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REPORT: Judi Evans and Wally Kurth Dropped To Recurring Status On DAYS!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto..com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto..com

After Days of our Lives fans were thrilled that both long time favorites: Wally Kurth (Justin) and Judi Evans  (Adrienne) were put back on contract with the NBC soap opera, comes a report from About.com, that the duo were told on Monday that were being taken off-contract and dropped to recurring status!

This is suprising because it was a move that originally took Kurth away from General Hospital were he has always been beloved as Ned Ashton.  Back in March of 2015, Kurth tweeted: “Hey all, guess I should confirm. I did sign a contract with #Days. Which will require me to leave #GH. It’s bittersweet. I can’t do both.”

While there has been no official confirmation from DAYS, nor from Kurth or Evans, some fans seemed to clue-in on a post from Judi Evans on her  official facebook page.

Evans post contained what some felt was a cryptic note intimating that she still has her other job, “So grateful to work at Rose Hills…..”   Rose Hills is the mortuary and memorial park , Evans has been working at for several years.

During our latest Day of DAYS interview with Wally Kurth and James Reynolds (Abe), On-Air On-Soaps and Kurth even dished about bringing Ned back to GH while he was at DAYS,  you can watch that video after the jump!

So, are you sad to learn that Judi and Wally seem to have been taken off-contract? Was this the right or wrong move by the DAYS powers-that-be? Do you hope Wally goes back to GH?  Comment below!

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Mo
Guest
Mo

Bad move Days. Put Adrienne and Justin back together!!!!

Timmm
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Timmm

Did it ever occur to Wally to say F recurring, I’m going back to GH and help mom recover ELQ?

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

Hahaha—I am so with you on this, Timmm—I preferred him on GH than DAYS in the first place although I have always loved Judi Evans. Maybe he can go back to GH and take her with him as a new character. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in Port Charles.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Must have been a jarring moment for Wally Kurth. I was looking for a rekindling of the magic and romance between his character and Adrienne as in Days of old.
Too bad. TPTB missed a great opportunity. Judy is irrepressible (and they’ve held her down) and Wally Kurth remains a great actor–come back to GH, Wally. Maybe you could be Laura’s new romance (if they don’t take my first suggestion and put Laura with James Read).

Iakovos
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Iakovos

Not great news here, I must say. Very engaging actors and characters.

Reagan
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Reagan

Yeah… In some ways I’m not surprised with all the additions and with Sonny off canvas. But I was really hoping they would bring one of Justin & Adrain’s other sons on canvas.

Chris
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Chris

What is it with these writers? Newer viewers who started watching a few years ago are loosing all the characters they love. They Killed Will, Sonny left, Paige killed, Daniel soon to be killed, T gone, Eric going. The new faces they are bringing in we have no idea who they are or how they relate. I’m all for some change but they are going over board.

Ces
Guest
Ces

no one is interested in teen storylines and this group aren’t exactly a group I want to watch.
Days is on a killing spree…. let’s see, Peter Reckell brought me back to the show after it became the Sami hour a few years ago, and now who knows how long I will last this go around.

Linda
Guest
Linda

AGREE, I only watch if I check to see if Judi will be on…What happened to Lucas? Tired of the teen crap, and tired of Days killing of actors. Days is trying to get to the younger crowd. What happened to fans that have been watching for years? That’s why they are still on tv today, because of us.

Daisy
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Daisy

I’ve been watching Days since OLTL canceled and you have expressed my feelings perfectly. I’m so ready to say good-bye to this show!

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

I guess contracts are meant to be broken…

LeeAnn
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LeeAnn

Didn’t Days just resign him in like Oct and already letting him go? Why bother in the first place? Stupid show.

Mo
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Mo

When is Steve going to see his sister????!!!!

mrsnoahdrake
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mrsnoahdrake

I have been wondering the same thing! Ridiculous!

Linda
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Linda

I know right? He has been there for a couple of months now, and they haven’t seen each other? This is crazy. They are going to lose a lot of fans.

LeeAnn
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LeeAnn

I have been wondering that for a while. Adrienne was going to tell Steve about their Mom’s cancer scare and her possible one and yet nothing.. what the heck? It has been almost 2 months since Will’s death so at least that long since she said she would tell Steve. Apparently it isn’t that important and Kayla knows all about it. Or did I miss someone telling him?

Jay Keaveny
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Jay Keaveny

Another huge mistake

Elite Advisors
Guest
Elite Advisors

“How to dismantle DOOL 101″….People are running out of there in droves…. With Adrienne and Justin, the writing was on the wall…Justin you should haul A back to GH as Olivia’s love interest…. So whats the count? Willl, Bo, Paige, Melanie, Serena, Daniel, Eve, Eric,Sammy and EJ ( huge loss..although I was really hoping that would recast EJ with Jason Thompson!!) you know Nicole is going next..there is not story for her… I think come March, this will be a completely new soap….and not for the betterment in my opinion. Remember Steve is not on contract, just hanging around for… Read more »

Melissa
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Melissa

I’m not a regular viewer of Days, but this does seem to be yet another example of the fickleness that goes into casting and contract decisions by the networks. Why get rid of established, popular favorites? Why bring on new faces nobody cares about at the expense of actors and characters that have a rich history with the show? Is it yet another futile attempt to capture younger viewers. What makes this especially infuriating for me, as a GH fan, is that we lost months of possible work by Wally Kurth as Ned because he was offered a contract at… Read more »

KansasGuest
Guest
KansasGuest

There are very few male characters over 45 at GH now to hold their own against Laura, Finola, Ava, Olivia, Tracy, Carly, Alexis, Nina & Bobbie. There are just 5 men that I can think of in the right age-range for all these ladies – Sonny, Julian, Paul Hornsby, Franco, and Scott – and at last count, only Scott was really available. Yes, Ned is absolutely necessary to balance the male/female ratio, and he’s critical in re-establishing the Q’s and a sense of humor back at GH.

Ces
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Ces

I hope GH offers Wally a contract this time around too.

Lou Piikes
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Lou Piikes

What for??? Days didn’t need WK on contract and I highly doubt another soap will snatch him up. It’s just the reality of the situation.

rebecca1
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rebecca1

Great post Melissa. I agree with you and really hope Wally reprises Ned once again.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

There’s no pain here because Wally worked alot of DAYS while recurring. There will be six more months of Wally’s contractual DAYS.

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

OF course im disappointed they are recurring…good actors in diminished roles…maybe Ned can show up more at GH…i know the show needs younger characters for future generations if they are to continue but this group of young performers dont show much promise…and by the way where is Lucas…he hasnt been around lately, especially after the death of his cousins husband!

Debbie Riffe
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Debbie Riffe

They shouldn’t “toy” with them like that!!

su0000
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su0000

They are not ”toying” it’s business.. In the U.S. soap opera industry, actors billed as recurring status are paid a certain sum for each episode in which they appear. Conversely, actors on contract are paid a flat fee over a timeframe—often multi-year. Recurring performers consistently perform in less than three episodes out of a five-day work week whereas contract roles are guaranteed to appear in a certain number of episodes each week.[1] Actors on contract are also committed to working for the show and cannot leave until the contract has expired; recurring roles allow actors to take other jobs. Contract… Read more »

eventsdiva28
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eventsdiva28

WOW! Interesting stuff! Now, who may I ask, (if you know) is the highest paid soap actor today?

su0000
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su0000

Dunno, but– ”New daytime soap performers on an average earn about $700.00 per episode. These new actors would be paid only for episodes they are in so depending on their part, they may only work one or two days a week. Like a lot of jobs, the longer they are on a show the more they will generally make. Once an actor has been on a show a while they could be looking at more like $1500 dollars an episode in compensation. Soap actors that have been in the business from 5 to 10 years salaries generally are between $1500… Read more »

Mike
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Mike

This is disappointing. Justin’s potential relationship with Eve (which we know won’t go anywhere) and Adrienne’s relationship with Lucas were two of the more interesting relationships developing on the show. After all this build up about favorites returning, it seems like the show is falling right back into old patterns that we’ve all seen before – bring back all the old characters, give them some stories, get the audience back, then drop the older characters to recurring or completely off the canvas, and fill the canvas with newbies. And newbies aren’t necessarily bad, but we REALLY have seen this pattern… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

GREAT post

this is going to – hurt – on so man levels

what the expletive is going on ?

Wally Kurth and Kassie DePaiva ???? marginalized? ! ? ! two of your BEST!
Judi Evans and Brian Dattillo ???? marginalized? ! ? ! two of your bEST!

DAYS ! get rid of Daniel, Nicole, Jennifer and possibly Brady

Justin, Eve, Adrienne, and Lucas all carried… intelligent and professional and beloved by the long time fans…

this is going to be a blood bath after all the dust has settled

Linda
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Linda

Agreed with Patrick

Mo
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Mo

You’re using the word ‘talent’ loosely. The gal who plays Ciara cannot act. She is so stiff and rote. I think the one who plays Chase is better, but he doesn’t get much story. I don’t think much of Joey. Theo hasn’t had much and they seem to be dumbing him down. Claire so far is okay, but it was very jarring to see how old Claire is.

Viewers want story, good story, from good actors and characters we know and love.

elm51
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elm51

i have to disagree about the character of theo being dumbed down …………..
theo is autistic and from what i saw so far tptb/writers are on point with the behavior of an autistic teen………………………….

Linda
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Linda

I agree about Ciara. Stiff and looks like she doesn’t even open her mouth to talk.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Very disappointing news. I like both actors and enjoy their characters very much. I am so sorry the Justin and Eve story won’t be told. There is potential for a great story there. I hope TPTB won’t abandon the Adrienne and Lucas story. I like them together.

Mary SF
Guest
Mary SF

Recurring is all about saving cash– when an actor is on contract they will get paid even if the character is not on screen, when they are recurring they will only get pay for episodes they actually do. Often when characters are no longer in a front burner story soaps will drop them to recurring otherwise they will have to write them into stories to justify their salary— and often they will give out contracts just to ensure a actor is available to play the character for a story arc, to prevent them from getting another job in the middle… Read more »

DW
Guest
DW

While I’m sure it must’ve been a blow to the actors and Days fans, it makes me hopeful that GH will use this opportunity to sign Wally to a long-term contract and build the Quartermaine family back up. The storyline with Olivia had to be hastily ended and now TPTB have the chance to rectify that.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

slam the door in my face

this is a serious blow to good acting!

I thought the show was solidifying it’s leads… to carry this show

Justin and Adrienne are more than able to carry the Kiriakis

after all the retooling, behind the scenes mayhem, coming and going… it may not be what they thought

so many quality actors are already OUT

Nick, Sonny, Kristen, Sami, EJ, Will, Clyde, Eve, Aiden, Eric

all these actors… whether they left on their own; demoted; or were fired…

knowing all this and seeing who still on the show…

doesn’t seem to add up

kay
Guest
kay

Not surprised. Adrienne (Judi) has not been seen since these idiot writers killed Will and sent Sonny back to Paris. Justin (Wally) has not had much to do except accuse Chad of murders he did not commit instead of looking for the real killer Ben Weston. Oh and hanging around with Eve (KDP) instead of trying to work things out with his ex-Wife. Seems like Days is on the way out the way they are dumping vets and even newer characters. All the death and depressing plots are going to drive their faithful audience away. Ken Corday needs to be… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

I just wish they would stop shooting the show so far in advanced and be able to listen to fan reactions and respond accordingly. Killing Will was a huge mistake, with him went Sonny and Justin and Adrienne, and Lucas. Will interacted with so many of the characters that killing him was beyond stupid. Dool writers we want our characters back starting with Will. Bo should have been recast if the actor did not want to stay. Corday is making a huge gamble by allowing all these changes that in the long term may hurt the show .

Mark
Guest
Mark

I’m usually positive about Days, but I’m not really happy with all of the exits coming up. I know they need to create story, but story can be created with the people who are there. Hiring new actors is not the answer. So much story can happen with Eve, Eric, Lucas, Adrienne, and Justin. I know the actor who’s playing Daniel is leaving because he wants to, but the others?? Not happy… ;-(

theresa nostrand
Guest
theresa nostrand

I think they are wrong to remove so many stars of days Like Justinand Adrienne I enjoy both of them after renewing their contracts now letting them go is so wrong the writers have to stop lettingor killing people off This is Days of our lives with the Hortons Bradys and Stenfano and Victors family PLease stop messing with our Days please

PGP
Guest
PGP

DAYS is starting to worry me here, making some dumb decisions. I hope they are doing all this to bring back some cast members or something big. They could have kept Kassim Dapaiva on contract and explored a Eve/Justin/Adrienne/Lucas quadrangle a bit more. I am starting to get more excited about GH again…hope Wally goes back to GH and Ned and Olivia can reunite!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“…DAYS is starting to worry me here, making some dumb decisions ”

yeah, I’m getting their quick

it’s tearfully fretting
angst and anger
PISSED

I really wanted to see Vincent Irizarry go toe to toe head on… with Justin Kiriakis and Adrienne

wouldn’t it have been a hoot to see VI’ Deimos get involved with Eve… and these two… wrangle at any and all… denizens of Salem !

and/or Adrienne and Deimos
as Justin and Eve get all hot and steamed

good god… I don’t understand what …. “KEN CORDAY” and his parents legacy production are doing

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

I’m not usually the conspiracy-theory type, but I half think NBC is undermining Days with all these deaths and exits to give itself an excuse to drop its last soap.

Steven
Guest
Steven

The 50th Anniversary is now over!
Now let the Dena Higley & Josh Griffith era begin!

The Question Is: Who’s next to go?
I have a feeling this is just the beginning?!

Paul
Guest
Paul

I couldn’t agree more. Frankly, I think it was inevitable. They brought back too many vets all at once and not enough for them to do. Combine that with the idiotic decision to age all the kids and the cast is too large. They simply don’t have enough air time or budget to keep the cast at its current size — and let’s face it, we all know it’s set to grow further with Irizzary, Vilasuso, and Lavoisier still on the horizon. I was all for the Days reboot but I think they bit off more than they can chew.… Read more »

Reagan
Guest
Reagan

Disappointing… but not surprising given all the additions. As I have said before, was really hoping they would bring on more of Justin’s sons. He has three other sons besides Sonny. I, surprisingly, liked the story line with Adrian and Lucas. I’ve always liked with Kayla and Adrian had scenes together and Adrian with Steve. Timing just seems off!!

Mateo
Guest
Mateo

So this is the sign that DAYS will soon become a teenage playground with the likes of Chase Ciara Joey and Claire and forget the reasons people watched DAYS in the first place. I knew that hiring all that young cast meant we were in for some ridiculous stories. So let’s see..who will get knocked up first and not know the daddy…Ciara will have Joey’s baby but it will turn out to be Chase’s. Apparently Ciara was given the date rape drug and Chase is gonna be the next serial killer. YAWN..time to just watch DAYS as I take a… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

i couldn’t be any more dissapointed with Ciera Alice… what a snore Joey… as cute as he his… seems barely awake… get excited Too soon to get in to Claire… dang ! she looks so much like Martha Madison’ Belle Theo… cute kid… but… ??? what’s the point … sorry people… with his autism… won’t bring much to the canvas… outside of his “crush” on Cierra Chase has the most acting skill… i’ve already heard he’s not on for long KEN CORDAY… this is your idea of an acting troupe! LOL… OK last dig I thought for sure Kristian Alfonso… Read more »

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I get that a new creative team may want (and be expected) to make some changes, but I’m stunned at how many of the changes involve talented performers, some of whom have big followings. I was dismayed, but not entirely surprised, when Melissa Archer got the ax; she’s an asset wherever she shows up, but her character had gone nowhere and didn’t catch on. Ditto, to some degree, Daniel Cosgrove (who I think sort of got sacrificed to make the Bo-Hope reunion work–in record time). But Kassie DePaiva? And Greg Vaughn? And now these two, who have a long, long… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

beautifully said… i’m in such dismay? bewildered.. that ???? expletive expletive

DAYS production doesn’t see this?

echo your sentiment

“…I really think this is going to come back to bite them. Even with the best writing in the world, you have to have characters people care about “

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Characters, characters, characters!!! That’s what drew me into Days in the first place. Who were these extraordinary people?! The characters are the reason people watch! I thought Melissa Archer was great in the show, as was Kassie DePaiva. I would like to have seen Greg Vaughan used more – I think he was wasted. Yes, I agree, Days is treading on thin ice by cutting so many characters at once – and good ones too! Douglas Marland, the king of soapwriters, made of list of rules called “How Not to Wreck a Show” One of these was, ” Don’t fire… Read more »

Ces
Guest
Ces

I honestly never cared for the character of Adrienne. Always thought she was a sniveler and very fuddy duddy. I don’t like her paired with Lucas at all; she looks too old for him.
Wally should have stayed with GH and not jumped ship to Days without a storyline to goto.

Mo
Guest
Mo

He got a contract with Days. I would have left GH too with guaranteed money. Granted, contract isn’t the same in soaps as other places, but totally don’t blame him for signing on. Just wish Days would give him and Adrienne better story.

ces
Guest
ces

he got a contract, but I wonder if he ever asked if he’d have a storyline with that contract? He has basically been Fighting with Rafe and kissing on that poor recast Eve — both ffwdard-able scenes. At least on GH he got to play off a few different people and is part of a major family tie there. Just thinking the grass isn’t always greener …

Linda
Guest
Linda

I love watching Judi. I wished Another World was still on. Her Paulina character was much better.

Aria
Guest
Aria

I find it ironic how Stephen Nichols talked about how bad GH treated their vets and only used them for their big anniversary special, wish he found disgusting yet dool is doing the same thing . Furthermore, if I have to compare anniversary for each show GH was far more superior and at least some vets stuck around for a while and or appeared at the nurses ball. Maybe down the line he (Stephen Nichols) wil return as Stefan cassadine and as for kurth there’s no reason he can’t do both now or if GH is smart sign him to… Read more »

damien
Guest
damien

ouch, lots of bad news for days fans recently….aiden and bo killed off, jason cook just a tease for the other shawn , eric leaving now justin and adrienne who were promised a big story just dropped to sometimes… did days use up all its budget ? …i think i ll be budgeting my viewing time to…

mrsnoahdrake
Guest
mrsnoahdrake

This is terrible news! I loved Justin and Adrienne’s romance from the beginning. I even liked the Lucas/ Adrienne / Justin triangle.
we did not see Lucas or Adrienne at Thanksgiving
Since Eve will be written off soon, that leaves Ned single again.
And there is no Sonny, but Justin and Adrienne have 3 other sons.
Bring them on!
I had hoped to see more of Justin and Adrienne. This move will be bad for the ratings.
Watch GH put Wally on contract! He was sorry to leave anyways.

Mo
Guest
Mo

You’re mixing up your shows. Wally plays Justin on Days and plays Ned on GH.

Rodd
Guest
Rodd

I think this is one of the major disappointments of DAYS. Them taping so far in advance does not give them the ability to right the error of their wrong in a timely manner. Wally and Judy are very engaging actors and had plenty of potential story left. I thought Justin was being primed to be the next generation of Kiriakases. DAYS has had so much loss recently. Yes, they brought back old time characters for a bit but they’ve also flooded us with newbies. When I saw the Thanksgiving episode I kept wondering where all the Hortons were; you… Read more »

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

NO mention of Will, as if he wasn’t a huge part of this show’s history. Especially his history making coming out. Seems everyone has decided to forget that..can any awards the show got for that be taken back? Cause they sure don’t seem to appreciate all that story did for the show.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

this is going to hurt
this just smarts … lividly so

this is going to bust wide open any effort and LACK behind the scenes.

dumbing down the whole show.. with all the talent missing in action…. WHY ?

truthfully.. from the outset… this point forward

the only thing i’m looking forward to?

Billy Flynn as Chad
Vincent Irizarry as Deimos
A Martinez as Eduardo… and I don’t see him… on as much

you look at all the juggernaut talent made available … comparable talent pool to choose from… with equal measure MEN and WOMEN

not so much

missing elements of intrigue
the dynamic with all the firing… is staggering

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I’m guessing there will be more of this. I’ve been skeptical of all the cheerleading and promises of greatness to the Days of old since we’ve heard it all before. Some of the vets seem to have been brought back as bait with little commitment to them regarding long term story. The fact that Adrienne has yet to have one scene with her brother Steve, has spoken volumes. So much to the return of family and character driven stories of old. I’m trying not to get too invested with Steve and Kayla again either, because I wouldn’t be surprised if… Read more »

Tim Welles
Guest
Tim Welles

Yes and “extremely dull” is phrasing it nicely – they’re about as interesting as unbuttered toast.

Newmanwins
Guest
Newmanwins

Hey Frank: Get it done! Make it happen! Seal the deal! GH has been suddenly blessed to right a wrong and get a second chance to fix it so for the love of god please give Wally a long term contract to bring our beloved Ned back to Port Charles. It was beyond obvious to your viewers in Wally’s two years back on GH from 13-15 that Ned is very much needed on the canvas as a full time character. Geary, Easton, and Thompson are all gone so there has to be plenty of room in the budget for a… Read more »

Derrick
Guest
Derrick

NOT good news!

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

Corday and the writer’s have ruined a perfectly wonderful show. Starting with the ruining of Will and Sonny’s marriage with the complete 180 of Will’s nature and personality to all that has happened since.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I agree with you. Will was a great character that they ruined by trying to make him more like his mom. Will as orig written would never have cheated on Sonny. Killing him was a huge mistake for the show. Fans have pleaded with the show to bring him back to no avail.

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

That is what I have said since they changed Will. As original he NEVER would have even thought about another man! he fought off Brian and Sonny’s friend, can’t think of his name, so there is NO way he would have cheated.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

I guess this is what happens when you write for story rather than write for the characters. The show jumped the shark when Will cheated on Sonny and it has been tanking ever since.

LeeAnn
Guest
LeeAnn

totally agree.

Mo
Guest
Mo

In new SOD, it said that Eve and Justin made love. WHEN? I’ve been watching and I don’t recall this happening.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I really hope DOOL monitors sites like this to see how fans react to what they do. Too many of the familiar faces are leaving Salem. New viewers are loosing the characters they have grown to love. All the new faces are too confusing unless you tuned in for a long time. So far we lost Will, Sonny, Paige, Bo don’t know much about him, Aidan Soon we loose Daniel and Eric and rumor has is Stefano ( due to poor health of the actor). Then in coming attractions they are promising a days disaster for the new year, who… Read more »

Tim Welles
Guest
Tim Welles

Well, I guess some of my comments won’t be well received, but personally, I have only been watching the show for a little over Two years or so, and in that time, lately, it’s a different show. It’s gotten boring and predictable. Wally Kurth is a very good actor but his character adds little to the show. When they started to “shy away” from Paul, Sonny, Derrick and killed off Will, they started to lose me. Now I watch the show and see two young girls chatting it up and try to figure out who they are (mind you, I… Read more »

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

Wally, Please go back to GH, where you are appreciated and loved! We miss you!

Amy
Guest
Amy

So sad to hear that they were dropped off contract. Such a shame that the writers don’t realize the tremendous talent and chemistry these two actors have! Was hoping they would use their history to rekindle the supercouple they used to be!!!!

Linda
Guest
Linda

I am done with Days again, I have been watching it for over 30 years. With Judi Evans off contract and all the young ones showing up, I am not bothering. Why don’t they think of the people who watched days for years? But, at the same time when Judi left Days and went to Another World…I watched Another World. They had better writers.

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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A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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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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