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RATINGS: DAYS Hits Lows, GH Takes A Tumble, B&B and Y&R Get Uptick!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

The ratings are out for the week of July 4th- July 8th and two shows did not fare well, while two had an uptick.  First, Days of our Lives continued to struggle.

The series hit an all-time low in total viewers and total households with 2,045,000 average tune-in for the week, and 1.53/5 share, respectively.  DAYS previous total viewer low was in the middle of June, and they have continued to hit lows in households for the seventh week in a row.  ABC’s General Hospital though was the soap that took the biggest dip for the week overall.   GH lost -170,000 total viewers and its weekly average was at the tally of 2,587,000.

The series also lost the most viewers for the week in the key 18-49 womens demo, and tied a low in the women rating share in the 18-34 category.  In addition, GH lost the most viewers of the four soaps in the 25-54 womens demo for the week in question.

Courtesy/ABC

However, it was good news for the CBS Daytime dramas of The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless.  Both soaps gained in total viewers with B&B rebounding and adding +141,000, while Y&R added + 94,00o.

Although it needs to be said that Y&R is off the pace of last year at this time by -258,000, and B&B continued tying a low in the 18-34 ratings share.   On the flipside, both shows showed gains in women 25-54, while B&B was the only soap to gain viewers for the week in the 18-34 demo, and Y&R the only soap to add viewers in the 18-49 category.   To view the entire ratings picture via SON click here.

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,666,000 (+94,000/-258,000)
2. B&B 3,756,000 (+141,000/+62,000)
3. GH 2,587,000 (-170,000/-136,000)
4. DAYS 2,045,000 (-49,000/-299,000)

So, what do you think of the ratings performance of your favorite soap? If you put on your armchair quarterback soap opera executive programming hat, what changes would you make to improve viewership? What would you keep that is working? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

DAYS is struggling, but B&B wasn’t the only soap to gain in 18-34. DAYS gained 3,000.

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

Days stories are too focused on killing, harming someone or kidnapping…this week the baby is kidnapped and Rafe is tied up in that cellar…there is no romantic moments, and no moments of just having some fun…looks like Teressa will be killed off if rumour is true…there is too much gloom and doom in the real world and we need escapism-Days isn’t delivering-none of the soaps really are but Days is the worse of them…yeah, you got to have a little violence and a tragic moment but this serial is on overload…i now only watch once a week…i really don’t want… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Stick a fork in “Days”

It’s DONE. Should have been cancelled a good ten years ago. Actually should have kept “Another World” and cancelled “Days” back in 1999.

Omar
Guest
Omar

Agree..This show needs a total reboot..By reboot I mean, not the cast, but the PTB..I have stop tuning in full time since last November..I will watch once or every 2 weeks and the show is depressing and all the good character have been either killed or written off in the worst way…I just shake my head in disbelief, how this show was so great just 2 years ago!! A head writer like Ron Carlivati will jump start this show..I know he can get cartoonish and over the top, but his stories do entertain..He can get this show out of gloom… Read more »

robert
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robert

Days is done. it’s been dismantled by hacks and Corday doesn’t seem to care

Adam
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Adam

Days deserves the all time low ratings. The rate it’s going it won’t be renewed in six months.

Mark
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Mark

My concern for Days is that even if they did the unlikely smart thing of bringing Chandler Massey back, I know deep in my guts that they simply would waste his talent and our time on inane drivel storylines. Days seems to take great arrogant pride in ignoring the plethora of interesting and meaningful storylines nearly shouting in their face demanding attention.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Maybe Robb Derringer joining DAYS will help things especially if his character is for Hope.

I’m not sure he’s been hired, but his latest three followings on Twitter are Kristian Alfonso, Days of our Lives and Soap Opera Digest.

PureJoy
Guest
PureJoy

I agree there needs to be something that works! Aiden and Andrea need to get out of the picture. Andrea has his fingers in Abigail’s missing, he made a shady deal with Kate. Kate needs to go to jail! Why did Deimose let Her get away with his almost murder! I use to like her But she is a liar and only is out for herself. As far as Teresa…I don’t blame her for being upset But she needs to partner with Brady. Summer no longer Has the child Tate. So what’s next. Find her and Expose her. I was… Read more »

Marzy Dotes
Guest
Marzy Dotes

GH is taking its biggest ratings hits consistently in 18-34 female viewers. Even though other categories have gone up and down, this one has recorded losses four out of the past five weeks and tied key demo lows for shares two out of the past three weeks. Ironically, the episode which had St. Sonny saving Alexis, taking the rap for Alexis stabbing Julian, paying for the town’s fireworks, solving a mystery in the kidney story and buying Lante’s new house scored the lowest ratings for the entire year so far.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I’ve been trying to keep things light LOL however… it occurred to me …. Sonny is EVERY WHERE on canvas… plot lines he doesn’t need to be in or should be in ? especially with Anna ! dagnabit… what’s the point ? WE ALL know… the show is all about Sonny and sigh! Carly yike as on DAYS: it was all about Dr. Daniel Jonas… he killed the show too much Sonny … of a good thing ? ! ? ! I love how… he constantly will “share” in all his interviews when pressing HAS TO bring up … ”… Read more »

Ginger
Guest
Ginger

TMS – Too Much Sonny – exactly what almost killed GH in 2011.

robert
Guest
robert

when GH was hitting highs they backburned the mob,i can’t believe they’ve gone back to this. so sick of the Sonny show

Marzy Dotes
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Marzy Dotes

Thanks for your comments!!! The decision to recenter GH on Sonny especially as the heroic mobster was made several months ago. Probably not by the writers. Probably by FV and signed off by ABC. The ratings are so bad now especially in the demo age groups. Guessing that TPTB might have a change of heart?

Tommy Burke
Guest
Tommy Burke

I LOOOOVE Sonny and the Mob. KEEP it up GH. LOVE the stories going on right now and I can’t get enough of the Mob and Sonny.

Ces
Guest
Ces

The show has been unwatchable for 3 days. first time I have ffwed through in a long time. Nina, Sabrina, Valerie, Claudette, Nathan, fake Maxie, Griffin *dullsville* Munroe, Aaron, Darby, Amy, Lulu …. They can all go!

Marzy Dotes
Guest
Marzy Dotes

What’s the common theme here? These were all newbies created by RC/FV and FV/Jelly. No one cares about most of them. Nina is a character who’s a major bust along with hayden, Nathan and franco (though RoHo is popular but Franco…no) And selling Darby as a major spoiler just shows how out of touch TPTB are with their viewers. When I see spoilers about hayden and Naomi, seriously who gives a fuck?

Ces
Guest
Ces

Agreed Marzy. FV’s favorites. Most of us don’t care. Pretty sure most of us would love to see more Tracy, More Genie, More Jon Lindstrom, More Kin Shriner … for 3 days, we’ve seen fake Maxie, and the rest of em that I don’t care about.
The character Nina has never worked from day 1. Still not working. Agreed.
Too bad RoHo didn’t stay Todd because Franco is not exactly a character anyone should be fawning after.
who gives a f*ck is right! Amen!

su0000
Guest
su0000

GH has become stupid, too damned stupid to even enjoy.. It seems to be written for senile people in the Sunny Side Nursing home.. I said GH fall, and it’s going to keep falling.. They brought in a Cassadine from the devil himself, put him with people on Cassidine Island and it’s lame, weak and lame.. NO fire no dark drama, no spellbinding danger, no anything intriguingly suspenseful or exciting. and- (according to upcoming spoilers ZZZZZZZZ) Imagine if Guzza, RC, were writing the story, they would have us on the edge yellin ”WOW!” . J&S can kill a wet dream… Read more »

Ces
Guest
Ces

agree Su — that group has been locked up in that house for days (wearing the same clothes) and absolutely NOTHING has happened! I’m never sure why GH feels the need to introduce more kids to this show, I mean, Jason & Sam couldn’t care less about Danny. We don’t know who Laura left Spencer with? The staff? Elizabeth’s kids are either locked in their rooms or with grandma. Avery, who Carly was so adamant to take away from Ava has all but been forgotten to the staff… Don’t get me started on the bloated cast of useless characters. I… Read more »

Shay
Guest
Shay

@su0000….Wouldn’t that be the “Sonny Side” Nursing Home???? I mean, isn’t everything in Port Charles “Corinthos-centric” these days????

Shay
Guest
Shay

I’m just waiting for the GH episode where “Super Sonny” flies out of a phone booth—okay, I know they’re practically obsolete these days, but please just humor me….—-in full tights and cape regalia to save the people of Port Charles!

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

You know, you might have a really insightful point there. Maybe the Sonny propping just hit the camel’s back.

robert
Guest
robert

just shows people aren’t interested in Sonny. the propping is hurting the show

Justin
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Justin

When will ABC/Frank learn, we are tired of Mob Central and new characters!?!

su0000
Guest
su0000

hi Justin..
Do tell’ just who are the mobsters? What mobster stuff is happening?
there are 2 older men bickering lol All, personal stuff ..
One in the hospital and NO mob in sight
One being a father and grandpa and no mob in sight.
Where is ”Mob Central” in GH, I want to see it !!

GH has 2 semi-retired mobsters LOL ..

Marzy Dotes
Guest
Marzy Dotes

You’ve got heroic mobster Sonny who threatens women but we’re supposed to love him for it. And Julian rewritten overnight as a sociopath enemy of Sonny. Shootings, stabbings and key demo lows.

Boes
Guest
Boes

Oh, right, GH is doing just fine and everyone loves Sonny everyday day in every storyline all the time and the dismal ratings are….What, exactly? Fake?
You never fail to astound.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Some do and some dont but it looks like the destruction of Julian, the mumbling of Jason and the Freako Franco show are getting old for GH viewers!

Some do some dont but Victor lead the way along with the great Ray Wise to a positive ratings spike for Y&R!

Rose
Guest
Rose

Love, love, love Victor and Ray Wise scenes. Two veteran “warriors” playing off each other. And So glad they haven’t killed off Ray like GH did Carlos. Can’t afford to lose the great actors because of some short sighted decision by writers.

damien
Guest
damien

a major storyline with a newbie cahracter no one gives a shit about( Summer)…?
a forced romance with a horrible newbie breaking up a solid couple soon to be recasted..( CIARA, NuABBY)…?
a tired murder plot again with a nebie( deimos)…
plain boring writing….

IS DAYS PURPOSELY TRYING TO GET CANCELLED??????!!!!
IF so they re doing a good job

Ces
Guest
Ces

Ha! I gave up on this show awhile ago! Ciara is damn annoying! Popped in for Peter Reckell’s return, a minute for Matt Ashford and poof, the other crap couldn’t keep me around! Lots of faves on this show as far as actors I’ve loved for years but they can’t even fix this mess! Put it out of its misery already!

robert
Guest
robert

not surprised about Days. it’s been unwatchable. i still say the stuff that rolled out during the 50th killed the soap. the show is way too dark and depressing. doesn’t look like the dismantling of Julexis brought in any viewers. GH has taken big hits in 18-34 and i’m not surprised,the show is so boring. it boggles my mind why the two writers that tanked Y&R got the GH writing job. although Y&R was up,am not enjoying the show right now. Chuck Pratt has to go. he’s dismantling Y&R with nonsense plot stories and everyone acting out of character

Adam
Guest
Adam

Days deserves the all time low ratings. They might as well cancel it at this point.

Y&R definitely needs to fire Chuck Pratt.

Boes
Guest
Boes

Yep

peggy
Guest
peggy

I think the writers messed up by bringing in John/Jake Doe.. He should had been brought back as Jason/Stone Cold…. But since he wasnt liz did some dirty things and we still havent seen her pay for any of that. No Sam and Liz smack down. NOTHING!!! Now you have Jasam as Ken and barbie …Then you break up good couples like Nina and Franco . Maxie and Nathan are like watching paint dry. Now this Priest/Dr Griffin what is he for come on… I want to see the old GH.. Where they use to cheat on each other the… Read more »

Lucy D.
Guest
Lucy D.

Last week’s shows were dominated by Julian & Alexis and Sonny being God and Jason & Sam on their really boring adventure. Don’t know what it will take for TPTB to understand people don’t want to see these people. The Julian Alexis story was disturbing and Julian’s 180 degree change of personality was too sudden. They might be loud on social media, but obviously the JaSam crowd is either much smaller than thought or they don’t watch. This couple is sleep-inducing and their “love” on the run adventure is more like “disdain” on the run. Billy clearly is not into… Read more »

Marzy Dotes
Guest
Marzy Dotes

Julexis has a huge fan base even off social media including with age demo categories but who wants to see a pairing built up as soul mates destroyed in a ridiculous agenda ridden overnight rewrite? turns out no one. ABC knew Julexis was its golden goose with key demos yet destroyed them overnight and for what? To promote this overnight rewrite of Sonny as the saint of all of PC. If Sonny is the show’s hero, can’t have his enemy, Julian out of the mob for his family if Sonny chooses to stay in. So that got fixed overnight and… Read more »

Lucy D.
Guest
Lucy D.

Very clear. And you’re right–the ONLY reason Julian had to be destroyed was to elevate Sonny. MB needs to go away

Justin
Guest
Justin

Frank and ABC will be in denial about Sonny until they finally kill this show.

john
Guest
john

When Tony Geary left the show, his last scene was with Maurice as he “passed the baton” to him. But since TPTB got rid of “THE WRITER”, it’s has truly gone from being the Luke show to the Sonny show.

Add in the return of Jason and you have the Batman and Robin of PC back taking over every story on the show.

Lucy D.
Guest
Lucy D.

I’m certain that was one of the scenes the ABC execs let Tony write. And that set this trainwreck of a show we now see in motion. I’m more certain every day Ron got fired because he wouldn’t cater to MB and his demand that Sonny=God. That’s how it’s written & the fans are tuning out

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Maybe that is the reason Ron was fired, but if that is the case it was the right move for the wrong reason. Ron needed to be fired because his writing was a campy cartoon – only it wasn’t as clever or as flushed out as most cartoons are.

Belle
Guest
Belle

I totally agree about Sonny! I’ve never heard of the police dept. so openly allowing a mobster to dictate what it should do or be involved in the questioning of a suspect. ridiculous!

Justin
Guest
Justin

It’s amazing isn’t it. It kills me, as a longtime fan of Anna, to watch her work with him and take guidance from him. Vomit.

Eileen Hargis
Guest
Eileen Hargis

Im not surprised at GH taking a hit. They are trying to kill one of the most popular couples on the show, Alexis and Julian. Serves them right for bad writing. Days is sinking lower and lower to the cancellation bottom. Theres no love on either show anymore.

Susan
Guest
Susan

Killing Julexis is what hurt! GH better fix that! Maybe a twin?? I think that and the replacements especially Maxie! Ratings soared with Jasam so it is not them. I think Julexis fans were pissed!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

I am NOT P—-ed! I’m waiting for the demise of Julian–and waiting for Genie Francis’ story to get in high gear (waiting ENDLESSLY–LOL!).

Justin
Guest
Justin

Me too Nancy, but I fear, as I always have, that Genie’s story is just filler.

Lucy D.
Guest
Lucy D.

Ratings did not soar with Jasam. They haven’t moved the ratings once.

The ratings have mostly been consistently trending down since Feb. Guess what happened then?

Linda Bigelow
Guest
Linda Bigelow

This Julexis fan is pissed. Sick to death of Sam and tiring of Jason. Referring to them as Batman and Robin was a good call. There isn’t anyone or any relationship I care about any more since Franco has started going wacko again and left his delightful partner to flounder. Get it together GH or you will have one less viewer in me.

cooks7570
Guest
cooks7570

I see some who don’t like how Jason and Sam are being written right now. I feel Molly is doing a good job playing Maxie.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

Surprisingly, she is.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

What little I can tell of the three I do catch not on a regular basis anymore is Y&R has been hijacked by the character of Victor Newman GH is Sonny B&B the triangle again of Liam Steffy & Wyatt. Please give those characters a rest and start writing for others it is suppose to be an ensemble cast?

robert
Guest
robert

that’s the problem with these shows. theirs no balance. the same few people are on everyday. when GH was hitting rating highs a few years ago,it wasn’t the Sonny show. i’m tired of seeing Sonny and Victor on Y&R on every single day

Alan
Guest
Alan

When is GH going to realize that replacing Ron Carlivati with Jean and Shelly was a mistake?

robert
Guest
robert

it was a bad decision to bring Jean and Shelly on after the terrible job they did at Y&R. Frank and Varni are also to blame for GH’s struggles. the show hasn’t improved and their demos are still bad. all these characters are ridiculous

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

It’s a lose lose! Ron was running out of gas and the scrap yard had two heaps left over from Y&R. Frank kicked their tires and they were flat!

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

About the same time TPTB realize that recent wrong the show around the Corinthos family and mob was the wrong direction to take the show in (i.e, don’t hold your breath)?

Rose
Guest
Rose

Michael (not Fairman)…Thought you wrote a very good comment on the “actors supporting Trump” story. And proud that we are all showing respect for each other’s points of view, even if they differ from ours.

PF
Guest
PF

Count me in as one of the many who isn’t the least bit surprised by GH’s “tumble”. The show has become practically unwatchable under Jelly. Force feeding viewers smug, smarmy characters like Sonny, Jason and Sam while demonizing Julian and decimating Julexis is getting the depressed numbers that this kind of drivel deserves. And if it’s allowed to continue, I’m sure this downward trend will eventually put GH in a virtual tie with DOOL. How sad.

jeffrey harnden
Guest
jeffrey harnden

the problem with general hospital is that the show has no respect for woman nikolas tried to kill hayden so she falls in love with him laura married her rapist and lucy along with all of port charles decided to bully micheal into forgiving sonny for killing his real father a.j there is no one to root for on this show like on young and the stupid days may not be perfect but its way better than the other 3 soaps no show is perfect but days and the late great another world and guiding light were waaaay better than… Read more »

cooks7570
Guest
cooks7570

No wonder the younger demos of the soaps are bad, because younger characters aren’t leading any storylines on any of the four soaps.

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

This so-called article says to me what I’ve been thinking for quite some time now aka the following:

1. Y&R…STILL RIDICULOUSLY HIT AND MISS!!!!!
2. B&B…very watchable…most of the time, anyway.
3. GH…at this point, BEYOND EMBARRASSING!!!!!
4. DOOL…STUPIDLY ON LIFE SUPPORT!!!!!

Just saying……….

robert
Guest
robert

yep. the creative has really gone down. none of the soaps are very good

xmascarol
Guest
xmascarol

It doesn’t surprise me one single bit that Days ratings are low, I hardly watch it anymore because it is so boring.

John Gordon
Guest
John Gordon

I have watched DAYS OF OUR LIVES for about (almost three) years. It was fine with EJ, Abigail and of course Sonny and Will but it is TERRIBLE now – it’s so draggy and the storylines are atrociously written. Belle is boring, her entanglement with Phillip doesn’t work, the god-awful Ciarra and her whiney repetitious dialogue is getting on my nerves (about the assault) and that kid who did it and is now in a mental facility is also dreadful – although I think they try their best. Every once in a while they throw in Julie and Doug for… Read more »

lulu
Guest
lulu

Abigail was disgusting and do’t insult Ej, thank you very much !

Brett
Guest
Brett

Days is too dark, everything is negative negative negative. GH is being badly written throughout, it needs a new head writing team and a cull of its cast. The cast is too large and there is too much focus on new characters and their back story. B&B varies, 50% of the show is always dedicated to Liam Spencer’s latest love triangle, this is the half I just have to tolerate, the other half is pretty good. Though I wish they would bring Thorne, Kristen and Felicia back but that dream of mine is never happening by the looks of things.… Read more »

Mo
Guest
Mo

I don’t think the Summer story did Days any favors. Also, the Ciara and Chase story. Ciara anything as she can’t act.

Debra m
Guest
Debra m

Gh has way too many characters. All the newbies are a bore. Get rid of Valerie, Kiki, Andre, Curtis, Darby. Does anymore even care about them. Get rid of Jordan and make Anna the head huncho again. I never felt Michelle S. Fit in to show. She was so much better on Y &R. I like Micheal Easton and hope he finally gets a decent story. Also, Roger Howarth. Wish Todd caould come back. Anyone have a feeling Liz and Hayden are sisters? Also, please more Laura and Kevin. Do these idiot writers not realize we would love to finally… Read more »

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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