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The Adrienne Frantz Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Amber is back stirring the pot for the residents of Los Angeles on The Bold and the Beautiful and no one is safe from her lies!  And that means it gives actress Adrienne Frantz some deliciously devilish dilemmas to play as her soap alter ego.  You see, Amber has decided to lie about her baby’s paternity and go for the gold!  I mean, what else is this ultimate gold-digger supposed to do?  Then enter her mother, Tawny, and sidekick Carl, and we have a slight throwback to the heyday of Amber when she first appeared on the B&B, but with a new twist!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with one of the series boldest soap stars to talk about her current storyline which has her trying to twist the Spencer boys, Liam, and his dad Bill, around her finger for her own gain.  But, could she actually be falling in love with Liam? And, can she avoid being snuffed-out by his dear old dad?  Adrienne Frantz fills us in on Amber’s latest schemes and how she makes the gal one of the most outrageously fun characters to watch in daytime.

Later in our chat, we get a glimpse into Adrienne’s personal life, and her thoughts as she prepares to walk down the aisle with the love of her life, Scott Bailey, in the fall of this year.

Always refreshing, direct and good fun, and a girl who knows what to do with her God-given acting chops… here’s what Ms. Frantz had to say!

MICHAEL:

Now that we are seeing that Amber is being her opportunistic self… and the Amber you talked about portraying when you returned to B&B… did you know that this was where the story was going to go when Brad Bell (B&B EP and head writer) brought you back to the series?

ADRIENNE:

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Yeah, I think Amber needed to get back to her roots.  Everybody loves the wild and crazy Amber and her being unpredictable, and that you don’t know what is going to happen with her.  I am very happy playing Amber the ways things are.

MICHAEL:

We have Carl and Tawny back in the mix now, too.  So, do you feel this storyline is in any way an Amber redo of what she had done previously?

ADRIENNE:

No, not at all.  This is like coming back into the picture, and she has her eyes on Liam. Before, it was she and Rick and a little love affair.  She was young and a kid, and even though her mother pushed her into it, she got pregnant from being wild and crazy.  She did not manipulate anyone to get her pregnant.  So I think this is a completely different story, and people will see that more as it unfolds.  I just love what we are doing.  It is a lot of fun.  And, it is a lot of fun to play in scenes with Don Diamont (Bill), and how much Bill hates Amber.  It’s good to have that arch-rivalry kind of deal.

MICHAEL:

That is really cool to see the two soap vets working together, but also the whole gas lighting of the Amber arc of the storyline!  How do you feel about the beach house scenes and the failed attempt on her life?  Do you think Bill will continue to try and scare her to death?

ADRIENNE:

I don’t know, maybe.  I think everyone has been enjoying doing it and shooting it, so we shall see what might happen next.  I think it’s a fun story for everyone and will definitely keep you intrigued, because nothing is going to happen like anyone thinks is going to happen, I can tell you that.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Give us the Amber back-story on how this was all set in motion.  It all originally started when she liked Oliver, right?

ADRIENNE:

Oliver is her buddy, or her “friend with privileges.”  And they were just having a good time, and then she tries to help him get Hope back, because she felt so bad about what she did.  Amber never does anything maliciously.  It is not something contrived.  She goes more or less, “Oh, God.  I didn’t think about what the consequences would be.”  So she was just helping out Oliver, and they hooked up one night and had some crazy sex, and Amber finds out a little while later she is pregnant.  She knows it’s Oliver’s kid and there is no doubt about that in her mind.  But Oliver is so in love with Hope, and she knows he wants Hope more than anything in the world.

MICHAEL:

And he has no money!

ADRIENNE:

And he has no money, but part of it is that he wants Hope more than anything and he wants that life, and Amber is really desperate for love in some way.  She wants someone to hold her and spend time with her, and have someone that cares about her.  Sometimes when you get a little desperate you do things, and sometimes they wind up another way just by accident.  The whole Liam thing she did not intend on saying, “Oh, this is your baby,” right away.  She was just having a little fun and went over to his house, and he woke up and he is like, “Oh, my Gosh.  We slept together!”   And Amber goes, “No, we didn’t.”  But then she is like, “Wow, that is a good idea.” And she did not know she was pregnant at the time.  So it’s Amber being Amber.  She never flat out admitted it, but she said, “We slept together.”  But then she did not flat out say that they had sex.  Liam thinks they had sex and then Amber ends up pregnant, and she does not know what to do.  First, she wants to tell Oliver.  Then she knows at the same time she can’t tell him, because it will ruin his relationship with Hope.  So she blurts out to Oliver that it is Liam’s kid and don’t worry about it.  So then, she is just weaving herself into a giant trap…as always!  I think people will get a kick out of all the twists and turns.  I am also so happy to be working with Andrea Evans (Tawny) again.  She adds such comedy to the show and she is just fantastic.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

I know, and here comes Tawny and she is at her gold-digging best, and she wants to help Amber get the money!

ADRIENNE:

For Amber, more than anything she just wants to have a secure life for her child.  Since she has lost two children, there is no way she is going to lose this one, or let something happen to this kid.

MICHAEL:

That gives you such great sub-text to play.  Can you see Amber being a good mom?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, definitely.  I see her giving her all and herself to this child.  And that is the big difference.  She is not doing this for herself; she is doing this for her unborn child so the baby can have a good life.  She knows she did not have a father.  And with Liam, he did not have a life like that either.  He was not raised with a father, either.  So there are a lot of similarities, and with Amber, Liam can be himself, in a way.  He does not have to be all prim and proper like he is with Hope.  So it is a different type of relationship that they have.  He kind of does not see Amber as horrible as Hope sees her.

MICHAEL:

Coming up, she wants to dissuade Liam from Hope.

ADRIENNE:

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Well, she wants Liam!  She knows that Liam is her way for her baby to have a good life, and that is what she is trying for the hardest…. to have her baby have a good life.  Liam is her target, Liam is in her eye, and that is it, and that is trouble.  Once Amber has her eye on you, that is trouble. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you think she has any romantic feelings toward Liam?

ADRIENNE:

I think she sees the way Liam is and how sweet and caring he is, and what a good person he is.  She wants so badly for someone to feel that way about her.  She is jealous of Hope. She wants what Hope has.  She wants somebody to love her like that.  She has feelings for Liam because she wants him to love her.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Amber is still attracted to Oliver?

ADRIENNE:

I think the thing with Oliver was not a “love attraction” thing.  They were just friends who were having sex.  He is her confidante and buddy.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

You and Scott Clifton (Liam) are very interesting actors.  You both are very quirky, and I mean that in the most flattering way, as the performances are so original.  What is Scott like to work with?

ADRIENNE:

Scott and I have a great relationship together. We have a very special chemistry, and he is such a great actor.  It’s easy to work with him.

MICHAEL:

Do you feel you are a “quirky” performer?  How do you see yourself in this medium?

ADRIENNE:

I try to do my own thing. You have to be really confident in your character and really know what you are doing, and as an actress, trust your instincts.  If you can do that, you can create some gold.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Don Diamont?

ADRIENNE:

It is great!  Don’s character of Bill hates Amber, so it makes for fantastic television. Amber looks at him, and he does not intimidate her.  Bill Spencer likes everybody being intimidated by him.  He is in control of everyone and he can’t do that with Amber, and I think it drives him nuts!  She says to him, “Hey, grandpa!”  She does little things to get at him.  I think that is what makes her fun!

MICHAEL:

Is Carl infatuated with Amber?

ADRIENNE:

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I don’t know! (Laughs) I think he is infatuated with Tawny. (Laughs)  I think he wants Tawny. It’s hysterical.

MICHAEL:

Is there one moment with Andrea since she came back to B&B, that you could tell our readers that the two of you had a moment where you cracked up, or went up on lines?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, my gosh, we are laughing 24/7. We have so much fun working together, and it’s almost as if we have never stopped working together.  She is the best mother ever! (Laughs) She just makes me laugh.  She is not afraid to dive into that character, whatsoever.  It’s like an anything goes kind of deal.

MICHAEL:

Amber and Liam made their first decision as parents last week on B&B, when they went for the baby’s first ultrasound.

ADRIENNE:

There are definitely big steps towards their relationship being made that Amber is really happy about.  She kind of feels she is doing the right thing at this moment…which means it will all backfire, and then be a lot of fun to watch! (Laughs)  No, seriously, I am really enjoying this.  I am glad that I am getting to be Amber the way she is intended to be.  It is a lot more fun than being all sweet and innocent all the time.  Being the wild and crazy gal was the way she was written in the first place, and so it now makes it a lot more fun for me to come back home.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of your CBS home, B&B just celebrated 24 years on the air.   So off the top of your head, what was your favorite B&B Amber moment of all-time?

Coutesy/CBS

ADRIENNE:

I would have to say, and this was years ago, when she was pregnant with Rick’s baby, and her baby died, and so she passed off another baby as her own.  I have to say those were some of my favorite moments.

MICHAEL:

But now she is in a way passing off another baby!

ADRIENNE:

But now, she is more prepared to be a mother, and she is now thinking of somebody else and not just herself.  I think she feels bad about what she is doing, and you never know if she could flip and just tell the truth.  A lot of times I think she just wants to blurt it out, and go, “Hey, I’m sorry.  I am not a bad person.”  I think that is why she and Oliver get along so well. A lot of people look at Amber like she is some evil person, but she is not.  She is misguided, and she never had a strong family to tell her what to do and not to do in her life.

MICHAEL:

I know coming up, Amber is going to use her sexual wiles to try and distract Liam from thinking about Hope.

ADRIENNE:

Maybe!  But when it comes to Amber, I think there is always the possibility of a flirtation and throwing herself out there to somebody.

MICHAEL:

Does she hate Hope at this point?

ADRIENNE:

© JPI Studios

I think she can’t stand everything that Hope represents.  She has been given everything in her life and Amber has had to work so hard.  And Hope just has been given this perfect little life, and so yeah, Amber cannot stand Hope!  She wants to have that life and no one has ever offered that to her.

MICHAEL:

How is Kim Matula (Hope) to work with?

ADRIENNE:

Oh, she is wonderful.  She is a delight to work with, and it’s fun being the character that makes the other girl cry!

MICHAEL:

You bad girl!

ADRIENNE:

Yes, I am a bad, bad girl. But it is more fun, I think, than playing the good girls. But, the good girls get to have their fun, too, but not as much fun as the bad girl.

MICHAEL:

How do you like the new opening sequence to B&B?

ADRIENNE:

I am really weird about change, but I like the new opening.

MICHAEL:

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Are there any other projects on the horizon?  You were working so diligently on your music career and exploring other roles in films a few years back.  What is the status?

ADRIENNE:

Right now, I have a lot on my plate.  I am getting married this year, which is a huge thing!  But right now, I am focusing on Amber and I have good storyline coming up.  I am always up for doing different things, but I am really having fun with Amber right now.

MICHAEL:

So you and former Guiding Light star, Scott Bailey, are engaged and preparing to be wed.  What kind of wedding are you going to have?  Will it be big, or small and intimate?

ADRIENNE:

I think we are going to do a really big wedding.  We are getting married on 11-11-11.  So it’s going to be fun.  I will have all our families there and my B&B family…. all the B&Bers!

MICHAEL:

Since you are always original in fashion, have you found or worked on finding the knockout wedding dress for you?

ADRIENNE:

I have not even tried wedding dresses on yet, but I will do it.  I will do it.  I promise.

MICHAEL:

Why is Scott the guy for you?

ADRIENNE:

© JPI Studios

He is my soul mate and he fills me completely.  I get happy waking up and going to sleep knowing that I have found my soul mate, and that I get to be with my best friend for the rest of my life.  We should have done it earlier.  We were friends for years. You see, you never know.  So I am telling all the people out there, keep your eyes open for your best guy friend, because you never know.  We never kissed for seven years, and once I kissed him I knew he was my soul mate.  Our first response to each other was, “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”  And then three months after that, he is designing a ring for me. And then three months after that, he asked me to be his fiancé.

MICHAEL:

Scott is not too shabby on the eyes, either!

ADRIENNE:

Yeah, I know, right?  I know he is gorgeous.  It just sucks so much! (Laughs)  He is so wonderful, and I adore him.  I got the greatest guy ever, and he loves me so much and it is fantastic.  He loves me for exactly who I am, and that is amazing.

MICHAEL:

I also think it is a compliment to you that you have another special guy in your life, and that is Brad Bell.  The two of you seem to have an amazing and enduring professional collaboration.

ADRIENNE:

We have a great relationship and he is like a buddy.  He knows how to write Amber so well, and he knows how to push me to the limit of what I can do, and then he will write it for me, and push me to the limits.  Whether it is a big dramatic story or comedy, he lets me go with it.

MICHAEL:

Do you ever think Amber and Daniel were a good pairing when you were over at Y&R?

ADRIENNE:

I think so, but I think they could have gone in different directions with it, but they did make a good love story.  And, it is always fun to have a good love story.

MICHAEL:

Where is the little Kid… little D?

ADRIENNE:

It’s actually Deacon’s kid, and so when Deacon was in prison, she was taking him to a boarding school up in Ojai.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

In closing, what would you say to the Amber fans to look forward to from her in April?

ADRIENNE:

I would say in April, to look forward to Amber opening up a whole new can of worms (Laughs) and sinking her teeth into whatever she wants.

MICHAEL:

But wait; will she still be in fear for her life from Bill?

ADRIENNE:

I don’t know. You are just going to have to wait and see.  There is always fear looming, especially when you are carrying around a big lie.

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mmc
mmc

I have been watching B&B since my beloved ATWT is no more.i have to say ….I hate the character of Amber and i cannot stand Steffy either.Two selfish girls who will do anything to get what they want!And Amber and Liam have NO chemistry at all.Liam might be his fathers son, but unfortunately he doesn’t have the sex appeal of a Bill Spencer and the sexy Don Diamont who portrays him!

Skyla
Skyla

I enjoyed this interview but honestly I am not enjoying Amber at all these days. I used to love her when she first stepped into LA on B&B and I loved her with Rick. And yes she was misguided even back then but there was a real vulnerability to Amber back then, and she wasn’t with Rick for money, she truly loved him and when she lost their baby she fell apart and latched onto her cousin’s baby as a sot of redemption, as well as to hang on to Rick. She did bad things but her motivations were purer and I enjoyed watching her grow on B&B, until they regressed her when she stuck Ridge and Bridget in that hole in the snow and I rolled my eyes at that but then thankfully she moved on to Genoa City and I loved Amber all over again. Sure her motivations with Cane weren’t exactly honorable but again I really felt like she truly cared about and loved him, somehow there was still this vulnerability about her that you could forgive because her heart was so open and she was still growing and then came Daniel and I absolutely adored their relationship. It was beautiful and they were so fun to watch and I loved that they could be themselves and unconventional. I hated the way they ended and now it seems ridiculous that she gave up Daniel for a kid she put in boarding school only to manipulate her way into cash by getting pregnant and passing the baby off as Liam’s, which honestly makes no sense because she has cash. Katherine left her money when she “died” and she didn’t take it back which was why her and Daniel didn’t work and decided to focus on their arts but I digress, now she’s saying Amber is jealous of Hope because of the way Oliver loves her but she had that kind of love with Daniel and threw it away. I was really saddened when she left Y&R but had hope hearing she was going back to B&B but just like I rolled my eyes at her stranding Ridge in Bridget in that hole I am rolling my eyes again at this story. For me, having been a fan of Amber throughout her original time at B&B all the way through her time at Y&R I am extremely disappointed in how she is being written. I fell like they’ve regressed her character further back then when she first showed up and have made her unlikable now, there is no sense tome as a viewer that she is misguided anymore or that she is thinking about someone other than herself, frankly she comes off as completely being guided by greed and her own selfishness. I don’t get the sense that she is doing anything for her baby but that she is using her baby to get ahead for HER. All the likable vulnerability of Amber has seemed to disappear from her… Read more »

Terry Richard
Terry Richard

After 15 years I quit watching this train wreck of a soap opera because of this character Franz portrays…this is simply a replotting of material from a decade ago…Let me know when this creature is off the screens so I may go back to watching Stephanie, Brooke, Thomas, Taylor, and Ridge, but as long as this creaton is on I am staying away!

kay killgore
kay killgore

OK! We got rid of Winsor Harmon, Leslie Kay, Sarah Brown the list goes on for this actress!!!!!!

Kathy
Kathy

Michael – why not admit that Frantz’ storyline is a rehash of the Rick/Raymond SL awhile ago? B&B is just wrecked with bad writing, repetitive SL, certain characters getting more airtime than others, and this trashing of characters to prop up the worst joke of a “super-couple” Brooke & Ridge? You soap writers need to stop begging at Brad Bell’s feet for interviews & have him fix this train-wreck!

lESLEY
lESLEY

The scene when Amber was working on Liam to have sex on the couch, darn near made me throw up. She breathed SO MUCH in his face, said all the things that would stop any guy in his tracks. Her sleeping with him just totally ruined it..I knew then this was acting at its worst.

I hope Carl busts up her game plan and she moves off into the sunset. Sorry…but if you think this is a good actress that one likes to watch longer then a quick on and off…this writer creator is degrading the class level of his viewers.

mmc
mmc

I have never seen a lack of chemistry between two actors.And Scott Chilton does not know how to act sad, heartbroken and sexy.Maybe somebody should give a call to my sweetheart Van Hansis and Eric Sheffer Stevens…..they can show them how true chemistry and good acting looks!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

I could not agree more! That scene was so disgusting, but what irks me even more is how they are writing Liam. I was literally yelling at my TV telling him to GO HOME! I mean why would he fall for that crap? Amber is so skanky these days. I can’t wait until she gets busted as well!!!

kitty
kitty

I dont care what other feel. I am on with Team Amber! The soap would be completely boring if it werent for Amber or Steffie. Hope is such a yawn! Amber is fun to watch, so her character is different from the Y&R Amber but I dont care. Ive enjoyed watching Adrienne Frantz for years. I cant wait to see how this storyline blows up. I am secretly hoping she has a happy life with Spencer, but that would be boring.

Barbara James
Barbara James

I just can’t stand this Amber story line now. So if there is something better in her role coming up, I sure wish the writers would speed it up before I stop watching all together! She’s (her character) too old for Liam and she has no moral fiber!!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

ICAM!!!!

Lisamaria
Lisamaria

Glad to see so many feel the way I do! I cannot stand Amber right now (and I used to like her). This whole s/l is making me ILL. And I agree about that seductive scene..it was gagworthy! Amber has about as much sex appeal as a pinky nail, and I do NOT see any chemistry between her and Liam either. No offense to the actress, but she’s nuts if she thinks Amber is never malicious. Um..what do you think LYING to a guy that he is the father of her baby and RUINING his relationship with the girl he loves is??!! If that is not malicious, then I don’t know what is!

mmc
mmc

That seduction scene could have been steamy if the acting was better and there was chemistry between the actors.Even when Oliver looks at Hope you can see something in his eyes that’s so appealing.Somebody made a big mistake by pairing Amber and Liam..Even the kisses are so boring.I’m not being mean , i’m just telling it like I see it!

Tammy H.
Tammy H.

Great interview! B&B is my second favorite soap (right after OLTL), and Amber has always been my favorite B&B character! I’m so glad she is back home. I know a lot of people think her current storyline is just a redo, but I am really enjoying it! I don’t see a lack of chemistry with the actor playing Liam, but I am more of an Oliver & Amber girl. Let Hope have Liam. Amber should be with Oliver. lol But really, this is a fun story! The only thing I miss from the old days is the closeness Amber used to have with Stephanie. Amber could really use a female friend.

lls
lls

dah! Liam is not into Amber. I think his acting is mavelous. I can tell by his actions he is not into her. He portrays his dilema over being forced into an 18 year commitment well. I believe his facial expressions, his body laguage, and the way he kisses Amber shows his didinterest in the slut that i to o,d to be seducing Liam and Oliver. I belive she is in herlate 20′. The s/l requires Liam to be indifferant to Amber. The way he kisses Hope reinforces his feelings twards both women.

Alice
Alice

amber is gross and liam is clearly not into her so why did he sleep with her?????? I didnt get that at all and yes this storyline has been done before with this skanky character lets move on please and bring sarah brown back with a strong storyline shes a gem that was not used to her full potential.

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

She is a terrific actress,

jaybird369
jaybird369

Lately, on B&B, where has Amber been? I miss Amber and Amber’s portrayer Adrienne Frantz totally R-O-C-K-S!!!!! I wish that Amber would pop back up on-screen…and SOON!!!!! Even though Steffi eventually grew on me, Liam and (especially!!!!!) Hope work my nerves. Yikes. More and more, Liam is acting like a lovesick moron and Hope’s wholesome and puritan-like behavior makes me wanna constantly yell at my TV. Again…yikes. The Bottom Line for me: BRING AMBER BACK…NOW!!!!!!

Interviews

Executive Producers David Michaels & David Parks Chat On The Moments That Made The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremony

The 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards are in the record books, and with it came surprising victories, emotional tearjerker moments, and a show that ended up with more heart than the fluff we often see within many entertainment award shows.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Daytime Emmy show executive producers, David Michaels (who also serves as the SR. VP Daytime Emmy Awards for NATAS) and David Parks to gain some insight on how they pulled off some of the major moments of the evening including: a surprise appearance by Amy Poehler, Kathie Lee Gifford’s daytime TV send-off, Shemar Moore’s touching tribute to the late Kristoff St. John, and of course, that Emmy-winning acceptance speech from Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, who is currently battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

On the soap opera side, there was the long overdue win by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny), former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) receiving her Younger Actress award from her idol, none other than Alex Trebek, and B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) receiving the Lead Actress trophy in a tough category of industry heavyweights.

In a year that was tumultuous for the producers and for NATAS with a threatened boycott by the network soaps, requests for more rule regulations and transparency, and the ongoing situation where the Daytime Emmys have not returned to be televised on cable or network TV, but have found success on streaming and social media platforms, we checked-in with Michaels and Parks for a Daytime Emmy post-mortem, and to get the lowdown of their thoughts on daytime’s biggest night of the year. Here’s what they shared.

Photo: NATAS/Getty

Let’s talk about some of the big moments that happened throughout the Emmy ceremony and how you pulled them off.  One, of course, is the Amy Poehler surprise as the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Judge Judy that nobody knew about.  How did you find out that Amy was a Judge Judy fan, and how did you keep her appearance a secret?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I want to just say that what a great job our co-host, Sheryl Underwood did in announcing it, because she saw the name on the teleprompter for the first time during the live show.  I was going to tell her that morning, but as she said, “If I was a bucket, I couldn’t hold water.”   So, very, very, very few people knew.   All through the scripts in the rundown, Amy was listed as “Presenter X.”   What happened was, the day after the press release about Judge Judy came out, Harlan Boll (NATAS publicist) forwarded me an email from a publicist that I didn’t know saying that he wanted to talk about his client presenting on the Emmys.   I called him, and he claimed to be Amy Poehler’s publicist, and I didn’t know him.  He said, “Amy Poehler is Judge Judy’s biggest fan.  She wants to present the award.”  The only stipulation is that it has to be a surprise.  Then, I went on IMDB-Pro, and checked him out, and he was indeed Amy’s publicist and for a lot of other celebrities, as well.   I called Judy’s people, and I said, “You’re not going to believe this,” and they went to Judy, and she just loved it.  I don’t even know why Amy wanted it to be a surprise, but we had to honor it.  It obviously would have done us more good pre-publicity-wise if it wasn’t a surprise, but we honored it.   We actually kept a secret in Hollywood!  I mean, David Parks knew, and maybe four other people.  I think that maybe what I am proudest of … keeping the secret.

Photo: NATAS

David Parks, did you think it would really happen?

DAVID PARKS:  You know, I am often a naysayer about things, but I actually did.  There was something legitimate about it once David vetted the manager.  There was really never any scare or anything that was like, “Oh, all of the sudden she’s busy.  All of the sudden she’s been offered this other thing.”   It was kind of like, it got arranged, and we didn’t have to do anything until that week, and then, we had to figure out the best place to drop her off and how to get Amy inside the venue with as few people as possible seeing her.   She could not have been nicer about it all too.  I mean, we got her to the closest spot, and nobody on my team knew.  Like David said, it was “Presenter X.”  Everybody kept asking.   I was like, “Not going to tell you.  Then, you don’t have to worry about keeping the secret.”

DAVID MICHAELS:  I was just very taken with how gentle and kind Amy was.  She looked me in the eye and actually thanked me for letting her do this.  She was so gracious and sweet.  The whole thing was just a great experience.

Courtesy/NATAS/Getty

Another memorable moment occurred at the end of the night, when Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm, Y&R and now S.W.A.T.) honored his dear friend and former on-screen Y&R brother, the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters) before announcing the winner in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Were you aware that Shemar was going to go off-script and talk about his love and respect for St. John?

DAVID MICHAELS:  Obviously, to this daytime community, Kristoff was very special.   I made him last in the In-Memoriam segment, which obviously was the most I could do as a producer, because there were over 30 other people who passed as well. Before he took the stage, Shemar came to the producers table and he said, “Are you sure?”  This was in regard to him saying a few words about Kristoff.  I said, “Shemar, as long as you say that you’re going off the script,” because he was.  There was nothing in the script.  I just said, “If you go out there and speak from the heart, I will have no problem with it, and I think that everybody will have no problem with it.”  He went out there, and he just killed it.  He was brilliant. I was sitting there at the producer’s table crying.  He destroyed me.  I think everybody really appreciated it, and I thought it was the perfect way to go into the final award.

DAVID PARKS:  I thought it was very genuine.  You can still feel his pain.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Next, you were able to get Kathie Lee Gifford to attend the Daytime Emmys to honor her.  How did that come together?  I assume she did not have a speech written when she addressed the crowd.  Kathie Lee is all about being “authentic”.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Correct, she actually had no speech written.  I saw her right before she went on, and she said, “Well, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.”  I said, “You’re supposed to go out there and be Kathie Lee.  You’re supposed to tell the community what you think of them.”  I also added, “I doubt this is the first time you’ve improvised,” and she laughed.  The result is what you saw, because she had not seen the tribute video before we played it, and the ladies of The Talk had actually asked to introduce Kathie Lee, because they adore her.

DAVID PARKS:  It really did come off well, because there was this concern about it not being a Lifetime Achievement Award(Not that she doesn’t deserve one, but that just wasn’t what it was this year.)  We were figuring out, how do you make this moment that is special without overshadowing the Lifetime Achievement Awards?  Kathie managed to do that.  I think it was her then winning in the Outstanding Informative Talk Show host category along with Hoda Kotb that really made it one of the most talked about moments of the show.

That award was positioned after Kathie Lee’s tribute, correct?

DAVID PARKS:  Yes, and on purpose, because in the case that she doesn’t win, you don’t want her out there kind of bumming out about it.  In all of these moments you have mentioned, the serendipity of it worked out really nicely for us.  Judy got honored, and unfortunately for her she didn’t win, but it didn’t destroy the moment.  In Kathie Lee’s case, it elevated the moment.

Courtesy/NATAS

Talking about serendipity, with Amy, Kathie Lee, Shemar, and Alex, it was almost like an organic perfect storm, and the next day people were talking about the Daytime Emmys in the mainstream press more than they had in recent years.

DAVID PARKS:  You picked up on this inclination that you have to fight sometimes to entertain, entertain, and entertain.  I think this year kind of proved that you don’t have to throw out the dog and pony show. It kind of works that you honor people, and they come out and they give these heartfelt speeches, and those mean more than those extra segments – whether it’s song or dance, or jokes, and you can tell the things that we cut out this year.  I think what it’s all about is …  getting awards, giving awards, and honoring people for their achievements.

How do you feel your co-hosts, Sheryl Underwood (The Talk) and Mario Lopez (EXTRA) did this year?  You seem to like this pairing as you have had them back multiple times now.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I thought it was Sheryl’s best year.  We didn’t give Sheryl big comedy moments, but everything she did felt so heartfelt and right.  They were there throughout the show.  They got their moments.  They got their beginning, middle, and they got their end.

DAVID PARKS:  I think as producers there was a little bit of a gift in watching what happened with the Oscars this year because it actually showed, (I mean, I’m sure it’s not what they wanted initially) not having a host kind of stream-lined that show.  People were like, “Yeah, the Oscars were pretty good this year.”  We talked about that a lot.  We don’t need to over think this.  It’s already been proven what happens if we don’t give as much to our hosts.

Photo: NATAS

Let’s talk about Alex Trebek.  That was such a huge moment when he accepted his award; winning Outstanding Game Show Host, and when he took the stage to present the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series award.  I heard he wasn’t not feeling well at all at the ceremonies, as we all knew he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know Alex pretty well.  So, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well; even though that wasn’t what he was putting forth.  It’s interesting though because Alex originally told us he wanted to stay backstage the whole time, but once he got to the ceremony that was not what he wanted to do.  So, Alex was in the audience, and he actually surprised me.  In a similar way to what I said to Shemar.  I said, “When Alex gets out there, he’s going to get a standing ovation,” which he did, and that was the moment when I said, “Alex, if you want to say something, go ahead,” and he didn’t.  I was shocked.  He just came out and presented the Younger Actress award.  So, if Alex had not won, he never would have said anything because that’s when he got the emotion in and all of that.  He definitely took a chance.

So, Alex presents ‘Younger Actress’ and made Hayley Erin’s (Ex-GH) life, because when I did my interview with her backstage, all she talked about is what this meant to have her idol, Alex Trebek hand her the award.  Talk about serendipity!  Now, when Alex accepted his award for Outstanding Game Show Host, did you have any idea what he was going to say, because coming out of the Emmys, people were buzzing about what he shared on-stage.

DAVID MICHAELS:  No, and quite honestly, I got scared when he started that speech when he was saying he didn’t want a sympathy vote, but that’s Alex.  He will totally bring it, and then turn it around.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID PARKS:  There was a side thing that you probably didn’t know about.  We got approached by a guy looking to buy fan tickets, but they had a group who needed ADA (Americans with Disabilities) seating.   It turned out be a group of cancer patients who were terminal.  The group was SayYEStoHOPE.org.  They weren’t asking for anything.  They just wanted to be able to sit together. So, we comped them all.  I’m at the red carpet, and this group is coming up the stairs, and one of the guys from the venue says to me, “This is the ‘Say Yes to Life’ group.”  So, I start talking to them, and one of the women just had chemo that day, and they were so excited to be at the Daytime Emmys, but what they were really excited about was to see Alex Trebek.  I wish there had been a way to either acknowledge them, or to let Alex know,  because they are big Daytime television fans,  but Alex meant so much to them in terms of being a cancer survivor, and a cancer patient, just like them.

Were you worried about Alex on Emmy night?

DAVID PARKS:  I thought he looked pretty good considering what I knew he had been going through.  It was actually this past week when I read about how on Jeopardy, he was doubled over in pain on the floor.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Yeah, if you saw that CBS Sunday Morning interview, it was pretty extreme, and they showed a clip from our show, by the way.  Similar to what David described with Judge Judy and Amy, Alex stood by the monitor to see if Jeopardy was going to win, which it didn’t, and Alex was just like, “Okay,” and off he went, and I got a big hug.  Just knowing him, I think he put out a lot of energy to be there, but I think he was glad to do it.

Courtesy/NATAS

Let’s move on to another amazing moment which was General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) finally winning his second Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor.  The crowd went crazy!  What did you think about how that happened . … and the fact that Maurice didn’t have a speech prepared?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I honestly believe Maurice that he didn’t think he was going to win.  It’s been many years since he had, and I also didn’t think that any of the other nominees could complain about losing an award to Maurice, because he’s the king.  He kept saying he couldn’t cry up there, and then, he cried up on-stage.  It really was about doing the Alzheimer’s storyline with Max Gail (Mike, GH) who totally reminds Maurice of his real father, and then, to have Max win as well, I just think it was a very emotional moment for him, and it was beautiful.

DAVID PARKS:  What impressed me is that often times you think actors should be so good at giving speeches, and they’re horrible at it because it’s not scripted.  So, when somebody does give one, and it’s really heartfelt and all of that, it’s really refreshing.  It’s kind of nice, especially on such a big award.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  In addition, Kyler Pettis (Ex-Theo, Days) win for Younger Actor in a Drama Series, was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen.  For years, I have been impressed with his portrayal of the high-functioning autistic young man.  It was always very moving to me.  If you watched the show and the close-up on him when they called his name, Kyler immediately was crying.  It really moved me.  I spoke to him the next day at The Talk, and he was completely blown away.  I just don’t think he thought this was going to happen.

What went into the decision to make the opening number “Sing!”?  Obviously, a big part of that was you were celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street.  And, I hear Mario Lopez’s son got to see the Muppets backstage, up close and personal?

DAVID MICHAELS: They always say don’t work with children and animals – but we did it – children – a dog – and two Muppets!  The dog – of course was Q-Tip – the shelter dog who came on with Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan. The kids were mostly from a community theatre production of MATILDA – and Joely Fisher connected us.  They included one of Joely’s daughters, Rebecca Romijn’s twins and Gary Busey’s son!  It was my concept and our musical director’s arrangement.  I thought it would be a great, positive way to start the evening.  It is always a joy to work with the Muppets – and Ryan and Leslie who do Elmo and Abby are amazing.  When Mario’s son, Nico, came in, I wanted to be careful to not shatter any illusions – so I took him over to the Muppets and he stared at them and he whispered to me: “Are they real”?  I said “Of course they are – just like you see them on TV.”  Nico says, “Can they talk?” I  say, “Of course they can.”  Then, Nico says, “Does someone have to help them talk?”  Now I am nervous and I pause, “Well … what do you think?”  He says, “I think they have some help”  Then,  he walked around back and saw the puppeteers.  The most adorable sweet child on the planet!

Photo: NATAS

There was a lot of behind the scenes drama and difficulties in the months prior to the Emmys; including the independent investigation, requests for more transparency in the awards system, the four soaps potentially boycotting, etc.  When you look back at what it took to get here, how do you feel about the outcome?

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve used this analogy a couple of times already, and I’m not a woman, but I think this is kind of what childbirth must be like.  The pain of it is so great that you think, “We can’t get through this,” and “Never again,” and afterwards, you see the baby, and all of the pain goes away.  You’re like, “Hey, we did it, and it worked.  It was really good.  It was enjoyable.”  I think, as a producer, you don’t really want people to know the difficulties.  If people understand the difficulties of getting to that night, you’ve probably done something wrong.  At the same time, I’m the last guy to crave attention, but for the people who were aware of the challenges that we had this year to see what we’ve pulled off, and when they say, “Holy cow.  Your set, your show, the smoothness…”  that is gratifying. You know, the stuff people are experiencing in the audience or the stuff that they see on the screen is what ultimately matters.  You learn from the mistakes, but at the end of the day, as long as that experience is good for the nominees, the winners, and the fans, that is what really counts.

People always want to know how it goes backstage with the handling of the envelopes.  Do you have it plotted out so that nobody except the accountants knows the winners until the big moment on-stage?  How does that work?

DAVID PARKS:  So, this year we actually had two accountants backstage.  The envelope went from the hand of the accountant to the hand of the stage manager, who then gave it to our trophy people, who give it to the presenter.  We had our fancy, new envelopes which everybody seemed to like, but literally, nobody on the staff even touched the envelopes this year.

Photo: NATAS

It seems like you have built-in a failsafe to minimize any potential complaints.

DAVID PARKS:  People always can, I guess.  It’s always been completely above board, but this year it was just even another step.  It’s important because the integrity of the awards is important.  I laugh a little bit, when somebody thinks they know if they are going to win or not because they’re trying to read something into the position of a camera in the audience.  We even added steps with how we shot it.  We told our cameramen, “Hold your shot for like 5 seconds after the announcement has been made.  So, even though your person isn’t getting up, we don’t want you to relax.”  We don’t want the person to think they’re not going to win.  The worst thing that will happen is somebody thinks they’re not going to win like a half a second before the announcement, it’s not a life-altering thing, but we still want to make the experience perfect for all nominees.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Our director Greg Gelfand, I think is the best in the business.  This is all a big pain in the butt for him.  He’s just trying to direct a show, but he was totally with us.  Greg said, “Okay, you’ve got it.”  The cameramen were great, and Greg was great.   Again, I’ll say for the 8 millionth time, I don’t know who is going to win.  It was very exciting and it was very surprising.

DAVID PARKS:  I always tell people that if anybody wanted to have proof that we don’t know in advance, all they have to do is watch David’s reaction at the producer’s table.  We find out at the same time as everybody else, and he’s like, “Oh, my God!  They won!?  That is an upset.  You don’t understand, Dave.  That is like an upset.”

Courtesy/NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know the soaps more than David does, but I’m like a little boy back there when I see who is winning.  I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  The accountants sometimes will look at me like, “Did I do something wrong? (Laughs)  Look, there’s not much more we can do.  I was very proud.  I was very proud of the presenters, and I thought it was a great mix of all of the genres and the whole industry, and everybody was great in their own unique way.  There was some new blood at the show presenting and with the winners.

DAVID PARKS:  I have to interject my half into the little bit of love fest for David, because if there is one thing I think I hammered on David more than anything else this year was that we have to shorten the show.  The difference between three hours and three and a half hours or three hours and twenty minutes, is a huge difference.  I kept pushing David to simplify, to come up with simpler ways, or less verbose ways to do presentations, and he rose to the occasion, and before the show, he was like, “I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think I could have made this any shorter,” and I went through the script and there really was so little that could have been trimmed.  David really did a great job of answering the call and writing something that got us through a lot faster than last year.  We got a lot of comments after that said it didn’t feel like three hours.  Part of that was that it wasn’t three hours and thirty minutes.  It was actually three hours.

DAVID MICHAELS:   David Parks is the perfect foil for me and me for him.  Because we are so different, we don’t fight, but we will have words sometimes, and one of us will win, but it’s always the right decision.  One of the reasons I love working with him so much is that if he is giving me a hard time about something, there is a reason for it, and I have to really consider what he is saying.  I think that is a really healthy way to work.

Photo: JPI Studios

What would you like to see happen for the next Daytime Emmy Awards presentation?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I’d love for somebody to give us a million dollars so that we can do the most lavish show in the world.  I’d love to keep the heart going.   The one bad thing about finishing a good show is that you always take a breath and say, “Now … what do we do next time?”

DAVID PARKS:  For me, it’s that you always want to keep shows like this fresh.  It doesn’t always mean completely reinventing the wheel, but sometimes, you step back, and you think, “What can we do to freshen this up so that it’s not just a repeat?”  That can have to do with the set.   You just have to look at everything and also recognize that the best moments, as we learned this year, you can’t manufacture those.  They’re just going to happen organically.  So, you just have to create a show that allows those moments to happen, and like David said, money solves problems.  We will certainly be looking for additional sponsorship, and to build on the great ratings that we’ve had this year, and the fact that we have continued to build this event up over the years.

Courtesy/NATAS

Would you ever consider, or continue to try to get the ceremony back on TV, perhaps even on daytime television, if some network would offer you a spot to do it in?

DAVID MICHAELS:  There is nothing we wouldn’t consider.   Although I will say; that if the numbers are what we think they were this year, there were probably more than three times as many viewers as the last time we were on television.

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve always said that if they were to be on TV again, if they were to be on during the day, which is when our fans are watching TV anyway, it would make sense,  However, I have to say that I think the Daytime Emmys being at sort of the forefront of digital television puts us way out in front.  Eventually, this is how everybody is going to be watching TV.  It’s not going to be like, “Oh, we’re not on basic, terrestrial TV.”  It doesn’t matter.

DAVID MICHAELS:  You’ve got to realize that this audience is worldwide.  Being on television is not.  So, when you see that people are watching all over the world, that’s pretty amazing.

So, what did you think about what David & David shared about decisions made for the Emmy ceremony and the backstage tidbits?  How would you score this year’s Daytime Emmys? What was your favorite moment within it? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Steve Burton Interview – General Hospital – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

On the red carpet at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) chats with Michael Fairman.

During their conversation, Steve weighs-in on the nominated scenes of Laura Wright’s which also featured him, and the friendship of Jason and Carly, plus how he told Maurice Benard (Sonny) that he had to submit himself in the Lead Actor category; an award in which Maurice won that night.

Later, Burton laughs as Michael reveals that in his recent interview with Coby Ryan McLaughlin (Shiloh), the actor said that he can and wants to take down the character of Jason; to which Steve rebutted here that it ain’t going to happen.

Finally. Steve talks on the success of his road show and podcast with buddy and castmate, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli)

Watch the interview below. Then let us know, do you like the scenes between  Jason and Carly? Do you want Shiloh or Jason to have the upper hand in their rivalry? Comment below.

For more red carpet and backstage interviews from the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Interview – Days of our Lives – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati chats with Michael Fairman on the red carpet at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Carlivati and his writing team were nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series; an award they won last year.

Ron reveals to Michael that the reels submitted in the writing category were different than those submitted for Outstanding Drama Series; with the writing submissions centering around Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) wedding and her shooting … and then the aftermath in the hospital where Marlena’s children and John have to say goodbye to her fearing she will not pull through her medical crisis.

Later, Carlivati discusses how he has become more firmly entrenched in the land of Salem after being an ABC Daytime guy for most of his life; following writing for One Life to Live and General Hospital.

Watch the interview below.  Then let us know, what did you think of Ron’s choice for the writing award? Should DAYS have toppled Y&R on the strength of those reels? Comment below.

For more 46th annual Daytime Emmy Red Carpet and backstage interviews visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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