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RATINGS: Days of our Lives Only Soap To Gain In Total Viewers!

The ratings are out for the week of November 27th through December 1st and it was NBC’s Days of our Lives being the only one of the four network daytime dramas to gain in total viewers.

Additionally, DAYS also had upticks in the key ratings demos of women 18-49, where it is in 3rd place over The Bold and the Beautiful for total viewers in that category. DAYS also showed gains in viewers in the womens 18-34 and 25-59 demos.

While Y&R lost in total viewers, it did lead the pack in adding eyeballs to the womens 18-49 and 25-54 demos, while still tying an all-time low for the fifth straight week in the 18-49 ratings share.  It’s sister soap, B&B lost -80,000 total viewers for the week, but showed some gains in the womens 18-49 demo, as well as 25-54.

Meanwhile, General Hospital took the biggest hit for the week losing – 113,000 total viewers, while also losing the most viewers in each of the key womens demo categories. View the entire ratings picture via SON here.

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,485,000 (-57,000/-192,000)
2. B&B 3,589,000 (-80,000/-207,000)
3. GH 2,691,000 (-113,000/+21,000)
4. DAYS 2,398,000 (+19,000/+95,000)

So, be our Soap Opera Programming Executive Armchair Quarterback and tell us: which soap opera is in your opinion the best on the air right now, and which soap needs the most improvement, and if so, what would you do to increase its viewership? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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xmascarolSpeedeJimh4ever DAYSrebecca1 Recent comment authors
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Jimh
Guest
Jimh

Problem with GH it is dominated by the Jason show…it started out interesting but soon fizzled-wish Brit stayed for good-i did see some chemistry between here and Jason…weddings on soaps often generated interest and increase viewership back in the day but Laura’s and Kevin’s upcoming wedding or eloping whatever is as interesting as a visit to the dentist office…and why cant homes actually look like real homes…and some of these sets look like showrooms for IKEA!!!……..Days is more interesting but where is The Horton Home…why arent there any office scenes like the top rated CBS soaps have that involve more… Read more »

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

Is it possible Brit was brought back for that stint just to test the waters before the writers think about bringing her back permanently? I know that’s been done before so it would be more than ok if the Britch did come back to town. I was very happy the moment she was seen.

Steve
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Steve

It seems they brought Kelly T back because they didn’t want to pay for Anders Hove to fly over for a few episodes. I like Brit, but Faison is unlike any other soap villain.

Similarly, when the Franco memory part was the focus, we got Betsy instead of Heather.

Shay
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Shay

Absolutely, James! Britt’s comeback has been one of the best features of the “Q a Deux” storyline, and the previewed scene with her “Mutter Dearest” in tomorrow’s episode looks to be a real highlight of the holiday season! Like you, I truly hope that we shall see “The Britch” return to Port Charles on a more permanent basis, complete with a future visit from her comically-deranged paternal figure, Faison!

Mark Y
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Mark Y

i remember the Snider kitchen very well. I thought it was hilarious when Carly got married at the farm and made her entrance to be married through the Snider porch door.

Jimh
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Jimh

That was a good episode…a classic…i loved those farm scenes!!!

Suzie rm
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Suzie rm

I’m looking forward to Laura and Kevin’s wedding. The Jason story has monopolized the show and list my interest. Problem is they have characters, couples and stories that disappear for weeks at a time.

Jimh
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Jimh

Sometimes i forget about them…like Kiki…dont even recall when Dillon left and seeing Kiki’s reaction!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

And I think the story of the twin Jasons is just too “far out” –and is without humor or lightness, say, for example, the “freezing of Port Charles” which was really far out but had the strong writing, characters, love story, and “bromance” of Robert and Luke (the real Luke 🙂 )and the humor to carry it off. And, while I’m at it, I’d like to say something about the Alexis and Julian “story”: I think it is in extemely bad taste to get them together again in this cultural revolution, specifically, re the abuse of women. Bad stufff!!!

Timmm
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Timmm

Laura is nothing without Luke. Kevin is a bore!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I like them together. No bore! BUT, could we see them more often?????/

Jimh
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Jimh

I blame the writers….

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Jimmy, news broke today that Heather North Kenney passed away November 30th. Do you remember her in the role of Sandy Horton on DAYS (1967-72)?

Jimh
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Jimh

I do remember her a little bit…always thought the character was underused…thanks for sharing that with me…i hate bad news but if it involves my Days family i still want to hear it…i wish the old episodes were shown like The Doctors…those to me were better DAYS!!!!

Rose
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Rose

Good for Days! It had so far to come, and wow has Ron C. delivered!!!!!!!

Patrick
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Patrick

Hi Rose – i’m thrilled

I don’t have any other words… speechless.. because this is – ALL – happening @DAYS – whowouldhavethunkit

that ratings dweller from outa nowhere

I could write about every character … the holidays are distracting me.. or just getting through it. 9 days till the 26th

DAYS fans are celebrating .. being in Salem is our Christmas treat

Patrick
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Patrick

one of three or a culmination the holidays… help me wine legislation – let net neutrality be the common denominator for GOP attack keeping up with GH & Days – BOTH shows are achieving. “winter ” is setting in @JimH & MarySF… with all due respect – with your words… you have reached there is so much warmth and humor in your reads. you address your care.. and have a lot of support . Sincerely. @GH and DAYS posts – tally ho.. what a show of show. at the end of the day and decades of. these two shows are… Read more »

Maca
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Maca

Gh is so boring but right on days!!!!!!!!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Ho, ho, ho, Jimmy! The Horton home should be prominent this week. It will definitely be seen Thursday with the annual Horton Ornament Ceremony, which will have at least two new inductees, one of which will be Eli, the first African American Horton family member!

But first, don’t miss the previous episode centering around JJ! His spirit is broken. He’s as fragile as his family’s Christmas ornaments!

Jimh
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Jimh

I will try to watch…not well…

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Sorry to hear you are not well. I haven’t been well myself– ended in the mental health unit at the hospital this summer, been slowly recovering from a severe bout of depression and haven’t been too focus on the soaps which is why I rarely comment anymore– I know you can relate–wishing you the best this Christmas season, and perhaps both of us will see a better new year

Jimh
Guest
Jimh

Mary SF…so good to hear from you-my sister was there in the summer too and back in the hospital again…i have been ill for nearly two straight years with a medical condition that leaves me often depressed-there with you…i wish you well!!!!

Patrick
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Patrick

I can’t believe – our – good fortune I don’t think I’ve ever seen a total turnaround where the – whole – hour is full treat upon treat – buffet – feast for the eye PLUS so much solid acting to match RC and TEAM script (s) I SO HOPE @DOOL – WINS – the WGA award – absolutely will I dance w/Ron C. these past 5 months has been one ride ; one wave ; one surge ; of near excel what a holiday treat and Happy New Year to all @ DAYS FANS & DAYS Production it’s just… Read more »

Irene M Adams
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Irene M Adams

Soaps need good characters to CARE about. That is #1 and always will be for this genre. The characters need good stories and good actors. Days has all 3. For some reason, Ron knows who are boring and keeps them because they are beloved but doesn’t shove them all the time. Hard to explain but there are beloved soap characters who are played by so/so actors but the audience relates. Hope that makes sense. Y&R/B&B have an audience that was watching them back in the day and so far are staying. So, even though they do not interest me, they… Read more »

Scott
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Scott

You can watch dool on the NBC app and nbc.com as well many cable companies now have it on demand.

Satan
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Satan

Last time I checked, Days was still available on Hulu, though depending on your time zone, you might not see it until the next day after it airs. GH is on Hulu as well….. but if you are a cord-cutter (or watch your network TV by antenna) then ABC doesn’t think you have any right to see it until 8 days later. That might be tolerable for a show that airs one episode a week, but for a daily series…. no way in HELL. On the other horn, if you watch ALL your TV shows on a time delayed basis,… Read more »

Alan
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Alan

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: GH’s biggest mistake with the Jason return was focusing solely on that. With lapsed viewers tuning in to see how they resurrected the character, the show should’ve positioned other stories to retain viewer interest once Jason was home. Unfortunately, GH seems to think that Sonny/Carly/Jason/Sam is all anyone wants to watch. I am still baffled how a show with Genie Francis, Finola Hughes, Maura West, and Rebecca Herbst doesn’t put them in strong, frontburner storylines. Mal Young’s Y&R is a complete snooze for me now. The “one episode equals one day”… Read more »

Tonyia
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Tonyia

I’m a big GH fan and always have been since I was 9 yrs old. tried faking sick just to stay home from school to watch it.. A lot has changed over the yrs and a lot of characters left.. i miss Nicholas and Spencer and Emily and Brenda, Jax, lucky, That’s when GH was really really good.. I’m happy steve the real Jason is back but I wanna see him and Sam bk together.. I miss Patrick and robin and Emma… I’m never gonna stop watching GH but our show do need better story lines. Stir it up let’s… Read more »

Justin
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Justin

Alan you are so right! As long as Sonny/Carly/Jason/Sam are the focus, I for one won’t be more than a casual viewer.

Michele
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Michele

I have been a days of our lives fan for 41 years now . I love the show if im not h ome i dvr. It so i dont miss it. I think its time to make Brady happy for once !!! Rafe too. !!!

aria
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aria

I don’t know what GH the above posters who dissed GH are watching but GH i s on fire, and they always have the same dis, either gh is a mess, to bloated ect, some criticism are more legit, the show isn’t 100% great, but neither are the other 3 soaps. Now as to why they loss so many viewers on this past ratings period , i don’t have the answer, i feel like the ratings meter is like a roller coster ride, is either up or down, its out of anyone control. I do have to say, that i… Read more »

Charday
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Charday

I’m with you. I was so bored with GH for the last 2-3 years, but the last two months I am interested again. No more FF on the DVR through entire episodes. Loving the return of the Quartermaines to prominence (including Jason/Drew, Kim/Oscar, Ned, etc.).

JK
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JK

I THINK IT MAY BE TIME TO GIVE IT A REAL TRY SINCE I HAVE COMPLETELY STOPPED WATCHING B&B…..

John Gordon
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John Gordon

Ok, this is only my opinion. I currently watch only Days of Our lives – since around 2013 or so, because I wanted a Soap to follow (silly though they can be at times) and I missed ALL MY CHILDREN and One Life to Live. If General Hospital wants to gains viewers – START ADDING characters from Pine Valley and Landview to the landscape. ABC-TV now owns the rights to these characters, and while it would be great to see a new inception of either both shows or a combination of shows (I am referring to AMC and OLTL) I… Read more »

Andrew Hass
Guest
Andrew Hass

I agree that GH could bring on characters from AMC and OLTL.For example GH could bring on David Hayward(Vincent Irizarry) because he’s Anna’s ex-husband and he’s also a doctor that could be hired at the hospital.So the character of David could have both a personal/romantic and professional reason to be on GH.Or GH could bring back Skye because she was on all 3 soaps and she has a history with the Quartermaines.

Timmm
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Timmm

NO! If you yearn for OLTL or AMC, combine those two shows, leave GH alone!

Jackie Swick
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Jackie Swick

GH’s big mistake was trying to bring Steve Burton back as Jason Morgan. SB has aged to much to play Jason. The character Jason is supposed to be 36, SB looks to be 50. Also the twin story is just stupid, totally unbelievable. Again….too much age difference between SB & Billy Miller. And the writers constantly rewriting history is a insult to the fans. I am a long time viewer, I cannot stand to watch it anymore, it’s total garbage now. They have finally destroyed the show trying to cater to one actor

Steve
Guest
Steve

This week they established Jason as 42. Monica told Kim the accident with AJ happened in 1995 when Jason was 20. Burton is obviously older than Miller, but they can use the flimsy plastic surgery excuse to explain the difference.

One could argue that the twin storyline has freed Miller from a character he never quite embraced. The last few weeks have featured some of his best acting.

Andrew Hass
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Andrew Hass

Plus i think Billy Miller might enjoy playing Drew more than playing Jason because in a way Drew is a open book since we don’t know much about his past.

Celia
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Celia

I brough up that exact age “issue” at the onset, Jackie….but, some of our fellow posters reasoned that the age discrepancy was due to Drew’s plastic surgery. Made him younger, don’t you know?!?! LOL. I was so into the story at first….now, the fervor is sort of dissipating. How much longer must I watch Sam tear-stained face in every scene? It hurts to watch. But, my gripe with this show is never changing: Sonny and Carly. The other day, as Carly was giving another one of her so wise, inane motherly speech ( pardon the oxymoron) to Michael, she said… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Steve Burton IS Jason Morgan. They’re not trying to make him appear younger; if he had never left the show would you have said they need to replace him, he looks too old? Too old for what? I think it’s interesting how people will accept that “Drew” has a completely different face…any soap characters have completely different faces because they had “plastic surgery” in the story…and we just accept, “voila! completely new face!” But we know that all plastic surgery does is lift, tuck, fill…maybe lift a brow change a nose…by point is there’s a lot more incredulous things we… Read more »

K/kay
Guest
K/kay

Have not watched in years but you go RC I know he is rumored to be a pill but hey kicked him when he was down I do think he loves the genre I think he has a good soul so go for it wish him all the best!!!!

Mo
Guest
Mo

Days should continue to improve in ratings. It’s very good right now! Glad to see Days is back.

Frances Wright
Guest
Frances Wright

I’ve been loving #Days….it has been so good! Ron Carlivati’s writing is awesome. I’m really glad that Kassie’s back, I love her as Eve….she’s a fantastic actor & a lovely person. Keep up the great work, everyone!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

GH is getting closer to B&B but will never catch Y&R. DAYS is climbing, look out GH!

Y&R: I like the JT angle. I find it VERY hard that Victor lets his soon Reed walk around looking like a 70’s porn star. Cut your hair boy!

GH: Sorry, I dont want to hurt the kid who plays Oscar’s feelings but this story is too much for him to handle. It needs to be recasted. When you have his mother, Drew and Sam involved, you have to snap and click and this kid is too boring and unsure with his lines.

Boop
Guest
Boop

I like Oscar.

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

I have watched days for over 15 years and when it had the shooting when JJ shot Theo I quit watching. I mean stay away from politics…. didn’t gain me!!

isthisit23
Guest
isthisit23

Bye Felicia. Soap are known to tackle social issues. This storyline isn’t political at all, JJ made a mistake and he feels badly for it – if you’d stick around to see how it plays out you would see its a human issue. It would be political issue if they were talking about the 45th but alas they’re not.

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

Okay sorry…racist… he should’ve shot him looked like a gun….and ran… geez…. in real life that’s common sense… don’t run and don’t reach for anything!! We see enough of that crap on a daily basis and then watching shows that have it is ridiculous. But oh well still didn’t gain me!! I love the 45th!!

Harry
Guest
Harry

While I like Roger Howarth and think he’s a great talent, I absolutely detest Franco.
He’s a needy, whiny little sociopath and he has the unmitigated gall to say he doesn’t want Jason around Jake?

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

ITA– watching Franco is like nails on chalkboard for me–

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Sigh…hi, dear Harry. You KNOW I disagree when it comes to Franco! He is no longer a sociopath, he is no longer dangerous and he is no longer a threat to anyone. I can completely understand why he doesn’t want Jason around Jake. Franco and Jake have gotten very close; it’s Franco who helped him initially through art therapy. It was Franco who took the time to find out what was bothering Jake; it’s because of Franco that they found out that Helena had programmed Jake…and that Jake was traumatized. Jake has loved Franco for a while now. They’ve bonded.… Read more »

Boop
Guest
Boop

You’re right!

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Hi, Boop.

Glad you’re a Franco fan. I really do feel for the character…

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Franco is a habitual liar and Liz would be better off with Griffin!

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Who hasn’t lied on GH? Liz included.

blake
Guest
blake

Great news for Days! Well done Ron C., cast and crew!

brian
Guest
brian

Do us Canadian who stream GH thru the City TV network count ? Cause I Stream GH everyday, and hope I get counted…..

Satan
Guest
Satan

The Nielsen ratings system counts US viewers watching on US networks, so there’s probably a separate ratings system in Canada. Your viewing might help City to decide to keep it on the air up there in the Great White North, however. Because, if a Devil recalls correctly, GH used to air on the CTV network up there, and they bailed out, for some reason. Would hate to see City do the same thing.

Days airs on the Global network up there, right?

brian
Guest
brian

Hey Satan

actually the CITY TV is part of the CTV network now owned by Bell/Rogers Media… I believe.

Trina McKenzie
Guest
Trina McKenzie

Days of our lives is the best soap but need to bring the old characters back and put them back with there loved ones. Like the old days no and hope , Kayla and Steve, Kim and Shan, Jennifer and jack, Carrie and Alston, Sammy and lucid.

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Exactly!

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

I love both DOOL and GH! I think Ron C. is really delivering over there. I know he’ll continue to deliver heart and soul. As for GH, I am someone who is really enjoying the two-Jasons storyline. I think they are kitting a lot of the beats and taking my breath away as I try to keep up with all that is happening. A lot of characters are caught up in this story, so I appreciate that. People complain about not seeing Monica and here she is right in the middle of it all. I appreciate that. Drew’s new family… Read more »

Debra m
Guest
Debra m

Agree with everything you said!

xmascarol
Guest
xmascarol

Great job Days,Bringing back Eve was a great idea,and isnt Vivian suppose to be back soon?Now that would really liven up Days.Brady has become a real creep I use to like him but not anymore.

Speede
Guest
Speede

Days has made a regular viewer out of me! Between the Sonny/Will/Paul Love Triangle and JJ’s realistic Near-suicide portrayal my DVR is set on Daily record. I can’t wait to watch Days first except for Fridays if I can hold out to Monday and avoid the weekend cliffhangers. Now if Ben Weston can get out of the psyc ward and realize girls are too much trouble, I’d be beside myself with even more anticipation than I already have!

xmascarol
Guest
xmascarol

Great job with bringing Vivian back.I have wanted this for awhile I hope she sticks around for a long time.

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.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

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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