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Thaao Penghlis Signs On With Days of Our Lives For Another 2 Years!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

Andre DiMera is here to stay, or who knows? Maybe Tony will return to? Good news for Days of our Lives fans of Thaao Penghlis (Andre).  The actor revealed on his Twitter account that he is indeed sticking around Salem!

Thaao revealed: “My friends I have signed on DOOL for another 2 years. Thank u 4 being part of this wonderful & continuing experience I call home.” Back in February of this year, DAYS received a one year pick-up by NBC, with an option for an additional year.

On current episodes of DAYS, Andre is back in action as his nefarious plan to bring in a doppelganger Aiden to finish the job of killing Hope was revealed on Monday’s episode of the NBC sudser.  

So, are you happy to hear there will be more Thaao on DAYS?  Do you hope Andre continues his reign of terror? Would you like to Tony to come back from the dead to? Comment below!

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MaryAmyJim PrestonJanet ByrnesMo Recent comment authors
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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

It would be nice to have Tony and Anna back too but sometimes long absent characters seem to loose their appeal when writers don’t seem to know what to do with them-like Shaun and Belle and Philip-still wish Belle was staying!!!

4ever DAYS
Guest
4ever DAYS

Hi Jimmy!

Someone on Twitter asked Thaao when we will see Tony and his reply was “Soon.”

I’m sure we’ll see Anna too. LeAnne Hunley was listed as if she was a current cast member on the DAYS 50th anniversary party guest list.

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

i hope so…

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

” LeAnne Hunley” is … a Dream

now this… is a woman

Shay
Guest
Shay

In other words, no surprise return to Port Charles for Victor Cassadine….phooey!!!

holly
Guest
holly

Great news! Having Thaao on my screen as Andre or Tony is always a good thing!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

It’s nice to know that at least some of the core cast is staying put. I only wish NBC and Sony could have extended the same courtesy to Martha Madison (Belle) and Brandon Beemer (Shawn-Douglas).

Mo
Guest
Mo

Great. Now let’s see him on-screen. It’s no good to have him signed to a contract if writers don’t write story for him. We need Thaao and Andre back in Salem!

Mary Ramsey
Guest
Mary Ramsey

GREAT… He is my favorite as Tony or Andre..⏳⏳⏳

Dylan
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Dylan

The character of Andre just doesn’t work. He is just a lunatic for no reason. Evil for the sake of evil. When a character has ZERO motivation for their actions, it is just a pointless waste of time. This is a man who violently stabbed and murdered several women in the 80’s. He is a serial killer. Serial killers don’t get full pardons, no matter how much money or brain tumours they have. Then, Andre infamously engineered the faux murder story of 2003-2004 where he performed many violent atrocities. If Tony was alive, and came back, and banished Andre once… Read more »

clh
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clh

I think they are basically trying to have him replace Stefano for stories.

blake
Guest
blake

True and it’s not working.

Mo
Guest
Mo

If this is true, he needs to be in the DiMera house. That whole thing with the taxes and Chad buying the house and kicking Andre out was not good.

And Andre needs to be out of prison and on our screens!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

i’m coming from the point… of any way… I can enjoy some one some thing… connected to The DiMira Dynasty…. i’m in i’m surprised… that DAYS wants “Andre” to remain…. I was hoping some how… Andre would be connected to coercing a minor to rape another minor…. ugh! it’s sick so that Chase would be redeemed OK … already I had high hopes that Daniel Cosgrove would return as Peter BLake… and that Chase would also be a DiMera…. that kid along with DC ACT I would have preferred that DAYS spend their monies on a strong male lead ,… Read more »

davlestev1
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davlestev1

They won’t even be on past next year.. They’re not fooling me handing out two year contracts

blake
Guest
blake

Yeah I don’t think they can survive another year with these horrible ratings and stories.

Mary
Guest
Mary

DOOL is just covering its bets with those two year contracts.

Jim Preston
Guest
Jim Preston

Personally I do not care for the Cartoonish Villian character of Andre. I was glad he was sent off to Prison and has been off the canvas.
Right now, I’m not crazy about the show’s plotlines – and honestly, the explanation of Aiden having an “evil twin” has been so done to death on soaps, although it’s been acted nicely and convincingly.
I miss the storylines that involved Will, Sonny, Sami and EJ – and I think the writers could come up with some compelling tales, but for right now, meh – show doesn’t thrill me.

blake
Guest
blake

I agree, Andre is goofy. Just because he is a DiMeria doesn’t mean he can carry the legacy.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

no.. he isn’t

I ‘ve always rooted for the “underdog” if you will… and the best part of this serial

how clever all whole clan of DiMera mystify

god… isn’t Lexie missed
wouldn’t it be something… just to see how Peter Blake is doing
will Kristen ever grace Salem’ites

could Kassie DePaiva be accepted as the new Kristen DiMera… just begging the behind the scenes to bring her back

imagine… how much fun.. Eve would be
with Rafe
with Deimos
with Justin
with Eduardo

let Eve and Anna ( the divine LeAnne Hunley) become fast friends and reign
supreme

Amy
Guest
Amy

@Jim, this is where you and I differ. I just love Andre. He makes even the most boring scenes enjoyable. I would like nothing better than to see Andre and Victor join up against Demios. Watching those two experts take down Demios would be priceless.

Phil
Guest
Phil

I am all for Tony coming back, but still want the next return to be Kassie Depaiva as Eve Donavan!!!!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Days has become total garbage. With the way the ratings are sliding, it would be a miracle if it’s still on the air two years from now. Obviously, multi-year contracts like that can be bought out. It happens all the time in other businesses and industries, including sports.

blake
Guest
blake

I don’t think it will go past the year myself, they had their chance to keep the ratings up and have great stories but they brought back Dena Higley. Ugh.

blake
Guest
blake

I don’t care for Andre and just because he is a DiMeria doesn’t mean he should keep the legacy going. He’s a cartoon villain.

They keep Andre on, even the horrible actress playing Ciara yet they fire Martha Madison (Belle) who was the best thing they’ve had in a long time. It’s no wonder their ratings are horrible again.

Mo
Guest
Mo

You are so right about them keeping the gal who plays Ciara yet, they have let other actors who are so much better go. I don’t get it. Can’t they see this gal can’t act?!!!! Her scenes are painful to watch, when I don’t fast forward.

Amy
Guest
Amy

I’ve been patient with the actress playing Ciara but enough is enough. When will the producers understand that she is not right for the part?

James
Guest
James

Love Thaao, he is a Classic soap opera villain and the only one who can inherit Joe mascolo’s position.

Rj
Guest
Rj

Thaao is a great actor and glad to have him on days because he brings depth to his characters, but with that said, I am not a big fan of the Andre character in that he just seems pure evil. Stephano was a more complex figure and that is what made him endearing. He had that warm, charming even love able side with his family, but then he could be ruthless in his business dealings. Since Thaoo has strong acting ability and can portray a range of emotions they should write his characters to show more dimensions to make the… Read more »

Janet Byrnes
Guest
Janet Byrnes

here we go again. Guess he will return to say he brainwashed Chase, and Aiden and Chase can stay. Tony fine, Anna even better, Andre no thanks. been there done that. I like watching Aiden DC can act rings around most of the cast. I am looking forward to seeing Chase see his dad.

Jim Preston
Guest
Jim Preston

Yes but only if another actor plays Chase….I guess….frankly, to each his own but this show lately bores me to tears.

Amy
Guest
Amy

@Janet, I more than disagree. I just love maniacal Andre; he is so much fun. Now if only the writers would create another “Bart”.

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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Breaking News

REPORT: Dan Feuerriegel is DAYS New EJ DiMera

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

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

Photo: DFeuerriegelIG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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