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Ron Carlivati Reveals First Airdate As Head Writer Of DAYS!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The time is drawing near, and daytime fans and those in particular of NBC’s Days of our Lives are anxiously awaiting what Daytime Emmy Award-winning head writer, Ron Carlivati, has in store for the residents of Salem.

Carlivati became soap-famous for his plots and writing for both ABC’s One Life to Live and General Hospital and his upcoming storylines featuring many returning DAYS favorites already announced including: Chandler Massey, Alison Sweeney, and Eileen Davidson, have audiences excited to the future.

In his tweet, which featured the top of a script with his name on it, Carlivati noted: “4 weeks from today!   #days#myfirstepsidoe#incaseyouwerewondering#excited

Ron released a second tweet with a teaser for his first scene under his regime: “My first @nbcdays scene… #days #teaser #whathappenedtomarlena”  Check it out here.

So circle your calendars for Wednesday July 19th when Carlivati’s stories begin to air on Days of our Lives.

Excited for what’s in store on DAYS under their new head writer? Comment below.

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Ray
Guest
Ray

I am really looking forward to seeing Ron’s work. “DOOL” has been almost unwatchable the past few months. I can’t understand why the writers and spending so much time on characters that we simply do not care about or have any redeeming value (Jade). The island storyline was poorly executed, with Marlena and John stumbling on the survivors without ever letting the audience know they were searching for them. Eric and Jennifer do not have any chemistry. I think Tripp has a lot of potential, but not as someone who is trying to take Kayla down. Does every young character… Read more »

Carrie
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Carrie

So true Ray. I have done a 180 concerning Ron. I wasn’t a fan of his during his GH days, but I am curious to see if he can make Days better. …for the reasons you listed above. Maybe Days is a better fit for Ron than GH.

Judy
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Judy

You said it Jade stinks

Ray
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Ray

It has to be difficult for these inexperienced actors to read all of the negative comments on social media. I did not say Jade was a bad actress. I just do not understand why the writers give so much story to a character that does not have any family ties to the show’s core families. She is simply Joey’s no-good girlfriend. It has been obvious since the teen scene came on board two years ago that most of the actors needed more training. Fast forward two years, all but Theo and Claire are left (I believe Joey is departing soon).

dmr
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dmr

I don’t understand the reasoning behind elevating and propping up the teen scene. Every show does it, and most times, it is cringe-worthy and long-time viewers do not appreciate it. The teen scene does not bring in new viewers. I have not seen it to this degree, however, where the entire focus of the show has shifted to the teen scene. Not one of them can act. It’s like watching a high school play in the auditorium. Is casting blind, deaf, and dumb? The Young and the Restless is beginning to do it, as well, with the Ashby twins and… Read more »

dmr
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dmr

The show is a train wreck right now. I haven’t watched since Eileen Davidson left. Like Carrie, I was NOT a fan of Ron’s writing while he was at General Hospital; however, the only way to go from here is UP!

Shay
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Shay

With this writer in question, I wouldn’t be so sure about that!….

dmr
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dmr

Very true, Shay; however, the show is pretty much in the toilet right now, and I’m hoping that he leaves his cartoonish theatrics at the door, and focuses on the core values of the show. #fingerscrossed.

Shay
Guest
Shay

Hope springs eternal, dmr! For the sake of diehard DOOL-ers, I send my best wishes that this time is the charm for bringing the show back to its former glory. I know I’m still waiting for that to happen on GH!

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Neither am I a fan of his.

Carrie
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Carrie

Yes, the island story was very much a dud. And the teen scene storyline needs a makeover.

dmr
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dmr

The teen scene needs to take a trip to Castaway Island, NEVER to be heard of again!

Jake Martin
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Jake Martin

The problem with doing a ridiculous storyline of becoming stranded on an Island is that (aside from the writing being absolutely atrocious) they REALLY don’t have the sets to make this even marginally plausible – they don’t even have any ocean props and everyone’s hair is perfect and doesn’t even move. At least, when they do a “hospital scene” they can sort of make that somewhat believable to a degree. Plus, this show has absolutely no humor whatsoever. If Tad Martin (played by Michael Knight on All My Children) was adrift on an Island he’d make some joke reference to… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

Agreed, Ray. Ron should really get away from this precipitous Tripp theme.
I am so sick of the teens as it is, the schemes and fiendish plans for Kayla have no attraction….it will fizzle as a flat can of soda.

k/kay
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k/kay

I think RC is perfect for days I wish him much success

Beth
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Beth

I love it! He’s teasing just enough to get the audience interested, and he had the great sense to focus his tweet on John and Marlena. I’m very optimistic. Don’t let me down, Ron!

Carrie
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Carrie

I agree Beth. I didn’t like Ron for GH, but lately I am curious to see what he is doing for Days. Days has been dark and depressing the last few years. On GH, I thought Ron was too cartoon-ish. But I would gladly welcome cartoon-ish or any kind of humor on Days now.

dmr
Guest
dmr

Carrie, I agree. I found Ron’s writing to be cartoonish and immature for General Hospital. However, Days is in the gutter, and there is only way to go from here…UP!

Kevin C
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Kevin C

So agree with you Carrie re:Ron’s writing for GH…I will tune into Day’s to see what’s happening once Ron’s writing begins…I tuned in recently and couldn’t get through a whole episode.

Llanviewer717
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Llanviewer717

Hallelujah. I am so looking forward to seeing what exciting new twists and turns Ron will bring to DOOL. I’ll definitely be watching.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

If true to form, he’ll probably trash the legacy (and the legacy character) of DOOL.
(Sigh!)

John Gibson
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John Gibson

It can’t get any worse. The show is unwatchable right now and in the last 6 months. Its more exciting to watch my tv when its off then the crap stories that Days has had under Higley. I wish it well. I’ve been watching for 30 years.

dmr
Guest
dmr

The storylines are atrocious. The show is so boring. The recasts, who is in the casting department-Abby, Dario? Good God, are they awful. I always have to laugh when I see Sonny, though. I mean, seriously, one day he is the owner of a coffee shop, then a “club,” and now he is running around town with slicked back hair like a career criminal wannabee. He looks ridiculous.

Jake Martin
Guest
Jake Martin

I agree with that as well – he looks like a Michael Corleone wanna be, waiting to take over the Family business straight out of The Godfather – and frankly, he was more likable when he ran the coffee bar and was happy to see Will. Also, for some reason, and I attribute it to the horrendously awful writing, I don’t even care if he and Paul get together or not – I used to sort of root for them but now, it’s sooo drawn out, and there’s no believable passion between them.

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

Just so its really Will returning and not some fake wearing a mask-lol

Mark
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Mark

Looking forward to what he has in store! 😉

Rodd
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Rodd

Maybe I’ll want to watch again.

James R. Poissant
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James R. Poissant

Ron’s here. Now the gloves come off. It’s about time!!!

Scott
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Scott

totally excited about the new scripts coming…..cannot wait…..did notice that Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly is bombing in the ratings….maybe NBC will wake up and realize they spent too much money on her and could give some money to Days so they could update their sets and start filming closer to airdate……Days has proven that it has staying power after 50 years of being on the air…..c’mon NBC wake up and devote a little more to a show you know works……a soap fan can dream, right?????

Judy
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Judy

I did notice that and I wont be watching her

blake
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blake

I can’t stand Megyn Kelly either. Seems NBC is realizing what a mistake they made bringing her on. All that money for ratings that are lower than 60 Minutes reruns lol. I read that even Fox News won’t take her back, and Variety put out an article today stating that Megyn Kelly’s star is dimmer than ever.

Shay
Guest
Shay

And a richly-deserved coup de grace it is…Kelly turned her ungrateful back on the audience who made her a star in order to grab for the MSM brass ring, and she has failed miserably. Of course, FoxNews doesn’t want her back…they rebounded quite well with Tucker Carlson in her former slot. Her presence is no longer required!

Celia
Guest
Celia

How right you are, blake. The problem with Kelly is that she spoke/speaks from both sides of her mouth. She always, in my opinion, vacillated and gravitated towards the direction the wind blew on any specific day.
Hypocrite. The more people bash and criticize, the deeper the hole they dig for themselves gets.

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

I’m dreaming with you! 🙂

mark
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mark

He’s so cute!!!

MB
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MB

Good luck Days fans. Get ready for lots of camp, tons of plot holes and stories with no depth that make no sense. At least you don’t have the added negative of Valentini’s heavy hand and his will to rid your show of vets and make it completely unrecognizable.

Michael (not Fairman)
Guest
Michael (not Fairman)

I have to disagree, at least in part. I think everything you’ve listed is a valid criticism of RC’s time on GH, but it does not tell the whole story. He also did some things successfully at GH: he took an incredibly dark show and added light and humor (though I do agree with you that the humor, especially the camp aspect, got out of hand in the second half of his tenure), and for a while (until ABC panicked and changed its mind), he succeeded in steering the show away from its two-decade-long mob focus and balancing the mob… Read more »

MB
Guest
MB

Many problems do still exist on GH and they fall to Frank and Jelly are not very engaging storytellers. But the one component that is gone is an extremely incoherent narrative, that is the technical writing and that is Ron. The camp is gone too and while Frank allowed it, that was the actual writing as well,

JMER
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JMER

I mostly agree with you Michael, although I found his first year and a half at GH less engaging for sure, and especially about whose fault the latter part of his tenure can be attributed to: very likely ABC/Disney and there are plenty of facts to back that up (too many to properly call out here), but I am looking forward to seeing how his first days at Days go to further support those facts. I expect that FV is responsible for a few of the GH problems during his tenure as well, but I didn’t watch OL so I’d… Read more »

nancy dillingham
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nancy dillingham

Sorry, I don’t remember that “steering away from the mob story”! 🙁

dmr
Guest
dmr

I said almost the same exact thing on another thread and I got bashed! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I agree with you, in regards to the travesty he made out of General Hospital. However, Days is in the gutter right now. Hopefully he will focus on the core of the show…hopefully….

Celia
Guest
Celia

Go back to that site, dmr, LOL. I gave my opinion. These are the same sanctimonious people who allowed to look down their noses at others, not realizing the extend of their hypocrisy. Much like Megyn Kelly. The same said people will admonish posters for giving an opinion, go as far as calling them not nice, yet they spew hate towards others in “high places”, as if they were not human. If we are to have love for our fellow human beings, then “they” cannot speak with a forked tongue. At least, dmr, we know the difference between an actor… Read more »

Shay
Guest
Shay

I hear BOTH of you, dmr and CeeCee!!! The extreme bias which allows only a certain privileged few to repeatedly come to these threads—particularly the GH ones—and condescendingly address the rest of us with their off-topic tangents, hysterical handwringing woes and nasty judgmental pronouncements (laced with deeply political overtones) is patently obvious and absurd….especially when those of us who would like to defend our own opposing views or express our disapproval are repeatedly denied the same rights to respond, even if it’s only to other interested parties who may share our opinions or, at the least, demonstrate the ability to… Read more »

Shay
Guest
Shay

P.S. Geez Louise! I just visited the Y&R “renewal” thread….How on earth those deeply hate-filled, unhinged political diatribes have to do with anything in reference to “Genoa City” is beyond me! Yikes!

Celia
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Celia

@Shay.
Karma, ma belle. Reversal is rearing its ugly GREEN head. Ciao.

4ever DAYS
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4ever DAYS

Well, MB, your post points out how great DAYS could actually be:

Ron isn’t working with Valentini, whom could’ve caused many plot holes and stories without depth. Ron’s tweet seems to indicate he’s for vets. And Sheri Anderson, a former headwriter from the glory DAYS, is acting as story consultant…implementing the history of characters she has known for decades.

Give DAYS a try!

Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

You make great points, MB!

Jenny
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Jenny

For the most part I enjoyed his work on OLTL.. He wrote for vets, honored show history, and kept the show moving with twists and turns. His work on GH was a totally different animal. He destroyed legacy couples, reduced some veteran charactets to non-entities, and most of his stories featured characters who were altered by plastic surgery or masks or replaced by doppelgangers. There was no emotional depth to any of his stories, he killed off AJ for no reason, and by the time he left GH he was completely out of control and GH had record low ratings.… Read more »

Shay
Guest
Shay

Very well put, Jenny!…GH was totally ruined under the Cartini regime and it has never recovered. So good luck to this soap, it will need it! Time to batten down the hatches as DOOL viewers should prepare themselves for a profusion of doppelgangers, poor taste antics, sacrilege and Twitter Wars with Ron….Let battle commence…..

Steve
Guest
Steve

Jenny
Can you please describe the “gay” vision you mentioned? How does it go with shallow and narcissistic?

It’s Frank, not the writers, who make hiring decisions. After writing a believable way for AJ to return, Ron is to blame for Sean Kanan’s departure for the cracks about SK’s weight and the character sinking back into the tired alcoholic plot line.

Shay
Guest
Shay

And don’t forget that revolting “PickleLila” storyline, Steve! AJ—and especially Sean K.—were served up one repulsive indignity after another during his sadly-abridged final(?) GH stint.

su0000
Guest
su0000

Days is very fortunate to have RC, they are in for a helluva ride!
Ron is modern and a brave writer, the master of mystery twist & turns surprises/shockers and he has humor great humor. I miss the laughs!

(haven’t had a laugh or chuckle since J&S were put in.)

I’d love to see RC’s stories but no way can I watch 3 soaps I struggle to watch two soaps

louise
Guest
louise

I can’t say I am exactly happy to see Sami or Kristen back, but I can handle both of them for a season, as long as it just to wrap up some unfinished business in Salem.Therasa should return. Very happy to see Steve, Kayla, John, Marlena (???), Julie, her grandson Eli, Loni Theo, Thaao has been fun lately again FINALLY. Wally, Maggie , Victor, ..any of the long term actors and actress , I hope we don’t always have to see them in conjunction with “their” kids because there is much STILL to tell regarding many of their pasts. The… Read more »

dmr
Guest
dmr

Not thrilled about the onslaught of Sami; although, I do love Kristen. Eileen Davidson can actually act, unlike the other one, IMO.

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

You wont be seeing much of Steve or Kayla. Ron is writing nothing for them!!!!

Mo
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Mo

Darn it, I’ll be on vacation. I’ll be watching upon my return!

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

Generally, I like Ron’s work – but he is big on Big Explosive Umbrella stories that ultimately don’t really add up.. he’s amazing on the build up, not so great on the climax/closure. I returned to OLTL because of his writing and returned to GH because of the first year of his work… but then .. well, I don’;t know if it was his writing or if ABC brass interferred but the rest of his time on GH devolved into some seriously awful stuff (including and especially the destruction of Luke Spencer with the “I am not Bill Eckert” storyline…… Read more »

Lou piikes
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Lou piikes

What GH verts that you speak of fled GH for DAYS? Names Please! !!

Shay
Guest
Shay

I can name an entire list of so-called GH “talent” that I would love to see Ron “poach” for DOOL…like all those ineffectual newbies and intrusive “gets” from other daytime shows that were brought on to usurp the canvas from the true legacy characters of Port Charles. (Although, by all means, take NLG’s Alexis, please!!!! And Sonny, too….)

Steve
Guest
Steve

@Shay

Sonny was actually palpable under Ron (probably why MB didn’t like him). He played supporting in many stories and the character was finally forced to pay for a crime (albeit a few months in Pentonville).

@Jacob
There’s been no mass exodus between shows. If there was, that’s an Executive Producer’s doing, not the head writer. But yes, let KC take Howarth, Easton, Buddig and Stafford if he can afford them.

Shay
Guest
Shay

@Steve….It’s true that Sonny did actually find himself biding his time (and cooling his heels) in “Club Pentonville” for an all-too-brief duration, but he was still in the frame for plenty of peripheral storylines whenever possible—which was still too often for a lot of us—since a little bit of Sonny goes a long way! As for your suggestions of whom should go to Days, I’m with you except for Easton…I love him even though it seems that the GH regime has yet to figure out how to do this actor justice in any role they can concoct. “Tis a real… Read more »

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Certainly not Steve and Kayla whom he treats as mere extras! Maybe u can catch a glimpse of them once a month!

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

Hey, I like that–“Big, Explosive Umbrella stories”–apt–but watch out when the rain comes pouring down! 🙂

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

I have not watched in years but Ron writes like James Reilly which might be a good fit for Days just hope it works we are down to four soaps before it dies so I am as a viewer all for trying to hang on

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Stopped watching when Reilly destroyed days. Guess that is happening again

Michael
Guest
Michael

Hurry Ron!- Save Salem from the current writing regime asap!

Phideaux Xavier
Guest
Phideaux Xavier

Days is very fortunate to have Ron writing. He is, in my mind, a story spinner on par with the great legend Doug Marland. I’m very excited to see what he will do with this NBC treasure!

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

I Phideaux, I respect your opinion but I don’t believe Ron is anything like Douglas Marland…Douglas Marland was a masterful story teller which and to me the only other two writers that can match Douglas is William Bell and Agnes Nixon which I miss all 3 terribly. I can only say I only turned into OLTL every once in a while and could not watch how Ron wrote GH but I am willing to start watching DOOL again to see how he does…I know a lot of people are complaining about Y&R and B&B, but I am loving Y&R again… Read more »

Phideaux Xavier
Guest
Phideaux Xavier

To be honest, I never watched OLTL when Ron wrote it. But, being on GH when he came to us, I was struck by the interlocking storylines, use of history to weave the story and by his rooting of story in family. Certainly, there were some clunker moments, but having been in this biz for a loooog time, I have been struck by a few talents – Henry Slesar on Edge 77-80; Marland’s World Turns turnaround; Harding Lemay AW 1978-1980; Pam Long – end of Texas and her first year of Guiding Light. It never occurred to me that Ron… Read more »

Kevin C
Guest
Kevin C

Phideaux, Wow, I am impressed with your information on writers and time frames and I do understand what you were saying about Ron and I hope you didn’t think I wasn’t being disrespectful which was not my intention at all…I so totally agree with what you said about Days being a cultural touchstone and deserves to be rehabilitated. I use to love DAYS and hope that Ron can bring it back to must see TV.

nancy dillingham
Guest
nancy dillingham

“On par with the great legend Doug Marland”? Whoa, mule!
Say, are you the “real” Phideaux Xavier”? The same on who directs on GH. Say it isn’t so! Because you should have the inside dope. 🙂

Steve
Guest
Steve

Ron’s tenure at GH can be described by Dickens’ classic line “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”…

The good: the show was lighter, balanced. A respect for show history. Cliffhanger and water cooler moments.

The bad: reliance on over-the-top plot lines, a bit too much camp, twitter feuds. Fluke and Denise Demuccio.

mark d
Guest
mark d

Bring Erika Slezak to DAYS. I realize she lives on the east coast, but I’d love to see her play a not-so-nice character that is complicated yet not a multiple or under the influence of the Dimaras.

Tim S.
Guest
Tim S.

I don’t know who is writing the baby storyline with Holly… but I have to say .. whoever is writing this is the worst wrirters out there. I can’t believe how they are milking this story to go on and on and on… and the pain that Nicole is going through.. really?????? Enough… Enough… It is so awefullll!!!!! You need to be fired!! I am very passionate about this. as you can see…..

Carrie
Guest
Carrie

We will probably learn the judge who put Holly into foster care is working for Deimos or being blackmailed by him or whatever the case. Someone behind the scenes at Days was in love with Deimos; inserting him everywhere. When in doubt how to round out a story, insert Deimos. Ugh, the over exposure.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Well, scuttlebutt has it that Deimos dies; but not before drugging everyone—some weird scenes on the way.
I do hope Nicole will be able to get Holly back ( legally, this time). Arianne has already taped her last episode, I think? So, it will be interesting to see if mother and daughter will be reunited.

Jaime
Guest
Jaime

Never liked Reilly’s Passions version of Days all camp, supernatural ugh. Turned Days off for years due to that. If Ron brings that back Im losing my soap

Jame E
Guest
Jame E

Now is the worst of times at Days

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alison Sweeney on Working with Bryan Dattilo: “28 Years Later, Some Things Never Change. Still Laughing Between Takes and Grateful to Have Such a Talented Supportive Co-Star”

This week, Days of our Lives viewers have witnessed that Sami Brady DiMera (Alison Sweeney) and Lucas Horton (Bryan Dattilo) hit the sheets, and Lumi fans everywhere rejoiced!

On and off, for almost three decades. Alison Sweeney and Bryan Dattilo have played the relationship between these two exes who share children together to the hilt, because Sami and Lucas’ history is well … complicated.

But, what will happen if and when EJ finds out that Sami had sex with her ex? Stay tuned.

In the meantime, Alison took to her Instagram and shared her thoughts alongside photos of her and Bryan, then and now.

Over the years, Bryan had remained one of Alison’s good friends.

Sweeney expressed: “I have always had such fun working with @bryan.dattilo !! 28 years later, some things never change. Still laughing between takes and grateful to have such a talented, supportive costar. Thanks @nbc for this great archive photo! And so grateful to @nbcdays for the incredible opportunity to play Sami.”

What did you think of the scenes where Sami and Lucas slept together and its aftermath thus far? Comment below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ali Sweeney (@alisweeney)

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

Could Days of our Lives finally found their new EJ? Rumors have been circulating on the internet for weeks that the character of EJ DiMera may finally have a new face and a new actor portraying and heading back to Salem, especially since Sami (Alison Sweeney) is back on the canvas.

The role was previously played by longtime fan favorite James Scott, who had made it very clear he would never return to Days of our Lives.

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

Now according to Daytime Confidential and their report from setside sources, the new EJ will actually be played by former Spartacus actor Dan Feuerriegel.

The Australian-born actor has been seen in Starz’ Spartacus franchise in the role of Agron.

According to the report, look for the new EJ to make his debut sometime this summer.

DAYS fans know that in story, EJ was brought back form the dead, from the serum from Dr. Rolf, but then was injured in an explosion and had reunited with Sami and had been recovery in Europe.

So, if this reports turns out to be true, what do you think of the new EJ? Comment below.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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