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Days Of Our Lives

RATINGS: Soaps Finish Off 2015 On High Note! Y&R, B&B, GH and DAYS Score Huge Viewer Gains!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

Wowza! The ratings week between Christmas and New Year’s, (December 28th, 2015 to January 1, 2016) saw major quantum leaps in the total viewer category for all four network daytime drama series.  It was quite impressive, especially given it was the holiday season.

Let’s break this exciting news down.  First off, The Young and the Restless gained the most total viewers for the week  averaging +665,000. While New Year’s themed episodes  featured:  the Wedding of Abby (Melissa Ordway) and Ben (Sean Carrigan), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) admitting she was dying, and Billy (then Burgess Jenkins) being run over by Noah’s car and tires (Robert Adamson) leaving him fighting for his life, Y&R brought their total to over 5.5 million viewers for the week.

Courtesy/CBS

Elsewhere, as previously mentioned, The Bold and the Beautiful scored a 9-year high for the week!   B&B added +532,000 total viewers to the party, bringing it well over the 4.2 million mark in total audience numbers for the first time in a very long time.  The week featured episodes involving Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) revealing she has never gotten over Bill (Don Diamont), and Ivy (Ashleigh Brewer) falling down a flight of stairs over another confrontation with Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood).  This time over Liam (Scott Clifton).

READ MORE
Vincent Irizarry Joins The Bold and the Beautiful

For General Hospital, it was the best news that new co-head writers Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman could hope for!  They scored a total viewer high since they have been in charge of mapping out the stories in Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

GH added + 525,000 for the week, and averaged 3.375 million viewers for the ratings period.  In a few story highlights, Patrick (Jason Thompson) told Sam (Kelly Monaco) where he stood with Robin (Kimberly McCullough), while Robin met Jason (Billy Miller) on the bridge, and New Year’s Eve was sentimental for some couples.

And finally, Days of our Lives had a strong comeback!  With the New Year’s Eve car crash that eventually killed Daniel (Shawn Christian) and the Chad/Abigail (Billy Flynn and Kate Mansi) and baby Thomas story to name a few, the NBC soap increased +348,000 for the week, with an average tally of 2.813 million total viewers.  The week garnered the largest audience under the current head writing regime of Josh Griffith and Dena Higley.

Courtesy/NBC

In key demos, all four soaps showed solid gains in the 18-49 demo, as well as in 25-54 women.  All soaps were on the positive side as well in women 18-34.    View the entire ratings picture via SON here.

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Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings

(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)

Total Viewers
1. Y&R 5,504,000 (+665,000/+460,000)
2. B&B 4,215,000 (+532,000/+362,000) <—— 9 year high
3. GH 3,375,000 (+525,000/+375,000)
4. DAYS 2,813,000 (+348,000/+319,000)

So, what do you think of the performance of the four network shows during the holidays? Which soap was the best during the final week of 2015?  Which soap looks strong at the beginning of the year storywise? Do you think the four soaps can sustain these numbers for the next ratings period? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

 

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su0000
su0000

Of course ALL the soaps were up..
It was the season..
People were off and home, time to look in, others clicking in, others giving a long awaited second look..
When people are home they are apt to click-in and click-in and a quick scan/watch will count in the numbers…
These ratings, during that week may be deceiving..

The next 3 weeks will be telling, I will wait for those ratings ..

CeeCee
CeeCee

Su, I agree, albeit I don’t pay much attention to ratings. Y&R will always top the charts with a great shiny star. What you say is very logical and the next few week will be very telling. I had lost some faith in my favorite soap (Y&R), but the stories are reinventing themselves….so much more compelling. By some mystical reason, Billy will survive….something which happens in real life more often than we know. Supernatural or heavenly intervention? One of the most phenomenal mysteries of the universe. There is a storyline to be had right there.
However, be that as it may, Y&R will always come out smelling like a winner.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@su.
Awww, Suzie Q. Why so humble?!. I will agree with you when the situation warrants it. You know I agree with you most of the time.

You mean you didn’t win the billion? Lol. What does someone do with all that money, anyway?
I would probably give it all away to charity. There is always someone out there who needs it more than the next person. I am very happy with what I have.
However, I like the idea of writing for the soaps….later, babes.

Matilda
Matilda

Lol! Su0000, this might be the 1Time I agree with you.

su0000
su0000

Hey CeeCee and Matilda..
If I win the Billion+ in powerball, I’ll create a new soap and both you can be writers!!

And until then.. you don’t have to agree with me, sometimes I don’t even agree with me, but I’m sad for my GH and need a hug ;(

Carla. cannon
Carla. cannon

you rate the shows that are tuned in daily,
What about the thousands of people who recorded them on DVR
Because they’re at work or have other things to attend to
I don’t understand how you get the numbers if you’re not including people who are recording the shows daily
I love my soaps I’ve been watching but 30 years the Bo and Hope Brady 30 years, along with all the rest of the soaps, and as a fan I would be crushed if they took these off

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

Nielsen ratings are now Live+3, meaning live viewership + 3 days of DVR recorded watching after. There’s also a Live+7 rating that is used to adjust ratings either up or down. But, the one most often reported is Live+3.

Carla. cannon
Carla. cannon

Will always miss are Bo Brady a hero for the books even if it was just TV

Timmm
Timmm

What this tells me is what I’ve always felt in my heart, IF you write good stories and be loyal to the shows history and keep or favorites around and give them something to do, ALL four of our daytime delights will SURVIVE and THRIVE!

Fanny
Fanny

I’m ever hopeful that GH will climb to #2….if there were
6-7 soaps on and it remained at a steady #3 then we’re o.k.
But………..

Timmm
Timmm

I dont think it will happen. This week [1-11 to 1-15] so far has been horrible! Not ONE story has progressed! VERY disappointed.

Fanny
Fanny

@Tlmmm….I know your right. On a happier note Sappy/Sabrina
has left the building, fingers crossed… PERMANENTLY !!!

Patrick
Patrick

i’m holding on , some; major hopeful

that the reincarnation and stimulus plan… for the re-emergence of …

Carlos and Sabrina !

GH Writers ! what an opportune time… to re-invent… and forward with; diversity; people of color

I enjoy this couple

win lose or draw

Carlos and Sabrina layer Port Charles

bring them back… after her maternity leave… that much more forward… assertive… bold… energized… and take hold their own journey and put a stamp on how much Fun watching CARLOS and his lady love belong

Jonboy
Jonboy

Glad to see all shows can still attract viewers and especially happy for GH, which IMO is finally watchable again with more intelligent writing.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

GH viewers did NOT want to miss the “happy ever after” ending of Patrick and Robin–they had waited so long for SOMETHING POSITIVE happening at GH. Again, thanks to the professionalism of the two leads–Kimberly Mc and to JT–and to all the other actors who made the scenes memorable and emotional; in short, TPTB gave loyal viewers what the justly deserved after following this great love story. (Maybe the new writing team learned a lesson from the old regime re that point after the debacle and the aftershocks of their 52nd anniversary episode (and TG’s “leaving”–his way, or be damned, it seemed) that left loyal viewers outraged.
Over at DAYs–what can I say?–TPTB have figured out how to create emotional tension–and how to sustain it–but they also know when to give the viewers what they want–and are doing it so well. And they know just how long to keep a story going; GH could benefit from DAY’s lead on this one for sure. I think Days will continue to get–and hold–strong numbers. Go Team Days!

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

ratings for that wonderful wedding and Scorpio family reunion should be out this week, can’t wait to see what they were .. it generated an excitement I’ve not felt since Robert & Anna rescued Robin from Cassadine island two years ago! I was glued to my screen. Loved the montage, the warm family moments. I’m mad they cut out a heartfelt Robert & Anna scene to make room for Nick & Hayden, though 🙁 But at least ABC had the decency to show it to us later.

Newmanwins
Newmanwins

Huge monster numbers for GH and the third straight week they are up in viewership and sixth time in the last ten weeks they’ve posted gains. The last time that GH was over 3 million for the week was in mid March 2015, but that was only at 3.2 million for that week, and these ratings for the end of December 2015 have them at 3.3 million for the week. ABC needs to issue a press release. I want to know the last time GH scored 3.3 million viewers.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

It is clear that Robin Scorpio Drake and the entire Scorpio family brings in viewers. As for DAYS, it is the best it’s been since Jack Deveraux was killed off. Glad to see ratings reflecting that.

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

Its hard to pick the best when i dont watch all four…i watch Days everyday if i can…only watch GH a few times a week and Y&R only once in awhile…im just happy they all did well for now-thats what really matters…its the holidays with schools closed and some people off of work that helped…now that school is open and people are back working only time well tell if the soaps can keep those ratings…its up to the soaps to keep viewers tuning in…we need good more down to earth stories and some romantic moments…a nice uninterupted weddings…ive been watching some recently uploaded Another World episodes i thought were lost forever…two from the 60s…the 1964 episode was copied off a screen and scenes are partially cut off but this is a rare find from Another Worlds early days…also the wedding of Walter and Lenore from 1968…its in b&w and on kinescope but this wedding on AW is beautiful and my all time favorite soap wedding…the church is full of guests…there is no predictable moments with someone stopping the wedding…the wedding party so realistic…guest signing guest book and congratulating the bride and groom, the newlyweds cutting the cake, the rice thrown, music and dancing and a rare glimpse of Audra Lynley as Liz Mathews no.2… Steve first meets Alice…this is a real treat…i know soaps have to keep costs down but we need more beautiful wedding episodes like this…also episodes from AW in the 70s are from 73, 74, 76 , 77 and many from 1979 with rare glimpses of Steve, Alice, 1st Sharlene, Molly, Sven(very brief) and so many more…i felt like i died and gone to Soap Heaven…the remaining soaps need to look back at all these old soap episodes on youtube and just maybe they will realize what is missing today…good storytelling that makes you tune in tomorrow…any any soap fan if you watched AW or not should take a glance at those episodes especially the 1968 wedding episode…they are a real treat from soaps golden era!!!

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

Im a soap addict…ive watched those old epps over several times and the wedding one over a dozen times so far…

Harry
Harry

Jim, I watch Y&R and GH but my watching for both has been spotty at best. I watch Y&R for Michael E Knight and now for Jason Thompson as Billy Abbott. The stories are becoming rather absurd. Victor blackmailing his son with non malignant information is really irksome to me.
I barely watch GH at all unless there is going to be a Scorpio sighting–or at least, Anna. Even Jason is boring me to tears and hate this Lulu-Johnny-Valerie-Dante story with the heat of a thousand suns.
I have no use for Sexis or Nico. To me, Nico is just Stinko.
If they write decent stories for Mac, Felicia, Robert, Jason, Laura, Tracy, Lucas and Monica I will be there for GH 24/7.

Iakovos
Iakovos

All four soaps had good stories to end the year indeed, and it is heartening to see renewed viewership. I do not believe for a minute interest in daytime dramas has ebbed. Our culture has changed, yes: fewer at-home viewers through the day part, corporate budget squeeze, passing fads and fancies, more viewing options… Look even broadcast primetime audiences have eroded. I pray for a renewed interest and launch of another soap some day soon. The artistry and talent it takes to tell good stories is prevalent and appreciated.

Jimmy
Jimmy

DAYS is doing a phenomenal job as of late. But one thing I’m really not impressed with is all the death since Josh Griffith and Dena Higley took over. In the last 6 months, 7 characters have been killed: Serena, Paige, Will, Aiden, Bo, Daniel and Stefano. Was all this death really necessary? I understand that some was needed to facilitate the necktie killer story, but once Will died, things began going downhill for me.

On top of that, Greg Vaughan, Kassie DePaiva and now Kate Mansi are all leaving the show in the near future, meaning that DAYS is losing 3 more very talented actors and, even worse, 3 great characters. Hopefully neither one of them exit the show in a body bag, but with this version of DAYS, you can’t be sure of anything. All of these departures since August have made it very difficult to watch DAYS because there doesn’t seem to be any stability with the show’s cast yet.

It’s only made worse by the fact that these departures are making way for newbie characters like Eduardo, Finn, Lani, Deimos, Alla Korot’s new character Janet, and the entire teen scene. Don’t get me wrong, while additions like A. Martinez, Jordi Vilasuso and Vincent Irizzary to the cast are great, I would rather continue seeing Eric, Eve and Abigail on screen.

I really hope Josh and Dena can turn the tide, but if history repeats itself, there will be another “reboot” in a couple of years. It’s been a trend for DAYS to hire a new head writing duo after firing the previous pair, and make massive cast changed in the process. When Higley was fired, DAYS hired Marlene McPherson and Darrel Ray Thomas, then they were fired a year later and replaced with Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell, then they were let go and in comes Josh and Dena.

Each time this has happened, major changes were made in front of the camera. This causes major instability in long-term story because it feels like DAYS reinvents itself and becomes a new show every few years. There are very few comparisons between DAYS now and this time last year. It might be a good thing, but unless DAYS is able to create and maintain a long-term story plan to utilize their whole cast and prevent the revolving door of exits, debuts and returns we’ve seen as of late, the show will always feel in the midst of a reboot.

mgb357
mgb357

network execs – take note…..

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Step one would be for the execs in charge of hiring writers to INSIST that past storylines NOT be retconned.

Patrick
Patrick

Days of OUR Lives : Arianna Zucker’ Nicole Walker

Arianna Zucker is riveting

Nicole Walker’ : it’s so heartbreaking… watching her “going” to and fro aimlessly not wanting to acknowledge, move forward, and deal in any way shape or form… the love of her life (Daniel ) gone

watching her breakdown… w/Marlena; w/Chloe; w/Maggie and Melanie

tearful stuff !

at least: it seems… we are truly seeing a character finish out a character death. the pain she’s going through… AZ has this…

sidebar: Jennifer came out of this 3 car crash… with Brady, Eric, and Daniel. it’s interesting… that she came out of this… with just a few scratches and bruises… ???? what ???
if ???

it’s later revealed… (because her character, is not needed ) that it was she… who caused the accident… ) and this lets THE ACTOR… and I say this… because of how beloved Greg Vaughan… Eric… is so loved, by the audience… and he’s going through all the guilt… but… it’s Melissa Reeves’ Jennifer who did this… what if she should fall in a coma… and it’s all revealed whilst she’s in… (angelic Jack comes back ) and when she awakens… or should she

and it’s all of SAlem PD… around HER !

Patrick
Patrick

with DAYS of OUR Lives; REELING 6 months ahead of schedule

it’s a danged shame… because… John Paul Lavoisier, is so not working out… as the nuPhillip. he looks so much older than Lucas and Brady! I don’t see any kinship, camaraderie, or heck !!!! talent to further this character…

DAYS clearly should have hired… ex- Chance Chancellor, John Driscoll
or…. ex- Noah, Kevin Schmidt. both from Y and R.

damien
damien

im still pissed that greg vaughan has been given the cold shoulder at days… his eric is beautiful inside and out! … first he s given that horrendous elephant story line but it was still great to see him and nicole pine for eachother than nicole choose s daniel over him and now he kills daniel in a drunken bender ? i wonder what he did to piss off the days brass?
i want to find out the reason he decided to leave or was let go? eric and nicole were days for me!

Patrick
Patrick

Damien: I’m with you; 110%

I’ve loved DAYS for a million years!

Days resurgence isn’t perfect… or given a let

I’m still festering and soapboxing… how remiss DAYS production misjudged the audience care, love, and attentiveness;

6 things ; out of the box

1. Kassie DePaiva, the actress. this is their biggest blunder… or near the top

2. killing off the character of Will. HUGE mistake. send him off in to the sunset to explore life outside Salem… and return all the more lived in.. OUT

3. Greg Vaughan… on the male side… the biggest waste of talent. bar none

4. for all the long time fans of ; it’s a sorry state of affairs that Bo died

5. I still miss Aiden….

6. I still miss Lauren Boles… as the hugely loved Ciera Alice

————–

2 wish listing (s)

1. hire Michael Muhney or Ted King… as Peter Blake.. or even Jason Brooks
2. give PAUL a storyline ! wouldn’t this be a huge inroad to all the newbie fan

i’m sure there’s more.

its an amazing thing to hold close to ones heart… just how much an actor REELS… when given quality scripts. I still cant’ get over how good Greg Vaughan was… on General Hospital.

He was a dynamo… as Father Eric…. and it seemed like things were set in motion for the audience to swoon and go gaga over this stud muffin with TALENT. after Kristen left. Nicole chose Daniel over Eric… go figure!

to no avail…. he has a huge following with tons of screen presence… what a let down….

Patrick
Patrick

4 characters I don’t mind going front burner

Ava : at first I was … seriously? her lying to Steve and kayla about having Leukemia? does she really have to go to great lengths to get Steve attention? even tho it’s been played out a million times… the twist was in telling Steve their child was sold off… woah! heated intrigue … Tamara Braun is getting it

Fynn: LOVE the accent… his looks are on par plus… meh on his attraction to Nicole… ??? I hope it’s with Ava or Chloe… he has a really fun playful side that Ava and Chloe can go with…. teasing all around… his good for the hospital

Eduardo: tip my hat off to A Martinez ! i’m so looking forward to his pairings with Kate… love the eye to eye meeting of the minds… stimuli all around! and I’m really liking the father/son power play… yet yearning that they bond…. Gabs is so near the cutest of the cute… her and JJ have arrived.

gawd! it’s painful … to watch just how much magic Eduardo has with Eve…. what a huge disappointment that this is all we’re getting.

Anne: I’ll actually miss her at the hospital… giving Jennifer and Abs… much needed BS. her busy body antics will be missed. what is her backstory… history lesson DAYS … PLEASE! she’s a fun in your face.. tell it like it is!

Paul: I miss him… i’m not the only one ! Hello DAYS ! the camera loves him… fans love him… he’s a quality draw who stirs temptations

Chloe : captivating looks… plenty ! I was never that caught up in her act… but… I’m giving her a big prop! either to stir up past feelings… with… both Lucas and Brady! GO

Adrienne and Justin : OK … you erred so big… in taking them off contract… and alerting the fans ire. what is it with not featuring and frontburnering… INTELLIGENCE … you have it in spades with these two! Vincent Irrizary is on his way… let’s lay the groundwork and foundation… and get VI’ Deimos running… he’s bar none… THE BEST !

2016 soapbox

CeeCee
CeeCee

It does boggle the mind, does it not, damien?. If Greg is to leave, why have him leave as a criminal. Odd! Don’t know whether to be sad or pissed off.
Now, we must believe that Brady is having dreams of Nicole because he has Daniel’s heart. And, of course, we think with our hearts, not our brain. Ha! So, here we go again with another triangle….Nicole, Brady and Theresa. What else is new. I don’t know how I feel about this yet. I guess it depends on the writing….if done with purpose and conviction, it may have possibilities, albeit a repetition of so many storylines.

maddiehayes
maddiehayes

ITA, Eric & Nicole were pretty much the only thing holding me to DAYS until the new writers came along. Didn’t watch very often once Serena was introduced. Now I have Patch & Kayla and Chabby (until she leaves, wahhh) but I’m still upset at how GV has been WASTED this past year.

Harry
Harry

I don’t watch Days but I have always felt Greg Vaughn is vastly underrated.
He had the daunting task of filling Jonathan Jackson’s shoes as GH’s Lucky.
I think that would be as daunting as trying to follow Billy Miller as Billy Abbott.
When GV played a strung out pain pill addict, he was firing on all cylinders thus proving he has great acting prowess. Even Tony Geary lauded his performance in an interview. Lucky is needed in Port Charles and JJ is busy in Nashville.
Bring him back–he is the true love of Lizzy’s life, not Jason as she keeps asserting.

Brett
Brett

I’m always glad to see soap opera ratings increase, but B&B is at an all time low; I thought when we got ride of Hope and her arrogance (and that incredibly annoying Kim Matula with THAT laugh) we’d got out of that cycle of Liam Spencer love triangles but oh no we’re back to the same old crap again now but with Ivy and Wyatt, it’s BORING and the stories are stupid, Ivy’s constant accidents, Liam accidentally flying to Oz, come on Bell you can do better than this.

Rj
Rj

Glad ratings were up. As someone said because of Hoilday breaks, I watched Days more than I usually am able to. There were some good performances and drama, but Dena seems to descend into a little too much darkness for me. When she was head writer last time, I think she did the baby switch storyline which was good, but then the show started to get too dark, ugly, and mean. I hope that they will start to let up on the constant murders and deaths. You can only watch so much of that, and it starts to get too sad and depressing for a show that is supposed to be a more pleasant escape from reality. As I said, we can watch the news for that. Perhaps, they had to clean house or make some changes, and unfortunately, death and murders are a part of life, but now they have had so many one after another. They need to change it up. I like the Chad/Abigail romance, love seeing Steve and Kayla, Belle and Phillip, Brady and Theresa. Good to have some intriguing story lines, and couples working together to solve mysteries, and problems, but let’s move away from so many deaths and murders.

Rj
Rj

Just want to add – of course, I love Maggie and Victor, John/Marlena, and others, but I was writing about some of the newer romances (or returning romances). Of course, I would also like to see Kate, Nicole, and Hope in romances and good storylines- they always give strong performances. It will take time for Nicole to move on from Daniel, Hope and Rafe are moving closer, and possibly Kate and Eduardo. Hopefully, Days will move in this direction. As it is the 50th year of Days it would be good to see some storylines that can give cause to celebrate some happiness!

k/kay
k/kay

Well I am into 15 minutes of Y&R Jason Thompson is owning the role of Billy Abbott! Bravo I do not care for JFP but she made a good call this time he has brought the humor everything. Now if Pratt could write this show like todays I will start to enjoy it again. Please don’t miss todays episode.

k/kay
k/kay

When I am wrong I admit it he looks like he is having the time of his life!!!

k/kay
k/kay

I can’t wait until MF has a thread tonight about Jason Thompson’s performance today in all my years of watching soaps I have never seen an actor command the character the first day. WOW!

Patrick
Patrick

“ohhhhhh”

I don’t need the sigh of relief… because I did not feel the slightest bit of urgency for Jason Thompson.

but… LOL

when fans are cheering from the sidelines… the best for…

whew! take Genoa City Billy Abbott !

1. I really like your candid post (s)

Patrick
Patrick

ie: slightest bit of urgency….

should read: I wasn’t in the least bit worried that Jason Thompson would not pull of this feat

congrats to the big guy

inasmuch as fans may not care for Amelia Heinle… it is my fervent wish… that these two do in fact have chemistry… they may not be together… but a fun wistful at ease camaraderie

heck ! I hope they tease the heck out of each other

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Daytime Emmys To Merge Younger Actor & Actress Category Into One As Gender-Inclusive Categories Are On The Rise

The upcoming 47th annual Daytime Emmys are already making some changes to key categories and specifically this one that affects daytime drama performers.  Word from Variety is that NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is going to announce that they are combining the Younger Actor and Actress categories into one gender-neutral category

Not only will the Younger performer category be gender-inclusive, but network soap performances will be combined with digital drama series performances for the category.  Previously, for this past Daytime Emmys, NATAS had changed the Guest Performer in a Drama Series to be gender-inclusive.

This category was initially created in 1985 when it was called the Outstanding Ingenue and then from there tweaked into Outstanding Juvenile Female and Male, and more recently that morphed into the Younger Actor and Actress categories.

Photo: JPI

Former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) and former DAYS star, Kyle Pettis (Ex-Theo) will now be the last female and male to win the two separate categories with this new move for 2020.

Fans of film and TV have noticed that on several award shows on MTV: their Movie and TV Awards and their VMA’s, there are several gender-inclusive categories, as well as the Television Critics Association Awards who for instance doles out Outstanding Individual Achievement in Drama in comedy.

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So, what do you think of the change; that there will now be one Younger performer category at the Daytime Emmys? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matt Cedeno Debuts Tonight On ‘Ambitions’

Former Days of our Lives star Matt Cedeno (Ex-Brandon Walker) is set to begin his recurring role on tonight’s episode of OWN’s sudsy Ambitions.

Cedeno is taking on the role of Ignacio DeSantos, who is said to be the heir to a textiles conglomerate, and who crosses paths with up-and-coming fashion designer, Bella (Erica Page).

Ignacio is a said to also be a very dynamic character, who has quite the lifestyle! Hmmm.

Will passion ignite between Ignacio and Bella? Stay tuned.

Photo: OWN

Matt was most recently seen on Power in the role of Cristobal.

Ambitions airs Tuesday nights at 10PMEST/9PMCST.

For more on the series click here,

Excited to see Matt in his new role tonight? Comment below.

 

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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