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RATINGS: Y&R Scores Largest Weekly Audience Since Late March! GH Up In All Demos and Total Viewers!

Courtesy/CBS

Courtesy/CBS

The ratings are out for the week of September 8th through the 12th, and Shemar Moore’s (Malcolm) two-day return visit and the fallout from the Mariah (Camryn Grimes) reveal landed The Young and the Restless its largest weekly audience and best women 18-49  key demo rating since March 28th.

That is the number one soap’s best showing in 19 weeks! Y&R averaged 4.70 million viewers (up +3% from the prior week), 1.3/09 in women 18-49 (up +8%) and 2.0/13 in women 25-54 (up +5%).

General Hospital scored well during the ratings period too, up in all demos and in total viewers! The ABC soap was back up over 3 million for the ratings week with 3,003,000 as its tally.  And in the key demos,  GH was up in all categories: Women 18-49 (+24K), Women 18-34 (+1K) and Women 25-54 (+34K).

Days of our Lives also added viewers for the week adding +33,000 finally bringing the NBC soap opera back to 2,500,000.   DAYS was also up in the 18-34 demo adding +11,000 to its tally.   The only soap for the ratings week to lose total viewers was CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful, while still firmly in second place amongst the four network soaps.  However, they were only down slightly – 10,000 for the ratings period.  You can view the entire ratings picture via SON here!

So, time to be our Soap Opera Programming Executive Armchair Quarterback! What is enticing you to watch you favorite soap? What is driving you away? What would you like to see more of?  Who are you happy with that is lighting up your daytime screens?  Weigh-in below!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

All three:GH, Days, and Y&R have shown improvement storywise…now lets not abandon any soap even when they disapointed…lets continue to show the networks they are wrong and long live our soaps…at least for a few more years…lol

David
Guest
David

I agree with you jim, we need to support the 4 soaps left. Days of our lives, General hospital and the Young and The Restless are on fire now. I watch all my soaps on youtube now. I love reading all your comments jim, mostly I agree with them, some not. I read some where online, that Erica slezak could come to young and the restless as Dina Abbott mergeron. Its just a rumour right now, I hope its true. I miss Erika so much.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

It would be great to see ES on any daytime soap…miss her too!!!

j
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j

Her and Peter Bergman are practically the same age.

David
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David

I totally agree with you jim, hopefully the rumour is true. I love erika, what a wonderful actress and classy, sassy lady.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Yeah, j. Peter and Erika are close in age. So are DePaiva and Shaughnessy on DOOL….the latter plays her father. So, anything goes. The thing is Erika looks great for her age, so it wouldn’t work. Fortunately, Kassie doesn’t look a day over 40. Also, Shaughnessy hardly makes an appearance, so one never sees them together. I can only hope I’ll maintain my youth into my fifties and sixties as they seem to have been. Lol
But, be that as it may, I would love for the role of Dina to be reprised.

Harry
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Harry

I miss Erika too. I love, love, love that rumor and hope to see it come to its fruition. The shadow of Pratt makes me worried, however.

Harry
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Harry

There are certain actors who looked middle age when they were in their late twenties. I call it the Gene Hackman syndrome. The good thing about this is that they are ageless. Erika Slezak looked about 45 to 50 when she was thirty. Now that she’s in her late sixties, she still looks about 45 to 50. I think she is so talented she could make it work as Dina. However, I would rather she play Katherine’s long lost little sister coming home to claim what is hers. I’d like to see her go head to head with Jill.

Barbara from Atlanta
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Barbara from Atlanta

Slezak is fine. However, I would rather see Elizabeth Hubbard take on the role of Dina Abbott Mergeron. With the demise of ATWT, this is one viewer that sorely misses her on a soap.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Erika looks great for her age…68. I’d say she looks that…maybe early 60s. Forties/Fifties? Not even close. I think years ago…she might have passed for what then looked fifty. Not in today’s world.

Harry
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Harry

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Erika playing Dina. It’s too bad they had to kill off John Abbott as she would be terrific in scenes with involving him. Wouldn’t they make a fetching couple? I will settle for Dina interacting with John the ghost. I like John the ghost. He’s kind, he listens intently and he dresses well.

Charday
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Charday

Loved all the mulitple GH storylines at Crichton Clark the several weeks, but most everything else going on was nothing but filler.

Timmm
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Timmm

M-T-W at Crichton Clark were great. T & F’s shows were all filler. No cliffhanger whatsoever for Monday!

Mark
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Mark

Days has been dull lately but still better than the others although I am loving Y&R sad that Pratt guy is coming to town!!!

Engrady Pind
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Engrady Pind

Is see that GH viewership was up. You can be sure that it had absolutely NOTHING to do with Sonny and Carly et al, and had EVERYTHING to do with the hostages and the possibility of seeing the new Jason (which didn’t happen).

Timmm
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Timmm

I dont think we get to see new Jason until the end of October?

Ruby S
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Ruby S

A drive-by stunt casting of Shemar Moore on Y&R doesn’t sustain any big momentum for the show’s ratings. Obviously, the show’s internal research established the show was on a slippery slope downward. That’s why JFP just fired her second group of head writers in less than a year. Now Chuckie Pratt will take over….God help Y&R. I’ll bet next week’s Y&R numbers are down, substantially down.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Ah, Ruby…please don’t rain on my parade!!

Lew S.
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Lew S.

CeeCee, I agree.

Mark Y
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Mark Y

Hopefully the viewers who tuned in for Shemar’s
appearance will stick around because they are interested in the other ditties being told

Harry
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Harry

I think it’s the Sharon-Nicholas and Mariah dynamic which is causing the ratings to rise. Also, the return of Phyllis has already provided some really interesting entertainment. The writing has improved.

robert
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robert

Not surprised Y&R went up. People probably tuned in to see Meredith Baxter’s debut, and Shemar Moore’s return. This was also tGH’s first week in it’s new timeslot. This is a good sign soaps are gaining viewers heading into the fall. Also interesting to see what Y&R’s new head writer can do.

Timmm
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Timmm

I really dont think MBB would draw any new viewers. She is great but we’ll see how they write her. Do they dare have Nikki fall in love with Maureen?

CeeCee
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CeeCee

I hope that happens. Only another woman can get to the heart and soul that is Nikki. Victor humors her like he would a child…so patronizing, as only Victor could be. This would be a great storyline, IMO. But, as you say, Timmm…would they go there?!

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

I suggested a lesbian affair between Nikki and Maureen as soon as we learned of Meredith Baxter’s role as Nikki’s booze buddy. First the drinks followed by the YackeR sessions and holding hands and more vodka and hugs then friendly kisses and more vodka and YawneR after YawneR with googly eyes and finally a stolen kiss and more vodka due to the confusion!

You have to be careful though. Some people get angry over such suggestions.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

You are sooo right,4ever. There are still those who get bent -out -of -shape by the mere mention of the word homosexuality. We discuss heterosexuality and all its trimmings , so why not homosexuality? Unfortunately, as you say, people do become angry and also turned off.
But, man…what a plot twist a lesbian affair would be….so there Victor !!! LOL.

CeeCee
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CeeCee

I am not surprised. Y&R is finally looking like the kind of show I am used to watching……great character role playing with many twists and surprises. And, of course, Shemar Moore was an enormous plus…LOVE HIM !!!!
Nina’s awakening culminated it for me….Gina was great….anticipating the ‘mostest’ from her….can’t wait…kudos, Y&R….yeeeessss !!!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
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jimh(leave it to beaver)

Gina didnt awaken as Nina…she’s NuPhylis…Gina shouldv’e been Nina on GH but Michelle Stafford who was Phylis at Y&R is now Nina on GH…had MS stayed at Y&R as Phylis, i bet GT wouldv’e played Nina on GH instead of Phylis at Y&R…lol

CeeCee
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CeeCee

Oops, jimh. I got a little confused there. But, I bet you knew what I mesnt, right?…….right? ….LOL

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

but with old Phylis awakening from a coma on GH as Nina and now GT as NuPhylis just awakening from a coma at Y&R i can understand the confusion…lol

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Of course i knew what you meant…how else would i know to correct you…lol

jeremy
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jeremy

Loving my “GH“ 🙂

su0000
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su0000

Y&R needed a ”gimmick” Shemar Moore to get a lift in numbers..
but.. whatever works works .. good move ..

General Hospital is the true #1 soap, numbers be damned ..

Numbers have meaning to the sponsors but to the fans their soap is the best even if only with 20 viewers, it still is the best.. and the numbers going up and down makes no difference to the fan/viewer, they just happily watch 🙂
ALL of the 4 soaps are #1 to their fans..

Showing the rating number puts the soaps in competition lol goofy stuff ..

long live the soaps !!!

Harry
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Harry

You write all this negativity attempting to rain on people’s parades which is fine–just own it. But then you follow with “long live the soaps” and a smiley face…………………………

Oh, that makes it okay then.

Aria
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Aria

Happy GH is up and happy seeing Anna in action. Glad the stories with all those unfrozen villains didn’t last forever. Want more Anna, Liz , Jordan , Tracy in their respective stories. Liking Rosalie, Nina is a hoot, and Ava too. Not into anything with Sam at the moment need a break from her and Carly. Sabrina as cray cray also boring. Patrick horny for Sam yucky! Sonny horny period yucky!!! Can’t wait to see billy miller, yummy!!! Hope his Jason gets with Liz because prince nikolas loss his charm, talk about dense!! Fluke needs to get back so… Read more »

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Funny post. I have pretty much given up on GH because GH has pretty much given up on Laura…………………………

Harry
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Harry

Think of Laura, left home, but I know she wanted it that way.
Hey Laura, where are you now? Someone ought to write a song.

But seriously, I miss Laura too, and with the Fluke situation it seems imperative that Luke’s angel come back. I realize you can’t go home again but you can visit from time to time.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Um, nope, she did NOT want it that way…. if you’re referring to Genie that is. That is corporate spin, completely.

Harry
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Harry

Elizabeth, those are the lyrics to the Christopher Cross song entitled “Think of Laura.” It was actually written for Laura after she disappeared into the fog on the pier that fateful night back in 81.
I was making a joke! I thought fellow GH soap fans would get my frame of reference.

Harry
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Harry

PS. Elizabeth: I do love that you defended Laura, however. I cannot see Fluke and the real Luke coming back without her. She was always such an integral part of who he was and is as a character.
After I spoke of that Christopher Cross song, I looked up “Think of Laura” on Youtube and various Laura videos popped up in accordance to that song. If you’re as sappy as I am about Luke and Laura, you might get verklempt if you watch. I miss Laura.

brian
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brian

to harry… Christopher Cross did for his second lp back 1983 “Think of Laura”

Harry
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Harry

Thank you Brian. I realized my mistake after posting. I was also wrong when I said the song was played during the time Laura disappeared into the fog. It was later played just around the time Mayor Spencer saw Laura on the lawn from the balcony of the mayor’s mansion. GREAT moment. I was about 19 when that scene played and I was working at Macys while a college undergraduate. This is before the DVR and I didn’t own a VCR. I had to work the day Laura came back. So, when GH aired at two o’clock I went up… Read more »

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Not surprise about B&B — having to endure another round of who will Hope pick only to change her mind again, put me in soap hell once again. The only semi interesting thing on that show right now is Ridge and Caroline relationship– yes I see yet another triangle coming down the road, this time with Ridge /Rick/ Caroline– but those scenes where he was drawing with her, guiding her hands, — damn that was sexy The D in Days stands for disappointing. Eve isn’t what I hoped for, neither is Jordan, Ben and Clive. Theresa has just become annoying… Read more »

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

GH was the best this week…especially with its very explosive episode!!!…lol

su0000
Guest
su0000

WHOOT WHOOT!! GH!!
the best of the best #1 for great fun, suspense, surprises and thrills!!
Never a boring moment..
the past week was AWESOME!! .. unique !! BANG!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Me thinks Jordan’s secret on Days is that she was a prostitute and stepdaddy Clyde was her pimp(i know its been done here before…lol)…Eve is a let down…Like Kassie but she shouldv’e not played Eve…her and Paige still couldve been related to the Bradys…maybe Caroline had a sister and Kassie was her daughter named Viki?…or she couldve played Amanda Howard(played by the late Mary Fran)…Paige’s her daughter after a brief fling with Frankie…maybe she couldve been even briefly married to Jack off screen…as Eve she needs a different storyline…Bev tried to break up J.J. and Paige and this only seems… Read more »

CeeCee
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CeeCee

What a fertile brain you have, jimh. You really do make a lot of sense…I never tire reading your posts.

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

Definitely agree with you about Kassie De Paiva’s character. Somehow its too one dimensional right off the bat. LOVE the shout out to Mary Fran, Amanda Howard was one of my absolute favorites – especially with Neil Curtis right when I started watching Days as a teenager. Still think their chemistry was the greatest. Can’t see KDP as her though – way too young…

Harry
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Harry

Whoot Whoot?

Oh, I am sooooo not a Whoot person.

k/kay
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k/kay

Hold the phone! Y&R is still the best. In other words it is simply the best better then all the rest! Deal with it. Lol I refuse to fold into politics let the chips fall where they may. But for me gh is slapstick. It will be the first to go down in flames.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

k/kay — if everything I am reading about the new Head Writer on Y&R is true– will Y&R be turned into another GH? I am like a mother I have room in my heart for all four soaps– each with their unique strengths and weaknesses, but Y&R is like my first born– I have a special fondness for it and as you know pretty much will watch whatever they give me– but hope it will stay classy— so should I expecting vampires in GC, or will Mr. Pratt continue more along the lines of MAB?

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Don’t have a clue what Pratt will do. Y&R for me was beginning to turn around why JFP brought him in I do not know if it becomes unwatchable again for me I won’t watch. I refuse to get my panties in a bunch anymore over the soaps. I will always wish them the best all remaining four but if nothing interests me I simply do not watch. Life is too short to complain and spew out negative remarks as I have done in the past. I am turning over a new chapter in my life only positive thoughts always.… Read more »

Harry
Guest
Harry

Kay, I am tired of these rash decisions. David Tom was finding his sea legs as Billy–he was becoming Billy on his own terms. And then he was abruptly fired and his replacement was just baffling to me.
Maybe Pratt will surprise us. Maybe he learned from his mistakes. It’s pretty to think so anyway.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

k/kay– that is a wise and sensible approach to soap watching and pretty much life itself. The reason I asked you about Mr. Pratt is I know in the past you sometimes have an inside scoop and I just wanted to prepare myself as to what to expect. Since I have been on this site I have come respect your opinions and insights on the soaps especially Y&R— so good luck with the new leaf and God bless

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Mary I do not really know much about Pratt I do know that Susan Lucci in her book states he was pretty awful and did not care about the history of the characters. But to be honest with you I did not think MAB or LML stayed on point with them. I am not a big fan of JFP as you know but I feel here lately she and the writers were trying to rectify that. I was shocked that she brought Pratt in. I refuse to believe that JFP would try to get Y&R cancelled would that not put… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

I agree with some; GH is the true number one soap!

Harry
Guest
Harry

I don’t agree. It had one decent day out of two hundred days. The story telling is disjointed, badly paced, fragmented and not character based. The bloated cast only makes things worse. Moreover, every story is isolated from the other–there is no sense of community anymore tying in the characters to each other.
John Donne wrote,”No man is an island.” Well, of course unless he lives in Port Charles under Ron.

brenda
Guest
brenda

Days and BB just aren’t pulling me in. I think they announced AS leaving too soon. Now I just don’t care, get it over with and let’s move on. Don’t really care about Ejami. I’m really sick of the Liam/Hope/Wyatt triangle on BB so much so that I took a break from watching. I have watched BB since day one but it is so repetitious I just can’t.

Dan
Guest
Dan

Awesome to see GH hit the 3 million mark for the first time in a while!! So much for all the hand wringing that some people were doing over the timeslot change, and how that was the beginning of the end for the show, lol. I’m sure the increase has to do with all the drama and action at the clinic, with the kidnapping of Maxie and Lulu, the return of The Cassadines, the intrigue over Jason etc, which came to a climax this past week, and was some of the most exciting shows they’ve done in quite a while,… Read more »

Brett Bradley-Howarth
Guest
Brett Bradley-Howarth

I could stop watching B&B for a year and miss nothing, I’d tune back in and there would be Liam and Hope….

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Y&R is finding its groove again. Telling stories and building characters. GH is GH again. Its about shock factor and over the top characters. Its all in what you look for in being entertained. I love them both. I think Days would be the first to go. GH to follow only because Y&R and Bold are on CBS and they have had better support from their networks throughout the years. Keep watching and keep ALL four!

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

A BIG shout out to whoever brought Shemar Moore back because we as loyal viewers got to erase that awful recast from our minds. Baby Girl it was worth it! 🙂

CeeCee
Guest
CeeCee

I will always follow Shemar…wherever he goes, I go. Next to my husband, of course, Shemar and now Ryan P. do it for me.
As far as negativity, I am with you, k/Kay. I am just positively enthralled that we do have these remaining soaps…and I do complain now and then. But, I will join your positive thoughts and keep the complaints ( observations) to a minimum. Life is too short is right, and I want my kids to grow up in a positive atmosphere….always.

Allen Saint James
Guest
Allen Saint James

General Hospital played up in its classic action/adventure with the whole Cassadine Saga. Great to see Anna in action, the wsb involved the Jones and Spencer offspring living up to their parents legacy, and oh Ryan Paevy is becoming the best addition the soap has had in a very long time. Mystery intrigue danger villiany heroism romance disaster secrets… Thats GENERAL HOSPITAL

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Allen Saint James, I agree with you about Ryan Paevey being the best casting GH has done in a very long time, til Billy Miller. IMO. Even though Paevey doesn’t have much acting experience & some think he’s still wooden, he has actually loosened up a lot and IMO, he is always believable. This is new to him yet he doesn’t forget his lines like another newbie, sorry Sabrina. IMO she stumbles over her lines in almost every scene. She’s pretty, but she seems to be getting worse, not better. Paevey have a really strong presence & an ease about… Read more »

Sam
Guest
Sam

Just a reminder Y&R, and days air in way more countries than gh, so the numbers are a bit unfair, if it went strictly by America Gh would win.

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

I’m pretty sure these ratings are for the week of the time slot change for GH, NOT the week of the Cassadines & the adventures at Crichton-Clark. Those come out in a few more days. I love that all the soaps are climbing or steady. No idea how B&B is ahead of anyone, let alone GH, since it’s running on 1 storyline & it’s a doozie. I don’t understand anyone’s thinking in this. The heroine is choosing between 2 brothers (think this has been going on for months), even though 1 of them is the love of her life. Others… Read more »

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

These ratings were for the week of the time slot change for GH, not the Cassadine hijinks, but ratings are up so I’m now dying to see the next ratings! I’d be STUNNED if GH doesn’t continue to climb. Those were the most amazing set of shows I’ve seen in YEARS on GH! I’m finally getting used to Cartini and staring to relax. Love the pace, the shocks, the thrills, the humor and the boldness of these writers. There is no line drawn that they haven’t tried to cross. Love Patrick & Sam bonding no matter where it goes. He… Read more »

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.

 

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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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