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The Brad Bell & Katherine Kelly Lang – The Bold and the Beautiful – Emmy Victory Interviews

bradbellemmy.jpgA BOLD WIN!

After Sunday night’s exciting Daytime Emmy victory for The Bold and the Beautiful (with its first time win as Outstanding Daytime Drama Series), the CBS soap invited me to attend their special cake cutting ceremonies on Tuesday morning. The staff, cast and crew celebrated the shows first win in 22 years as the top drama in all of soapdom.

I caught up with “B&B’s” executive producer and head writer, Brad Bell, to ask him his feelings on the win, and the now infamous moment when the Emmys went off the air. Yes, in case you missed it, the credits rolled before Brad was able to have his on-stage moment in the sun. I also spoke with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) on how special the victory was, and Heather Tom (Katie) whose storyline gave the show the basis for the material it submitted to walk away with the gold. Many also know Katherine delivered the performance of her career in the Emmy-winning episodes, and we touched on that. I also met Katherine’s delightful Fan Club President, Amy, who was also at the celebration and she added her excitement to the mix.

To start the festivities, here’s my chat with Emmy winner, Brad Bell!

MICHAEL:

I saw how they cut you off before you got to say your long- awaited acceptance speech. The CW had a hard out at 10PM, thus the apparent reason for the short-change. You must have been upset!

BRAD:

It was upsetting, but that is show biz. It just landed on my lap this time. It was great to share this with the cast and crew up on the stage. I wanted to acknowledge my father which was the most important thing to me, but I did in my own way, so it’s cool.

MICHAEL:

But you don’t like giving speeches, right?

BRAD:

They are not my favorite thing to do. I don’t have much practice doing them. Maybe I will grow into it.

castcake1.jpgMICHAEL:

Where is the Emmy going to reside?

BRAD:

Today the Emmy stays on-stage. I don’t know yet. Right now it’s been in the middle of the office and will stay there for a couple days.

MICHAEL:

What was the most touching moment of the victory dance?

BRAD:

I think it was having my mother there, and the moment with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) with the two of us kissing. In the Variety Magazine shot that was taken, it looked like we had been kissing for a couple of hours, but that was very special.

MICHAEL:

Katherine’s performance in the Storm suicide/Katie heart transplant story was exceptional. So much so, that many thought she should have been nominated and won this year for that.

BRAD:

She has been a stalwart for us and she aced these shows. Had she not acted her heart out and given us the performance of her lifetime, which she did, we would not be here. It is such collaboration, but she came through for us like never before. Everyone was stellar, the writing was stellar, but Katherine shined like the sun. Having that moment with her was so terrific. We are always working so hard. She works on the first floor here and I work on the third, and we don’t have many moments together, and that one was just very special to share with her.

MICHAEL:

I know Susan Flannery (Stephanie) said something to you in the press room, and she was so happy for you as well.

BBcake1.jpgBRAD:

She was beaming with pride, and we all knew it is an award for all of our accomplishments. We share this with those who are not here…Darlene Conley, Michael Fox. Darlene lives on, and Will deVry (Storm) was wonderful and had a hand at making this award happen.

MICHAEL:

You have one of the best production crews in daytime. Did you hand pick the team and assemble them?

BRAD:

I did, but they found me by proving that they loved the show. Producer, Casey Kasprzyk worked in the office for a year and half and I did not even know his name. (He laughs) I thought, “Who is this tall guy?” Then he started doing things and impressing me, and now he is one of the producers, and one of the youngest producers we have had. He is just amazing. I can go to him. When I needed footage to recreate the Logan girls youth with Storm, he said, “I will do it.” He allows me to think things and helps me figure out how to do it. Every member of the team firing on all cylinders is important to make this show happen.

MICHAEL:
Now that you have won an Emmy, are you gearing up to try to pick up another one next year?

BRAD:

I don’t know. The stars were aligned on this one. “Y&R” is a force. “GH” is a force. None of them were nominated for Best Show this year, and it was just we had the best shows and the stars were aligned. I hope it happens again.

heathertom.jpgHEATHER TOM

MICHAEL:

Heather you were instrumental to the storyline as Katie that brought home the Emmy, even though you were being operated on for most of the episode! What was your initial thought when it came to the announcement of Drama Series?

HEATHER:

I was so nervous, because I really felt it was our year. I felt like, in my opinion, on the shows that they submitted, that they were some of the best shows that I have seen on daytime. I would have been really disappointed if we did not win. I am really glad that it worked out in our favor.

KATHERINE KELLY LANG

MICHAEL:

Katherine, Brad said he enjoyed sharing his victory the most with you!

KATHERINE:

It means so much to me that he would say that, you make me want to cry.

MICHAEL:

He just beamed over the long time collaboration of working with you!

lang.jpgKATHERINE:

I feel the same way with him. I feel blessed to be a part of the show with him. The way he interacts with us, and he treats us with respect and kudos… he has no ego. Brad is a great guy. He collaborates with us and I love him death.

MICHAEL:

What happened when you were in the audience and you heard “B&B” called as Drama Series winner?

KATHERINE:

I could not believe it! I could not get up! (She laughs) I just sat there for a moment and looked at Lesli Kay (Felicia) and went, “Huh?” She kept saying, “We are going to win.” I kept saying, “Don’t say that,” because you never know. Yes, the reel was great, but you just never know. So when our name was called I just did not expect to hear it. It was great to go on stage and give Brad a kiss.

MICHAEL:

Who called you first and congratulated you, and the show, on its win?

KATHERINE:

I was texting my husband Alex, because he manages Jacob Young of All My Children, too. Jacob had lost in the Supporting Category earlier and he wanted to know the outcome. My husband calls me “James Bond Girl” and wished me good luck, and texted me that, which is cute. Then, I texted him later. I told him we won. He said, “Yay! You won because you are the best!” It was cute and fun!

MICHAEL:

I see you have a guest here today!

KATHERINE:

Amy Farina runs my fan club. I have known her for 22 years. She also texted me after the show.

MICHAEL:

So what did you do when “B&B” won?

AMY:

katherinewemmy.jpgI jumped up and down and fell off the couch. I think in the scenes that they submitted, basically Katherine stole the show. I told her to submit those scenes for her Emmy reel.

KATHERINE:

I know, I know, my Emmy reel, we won’t go there. Best show is good enough.

AMY:

There is always next year. She is my best friend and best person to have in your life. I can blubber on and on and on.

MICHAEL:

How do we join the fan club?

AMY:

Go to Aimstar@aol.com and you can join on either mine or Katherine’s Facebook page.

General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes Chats on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, New Directions for Characters in Port Charles, and Anna’s Love Life

In four out of the last five years, General Hospital favorite, Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), has almost become a perennial nominee having once again scored a Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress for the upcoming 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Hard to believe, but Hughes won her one and only Daytime Emmy back in 1991, and has amassed a total of 11 Emmy nominations during her enduring daytime drama career. As those who have watched GH know, throughout any calendar year, you can find numerous stellar performances by Finola that could be tops on any Emmy reel.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Finola during the 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special to get her reaction to landing in the field of six fantastic women vying for gold, what scenes went on her now Emmy-nominated reel, what she thinks of how GH is shaking things up under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte, and the future of Anna’s love life. Here’s what she shared below.

Photo: ABC

What scenes did you wind up submitting that landed you in the running for the Daytime Emmy in this year’s Lead Actress category?

FINOLA: The whole Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez) shooting and the accident and that whole thing. Then, talking about that with Sonny (Maurice Benard), and then a bit of the breakup with Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and then finding out that Valentin had lied.

Who helped you put the reel together?

FINOLA: One of our producers at GH, Michelle Henry. We have these amazing producers. They’re sort of the unsung heroes. They’re in the booth all day when we’re shooting. They do this wonderful thing where they earmark something, if they think that it’s been a good performance. So, they just have this sort of little list (that helps come Emmy time). So, that’s how that worked with Michelle.

Photo: ABC

Now you’ve had a string of recent Daytime Emmy nominations. Do you think GH is  writing more for your strengths in the last several years?

FINOLA:  Yes, and I think it’s become stronger recently. I think writers really take the lead sometimes from an actress or an actor who’s going through something or moving through something in their life. Maybe, that’s they were just seeing, you know, different layers and colors and so they started to write to that.  I’m not sure. It certainly felt like I’ve had some things (material) that resonated with me.

What I have loved about Anna is that she is very complex. She often wrestles with herself over her past as a double agent, or certain guilt that she carries around. It’s interesting when the lines are blurred for her and things get messy.

FINOLA:  I do well with complex and I like messy.

So, what do you think about the nominees in the Lead Actress category with you?

FINOLA:  They are great. I don’t know Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B) very well, but I hear she did wonderful work and she sent me a lovely message. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) I obviously reached out to, Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS) reached out to me, and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and I just got on the phone last night and congratulated each other on our nominations, and of course, Cynthia (Watros) is here with me at GH.

Photo: JPI

You do like do like the fashion of it all for Emmy night, correct?

FINOLA: God, I I live for it. I’m as shallow as that. I might play some complex on television, but I’m that shallow in real life.

So, do you go by the trends of what to pick out to wear for a red carpet, or you just kind of go off what you think looks good on you?

FINOLA: I do like the trends. I really like the fact that the sleeve is having a big moment right now since the film Poor Things. It sent it into the stratosphere.

It’s been 33 years since you won your last Emmy. Do you think you’re a better actress now than when you were even 10 years ago?

FINOLA: I have no idea. It feels like a game of golf always for me, because get on set, like today, I was doing some work this morning and I just doubt myself.  I’m like, “Did I really bring it?” I do think I’m harder on myself now than I was when I was younger, because I really didn’t know what I was doing at all.  It’s a very hard question to answer. I feel like it’s different, but I’m constantly in battle with myself as to whether something works or not.

Photo: ABC


What are your thoughts then on being Emmy-nominated, at times, for more than three decades?

FINOLA: At this point in my life, I just find the whole thing encouraging and extraordinarily sort of affirming, and sweet and lovely. It’s extraordinary to even be acknowledged. That’s the truth.

Currently, on-air, Anna is taking a harder line with Sonny. There’s been a shift.

FINOLA:  Yes. That’s been really interesting. I was talking about this with Steve Burton (Jason), and we actually were working together today. We found like this level between the two of us when it comes to Sonny. It was just really like another whole level as to what I’m doing. I think what’s happened is people’s roles in Port Charles are becoming delineated, you know, where there’s less gray. It’s like we’re sort of moving into areas, right? All of us. That’s kind of great because then you’ve got the hospital, you’ve got the police station, you’ve got the mob, you’ve got the Quartermaines you’ve got Curtis’ nightclub, and so there’s these different areas. Then, your character becomes very specific.  I had those scenes with Genie Francis (Laura) that aired the other day, and it makes sense that we are sort of waking up because unfortunately Sonny’s going through something which we don’t know about, but he’s not behaving well. So, therefore we are like, “If he would do that, then we need to wake up to that Sonny has always been like that.” But, it’s not true. Sonny hasn’t always been like that. We still deal in the gray, because we are searching for the gray in ourselves, which is interesting. And then we have to make a decision, such as, “Where do you stand? Who are you actually?” I think posing those questions to the actual characters is kind of interesting.

Photo: ABC

Now, who’s going to be the man in Anna’s life?

FINOLA:  Well, I want to do some more stuff with James. Obviously, James and I text all the time about how we’re not working together. We all know what Valentin’s up to. However,  Anna doesn’t quite know.

I was originally thinking they might put John “Jagger” Cates (Adam Harrington) in a romance with Anna?

FINOLA: Oh, I know. I love Adam. He’s so wonderful, and so is Charles Mesure (Brennan). Obviously, Laura Wright (Carly) has been working with the two of them as well. They’re both looking like they are in love with Carly, so what can I do?  I’ll just take the leftovers. However, I’m hoping that I get to play Valentin. The thing that’s interesting is that he’s a Cassadine. His father has now passed on, so he’s now at the front of the wagon of the Cassadines. It’s in his blood. So, I don’t know what they’ll do.

Photo: ABC

What was our family’s reaction when you told you are an Emmy nominee? 

FINOLA: We had just taped three days of a very big event on the show. I was really tired yesterday and I was sort of laying down pretending to take a nap, as I never can nap in the middle of a day. Then, Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) called me to say that, Cynthia Watros and myself, had been nominated for Lead Actress. So, I actually got up and I walked outside and my three kids were sort of wandering around doing kid teenage stuff. I sort of told each of them individually. I was like, “I got nominated.”  They actually said, “Congratulations!” So, I think it actually resonated through the haze of online extravaganzas that teens are looking at it.

Make sure to check out the 2024 Daytime Emmy Nominations Special from this past Friday night below, where several of this year’s Daytime Emmy nominees stopped by the Michael Fairman Channel to share their reactions and more on going for gold come June 7th.

Now let us know, are you happy Finola was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series? Who do you hope Anna winds up with romantically down the line on GH under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Stephen Schnetzer Talks On His Return to Days of our Lives and Working with Susan Seaforth Hayes In Emotional Episodes

Who says you can’t go home again? In the case of Another World favorite, Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass Winthrop), he has proven that it is true, and you can go back to your soap roots and where it all started for you.

Last week on April 11th, Schnetzer, along with several other key returns were on set at Days of our Lives taping all-new episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, centering on the funeral of Doug Williams (the late Bill Hayes), and as part of the iconic soap opera’s 15,000th episode.

Stephen is reprising his first daytime role as Steve Olson, the brother of Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes). The last time Schnetzer appeared on a DAYS set was during his one and only run on the show from 1978 to 1980. Clearly, viewers will be in for some very emotional scenes when Steve returns to Salem to be there for his sister, Julie in her time of need. In real-life, Susan has been going through her own grief, having just lost Bill back on January 12th at the age of 98.

Photo: NBC

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Stephen during the 15K episode celebration ceremony, and during a break from taping the gut-wrenching funeral scenes, to get his thoughts on being part of these highly-anticipated moments that will air later this year in December. Here’s what he shared with us below.

What has this been like for you to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes after all of these years?

STEPHEN: She’s a dream and she’s so bright. We ran lines yesterday and we ended up just visiting for about 45 minutes and just catching up and telling tales about each other’s career. She even dropped off the autobiography that she and Bill did. And being back here at DAYS, every time I turn a corner, there’s another familiar face. When I was on the show 40 more years ago, a bunch of the guys, played softball on a team together. This is really a trip down memory lane as I knew it would be.

Photo: JPI

Taping Doug’s funeral must be a hard day for Susan. Are you checking in with her to help hold her up through this?

STEPHEN: I am and I’m checking in with Amy Shaughnessy (Susan’s assistant), and she’s holding her up more than anybody. We’re there for each other.

There will obviously be some major hankie-inducing moments when Steve comes back to Salem to console his sister.

STEPHEN: Oh, wait till you see it in December. It’s going to be great.

Were you surprised you got this call to come back to the show decades later?

STEPHEN: It was out of the blue! I was completely surprised. They should have called me decades ago! That’s what surprised me. When Another World went down, I thought I’d land somewhere else and it never happened. That was more of a surprise.

Photo: JPI

Cass is such an identifiable character for you. As well, you and Linda Dano (ex-Felicia Gallant) are so synonymous together as best friends Cass and Felicia from Another World. When fans heard you were reprising your role as Steve Olson on DAYS, they are now hoping there will be more of you on the show to come.

STEPHEN: Steven Olson is a real “Cassian “character. I cut my teeth on Steve Olson and that’s how Cass was introduced. He was kind of a roguish charmer. And then when the character stuck for Another World, they rehabilitated me, and turned me into one of the shows heroes. And that’s what would’ve happened if I stayed as Steve Olson probably. So, Steve is the ‘pre-Cass’, Cass.

Photo: JPI

As the story goes, you originally decided to leave Days of our Lives?

STEPHEN: I was never on contract. I was doing a day and a half a week and I got a Broadway play directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay. I was able to it as I didn’t have to break a contract or anything. I cut loose and went back to New York for that.

How well did you get to know Bill Hayes during your first time around on DAYS?

STEPHEN: My first episode was with Bill and Susan, as her long lost brother coming into Salem. They were so good to me. They were so kind. I had been doing eight years of classical repertory theater, never been in front of a camera. I tell everybody, it took me longer than any other actor I’ve ever seen to get comfortable in front of a camera. And they were very supportive at that time in my career. Coming back to honor Bill now in 2024, and to be see Susan, I am just so happy to be here.

Looking forward to seeing the scenes between Stephen and Susan Seaforth Hayes come December and Doug’s funeral and surrounding episodes? Do you hope that DAYS might bring the character of Steve Olson back for a longer stay? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

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