soap opera in over two and a half decades added to a network TV line-up? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Adam J. Harrington Weighs-in On John and Carly, and How it’s ‘Starting to Get Very Complicated”

On recent episodes of General Hospital, Carly (Laura Wright) came to John “Jagger” Cates (Adam Harrington) rescue as he was beaten down in an assault. Carly put on her “nurses cap,” sort of speak, and got John to his hotel room and watched over to him, to make sure he didn’t lose consciousness.

GH fans also got their first glimpse of what may be a new romance for Carly, if she and John continue to bond.  If John and Carly were to have a relationship, it would certainly have a ripple effect with Jason (Steve Burton) and Sonny (Maurice Benard).

Adam J. Harrington shared his view on the scenes and what might be next between the two. Speaking to Soap Opera Digest, Harrington shared, “I thought it was written in a way where there’s an understanding and a respect between them both. I don’t think there was any moment where she was not aware that he’s an FBI agent, and there was no moment that he wasn’t aware of her history and relationship to other people in the town. I really liked it. I was really looking forward to shooting it with Laura and we had a really nice time shooting it.”

Photo: ABC

When Carly and John part ways, it seems there were some romantic sparks, as Harrington puts it, “Isn’t that interesting that sometimes with people, the one moment they actually show how they feel is when they know there’s an escape hatch. They know they’re about to walk away. So, it’s almost safe in that moment to do it. I thought that was really special about how (the writers) handled John and Carly. Even the music in that scene was beautifully done.”

Where is this all heading? Conflict! Internally and professionally, and as Adam explains, “Who Carly was to John on paper as just a tool to be used as bait is starting to get very complicated.”

What would you think of a John and Carly pairing? Would you prefer him with Anna, or neither of them? Let us know via the comment section and take our poll below.

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‘Tamron Hall’ Renewed for its Sixth Season

While news last week of CBS daytime’s The Talk being canceled after its upcoming shortened 15th season, another talk show is continuing to live another day.

Now comes word that Tamron Hall has been picked up for its sixth season. The talk show currently ranks third out of nine other one-hour syndicated talk shows.  It has now become the second-longest running talk show produced by Disney. The renewal comes from ABC Owned Television Stations and leading broadcast groups including Hearst, Scripps, Nexstar, Tegna, Gray and AMG.

In addition, the show has showed a significant growth in its digital presence and audience engagement, with a 25% increase in followers season over season and a 148% increase in content engagement.

Photo: JPI

In a statement, host Tamron Hall shared, “From the start, I saw the show as a chance to build a community. Now, here we are, preparing for Season 6. Wow!”

“Thank you to my team and my beloved Tam Fam,” Hall added, “for nurturing my dream and growing this community. We are a daily destination to talk, laugh, learn and be inspired together. From the biggest celebrities in the world to the most incredible people in their own neighborhood, they all come here to talk, and I am grateful.”

Courtesy/Disney

ABC News President Kim Godwin expressed on the pick-up “Tamron and team are a singular force in daytime because the show gets to the core of humanity through meaningful connection and thoughtful conversations whether covering the most-talked-about issues of the day or interviewing the newsmakers shaping our world. We and the Tam Fam can rejoice because Tamron Hall is back for another must-watch season of fun and fearlessness.”

Tamron Hall has also won two Daytime Emmys during its run thus far.

So, glad to see ‘Tamron Hall’ will have its sixth season? Comment below.

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