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The Brad Bell Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Courtesy/CBS

What is the mark of a great executive producer and head writer?  The ability to roll with the punches when the unexpected happens!   And that is exactly what The Bold and the Beautiful’s Brad Bell has been doing after the stunning announcements that series stars, Ronn Moss (Ridge) and Susan Flannery (Stephanie) made decisions to leave the CBS soap after 25 years.

While Moss’ last episode has aired, Flannery will be around till December and as Brad teases below, the series plans an appropriate send-off for Susan and her alter-ego Stephanie.  But what does this mean for the beloved Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)?  On-Air On-Soaps sat down with the head honcho of all things bold and beautiful in his office, to get this thoughts on future plans for Brooke, how Ronn Moss’ final scenes played out behind-the-scenes during Brooke and Ridge’s latest wedding, how he is dealing with all the upheaval, and a preview into the fall for the other characters on his canvas, and who will be stepping into the forefront!

And if the two big departures of Moss and Flannery weren’t bad enough, Bell prior to that found out he had to put the brakes on the show’s highly anticipated first same-sex storyline featuring fan favorites, Joanna Johnson (Karen) and Crystal Chappell (Dani).  In our conversation, he informs us what the future holds for this important story that he has clearly wanted to tell.

There are some things that can be said of Brad Bell: He is forthright, smart, and incredibly successful in this genre.  Many feel he has the right formula and prescription to keep making the soap genre vital and viable in the changing television landscape, and you will read what he thinks about that, too. Here’s our chat with Brad!

MICHAEL:

There have been a lot of significant changes that you have to deal with … the fallout from the departure of Ronn Moss, and soon, Susan Flannery.  How has this caused you to shuffle the deck story-wise?  Will the departures ultimately alter the course of what you had planned for the fall for viewers of B&B?

BRAD:

Courtesy/CBS

At first, it’s like being in a car and running 50 miles an hour into a brick wall.  Then, you have that moment of crashing, and then you realize you have to pick up the pieces and turn left or turn right, and continue on.  There is that initial impact of: this is all you have known for 25 years, and then it’s gone, and that causes you to look in new directions.  It’s exciting what I am seeing.  I am grateful to Ronn and Susan for so much talent and their dedication, but I am also excited about these new paths and avenues the show will take.

MICHAEL:

As the show’s head writer and executive producer, when all the shocking changes came about what went down?   Did you have an emergency meeting with your writing team?

BRAD:

It was interesting.  I met with Katherine Kelly Lang, and the writers and producers, and we all just threw out ideas. The path seemed pretty clear very quickly, and it’s always about playing to your strengths and recognizing what your strengths are in terms of cast, and story, and how we are going to use some of these key characters.  It also opened up new avenues for characters that had been back-burnered, or on the sidelines, who I have had great respect for, but we have just not had the chance to give them the amount of airtime that they need and deserve.  So in that respect, it’s very exciting.

MICHAEL:

You are speaking for instance of Jacob Young (Rick)?  You have said in previously published interviews that he would come front and center as he vies to take over Ridge’s seat at Forrester Creations, and as well as his manipulations for the love of Caroline.

BRAD:

Yes.  Jacob, Linsey Godfrey (Caroline), Hunter Tylo (Taylor), and basically the rest of the core cast.  We know that Ronn, Katherine, Susan, and John McCook (Eric) have been front and center for 25 years.  We have great actors and actresses here, such as Alley Mills (Pam)!  We have so many people who will be able to step up, plus the younger group, so I am excited to put words in their mouths!

MICHAEL:

Was there a moment when you were concerned that Katherine Kelly Lang would not re-sign with the series?

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

BRAD:

You never know!  Life throws you curveballs.  So before we went on hiatus, I had not heard from a few of the cast members.  I wrote a wedding, and it was written the way it was because I knew anything could happen.  It rarely does, but sometimes it does.  So I was so happy that Katherine and I are continuing on.  She is fantastic!  She is unbelievable, and that we care about her 25 years into the character, and everything she has been through!  How Katherine makes us still love Brooke, and care about her, and makes us want to throw things at her at the same time … is amazing.   I don’t know how Katherine does it.

MICHAEL:

How was the taping of the wedding of Brooke and Ridge?   Ronn and Katherine both told me separately, it was the hardest day they have ever had to get through during the 25 years they have spent together at B&B.   How was it for you?

BRAD:

It was surreal.  It was so unexpected.  But then, we knew it was the last scenes Katherine and Ronn would be doing together … maybe forever, or maybe for quite some time.  But it had a very real feel to it.  When Ridge and Brooke were stating that they love each other, Katherine and Ronn really do love each other.   So, it was incredibly intense, and when the viewers saw it on air, they saw not as much acting, but more reality.

MICHAEL:

Then, they went off on their honeymoon, and Brooke returns sans Ridge.

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Yes, and then Brooke comes back and resumes her life.

MICHAEL:

And goes on to another man?  You have teased in recent interviews that there will be a new man in Brooke’s life.  Do you know who that man is?

BRAD:

Yes, there will be a new man in Brooke’s life, and I do know who that man is.

MICHAEL:

Many of us are hoping … it’s Dr Meade!  We think Jon Hensley (Dr. Meade, Ex-Holden, ATWT) and Katherine would be quite sexy together on-screen!

BRAD:

Dr, Meade is cool!  But you know Brooke.  There won’t just be one man! (Laughs)  As far as Jon Hensley, we are excited to have him back.  He will be in more often and he has a storyline that is developing.  I went to Jon and said, “I don’t have much here, but it’s a role of a doctor.  And, we all know doctors and their history on soap operas.”

MICHAEL:

Yes. They sleep with all their patients! (Laughs)

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Art Streiber

That’s right! (Laughs)   But Jon was very trusting in me and now it’s starting to grow.  I can say that with what little Jon has had; he has done so much with it.

MICHAEL:

Do you watch how actors click on-screen to dictate story?  Or, if there is a flick of chemistry … or, if it’s just watching paint dry between them?  I would think it’s key in your position.

BRAD:

That is the really smart way to write a soap.  You can beat your head against a wall writing wonderful scenes, or scenes that could potentially be wonderful.  But, if the chemistry is not there, you are fighting a losing battle.  If there is chemistry there, and you have actors and actresses who know how to define their character, and know how to be provocative, and make something out of nothing, then they are going to make you look good.

MICHAEL:

You’re not too far ahead of yourself in taping vs. storytelling, which is good!  Days of our Lives is three months ahead, and when things aren’t working there, it’s very hard for them to go back.  There is re-editing that would have to be done and scraping of story.  Here at B&B, you have the ability to change something faster, if it’s not resonating with your audience.

BRAD:

Courtesy/CBS

Fortunately, CBS has trusted me, and in order to write a long term story and stick to the long term, it would seem to make sense, but it doesn’t.  The writing denies the writer the writing process.  The writing process isn’t coming up with something and sticking with it. The writing process is about coming up with something and refining and refining it, sometimes up until the scene tapes, or even after it.  That is what screen writers and sitcoms writers do, but in soaps, we don’t have that luxury.  However, it’s essential that the process is allowed to take place, because it usually gets better results.

MICHAEL:

Having steered the ship at B&B for 25 years, how often now do you listen to your viewers and what they want, as opposed to staying on course with what you want to write, or projected story-wise with your team?

BRAD:

I have always enjoyed the viewer’s comments.  They are interesting and great.  My dad, Bill Bell was into Daytime TV Magazine, when they had a poll in it.  He would look at that and have the magazine open on his desk and he would refer to it.  And, why not?  We are foolish not to pay attention to these people who are specialists and analysts.  So I enjoy reading the feedback all the time.  I don’t tell story according to it, but if I say it doesn’t have an impact, that is not true either.  It does.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Fans have been quite critical that the Steffy/Liam/Hope triangle is way overplayed.  Is it overplayed to you?

BRAD:

The fans are saying that this triangle is overplayed right now, and they are absolutely right.  I feel that too when I watch the show right now.  We are just about to take a break from that, as they have been front and center for a long time.  And they have proven themselves and defined themselves as Brooke/Ridge/Taylor were overplayed in the 80’s and the 90’s.  We are going to take a break and see more families in the fall.  I was ready to take a break from them, but then I heard Ronn’s decision to leave and there were so many things up in the air.  So there were a lot of behind-the-scenes shake-ups.  Part of the reason of this extended version of Steffy/Liam/Hope was that I was not sure who I had on the canvas.  I knew I could count on Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy), Scott Clifton (Liam) and Kim Matula (Hope).  They were delivering.  So now we are gearing up for a new chapter, but all three of them were so fantastic.  We are up in the ratings from last year due to them. They have all grown so much as actors.  I could not be more pleased.  They have all been a hit for us.

MICHAEL:

When Susan Flannery announced her departure to you, how were you with that?  Was it emotional for you?  You two have been so paramount to the success of this show.  

BRAD:

Susan had talked about leaving for quite some time.  She basically came into my office and said, “I’m leaving.”  She did not beat around the bush.  And I said, “I can tell you mean it.”  And we hugged, and she said she would be here with me to bring a conclusion to the story and the character.  We have a great mutual respect for one another.  We have enjoyed locking horns once in awhile.  I can be difficult, and she can be difficult, but that is all part of this, and what we really love and how we learn from each other.  I will miss her.  Susan had made her impact on this show, obviously.  She is our matriarch forever.

MICHAEL:

You also have teased that you have a big story for Susan to set up her exit from the series.  Will that be front and center this fall?

BRAD:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

We have not written Susan’s exit yet, but I can say it will be a great send-off and a tribute to a woman and a character that has been so much a part of our lives.  I would really like to do justice to her, and show the highlights of her career on this show.  I think the audience is going to love it.

MICHAEL:

Many executive producers and head writers in daytime use a major star and character’s exit to propel future story.  Do you see that with Stephanie’s exit, or will you try to have closure for the character and satisfy the audience in a dramatic fashion?

BRAD:

Well, both!  We won’t be using Susan’s send-off as a vehicle.  I think she deserves better than that.  So it’s going to be all about Stephanie, and all about Susan.  Hopefully, it will be one of the great tributes on daytime, ever!

MICHAEL:

In regards to Ridge, would you recast the role?

BRAD:

The role of Ridge Forrester is so integral to The Bold and the Beautiful that I don’t like to think of anyone else playing the role other than Ronn Moss.  But, I have gone on record as saying, I will recast if the time comes, and I feel we need the character.  Then, I will bring back the character.  Ronn will always be my first choice.  I hope he does return to the show.  But if he is not up for that, then I will recast it.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

When Ronn made his decision to leave, did you have any idea it would happen so suddenly?

BRAD:

No.  I think everyone was shocked.  So off he went.   Ronn has been such a great gentlemen and such a great leader, and adored around the world.  Ronn is a great man and a great actor.  He just made the character of Ridge Forrester so singular, that he became iconic around the world.

MICHAEL:

Bill and Katie will be big in the fall, I see!  Does he do some more evil stuff?  And, will that mean more Emmy worthy material for Heather Tom (Katie)?

BRAD:

I hope so!  With Heather, she can basically read the phone book and make it good.  But, we have a great women’s issue storyline coming Heather’s way this fall … like a freight train!  We are so excited about this.  It will give Heather a storyline that she has never had before.  Something that affects so many women around the world, and Heather is going to ace it for sure.  It’s exciting to have powerful material heading in the direction of an incredibly powerful actress.  This is a must-see storyline!

MICHAEL:

In another curve ball, here you just started the first same-sex storyline in the history of B&B, and Joanna Johnson notifies you she has to leave right as you were getting into it.  The question on many people’s minds is: what are you going to do with the super popular Crystal Chappell … anything?

BRAD:

Photo Credits: L Bohm & K. Hutchins

This was another curve-ball! (Laughs)  Of the two, Joanna Johnson has a great history with this show, and so I would like to play them as a couple.  I reached out to Joanna the last few weeks, and she is still unavailable.  Joanna is very busy and a multi-talented woman, and I want her to be on the show.  I want to play Crystal.  I am going to go play Crystal, without Joanna, if Joanna cannot shake loose from her commitment.  But Joanna said she will return.  It’s just that our timing has been off.  I am very committed to telling the story of Caroline and her parents.  I think it may be in a lull right now, and I hope Crystal Chappell will hang in there through this.  We can have some very interesting story, because we just barely scratched the surface of it.  So I am blaming Joanna for this one! (Laughs)  No, but she did warn me, and I have to say this.  She said, “I have this thing coming.”   But you know me, I was like, “Oh, it’s show business.”  And now Joanna has another hit with Emily Owens M.D., in which she is the producer.  She is just that good.

MICHAEL:

Many fans also ask: if now that Ridge is gone, will Thorne get involved in the power struggle at Forrester Creations, which would mean more airtime for Winsor Harmon (Thorne)? 

BRAD:

Thorne will be involved in all this, and Taylor, too.  They have a story that is coming up but is slow in the making.  It’s a little bit difficult, because I love Winsor and he makes a great Thorne, but that generation has fractured a bit.  So we are focusing down a generation to the Thomas and Rick side of the canvas.  Thorne is an island currently, but he will be seen, and Hunter has a great story coming up.

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

Is that a story specifically Taylor?

BRAD:

It is a story for Hunter and Taylor.  We will see her very much as a professional and a doctor, and as someone who is really in the middle of a great dilemma.  I am excited that Hunter will be front and center again, because she is so gifted.

MICHAEL:

Y&R’s 10,000th episode will air next week.  Recently, we were all at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills event honoring the milestone.  Your sister-in-law, Maria Arena Bell, was on the panel saying her goodbyes and well-wishes for her time at Y&R, meaning you are the only Bell left as a current EP and/or head writer.  There truly feels like a shift and changing face of daytime.  How do you feel about it?

BRAD:

My sister, Lauralee Bell (Christine), is still acting and doing amazingly well on Y&R.  She always amazes me when I watch her.  So we are around and a driving force in this industry.  B&B is the number one soap opera in the world, and we are totally focused on being around for some time to come.  Y&R has such an incredible group of actors and writers.   Maria came in during the strike, and had an incredibly successful run.  Y&R and B&B are strong. We are the only back-to-back soaps on a daytime lineup now. I think it’s going to be a challenging time for talk shows now.  There are just so many of them.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of talk shows, do you think Katie will eventually have long term success, after all the fanfare heralding to daytime?

BRAD:

I would expect Katie would have had good ratings, but I think the production on that show needs to be fine-tuned a bit.  It’s a bit slow to me, but they are just getting started.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

MICHAEL:

It has been a shock to the system of soap fans and the industry to see Peter Reckell (Bo, DAYS), Steve Burton (Jason, GH) and Ronn Moss (Ridge, B&B) all announce their departures, and all within a relatively short time of one another.  It’s like all the veterans are walking out the front door of the genre.  Being in your position, do you think that now the genre will get more on a steady course after this stream of big name exits?

BRAD:

I feel that we will and are.  People exit, and those are three big names you mention, but there are other people who are eager and hungry, and the writing teams are very committed.  We love this art form.  And, as the bigger names come into talk series, so are the bigger salaries that they demand.  Now we are starting to see comparatively that our costs structure is in the ballpark of some of these talk shows.  So we are trying to streamline, and if we can do that successfully, we are in for a very bright future.

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BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

There is nothing that I can say, except without Ronn and Susan, there is no show Brad Bell.

ashlee
ashlee

I think the show will be better. Ronn, with all due respect to his stardom and international popularity, is a terrible actor. Scenes where he is required to emote dramatically always cause me to snicker…which is opppsite to the intention of the scenes. A recast Ridge…with an actor who can ACT…like say Grant Aleksander…that would be awesome!! Grant could bring fire and passion and life and depth to the character that Ronn never did or could. As for momma Steph…she should die of cancer…and then pop in as a ghost every now and again to torment Brooke or.comfort her children. Presumed deaths have zero emotional impact because they have literally been…pun intended…done to death on soaps. These shows.only have a few years left in them….so be bold…take chances risks…shake things up.

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

And you think that KKL can act? Whenever Ronn is with any of the Logan’s he looks good. If Brad Bell want to be Bold, he would stop picking up od scripts from the past and stop using them over and over again.

ashlee
ashlee

Don’t get ahead of yourself. LOL. I never said KKL was any great thespian. Her vocal inflections sound the same whether she is saying “Hi”, or “Stephanie, get that telephone cord off my neck!”. I was just mentioning RM and SF because they are leaving. Come to think of it, Grant Aleksander and Beth Chamberlin would be an AWESOMELY recast Ridge and Brooke! Never happen, just wishful thinking.

Egolf
Egolf

Please Crystal’s character could be used as Momma bear for Rick/Caroline story. Blah Blah Blah, put up or shut Brad as CC. I’ve already stopped watching the Lame show.

Marc
Marc

Great interview! Sad to see Susan Flannery leave the show. Stephanie will always be one of daytime’s greatest divas.

Stephanie
Stephanie

The difference between Brooke/Ridge/Taylor in the 90s is that it was stable and it was balanced by other storylines. Ridge and Taylor had a happy and supportive marriage for a number of YEARS. Years, not weeks. And instead we got to watch Thorne destory his realtionship with Macy for the upteenth time for Brooke (I LOVED Thorne and Macy). I actually cared about Ridge and Taylor making it in the 90s. I don’t care about Liam anymore and any girl he ends up with is unlucky enough to have him.

joyce
joyce

I hope B&B will start showing Danielle more even if Karen is out of town as they said.Have Danielle be there for Caroline she needs to talk to her mother about Thomas issues.

SonnyBgirl
SonnyBgirl

I’m happy to read viewers will get a break from the triangle, but I want more Steffy minus the triangle. Great interview!

anothercc
anothercc

Crystal Chappell brought me to B&B. I am thrilled that Mr. Bell plans to continue “Caroline’s Two Mommies” story. BUT, Chappell fans would REALLY LOVE to see Dani on their screen in the meantime. It’s like Dani has crawled under a rock since Karen is “out of town on business”. Caroline really needs her OTHER MOM to be active in her life.

Thanks Michael for a great interview as always !

Brinard
Brinard

Interesting interview, Michael. It seems like his favorite line is “We have a great storyline for _____ coming up!” But we never actually see these come to fruition in the caliber to which he exclaims. I’ve seen this in previous interviews as well.

And in that last question, pretty much what he was saying is that these big name stars, when they want bigger salaries, and seeing how that could put the show’s budget in jeopardy and when the network looks at it compared to a talk show, they would slash the soap over it all because the show was over-budget because of this big name star wanting a certain salary. So in his opinion it’s better to let that person walk and keep the infrastructure of the show alive on the air.

dionne
dionne

Why don’t they expand B&B to an hour so that more characters can have some attention?

VERA CAMPBELL
VERA CAMPBELL

PLEASE MAKE IT A HOUR BILL BELL I THINK YOU DOING A GOOD JOB ON THE SHOW IF PEOPLE DONT LIKE THE SHOW TELL THEM TO TURN THE CHANNEL I BEEN WATCHING SHOW EVERY SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL SO KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

nadia
nadia

End this triangle now and don’t let steffy win that girl needs to be raked over the coals as does Bill why have you let them get away with so much for so long why can’t you give them both what they deserve and that’s to lose everything and be humiliated in the eyes of all. I speak for 99% of your viewers who say enough is enough why haven’t you ever let a couple be happy and last. wow not everything has to be so hard and what you’ve done to Liam and Hope is the cruelest of all I could go on but haven’t got a year to tell you all the rotten things you’ve put those two through why haven’t you made Steffy suffer as much she’s the one that deserves a miserable life not Hope

citygirl
citygirl

Nadia… I could not agree with you more… I am sure the writers/ Bell are fully aware of it… I believe Liam and Hope deserve to know all the ill Steffy , Bill and Rick has done to complicate their relationship…. so they can be happy together .

sherry
sherry

Sorry but you do not speak for 99% of the viewers. I think there are WAY more Steffy fans out here than you realize.

nadia
nadia

I wasn’t referring to how many Steffy fans there are I was stating that this triangle has gone on long enough and that all the shenanigans that Bill and Steffy have pulled should be exposed and some punishment dealt

nadia
nadia

Thanks Citygirl

Veronica
Veronica

Why put everything on Steffy, If you are going to be mad at someone, Then be mad at LIAM, He Started this by KISSING Steffy first, Hope got mad, and left. So that’s on her. It wouldn’t been a Triangle, If Hope would of made up her mind, one day she love him, The next day she don’t. So it’s not Steffy, IT’S HOPELESS…And Bill & Brooke made Love and a baby, Now get mad at Brooke. Bill & Brooke have pulled should be exposed and some punishment dealt. Not Steffy, But since Brooke help write the story line, Taylor & Steffy better watch out, Because it’s the LOGANS SHOW, Not B&B…..

Kristen
Kristen

B & B is my addiction Brad Bell : )

Imane assi
Imane assi

I can’t wait to see more of Taylor.I hope there will be a new man for Steffy,Sick and tired of seeing her wasted on boring Lope,.She deserves better.

cr
cr

I think she belongs with somebody just has sneaky and slutty has she is, and i think thomas belongs with hope, not horn dog liam, he is just as bad as the women.

Imane Assi
Imane Assi

Steffy is not slutty or sneaky.She’s very upfront and hinebst about wahts he wants.Both Lima and Hope know exactly what they’re dealing with when it comes to Steffy.Steffy went after Oliver,Bill and Liam for a purpose:Revenge on the Logans.In the process she developed real feeling for Bill and Liam,Hope is a hypocrite who pretends to be someone she’s not, who makes a show of her sex life.Steffy is smart,sexy,strong…she will be herself again once they stop using her to prop boring Lope.She should be with an equaly smart,strong and sexy MAN.She”s too much of a woman for Liam.Liam is a boy,not a man.He should stick with Hope who’s a spiled little brat.They’re perfect together.

Smartperson
Smartperson

Steffy is a snake. Anyone who sets out to only hurt others because your daddy left your mommy when you were a grown up has some serious mental issues. She needs therapy for her “abandonment” issues. Hope is beautiful and much more “reel” than slutbag Steffy will ever be. Just because Steffy says she is going after unavailable men while she is doing it does not make her behavior acceptable. And she is definitely sneaky. If she is so honest and forthright, why did she lie to her whole family about going to Italy in the first place? If there was nothing wrong with what she was doing, and if she really didn’t think Bill was up to something, why not just tell the truth on that jet? Simple – she KNEW what she was doing was wrong, and she KNEW that Bill was up to something. She covered by LYING. That is perfectly clear. That is sneaky.

Veronica
Veronica

Thomas is Steffy Brother,

Mitchell
Mitchell

I wish there was a little more seperation on the age groups. Let Liam/Hope/Steffy/Thomas/Caroline etc, hang out in the kiddie pool, with their own story lines. And let the adults Bill/Katie/Brooke/Taylor etc. have their own story lines.

Tina
Tina

Liam/Steffy and Hope are backburner and I LOVE IT

Tina
Tina

Brooke’s major SL is coming up.Can’t wait

Deb
Deb

The only reason B&B is gaining viewership this past year is because all the other soaps died and it has Y&R in front of it! It is NOT due to the Liam/Hope/Steffy triangle! I agree with comment above…in the 80s and 90s, the Brooke/Ridge/Taylor triange was a Hell of a lot more interesting, and broken up by other cast memebrs storylines. This BS we have now is just that. No woman watching today would have ANYTHING to do with Liam. And i saw somewhere else BB thinks Liam is the new “Front and center man in daytime…” HA! How stupid he is! Taylor deserves to be front and center for years and Brooke cn move to a back burner for awhile. Now we don’t like her and hate her, we are tired of her! Hope they do right by Susan and give her a great BELEIVABLE exit. Making up with Brooke was ridiculous and insincere….and an insult to the fans!

Damien
Damien

I agree with you 100% Deb

kay/kay
kay/kay

Deb have not watched in 6 months my sister just called she still watches she tells me they have taken Taylor’s home away Bill & katie bought it that just confirms what I know about BB Hunter Tylo will still be used as a prop makes me sick Don Diamont looks like a pimp no professional business man dresses like that. No wonder Susan Flannery wanted to retire.

Larkin
Larkin

AMEN!!!!

Danielle
Danielle

It will be sad to SF go –but as for RM – glad he is gone and hopes he never comes back. Bell previously said he felt “obligated” to keep Bridge together and happy and that really came through on the show. You always knew that Bridge would survive no matter what — there was no reason to watch the story – you already knew how it would end.
I think having to have Bridge happy together was bad for the show (unless you were a bridge fan) – for everyone else — it sucked. It seemed like the whole show catered to this “obligation” of keeping Bridge together and every other character on the show suffered because of it. Now that RM and the obligation is gone, maybe we can go back to the kinds of stories that got us hooked on B&B to begin with.

Hopefully with RM gone, Bridge will be too and now we can move onto to NEW stories with all the characters and not know ending before the story starts to unfold.

Bridge won all the time — that became very boring very quickly.

I hope RM stays gone — I wish him luck with his other endeavors — just don’t want hm back on B&B.

maryanne
maryanne

I, for one, loved Bridge. Ridge and Brooke really meshed well together and as time went on, it was nice to see this couple grow into a mature married couple who still wanted each other both inside and outside the bedroom.

I truly hope that RM changes his mind and decides to re-join the cast and bring Ridge back. I will miss him.

Prunhild
Prunhild

100% agree! Bridge winning all over was the show killer number one! Nr two was the LOganwoman win ever again and again…

Smartperson
Smartperson

B&B is the number one soap in the world!! Obviously, they are doing something right. Brooke and Ridge were a very popular couple, much more so than Tridge could ever be. They were meant to be from the very beginning of the show. Bridge wasn’t a show killer. Bell was catering to what worked world-wide, as he should.

kay/kay
kay/kay

He has been promising Hunter Tylo a story forever and Winsor Harmon Thorne is the true heir. They should be front and center another man for the mattress Brooke I am so thrilled.

Damien
Damien

I agree Kay…but I think thorne’s character needs to be pepped up or something…he just don’t do anything for me especially with Taylor…they’ve always been a mismatch to me…she should be with somebody like Bill…Thorne would be a better fit for Katie or Donna…she’s a core character and needs to be with somebody more powerful…they should’ve kept her with Nick or even Whip.

kay/kay
kay/kay

I know the fact she ran over Darla did not help! Also the baby Jack had to turn out to be Brooke’s another stupid plot and by the way where is RJ not even at the 27th wedding of Brooke & Ridge. Personally I was hoping KKL would leave when Ronn Moss did. Brad Bell tell’s lousy stories when Dad was alive he kept him in check people just disappear with no explanation drives me crazy.

Tina
Tina

I want not a SL for Taylor.She is boring.More Brooke please and kill Taylor off

Anne
Anne

GA

citygirl
citygirl

Tina…. I agree with you comment… except for kill Taylor off…. on Friday’s B&B Taylor conveniently went over to Liam’s office to do what really psyco bable Liam into going back to her daughter (Steffy)…. well is that the new improve professional therapist Bell is talking about ….. Liam could have gone to see a talk show host and get better advise…. Taylor! what you should have told Liam is take some time out to heal …. jump into another relationship… well if it is your daughter then that’s fine ….. but forbit if it is anyone else …. let say Hope… then Liam would be giving another advise… like… lets say take some time out …. and figure out if Hope is really the one you need.. after all the divided feeling…. Oh please what a Joke…. Taylor the therapy is a joke and I mean that nicely!

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

No way, kill off the whore Brooke..Brooke is a total waste and can’t act her way out of a paper bag, she and Ronn should have left at the same time. What a waste of time with those two bores…. At lest Taylor could act and she was beautiful to look at,. Brooke was nothing to look at. Barf.

Sven
Sven

ITA TINA.Can’t stand Taylor..I’M sick of her.Brooke is back with a major SL.I love it..No more Steffy and Taylor please.

nadia
nadia

I,m with you I can’t stand the sight of Taylor she’s just a wasted part of the show.What is she good at besides moping over Ridge.

gloria
gloria

Oh I LOVE Brooke. I cannot believe anyone would want her “killed off” Forget about it. She is gorgeous & I think very sweet & I just have always loved her. Not to mention she is the mother of so many important characters! Could she get back w/Eric when Stephanie leaves? Would we want her to? I don’t know but I hope something great comes her way. Nothing against Taylor but they each need a good storyline that does NOT involve the same DAMN MAN!

Tina
Tina

Taylor is the Logan and Forrester mattress lol

kay/kay
kay/kay

Trust me I did not like the storyline of Taylor involved with Rick hated it. But at least the actor was kyle Lowder in the part sorry I know this is the original Rick back in the part but he is just creepy. and the love fest at the 27th wedding for Brooke and Ridge I tuned in it made me throw up. A tribute to Brooke who took Stephanie’s husband had a baby by her daughters husband carried on at a party with her other daughter’s boyfriend a bit much. But during all this she was thinking of her destiny Ridge. Whew! Keep repeating it is only a soap opera.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Oh I forgot they had Taylor sleep with Stephen Logan when she had became a drunk after drinking too much wine for 2 days.

nadia
nadia

Not just Stephen Logan there are many more to add to the list. This entire stoyline is ridiculous it’s time to move onto more interesting sl’s like Bill getting his just deserts and more Deacon.Enough with the kindergarden stuff we need more drama and fashion on the show.

Derrick
Derrick

Hunter & Windsor needs a storyline BADDDDDDDD!!!!!

cr
cr

Yep they do

Damien
Damien

I’m so glad we will be seeing more of Taylor…it’s about time for her to be front and center again where she belongs…not interested in brooke at all…she is tired and played out…I wish they would kill her off for a change…I’m sad to see Stephanie go though…I will definitely miss her…it should be Eric or Brooke going instead never cared for there characters.

yvonne
yvonne

I’m so happy to hear Taylor/Hunter will be front and center again. But Bell has promised fans that Taylor will have a sl several times before and it never happened so I will be in a wait and see mode. Will not tune back in until I hear or read that Hunter Tylo is front and center. If that happens thank you, thank you Bradley Bell!!

TF101
TF101

Promises, promises! Promises of storylines for Taylor, Thorne, Stephanie…never seem to pan out. Will this time be any different? Time will tell and do so quickly. Recently Hunter Tylo did scenes with Scott Clifton that were some of the best material I have seen on this show all year ! I think TPTB need to find an effective way to use the younger set WITH the veterans in order to support the writing, foster better acting, help them to grow in their craft AND entertain all fan bases. This show can’t afford to disregard any group of fans, whether it be due to age, or character preference. The show needs ALL HANDS ON DECK, IMO.

kim
kim

the reason that the hope liam and steffy triangle is overplayed is because liam is going back and forth every day or other day , in the beginning when hope was with liam it was a great love story then steffy got added and a lot of people think the only reason steffy wants liam is to win over a logan , steffy was hotter when she was with bill when she got with liam it just made her look sad and weak , and now we seem to see the same thing day after day and we all still think the same thing that steffy belongs with bill , and liam by himself as well as hope because if liam cant get himself figured out and listen to his own heart he should not be with anyone , there is a thing between good dram and a overkill of drama and the triangle was a over kill

koji bobis
koji bobis

well good thing bell realize that hoe liam and ssteffy love triangle are overplayed yes but we want the end with hope and liam thats all because we inspired their love story to us. hope character are awesome as a women and dignity but liam character last 2 months was messed up because they want to try pleased steffy character which is not good enough to watch. were hoping hope and liam have happy ending till the end.

Prunhild
Prunhild

NOT O N E word about STILL….. WHY this interviewmakers can not ask the RIGHT questions???? ask about the fans waiting for STEFFY & BILL together again! STILL win POLLs, They are HOT & could rock the show with interesting storylines about power, not only sex….

cr
cr

Steffy and bill are just alike, might be good one another or cut each other throats.

Larkin
Larkin

It is like the mags have a B&B manual Bell gives out before interviews so they know what to ask and what to keep out…One more time robbed with STILL after all the other times with , Tridge Thamber 2004/ Thip/ Naggie all these couples never had a chance.. This show is just beyond ridiculous about the layout!! Like we cannot fell in love with different characters and couples cuz Bell will not approve as only the Logans can get the go ahead.. “eyeroll”

Parker
Parker

I liked the Liam, Steffy, Hope storyline up to a point. (It reminded me of the days of Brooke/Taylor/Ridge storyline.) But it did get to be too much. I like the return of Deacon. I had heard that RM was leaving but didn’t know till now that SF was leaving too. Very sorry to see her go. What is going to happen to Eric’s S/L? I am so glad though that B&B is on along with Y&R…The talk shows are overkill. Although I like the Talk and Ellen and Dr. Phil. They are the only ones I watch these days (when I am in the mood).

sherry
sherry

I hope you mean what you say Mr.Bell and that Taylor/Hunter really does have a storyline coming up. Her fans have missed her terribly. Seeing her only here and there, is not enough for us.
The problem with Hope/Liam/Steffy is that Liam is too indecisive and cannot be taken seriously. Steffy and Hope both need to move on from this loser. And sorry, but Taylor/Ridge/Brooke was millions times better than Steffy/Liam/Hope.

Jd
Jd

I agree with you Sherry I would say that Nadia don’t speak for 99% of the viewers because I in no way want Liam with Hope, The chemistry between Steffy & Liam is so much more exciting to watch. Liam & Hope bore me to death watching them.

nadia
nadia

So you want me to believe that 99% of the viewers are happy about this infernal triangle every comment on all the boards are saying that they want it to end with the exception of Sherry and yourself. As far as the chemistry you say between Steffy and Liam well it comes across as a mother and child Steffy is way to old for Liam and No I don’t want him with Hope either he needs to grow up before he is with anyone.Can you honestly say that you’d be happy for it to continue for the next 25years with the dumbboo going from one to the other didn’t we get subjected enough with BRTall these years

cr
cr

Steffy belongs with nobody, liam needs to grow up, and hope needs to mature more as well and hook up with thomas.

Ms. Pennsylvania 2004 Maria Frisby
Ms. Pennsylvania 2004 Maria Frisby

I met Jeanne Cooper(Mrs. Chancellor) in Arizona. I called her by her screen name. Who do you think will end up with Liam?

LJ
LJ

The show is boring and ridiculous. They should call it The Bold and the Incestual. The old days were much better. Maybe JFP can fix this one too.

cr
cr

You are so right lj. Young players like liam, hope, and steffy are not only characters in the show.

Therese
Therese

“What is the mark of a great executive producer and head writer?” How about the ability to juggle multiple storylines with balance and write characters and stories that viewers want to watch? Whether you liked Brooke or Taylor, both Bridge and Tridge had rooting value among their respective fan bases. Steffy, Liam, and Hope could become sister wives and WE WOULDN’T CARE! That’s the reason why B&B won’t get another contract renewal.

cr
cr

You talk with a lot sense and you right on the spot, when it comes to any soap opera.

cr
cr

Brad bell is good story teller but is not so good when it comes to telling stories for more than 4 characters at a time.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Well i had 30 minutes to kill watched it today and will not do that again ever I felt like i had taken a razor blade to my wrist and I was bleeding out. And know that is not funny it is sad.

cr
cr

I feel your pain and im watch days most of time.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

Please Bell kill off the town Slut Brooke, I c an’t stand the sight of that ugly witch. What is she good for..Falling on her back with her legs up in the air waiting for her next bang. She will sleep with anyone who is married. BrookeHO is nothing more then the Forrester Mattress.

gloria
gloria

Your comments are unnecessarily ugly. Keep it classy, it is just a tv show.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

A ugly comment for a ugly Whore Brooke.

cr
cr

Brooke is not ugly and lets not forget it a character your talkin about, you no what how long have you watch bold and beautiful anyway, have watch it for past 8 years and longer that on and off, taylor is been with all men brooke been with.

cr
cr

I agree with gloria, if how see brooke than who must hate steffy, because she is constanly doing that.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

I don’t see Steffy ever do that. Sex with only two men one she married and the other she was engaged too. Haven’t seen Steffy pop out any illegets to her daughter’s husband the way BrookeHO has. Steffy needs a thousand years to catch up to BrookeHO.

cr
cr

News flash min mucy she slepted with a married man bill spencer jr. , ring a bell and going after liam while he was married.

Min Mucy
Min Mucy

News Flash cr ..Steffy never slept with Bill Spenser, ring a bell And Steffy never slept with Liam TILL YESTERDAY after Hope the Dope left him…second news flash, ring a bell./.. DUH!!! Taylor slept with the men she married unlike the whore Brooke who sleeps with them while the men are married to someone else. Taylor never has a illeget to her daughter’s husband either. Too bad you don’t know the difference.

Smartperson
Smartperson

Newss flash for you Min – Taylor did all sorts of sleeping with Rick, and never married him!! Also, she has been with Thorne, but never married him. Oh, and Stephen Logan, and never married him. Shall I go on?

lindee
lindee

Just hurry and put the talented Crystal Chappell back on my screen…..

gail
gail

I am so disappointed in what Brad Bell did with such a wonderful love story of Liam and Hope. You were giving young woman a chance to know that they didn’t have to have pre-maritial sex to keep the man you love and then you changed everything. Steffy with Liam what a joke. You have put in the mind of young girls if you act like Hope you will lose your love if you act like Steffy he will fall in love with you, this is truly sad and for this reason I have stopped watching your show. Steffy and Liam never not the way you portrayed his love for Hope. I have never been so disappointed in a soap opera, the reason I watched your soap was because of your great story line for young woman. Its too bad you don’t see your mistake because alot of your message boards are rooting for Liam and Hope they have more chemistry and are equally balanced. True love and now Liam and Steffy they may have chemistry but its just sexual is that what you want to portray to the young women who are watching your show. Really? Because if so that is really sad. Please re think your message.

vfocused
vfocused

RON MOSS TWEETED THAT ONE REASON HE HAS NOT RETURNED TO END STEPHANIES STORY IS THAT HE WAS NOT ASKED! This is so disappointing to the fans that have watched for 25 years. If all is needed is for someone to ask him then, I WILL ASK HIM! GET RON MOSS BACK ON THE SHOW AT LEAST FOR STEPHANIE’S LAST DAY PLEASE. You can surprise us if you want, JUST GET RON BACK FOR THE CONCLUSION TO MAKE EVERYTHING RIGHT WITH ALL CHARACTERS AND THE SHOW. Afterwards if Ron wants to continue on with other opportunities then fine, he will be missed but just ask him to bring a conclusion to the storyline. BRAD BELL IF YOU ARE READING THIS , LEAVE YOUR EGOS AT THE DOOR AND BE BIGGER THAN THAT —-GET RON MOSS BACK BY NOVEMBER 26. I am looking for him every single day now and now I NEED CLOSURE. lol seriously please ask him to return for one more time for all of our sakes your too.

Dee Bickford
Dee Bickford

I want Steffy with Liam only because it is what she wants….. But if another, bit more mature man came along and Steffy had a change of heart… Will not hurt my feelings! I feel Hope just not adult enough for serious relationships. She is silly, giggly, like a teeny bopper. They should re-develop her and Oliver! She can grow and mature with him. And he loved her so much, she just tossed him away! They could work around that Brooke/Oliver joke that happened. Leave Steffy with Liam, send Hope off to college to grow up! Give Taylor the new doctor, Jon Hensley. I don’t like Rick or Caroline… They have no heat! Just leave me cold. Rick and Amber worked and now she’s gone. Oh well… Maybe I will write my own story one day. LOL

Michele
Michele

Does he realize that a lot of fans are so disappointed in the Pro Logan Writing as of late, especially this week, after Steffy loosing her child! And is he prepared for the viewership to start to decline? I am just fed up with the fact that in the same week we lost Steffy and Liam’s child we are about to temporarily loose Jacqueline and Hunter, and my reason’s to watch BB are now gone. I hope he realizes just how much those two actresses have given of themselves. Especially Hunter Tylo who in the wake of her own real life tragedy had to play the death of her on screen daughter. that was when I knew that BB was written for Team Logan. Brooke has never had to face any loss of children like Taylor has. And with this Brooke at near 50ish and Steffy being in her 20s to have that young one looser her child just cut my heart into a billion little pieces. And to all the Steffy Haters, remember Steffy has given Liam so many outs and Hope threw him away. SO please stop calling this karma for what she has done, I think she already paid for that when Hope asked her to Italy. But in the end we all know Liam does love Steffy in ways he could never love Hope! xo sm

Larkin
Larkin

Bell is completely delusional “the writers are completely committed” to who??? Since when… Committed to drag this show in the ground and make all B&B fans mad as hell.. Nobody with a minimum sense of objectivity and decency will agree to how this man is running things.

Lisa Garcia
Lisa Garcia

Are you gonna give Liam and Steffy another chance to have a baby but this time be born and grow..you should let hope be with another man dont let the triangle come back we dont need that..Eric should stay with Taylor..but if Taylor goes to Thorn that would be good also..i think the Logan i mean (Brooke,Katie and Donna)should all suffer…Thomas needs a Latina Girl who is not gonna break his Heart..

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

This is old crap. Brad Bell still can not write worth a damn and KKL and KM can’t act.. you’re going to get rid of JMW and HT for the show to become Brookie Nookie broke back play pen open only to brothee in-laws and ex-husband/father-in-law and daughters husbands and boyfriends.

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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B&B's Annika Noelle Chats On Her First Daytime Emmy Nomination For Hope's Emotional Journey Back to Beth

EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Tracey E. Bregman and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer Talk the Iconic Battles of Lauren & Sheila

As part of “Villains” theme week on The Young and the Restless, Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (Sheila) reunited for a walk down memory lane of one of the greatest and most twisted knock-out drag-out feuds in the history of daytime drama.

The longtime iconic duo talk about many of their storylines; complete with baby switches, notorious catfights, doppelgangers, treachery and more, with Michael Fairman for a very special virtual conversation on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Tracy and Kimberlin chatted with Michael from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: CBS

During the interview, Kimberlin revealed how: she was originally cast as Sheila, what happened when she thought she was exiting Y&R for good and her run with Sheila was over; only to find out that Bill Bell (C0-Creator, Y&R and B&B) had plans for her to move over to The Bold and the Beautiful and continue playing the role.

In addition, Tracey shares: how some of those iconic fight scenes between the two were physically demanding and tough to do, plus the actresses give us insight into filming some of their most popular scenes; including yesterday’s classic episode that aired (which can now be found on CBS All-Access and CBS.com under season 42) where Sheila wreaks havoc on Lauren and Michael’s (Christian LeBlanc) honeymoon with an assist from “Terrible” Tom played by the late Roscoe Born.

Photo: JPI

Finally, the women weigh-in on what they think a solid storyline would be in 2020 or 2021; if Sheila was to re-emerge in Genoa City and reignite the feud with Lauren and her loved ones!

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Watch the virtual conversation with Tracey and Kimberlin below.  Then let us know, would you want to see Sheila come back to Y&R and cause Tracey and her family some serious trouble? Comment below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Annika Noelle Chats On Her First Daytime Emmy Nomination For Hope’s Emotional Journey Back to Beth

The Supporting Actor and Actress in a Drama Series are often the highly-competitive categories in the annual Daytime Emmys, because they usually contain the most entrance vying for the final 5 or 6 coveted spots.

This year, after all of her soap alter-egos sturm and drang, Annika Noelle found herself with a nomination for her riveting work as Hope Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful.

As fans of the CBS Daytime drama know, Hope went through hell and back and hell again as she was led to believe that her baby girl had died, only to later find out that the little bundle of joy was adopted by Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) in a heinous scheme put in motion by Dr. Buckingham (Wayne Brady). As the story unraveled, more and more people found out about the switch and kept it from Hope, chief among them Thomas (Matthew Atkinson), but all’s well that ends well when Liam (Scott Clifton) with a big assist from Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri) figured out that Beth was Phoebe … and that set the stage for even more emotional drama.

Following the news of her nomination, Michael Fairman TV chatted with Annika Noelle, to get all the feels of this defining moment in her daytime career – cracking the glass ceiling and getting into a select group of actresses for the first time whose work has been deemed “Outstanding”. Here’s what Annika shared on her reaction to that great Emmy news!

Photo: JPI

Were you shocked and surprised when you learned of your Supporting Actress in a Drama Series nomination?

ANNIKA:  Yes!  I’m over the moon and so eternally grateful for it.  It means a lot to have the work I’ve done this last year get recognized by everyone.  It’s my first Daytime Emmy nomination, and now I get to say that.  It’s just a cool thing.

I can’t think of anyone who cried more in last year’s TV season than you as Hope.  That whole year was so heavy with the baby switch storyline and Hope’s journey back to her biological daughter.

ANNIKA:  It was.  Honestly, it took a lot out of me, and it was a lot to go through, and it really was a marathon.  I’ve never had to go through something like that as an actor, but I’m just glad that I made it out to the other side to get to experience this.

Photo: JPI

I was worried someone was going to have to pick you up off the floor from all the weeping! It must have been draining.

ANNIKA:  I can’t tell you how many times I was just like, “Do I have to cry? Do I have to though?”  I’m just really grateful that Hope finally got her baby back.  It was so funny when the fans would be like, “When is she getting her baby back?” and I’m like, “Trust me, no one wants it more than me.”

Were you watching the nominations unfold on The Talk?  How did you find out you were officially a nominee?

ANNIKA:  I went for a walk around the LaBrea Tar Pits because I didn’t want to be focusing on that, but I have family in Boston who were going to watch The Talk and let me know.  However, I guess the Mayor of Boston interrupted right before they started reading the nominations.  They were so pissed.  So, I was like, “Okay, I guess I’m not going to find out for a while,” and then the phone started ringing, and it was Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B).  Your heart kind of goes up in your throat when you see his name on the caller ID! I picked up and he said, “Congratulations,” and I proceeded to probably make him deaf because I was so excited. (Laughs)

Scott Clifton was your scene partner in so much of the arc of this storyline.  Did he say anything to you once you got nominated?

ANNIKA:  Oh yeah! We exchanged quite a few text messages with each other.  I thought he should have submitted himself this year.

Photo: JPI

I was so surprised when I found out that he didn’t enter the competition, because he did some incredible work.

ANNIKA:  It’s amazing the work that he did, and he was right by my side every step of the way during this incredibly difficult storyline, and honestly, I could not have done it without him … or Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, because they honestly were such great support systems for me as an actor and also as friends.  Honestly, I feel like this nomination is everyone’s.  It was such an ensemble effort.

Photo: JPI

What scenes did you submit that landed you the nomination?

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ANNIKA:  I submitted as the initial scene when Hope finds out about Beth (where Liam tells her that Beth didn’t make it) and she starts out thinking that Beth is still alive and then gradually the denial fades away and the reality sets in.  Then, the second scene I submitted was where she is kind of emotionally checked out, and then, Sally (Courtney Hope) comes in with that poor puppy dog to try to cheer her up, and obviously that backfires on Sally.  That was actually a very difficult scene to shoot because here was this little puppy dog looking up at me, and I had to just freak out.  The third scene was on the rooftop where Hope finally finds out that Beth is indeed alive, and that Thomas has been lying to her.  Then, the fourth scene was the hardest one to pick, but I’m really glad that I went with it.  It’s just this really quiet, intimate moment between Liam and Hope when they’re alone with Beth again for the first time as a family.  Then, Liam and Hope share their first kiss as a family again.  The final scene was where Hope gets to slap Flo (Katrina Bowden) and you get to see the momma bear come out.  I really tried to tell a story.  I really tried to show an arc of that 8-9-month saga, and luckily, I had the material to choose from to do so.

You played the Emmy game very smartly, because the reels that work, in my experience, have been the ones that tell the arc of the story, so that anyone who doesn’t know the show can follow beat to beat to beat.  I think those are always the reels that ultimately grab the voters.

ANNIKA:  I think that’s something that I had to learn too from other actors, and the advice that I had gotten, and getting to actually watch and vote last year.  I thought of it more as an actor’s reel.  I tried to do show versatility as an actor.  So, hopefully we will see what happens.

Photo: JPI

Are you familiar with the work of any of the other actresses nominated in your category …Tamara Braun (Ex-Kim, GH), Rebecca Budig (Ex-Hayden GH), Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R), and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie, DAYS)?

ANNIKA:  Oh, yes, and I am nothing but honored to be in a category with such amazing performers.  It takes so much in general to be a daytime actor, and to even be in this category with these other performers, it’s huge.  .

Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), your on-screen mom is nominated for Lead Actress this year too!

ANNIKA:  I know!  I’m praying it’s her year, and Heather Tom (Katie) also did such beautiful work with the kidney storyline, and Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) just broke my heart with the divorce and the Thomas storylines.  It’s kind of all in the family in a way with our characters, but everyone did such beautiful work, and I’m rooting everyone on.  It’s nice that Katherine and I as an on-screen momma/daughter got to celebrate that together.

Photo: JPI

Did Katherine give you a call, or did you communicate, after the nominations were announced?

ANNIKA:  Yes, we talked, and then, ironically for about a year and a half, I had saved a bottle of Dom Perignon that I had received as a gift from her boyfriend, Dom Zoida.  I was always just saving it for a special occasion.  When I told her that, she was like, “I can’t believe you’ve been saving it this long!  We are going to have a toast tonight and celebrate!”  I was like, “Are you sure we don’t want to save it in case there’s other good news … maybe?”  and she was just like, “No!  We’ll get you another bottle.  We are toasting tonight.”  So, that was just a really beautiful moment because she really brought me in and showed me the ropes as a veteran on the show, and as someone who knows B&B and the dynamics so well.  I’ve learned a lot from Katherine, and I have nothing but respect for her.  She is one of the hardest workers I know; she does not stop, and I have such admiration.  I wish I were in half as good shape as she is!  It’s a special feeling to be able to share this with her.

You followed in Kim Matula’s (Ex-Hope) footsteps on the show.  That was no easy feat, and to make the role your own was beautifully done.  That has to feel good.  It’s not easy to play a role that someone else made ‘soap-famous’.

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ANNIKA:  It’s funny, because Mark Grossman (Adam, Y&R) and I started around the same time – him on Y&R and me on The Bold and the Beautiful, and even Matthew Atkinson as Thomas – everyone has kind of left their own mark on these characters as recasts, and it’s a challenging thing to do, stepping into someone’s role, especially with someone who originated the character. It’s a nice validation that you’re doing something right.

You and I will remember your humble beginnings on Venice the Series.

ANNIKA:  It’s such a crazy full circle too, because Hillary B. Smith (Ex-Nora, OLTL and Guya, Venice the Series) was my mentor in high school.  I would look up to her and be like. “She’s been nominated and won Daytime Emmys! Well, maybe one day I could …” Hillary was someone who I called and talked to for a long time before submitting.  I also have to give thanks to Crystal Chappell (Ex-GL, Days and Venice the Series), for seeing something in me and taking a chance on me when I was green as an actress.

I remember us talking on the set of Venice, and I remember you shooting your scenes as a recast in that show too at an apartment!  They threw you right into the fire.

ANNIKA:  Yep, and Susan Flannery (Ex-Stephanie, B&B) was directing a few of those episodes!  So, it was like… who would have thought that years later…?

Photo: JPI

I would ask you, what you are going to wear, but there is no red carpet that I know of, for a virtual Emmys this year!

ANNIKA:  I am so conflicted.  I’m like, “Do I wear PJs, or do I get glammed up and wear a beautiful gown?” (Laughs) I am the most comfortable in flannel and no makeup, so I’m like, “Okay, if I have to get glammed up, how on earth am I going to do my own hair because I don’t even know where to begin with that.” So, we’ll see, I guess, we’ll see!

It will be interesting to see what the virtual ceremony will look like.

ANNIKA:  I have a feeling that my cat might be a part of the awards ceremony.  He is going to try to steal the spotlight, a little.  Like an All About Eve moment happening here with Henry who I call “Burrito Man”.  He has his own Instagram.  It’s @theburritomankitty, and if there is a camera, let me tell you, he will try to interrupt.  That’s Burrito Man for you.  He’s a little diva.

Photo: IG

How have you and ‘Burrito Man’ been doing during the coronavirus pandemic?  How are your spirits? 

ANNIKA:  Well, this nomination has certainly been a silver lining.  It certainly has brightened the mood a little bit. It’s been pretty difficult feeling a little isolated, but The Bold and the Beautiful has been having Zoom happy hour every Friday where we will all get on in the late afternoon and catch up with everyone and have a little drink.  So, it’s been nice because I miss everyone.  We really do become like family.  That’s helped a lot, and then just… puzzles.  I’m doing a lot of puzzles, Michael.

Photo: JPI

In closing, many times you see a lot of the same names nominated in the acting categories at the Daytime Emmys, so it’s nice to see when someone new breaks through.  Kudos to you!

ANNIKA:  Honestly, that means a lot.  It was a lot, especially as a newcomer to daytime.  It really was sink or swim, but luckily, I have an amazing cast there supporting me and holding me up on those days where it was stressful, or where I would break down just because it was so demanding.  I can’t tell you how many people were there for me like: John McCook (Eric, B&B), Katherine Kelly Lang, Heather Tom, Jacqui, and Scott, these people championed me, urged me on, and believed in me.  I also have realized that I am a bit more of a method actor than I thought I was. (Laughs)  I might have taken some of the work home with me.  Queer Eye and RuPaul were cheering me up because it was a lot. (Laughs)  I just want to express my utmost gratitude for this honor and wish all the best of luck to the other nominees.  I have so much respect for everyone in this industry from the directors and our crews, all the way down to us actors. It’s a lot to do what we do in daytime with the budget and the time constraints that we have.  It really is a team effort.

So, were you happy to see that Annika scored a Daytime Emmy nomination for her hard work and being at the epicenter of the baby switch storyline on B&B? Comment below.

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