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The Heather Tom Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

To say that 2012 was a whirlwind of a year for The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom would be putting it mildly.  In June, Heather won her first Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for her work as Katie Logan Spencer.  Tom had previously won in the Supporting and Younger Actress categories, making her the first performer in Daytime Emmy history to win the gold in all three major acting fields.

Then in October, Heather and her husband James Achor became parents of their first child together, a son, Zane Alexander.  And in addition to that, Heather and James have been developing a new home renovation television series that is soon to have its debut.  But while all of that was going on in Heather’s personal life, there was crisis after crisis for her on-screen alter-ego on B&B!

Katie developed a severe case of post-partum depression after giving birth to baby Will!  So much so, that she took off and abandoned her husband Bill (Don Diamont) and could not care for her newborn baby!  Meanwhile, while Katie walked away from all her responsibilities, Bill was getting too close for comfort with Katie’s big sis, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang)!  From there, things really took a turn following the death of Brooke’s closest friend, Stephanie (Susan Flannery).  You see, through grief and a growing attraction to Bill, the duo kissed, which will now play havoc on Katie’s life, especially since Katie just returned home to her married life after conquering her baby blues!

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Heather Tom to fill us in on all the baby news, and developments in her real life and her fictional life, and to get a preview of what is to come as the storyline heats up in 2013 between Katie, Bill, and Brooke!

MICHAEL:

Heather, as we are sitting here with you, you are wearing a bathrobe, having just been on set doing some sex scenes in lingerie!  It’s kind of shocking that you are already doing love scenes so soon after returning to B&B after just giving birth in real life!  Wouldn’t you say?

HEATHER:

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas

I can’t remember the last time I had to wear lingerie on a soap.  And honestly, this is bizarrely mean to do to a new mother! (Laughs)  I did not think Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) was this vindictive, but clearly he is!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Clearly, you must have pissed Brad off somehow! (Laughs)

HEATHER:

It was only six weeks ago that I had my baby.  Apparently, I have another one coming up after our holiday break.  I have three weeks to lose fifteen pounds!  I am convinced ten of them are in my boobs!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

On-air we saw Katie bolt from her relationship with Bill and go on the run, and sort of become MIA.  Was that storyline set up to facilitate your maternity leave?

HEATHER:

No, I was still pregnant.  Actually, it was only ten days from the time I gave birth till the time I came back to work at B&B.  They gave me a week off because I thought my due date was October 15th, but as we all know that does not mean anything.  I actually did not give birth till October 28th, so I was a week and half late.  I was home at that point, going, “Please God. Let this happen soon.”   The show actually took another dark week because I gave birth on a Sunday.  I was supposed to go back on Tuesday and I said, “Well, that is not going to happen.” 

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

How was it for you at the time, as an expectant mother in real life having to play a very dark emotional story of post-partum depression?  Was it difficult?

HEATHER:

No, if anything it was the complete opposite.  I treated it like a catharsis.  I was already so hormonal.  So I thought, “Well, I will just go to work and cry all day long, and then I will feel better when I get home.  So, it actually worked out pretty well.  I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues.  From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward.  It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.”  I really haven’t had anything.  I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person.  Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.

MICHAEL:

The scenes where Katie would look at the room she was in and see it as filthy dirty, and crooked and haunting, was almost too much to take for the audience.  We all could only imagine how it was for you to play those scenes, being a mom-to-be in real life!

HEATHER:

I am just glad that I did not have to do any pushing scenes, and that Katie had a C-section!  I am glad that it wasn’t a story where Katie did not like her baby, or love her baby.  It was that Katie loved her baby so much that is why she had to do this.  I think that would have been harder to play that I don’t want him.  I have had friends on other shows where they have to play storylines like that, or play upset that they are pregnant.  I remember One Life to Live’s Kassie DePaiva (Blair) when she was pregnant with her son J.Q.   In the storyline, she had to play and say, “I don’t want to be pregnant.”  That would have been a lot harder to play than what I ended up playing.

MICHAEL:

To clarify: what you were playing as Katie that started all the craziness? The audience saw that Katie had her heart condition and literally died from it, but came back from that and survived!  Was then Katie’s overwhelming concern that she would not be there for her child?

HEATHER:

Courtesy/CBS

The main thing was that Katie was convinced that she was going to drop dead at any minute, and that was in combination with what she had just gone through where she “died”, and then the C-Section.  The hormonal changes you go through while you are pregnant are something that I cannot even describe, and on top of that she had major surgery, and then dying.  She had all these pretty traumatic things happen one after the other.  Katie was then so messed up emotionally and hormonally.  I think that is where it came from where she thought, “I can’t bond with him.  Because if I bond with him, I am going to end up leaving him and it’s going to be horrible for him.  So I am doing this for him.”  It’s a twisted logic, but it made sense to her.

MICHAEL:

Did Katie really believe Taylor (Hunter Tylo) had her best interest at heart?  Every time Taylor would open her mouth it seemed like bad psychiatry that she perpetrated on a fragile patient!

HEATHER:

I think at this point, she does.  Taylor keeps telling Katie things which will give her a heart attack! (Laughs)  She has had three heart attacks, and then Taylor goes, “By the way …” (Laughs) Taylor is a terrible therapist! (Laughs)  Taylor then basically breaks patient confidentiality with Steffy, and then blurts out to Kate that Bill and Brooke kissed!

MICHAEL:

Did Katie believe Taylor when she informed her that Bill and Brooke kissed?

HEATHER:

I think she didn’t believe Taylor, but then Katie goes and confronts Bill and Brooke about it, and they don’t hide it from her.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

When you, Don Diamont, and Katherine Kelly Lang found out the storyline, where it would now be a Brooke/Bill/Katie triangle, were you concerned that the integrity of your characters would be blown to smithereens?

HEATHER:

I loved what they did!  I think it kept the integrity of the characters in tact, because it was such a crazy situation, and because it was Katie’s impetus.  She was kind of manipulating the situation, and so they kind of have plausible deniability.  I actually wished they had gone further and really solidified them as a couple, and then had her come back.  But I think the storyline got so depressing.  They were like, “Let’s wrap up this. We can’t take this anymore with Katie rolling around on the floor!” (Laughs)  I am hoping that if they continue, they will continue very slowly and have the story make sense.  I think the things that Katie is still going through does make sense, and it would cause friction between Bill and Katie.  Brooke can be there without being the aggressor to keep her integrity in tact.  So that way, if the marriage breaks up, it’s something that happens, not something that is pursued on Brooke’s end.

MICHAEL:

When Brooke and Bill arrived back on the scene together after Stephanie’s passing, there was Katie with baby Will in her hands, excitedly waiting to see her hubby.  Katie was so over-bubbly … and even, dare we say, annoying!  Were those scenes hard to play?

HEATHER:

I was kind of playing her kind of manic at that point!  Now it was like the pendulum struck the other way and she took her happy pill and was like, “Hello! I’m here!”  It was a little over the top.  I think we can make a case of being a little maniacal at that point.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Armed with the knowledge of Bill and Brooke’s kiss, Katie confronts her husband and her sister on the lip-lock!

HEATHER:

Yes. They tell her pretty much that it won’t happen again, which means it will happen sooner rather than later.  Although it hasn’t happened again, yet, so I don’t know.  Katie and Bill are going to continue to have issues.  Having a child has changed her and changed her priorities, and I understand this.  She married this man who is this daredevil guy who lives life on the edge, but she is now dealing with, “OK. We have a child.  I don’t want to raise a child by myself.  My time is limited by the nature of my medical condition.  I don’t want my kid not to have parents.  So I want you to be here, but changes may need to be made to our lifestyle.”  We will see how that all plays out.

MICHAEL:

Your former long time acting partner on The Young and the Restless, Scott Reeves, just got let go on General Hospital.   Many are saying, including Daytime Confidential’s Wishful Casting suggestion, that they would love Scott to come on to The Bold and the Beautiful as Taylor’s bad seed brother, Zach Hamilton! What would you think of that?

HEATHER:

That would be awesome!  I would love that!  I would be all for that.  I think it’s time for Katie to start having other avenues, rather than Bill always being the one to have other avenues.  That’s just my thoughts.  But, I have not talked to Brad Bell about that yet. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It’s Daytime Emmy submission time here in the U.S to be considered for the 40th annual honors.  You are the defending champion for the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series category!

HEATHER:

I can’t believe it!  I have no idea what to submit.  I honestly have just started watching the episodes of the post-partum storyline.  That is my stuff for this year, so we will see.

MICHAEL:

How did you come to choose the name “Zane Alexander” for your real life little bundle of joy? 

HEATHER:

Before I knew I was having a boy, I dreamed it and I woke up and his name was Zane.  I liked that.  It kind of turned out that my husband James’ grandfather’s favorite author is Zane Grey, and he grew up outside of Zanesville, Ohio!

MICHAEL:

Now wait a minute! When you played Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live, wasn’t the name of your child, Zane? 

HEATHER:

Yes, and I forgot about that!  Maybe it was some subconscious thing, but James can never know about this! (Laughs)  Yes, it is true.  Zane was the name of Kelly’s last child on One Life to Live.  I think I blocked it out because fans were telling me my baby’s name was Zane, and I would go, “No, No. My last baby was Ace!”  And they would go, “No … the last baby!”   I was so pissed off at that time the way they were writing my character out that I totally forgot about it.  Now it’s embarrassing that I named my child after a soap character.  Again, James can never know! (Laughs) When we shot that in New York, that was my last day at work on One Life, where Kelly named the baby, and that was right before she and the baby Zane moved to London.  As far as my baby’s middle name, Alexander is James’ middle name and he wanted to use that.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

How is your husband James with your new baby?

HEATHER:

He has been better than I would have ever dreamed.  I fall in love with him more and more every day, because he is so good with the baby, and eager to be involved.  James is really hands on, and more so than I ever thought he would be.  It’s awesome and great!

MICHAEL:

What has thus far been the best and worst part of motherhood?

HEATHER:

The best part is that Zane is smiling right now.  Every day he becomes more alert and he is very into everything.  I don’t think I will ever get bored with that.  The worst part was we had a traumatic birth, where he had fluid in his lungs and he had to be in an incubator for five days.  It was not something that was really dangerous.  But of course, as mother, you don’t know that at the beginning.  The doctors told me, on a scale of 1 to 10, we are at a 2.  It was the most stressful five days of my life.  I do not want to go through anything like that again.  It was just horrible.

MICHAEL:

When you think of your dreams and hopes for Zane, what are they?

HEATHER:

Oh gosh.  I think if I can instill a work ethic in him, then I will have done my job.  I think that will help him in all aspects of his life… in his relationships at work, friendships, and otherwise.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Danya Morrison/Shandrew PR

So what happens if teenaged Zane comes to you and James as says, “Mom and Dad, I want to be an actor!?”

HEATHER:

And then …. I kill myself! (Laughs)  Or, if he says, “I want to play a guitar for a living!” James is a musician!  Honestly, it’s all bad. (Laughs)  We are totally screwed on all levels.  Hopefully, he will rebel and say, “I want to be an accountant!”  A doctor would be awesome! (Laughs) Or, I am hoping he will rebel and go, “I am a science nerd” That is what I am hoping!

MICHAEL:

James and you have been working for quite some time on a new home renovation series that will show off your collective interior design prowess!  Any news on when fans can expect to see it?

HEATHER:

The tentative airdate is April 13th on HGTV.  We just finished doing pick-ups for all six episodes.  They are cutting it together now and it’s called Renovation Unscripted.  This is what I did while I was pregnant! (Laughs) It was a ridiculous amount of work, but I think for the viewers it’s going to be super fun to watch.  I am very excited of the projects we did.  I think it’s some of the best work James and I have ever done in terms of home renovation.  The transformation’s you will see were pretty awesome, and James and I were able to do what we wanted to do with the spaces, which was great!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

What is your New Year’s Resolution for 2013?

HEATHER:

Yes.  I make the same one every year, which is: “No Parking Tickets!”  I did really well the first part of 2012, and then really blew it the last part of the year.  I have spent many thousands of dollars in the past on parking tickets.  But, what I will say, the new automated meter with the credit card makes it a lot easier to not get tickets, because I never had change.  I mean, who carries around change? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Since you were at the tail end of your pregnancy, were you able to come to B&B to say goodbye to Susan Flannery as she exited the series?

HEATHER:

I wasn’t.  I was there her last shooting day, but I was not there for the big farewell party day on set.  I should have gone, but I was thinking, “Oh no.  I can’t go.  I am going to have a baby and be in labor.”  I also should have gone to Scott Clifton’s (Liam) wedding! I was basically at home screaming at my tummy going, “When are you coming out? (Laughs)  I think as far as Susan Flannery leaving, that is something she wanted to do. Susan will be sorely missed, but I think her presence is felt whether she is actually here physically.  I am sure she is not going to sit around and do nothing!

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

In closing, what should viewers be on high alert for coming up for Katie in the coming months?

HEATHER:

That is a good question.  I don’t think she is going to be an emotional mess.  I think she and Bill are going to have some issues.  Being a mother and going through childbirth has had a profound change on her that I don’t think is out of the norm.  But, I think it’s going to throw a wrench into things when it comes to her relationship with Bill.

READ MORE
BREAKING NEWS: Susan Flannery Decides to Leave The Bold and the Beautiful!
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IVEL
IVEL

What an awesome actress and her smile is beautiful. I have been watching Heather since she was Victoria on the Y&R. To go back to work so soon, is amazing.
Great interview!

Judith
Judith

I first became aware of Heather Tom when she played Victoria Newman on Y&R, and her enormous talent was very evident. When she became Katie Logan on B&B, I marveled at how she was so flexible, and not even a tiny bit of Victoria came thru’ in her performance of Katie. No matter with whom she shares a scene, Heather is the one whose ability shines.

Christine
Christine

That’s a really nice thing to say, Judith, and I agree.

I always love when an actor can move from role to role and not resemble the previous character. That is the mark of a true actor and Heather is one of them.

Edwina babb
Edwina babb

Liked very much. Would like a little more of what might be coming up especially with Hope and Liam.

Christine
Christine

“I also kind of feel, and I don’t know if this is my own projection, but I kind of feel like I got it out of my system, because I have not had any baby blues. From what I know from my friends, every woman I know has had some form of hormonal depression afterward. It would be anything from: “I feel a little bit depressed,” to “I can’t get out of bed.” I really haven’t had anything. I was very concerned about that as I am a hormonal person and an emotional person. Maybe, I just got it out of my system here on set.”

First I want to say that I LOVED this interview. Becoming a mom in 2009 and then again in 2011, I can relate to everything that Heather has. I wanted to comment on her quote above in case this gets back to Heather or any other mom who feels the same. I NEVER had any baby blues or anything like it through either of my pregnancies nor anything all the while I was postpartum. I am a terribly hormonal person to the fact that I believe I am estrogen dominant due to the migraines I get. I was very surprised that I did not have some sort of hormonal problem after giving birth, but I was just elated at being a mom and that my boys were healthy. I may cry at the drop of a hat, but I guess I was otherwise hormonally normal after giving birth. My sister-in-law did have the baby blues with her baby for about a week but she also had trouble with her milk coming in too.

I really feel for any new mom who suffers with post-partum depression and I applaud Heather for tackling that storyline … while she was pregnant no less. What a task to be given.

Thank you again, Michael, for a great and very honest interview.

Beacon
Beacon

She’ll always be Victoria Newman. It’s as simple as that.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

Great interview! Thanks Michael!

Joanna Maria
Joanna Maria

Thank you Michael, fantastic interview. I love Heathet Tom. She is amazing woman and actress. I am waiting for her next Emmy. All the best to her and her family.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Excellent interview, Michael! Loved hearing Heather’s thoughts on Katie’s depression. I always felt like they should have written Katie out when she gave birth to Will, and then brought her back when she had finally given birth. But we wouldn’t have gotten beautiful acting from Heather during Katie’s PPD. It’s pure Emmy Gold!

As for Scott Reeves joining as Taylor’s brother and potential love interest for Katie, I think that would be really interesting to see. I’d love to see that happen! We got our Brad/Victoria re-pairing, now we can get our Victoria/Ryan re-pairing. It’d be interesting.

Pamela B. Tutt
Pamela B. Tutt

Hi Heather~
Congratulations on your new baby he is so yummy! I miss you on Young and the Restless and thought you’d be Victor Newmans daughter FOREVER! But anyway I loved you on Y&R but I like you on B&B . I just wish that the writers would have let Hope enjoy and relish in what Steffy stole from her. I am so angry that the writers couldn’t let her (Hope) be happy she is so genuine and she deserves it. When no one else paid Liam any mind when he came to town as Bill’s son Hope welcomed him to town and made him feel welcome only to have him end up with the likes of Steffy………..I hate to watch now 🙁 Is your real life baby playing Katies baby on the set???????

Diane Mraz
Diane Mraz

Hi! Heather!
I enjoyed watching you on the Young and the Restless; and I enjoy watching you on the Bold and the Beautiful. You are a fantastic actress; and you seem so down to earth. I wish you all the best. Take Care.

Dorothy Ferguson
Dorothy Ferguson

Hi Heather , enjoy watching you perform as Victoria on Y&R and now follow you as Katy. congratulations on your big win.

Eliza
Eliza

Heather Tom is an amazing actress and I finally found a place to say it!!!

Diana Bayardo
Diana Bayardo

Is Katie Logan’s baby on bold and beautiful her baby in real life??
He really looks like her and anxious to know if he is. He is so adorable.

Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS/Getty

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

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

Photo: NATAS

David Parks, did you think it would really happen?

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

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

Courtesy/NATAS/Getty

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

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/NATAS

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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Were you worried about Alex on Emmy night?

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

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

Courtesy/NATAS

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/NATAS

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

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

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

Photo: JPI Studios

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

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

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

Courtesy/NATAS

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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