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RATINGS: General Hospital Goes Up For The Week; Only Soap To Gain In Total Viewers!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

The ratings are out for the week of May 9-13th and it was ABC’s General Hospital, following a disappointing last ratings period where it was the only soap to lose viewers, that this week turned the tide.  Now, GH was the only soap to gain viewers in the latest intel from Nielsen data. GH added +51,000 in total viewers, and showed gains in the key womens demos 18-49, 18-34, and 25-54.

Days of our Lives, while losing total viewers for the week but only -3,000, actually scored the hightest increases in the week in all key demos: 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54.  However, for the 13th straight week, DAYS has tied its all-time low in the 18-34 ratings share.

The soaps that took the biggest hits in the ratings were the CBS Daytime drama one-two punch of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.  While they still remain far ahead of the field as the top-rated soaps, Y&R lost the most viewers for the week with -188,000, followed by B&B which lost -130,000.  Both soaps were also in the minus column in the key demo categories for the week.  View the entire ratings picture courtesy of SON here.

Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 4,722,000 (-188,000/-212,000)
2. B&B 3,695,000 (-130,000/-165,000)
3. GH 2,746,000 (+51,000/-207,000)
4. DAYS 2,225,000 (-3,000/-69,000)

So, which of your favorite soaps do you think is on the right track storywise?  Which is on the wrong track? Has this May Sweeps been lackluster compared to those of the past?  Share your theories and thoughts in the comment section below.

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Timmm
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Timmm

Y&R had the biggest drop because fans hate the new Billy and Phyllis. They hate that they had sex. They cannot stand Luca and Summer. Too much Winters drama which bores us to tears! AND, Stitch and his psycho son suck! Ben is a one dimensional character and Max, well it is sickening to have a little kid commit heinous crimes! GH had the biggest gain because fans are excited about Kevin and Laura. Fans like Finn and Griff. The Q’s have been seen lately. Jason finally WOKE UP! And even if you hate the mob stuff, The whole Julian,… Read more »

su0000
Guest
su0000

hey Timmm .
I luv the new billy/JT and I wish Bill&Phill would have wild and crazy sex!
gawd know Jack needs blue pills and electric shock to get moving.(and I’m not alone on that one)

And, I disagree with – ”GH had the biggest gain because fans are excited about Kevin and Laura” .. I could careless about anything Laura (and I’m not alone on that one)

I agree; Sonny and Jason is good stuff .. (and I’m not alone on that one)

However GH; I’ve been sticking my finger in the light socket to stay awake.(and I’m not the only one)

Tae
Guest
Tae

Yes Laura and Kevin are dry n boring… U give them air time n leave Morgan n ava out not really feeling Jean n Shelly.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Hi su0000, I KNEW you would like Billy and Red! Okay, they have ONE fan! I agree with you, if ANYONE including, Jack wanted to bang Phyllis they would need a WHOLE bottle of BLUE meds!

There are a lot of Genie Francis fans. I can take her or leave her BUT she is on the show, tons of history, use her!

Its been the opposite for me su, I drift off to sleep everyday while watching Y&R!

Rose
Guest
Rose

Timmm…Add Dr. Meredith and Victor to the don’t like list. And more Hillary being Hillary, and the Victoria/Billy merry-go-round.

Loving Laura and Kevin. Also The Dr. O, Finn and Monica showdown is fun. You know Leizl isn’t done yet, but great to see Monica take charge.

Karin
Guest
Karin

Billy/Victoria? I don’t think so!

They were ended and Jack thrown under a bus for this big Philly affair storyline which the writers tell us is the cats meow.

This isn’t on Billy/Victoria. This is on Billy/Phyllis who were promoted out the you know what last week all over the net by the show, and the network and were a feature segment on ET and failed miserably.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I think Doc O will be into harvesting organs and blaming Finn IF Michael Easton’s contract is long term. If he is only going to be on a couple more months, he is the culprit and Liesel will be the hero!

Caitlin
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Caitlin

Phyllis and Billy or Philly as they’re called are nasty. People don’t like things shoved down their throats. Glad the Nielsen audience gets it.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I know, its B&P almost EVERYDAY and think about this, Jack is such a nice guy and a supportive brother, why would Billy do this to him? It is ridiculous!

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Hey Timmm, I agree it’s the Billy & Phyllis romp!

Tae
Guest
Tae

Your right!
Y&R has really changed direction for the worse Charles Pratt n Jill are killing the soap

GH is hitting on all cylinders Ava is getting back in the picture now

B&B is always steady

Days one man show was good with Daniel C

chuck
Guest
chuck

Exactly they are killing it

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“thank you” @Tae

“…Days one man show was good with Daniel C ”

Days of our Lives, while losing total viewers for the week but only -3,000, actually scored the hightest increases in the week in all key demos: 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54.

Aiden MAGIC

I’m so glad he’s back…. I wish and hope.. that the audience …with the behind the scenes can some how… let the rape of Ciera go away… respectfully

father and son duo of Aiden and Chase could be stirring
complete with Hope.. and Lauren Boles… back… as Ciera Alice Brady

Tae
Guest
Tae

Chuck and Patrick both of u are are smart gentlemen!!! Lol

Harry
Guest
Harry

What Timm said, and I also might add that the baby switch story involving the Pearls of Pauline (Sharon) shows no sign of letting up.
I do think folks were disgusted with Billy and Phyllis, however, those two do seem to enjoy an undeniable chemistry.
I also agree with Timm when he says the ratings went up because of Laura and Kevin–don’t think it had anything to do with Jason’s now awakening.
I am sorry–Sonny bores the hell out of me and wish he would take a long, long, long vacation.

Karin
Guest
Karin

Chemistry is subjective. I find Gina and Jason totally unappealing together

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Harry, how is it that the fans know what is wrong and how to fix it but the writers sit on their hands. We have wanted Laura for so long, she signs a new deal and it is taking so long to feature her. BUT, when they do, fans come back, tune it and get excited!

chuck
Guest
chuck

ITA with you , Pratt has made Y&R totally unwatchable. I’m not surprised by these numbers at all, their key demos haven’t changed in months. Yes last week they had some gains But very small.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

At least when Pratt started on the show he had all these mega disasters on the show now instead of the Underground collapsing, the show is!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

DAYS of OUR Lives is “maintaining” it’s core audience ????

with Daniel Cosgrove… RETURN

YES YES and MORE …. Yum

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

We love our Daniel Cosgrove, Patrick!!! I sure hope he’s on contract.
However, the way in which his return was written, it’s a hard sell for me… it will take a lot of convincing of the character to win back Hope.
But, I love the chemistry between Daniel & Kristen A. He is such a gifted actor. I’m all for Aidan & Hope, it will take time though for the wrinkles to iron out, but the Rafe & Hope mix isn’t doing it for me.

Loves GH
Guest
Loves GH

This Jasam story is horrible, BM looks lost and KM is not a leading lady.

kelly
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kelly

Amazing! The Jason memory return was Monday and Jasam Tuesday. Biggest ratings days. SMH

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

For May when most soaps are at their best I am finding story wise none of them are offering anything that compelling at the moment. I found that whole flu outbreak at Days a giant yawn— and please pairing Chad with Ciara even in a dream sequence would be a nightmare. Y&R really misjudged the appeal of a Billy and Phyllis hook up– I tuned out most of that episode trying to avoid it. And big bad Victor huffing and puffing from jail is getting old fast. I really don’t care for the whole Zende, Sasha and Nicole triangle over… Read more »

Rose
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Rose

Mary SF…Scroll down to Dan. My reply to you is there. iPad sometimes has a mind of it’s own.

Christina
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Christina

Because the Philly affair is disgusting and aside from some people on Twitter, no one wanted to watch them or their re-written history. This pairing is sleazy and it BOMBED. Big time.

mark
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mark

That new Phyllis is not Phyllis and I wasn’t even a big fan of the original one. This new one cannot act anymore she has fizzled out like some soap actors sometimes do. Too bad Billy had to be paired like this

Timmm
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Timmm

Nail on the head Mark!

Kelsey
Guest
Kelsey

You mean the much anticipated, highly promoted Billy/Phyllis desecration of the Chancellor Mansion didn’t work? I’m shocked I tell you shocked.

These two recasts should not be leading this show, period. Long time audiences are not stupid.

Y&R made last week Philly week. The actors, The accounts, heck they even got a segment for their love scene on Entertainment Tonight. No one watched. Another Chuck Pratt fail.

Karin
Guest
Karin

Bingo!

This pairing isn’t popular. Period. The kiss promo ratings were terrible and so were these.

Mary K.
Guest
Mary K.

I will gladly take Jason Thompson back at GH if he wants to come back as Patrick. We miss him and Robin and Emma so much. I have not watched Jason on YandR because, I do not like who Billy the character is. Patrick on GH however is swoonworthy all the time.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Kathrine was not a saint BUT she grew into the Matriarch of the show and they pissed all over her mansion! Its disgusting! What next, a rape at Chancellor Park!

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

If you were going to go with the history of the characters their would never be any romance between Phyllis and Billy because of what she did by taking Baby Lucy away from them when Daniel wanted them to raise her. When Syafford left they should have made Phyllis move to New York the same with Billy just move on with the Dylan show !

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Stafford oops

Christina
Guest
Christina

Because Philly are disgusting and no where near as popular as this show wants to portray them as. Villy and Phack have always and will always be more loved. This is another sleazy nasty story.

Jaclyn
Guest
Jaclyn

Not at all surprised at Y&R’s numbers.

Despite Y&R writing “Philly” as the biggest thing since sliced bread, they’ve not done well at all when heavily promoted.

It’s pretty abysmal when you lose this many viewers and you even got a segment on ET on CBS the night before. Yikes.

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

Phyllis and Billy are gross. No surprise on the Y&R numbers. Fans don’t like change. But it doesn’t say a lot for you when you are given that much promotion by the network and those are the numbers to show for them. Hope they have a back up plan.

Days continues to be horrible too. Dena must go

Dan
Guest
Dan

I’m glad GH’s numbers went up, I’ve really been enjoying the show lately. Looking forward to the Nurses Ball this coming week. I do have to say though, I really think the Nielsen ratings are becoming an outdated, antiquated way to measure how many people actually watch the soaps. I don’t know many people that watch a show live on a week day afternoon, or record and watch the same day anymore. On the other hand, I know a lot of people that do like myself and record a show during the week and then binge watch a week’s worth… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

Mary SF…re: Liam, I sooooo agree with you, have for years. Plus I don’t like cologne on any “real” man. For that matter, I don’t get the appeal of Steffy either.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

yeah, I totally agree

i’m always behind…

which just speaks of further proof… even when we are not counted

that these shows ARE ; being watched

damned if we don’t

just adds that much more angst.. when we read of cancellations… because .. POSTS all over the place… do watch

su0000
Guest
su0000

Hi Dan the Nielsen ratings are with the time. People simply are not watching daytime soaps– Nielsen adds Web viewers to its TV ratings Updated 10:19 AM ET, Tue October 29, 2013 < <–not date This is the latest attempt by Nielsen to catch up with current digital-media technology. Earlier this month, the company announced it was launching Twitter TV ratings, tracking the number of people tweeting about a show and how many people were reading those tweets. In a sign of our increasingly connected age, the Nielsen Company will finally add streaming viewers to its influential ratings of who's… Read more »

toy1975
Guest
toy1975

The ratings are bad, very bad.
There was a lot of propping, begging and promotion.
Executives begging, writers telling the viewers they are writing specifically for a certain fan base and promos endlessly featuring the replacement couple.

Last weeks ratings will be interesting; considering Jason’s “I remember you tour” with GS glued to his side and the supposed Jason/Sonny bonding on Wednesday.

The enormity of Jason remembering was a bust and should have delivered more than a 2.16

Mateo
Guest
Mateo

GH should jump up quite a bit more. They tell stories that move and are not filled with ridiculous plot devices like contagious viruses shutting down hospitals and doppelgangers galore — Aiden’s return, Jack Devereaux, Bo Brady, blah blah blah– so tired of the rehash of these old stories. No respect for the viewer’s intelligence. GH has it’s detractors but let’s be honest here, when Alexis had her meltdown with Julian and Sonny it was so worth waiting for. Nancy Lee Grahn is spectacular as Alexis. Jason coming to terms with who he is and finally remembering. Honoring the past… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

!. have to gavel… GH … of the 4… moves have to gavel….. ( FUN post) “… Carly and Ava bouncing off each other is always a blast to watch. Lucy Coe is fun because she has great comedic timing. I love the re-focus on the Quatermaines and Tracy is so fun to watch because she is so (insert expletive here) to watch. I loved seeing Heather again with Franco. Their chemistry together is magic. The insanity traits are so identifiable when they work together. It comes together realistically. I have to say I am enjoying watching Dylan with Kiki.… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

BITE… I hate it when I make errors… lessens impact

last line…. overblown Carly and Sonny Jason and SAM … are NOT

Rose
Guest
Rose

Patrick…lots of good stuff…forgot Laura and Kevin…just can’t figure what you see in Liz and Franco, especially since you are so protective of Liz and think Franc has the insanity trait.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

@ROSE…. some time soon… MF needs to have a thread… much to my chagrin… I may not like the odds will they or won’t they… pair up…. Franco and Liz you could see the chemistry… and the potential for …. ??? these are two solid acts… and if GH wanted to further “redeem” Franco… could Liz be his ticket to normal street . ??? as a new Roger Howarth fan… I just dig him any way we can get him. I though GH was going to go this route… and Nina will get her new lease on life with Julian… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I love Hayden and Nick and I will say this, Haley who plays Kiki has really done a great job of remolding that character and rising above Kristen’s portrayal of Kiki!

Jay Trotter
Guest
Jay Trotter

Totally agree.

I have come to like and care about Kiki ever since HE took over the role. I really loathed Kiki and wanted her done when KA was in the role.

Jay Trotter
Guest
Jay Trotter

Hayden and Nik are the one couple that always entertains me and never bores me. I just love the cat and mouse game between them. TC and RB are doing a good job in selling this dark romance.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

I really want to go their; I LOVED it for a long while… is it fair to say… Hayden has never given one … ? … iota… does she really LOVE Nicholas! since it seems she was never … working for someone… she was “merely” hiding her past… but was working for Tracy and now wants to prove her person why doesn’t she let up … a bit… at least once >>>> ???? Nicholas is coming across as a fool it was just inexcusable for Hayden to be photographing and ebaying… Nicholas “family” dynasty that’s my last straw Tyler Christopher… Read more »

Liz
Guest
Liz

GH is down 207k from last year. I guess that means “The Writer” was not the problem. SMDH

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

Does week to week really matter? I would think trends over time matter more. Y&R and B&B clearly have international followings that GH and DOOL do not. I’m guessing that makes all the difference, more so than domestic ratings.

john
Guest
john

GH may have gained but it is way short of the ratings it got last May sweeps. Even Jason getting his memory back didn’t hit 3 million mainly because they dragged it out too long.
I can’t see the Nurses Ball helping at all.

Brett
Guest
Brett

GH is terrible right now and killing Lucas at the nurses ball is a terrible move. #FireShellyAltmanandJeanPassanate

Jay Trotter
Guest
Jay Trotter

GH has been on fire right now the last two weeks and is the only soap over this span that has delivered sweeps worthy material. The past ten episodes have been very good with some entertaining, compelling, and gripping drama mixed in with some heartfelt poignant moments and explosive confrontations. I am hopeful with the nurses ball kicking off they can have another week of quality episodes.

Ray
Guest
Ray

I thought the scenes last week with NIcole and Deimos were interesting, especially when he was playing the piano. But, there was a HUGE problem. Nicole ran into Deimos’ house from the rainstorm soaking wet, and the next scene with Dario and Kate was having coffee OUTSIDE in the town square. I am also tired of seeing people wearing coats in Salem in May.

B&B is so good right now. It is such an easy watch (being 30 minutes) and with interesting stories.

clb
Guest
clb

GH is the best but I really think that the previous writer’s (Ron Carlivati) storylines actually saved GH from cancellation and led to most of the daytime emmy wins including Daytime Drama. Jason Thompson should come back to GH if he wants to join the emmy winners! Y&R EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Jill Farren Phelps will continue its decline. Remember he death of Maureen on GL?!

damien
Guest
damien

love philly on y n r , so hot
and love even more zende and nicole on b n b, so sweet

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

sidebar : STAT

What is General Hospital doing to the fans? The latest rumor that the soap is playing hardball with another actor has me in heart palpitations. A recent issue of Soap Opera Digest included a blind item about an actor who was struggling with his current contract negotiations with ABC.

this is from a yahoo.com “blog” it’s Roger Howarth!

give me an expletive break!

FIRE ! Sonny / Carly / Jason / Sam

this is going to be a huge mishap

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

IF they’re telling the truth they said it had nothing to do with GH or Roger. Rest easy my friend… 😉

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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