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Days Of Our Lives

THE JAMES REYNOLDS INTERVIEW – DAYS OF OUR LIVES

james-head.jpg

MICHAEL:

It’s so nice to have your very accomplished acting chops involved in a heavyweight storyline. What’s next for the Autism storyline? Will we continue to see Theo, Abe and Lexie front and center? What are your feelings on getting the opportunity to play out such an important social issue on “DAYS” where the focus is not usually socially conscious storylines?

JAMES:

It is going to continue on through the fall, and be front and center. Renee Jones (Lexie) and I really feel good about this story, and feel strongly about it. It’s wonderful to do a story that helps a lot of people, and helps them understand something that is quite misunderstood for a number of reasons that are valid, and a number of reasons that aren’t valid. To be asked to do this story, Renee and I have been excited. We have done a lot of research and did a lot of reading.

MICHAEL:

It’s very interesting that several daytime soaps have tackled autism recently. “AMC” did so with the character of Lily, and “GH: NightShift” is doing it with Jagger’s son, Stone this season.

JAMES:

Oh really, I did not know that. That’s wonderful to know.

MICHAEL:

“DAYS”, head writer Dena Higley reached from her personal real-life, and past experience with autism to create the story for Theo and the Carvers.

JAMES:

Yes, exactly. That is where she is drawing her inspiration, and for her, it’s something she has lived with. Her son is now 19, and is doing very well. He is off to college in the fall and he played football and drives his own car. We have played and will play some moments from Dena Higley’s life. She was mentioning to me an argument she had with her husband years ago, as she was writing the dialog for one of our scenes. Dena said it just came to her so naturally.

Abe-lex-theo.jpgMICHAEL:

How did they find out he is autistic?

JAMES:

Theo is three years old and he had been having problems on “DAYS”, and was not as verbal as he should be at his age. Theo had 30 or 40 words in his vocabulary, where a child at that age should have 500 words or so. Abe and Lexie noticed he did not make eye contact with them. That he did not interact with other kids, as he should. He didn’t play in the way that he should, and take a lot of joy in his playing. Theo would align his toys up, instead of play with trucks. These are the kind of signs, and there are others, that you see in autistic kids. It is staggering. One in a one hundred and fifty kids now have autism, and that number will rise in a very few years. It will soon be one in a hundred. It’s going up.

MICHAEL:

What do you think is the most common misconception of autism?

JAMES:

You have various levels of people who don’t understand. You have parents whose child may or may not be autistic. They just see these different forms of behavior, and are not sure what is going on, and often the behavior is similar to what any child might due, throwing a tantrum for instance. But with autistic children, it happens very frequently, where you can’t use a different type of logic that you might use on children that aren’t autistic with kids that are. So the symptoms mask themselves as the same type of behavior with some children. With the general public, autism is misunderstood in a number of ways. They may see a child misbehaving and think the parents are not disciplining their child well, and it’s misunderstood. The public misreads autism as another mental or emotional disability. Autism cannot be cured, but can be treated. The treatment is not really with drugs. It really takes patience, and therapy, and extraordinary patience by the therapist, friends and family. It takes a lot of endurance and you have to stick to it.

MICHAEL:

Do you think it’s truly a genetic issue?

jimblue.jpgJAMES:

No one is sure. We can’t really point to a reason for autism. It’s difficult to talk about from genetics to early childhood vaccination to environmental causes. There is no one who will say they know for sure.

MICHAEL:

With all the ups and downs and upheaval in recent months with DAYS from the writing of the show to the shuffle in executive producers, do you as a veteran of the show see a distinct difference in scripts with new writing regimes?

JAMES:

I will say, we certainly have had writing that has not tracked properly over the years or extraordinary well structured, and at the same time, we have had writers who dialogue is quite crisp and quite nice. The argument I make with daytime television, is that our writing is as good as or better than anyone else is in television. We put together 200 shows a year and some of it has been downright brilliant. I think Dena Higley has done a wonderful job with the autism storyline.

MICHAEL:

How does Abe get past all the trust issues with Lexie? She has strayed and cheated on Abe several times in the past!

JAMES:

You will have had some answers to that in some upcoming shows. It’s hard for Abe to stay mad at anyone for too long that he loves. He also is very loyal to people in a different way that he does love. If you are in his good side, he is very reluctant to let you leave. I think you will see things to begin to understand why Abe stays with Lexie and what motivates that relationship. He does love her immensely and that is the bottom line. He loves her and admires her for many, many things.

MICHAEL:

How does Abe get past Lexie being the daughter of his nemesis, Stefano Dimera?

JAMES:

Not easily, and that has been an issue in the past. You do it by actions. How many people are not real happy with the family they are married into? There are many, and yet they learn how to deal with that. They learn how to deal with that in their own way. Abe has yet to spend Thanksgiving at the Dimera house. I don’t know if that’s every going to happen! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

God forbid!

lexie-abe.jpgJAMES:

It would be funny to see. I think one of the ways Abe deals with it is Lexie does not expect a relationship with Lexie and her father.

MICHAEL:

What about the blossoming friendship of Dr. Lexie Carver with heartthrob, Dr. Daniel Jonas? Isn’t it possible Lexie might fall into her medical partner’s arms?

JAMES:

I think Lexie has strayed enough.

MICHAEL:

I am worried about her.

JAMES:

I get a lot of comments from fans, that they want Abe to stray now.

MICHAEL:

I do! I want Abe to stray now!

JAMES:

Its time for Abe to be the one to stray and look around, and even Abe can only be stretched too much. I would think another affair by Lexie would not be one he could get beyond.

MICHAEL:

Of your time on “DAYS”, what do you consider your greatest scenes?

JAMES:

It’s interesting. You do have to develop a sense that you did it wrong or right. I have been highly critical of myself much more when I started out on “DAYS”. You do develop a critical eye. I think the scenes I used when I last was nominating for a Daytime Emmy with Matt Cedeno’s character of Brandon, were among those. There are scenes recently with Lexie that I am proud of, and scenes with Abe and Marlena a number of years ago, when Marlena and Abe seemed to be involved in a more emotional context. I think those scenes went extremely well. Over the years, there have been a number of scenes that Abe has been involved in and I have been proud of.

commish.jpgMICHAEL:

How is it working with Joe Mascolo (Stefano)?

JAMES:

He is doing very well, and Joe has never been constantly on the show which adds to Joe’s mystique. When Joe started on the show, at the beginning, he would come on for six month periods. In the late 80s, he would show up for six months and then leave a little bit. I think that adds to the mystique of Stefano. The audience and Salemites are never sure where he is, or what is going on. His return always brings intrigue to the people of Salem, and that small group of which Abe and the Brady’s and Marlena are a part of. It is that core group that Stefano has devoted his life to destroying!

MICHAEL:

Don’t you ever, “crack-up” on set with Joe and his Stefano accent?

JAMES:

Oh yes. It’s well documented, that Joe is in that dialect all day. We have all gotten to know each other so well. One of things that marks “DAYS” is that we have so many veteran actors who have been on the canvas for so long, and continue to be. These are characters the audience has been allowed to grow up with and grow old with. I think a very important thing that there is that there are 10 of us who have been around a long time. I think that s a large number and I think it’s to “DAYS” credit that it has kept its character consistency throughout the years, Stefano is one of them.

MICHAEL:

I am going to mention a few performers names that you work with consistently with on “DAYS” Please say the first few things that come to mind… here goes…Peter Reckell (Bo)?

JAMES:

Peter is extremely aware as an actor, and aware of his environment of what is going on around him.

MICHAEL

Renee Jones?

JAMES:

Extraordinary gifted actress…. and she is so attractive, and has great personality and a very girlish personality. People overlook that she has this great focus as an actress.

MICHAEL:

Deidre Hall (Marlena)?

JAMES:

She is a veteran and professional and is always there. Deidre has a great feeling for her character.

Jim-Josh.jpgMICHAEL:

Josh Taylor (Roman)?

JAMES:

Josh Taylor is quite often the football player, and he like the detail of what he has does and he loves what he does.

MICHAEL:

Kristian Alfonso (Hope)?

JAMES:

She has that real professional focus, and she knows how to lock down and zero in on her performance.

MICHAEL:

What do you think the hardest and easiest thing is about doing a daytime soap?

JAMES:

It’s interesting. As an actor keeping consistency when you are in frequently and the hours are long, and making sure you keep that character fresh and vital, and not letting anything else seep into your performance. As for example: you don’t let the fact that someone just almost ran you off the freeway to enter into that performance or a temperature of 101 degrees that day seep into the performance. That’s the most difficult and that’s the one we succeed at most of the time. The easiest part is doing something you love everyday… even though sometimes there are tremendous challenges in doing it. If you remind yourself, you are doing exactly what you want to do with your life, it becomes easy.

MICHAEL:

Because you are well-known and beloved as Abe Carver, do people often call you that when you are out in public?

JAMES:

It depends. I hear Abe pretty much daily. I get fans coming up to me pretty constantly. Sometimes it’s, “James” and sometimes it’s, “Abe”, and the fans are quite gracious wherever I am. It’s a constant part of my life. People are very nice.

b-ball.jpgMICHAEL:

Speaking of the fans, The Jim Reynolds Celebrity Basketball game has become a “DAYS” staple event every summer! You just held your 18th annual event!

JAMES:

It changes every year, and what I have been doing for the last several years is I have divided the cast, and augmented it with a women’s basketball team that I coach every week. For my game, I divide the cast that wants to play, and augment the numbers with the players on the women’s team in the town that I live in. My wife, Lissa is also on the team.

MICHAEL:

The Jim Reynolds Celebrity Basketball game always raises money for charity, correct?

JAMES:

In The Jim Reynolds Celebrity Basketball game, the charity always changes. We always have a non-profit we raise money for, and this year we raised money for the Fremont Center Theatre. The Ronald McDonald house, the YMCA, and other we have raised money for in the past, plus a number of other special groups.

SChristian.jpgMICHAEL:

It’s usually a summertime classic!

JAMES:

And usually it’s the first week in June. This year it was the last week in May,

MICHAEL:

Who played well from “DAYS”? Since Shawn Christian (Daniel) was the newest addition to the team how did he fair?

JAMES:

Shawn is wonderful, and is really quite a basketball player, as is Kyle Lowder (Rick, “B&B”) and Kyle Brandt (Ex-Phillip, “DAYS”). Kyle Brandt is extremely competitive and my son Jed is probably the best player out there, and Rhassan Orange (Ex-Tek, “DAYS”) who used to be on the show is really good. If the “DAYS” team were a competitive team we would be pretty good.

MICHAEL:

In closing, what can fans look forward to from Abe Carver in the coming months on “DAYS”?

Abe-lex-theo2.jpgJAMES:

I think Abe and Lexie dealing with Theo and his autism, and some interesting things happening with Abe as the commissioner as well. You will see several sides of Abe in the coming months.

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Days Of Our Lives

Will Jackée Harry Find Herself In Salem and Days of our Lives?

From out-of-a-tweet from Grammy night come a part for TV and film star, Jackée Harry on Days of our Lives?

As CBS aired the Recording Academy’s annual kudofest, Harry sent out a tweet with a side-by-side image of Grammy icon, Bonnie Raitt, next to DAYS’ Suzanne Rogers (Maggie).

Harry, who is known for her humor and wit in her tweets, expressed: “Has Bonnie Raitt been moonlighting as Maggie from Days of 0ur Lives for the past 20 years?

Jackée, who started her TV career on Another World as Lily Mason, and eventually played Sandra Clark on the sitcom 227, and various other signature roles, next received a tweet in response to hers from DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati.

The head scribe expressed: “No, Bonnie is obviously Maggie’s evil twin. The real question is, when is Sandra Clark going to come visit Salem?

Next, an excited Harry sent back: “Ha!!!! I would LOVE to play with the DOOL cast, Ron.”

On Monday, Carlivati tweeted a GIF of a game show moment with Jackee Family Feud style, that says “Name something you must have in order to live” The answer he tweeted: “A part on Days of our Lives?, Jackée Harry”

See the exchange below:

So, would you like to see Jackée in Salem? If so, what do you think would be a fun part for her to play? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Impeachment Hearings On Broadcast Networks Show Ratings Much Lower Than The Daytime Soap Operas They Are Preempting

In an infuriating article written by FOX news, off of a study from NewsBusters, the news outlet and others have come to the realization that all of us who want our soaps back on the air already know.  That is … that the network daytime dramas ratings are far better on a day-to-day basis than people tuning into network TV during the day to watch the impeachment hearings of Donald Trump.

Soap fans have been furious that in the afternoon network TV is pulling their soaps off their normal airtime across all coasts.  Daytime soap viewers feel that all of the 24-hour news cable outlets should be the the place to go to see the hearings during the day; as to not to preempt the drama on General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful.   

Photo: CBS

Just for the record, the study via NewsBusters showed that on day one of the impeachment hearing the networks scored as such: CBS averaged 1.52 million, ABC  1.29 million viewers, and NBC averaged 1.26 million viewers.   Thursday’s were even worse with CBS averaging 1.4 million, ABC 1.2 million viewers and NBC had 1.1 million viewers.

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Now compare that to the weekly daytime soap ratings and total viewers which while it ebbs and slows is still way about this.  According to the study: “The Young & The Restless” has been averaging 3.7 million viewers during the 2019-2020 season and The Bold & The Beautiful averages 3.15 million viewers. ABC’s General Hospital averages 2.15 million viewers while NBC’s Days of Our Lives averages 1.95 million viewers.”

Share your thoughts on the pre=emptions of your favorite soaps, and how the impeachment hearings are, of course, not bringing in higher number in the day-part via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Wally Kurth, Chandler Massey & Freddie Smith Deliver Gut-Wrenching ‘Power Performance of the Week”

This past week on Days of our Lives brought the tears and the drama tenfold, in one of the most riveting, don’t-miss-a-moment, weeks in recent history on any daytime drama series.

While unfortunately the show did not air on NBC during its regularly scheduled timeslots on all coasts (due to the President Donald Trump impeachment hearings) the episodes were available on NBC.com, the NBC app and on the Cozi TV network.

Photo: JPI

And this week we cannot sound-the-trumpets enough for three men; who gave us moments of heartache that will be remembered for some time to come, pulling out all the stops, and showing us why they remain three of the most popular and talented actors in our genre. So many people have been commenting on social media on the authenticity and realness of the performances (yes, it’s within soapy circumstances), but throughout made us feel their pain right along with them.

On DAYS, this was the week they went back in time to finally show the viewers how things ended up the way they currently are in the time jump that happened last November on-air.  And in five “OMG” episodes, head writer Ron Carlivati and his team laid out for us how one fateful night, “Mother’s Day” changed the course of lives for so many in Salem.

Chief among them, Will (Chandler Massey) landing in prison for Adrienne’s (Judi Evans) death, when in fact, he was not the responsible party at all.  But in these flashback episodes, Will’s relationship with his husband, Sonny (Freddie Smith), his father-in-law, Justin (Wally Kurth) is forever changed because he believed he was the one behind the wheel that caused the crash that ultimately took Adrienne’s life, and took Sonny’s mother from him … and Justin’s wife from him.

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In the flashback to the horrible night: at the hospital, Kayla (Mary Beth Evans) has told Justin that Adrienne didn’t make it following the injury sustained to her head in the accident, and now Justin has to tell Sonny.  He tearfully tells his son, “We lost her. Your mother’s dead!”  As the men console each other and break down in each other’s arms, Will, who is there, and who was trying to tell Sonny his part in the accident, is horrified to learn Adrienne died.  Kayla asks Justin and Sonny if they want to say goodbye to Adrienne.  Sonny breaks down again at just the thought of it.  And at this point, we are sure DAYS fans are reaching for the hankies.

Photo: JPI

While Will’s guilt is too much for him to bear, Justin and Sonny go say goodbye to Adrienne, It is here that it was almost too hard to watch, but we soap viewers can’t turn away.  That’s because it was just an unbelievable raw performance from Freddie Smith; as a young man who has to say goodbye to the mother he loves and on Mother’s Day to boot. Then, Justin kisses Adrienne’s forehead, remembers the first time he saw her crying in a flashback, and in tears asks his beloved wife, how is he supposed to go on without her.  In addition, Justin recalls proposing to Adrienne with Kayla there beside him trying to comfort him.

Courtesy.NBC

In the hospital waiting area, Will tries to talk to Sonny to tell him that he caused the accident.  Will blurts out, “I killed your mother.”  Sonny, who is so grief-stricken, cannot believe what Will is saying, but then Sonny learns Will was distracted when he was texting his mother Sami on Mother’s Day while in the car because he was so busy. (Yup, Will forgot to do it earlier in the day)  Sonny lets Will have it with: “My mom is dead because you were texting?!” As Sonny’s grief and anger escalates, Justin walks in and learns Will caused Adrienne death and then lowers the boom on Will: “The love of my life is dead…because of you!”

Courtesy/NBC

And if all of this wasn’t enough to have you bawling your eyes out by now, it is punctuated by the ultra-sad moment where a defeated Will has to leave his husband and his father-in-law alone because they don’t want him there.  Before he exits, Will turns to them and says, that he wishes it had been him who died in the crash, as tears stream down his face.

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What powerful and effective performances by Wally Kurth, Chandler Massey, and Freddie Smith.  And so, with all of that said, Michael Fairman TV names this trio the “Power Performance of the Week”.

What did you think of the key scenes in Adrienne’s death and the aftermath featuring Wally, Chandler and Freddie? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

And, for more with Chandler and some behind the scenes content of the car crash, and his thoughts on the storyline, check out his new interview feature posted on the DOOL app Friday night.

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Video du Jour

DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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