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THE JOSHUA MORROW INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

josh_mic_crop.jpg

This week on “Y&R”: Nick sleeps with Sharon again, Phyllis loses it and Sharon winds up in trouble with the law,

and Nick walks out on Phyllis. Just another week in the lives of three of Genoa City’s most notable citizens! With so many “Phick” and “Shick” fans defending the partnership they believe should win out and what woman should ultimately own Nick, I decided it’s time to chat with the man at the epicenter of the controversial story, actor Joshua Morrow.

This leading man certainly had his hands full these days playing opposite heavy hitters Michelle Stafford and Sharon Case. In this revealing interview: Joshua talks about his feelings about the storyline, working with his leading ladies, and how playing the not-so-upstanding Nicholas Newman these days, may come with a price from the fans. However he clarifies that that he is relishing this hot storyline.
Joshua also offers up some insight as
to who Nick should and will ultimately
end up with, this time.

One of the most underrated actors in daytime, who delivers real and honest performances day after day, no matter what the material… here is Joshua!

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

This week Nick sleeps with Sharon again, and they went to the cabin, again and did it there, again! What is going on in Nick’s mind? I have so many “Phick” and “Shick” fans that want me to talk to the guy at the center of all of this.

JOSHUA:

Well honestly, he goes to the cabin just to find his son. I don’t think he had ulterior motives as far as sleeping with Sharon. Sharon calls to tell him that Noah went up to the Abbott cabin with Eden. They are trying to keep those two apart right now, and he literally goes up there just to find his son. When he doesn’t find his son there, then the two of them decide not to leave, which I am sure is very shocking to soap fans everywhere! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Is he feeling that Sharon is just falling apart and he has to save her? Or, does he really love her and knows it, and is conflicted?

JOSHUA:

I think there is story that was not finished with Sharon. Nick feels very responsible for the death of Cassie that led to the break-up of their marriage. Nick feels it’s entirely his fault. Then he helped break up the marriage by being with Phyllis, and he is really putting it all on his shoulders. It’s hard for him to let her go because he feels, “I am the one who messed this up.” Sharon has revealed to him that she is still in love with him and can’t really move on, and Nick can’t seem to let her go. With that said, he is very much in love with Phyllis. He is not like, “I have to get rid of this one to be with this one.” No, this is a sucker who is in love with two hot women, and I do not envy him.

MICHAEL:

He really is in love with two women at this point?

JOSHUA:

threesome.jpgYes. He is genuinely in love with two women and he can’t make a decision. That is causing problems for both women and it’s hurting everybody. Nick is not going into this with malicious intent to hurt these women. He does not know what to do. He can’t let go of Sharon, but he started this beautiful new family with Phyllis and he is crazy about her. He feels an allegiance to Phyllis. Nick was in a bad place and Phyllis helped him find his smile again, and let him know that life was great and
you can have a good time
again. He can’t just let her go.
Of course, there is his child,
Summer, and if he leaves
Phyllis then Summer pays
for it.

MICHAEL:

In a recent On-Air On-Soaps interview, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) defended Phyllis’s point of view, because if you look at it, Nick cheated on her. Do you and Michelle have talks off screen about what the two of you really think of this story, and does the story make sense?

JOSHUA:

At times, we think it makes sense. I mean Phyllis is not making it easy for Nick to stay because she is doing all these stupid things that drive him crazy, which kind of is a testament to their relationship because he keeps going back to her. First, there was the Brad situation and these capers she has pulled to set Sharon up. He really does not approve of that. This story gets a little unbelievable at that point, but it’s what we do. We have to tell the stories to the best of our abilities. We don’t write it.

MICHAEL:

This week on-air Nick walks out on Phyllis!

phyllis_nick_summer.jpgJOSHUA:

I do walk out on her and I do leave, and there are a lot of things left unsaid. They kind of get to the point where they are, “We don’t know what we are going to do, and until Nick figures out who he wants to be with, we are just going to keep having this problem.” But they don’t ever have this conversation, where he
says, “I’m leaving,” till now.
He has just had it with what
Phyllis is doing. She is kind
of pushing him into Sharon’s
arms and Sharon is still
crazy! So who knows?

MICHAEL:

Um, Sharon’s a clepto!

JOSHUA:

She is crazy! Nick is genuinely concerned about Sharon’s well being. Yes, he is still attracted to her, but a lot of this stems from Nicks’ need to protect her, because he sees her unraveling.

MICHAEL:

So, when Phyllis says “Sharon is a slut,” does it not register to him?

JOSHUA:

sharon_black.jpgIt registers to him in a bad way. He does not like that Phyllis is attacking Sharon in the state she is in. She seems kind of vulnerable and susceptible to people saying things about her. So, Nick feels he has to protect her, and how many times has Nick told Phyllis to back away from Sharon? It can’t be easy for Phyllis to hear. I totally understand why Phyllis would feel this way, because Nick is not making it easy for her to accept, because what he is saying to her is that he is totally with her. But then, he is always on the phone with Sharon and always wondering about how she is. It’s really difficult. Nick is caught in the middle and it’s really hard to play him where he doesn’t seem like a total jerk. He says all of these amazing beautiful things to Phyllis, and then he turns around and is sniffing around Sharon. It’s really hard to do.

MICHAEL:

When you are faced with this as an actor, how do you not make Nick look like a complete jerk?

JOSHUA:

It’s almost darn near impossible. Michelle told me, “You have the toughest job in this one, because it’s hard to get any sympathy from the viewers if you are going about it in this way.” It’s not very believable to have people seeing him saying, “I am committed to you Phyllis,” and on the other hand he is with Sharon. It’s not easy to do.

MICHAEL:

Are you concerned about viewer’s backlash towards Nick because of the predicament he finds himself in?

JOSHUA:

I am not concerned, because my job is not to be palatable to the audience. I want to tell a convincing story. I have never been a man in love with two women. I can only imagine what that must be like.

MICHAEL:

It’s difficult enough being in love with one woman!

JOSHUA:

I agree. But if I need to look like an ass and a bad guy, so be it. If that’s what it takes to keep people interested and to tell a good story, then I will do it. I’ve got big shoulders.

MICHAEL:

I don’t think its coming off that way. I think it’s coming off as he is confused.

smile_poker.jpgJOSHUA:

Michelle said, “It’s impossible for people to hate you. All you have to do is smile.” So now I smile a lot and I am going with Michelle on this one. I am going to keep smiling, even in non-smiling situations. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Are you aware of the great debate between the “Phick” and “Shick” fans?

JOSHUA:

Yes I am. They are rabid!

MICHAEL:

Many fans feel Phyllis should have walked out on Nick before he walked out on her. Do you agree?

JOSHUA:

I do. I can’t see a scenario in real life where a woman would put up with this much crap from a donkey, like Nick has been. I am totally sympathetic to the Phyllis case. She has been through the ringer. She has put up with much more than any woman should ever have to. But Nick’s got something special that Phyllis just can’t get out of her system. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I see! Speaking of something special… let’s talk about sex! Nick and Phyllis are sex-personified. That is what I always see from Nick and Phyllis. Isn’t that the main basis of their relationship?

JOSHUA:

It is, and it’s probably not the best basis to have. Michelle and I constantly say, “These two people cannot keep their hands off of each other and at the end of the day they go back to that.” We play back-story all the time, where they just come into a scene where they’ve finished having sex or they are getting ready to have sex. That’s what these characters do. It’s all about sex with these two. I think the audience responds to that, and I think it’s a great story. I don’t think they show it enough.

MICHAEL:

So, you think they have should have more sex scenes?

JOSHUA:

I do. I think they should have more sex scenes. I think it’s a cool quality that these characters have; that they are so totally turned on by each other.

MICHAEL:

What do you think is the basis of Sharon and Nick’s relationship?

sharon_josh_france.jpgJOSHUA:

Sharon and Nick are each other’s first loves. It’s Romeo and Juliet. They are star-crossed lovers who literally were meant to be together. Their story was interrupted by a tragic event and that led to other events with Phyllis, and it’s just an unfinished story. They were kids when they met and they fell in love. No one wanted them together, and no one thought they should be together. They beat all the odds, and then
it fell apart. So they will
never get each other out
of their systems.

MICHAEL:

Sharon gets in trouble with the law when they find all her stolen items in her hotel room, thanks to Phyllis. Does Sharon go to jail?

JOSHUA:

Sharon wants to turn herself in and confess and Nick does not want her to do that. He is telling her, “Going to jail is not good for anyone and you are not going there. We are getting you a lawyer.”

MICHAEL:

Phyllis told Nick that Sharon slept with Billy. You kind of did not react in the scene to that. Is Nick not jealous of that fact?

JOSHUA:

As an actor, I wanted it to kind of wash over me. I did not want it to become a big deal, because that wasn’t what that scene was about. That hurt him, and I think they should have gone into it, and never addressed it with any other character. I think that would have been cool to tell, but I just wanted to color him for a second and then move on. Right now, Nick’s purpose is to keep Sharon out of trouble and to help get her healthy. What she did on her own time, even though I pretend it’s none of my business, it is. But, I am not going to let anybody else see that.

MICHAEL:

Working with Michelle, what do you think she brings as an actress to your story?

michelle_nick_laugh.jpgJOSHUA:

She is one of the best actors I have ever seen in my life, and that includes any theater and any movie. I love her unpredictability.
I never know what she is going to do.

MICHAEL:

Does it ever bother you, that perhaps, you can’t ‘ping- pong’ back with her
in a scene?

JOSHUA:

I relish that opportunity. I look forward to that moment where I have no idea what she is going to do. Michelle is a whirling dervish of energy and spunk that is unmatched around here. Now, I have had very few acting jobs. I have done some theater and a couple small movies and “Y&R”, so my experience in working with actors is just with a small pool of them to draw from. Michelle is so incredible! The moments that take my breath away are when she says nothing. She does not have to say anything to convey the most impactful thing I have ever seen or witnessed. The scenes I have played where Nick has hurt Phyllis, are crushing to me as a human being. I see how it consumes her, like no other actor I have been around, and she is amazing. I could never say this to her face because I would get embarrassed and run away, but she has taught me more about acting than anyone in the world.

MICHAEL:

Michelle told me that you are not over-rehearsed and you are very real, and that is what is so unique about your performances.

JOSHUA:

I don’t want to run lines with people and have the material so perfect that I am delivering each line and being too locked in. People who have their lines down forward and back, and spot on, tend to give a similar performance. So, I really want to know my material when I go out there and hit the set, because nowadays you get one take, maybe two, and it’s not like the old days. I want it to be real, where in normal relationships maybe you don’t always know what the right thing to say is at the moment. It’s the way I approach it, and it’s free and easy and relaxed, which is how I live my life.

MICHAEL:

What about working with Sharon Case (Sharon)? Were you happy about this turn of events, possibly reuniting with Sharon from a story perspective? Or, do you prefer Nick with one woman or the other?

JOSHUA:

josh_main.jpgIt’s kind of difficult for me to do. I had ten years with Sharon. They were ten solid great years, but I felt I was ready for a change, or I am going to fall into a pit here. I need some movement. So they broke us up at a great time and did it in a good way. Now, I am kind of ambivalent about it because I love working with Michelle Stafford. I laugh with her all the time, and laughing is one of my favorite things in the world. Look, they are going to break us up. It’s going to happen, so I feel very sad about that. The alternative is I am going to go back with Sharon. I have said this many times, and unfortunately Sharon Case has taken this the wrong way, “I don’t want to get rushed back into another ten year romance with someone, whether it be Sharon or Farah Fawcett. It doesn’t matter who it is.” That being said, I look forward to working with Sharon again. We have told some great stories. Sharon has taken this the wrong way because I had said that in the press, so to clarify: “I am absolutely looking forward to working with Sharon. I just did not want to go to a happy marriage in the tack house where we are talking about what we are going to have for dinner and some cute things the baby did.” Happy sucks! I don’t want to go back and be happy now. Now, I will go back with Sharon in a heartbeat, where there is a messy, drawn out story where there are problems. That I will look forward to.

MICHAEL:

We talked about working with Michelle; now for equal time, tell me about working with Sharon?

JOSHUA:

I have invested a large part of my real life with Sharon. The thing I take from Sharon is she gives me the most honest performance of anyone. It’s everyday, and it’s honest, and it’s from her heart. It’s totally believable, and I want to protect her and care for her in real life, and watch out for her. She is just that honest. I never see her on-screen and go “that’s acting”. For me, I see this beautiful person saying beautiful things.

MICHAEL:

I think there have been a lot of fans unhappy about Sharon’s breakdown and her actions and her sleeping around. Some are backlashing the character right now.

JOSHUA:

I think that’s unfair. I am speaking of the character of Sharon in real time. For somebody who would go through something like she has, they would tend to act irrationally. So, it does not make sense to me why people would attack this character that way.

MICHAEL:

How far ahead do you know what’s going to happen in this story?

JOSHUA:

We are three weeks ahead of shooting, and I have scripts a week in advance. So all I know is one month ahead. My role on the show is clearly defined. I show up, I generally take my shirt off and say my lines.

eric_melody.jpgMICHAEL:

What did you think about your on-air parents, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) and Eric Braeden (Victor), not receiving pre-Emmy nominations?

JOSHUA:

They are legends. I am not a fan of the Emmy process now. I don’t know what the solution is, but I don’t know how Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden don’t just have a permanent Emmy nomination stamp.

MICHAEL:

If we were to tease the audience, what’s coming up for Phyllis/Nick/Sharon?

JOSHUA:

Lots of problems! These three don’t mesh well together. It’s some crazy times ahead. The “Phick” fans are not going to be happy, and the “Shick” fans are not going to be happy. As far as who he chooses, Nick does not have a decision yet. At some point, the guy has to make a decision. I mean the story is gold, but how long can we keep telling it? I don’t want to sound ego-centric, but it’s so much fun telling it, and I know its working on TV. It’s been a blast and the most fun you could ever have.

MICHAEL:

The show is so on track right now. There was a year there under Lynn Latham (ex-head writer and executive producer, “Y&R”) where it felt derailed. Now it’s got its footing back. Did you notice a difference in the scripts with the dream writing team of Maria Arena Bell, Hogan Sheffer, et al?

JOSHUA:

Of course! The way we tell the story now fits what we did in the past. Our formula has worked for 36 years, and there is no sense to rewrite that. And Maria Arena Bell came in, cleaned it up and it’s back to telling stories like we normally do.

tobe_josh.jpgMICHAEL:

Is your wife, Tobe, rooting with you to be with Phyllis or Sharon?

JOSHUA:

Tobe does not care. She just wants me home by dinnertime to do bath time with the kids and read them books. If I can do that, it helps her with her day.

MICHAEL:

Just a final thought: What did you think about Guiding Light’s cancellation and the future of soaps?

JOSHUA:

I am not surprised. It’s a changing business and the model for some of
these lower rated shows is not like the
old days. People are kidding themselves
if they think all of them are going to last
forever. I would bet 3 or 4 might also
be gone soon.

READ MORE
DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s
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Jolene Beth MorganAnneLULULinda StevensKim Mathenge Recent comment authors
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Linda Stevens
Linda Stevens

I think you shoud always leave Nick in a turmoil he created this situation and he should have to live with always loving two women-Phyliss/Nick are so hot together Sharon/Nick no matter how you try to keep the scenes between them hot there’s always something missing- there’s something about phyl’nick when they are together They are totally hot. Makes me want to tune into the show.Love phyliss. Shaon is geat also but nick and phyliss are the best.But let nick run around always in Limbo about loving two totally different women

Dianne Chapman
Dianne Chapman

I love listening to Josh Morrow. Besides his sexy voice, we share the same views about many things. I love Nik 7 Sharon together, but it isn’t any fun if it isn’t “messy”!

Kim Mathenge
Kim Mathenge

What’s going on with sharon these days she shoots adam and still loves him What. love the actress/ actors but that makes nosense. She should have stayed with jack. they all lie to her who cares. Jack didn’t steal faith or terrorize anybody. 2 wrongs don’t make a right but if it’s about lying then. i prefer nick and sharon or phyllis and sharon . if phyllis is not with. it better then adam/sharon phyllis/sharon those 2 love each other.

Linda Stevens
Linda Stevens

It is kind of sad what the writers are doing to young and the restless. No storyline seems to make sense anymore.The jump so fast from scenes-its had to know what they really have in mind for the viewers-Since parting of Phyliss and Nick I do not tune in much anymore- But I would tune in ,in a heartbeat to see Josh and michelle doing theire thing together, both great actors and they do it naturally when they have scenes together-oh well just my opinion

LULU
LULU

Its just that it gets a bit irritating when the Sharon/Nick/Phillis story goes on forever.
Just make your final choice once and for all Nick! The Sharon being miss goody too shoes and Nick’s indecisiveness is very annoying.

Despite that,I think Josh,you’re a great actor.
(I totally agree with Linda Steven’s first sentence)

Anne
Anne

Well that kind of says it all. Tossing in my Shick fancard and including my JM fan card. What a jerk!!! He said something in the press that caused Phick fans to spread rumors that Sharon Case is difficult to work with and the best he can do is that? Sharon was really hurt by that and you’d think after she helped make him and the Shick pairing popular he’d be grateful. .Again what a jerk!! Michael doesn’t have a problem with her and pimps his joy at working with her all the time on twitter. JM sounds just like the character, full of himself. But nearly 2 years down the track and good ole Nick his humping the old broad Daddy wants. Sharon the character may look like a looney tune but Sharon Case has the juicy storyline. Karma is bitch JM wallow in it

Anne
Anne

Just have to add…soo happy she doesn’t have to work with him much anymore and with a bit of luck Sharon being with Adam will end Shick forever to the point where they never have to share a scene again. JM should be happy with that.

Jolene Beth Morgan
Jolene Beth Morgan

I love Joshua Morrow and Eric Braeden and Melody Thomas Scott and I loved when Heather Tom played Victoria, the Newman clan was perfect then. Amelia Heinle is probably a very dear person and a fair actress, but Heather Tom WAS Victoria. Would love to see Heather Tom return to the role of Victoria, but it most likely will not happen since she is so popular on the Bold and the Beautiful. I also loved it when Sharon Case and Eric Braeden acted together in a romantic story line, there was alot of chemistry between them on camera. Also love Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden togther.

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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