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Days Of Our Lives

RATINGS: General Hospital Gains Most Viewers! All Soaps Up!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The ratings are out for the week of January 18th through January 22nd, and it was a good week for all four network daytime drama series as each showed gains.  As well, each show is ahead of its total viewing audience numbers from last year at this time.

However, it was ABC’s General Hospital who gained the most viewers adding +116,000.  In story during the ratings week, Lulu (Emme Rylan) rescued Valerie (Brytni Sarpy) from the cabin fire, Johnny (Brandon Barash) exited one more time, the Lulu and Valerie catfight broke out, and the further disintegration of Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Lulu’s marriage ensued.   GH fans also had the opportunity to see fan favorites Robert (Tristan Rogers) and Anna (Finola Hughes), working together to try to find the whereabouts of Carlos Rivera (Jeffrey Vincent Parise).  With that and other stories, GH brought its total viewer average count to 3,131,000.

Days of our Lives added the second highest number of viewers for the week with +85,000 in episodes that saw Hope (Kristian Alfonso) confessing to murder, then later sharing an unexpected kiss with Rafe (Galen Gering), John (Drake Hogestyn) finding himself in a stunning betrayal over his biological parents, and more.  The 50 year old soap opera came in with a total viewer tally of  2,872,000, and that is +473,000 from last year at this time.  Y&R is the only show ahead of DAYS in terms of audience growth in numbers from a year ago.

Speaking of The Young and the Resstless, the CBS soap continued to lead the pack in the number one spot,  gaining +39,000 viewers, and giving the series + 5,308,000 in total viewers for the ratings week.  Meanwhile, The Bold and the Beautiful is still holding very strong hitting over the 4 million mark in total viewers again, and gaining +65,000.  In the key demos, GH was the only soap to increase viewers in women 18-49, while DAYS was the only soap to increase viewers in women 18-34.  In the category of women 25-54, Y&R, DAYS and GH were up, with GH gaining the most viewers.  Check out 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 5,308,000 (+39,000/+567,000)
2. B&B 4,063,000 (+65,000/+313,000)
3. GH 3,131,000 (+116,000/+226,000)
4. DAYS 2,872,000 (+81,000/+473,000)

So, what do you think about the total viewer number and increase from last year at this time on your favorite soap?  What do you think about all the soaps solid ratings performances at the start of 2016? Do you feel they can sustain it? Which of the four soaps is working best right now?  Which is not?  Let us know in the comment section below.
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mysty
mysty

Robert and Anna were on doing their thing too. I’ve been really loving them

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

ITA, they are really the main reason I’m still watching. They have such great chemistry!

Tristan
Tristan

Anna and Robert for the win! Now, can we please get a contract for Tristan Rogers? I’d want him teamed with Anna of course, as they are the gold standard, but some story with Laura would be wonderful!!!!

Harry
Harry

Yep–it is Robert and Anna all the way.
I have no use for any of those other loser couples.

Ces
Ces

Wish Brandon could have stuck around!!

Tristan
Tristan

True, dat!

Harry
Harry

Damn, Ces.
He is so damn brilliant.
He reminds me of a a more handsome and more modern version of Jimmy Cagney in White Heat.
My one lament is that his crackling talent was wasted on this lame storyline involving the whole Lulu/Dante/Valerie silliness which was so beneath him.
I also wish they would have allowed him to go on to play Chopin on the piano.
Why does Johnny have to go while lesser talents such as Julian, Morgan, Carlos, Sonny and Franco get to stay?

Tristan
Tristan

Brandon Barash is so amazing. He literally lights up the screen, without saying anything. And yes, Harry, he makes the actors you mentioned seem like sleep-walking amateurs. Barash is a true leading man and it is shameful he is not on GH in that capacity. When you think about it, Barash and Tristan Rogers have more chemistry between them than the rest of GH’s male cast members combined. And neither are on contract. Go figure!

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

Johnny ‘Cagney’ needs to stay…”Look at me ma…im top of the world!!!”…lol

Natalie
Natalie

I agree! Love Brandon Barash! I understand having Morgan on as he is Sonny’s son and now is bi-polar. However, I have no interest in Carlos or Franco. They are great actors, but dislike the characters and feel they have little place in Port Charles.

Patrick
Patrick

“… Y&R is the only show ahead of DAYS in terms of audience growth in numbers from a year ago ”

I’ll take this….

it’s my understanding that NBC and Sony start negotiations the first of February

puhlease

su0000
su0000

Good to see ALL the soaps going up, that is a good thing..

I had no doubt that fan favorites;
Robert (Tristan Rogers)
Anna (Finola Hughes)
the exit of Johnny (Brandon Barash)
and even Carlos Rivera (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) would bring them in.. 🙂

GH is the lowest in bring in new viewers since last year..
(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

GH 3,131,000 (last week +116,000/ last year +226,000)

(((DAYS 2,872,000 (+81,000/+473,000) <– WOW!))

Tristan
Tristan

su0000: we totally agree. Yes, Robert, Anna, Johnny and that scoundrel Carlos draw viewers!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Rafe and Hope did not kiss.

To all you women between the ages of 18-49, thank you for making DAYS the only soap to gain from the same week last year in your demo!

Location shoot airing soon: Brady and the mystery woman at the beach!

blake
blake

Days is doing a location shoot? Awesome! And there’s a mystery woman???

Also, am I dreaming or did I see them do a location shoot at a high school last week? Days was on in the cafeteria at work and I thought I saw that.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Yes, blake, DAYS has had several indoor location shoots in the last couple months:

The warehouse where Hope met the evil Dr. and where Stefano was disposed of.
The high school.
The runway and party for the fashion show.
The auditorium for the photo shoots.

Now, Brady has already had a dream of a beach at the end of Wednesday’s episode which will lead him on a trip to Malibu where he will meet the mystery woman who’s haunting his dreams…

Mr. X
Mr. X

Some of his stories could use some work IMO but kudos to Chuck Pratt. I’ve been enjoying Y&R recently more than any other time since he began writing for the soap.

blake
blake

I agree. I never thought I would say it but Pratt’s Y&R is the most entertaining soap on now.

su0000
su0000

Y&R was always my #2 soap
GH was my forever #1 soap..
However now; I FF through most of GH and none of Y&R, making Y&R my #1 soap, now..

Patrick
Patrick

Days of OUR Lives : Wednesday ep’

Eric is released from the hospital

mom Marlena and dad Roman are “holding” on Eric

he is IMMEDIATELY read his rights….

heart tugging pull at all the heart

poignant moment

argh! ruined by Nicole… (ala a Carly moment) butts in and has to have her moment

all good and well… production! this is cry at the moment stuff !

Eric

susan
susan

Young and the restless is the best soap ever and deserves being #1!!!

jlh
jlh

I’ve enjoyed seeing Robert back in action–and with Anna to boot–but I’m borderline shocked that the character I’m most interested in right now is KIKI!!! The actress has really made that character her own, and as much as I adore Kristen Alderson, her Kiki did nothing for me but wince at her name. Hope some good stuff is coming up with this Jerome.

Patrick
Patrick

isn’t she, tho? the one word I come up with, with regard to Kiki

Enthralled : 1.capture the fascinated attention of:

synonyms: captivate · charm · enchant · bewitch · fascinate ·
[more]

archaic

enslave.

I just couldn’t be happier for Hayley Erin and… Maura West with the cutest of the cutest; Avery

what a family

hopefully the tug of war won’t last too long between mother and daughter… not that Kiki doesn’t have good reason… but you can see the natural ease in which this mother daughter act… I imagine if they teamed up together… all that they could do…. teach those Corinthos’ men a lesson

Live Jerome women! too much treat

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

Proof there is viewers for soaps…enough said.

su0000
su0000

hi Jimh 🙂
nothing like breastfeeding story to bring ’em in …… lol

blake
blake

Yep. So much for “soaps are a dying breed” BS

Phil
Phil

I agree that Robert and Anna play a part in this ratings increase, but Jason and Sam do too. I am really enjoying GH these days. Loving the new writers despite what others are saying.

Dan
Dan

I totally agree with you, Phil. I think Jean & Shelly have done a good job since taking over, and the viewership numbers back that up. It took a while to build the show back up from the horrendous 2.4 to 2.5 million viewers that they were doing when Ron Carlivati got fired. They’re up approx 600,000-700,000 viewers since then, which is wonderful news.

If you’re a fan of GH, there’s no way you can’t be happy about that. As long as they can keep those numbers at a respectable level, we should continue to have our GH for many years to come. Which is what we should all want, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the current regime or not.

Just goes to show that simple, character driven stories work. Focusing on characters that the audience likes and are emotionally invested in, and moving the pace a little quicker. You don’t need someone returning from the dead every other week, or ridiculous, over the top stories like people having sex in a mausoleum, or villains pulling off masks like an episode of Scooby Doo.

robert
robert

it’s good to see all the soaps up from last year. they probably got a holiday boost with the holiday. i’ve actually been enjoying Y&R the most right now

Mary SF
Mary SF

Perhaps that blizzard that hit most of States last week had something to do with the bump in numbers– I mean if you can’t go anyway because of three feet of snow, staying home and catching up on your soaps seems a good way to ride out a storm. I would think that storm, and the holiday that Monday, had more to do with the numbers being up than the actual stories.

blake
blake

Not really because it didn’t hit until Friday.

Mary SF
Mary SF

After following soaps and the ratings game for years the basic fact is ratings go up when there are more eyeballs watching the screen and in most cases for soaps the reasons the number of eyeballs increased are two fold. If the stories are hot, as in the case in sweeps or if there is an outside cause leading people who normally not at home to be home, like during holidays. Since there was no stories on any the soaps that week that warrant an increase, it is logical to assume the holiday on Monday and the blizzard on Friday contribute to those increases. It may not be the sole factor, but if next week numbers go down as much as they went up this week, then my theory that it was outside factors like the holiday and the weather caused increase more than stories stands. This applies only to those who normally do not watch, which are usually the people that cause the ups and downs of the numbers, loyal viewers are the base and their numbers are fairly constant.

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

You are so right, Mary SF, and claiming the ratings “miraculously” went up without any acts of God is laughable. I really wish they would stop this kind of boasting. It is just like when a new show is hyped up and premiered and then it is suddenly “the number one show on television” and then the next week is tanks. Yippee!

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

It is so beyond time to stop with the “live + same day” way to count the ratings. I, for one, have become busy during the day and now as a stay-at-home parent I do not regularly watch my shows until later that night or on the weekends.

It is time that DVR viewing/recording get in on the action as the live + same day is not the whole picture of a show’s success or failure.

Patrick
Patrick

I read somewhere… that… if you watch what you DVR within 3 days… it counts

so.. this is what I hope… and try my best to contribute to these ratings

so ; I don’t have to binge them all.. just keep up within 3 days of recording

su0000
su0000

here yah go, Patrick;

There are three types of viewing Nielsen regularly measures and reports.

Live viewing, live plus same day DVR viewing (these are the most commonly reported numbers) and live viewing plus seven days of DVR viewing. Almost all of our overnight and weekly data uses the live plus same day measurement. But we do also report some live plus seven data.

But the advertising is bought and sold based on Nielsen data we almost never see, commonly referred to as C3 or C+3 which stands for live viewing of commercials plus three days worth of commercial viewing on DVRs. That’s right, they actually measure how many are watching the commercials.

So far as we can tell DVR viewing doesn’t meaningfully add to a networks ability to make money, and more people watching shows via DVR isn’t good news for the networks.

As you might expect, most people using DVRs usually avoid commercials. As of this writing our experience has been that the C3 data doesn’t differ significantly from the live viewing, and that the relative performance of shows using the live plus same day DVR viewing is a good proxy for predicting success or failure

Jay Trotter
Jay Trotter

YES!

This is the fourth week in a row that GH is over three million viewers! Bravo to the writers, producers, and actors!

I can’t even remember the last time that happened to be honest but don’t recall it happening in this current decade. I beleive the highest it went was two or three weeks in a row of being over three million viewers during RC’s ratings surge in late 2013 to early 2015.

Timmm
Timmm

GH is up and Frank Valenti has HUGE news! I Two pieces of good news for us GHers! Robert and Anna together is enough to boost numbers. Seeing those two bust into C&S room the other day was great! R&A just ooze chemistry! HOWEVER, by the end of the week, Friday [1-29-2016], it was horrible! I FF through 3/4 of the show. Mayor Lomax recast and current story is horrible. Lulu looked like a fool trying to seduce DOGnte! Billy Miller seems like he is REALLY under Helena’s spell. He is acting like a mummy! BM has the chops to act, enough of this memory loss BS! I love GH, I’m just venting and here is my biggest “BITCH OF THE WEEK”, how in the blue hell do you not seek medical help for Jake the MOMENT he returns home after being with Helena for all those years? Everyone knows her evilness, especially her mother and father. Dumb, VERY dumb! I hope Frank’s HUGE news lifts my spirits after Fridays show. How about Wally and Tristan full time and bring back Greg as Lucky?

Rose
Rose

Interesting observation…when looking at total numbers of viewers for The Chew and The View the soaps hold their own or are better. Unless I’m missing something. Again makes you wonder why the OLTL and AMC cancellations except maybe costs to produce.

Donna M
Donna M

have to wait and see if Gh revival is for real. love TR and hope he stays..too bad for Y&R if he does. but as a vet lover not too linterested in most of Gh..frankly don’t even know who these people are and don’t care much for Alexis, sonny and crew.
Big new from FV..if it aint’ frisco …or lucky or TR for permanent…dont’ care. and wont’ make me a regular again. BTW wtf with laura…no romance or even a n inkiling yet. not interested in Scotty redo although llike KS…
When Gh bought in the recent newbees they should have instead bought back Cristina, serena sly or someone we were connnect to.
would like to see a returned frisco with laura since no FF renuinon can happen.
think there is a lot os story there ..lulu would probably lhave her panties in a twad over that. how about lucky coming back? maybe frisco can help him to see he has to tough it our or risk losing evrything…WSB…frisco not jordan or valerie or paul… jmho

Days Of Our Lives

Next Week On DAYS: Caroline’s Loved Ones Gather to Mourn Her Passing

Grab the hankies as Days of our Lives pays tribute to the late Peggy McCay and her beloved character of Caroline Brady next week on the long-running NBC daytime drama series.

As viewers know, McCay passe away over six months ago in October of 2018, and now fans will see how the show will deal with the loss of the matriarch of the Brady clan.  Back for special episodes include Christie Clark (Carrie) who came back to Los Angeles to film the memorial from her home in England, while Alison Sweeney (Sami) also makes another emotional return to the series, as does Brandon Beemer (Shawn-Douglas).

Look for Caroline’s family and dearest friends to all come together at the Brady Pub via an Irish-Catholic wake,

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

As previewed in this week’s Soap Opera Digest, Sweeney related on coming back for this special moment in DAYS history to honor McCay:  “I think the script was written so beautifully with everyone having a chance to honor her and say nice things about Caroline that reminded us all of the things about Peggy, things we had done with her, or moments we had with her.”

Check out the latest promo featuring the death of Caroline below, then let us know, if you will be watching this emotional episode featuring many Days of our Lives favorites in the comment section, and if you will miss Caroline Brady on-screen, and what she meant to the Brady’s and the town of Salem.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford Talks Jack’s Political Decisions & Amnesia On All-New Episode Of ‘Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast’

The latest installment of of NBC’s Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast is out now featuring conversations and segments with three of the popular stars of the long-running daytime drama series.

First, host Michael Fairman chants with Matthew Ashford for a return visit and six-month check-in since he first returned to DAYS as the beloved Jack Deveraux but with a twist!  Yup, Dr. Rolf got a hold of the guy, and he has amnesia.

Now after this return, he is won the mayoral race in Salem, placed Eve Donovan (Kassie DePaiva) as the police commissioner, and is trying to get Haley (Thia Megia) deported out of the country in the immigration storyline, even though his son, JJ (Casey Moss) is in love with the young woman.  In the meantime, Jack is upsetting his family and loved ones with his latest personality change, while Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) hopes somehow she get still get through to her one true love, so he remember his past.  On the podcast, Matt dives into all of it.

Later in a dressing room, segment, Camila Banus (Gabi) and Freddie Smith (Sonny)  chat about working on the show, with each other, and some other fun tidbits as they catch up.  And as viewers know, Gabi and Sonny, as well as Will (Chandler Massey) all have a unique and special relationship with one another.

To listen to the podcast go to iTunes to download or you can head over to NBC.com/InsideSalem and listen there as well.

Now, let us know in the comment section below; how you are liking the current machinations of Jack, and if you prefer him with Eve, or are you still hoping for a reunion with Jennifer?

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk & Paul Telfer Talk On Masks, Villainy & Their Wildest Storyline Yet

Take three great actors, add a prosthetic mask into the equation, and let them have at it! That’s just what NBC’s Days of our Lives is in the midst of serving up to its fans with this latest plot device and twist.  Last week, it was revealed that the nefarious Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) is alive and well and pretending to be Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) donning a mask, a voice alternating device, and some other body tweaks!  The goal …  to be with Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and she will do anything to accomplish that!

Enter Xander (Paul Telfer) who has been in the thick of the plot being the only one we know of, so far, who knows that Kristen is parading around as Nicole.  They hatch their next moves inside a room at the Salem Inn.  They even went so far as to set it up to appear that Nicole’s daughter, Holly was killed, so she could blame Eric (Greg Vaughan) and cause a break-up of the long-suffering lovebirds and play it off as she needs to be consoled by Brady!

Michael Fairman TV chatted in an entertaining and wickedly funny interview with Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk, and Paul Telfer to get the lowdown on what happened when they learned they would be wearing or working with a mask, how they pulled off the emotions in the storyline twist, and what to look forward to from here.  Under the clever pen of head writer, Ron Carlivati looks for the hits and twists to keep coming as this storyline continues to rock the world of Salem for some time to come.  Here’s what Arianne, Stacy, and Paul had to say about their latest on-screen predicaments and schemes!

Ari, at what point did you know that you really weren’t Nicole … and that you were Kristen playing Nicole?

ARIANNE:  I actually didn’t find out until a little bit after the van went off the road in the storyline; thinking it was Holly who was killed.  Sometimes, the less I know makes it fresher, and I think if I had known before those scenes, and the scenes with Eric (Greg Vaughan), and when I first came back, I would have had a little too much Kristen on my mind, and I don’t know if I could have been as raw as I felt in those scenes.  So, anyway that’s my long explanation.  I found out after I started back on the show! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Additionally, did you have a conversation with Stacy about certain mannerisms hat Kristen has if you’re “masquerading” as Nicole?

ARIANNE:  Our co-executive producer, Albert Alaar had talked to me about watching Stacy because everything was happening fast.  Stacy and I really hadn’t had a chance to even talk to each other even from the last round of me being thereI remember Stacy was inundated with dialogue up the wazoo when I came back for that twelve-episode arc.  So, because of all of that, Albert said, “Watch Stacy! Watch her mannerisms, watch what she does,” and then I’ll throw a little Ari in it.  I just hope that I do as good of a job as Stacy does.

Paul, you and I talked about this on the NBC ‘Inside Salem’ podcast, when we played back for you (for the first time) the clip of Kristen taking off her Nicole mask.  Xander had the perfect set-up line for the reveal: “The part of Nicole Walker is being played by Kristen DiMera!”  Did you not have a good laugh doing that scene?  How did you get through doing that moment?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  Oh, yeah, I was laughing my ass off the whole time.  This is an insane storyline with masks and doppelgängers.  But, it looks great on-screen, and that way it’s edited.  So, I was really happy.

STACY:  There was one moment when Nicole would hold steady to unfold the neck.   So, Ari started that to the point where I’m pulling it off completely.  I think it’s cool.  It’s “Mission Impossible”.  How nice!

PAUL:  That’s what I going to say.  If Tom Cruise can make a hundred million dollars doing this stuff …

STACY:  … then, we can do it!

ARIANNE:  Right?  We can make a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of that.

STACY:  We’ll make it look good!

What is the real deal between Xander and Kristen?  They are conspiring and in cahoots, but there’s this underlying sexual tension between them.  I think Xander respects Kristen in a way, because she can one-up him!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  I think every character who Xander has interacted with who isn’t a member of his family, he’s trying to either get something from, or get into bed with, and he can’t really do either with Kristen, because she’s crazier and more dangerous that he is up until this point.  That’s certainly the way that it feels.  The way Stacy plays it, she is not to be messed around with. Honestly, I think that turns him on.

STACY:  Yeah, there you go.  That sounds good. (Laughs)

PAUL:  I mean, it makes sense.  Just like, “Wait a minute.  This is a bit spicier than I’m used to,” so, he’s excited, but at the same time he knows which side his bread is buttered on, and he doesn’t want her to murder him!  (Laughs)

STACY:  Well said.  I like that. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what does Kristen think of Xander at this point?

PAUL:  That, he’s a useful idiot.

STACY:  She actually needs him to go out into the world because she can’t leave.  When she does, she has to leave as Nicole, and then it becomes a whole other storyline.

PAUL:  It’s fun because Kristen is actually the boss, and Xander is convinced that they’re actually partners and that becomes our whole dynamic where she’s treating him as her lackey, but he’s like, “No, we’re partners, because I know your secret.”  Then, it becomes kind of a bargaining chip between the mask and all of that.  It’s so crazy because certain evil characters when they come back, they have to come back in disguise; whereas Xander’s always quite happy to be just jogging through town square with his shirt off after holding someone ransom or kidnapping a baby like, “Ah, whatever.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Arianne, it’s been awhile since you got to play the villainess side of Nicole, and with this return to DAYS you get to play that side of her as well, even though it’s really Kristen. Do you enjoy playing the bad girl?

ARIANNE:  Stacy and I were just saying today that you have these conversations about the villain character, (and Paul, I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of this too) people hate you or they love to hate you, and you’re like, “Hey, it’s a good thing because I’m doing my job if you hate me,” but in order for the storyline to move, you’ve got to have a villain.  Nicole used to be kind of villain-ish but playing someone like Kristen who is such a valued villain on this show is just … oh, my God!

Stacy and Paul, what do you think is the most heinous thing your characters have done so far?

STACY:  The most heinous?  (Laughs). Wow.  You know what’s funny is that she’s done all of these things, and I don’t think she thinks what she does is bad.

PAUL:  It’s so funny because you totally would expect her to be like, “The other characters are evil.  We’re the good guys!”

STACY:  I mean honestly, so she kidnapped Nicole, and took her baby.  There’s Marlena and the window.  I mean, it’s hard when she’s done all of these crazy, horrible things.  I’ve just really enjoyed playing her because she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s this brilliant, deviant person who just wants one thing, and there’s one thing on her mind, and everything else gets in her way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is the one thing Brady?

STACY:  Brady, Brady, Brady, and I think even Xander has to repeat it over and over again.  We were playing in rehearsal, and I think I had him do that.  I don’t remember the line, but I said something, and he goes, “Brady Black,” and I go, “Say it again,” just because I want to hear him say it again.  That’s her driving force.

What did Greg Vaughan and Eric Martsolf say when they found out about what the twist was?  Did you tell them?  How did they find out?

ARIANNE:  Well, Eric Martsolf always has a great chuckle.  He has a great laugh, and I think Greg Vaughan just stared at me for a minute.  Then, I told him about the mask process … about making the mask …. and how I thought I was going to pass out and die.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is putting on the mask an extremely weird experience?  How long does it take to put on? 

STACY:  About an hour?  It’s quick, and I thought we were going to suffocate when we were under that because I’ve never done my whole face before, but I’ve done body things. Make-up department is like, “You’re going to be fine.”  It was heavy too, really heavy.

ARIANNE:  Yeah, and because it’s so heavy, after a while, it starts to pull your skin down a little bit, and you’re like, “No, no!” (Laughs)

Did anybody else go running around with the mask on?

PAUL:  Oh yeah.  Everybody!

I knew it!

ARIANNE:  How could you not?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what is the relationship between the real Nicole and Xander, which we saw play out before her death?

PAUL:  She’s my wife!

So, Xander sees Nicole as his wife?

PAUL:  I’m happy to give Xander’s perspective on Nicole, and then Arianne can feel free to correct it.  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  Alright, that sounds good.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

PAUL:  The way I’ve tried to handle it over the years in our ins and outs of this failed romance is that they’ve saddled poor Arianne with: this psycho chasing after her, and kidnapping her and her baby, and whisking her off to foreign lands – and also to Nashville.  When Xander first came into town, before they decided to make him a total psychopath, it was all working nicely, and Nicole wasn’t really on the up and up with Xander, and she wasn’t really honest about what her intentions were.  Meanwhile, Xander was involved in all of this chicanery with Serena, so once that metastasized into full-blown evil, and Nicole was aware of this, it shifted from, “I just really wanted to take this girl to the movies,” to, “Well, I guess I have to kill her now.”  (Laughs)  So, I think he’s just been playing that out ever since.  “Well, if I can’t date her, and if she won’t love me, then I guess I just have to torture her for the rest of her days.”  I think now on the other side of her supposed death, I think Xander has probably reconciled that his twisted romantic notions, or torture, or whatever he was doing with Nicole, is probably over, and he’s moving on to greener, more alive pastures like Sarah.  To be fair, I do think they’ve purposely made it confusing.  Not just for the audience, but for us.  There’s a real sense of, “Am I playing this to Nicole as Kristen, or do you want me to play this just to Nicole?”  Very often they just go, “No, just play it to Nicole,” because it’s funnier if for Xander it just occasionally slips his mind because she looks just like Nicole.  I’m kissing her… like he’s just enjoying the fact that he can.  “I never really got to kiss Nicole much, but this is Nicole’s face, so I’m going to.”  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  That’s hilarious.

Ari, what would you say is their relationship?

ARIANNE:  Well, I’m certainly not as long-winded as that.  (Laughs)

PAUL:  He’s a creep!

ARIANNE:  He is a creep.  What cracks me up coming from Nicole is, “Ew, what a jerk.  He’s so gross.  Yuck, yuck!”  Like, really?  You’re not going to make that one work, huh Nicole?  When you reach that far back to the history of Xander and Nicole, it doesn’t have a lot of depth for the two characters because the next thing you know he’s trying to kill her and Eric.  It’s like that scary online dating when you go on one date and it didn’t work out because that guy is going to kill you.

PAUL:  Xander is like the ultimate bad Tinder date.

ARIANNE:  Totally. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

That is classic.  The bad Tinder date.  That’s basically it.  Xander also apparently feels bad for Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) as she is having her bout with alcoholism.  Is that correct?

PAUL:  Yeah, I’m actually excited to see some of that stuff.  It was great doing it because I love Suzanne to bits.  I was very afraid of ruining Xander by making him too nice, but at the same time when I was first brought on to Days, I wasn’t offered a villain role originally.  Xander morphed into a more severe villain than I’d been led to believe he would be, and it happened quite quickly.  So, I’m actually quite happy to right the ship a little bit back towards he’s bad but he has some occasional glimmers of goodness in him.  So, Maggie really represents that because she’s actually quite nice to him and nurturing in a way that no other character on the show is.  When she has her dalliance with alcohol, he’s one of the few people who doesn’t judge her for it, and we finally get a little bit of Xander’s back story.  I’m actually excited to see those scenes because they felt nice to do, so hopefully they come across well.

Stacy, how did you track this storyline, when Arianne would be playing Kristen as Nicole? 

STACY:  Well if I didn’t get the script, I didn’t know about it.  So, if I wasn’t in the script that time, then I would be looking at Paul going, “What are we talking about?” and then, Ari had obviously already shot those scenes, so they were written for me, so I’m like, “What did I do?  What did I do?” It’s just scenes between Xander and Kristen at the Salem Inn.  Occasionally, you’d get somebody knocking at the door, but then I’d have to quickly put on my mask. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, Ari did you ever have to go to Stacy to get tips about Kristen’s past or anything?

ARIANNE:  It was all about the future moving forward.  I think old, former Nicole had some crazy similarities with current Kristen because it felt kind the same as pulling some things from what she used to do … you know, just a couple of crazy chicks in one crazy character. (Laughs).

The other big part of this is Rolf’s diary that Xander has in his possession.  Is Kristen in cahoots with him on that?  Is she trying to get that from him?

STACY:  I think she is.

PAUL:  Yeah, that’s when she starts to get mad at him; when she realizes that he’s not just being her underling and he’s off scurrying around with his own agenda in the meantime.

ARIANNE:  He’s manipulating and doing his own thing.

PAUL:  I use it to start manipulating Eve (Kassie DePaiva).

So, what would you say to the fans to look forward to?  “You never know who you’re talking to on DAYS?” “Gird your masks?”

ARIANNE:  I definitely think fans know that’s not Nicole the way she is.  And, you never know who is going to give you a shot in the butt and turn you into somebody else.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Well, that’s true.  You never know.  One day they’re going to tell you that you’re playing Julie today! (Laughs)

ARIANNE: “Today the character of Julie will be played by…”

STACY: “… you will never guess by whom!”

PAUL:  This was fun.  This is a fun way to do it.  Let’s all do all of our interviews together moving forward!

So, what have you thought of the plot twist? What do you think of the Nicole mask and the performances and comments made here by Arianne, Stacy, and Paul? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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