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The Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson Interview – The Young and the Restless

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

If there are two young stars that break the mold from your standardized soap opera acting  style, the names Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson of The Young and the Restless are at the very top of the list.  As Genoa City’s unconventional, at times eccentric and flawed duo, Kevin Fisher and Chloe Mitchell, they make this on-screen duo endearing to our hearts, and yet they have the ability to break them at the same time.  Not an easy feat, but the accomplished Rikaart and Hendrickson can pull all the strings making us laugh, cry, or leaving us plain surprised on what their alter-egos reactions and behavior might be in their growing complex relationship.

Greg and Liz, who are great friends in real life, translated that chemistry on screen to Kevin and Chloe becoming great buds and roommates on the Genoa City canvas. However, fans of Y&R this past week saw pivotal episodes where their relationship took a turn, when Kevin gets up the courage and admits to Chloe that he has deep feelings for her that are more than friendship.  In another of Rikaart’s moving performances, Kevin announces to Chloe, “I’m a really good guy.  And you should want to be with me the way I want to be with you.”  He goes on to tell Chloe, “You’re smart, beautiful, my best friend…”  I mean what girl wouldn’t just melt?  Well, not exactly, Chloe.  Her reaction included walking out on him!  So, what’s a guy to do?  Have sex with your ex!  Enter crazy Jana.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the two Y&R scene stealers to discuss Kevin and Chloe’s burgeoning romance, how it is being good friends while having to play
high emotional stakes, and to take a look back and look ahead for their characters
as the year comes to a close.  Here’s our chat with Greg and Elizabeth!

MICHAEL:

The two of you are very good friends off camera.  How did you come to get acquainted with each other, which in turn blossomed into this great dynamic between you and has manifested itself into an on-screen relationship between Kevin and Chloe?

LIZ:

© JPI Studios

We knew about each other.  I remember meeting Greg through my friend Emily.  I remember saying “Hi” to you at a soap event in New York.  It might even have been the Emmys years ago, when I was on All My Children.

GREG:

I guess we knew of each other, but we did not become chummy until she started working on Y&R. We did a stage reading of a one act together for a friend and we worked together a little bit in that. Then, Barbara Bloom (CBS Sr. VP Daytime Programming) had been a really big fan of Liz’s.  So when she came in to read, I remember them wanting us to read together, which is kind of funny in a roundabout way, that here we are three years later and we are finally working together.  But it was a chemistry read.

LIZ:

Yes. It was a chemistry read.  I thought you were the one they were going to put me with.   I recall I had met Barbara when I first moved to L.A.  I had a meeting with her and nothing came of it ever again.  Then two years later, I was doing this stage reading with a friend, and that is when I officially met Greg.  Barbara came to see the show and a week or so later I got a phone call that she wanted to do a chemistry reading with me at the studio, and that was with Greg. And prior to that, I was driving with AMC’s Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) and Bob Guiney, and they were looking for a house. We were coming from the dog park with our dogs and Greg was standing outside. They saw a for sale sign, and they went, “Oh look! This house is for sale.” And I went, “Oh, that’s that kid from The Young and the Restless.”  They rolled down the window and went in and bought the house!  That was the other time, except times throughout the soap world, that I met Greg.  So I am kind of responsible for your house being sold, Greg!

GREG:

Well thanks, I owe you.  It’s funny. We have been kindredly connected before we were friends, so it’s kind of nice.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Liz, what makes Greg a great friend?

LIZ:

Let’s see…Greg stealing my phone and hacking into my facebook page! (Laughs)

GREG:

I think what she means to say is…. that she loves me so much that she sub-consciously leaves her phone on the set, and then I will hack her status update and make up something… and I post it for the world to see. (Laughs)

LIZ:

From the very beginning, Greg and I have had an awesome time with each other. I think that is why you enjoy watching us on television, and thank you very much to the fans for enjoying us, but we are really comfortable with each other.  We have a very similar sense of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. When I work with Greg, I tend to be more myself.  So it’s always a safe supportive place to be.  I have a lot of fun with it because I feel I can fully trust it.  And so whatever I do, I know he will always be there to catch me if I fall, or make fun of me.  And, we have an awesome banter with each other!

GREG:

That is a good way of putting it.  Liz is a great dance partner and I feel the same way around her.  The level of comfort is so easy, certainly for portraying the friendship part of the Kevin/Chloe relationship, that is a no-brainer.  So it was like, when are we going to have to start acting?  I think there was a lot of material that was scripted not too dissimilar to the way we would goof around in real life, even when the relationship starts to change a little bit.  For instance, there is something coming up next week where she does something physical to me. It was as simple as her saying to me, “Hey, this is what I am thinking of doing. What are your parameters?”  I think there is that trust and comfort.  And off-camera, I love palling around with her, whether it’s at work or hanging out outside of work.  It’s a fun relationship.

MICHAEL:

So was it your personal relationship that influenced Y&R executive producer and head writer Maria Bell and her creative team, to pair you on screen as Kevin and Chloe?  Because as you know, many times in soaps, writers will tell you that in watching the actors on set, they see something that strikes a chord for them and they run with it.

LIZ:

We were gunning for it and planted a seed a long time ago. (To Greg) Should we let him in on our little secret?  Ok, remember the holiday party…

© JPI Studios

GREG:

I will never forget.  I was at the Y&R holiday party and I said to Liz, Maria Bell is having a cocktail, so this would be a good time to be subtle and casually mention that we would be interested in working together, which Liz interpreted as walking right up to Maria and saying, “We want to work together!” (Laughs).

LIZ:

Any chance we could get, we would have fun with it.  And whether that be that I would shamelessly flirt with him in front of Maria, or make sure to hop in front of the camera so they can see us being really cute together.

GREG:

But also, my interest in working with Liz was less about that I love her as a person and more about that I think she is fantastic on the show. And from day one, I always thought she is really like a Fisher/Baldwin.

LIZ:

That is what I wanted to be when I came on the show!  All I wanted to be was a Fisher/Baldwin. (Laughs)

GREG:

You know, I think our on-screen family has all very solid actors who are all a bit off and quirky, and I think she kind of fits in perfectly.

MICHAEL:

What do the two of you think of the repositioning and retooling of Jana being the bad girl in the mix?  And, how is Emily O’Brien (Jana) to work with in this new beat of story?

GREG:

© JPI Studios

I think it’s the most genius thing she has gotten to do. She has always been amazing, but Emily playing crazy with a lid on it, with sort of a Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction vibe, or Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, is so genius. And, I think it’s amazing.  I also like that it created such obstacles within our story.  I love it and I think it’s great.

LIZ:

I love it, too. This is the first chance I have gotten to work with Emily.  I have wanted to work with her for a long time, just like I was waiting to work with Greg, because I have always enjoyed their work together.  She just takes us by surprise every time.  It is so far from who she is as a person, and so when you are with Emily on stage, you are so in it. Sometimes I find myself watching her rather than being in the scene with her, which works because it’s kind of the way you look at a crazy person. You think, “Is this real or is it not?”  Sometimes it even cracks me up, and we have laughed at the end of some tapings.  It wasn’t funny when Greg and I would later watch it back, and then I don’t remember why it was so funny in the first place.

GREG:

You know what I think?  I think sometimes the laughter comes from how uncomfortable she makes you feel.  And you think, “Ok, I am going to nervously laugh now, because I wonder if Emily is legitimately crazy?”

MICHAEL:

How are we justifying this evil turn of Jana?  Was it the countless brain surgeries that have damaged her, or do you think its kind of the more extreme version of the original Jana that was a bit of whack-job?

GREG:

I think the character of Jana, and like the character of Kevin and other characters on the show, is a rather loose canon.  I don’t think she has ever been completely rational and normal.  Even before the brain tumor, she killed Carmen Mesta… (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Greg, Kevin is so great with Chloe’s little girl Delia, and he has also come to the aid and defense of Daisy, wanting to make sure her baby is loved and has a father.  Does Kevin want to be a dad?  Why does he want to help Daisy so bad, after all the things she has done to his loved ones?

GREG:

I don’t know he necessarily wants be a dad just yet, but he wants to sort of protect that innocence that he sees in Daisy’s baby, and protect her from the horror that he and Ryder and Daisy went through. I think that is more motivated about him wanting to protect her then him wanting to raise a kid.  Kevin loves Delia, too.

MICHAEL:

This past week we saw some game-changing moments in the relationship between Kevin and Chloe, especially, when Kevin bares his soul and feelings to Chloe.  I feel bad for Kevin!

LIZ:

I felt so bad for Kevin.

GREG:

I do remember Liz telling me that she did feel bad for me.

LIZ:

© JPI Studios

I felt horrible almost in the way that I played it.

GREG:

It came out of that sort of build of emotions that have been happening within him, that whether he realized it or not, has been going on for a long time already.  It all came to a head when he needed to step up in some way with the whole incident with Child Protective Services. Then he really lays into Jana after that and accuses her of masterminding that, and in the midst of that, getting shot down with Chloe when she says something while Billy is there that sort of diminishes their relationship.  I think that made something in him snap and he thought, “Alright, I can’t keep this to myself anymore.”   I think at that moment he had no choice.  He thought either I am going to go crazy, or I am just going to tell her how I feel.

MICHAEL:

Liz, so Chloe really had no clue that Kevin could possibly have deep romantic feelings for her? How did you decide to play those beats of the story that just aired?

LIZ:

I think she had been through so much with guys, and even if she had feelings for Kevin, it was so deep down that it wasn’t even something she was willing to recognize.  I think that what happened between her two great loves had damaged her so much, that I don’t think she was willing to accept the fact that this is possibly what love could be like.  Having it come from a friendship and think, why would you ruin something that is so great? Anything with Chloe that started on the right foot got ruined.  Even Chance started on the right foot and got ruined. With Kevin, that is something you keep in a safe place and it’s not even something you go near because, God forbid, if I lost that person, I would have nothing.  And so, she finally finds someone she can trust and be with, and it’s not how she associates love, or how she would even think about it.  I think that begins to change the minute she sees him with someone else, and it’s like daggers to the heart.  I am trying to play the fine line because I know Chloe is getting jealous of Jana.  She was originally thinking, “Well, she is not good enough for you.”  But she wasn’t taking it as, “Well, I want to be that girl.”  I think until she sees him with someone else, it is then she realizes it is a different feeling.  I mean your heart should not sink into your stomach if you walk in and see a guy with another girl.  If she didn’t have feelings for him, she would have been able to walk in and go, “Eww! That’s disgusting. I just saw my best friend half-naked.”  And not be repulsed by the fact that his tongue is down her throat.  I think just the thought of her having to disappoint her daughter again and have another man come in and out of her life is a major issue for her. Chloe thought Kevin was there with her and Delia for a reason.  So she thinks we are going to keep Kevin in that place because this is safe. I think it appears to be almost too good to be true. When Kevin shows her the Christmas photos, it is the life that she pictures, but I just don’t think she really knows how to get it and hold on to it. I think she gets that from the last screw-up she had with Ronan.  I don’t think Chloe thinks she deserves to be treated well.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

By the way, I like the Chloe/Kevin Christmas card! So cute!

GREG:

(Laughs)  I was not at the Y&R Christmas Party, but I heard they had that picture blown up.

LIZ:

They did?

MICHAEL:

Greg, be honest, was it revenge sex for Kevin with Jana? (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, basically. (Laughs)  The thing is, no matter what Jana has put Kevin through, he doesn’t hate her, and certainly, he’s not trying to cause her any grief.  It was totally revenge sex.  Kevin was in a pretty vulnerable place where he was feeling pretty bad about himself, and here Jana comes along and she feels for him the way he wishes Chloe did.

MICHAEL:

Why are you able to tap into Kevin’s vulnerability so well?

GREG:

I think for me, it’s not trying to manipulate the audience, but saying he is doing some bad stuff.  Having sex with a woman he has no interest in, is one of them.  If you do that it’s too black and white, and he looks like an asshole.  So you say, this is what he is going to do, so how do I make this real for me?  He is really hurt.  I think showing vulnerability gets me through the tough stuff that comes his way sometimes, where it’s like me as an ethical person might judge Kevin’s motives.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Liz, looking back as 2010 comes to a close, what was your favorite Chloe moment?

LIZ:

This has been the most fun material I have gotten to play since when I first started on Y&R.  That was fun when I was kind of being bitchy, manipulative, and taking advantage of people. The first thing that came to mind when you asked, is anytime I get to play a little comedy.  I can’t just pick one.  I just know this is the most comfortable I have been since being on the show and being able to do everything I wanted to do in daytime.  I have been able to explore them over the last few months, and that is just having those moments and just letting things pop up and happen. On the flipside as my other favorite Chloe moment, would be the reveal of Chance cheating on her. That for me was the first time I was able to connect and feel the pain of being heartbroken.  It was actually the most heartbreaking thing for me to let myself go there.

MICHAEL:

Greg, your turn. What was your favorite Kevin moment of 2010?

GREG:

One thing that comes to mind is, whatever I am getting to do, I always like getting a break from that.  So, if I have been in a heavy storyline, it’s always nice to have a comedic break or vice versa. That was what was nice about the scenes that aired this week.  Kevin and Chloe’s relationship for the last few months has been light, fresh and fun. I think my favorite moment was our first real scenes together. That is when Kevin gets really drunk at the bar and they are commiserating and he is complaining about Jana and Ryder, and it was right at the same time that Chloe was dealing with her Chance issues.  I remember those being inherently funny because Kevin was getting really drunk, but there were serious moments, too.  It was the first time Liz and I got to play around together. And I think there were scenes where Kevin walks in on Jana and Ryder at the Athletic Club.  I think while he had been suspicious and confused by her attachment to Ryder, I think that was the moment where she tells him where her priorities lie, and it was devastating for Kevin, and are some my favorite scenes, too.

© JPI Studios

LIZ:

Wait… that just took me back to when we had those first scenes together, because I am just so proud of us for that!  We used to not be able to look at each other, because we would break out in laughter and non-stop giggles.  We were getting really nervous on set, and we thought, what are we going to do?  Even those scenes Greg is talking about that he did such an excellent job with.  I think the first time we did it, I laughed at him and we had to do the scene over again.  Greg, we have come so far!  (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, I know.  It was like if we were even in a group scene and I looked at her and she looked at me, we would giggle.  Liz still makes me laugh all the time and Emily, too.  I have gotten quite giggly of late on set. I am sure I am going to get a talking to soon.  I have been having a lot of fun lately with Liz; it’s not the worst thing. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

I assume you may have shared a romantic kiss on-screen, or that it may be coming at some point soon.  Is there any trepidation knowing that you’re dear friends in real life and now the time has come where you have to, or had to, have your lips locked?  Any apprehension about it?

GREG:

No, not for me.

LIZ:

You know, it’s really funny because I thought I was going to, after I got what I asked for! All of a sudden when the time was near it was, “Oh, wait. Ok. Hmmm.” And the minute it happened, Greg went, “You’re a good kisser,” and I went, “So are you!”  And you know what it totally goes back to, is the whole trust safety thing. The fact that I know that if there was ever a time I did something and I looked at him and I was not comfortable with something, I know he would go, “Ok. We will never do that ever again.”

MICHAEL:

So would you say, Liz, that Greg rates as a one of the best kissers of all your Y&R leading men?

© JPI Studios

LIZ:

Definitely!

GREG:

I would tease her though, and say, “I am going to stick my tongue as far down your throat as I can! (Laughs)

LIZ:

I know! (Laughs)

GREG:

I would be reviewing the scenes we have to do the night before taping, and I will send Liz a text and say, “Get ready!”

MICHAEL:

As had been announced in the soap magazines for this coming week, Jana is going to try to capitalize on an invitation to Christmas dinner at Katherine’s house.  That is bound to be an uncomfortable situation for Chloe and Kevin.  As we head into the holidays, can we expect any happiness, or more sadness and conflicted feelings, for your on-screen alter-egos?

GREG:

Kevin and Chloe’s Christmas and New Year’s will be sort of affected by what you just saw happen on air this past week.  I think things go from bad to worse.

MICHAEL:

Are the two of you checking out the message boards and getting fan reaction and feedback to see if the fans want Kevin and Chloe as a “love” couple, or if they want them to just stay best friends?

LIZ:

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We are.  Look, I never pay attention to the bad press, because it makes me upset.  I have definitely paid attention and heard people at the studio say, “I like you two together.” And the fact that someone even had an opinion about it is good enough for me.  If you like it or don’t like it, that means you’re involved.  And if they are involved, that means we have you thinking about something and you are kind of waiting to see what happens next.

GREG:

The stuff I have seen and heard is mixed.  I think fans like us as friends, but I don’t know if everyone is sold on wanting us to be anything more.  If I have something big that happens in a storyline, and if and when I have time, I will go and see what the fan reaction is.  I don’t look to see if they say it’s good or bad.  I just look to see if they are talking about it. You are better off having people disagree and chatting about it versus people who don’t really care.

LIZ:

It’s the same thing of, if you hate me, that’s good.  Love to hate me; at least you’re having an opinion about something.

GREG:

The worse thing to be on a soap is boring, and I always say that. With thirty some actors on our show, it’s one of the most challenging part of the job, and that is figuring out what your niche is supposed to be, and what am I going to do that nobody else is doing. That is the other thing I like about our relationship.  There is that quirkiness factor …

LIZ:

There are no other characters on our show that are like us.

GREG:

Sometimes I wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Did they have the idea to do awkward family photos for Christmas first?  Or was it, what are we going to do for Kevin and Chloe?  I think no matter what, when the idea came up of who is going to do the awkward photo, the powers-that-be thought, “Oh yeah, Kevin and Chloe.”  No one else fits that other than us.

MICHAEL:

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Do you think Kevin and Chloe could still be friends, if they embarked on a romance and it fell apart?

GREG:

It’s tricky, because you build up to this point and the whole thing is now, will they or won’t they?  My ideal situation for us would be if we can keep some sort of obstacle in our way for as long as we can, because who wants to be a happy couple?

LIZ:

I don’t want to be a happy couple! (Laughs)  I love the fact of Kevin still having a pull towards Jana. There is some sort of push and pull going on with them. I hope this goes on all year round, and we got to keep things moving, or we all are going to get boring.

GREG:

Kevin wants to get Chloe in the sack a couple of times, but living happily ever after?  I am sure Kevin would like that, but I would not like that.

MICHAEL:

In closing, Greg, what is your New Year’s wish for Kevin? What would you like to see him get involved with in 2011?

GREG:

What I like most about Kevin is the push/pull that happens in his brain, where he is like, “I want to be a better person. I want to be a good guy.”  Then it’s really easy for him to get lured into some sort of underhanded stuff.  I would like to see more of that in the New Year, and for him to continue to battle himself.  I would like to see him find some luck in love, but not too much.  And, I would love to see more integration of the fun family stuff as was in the past with Judith Chapman (Gloria) and Ted Shackelford (Jeffrey) and the Fisher/Baldwin gang.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Liz, what is your New Year’s wish for Chloe?

LIZ:

I would love to see Chloe get back to her passion of styling and fashion, and start to take over some jobs (Laughs).  I want to take someone down and replace someone, and go toe to toe with a really strong female.

GREG:

On that note, I would like to have Kevin and Chloe become allies on a caper to take somebody down… now that sounds like fun for the New Year!

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Sunshine
Sunshine

I Absolutely loved this interview! EH and GR work so well together and they have a great relationship! I don’t think either one of them have had better chemistry with someone than they do with each other! I hope to see them as a couple on Y&R because like GR said they both play Fishers really well. They are Perfect for each other! Love, love, love them! Chloe & Kevin FTW!!!

Judy
Judy

What a great interview! At this point I see them still more as friends but I’m more open to it becoming more after reading this. I guess more than anything I am afraid of having their friendship end if the romance doesn’t work and that I would miss. I’m definitely willing to give it a shot. I don’t want it all hearts and roses but rather some effort to make it work. I do think there is potential there!

Thanks for another great interview!

Robin S.
Robin S.

Great interview, Michael! Love the show and their characters. Great questions. The interview didn’t feel like the staged ones one reads in magazines. This felt like a truly intimate conversation between three friends.
I love their take on their character’s relationships with themselves and with each other. GREAT JOB!!!!!!

Yvonne G.
Yvonne G.

I absolutely love them together! Great interview. Love them as friends and have no doubt I will love them even more as a romantic couple. I hope we get to see that soon on the show.

Doe
Doe

loved the interview, Michael. These are two very fine actors who got lucky with their chemistry. They obviously play off each other extremely well. I enjoy what is happening within this triangle with Jana, Chloe and Kevin. Emily is doing a very fine job as well with all her connivings. I don’t want Kevin to go back to Jana. She is a loose canon!

Stephanie
Stephanie

This interview was amazing!! Pure gold!!

Fan
Fan

I FLOVE these two, That was a great interview. I am a huge Kevin/Chloe shipper, If the right kinda chem is between two characters/actos, I love soap romances that start as friend and lead to more. The only thing I wouldnt want is if they were to end, they stop being friends and having scenes together. I think its their fear too. They want their characters to hook up, but are afraid if they get torn apart they wont get to work together anymore. Sidenote: Jana freaks the hell outta me!!

semaj
semaj

love chloe and kevin pairing

Y&R Fan
Y&R Fan

I absolutely LOVE the pairing of Chloe & Kevin. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Greg is amazing. I have become such a fan that I literally fast forward to their scenes. Now this is the type of love story daytime needs. I FLOVE them so much! Chloe and Kevin have become my #1 favorite daytime couple to watch. Kudos to the writers.

Y&R Fan
Y&R Fan

I’ve said this numerous times and it’s been reaffirmed in this interview. There’s no two characters like Kevin and Chloe on any soap let alone theirs. Put the two together and call it a day. I’m a fan…a big fan.

Carrie
Carrie

I loved the scene when where Jana was “hot to trot”, and keeps asking Kevin for sex…When he said he was having “Gender Confusion” issues, it was laugh out loud funny, and a great excuse.
Also, the scenes in the theater with Jana and Kevin…Chloe throwing popcorn from the back rows..I loved them.
We Need A Little Humor…Right This Very Minute…
Bravo!

Peyton
Peyton

Like their friendship, but they don’t really work in a romantic sense at ALL! They are more like Carly/Jason. Chloe comes across really insecure and whiny with him.

Chloe Fan
Chloe Fan

Chloe and Kevin are awesome friends but there is no romantic chemistry at all. (IMO) Kevin is Chloe’s worst pairing by far! Chloe worked best with Ronan, I’m bitter that they dropped them like a hot potato! Now talk about passion and chemistry and a great duo! Kevin and Chloe just don’t do it for me as a couple, but great interview! Love Chloe and Liz Hendrickson!

Days Of Our Lives

NATAS President, Adam Sharp Talks On Daytime Emmy Review Findings & Plans For Change To Competition Process

In the aftermath of the letter that was sent to NATAS from daytime drama executives and producers demanding immediate change to the Daytime Emmys contest procedures, guidelines, or they would boycott participating in the upcoming 46th Annual competition, earlier today NATAS and its new president, Adam Sharp, released the findings of an independent investigation into the allegations levied against the academy and its annual competition.

After the full findings came to light , seemed to address most of the concerns raised by the four network soaps, Michael Fairman TV spoke with Adam Sharp to dive into what the reports means for change and evolution of the Daytime Emmys, and if it can resolve the issues so that General Hospital, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and Days of our Lives will come to the table and participate in the only kudofest honoring excellence in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes for daytime programming,

Here’s what Adam had to say about the key points addressed in our conversation below.

Transparency was a key issue noted by the soap producers in their concerns levied against NATAS.   One of the points centered around if NATAS had prior knowledge of the winners before the opening of the envelopes at the ceremony and the integrity of the contest.  What can you detail what the investigation found?

ADAM:  On the matter of whether anyone had prior knowledge to the winners, the reports clearly state that there is no evidence to support that. To the concern raised on the arm’s length distance necessary between us and the accountants we use to tally the votes, again there is no evidence to suggest that there was anything short of what you would expect of the standards of the competition. What it did find was that there were processes that either by virtue of generosity and us trying to be helpful when they asked, or by a lack of documentation to make people aware of policies and procedures, that created the appearance of unfairness, or unbalance in the process that may have been completely unintentional.  For example, the report noted that we did not have a published procedure for appealing decisions or filing any concerns or complains.  Some of this started because of one entrant in a digital category that raised concerns, and it was certainly elevated when the four soaps sent their letter, but without a published procedure, you’re really putting the onus on the entrants to know who to call and how to bring their concern.  So, that creates a system where there’s an imbalance because someone who doesn’t know who to call, doesn’t get the same hearing.  Likewise, if someone has made a mistake or technical error in their entry, and they happen to have entered the process early, and we catch it, we, in the past, have gone back to people and said, “Hey, I don’t think you intended to do this.  Would you like to resubmit?”  But if someone is entering at 11:59:59 on deadline night, they won’t necessarily have that.  Again, completely unintentional, but it could be argued that it created an imbalance or bias in the process, and the report made that clear.  For those types of things, we are going to crack down and be more consistent about our policies.  I told Brent and David that it’s going to mean saying no a lot more often in terms of giving waivers and extensions, and the types of things that we have done in the past to help people along. It is going to mean being more transparent and public about what our policies and procedures are so that every entrant has the equal set of knowledge to work from.

Courtesy/NATAS

Does this mean a demotion for David Michaels, Senior VP Daytime Emmy Awards?

ADAM:  Absolutely not.  That’s something that I want to put a very strong pin in right here.  David led the 2018 Daytime Emmys to record participation and a growing audience.  This new resourcing of the team allows him to be more singularly focused on doubling down on that success for 2019.  The Daytime Emmys are the only entertainment award show to have posted year-over-year audience growth from 2017 to 2018, and more than 30% increase in the number of entries.  The report rightly noticed that we did not do enough administratively to scale to that growth and to bring the resources to manage that added audience, and that added interest from competitors.  So, now we are going to make sure that David and Brent Stanton (Executive Director, Daytime Emmy Awards) each have the support and focus they need to be successful.

When the letter from various soap producers pointed out a “conflict of interest” for having the executive producer of the Daytime Emmys ceremony also be the awards administrator, many were wondering how that would shake out, or how NATAS planned to deal with this complaint.

ADAM:  Obviously, “conflict of interest” is a legal term of course, but I think that what the reports found was that it was not a conflict of interest.  It was a conflict of time, and many of the more specific errors that were raised in the report, as I said to David, occurred in the 25th hour of the day.  So, that is where it was really a resourcing problem, and a lack of procedure and policy problem.  The lack of resourcing created the environment for something to go wrong, and the lack of policy and procedure created an ad hoc nature for how we address those problems and made that ad hoc response open to questions because there was no prior documentation that this was how these things should be handled.  So, hopefully we have addressed each of these areas going into 2019, and that gives us a chance at a fresh start with the community.

 

Courtesy/NATAS

In response to the internal investigation findings, you mentioned you would bring additional resources to the Daytime Emmys, additional help in the operations, and you would add a “second pair of eyes”.  Would you potentially let people know who is in those positions that would be working with David Michaels and Brent Stanton?

ADAM:  Yes, so we are absolutely at a minimum committed to adding one full time position, and a handful of part time positions for that initial vetting process of the competition; that review of entries to make sure they meet the technical requirements, rules, and guidelines of their categories.  Now, in the past, there would be one individual, one set of eyes conducting that review, but now, we are modifying our policies such that before any adverse decision is made, such as disqualifying an entry, a second pair of eyes review it and give their independent assessment of the technical criteria and qualifications of the entry, so that there can be more confidence that multiple perspectives were employed before making any decision that could have an adverse effect on an entry.

Could a daytime drama actor participate and submit their work on n their own without the show being a part of it, if let’s say, the soaps won’t participate as a whole? And on that note, what would be the plans moving forward for the Daytime Emmys if the soaps decide not to participate in the competition?

ADAM:  If an actor or actress wishes to enter on their own with their soap still not participating: our rules permit anyone to enter independent of their program.  So, there is not a requirement that a show participate for an individual performer on that show to participate.  That said, they need to have the actual material to submit, and certainly a performer on that show is not necessarily the owner of that show and the owner of that content.  So, the question of whether they would have the necessary access to and rights to the video material to submit, that would be a question to the show producers as to what they would allow of that. In terms of the Daytime Emmy ceremonies moving forward without the soaps, the old saying goes, ‘the show must go on,’ and hopefully, it won’t come to that.  We have had constructive conversations with each of the broadcast soaps and believe our response and support goes a long way to addressing their concerns.  So, we are looking forward to having them.  Of course, they have a number of colleagues in digital drama, children’s programming, gameshows, and the rest of daytime television that we still expect to have a robust program at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmys in May of 2019.

You had mentioned that when you saw the results of the report that you felt it was very thorough, and you felt it pointed out things that needed to be fixed.

ADAM:  Yes, the report was exceedingly thorough and fair.  It delivered criticism where criticism was due, and there were a number of areas where we should have and must do better in the management of the Daytime Emmys and our other awards competitions.  I think the report certainly examined every issue that had been raised by members of the Daytime community and then some.  It allowed us to think about what actions we can take as a team to address each of those points.  I don’t think any awards show in our space has ever undertaken such an in-depth introspection of their procedures, yet alone made it public.  So, hopefully we are a trend-setter here.

The report indicates that NATAS will work more closely with the Television Academy (ATAS).  That seems to always be a point of contention.  How do you see yourself improving participation with them to engage that academy in more of the process?

ADAM:  So, the relationship between the two academies has strengthened incredibly in the past year, largely through the leadership of our respective chairman, Terry O’Reilly, the chairman of NATAS, who was elected earlier this summer and Hayma Washington at the Television Academy.  Obviously, they are going to have a new election soon as Hayma is retiring from the role.  So, we can continue that momentum into 2019.  What we note in our response to the report, was that one element of concern raised in the letter from the four soap producers was the mix of Television Academy members on our judging panels, and we want to be responsive to that.  We are prepared to make Television Academy membership a much higher priority in our consideration of judges for these panels, but obviously accessing that membership and engaging that membership requires a deeper partnership with the Television Academy, and we will see to that.

You are starting the call for entries on Monday, November 12th.  If the daytime dramas don’t participate within the timeframe you’ve given, do you see yourself adjusting the timeframe for the soaps if they were to say, “We want to work somethings out before we commit,” or are you just going to move forward if they are not participating in the deadlines you’ve set?

ADAM:  Our deadlines are going to be rather firm for all entrants.  We have a show date set for May and a process that moves backward from there in terms of the time that is needed.  Certainly, the fact that we have added additional review steps and procedures makes that timeline even more critical.  So, we are not going to be in a position to be extending extensions really to anyone.  In fact, the report specifically discourages granting extensions to anyone because that could create the appearance of unfairness that some types of entries get more time than other types of entries.  We welcome everyone, and if by the entry deadline there are particular genres, programs, or individuals that choose not to participate, we will miss them, hope they attend the show in May, and hope we can reengage them for 2020.

If the soaps did not participate in the 46th annual Daytime Emmys, but decided to come back later, it is my understanding that there would just be one drama category whereby web series and daytime soaps would be competing together in that.  Is that potentially what could happen?

ADAM:  I don’t want to go too many branches down off a tree of ‘what if’s,’ but our policies and guidelines do allow that if a category does not have a sufficient number of participants to be competitive, then that category can be eliminated or merged with another category or have its entries moved into another category for the competition.  So, we will look at all of the categories once we have the entries to see which ones remain viable and which ones do not.  Certainly, the fact that we do have digital drama categories gives us a place to contribute to have a drama competition regardless of what mix of entries we have.  I suspect that once you combine those, it becomes very difficult to uncombine them in the future, but obviously the call to entries is revisited every year, so, I can’t think of any long-term prognostications beyond 2019.

Since you are relatively new to your position with NATAS, you probably weren’t expecting that the producers that signed the letter demanding that change and issues be addressed in regard to the Daytime Emmys or they would boycott, would be something you would be dealing with off the bat.  How did you feel about it?

ADAM:  Well, I’m obviously rather new to the role.  My first day as interim president was the day after the Daytime Emmy show this year.  I was only named the permanent president last week.  It was certainly a trial by fire.  I would not say that I had enough history with the daytime drama community to have any expectation one way or another, and I think that is also true of our chairman, Terry O’Reilly, who came into office on July 1st.  That said, in a world of looking for silver linings, I think it gave us an opportunity for a blank slate and a fresh start.  By the community raising these concerns to our attention, and allowing us to conduct this deep review and make it public and be responsive to the issues they raised, it gives us a lot more opportunity to strengthen that relationship in 2019 than if a lot of these concerns had just continued to deteriorate and be whispered about at various cocktail parties, but never really spoken up and therefore, never really addressed.  So, while it was a painful process and there were parts of this report that were difficult to read, I think it gave us the opportunity to start from scratch and to put some of that history behind us.

So, do you think NATAS has addressed the concerns of the daytime dramas? What did you think of the points raised by Adam Sharp in this interview? Do you hope the Emmys will continue as usual with all four network soaps participating? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson Farewell Y&R Interview: From Her Exit Storyline, To Her Co-Stars, And Her Decision To Leave

In a candid and heartfelt conversation, The Young and the Restless exiting Daytime Emmy-winning star, Eileen Davidson sat down with Michael Fairman to discuss her decision to exit the series after playing Ashley Abbott on and off since 1982.

Eileen’s final episodes are now airing on the CBS daytime drama series.  Just how will it end for Ashley?  How will she leave the canvas?  How sad will be her goodbyes?  Y&R fans are counting down now to just a few more airshows that feature Eileen.

During this interview for the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen clarified many points that the audience has wanted to know about or come to understand, in particular, what led to her making the decision to call it quits, and would she ever return and how would she feel if the series recast her role.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In regard to what went into her decision to depart Genoa City, Eileen expressed: “It’s something I gave a lot of thought to.  Not something you can just go, ‘Gee, this week I want to leave!’  I was really thinking about it for over a year ago.  I talked it over with my husband and he was very supported of me.  My son is in high school and my stepson had left the nest and it had gone by so quickly.  I was like, ‘Wait! What happened?’  I was spending a lot of time in my car commuting; like two hours a day, and a lot of time in my dressing room, because our days are longer here than they used to be, and a myriad of reasons went into it.  It was not just one simple thing.  It was actually a whole bunch of reasons.  Even though I won the Emmy (Eileen won Lead Actress back in April of this year) I had pretty much decided long before then.  (Winning the Emmy) That was like “Oh, my God!”  That actually made me feel my timing was really right … I get this incredible nod right before I’m leaving.”

The emotional part of leaving the place she has called her home away from home for Davidson is saying goodbye to her beloved co-stars including; her on-screen big brother, Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott).  As Y&R viewers know, over the years Jack and Ashley’s relationship, and Bergman and Davidson, have shared plenty of screen-time together.  Eileen also gives a very special thanks to the fans who have supported her through the years and who have followed Ashley’s journey.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Davidson expressed on her final storyline revolving the “Blood Abbott” clause and how it all ties up, “It’s such a great way to go.  It’s so awesome how this whole thing comes up, and you realize how being an Abbott has affected her to her core.”

Now below watch Eileen’s farewell interview filled with clips from her performances and time on Y&R, and more heartfelt topics of conversation.

Then in the comment section below; tell us what you have thought of Ashley’s exit storyline?  What do you hope happens for Ashley? What was your favorite part of this interview and the sentiments shared by Eileen?  

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General Hospital

Genie Francis Talks On Her Return To GH, Fans Outcry Of Support & Her All-Time Favorite Storylines

On Tuesday, Genie Francis participated in a Satellite Media Tour with television stations and press outlets around the U.S. chatting it up on her return to her iconic role of Laura on ABC’s General Hospital.

Francis, who quickly wrapped-up her run after she was taken off-contract with the show back in January of this year, saw her and Laura exit Port Charles swiftly in a story-move that felt stilted to the audience.

Courtesy/ABC

After a huge outpouring of support on social media, GH fans cried foul on the play and wanted one of the series mainstays of all-time back where she belonged.

Francis elaborate it on that in our interview on seeing the show of support: “I couldn’t believe how long it went on and how big it was.  I think part of that was it looked like they were finally giving me a story with the major storyline, and then they yanked it so quickly, and I think people felt cheated.”

GH listened and brought Genie back to the canvas with a new storyline that puts her front and center on the series, as Laura is unaware that her husband Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) is locked up in Ferncliff, while his evil twin Ryan (Jon Lindstrom) has taken his place. Now Laura is reeling from the strange behaviors being exhibited by her “husband”. Will she figure it out in time? Will she run for mayor again?

Photo Credit: ABC

During her conversation with Michael Fairman TV and the Michael Fairman Channel, Genie touched on what she knew was going to be happening for Laura when she came to the show: “I knew we were going to start with the Ryan beat, which I thought was great. Everyone loves a good sociopath (laughs) and Jon (Lindstrom) is a wonderful actor.  It makes for an exciting story!”

Genie goes on to say that she is: “Just happy to have story, because it’s awfully boring to just be hanging around. I don’t want to be window-dressing. If it came to that, I think I might just leave.”

As to if Laura has a vendetta against Valentin (James Patrick Stuart) who for all intent and purposes murdered her son, Nikolas, Genie weighed-in: “She absolutely has a vendetta. I think right now, Laura who has the biggest heart and is kind of like the heroine of the show in many ways –  but this is the one person on the planet who she truly hates, and it would be interesting if she had to go through the exercise of forgiving him, but I also like that there is that one place where we can see all of that negativity and evil come out. I like that Laura has a dark side.  I really like that.”

Courtesy/ABC

To find out some of Genie’s all-time favorite storylines and least favorite storylines and more on her return watch the video below and make sure to subscribe to The Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming interviews.

What do you think about Genie’s return to GH thus far and the sentiments shared in this interview? Comment below.

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Video du Jour

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

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Airdates: 10-24-26-2018

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