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Days Of Our Lives

NBC Touts Days of our Lives Ratings Performance Uptick: Matches 8-Month High in Women 18-49 & Nearly 12-Month High In Women 18-34!

Courtesy/NBC

Looks like Days of our Lives new storylines, new writers, and big returns are starting to see an uptick in the ratings. According to a press release from NBC, for the week of September 7th through the 11th; DAYS had a 34-week high in women 18-49 rating and equaled its top-rated week in the women 18-34 demographic in 49 weeks, according to “live plus same day” viewing figures from Nielsen Media Research.

The series already brought back Peter Reckell and Stephen Nichols as the iconic Bo and Patch, with more major returns coming next week when popular actor Thaao Penghlis is back on the canvas in the role of Andre DiMera.  The series continues to pull out all the stops to increase viewership throughout it’s 50th anniversary run.

DAYS also averaged a 0.80 rating, 6 share among women 18-49 and 0.46 rating among women 18-34 to rank #3 and #1 among network daytime series in both the women 18-49 demographic and the women 18-34 race, respectively.  The show however was preempted on Monday of the ratings week for golf coverage.

Courtesy/Twitter

In addition, Days of our Lives equaled its highest women 18-49 rating in eight months (since the week of Jan. 12-16, 0.86) and matched its highest women 18-34 rating in nearly 12 months (since Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2014, 0.47).

For Sept. 7-11 versus the prior week, Days of our Lives jumped +11% in the women 18-49 category (0.80 vs. 0.72) and +28% in the women 18-34 demo (0.46 vs. 0.36).  For the season to date, the NBC daytime drama  is #7 in the women 18-49 category and #12 in the women 18-34 demo.

So do you think that this ratings uptick will continue to increase for DAYS?  Are you enjoying the big returns?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Margie
Guest
Margie

Kassie DePaiva was a big part of the increase. Clearly Days doesn’t get it.

Ryan
Guest
Ryan

Kassie Depaiva is a wonderful actress, but she was miscast as Eve Donovan. But Kassie has done a great job lately with her daughters death. Kassie needs to win a emmy next year. Kassie needs to go to the Bold and The beautiful in a new role. Charlotte Ross the original eve was always Eve to me.

code85
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code85

She is wonderful actress, but her alone is not why the ratings went up , Paige ‘s death and Bo pull in viewers

Tim S.
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Tim S.

I agree. great actress but I never felt that she was eve… I am anxious to see what they will do with the character in the new few months.. recasting or dead!!!

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Absolutely, Ryan. The very first thing I said when I saw which direction Eve/Kassie was being led, I knew this would bring her down. Kassie did fantastically with her role as Eve, but not for her….it just went against everything this wonderful woman/actress represents.
Furthermore, no sooner did I see how sorrowfully she represented the grieving mother….the anguish…the openness of her aching heart, right there for us all to see her vulnerability won everyone over. Our words are almost similar, Ryan…KDP does deserve the Emmy.

Marion
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Marion

Not knowing the original, Kassie, to me is phenomenal. Love the story lines and their characters…that said, I don’t like Clyde and it’s time for him to goooo

Patrick
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Patrick

“god” (i’ve apologized, for this) having two men… twofold… reign in and trigger… what this genre satiates… I LOVE Kassie DePaiva.. she has solidified her turn… helmed the intrigue and tune DAYS! please ! don’t let go… Eve, Aiden, and kill off Will! ’nuff said two supercoupledom live of course GO how could we not relive… once past what’s wrong with Eve… Aiden… and killing off of Will wow.. leave room for error wow… per chance.. error in judgment REAL’IZE audience outcry I love Peter Reckelll andStephen Nichols… love them to bits… period love them be that as it may…… Read more »

karla
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karla

Eve and Aiden need to go hope and Bo belong together that his fancy face

Steven
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Steven

Yes keep eve..she’s amazing

Steven
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Steven

I 100% agree..I haven’t latched onto a new character (recast) for a long time…but eve’s just outstanding…I love watching kassie play her and am disappointed she’s leaving the show

Jack Burke
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Jack Burke

I don’t care for how the new Writing team completely obliterated the gay characters as if they didn’t matter at all – Sonny is gone now, but they could have re-casted the actor who was portraying him, the rumor is Will shall be gone, Paul has virtually no storyline except a hint that his Cologne commercial didn’t go well, and cute Derrick is gone without any explanation. Cute young Paige, whom I thought did very well, was killed off – It seems like they are concentrating more on the older characters, and Marlena and John, no disrespect intended, just aren’t… Read more »

sonniorsolita
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sonniorsolita

I’m not a longtime viewer, but I find the storytelling schizophrenic: It’s all about Eileen Davidson! Now she’s gone! It’s all about the gay couple! Now they’re gone! Now it’s all about people I vaguely remember from my teenage years. Who knows what it will be about tomorrow?

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

Maybe there is more to come with Derek and Paul…or someone new for Paul…maybe Days will recast Sonny in the future…recasting Will too soon backfired so maybe tptb are being caustious this time???

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

4got…it might not be totally abandon…got to wait and see…i have no problems with Caroline…young and old ill watch as long as its interesting…i believe Days is slowing getting better…foolish to kill off Paige but she might return as a different character…i think Eve’s plan to drive Jen nuts will backfire and Eve will go bonkers and be sent to mental hosptial…the character of Patch seems dated—abandon the patch and leather jacket…he looks like Fonzie joined The Pirates of The Carribean(spelling?)…lol…Abbys pregnancy—we no its Chads, and Johns identity has changed faster over the years than ive changed my shorts…lol…too early… Read more »

maddiehayes
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maddiehayes

ROFL, “Fonzie joined The Pirates of the Caribbean”, hilarious! And I love Patch, he’s the main reason I’m watching again. But he got “miracle” eye surgery at one time and wore normal clothes. And I loved him just the same. So you’re right, he doesn’t need the patch and leather jacket, lmbo.

su0000
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su0000

Whats wrong with his eye?
did he get it shot out or what..
reconstructive surgery can fix it..
that black patch looks stupid in the 21st century, just stupid lol
maybe they think the patch makes him look scary mean..

(looks like a pirate on a Dixie Cup .. lol

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Steve Johnson’ “Patch” does seem to muster up folks to distraction

I agree it seems to be out dated

i’m with … those who say he should just get that miracle eye surgery and lose the leather jacket … and those two eyes should be all that’s needed… dang when he smiles

LOL

OK : I’m so in love with “kayla , KAYla, Kayla”

these two are simply put… the best

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Oh, my gosh…jimh. You did it again….laughing so hard.!!! The Fonz? Pirates of the Carabbean? Hysterical.

Jeff
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Jeff

I agree that Day’s should not have dropped the gay story line just after Sonny’s sudden departure to Paris. I think many viewers miss Sonny and Paul. Will I think needs to go. Writer’s recast Sonny or bring him back if his contract is not over, and rekindle the relationship between Paul and him. Everything dropped so suddenly disappointed me.

Mo
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Mo

Ratings overall still seem the same in my SOD.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

DAYS has my full attention!!!!!

I love having Gabi back too!

Chris
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Chris

At least the ratings haven’t gotten any worse, but I’m still worried. I hope I’m wrong, but I think the numbers will drop further after the killings are over with. And they’re not all that high to begin with.

Patrick
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Patrick

gosh… avid fan (s) plus

it’s been a full month since the new writing team took off

ie: 08 – 17 – 15 / 09 – 18 – 15

aside from ALL the comings and goings… which isn’t putting a damper on, just wishing TPTB saw the potential in Aiden and Eve… plus not killing off Will.

that being said… I think the writing will generate audience

steadfast… I am loving this show all the more

Joyce Adkins
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Joyce Adkins

Ok where are the ratings for the over 50 watchers? I am 64 and have been watching since 1966.

sonniorsolita
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sonniorsolita

Networks generally aren’t that interested in ratings for viewers 50+. The biggest chunk of spending is done by women in the age range in which they still most often have children in the house, so that is the demographic advertisers focus on. The feeling is that over-50s are generally “empty nesters,” shop much less frequently, have fewer items they need to buy — therefore they aren’t courted by networks. Not saying this is in any way accurate, fair or ideal. It’s just the philosophy held in the TV industry.

norene
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norene

It is their mistake because older adults spend on their grandchildren.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

I don’t know, maybe Canada is more in tune with who is really watching because during my soaps, there are more commercials for Depends than Pampers, more anti aging beauty cream than laundry soap and more ads for Boost than RedBull–LOL

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Norene is right. My parents spend more on my kids than I do.

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

No where…we old geezers dont matter to advertisers…i started with Days first episodes with brief breaks in 1980, 1990s and 2000s!!!

Tim S.
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Tim S.

they don’t care about the guys also.. lol

Stacey
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Stacey

i loooooove thre new story lines and all the old actors coming back I also like new characters and to me this is the best soap out there I’ve Been watchin since I was a little girl and haven’t stopped since ….I really hope ratings go up and the show is not ever cancelled because I love it with all my heart I have grown up with these characters and well it’s just awesome…as for the gay guys it’s cool that they aren’t just focussing on them kissing and having sex all the time because the last writes it seemed… Read more »

Carol Grizzaffi
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Carol Grizzaffi

I have been a days fan since the beginning, it it is getting better and better. A cliff hanger everyday .the new writers are on the right track.Keep up the good work.

No1_ILoveLucyFan
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No1_ILoveLucyFan

Well deserved! Days is ON FIRE right now – fast paced stories, vets front & center while being integrated more cohesively with the younger set, a murder mystery storyline, returning beloved character and an AMAZING new look & feel to the show. I’m tuned in DAILY and I’m loving every minute of it!!!!

blake
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blake

I agree, Days is on fire again like they were when Kristen, Sami and EJ. It’s great to have old favorites come back to help get viewers in and a murder mystery to get rid of the characters that are not needed anymore. And I like how they use the older vets like Caroline, Maggie, Julie, Victor and Stefano more.

blake
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blake

Forgot to add all of the flashbacks from over the years and even the characters talking about past storylines. I like that Gabi is back also, she brings much needed energy in the younger set. I read an interview where she said she’s on for at least a year, I hope longer than that. She’s really cute with Arianna. I hope they don’t age that character because the actress is adorable.

Tim S.
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Tim S.

I am loving the speed of the stories also.. fast and interesting

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Still a long way to climb out of the hole they were in—but honestly, right now, I am still nodding off during the show. Am I the only one that finds the show a bit disjointed– as if the sequence of scenes don’t fit? I saw JJ tell Jennifer about Clyde, did I miss the part when he told her about Paige’s death– where was that scene? And Abigail is all worried about Chad, did she even comfort her brother at the death of the love of his life? And it has been how long and we still haven’t seen… Read more »

blake
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blake

Oh wow I never realized that Abby didn’t comfort JJ, and they stopped focusing on that story didn’t they? You are spot on in all the writing scenes they are missing out on. I get that they have to wrap up storylines to get to the other characters and stories coming up but come on. Abby is constantly with Ben at their apartment and in bed, if you are going to have Abby and Ben on they can mix it up by going to see JJ or Jennifer. Abby is in her own little bubble with Ben and Chad.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I find the actors playing Abby and Ben very good indeed.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Ah, bless your heart, Blake!! We do agree….what is the point of Ben and Abby? All he does is worry about her leaving him. She just mopes for Chad.
JJ is possibly going through the worst time of his young life; and, all Abby worries about is maintaining a good face for Ben’s sake? What happened to ‘ for the love of family?’. She has not mentioned her brother or Paige once….except in the concept of how Chad fits into her murder.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

@nancy.
I think you missed MaryFS’s and blake’s point.
Abbi and Ben are self-centered and not so ‘good’. You sure we are watching the same show?

blake
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blake

I think Ben won’t be on the show much longer, it has to be him and Clyde as the serial killers working together. Who says it has to be one person ala the Scream movies with two killers.

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I guess Clyde and Ben could be working in tandem, blake. But, didn’t Ben discuss Paige’s death with his father? ….telling him that Chad was the number one suspect? Maybe I misunderstood? I’m starting to question myself. LOL. I’m too lazy to go back and find that specific episode on DVR.
At this point, it could be anyone….

Rosem
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Rosem

Agree! I am also wondering where is Theresa ? And……yes, Abby not grieving with JJ? What???

code85
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code85

That was a writing misstep

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Mary SF….your comment on Canadian ads during soaps is very funny. I like that. Next time I visit my aunt in King City, Ontario; I will make sure to pay attention to the commercials. LOL.

Jim Anderson
Guest
Jim Anderson

You didn’t miss anything, and it is a tad disjointed. Obviously, they can’t have each character separately hear about Paige’s death, but we I guess have to assume that Jennifer found out, and Abigail found out. They liked Paige, but weren’t super-close to Paige (I guess) so it’s not like it affected them except that she was once JJ’s girl-friend. When we recently saw Theresa looking sympathetic (a rarity) towards Eve for her loss, we have to assume that she found out about her niece’s passing through the grapevine or Eve herself. Since they changed the writing staff, it felt… Read more »

blake
Guest
blake

Glad to see Days surging in the ratings and it deserves to be. I think Bo coming back is really what did it for last week, mixed in with Eve mourning Paige’s death. I hope the surge continues for a long time. It was nice to see Chad realize that Clyde has been framing him. I noticed weeks ago that Clyde was at the bar watching Chad and Serena, and that his drinks and even alcohol at home were spiked. Especially when Chad told Rafe that he got drunker than he thought. Rafe is a detective but he didn’t even… Read more »

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

DAYS is #1 in viewers 18-34!

code85
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code85

Awesome!

Shelby Riley
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Shelby Riley

I love that your bringing back the characters that made days what it is today. Keep it coming and please have a lot more romantic scenes. Hope and Bo need to be the next Mr and Mrs Horton. Record days every day it’s the highlight of my day after work. God bless and keep doing a great job!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I agree!

delores
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delores

I love Days and have watched for 50 yrs.. really I’m 53 now and still at 1:00 turn the tv to Days .I’m so happy your bringing back the old players,they are the best!! keep it up Days you have me..you always did!

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Lol, Delores. I grew up watching soaps with my grandmother. I don’t remember most of the episodes at that age, but just hearing the characters’s voices, even from the other room, brings so much comfort. I wish all soaps were back on TV. Fantasy dreams!!!!

lynn
Guest
lynn

Yes I thought I was the only one the show is every where to much focus on nonsense not on what’s really important eve not being in Any scene ‘so with her sister after her daughters death is crazy I’m so glad Gabi is back I love her

code85
Guest
code85

I see lot going well for the show and I see some a few areas for improvement. But has Eric Martsolf said to soap opera central and Soap Digest that fans would see big changes and that means losing characters. I dont enjoy losing Will and Eve. But I can say one thing about this writing team , there is no stupid sh#t like elepant statues and Sami Hollywood ending felt off So of Days is #1 in Women 18-34 don’t complained. The show the whole lot better than year ago. But the characters that close to Paige needed to… Read more »

lynn
Guest
lynn

And Chad and Marlena scenes today were great and the way will is acting lately if he wasn’t getting killed off they could have made he fake a break down just to have Sonny run back and I hope Stefano get better because Victor is so busy trying to save Caroline he is no match for Clyde right now

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Yes, I agree. The Chad and Marlena scene was great–and the creepy Clyde startling Marlena played weill and created suspense and tension. I must say again that the actor playing Chad is very, very good–and his eyes are mesmerizing. Keep it up. And there is a lot of chemistry between the actors playing Chad and Abby. Hope they will put them together in the end. And I’ll say again that James Read is underplaying Clyde masterfully.

lynn
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lynn

Yes his eyes are very distracting and he wear a suit well

Cathee
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Cathee

Love the show. It’s getting better each week! The new storyline with Bo, John and Patch will be awesome! Do not miss the ones who are gone or leaving. There is a reason this soap has withstood the test of time. Keep it up writers! Great job!! Thanks for returning.

Terry Williams
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Terry Williams

I don’t want Will to die and be off the show.

Gmbenet
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Gmbenet

Always glad when Days does well in the ratings! However will be curious to learn how well the show did during the week September 14-18, 2015. The story moved much slower this week. Felt like it did before the new writing kicked in. For me it was a cause for concern. Maybe the writers needed to set some things up, but the pace didn’t feel right. The story lagged and got a little boring. News of the departures of Kassie DePavia and Shawn Christian only added insult to injury. I don’t mind departures of good actors/characters if I know there… Read more »

Megan
Guest
Megan

Honestly I started watching again only because of Steve and Kayla. Love, love, love them! I love the patch, jacket, everything! Takes me back to the good old days…of Days! Liking the Chad, Abigail, Ben storyline too. 🙂

Jill
Guest
Jill

I’ve been watching for 40 yrs, glad to see it coming back to where it should be! Bo and Hope, Steve and Kayla

KMB
Guest
KMB

I started watching Days for the first time ever due to Stephen Nichols, and I have come to love watching the other characters as well. Love the fact that they use people of all ages, just like real life should be. Oh and Chad’s eyes are incredible! lol…….

Kris
Guest
Kris

I am watching the entire show daily for the first time in what seems like forever. I’m interested in all the stories. I want to see Steve find Bo. Love that he’s working with John. Love that he’s trying to win back Kayla, too! She’s been through a tough time, so I don’t want her making it easy on him, and she isn’t, so that’s great. I am ready for her to start thinking that he’s right about Bo, though. Marlena’s working again, and that’s really adding to the story. She was great in scenes with Chad this week. So… Read more »

Marcie
Guest
Marcie

Kassie is a great actress who was given a downhill storyline.Paige n J.J.fan fave of coarse Kassie is taking heat for bad story with great acting.Re member Blair she was the best.Keep our soap stars working we need our soaps….

Belle
Guest
Belle

I’m enjoying Days also. I love seeing the older characters in their scenes; Caroline is doing a great job. This obsession about youth is nothing but a vicious circle. The sponsors who are talking about it now will be talked about later in life because they will become one of the old people.

Theresa Bragg
Guest
Theresa Bragg

I am in a much higher age category and still a die hard fan. I would love to see Gloria Loring return. What are the chances? Best of luck in the upcoming shows. At 99 my mother watched it faithfully and discussed the characters like they were friends. Would love to seed a special shout out to Josh Taylor. My husband Don and I spent some time with him in Atlantic City.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I’m right there with you regarding Gloria Loring, Theresa! She has a great stage presence…acting and singing! There have been past discussions of a possible return of Liz/Gloria and maybe a song or two. I’m still hoping!

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

THE FACTS OF LIFE?? LOL. Love Gloria’s voice.

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Hate the new characters. The new writers have ruined the show. I will never watch it again.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

i LOVE LOVE LOVE the show!!! It’s sooooo good I can barely wait to watch!! I don’t even like the weekends cause it’s not on…thank you for making it great again!!! Way to DOOL!!!!

Julia
Guest
Julia

I’m not happy at all about how they have changed Aiden Jennings. I love him as Hope’s love interest. Change it back. Do not make him the bad guy.

val
Guest
val

The ratings are up in the 18 to 34 year old age group. So for all the folks who want to return to the 80’s yet again, the growth appears to be the with the younger crew not the old vets returning for the 9th or 10th time. That is why I get so frustrated when I hear only Charlotte Ross can play Eve, its ridiculous. Charlotte Ross is no longer sweet 16. She is near or over 40. KDP is killing it with that role. I suspect its Chad/Abby/Ben the Paige death, and the return of Gabi who may… Read more »

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

I will continue the wild ride with DAYS. I do like Kassie and I’m sure the journey will be fun. As DAYS has demonstrated many times over, Kassie can so easily come back!

Robin Gaschler
Guest
Robin Gaschler

I record and watch Days daily and have since the 70s. It’s the best it has been in so many years! What an exciting time! I do still miss EJ, though….

dmr
Guest
dmr

I don’t understand the hype about Bo Brady. I began watching when Robert Kelker- Kelly played Bo and I liked him. I find it funny that Victor and Steve talk about Bo going “off the grid” and “deep under cover” when I don’t remember him every solving a crime in Salem. He was one of the keystone cops/detectives on the Salem PCPD and we are supposed to believe that he had the wherewithal to go “deep under cover?” I don’t know…this storyline is lackluster in my opinion (although, I know there are a ton of “Bope” fans out there:)

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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