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RATINGS: Y&R Hits Over 5 Million Total Viewers, While B&B Strong!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

It was good week for CBS Daytime in the latest ratings for the week of March 28th through April 1st.

Leading the charge was The Young and the Restless, the show gained the most total viewers of all four network soaps with +391,000, and that also sent their weekly total viewer tally to 5,115,000. Y&R was also strong in all key demsos adding the most viewers of any soap in women 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54.  Looks like Victor Newman’s (Eric Braeden) trial had lots of viewers turning in.

Over at Y&R’s sister soap, The Bold and the Beautiful they also had a solid week.  Led by Wyatt (Darin Brooks) and Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) impending wedding and Quinn’s (Rena Sofer) plot to keep Liam (Scott Clifton) from remembering who he is, and it turning deadly in the process.  B&B gained +196,000 total viewers with their average viewer count for the week up to 3,831,000.  B&B also showed gains in sll key demos!.

Days of our Lives finally had a week where it gained viewers adding +95,000, with their weekly average total viewer count at 2,280,000.  The NBC soap also gained viewers in the women 18-49 and 25-54 demos, while still tying an all-time low in the ratings share for the 7th week in a row in the women 18-34 category.

ABC’s General Hospital was the only soap to lose viewers for the week with -48,000, with 2,818,000 for their weekly average total viewer count.  GH also lost viewers in the women 18-34 and 25-54 demos, with a slight gain +2,000 in women 18-49.   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 5,115,000 (+391,000/+414,000)
2. B&B 3,831,000 (+196,000/+166,000)
3. GH 2,818,000 (-48,000/-144,000)
4. DAYS 2,280,000 (+95,000/+83,000)

So, which soap opera do you think delivered the best drama to its audience during the ratings week?  Which soap do you think is the best on the air right now?  Which soap needs the most fixing?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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

Im just happy they are all still with us GH had some good moments but the cast needs trimming and more story connections between characters…where is Bobbi-cant she at least be a hospital volunteer…Valerie is supposed to be a Spenser but you wouldnt know it-she is rarely if ever seen with the Spensers-Days has some good moments-K(Abigail) deserves an emmy next year for her knock out performance…is Nicole going to turn out to be Deimos daughter-Faye adopt her?-Days should hire Tina Sloan as mother of Patch and Adrienne-then you would have Lillian, Beth and Lujack together again!!!…where is Lucas?…i thought… Read more »

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

The Nicole as his daughter thing would be gross….she was married to Victor!! But the wishful thinking and casting would be awesome…to have Tina come play Jo. She totally fits the part!! I love your creativity!! 🙂

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

i forgot she was marired to him…but there is some obvious connection to Deimos

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

Hi, Jimmy and Dylan,
I think Nicole may be Elena’s (sp. Deimos’s love) niece. …..or, her daughter, having given her up for adoption, before she even knew the brothers?
It is standard fare on soaps; so why not feed us with another one!? It would explain the resemblance.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

And Days just had another REALLY bad moment: Well, Days, you’ve gone and done it–Abby tying Ben, spraddled legged to the bed and pouring gasoline on it–too, too close to the chilling courtroom scene during the trial of the woman in Texas who tied her abusive husband to the bed, stabbed him repeatedly, dragged his body to the side of the house and buried him. OVER THE TOP! Horribly violent and unnecessary–couldn’t the writers have thought of a better way to take the actress playing Abby out of the show?? After all, Abby had survived similar treatment from Ben. Why… Read more »

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

I think Abby should have had a mental breakdown-seeing Ben everywhere when he really wasnt there…Abby sent to mental ward until a replacement is found…later learn Andre drugged Abby to make her see Ben as his way to get back at Chad for taking over the house and family business-at least thats better than what we are seeing now.

Ces
Guest
Ces

Not a fan of Y&R but that is grest news for their show and soaps!

Rose
Guest
Rose

Hard to say which was thee best, but I helped three the four show’s ratings. It was all must see for me from Victor’s trial, Quinn and Liam, to Tracy/Doc Finn/Griffin/Anna/Emma. Nothing disappointed. Good stuff!

su0000
Guest
su0000

After being a very staunch GH fan, I now am really enjoying Y&R..
Y&R has become awesome!

I watch GH and Y&R before bed, falling asleep..
A decade of watching both GH & Y&R, I use to watch GH first, then after, to calm me down and put me to sleep I would watch Y&R last..
One good thing; Y&R under J&D was my sleepy lullaby, now GH has taken my lullaby slot..

I really feel sad seeing my loved GH become junk tv 🙁
ohh well, Y&R is here for years to come..

Nanci
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Nanci

Lol. Lullaby slot.
Know what you mean.
I still now and then peek at GH, but every single time it is a huge bore,

Alan
Guest
Alan

I’m as surprised as anyone to say this but Y&R has been the best of the four soaps for a while now. It’s far from the Bill Bell glory days but it’s somewhat entertaining at least 50% of the time. I know it’s a common theory that viewers have short attention spans in this age of YouTube and Vine videos but soaps have a unique format that allows them the luxury of playing out all the emotional beats of a story to draw viewers in — something none of the four remaining shows do these days (and something Y&R used… Read more »

Phil
Guest
Phil

See, I don’t think Ron took the focus off the mob…not that I was complaining. I like the mob stuff… Ron did make the show in your face exciting though. I sort of miss that. I am still not convinced we have heard the whole story about Hayden yet!

Sheila
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Sheila

Worms in the head right out of Grey’s and not even a close second.

Ces
Guest
Ces

I dont hate the mob stuff or Sonny. What I dislike is how large this cast is and why new characters keep coming onboard. They made a BIG deal @ Genie signing a new contract and yet she doesn’t even have a story! Also, as I have said before, it is hard to care or get involved in a storyline when it isnt played out correctly. I do agree @ that Hayden story being a huge waste of time. rachel who? And who cares? Nick was so mad @ Britt for betraying him so hard to believe he’d marry someone… Read more »

Ellen
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Ellen

I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for writing that.

Matilda
Guest
Matilda

The ratings for OLTL only surpassed GH starting in April of 2011, right after the announcement that it was being cancelled. It happened at exactly that time. Until that time, the days and weeks leading up to that announcement, GH led OLTL in all demos and total viewers, by a lot. People came back to OLTL to say goodbye, which is understandable.

Nanci
Guest
Nanci

I feel the same about cutting cast for Y and R, the only soap I watch. So many
new characters over the last couple of years leaves me feeling unable to invest
fully in some characters or storylines as they are left hanging sometimes before
being seen again. But I still love the soap overall.
And so happy for Y and R’s great ratings!

Harry
Guest
Harry

Well, I am happy to see Tracy in a storyline which does not revolve around Luke thereby making this fascinating and intelligent woman look like a fool. I love her relationship with Monica because it’s real and because it’s predicated upon a complex and rocky history. But for the love of GOD! Please stop having Sonny on every damn day! He is everywhere it seems. You’re watching Anna (who even on a bad day, is interesting and riveting) the door bell rings and in walks Sonny! HELLO! and THUD! I swear, Sonny is the shorter half of Lenny and Squiggy.

Shay
Guest
Shay

@Harry….Here, here, and especially on the subject of Tracy and Monica’s “complex and rocky history,” why on earth were we not treated to a montage of their many fractious moments of the past? It would have been a perfect capper for the emotional scenes those two just played together, and there is an absolute treasure trove of material that could have been mined for just that purpose. Same for the Laura and Scotty situation as it pertained to Helena’s reference to their early days together. Both of these recent examples lent themselves to the use of flashbacks….and they could have… Read more »

Shay
Guest
Shay

@Harry….P.S. Schlemiel! Schlimazal! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!!!!!

Harry
Guest
Harry

Shay, you always get me. You also always get my vague frame of reference.
This should scare you.

Shay
Guest
Shay

Scared? Not at all, Harry! I blame Nick at Nite and all the subsequent retro tv stations that have followed….watching their programming has been like a pop-cultural primer….akin to a surreal “you were there” experience. Ditto for all the old movie channels, not to mention my classes in film/mass media history.

damien
Guest
damien

if y n r is doing so well why is it looking like days was two years ago when there were three sets, the bushes, the square and the coffee shop!?
days looks great again but now y n r looks like its on a tight set budget…. everything takes place at that huge and empty newman tower bar, gcac , crimson lights and the hospital!!!
y n r may be on top but the sets dont reflect it…..

Nanci
Guest
Nanci

Good point. I guess it is a budget issue, but I would love to see more
sets, and more homes in particular. Avery had such a cute house! But
no home for Devon and Hilary, or Abby and Ben, etc, etc. Where do
these people sleep at night?

chuck
Guest
chuck

Exactly, neither does the writting. Pratt ahs done this Before where you think he is down and Out but he always seems to make a small come back every so often But then he falls flat on his face like he does many times before. They may have “gained” those viewers They lost but their demos are still not reflecting it, They made small gains but still Lost viewers so it’s a 50/50 split.

Tina
Guest
Tina

I feel like GH is in a creative crisis but i do think they are trying to please fans. Days is dark and sad. It’s unstable and half the time I’m not sure they are even trying.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

The soap I think needs fixing is Days. I am not loving this new approach where one episode only deals with one or two characters at a time so that is takes weeks for one night in Salem time to pass before all the characters get their kick at the can. It isn’t slow because the pacing of each show is fine, but it takes days to get back to other characters that sometimes I forget what happened before they get back to the other story lines after focusing solely on one for almost the whole week sometimes. I would… Read more »

Dan
Guest
Dan

To borrow a line from Miss Su, ratings go up, ratings go down, as long as you’re enjoying a show, that’s all that matters. And I am personally enjoying GH right now, regardless of what the ratings might say. I’ll leave it to the people at ABC to concern themselves with the ratings.

Kevin
Guest
Kevin

Great to hear the ratings are up for Young&Restless. It hasn’t been this consistently watchable day in/day out since the Catherine/Jill paternity reveal years ago. Even better news, the potential right now for so many great stories! The ratings increase reflects the interest and curiosity in the truly unpredictable direction (FINALLY)!! Nobody does it better…

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

The only show that I watch is General Hospital and as a viewer, all I can say is what I feel GH needs to gain viewers. That show is filled with amazing talent, but they have characters that are going nowhere. What’s missing is character development…they write snippets only to tell the story they are trying to get out there, but relationships and friendships are never developed. Just when I find myself beginning to get into a story, it’s dropped or changed into something else. I completely hated ( I know..strong word) the Elizabeth and Jason storyline. They fell in… Read more »

Ces
Guest
Ces

With exception to Sam & Jason (who were wasted the first year of this story), I have to agree with you on the rest. Actually, backpedaling a bit, I really liked Sam & Patrick until they brought on Jason. Too much talent, too large a cast, not enough time to tell the stories and develop characters. Several characters need to go …. good actors, horrible characters (Hayden, Franco, Valerie, Nina, Dillon, Paul) these characters are not interesting at all. I don’t invest them because I don’t care about them. And by all means GH, quit bringing more on!!! And for… Read more »

Rose
Guest
Rose

Lisa…Agree about the loose ends, and going nowhere stories that never get resolved. But getting to character development, I wonder if it also has something to do with a lot of people not being brought up on, or just loosing face-to-face conversations anymore, and using tech to communicate for most everything, like dating. Takes away some of the humanity of building real relationships. This probably spills out onto the writers. I like how several commentors remembered the kitchen table /over coffee from OLTL for instance.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Lisa, I agree with the entire contents of your post. I think GH needs to focus on the core characters and cut out the fat. There were way too many new characters swiftly integrated into the fabric of the show without really having them connected to the core families. We watched Nina and Franco interact in their cold apartment for months on end without ever seeing them interact with the other characters. They were an island unto themselves and you know what John Donne says about that. And yes, Stafford has made some puzzling acting choices with her approach to… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Oh Harry…I completely agree with you! The stories are too quick, too fast and doesn’t give us a chance to care about the story. On the other hand, the dragged out stories are dull and completely uninteresting to me. The romance in GH doesn’t even exist…oh how I miss that.

Dylan
Guest
Dylan

I said it…make Victor pay for his crimes, and watch the ratings rise. And that’s exactly what happened!

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

So right you are, Dylan.
I wish I knew what’s going on in Ian’s mind. What are the chances he and Victor will conspire together to make a run for it?

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences were asked… at the very least… bare minimum…. they will put the acceptance speeches ON THE INTERNET

HEADS UP…. I read this in the latest SOD issue ???

can any one confirm this?

whew ! LOL… I’ll take this !!!!!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

the reason I’m sure I read this right

NATAS has to record this show… so it goes in their RECORDS… ANNULS

etc…

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

brain freeze… disregard ANNULS

I was “perusing” the article in the latest SOD issue… at the grocery store… So I can’t verify matter of fact…

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Enough bitching and complaining about Victor always winning! First off, he FINALLY lost! Secondly HE is the ONLY reason Y&R’s numbers exploded! Enjoy the Stache, he is a legend!

Harry
Guest
Harry

I agree, Timm! Victor is a fascinating character and whatever they are paying him, it’s not enough.
I am also incredulous that Eric B did not receive an Emmy nomination.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

When he literally held court IN court, Emmy worthy, for sure!

Harry
Guest
Harry

and his brilliant recitation of “A Road Less Traveled” was some magical stuff and reminded me of the old glory days of soaps when characters recited poetry by Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning or quoted Shakespeare/

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

GH is flat lining because Nathan is snooze worthy in EVERY scene he is in, they NEVER committed to a “Jason” personality, the Crimson office stuff is ridiculous, that black guy who just helped himself to a bed at Windamere is creepy and annoying and Freako and Nina suck! Break them up and let them TRY and connect with another character. Both actors are VERY talented! What does show promise is Griff, Finn, Sonny and Anna, Ned, Tracy, Monica and Nick getting his butt kicked AGAIN! Also what I hope for is for the Prince to admit he is overwhelmed… Read more »

Ces
Guest
Ces

lol!! I actually think Franco & Liz are good and if that doesn’t work, then sorry RH needs to go. I can’t stand Nina and Franco together. She still has cuckoo in her eyes!

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Oh yes. I agree that there is definitely chemistry between Liz and Franco. RH is so cool, but Nina? Seriously?? I do like Griffen, Scottie, Finn and Tracy (great scene when she touched his cheek), Alexis and Krisrina. Morgan is killing it in every scene he’s in and I also love Nicholas but definitely not with Hayden. I was very happy to see Monica and Tracy along with Ned. I love the Quartermaine family! I was glad they are replacing the actor that played Jake…he needed to go. Also on the chopping block in my opinion..Nina, Valerie, Hayden, Sam, Jason,… Read more »

Ces
Guest
Ces

haha Lisa, I’ll forgive you for putting Sam & Jason on the chopping block. I think GH really screwed up their story with a year’s worth of Liz/Jason in the mix. Sam or Liz? I mean, that’s a no brainer! IMHO
I can tolerate Liz if she’s with Franco but yeah, Nina is just not working despite how GH wants to spin it. Time to test the waters ….
I totally agree about Jake!! If they can hire smart GOOD actors like Nicholas and Brooklyn, then they can find a decent Jake that doesn’t look/act like a robot.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Curtis – did – help… Nina, in verifying that it is in fact Julian who is snowballing “Crimson” so i’ll give him, that you can’t not agree… Julian in just that scene… with Nina going at him… about his doublecross… Julian is ALIVE… I like this man again Nina may as well …. LIVE Nina ! she’s only had… two men in her life ??? Silas and Franco ???? Hello you have a hottie on the line… nice fishing GH simply has to do some damage control… and attempt to give Franco a new lease on life… separate him from… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Franco and Liz=FIZ! Thats a sign Patrick!

Becky
Guest
Becky

I’m sure that Victors trial brought in lots of viewers, however, I feel that ex All My Children’s Michael E. Knight had something to do with Y&R’s ratings going up too. That’s why I watch Y&R. If Michael wasn’t there, I would turn it off.

Mika
Guest
Mika

Charles Pratt obviously has the magic it takes to tell stories people are drawn to.

I may be in the minority but I am enjoying GH since the writing change. Seems like more dialogue and character driven. Think Griffin was a great find for GH.

Dino
Guest
Dino

Y&R is on fire, that is terrific news. I want all the soaps, to do well. Days ratings are falling again, but they need to turn it around. I still watch Days, but I am bored with there storylines. Hopefully Days gets better. I love GH TOO.

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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