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The Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante Interview – The Young and the Restless

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In their first joint interview with On-Air On-Soaps as co-head writers of The Young and the Restless, Shelly Altman and Jean Passanante discuss many of the hot button topics, and latest storylines that are playing out in Genoa City, and tease what to look for as we approach the summer months of drama on the CBS soap opera.

As soap fans know, Shelly was already at Y&R when she got the nod to replace Josh Griffith and became the number one soap’s co-head writer.  Then Jean joined her after finishing up her time on the writing team of ABC’s General Hospital.  The last daytime soap where Jean made her mark as head scribe was As the World Turns in its final years, and she is known in the industry as one of the top writers of character development.  This twosome’s collaboration really kicked-off in the late fall of last year (when we last spoke with Altman) and now viewers have begun to get a sense of this team’s style, pace of storytelling, and ebb and flow of crafting stories.

Since Shelly and Jean have been steering the script ship many casting changes, replacements, and departures have affected The Young and the Restless, where beloved favorites have left for various reasons, and certain characters such as Phyllis and Adam will be recast.  During our chat, Shelly and Jean reveal how, if at all, that impacted the plans for their long range stories.

So, what is the next reveal in the Mariah/Cassie look-alike story?  Do Sharon and Nick stand a chance at happiness with a comatose Phyllis looming with the knowledge of the “secret”?  How will Ian try to tear apart the lives of the denizens of GC?  Will Victor and Nikki’s rift grow wider?  Is it Billy and Victoria, or Victoria and Stitch that is the romantic end game?  Will Chelsea and Billy come to love each other only for Adam to walk back into Chelsea’s life?  Will Kevin be devastated upon the departure of Chloe?  Could Hilary be the most viable romantic pairing for Neil since Drucilla’s death?  Read on to find out the answers to these questions from the writers themselves.

So let’s start with The Young and the Restless garnering 26 Daytime Emmy nominations!  But I know since it was for the 2013 calendar year, Jean was over at General Hospital writing at that time for most of it.

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

We are very proud of the number of nominations!

JEAN:

I had nothing to do with it.  I would be very happy to take credit for it.

SHELLY:

You know, Jean was moral support nonetheless even before she joined the team. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Jean, how has this been for you coming over from GH to work with Shelly as co-head writer of Y&R?

JEAN:

Shelly and I worked very briefly together on Another World for two weeks and on One Life and General Hospital.  So we have always wanted to do something like this, and so it turned out to be a wonderful thing.  I can’t imagine a better partner.

MICHAEL:

How do you play off each other in the writing process in terms of ideas, stories, and character development?

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

We have a very similar story sensibility… which is good … but we bring different touches to different characters in certain stories.  I think we compliment each other very well.

JEAN:

We have slightly different styles of working.

SHELLY:

I am hysterical and you are calm! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Have you had a moment between the two of you over a difference of opinion of a direction of a character on the Genoa City canvas?

JEAN:

I don’t really think so.  We are very respectful, and so I think if one of us felt absolutely passionately about something we would both try hard to see it that way.  We don’t scream at each other.

SHELLY:

We listen to each other and that is big thing, and like Jean said, if there was something that she felt super strongly about, I would take a step back and listen to her and hear why it wasn’t working, and I would come around to agreeing.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about the current stories on Y&R beginning with the Cassie lookalike storyline, and the set-up.  In a recent interview with TV Guide, Jill Farren Phelps (executive producer, Y&R) revealed that Ian (Ray Wise) was originally not intended to be part of this story.

SHELLY:

That was the one addition to the story that came later.  Other than that, going back as far as last August, it was already in long story that Cassie would be exposed as a non-ghost, and in fact, she would turn out to be Mariah.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MICHAEL:

At what point did you decide to erase Sharon’s (Sharon Case) memory to keep her secret?  Jean, did you come up with that? (Laughs)

JEAN:

(Laughs) How could you say that?  It just seemed like there had to be way to bring Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon together, and if she continued to lie about what happened that would have been very difficult.  Sharon is in much better shape now.

MICHAEL:

The character of Sharon had been ruined by different writing regimes.  She was the younger heroine for the show, and then it became hard to care about her when her antics were all over the place, even after giving her bipolar disorder.  Do you think this is your imprint on the history of Sharon now … to reset her?

SHELLY:

Yes. That, and that this was being done as much for Nick as it was with Sharon, that we needed some way to deal with what she had done.  Nick is a hero, and it didn’t seem right for him to be drawn more and more towards her while she was holding this enormous secret that affected him so deeply.  With the removal of that in her own mind, and in her own heart, she doesn’t know that she did anything, so she can be more purely Sharon, the Sharon that she was once, and therefore more viable a partner for Nick.

JEAN:

Courtesy/CBS

I totally agree, and it makes her be able to be loved by Nick.

MICHAEL:

Some fans remarked that this story with the Cassie lookalike (now Mariah) does not make sense, because when Cassie appeared before to Sharon she was a “ghost”, and now she is all of a sudden a real person who gaslighted her.

SHELLY:

That was true.  Sharon was having visions that Noah (Robert Adamson) knew about and told Victor (Eric Braeden) about.  Victor simply seized upon an opportunity to take it a step further.

JEAN:

When Mariah started appearing as Cassie, she made some mistakes.  She did not know what the figment of Sharon’s imagination found out as Sharon’s secret.  So Mariah does not know the secret.  The only piece of information she gleaned is that Phyllis also knows the secret.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

What do we know about the relationship between Ian and Mariah?  Is that a major mystery to this story?

SHELLY:

We have not yet revealed the full nature of their relationship.  But, it is clear that Ian cared for her differently than the way he relates to other people.

MICHAEL:

When you found out that you would be able to have Ray Wise (Ian) on longer than just several episodes, and through watching his performances, did it inform your story?

JEAN:

Sometimes the presence of an actor inspires storytelling.  Ray was so delicious and fun to watch.  It was an opportunity to pull him into more story.

SHELLY:

Seeing him triggers ideas for us as writers.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Everyone is betting that Sharon gave birth to twins, which explains why Mariah looks exactly like Cassie.  When do you see viewers getting more insight into who this character is?  Are you planning on revealing it? (Laughs)

JEAN:

We will reveal who this girl is.  I think that will be a lot of what this summer is about.  It has a lot of ramifications.

MICHAEL:

Camryn Grimes has really won over the fans of the show with her performance as tough gal Mariah.  What do you think about how she has handled the material … and were you surprised to see her that way?

SHELLY:

She is a revelation and wonderful.  I couldn’t be more pleased.  She has really delivered the many colors of this character.

JEAN:

I think it has been so much fun.  I wasn’t there from the beginning when she played the actual figment of Sharon’s imagination.  When I started watching, she was doing that and I thought, “Wow, what a sweet girl.  We are betting a lot on this sweet girl being a nasty critter.”  Then the minute you see her with Victor you could see that kind of edge.  It was startling and exciting, and there again, I think it’s a case of an actor inspiring story and where it might go.  It poses all sorts of possibilities given what the actress is capable of.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/SONY

JEAN:

You think?  (Laughs) ‘At some point’ are the operative words!

SHELLY:

I think it is clear that we have kept Phyllis alive as a character.  And even in her absence, she continues to be an extremely important player in Jack’s life, Summer’s life, and of course, in Sharon’s life.  But Sharon is unaware of how at the moment.

MICHAEL:

Do you have any reservations in recasting a character such as Phyllis?  Many times fans have knee-jerk reactions into seeing a different actor replace someone who has made their mark in the role, and until such time passes, they either come to accept them and like them, or reject them.

SHELLY:

Judy Blye Wilson (Casting Director, Y&R) is brilliant.  We do trust that she will find what we need and want for it.

JEAN:

I also think that we are in a sort of ‘Scarlett O’Hara mode’ where we will, “Think about that tomorrow!”  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Then you had Cynthia Watros leaving the role of Kelly, and Cady McClain coming in.  Was the impetus to keep Kelly on the canvas, because Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) needed a new love interest?

SHELLY:

The story was in place already.  Kelly was going to continue in becoming that love interest for Jack before we knew Cynthia got the pilot, which we are very happy about for her. 

MICHAEL:

Cady is a very different kind of an actress than Cynthia.

JEAN:

I think you do write with an actress in mind.  I have written for Cady on All My Children and As the World Turns, and I love her.  I love Cynthia too, but you are right.

MICHAEL:

I immediately thought of Cady’s time as conniving Rosanna on As the World Turns, when the decision was made to cast her as Kelly.   I have seen her play the complicated darker side to a character.

JEAN:

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Exactly, and I think people were surprised by Cady that she could play that after playing the sweet Dixie for so long.  Cady is a very complicated actress, and very interesting.  I think we are going to see all of that and more with her as Kelly, who is a complicated character with a lot of baggage.

MICHAEL:

With the departure of Billy Miller, and the switch to bringing back David Tom as Billy Abbott, did that casting change prompt you to think, “What are we you going to do with Billy and Victoria now, since it’s a different vibe seeing David with Amelia on-screen together than Billy with Amelia?”  Billy Miller and Amelia Heinle (Victoria) had developed such a unique quirky couple as Billy and Victoria.  How did the decision come about to mess with all of that … and perhaps, change the course of who would end up with who?

SHELLY:

Again, that was the long story.  We certainly had the heads up for some time that Billy Miller was going to be leaving, and the story was designed that the exit of Billy and Adam coincided.  We knew the character of Billy would emerge on the other side of that.  In general, recasts happen in this genre quite a bit.  We try to stay true to our story and right for the characters as much as possible.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Twitter/CBS

Nick and Sharon are star-crossed lovers on Y&R.  Recently Billy said to Stitch (Sean Carrigan), “There will always be something between me and Victoria!”  So are they really the couple to root for here?  And is Stitch’s ‘secret’ a vehicle to make him less than the wonderful doc?

JEAN:

What Billy said was true.  I think Billy and Victoria, to our audience and to us, will always be bonded.  There is something between them that we will want to see again, and we automatically want to see them happy again, but I think with the character of Stitch, he is a good guy.  It’s a horse race with a little caveat that there is something out there about Stitch that we don’t know about.

MICHAEL:

And … do you actually know what that ‘secret’ is?  (Laughs)  I remind myself of something along the lines of the movie Soap Dish, where the writers and the executives throw something in the script, but don’t really have any idea of where it’s going! (Laughs)

JEAN:

Oh, yeah!  I remember when I first started on soaps.  I was a network executive at ABC and completely naïve.  I went to one of the head writer’s office on one of the shows that I shall not name.  There was a big competition going on within the show between two characters and I said, “So who’s going to win?”  And he said, “I don’t know. Who do you think should win?” (Laughs)   I was completely stunned at writing in that kind of improvisatory way, which was just wild.

SHELLY:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Art imitates life, and we don’t necessarily know the outcome of our own dramas.

JEAN:

Right, but we tend to, Shelly and me, when we write.

SHELLY:

We do.  I think both of us tend to know the end of the story before we begin.  That doesn’t mean we don’t take side trips along the way, but it helps when you are headed towards a goal.

JEAN:

… And sometimes the goal changes.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

You have put Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) and Billy (David Tom) in each other’s orbit now.  What do you think of their on-screen chemistry when you watch back the episodes you have written?

JEAN:

I think there is a lot of fun there.  It’s surprising and unexpected.  These are two people that really shouldn’t be hanging out together.

MICHAEL:

There would be nothing worse for Adam than to walk back into Chelsea’s life, and who should she be with … Billy!

JEAN:

Exactly! What a great idea. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/MuhneyTwitterFanPop

So that brings us to the subject of Adam.  The Adam character is pivotal to the show.  You are planning on bringing the character back.   So, are you going to be, or have you been, heavily involved in the casting of the character?   And as the head writers, what qualities do you think the actor who plays the part has to have in order to pull this kind of role off?

JEAN:
We are in Tara again; theoretically.  We are in on all casting decisions involving roles as important as Adam.

SHELLY:

I think the actor would have to have an edge, and be the son of Victor Newman and all that entails.

MICHAEL:

Victor and Nikki are now having a huge rift, after Nick exposed Victor’s machinations with Mariah to try to get the secret out of Sharon.  Nikki then said to the mighty moustache that, “You are no better than Ian Ward!”  So is it major splitsville … again … for the most storied coupled in the history of Y&R?

JEAN:

Photo Credit: Jeremy Fraser/LA Exposures

I think Victor and Nikki are bonded no matter what, and she has been furious at him before, and he has been furious with her.  They never really throw in the towel for sure, but now we have thrown a huge obstacle in their path.  Over the summer, there will be another bombshell.

SHELLY:

Yes, their relationship will be challenged.  And as Jean said, they have certainly weathered storms before, but it remains to be seen whether this storm will be of biblical proportions! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Elizabeth Hendrickson has wrapped as Chloe, and fans will get to see her final episodes on-air later this month.  What can you say about losing a talent such as Elizabeth?

SHELLY:

She is terrific, and she did such an amazing job, in particular this past year with the emotion over the loss of Delia and her conflict.  We just wish her all the best, and again actors may leave but the characters will have left their imprint on the canvas, and Chloe will remain a factor even when she is gone.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have ample time to write an exit story for her, once you found out she was officially departing the show?

JEAN:

I really liked how we wrote her off.  I think probably it is something we could have done over a longer period of time, but I don’t think it suffers the way we did it.

SHELLY:

I think it came to a very logical conclusion.

MICHAEL:

What are your plans now for the talented Greg Rikaart (Kevin), post-Chloe?  Kevin needs a story!

SHELLY:

I think in broad strokes we can say Kevin will go on a journey of self exploration.  Kevin’s computer skills will be called on by other characters in a major way.  He will be involved in big revelations.

JEAN:

We can add that he will be certainly shaken up by everything that has happened with Chloe and her departure, and that causes the self exploration that Shelly talks about.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Jean, you wrote and helmed the same-sex love story of Luke and Noah on As the World Turns.  And you and I have talked previously about how much I admired that story.  Can you now foresee Y&R tackling a same-sex romance between two men?  Isn’t it time that the number one daytime drama represents this part of the population?

JEAN:

I think this show has historically pretty much taken on everything.  I can say that it’s part of the world we live and the show has touched on everything, and the experiences that people go through in life in a sensitive way, and so anything is possible.

MICHAEL:

The Neil/Hilary/Devon story is starting to become interesting.   Everybody always wants Drucilla with Neil (Kristoff St. John), and there is no Drucilla.  Neil has been paired with so many women and all the romances have fizzled.  So speaking of fizzling, at what point did you decide to break Neil and Leslie (Angell Conwell) up in favor of Neil/Hilary?

JEAN:

It felt like it could be more interesting to leave Neil in his state of dull panic of: “What have I done … and why did I get treated this way?  How did I suddenly lose this woman that I loved? And what does this mean about me?”  It puts him in an interesting perceptive state, and it does some interesting things to Leslie, which you will see later.  Neil is vulnerable and open.  He is trying to figure out “where did I go wrong?”  And then there is this gorgeous woman who nearly destroyed his life, but he was able to forgive.

MICHAEL:

And so was she apparently!

JEAN:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Exactly!  He is kind to her and she is so susceptible!  She goes right from a crush on Jack to a crush on Neil.  Maybe she has a bit of a ‘daddy thing’ going on.   To add Devon (Bryton James) to the mix, there is a flirtation that we had already seen between Hilary (Mishael Morgan) and him.  Then add Lily (Christel Khalil) who despises this woman.  It just seemed like a great big mess, with much story opportunity.

MICHAEL:

Is there a couple to root for here?  Is it Neil and Hillary, or Devon and Hilary?

JEAN:

I think we will have to wait and see.  I think there will be some complications thrown into the mix that will turn the rooting-ness factor on its ear a bit.

MICHAEL:

Do you now see Leslie as a bad person for her ditching of Neil, and marrying the yet-to-be seen Barton (Terrell Tilford)?

JEAN:

No.  I think she is a little impulsive.  She thought she didn’t want to be married, but what that meant is she probably didn’t want to be married to Neil, for what ever reason.  I think she meant what she said when she said it, but I think then she met this other guy and felt differently.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

The Dylan/Avery cooking show storyline has some fans up in arms!  This has to be a set-up to something more, where Steve Burton (Dylan) will actually be given some meaty material other than tasting Avery’s (Jessica Collins) recipes? (Laughs)

JEAN:

I think it’s really a show about putting yourself in the public eye and the consequences, and also this blooms into a bigger and more global story with characters you probably wouldn’t obviously connect that are part of the story.

SHELLY:

It becomes a much bigger umbrella story.

MICHAEL:

So, you are touching on Internet crazed fans and obsession within this story that has become now part of pop culture?

SHELLY:

It certainly is an element of it, and all of us who work in the world today and are involved in social media know that there is a positive and a negative to that.  We are exploring that.

JEAN:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

But I would not say that is what the story is about.  It’s an element of it.

MICHAEL:

Is there a particular character, when you looked at the canvas, that you felt needed some propping up, or building up?

JEAN:

Yes.  I think in the summer you will see more of Summer (Hunter King).  She is a very important character and we get to put her in a completely new situation, and that is something we needed and wanted to do, and are glad we are doing that.

SHELLY:

I think that is true. We want to invest in the younger generation of the core families of Genoa City.

JEAN:

One of the things about this show that is so great is that the history of the show is so guarded and preserved, and so you do get to play younger characters in multi-generational stories, and being an important member of an important family.  We are planning ahead with something that will impact, Kevin, Michael and Lauren, Gloria and everyone else in their family.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

What is next for Michael (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren (Tracey E. Bregman)?  Will Lauren’s false pregnancy dovetail into something that will come between this popular duo?

JEAN:

I think they came through that very well.

SHELLY:

They are in a better place than they have been in a long time, and yes, there will be more story for them on the horizon.  There is a lot of story being generated for many characters, and we hope fans will continue to tune-in to see what happens in the months ahead.

 

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bob kern
bob kern

I always have story ideas and I believe one of my ideas were used in the past. I will miss the Adam Newman character played by Michael Muhney and Phillis Newman played by Michelle Stafford. NOT THE SAME WITHOUT THESE ACTORS.

Elaine
Elaine

Bob,I am with you two brilliant actors and we need these characters in the present time not months and months from now.

Gail
Gail

Im ssssssssooooooooooo happy they are trying to make Sharon a better person. I loved all the Sharon days. Adam should brake up with Chelsea when they recast. i never seen them with chemistry . Adam needs a new leading lady or Sharon back

Jay Willis
Jay Willis

I watched Y&R to watch Michael Muhney. I’ve been reading how bad it is since he left. Now I know why after reading this interview. Glad I quit watching.

Melissa
Melissa

You and me both. Glad I took the Muhney Walk on Jan 30. My time is too precious to waste it on this garbage.

Tommy Moss.
Tommy Moss.

Sharon is my favorite character. i would love to see her married with a big wedding for summer and maybe a new baby 😀 I think Adam loves Sharon they also were great

Ella Broen
Ella Broen

I really dispise Victor and what he did to Sharon

Sherwood
Sherwood

My Lord, these two are running this show into the ground. The exodus of viewers is over 20% since the end of January. What does that say? It says the show is a true mess and the audience is leaving. When you hit all-time lows in the key demo of Women 18 to 49, these two should be shown the door.

David Tom’s nuBilly is a disaster. Now nuPhyllis and nuAdam are on the horizon. Just like Billy Miller, Michelle Stafford and Michael Muhney won’t be replaced either. So long Y&R.

Cassie
Cassie

Nu Billy was an awful decision. They should’ve found a way to keep Miller or written Billy Abbott off canvas for a bit

Jimmy
Jimmy

David Tom is not nearly as good in the role as Billy Miller was. As far as nuPhyllis is concerned, I think there is a plethora of great actresses in daytime that could do well in the role, like Robin Christopher or Sarah Brown. I’m with you on the Adam front, though. The only actor I could see doing well in the role is Trevor St. John, anyone else will likely fail, just as DT is doing as Billy now.

Lawrence
Lawrence

The show sure does suck with 2 headwriters. Y and R has not had an episode of interest in a while. The show is suffering from too many casting changes. The ratings have tied all time lows for 4 weeks in a row. Your audience is leaving y and r. Phelps, Altman, and Passanante should be fired. They are so delusional that they are actually thinking that the show is moving in a positive direction.

Rita Hopkins
Rita Hopkins

Sadly it sounds like these writers are going to completely ruin this show. With all the new characters plus re-casts of Phyllis & Adam & the departure of Billy Miller real fans do not even recognize Y&R. There is something to be said about popular characters. They keep people watching. The new writers & the producer care nothing about how important these characters are to the fans. There has been a mass exodus of really talented people from the show. Soon all the characters with a few exceptions will be newbies. There are so many actors that the show could do without, but these are the ones that are kept and that all the story lines written for. I watched Y&R for many years and was hoping against hope that the powers that be could see how bad the show has gotten & would get Y&R back on track. I see that that will not happen and Y&R will struggle to survive. I also noticed that Y&R received a lot of nominations for the daytime awards. I would just like to know who decides who is nominated. Some nominations are deserved and others absolutely are not. I guess in the end it really will not matter, because those awards don’t do much for an actors career, and the nominations will not turn Y&R around. Thank you for this interview, but it just confirms to me that the show will continue to feature mediocre actors and pathetic story lines.I am very sad to feel this way about a show that I once watched everyday.

Dee
Dee

The headwriter said their news would profoundly and
suprisingly effect those close to them. So we had
Chrstine and Paul considering trying for a baby after
talking to Like. Niw Chloe will ask Billy to have a
baby after talking to Lauren about babies. I wonder who
will be next? Kevin realizing he wants a family with a
woman who loves him after talking to Michael about
feeling sad about no baby? It does feel like salt in
the wound at this point, especially when that is all
they are being used for. Why are we not surprised we
always get the shaft one way or another they gave us a
story line yeah big BS all we saw was Lauren in Bed
with Carmine and yet we don’t get half of that amount of
time with Michael we saw her on a weekend getaway and
we NEVER got that with Michael although we have asked
for it for years. Should I go on at how we have been screwed over by the writers time and time again
It sucks and they have no respect or care about loyal Likey fans bring back Jack Smith and Kay Alden real writers DEE

chuck
chuck

Dee I hear you about the writing, But fans have to know is Not everybody is going to be “Pleased” BY what the writers write for example Jack smith when he wrote the on the run story Most Fans threw a Fit due to lack of Vets, He also got Thrown under the bus when he rewrote the Kay/Jill story of her being Kay’s daughter. I do think However Josh G was better then this two, He was doing well .

Dee
Dee

I agree Josh had a lot more variety of actors on these writers seem to be stuck once again on the Whole freakin Newman Clan and I dont mind others being on I just want Likey on more then once every 3 weeks

lelablanson
lelablanson

What happen to Cane and Lily Ashby? and Colin and Jill Atkinson ? are they still on Y&R ??

Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

No, they are not. Colin and Jill are too just run around talking about how/if they love each other. Cane and Lily are too just be support and filler for the Triangle from Hell.

Eliza
Eliza

No questions about Jill? She’s Y&R’s only original character that remains and some of us have followed her since the very beginning.

How about…. is Jill ever going to become rich and/or powerful? We’ve had 40 years of Jill attempting to make it. I still remember Jill’s first trip to the Chancellor mansion. It seems she’s still only half way ( if that) to her goals. I’m a little tired of the never ending quest always ending in failure. Katherine is gone and Y&R is in desperate need of a strong, powerful, and confident women. Jill has the business savvy and the strength, and we know and follow her- she should have the role. It’s time. Enough of chasing wealth it’s time for Jill to have the same problem as Katherine…..keeping it.

Jill’s story with Colin would have much more impact if Jill were truly rich and the owner & CEO of Chancellor Industries. Instead CI has disappeared into Newman & made no difference in the character of Victor, whereas it would have been a life-changer for Jill.

Not everyone can relate to a male dominated home life. I don’t live it, neither do my sister, brother, parents, or grandparents and neither does anyone of my husbands family. I can accept Victor & the Newman family as one type of family, but other types, and stronger women need to be represented. If that’s a problem for Victor (or Eric Braden) keep the story lines separate. The Chancellor’s used to have their own stories, so they don’t have to threaten Victor’s never ending predictable superiority in everything.

Linda
Linda

TOTALLY AGREE … Jill has been marginalized and this never ending jewelry box story and wedding to Colin who we all know is a cad and money sucker is beneath her at this point in her life! She has been single FOREVER and would never want a creepy old thing like Colin in her life–she’d rather be alone! And How about CBS NOT posting a portrait of Katherine in Chancellor Mansion? What’s up with THAT? Stephanie Forrester is over the mantel, JR Ewing’s portrait is at Ewing Enterprises, no KATHERINE CHANCELLOR??? She’s bigger than all of them! The fans of this show should be recruited to write this show …. instead of these idiots who bounce around from show to show and have no historical knowledge or vested interest! SMH!

Mysty
Mysty

I gotta disagree, the Jill and Colin pairing is about the best thing about the show right now, yes, Jill would be totally romantically involved with him because there’s true, true love there, it’s a pity that the writers can’t be bothers with given this pairing much care and at least talked about them in this interview. Jill should’ve had CI from the get go. They start up this musicbox and still doesn’t know what to do with it. That’s the problem..End this story with Jill getting CI, I don’t believe Katherine would’ve left CI for Victor anyway…But among the Rubbish? Jill and Colin are 1 bright spot on this otherwise dull show.

Geena
Geena

Wasn’t Jill supposed to challenge Victor for Chancellor when he inherited the company?? Wow was that dropped like a new york minute when these two became the new writers. Poor Jill is now stuck with Colin in this neverending sitcom, much ado about a music box.

Elaine
Elaine

Well Rita, I agree completely with every word you have written, I believe that my beloved Y & R is on a very slippery slop it is getting to me after 40 years I am thinking of leaving thank goodness for Peter, Eric, Melody and a few good acting youngsters is why I keep hoping the S/L will improve.
The S/L are pathetic ! With ll,due respect to both writers they have to wake up and give us some excitement
I can remember being so excited I couldn’t wait for the next days episode, I haven’t felt that for 3 years or so,there are so many new characters now who are really medioca a few exceptions have arrived this last few weeks thank heavens they are old soap actors and know the ropes !
I hope they hurry up and replace Phyliss and Adam because they are sorely missed in every way, Billy Miller is another wonderful actor gone I wonder how many more they will loose ?
Thank you Michael for your hard work trying to keep us up to date with things you are really much appreciated.

Laurel Twist
Laurel Twist

Again, YR is in big trouble….. Once again, we have a team who does not know what the hell they are doing.

Sue
Sue

Laurel, So true! I don’t think these so-called writers know anything about Y&R back stories..Y&R’s needs help soon!

Linda
Linda

TOTALLY AGREE ….. They should have this stuff mapped out to know where they are going … instead they are flying my the seat of their pants, and ruining the stories and the families!

Lawrence
Lawrence

I think what would help these writers would be to get some familiar faces back on y and r. Spice up the romance. Bring back the boardroom battles and bring back the Friday cliffhangers. It may not be the best but it sure would be more watchable than what we are getting.

Kim
Kim

Dylan is Paul’s son, Ivan can’t have kids….that’s the secret he told his lawyer. Now he’s setting Dylan up to get back at Nicky. Didn’t take a rocket scientist !! And who really killed Deedee ?? Adam didn’t hit anything….remember ??

Desiree
Desiree

I don’t even recognize YR anymore. It’s falling apart and if they don’t do something the show will be can
Canceled because they have torn apart everything that was good on YR
They need to change and bring back Kay . Kay knew what the fans wanted and she listened thats why YR was so fantastic. Fix YR and Save YR.

Lawrence
Lawrence

I agree, Kay Alden worked closely with William Bell and she understands the show’s history. Unfortunately delusional Angelica McDaniel will allow Phelps to remain at Y and r until it tanks and they can have reality programming all afternoon

jaybird369
jaybird369

Desiree…OH, YES!!!!! And…Kay Alden (1) respected us soap fans, (2) cared about what we wanted and (3) valued and appreciated ALL KINDS of opinions from fans. UNLIKE those very laughable 3 SOAP STOOGES JFP, SA and JP!!!!! Yep.

marley j
marley j

I want some Jess Walton on every day but her living in northeast wherever must make things hard. Glad I have what I have when she is on cuz nobody is better.

hopeful for the Kevin story and for goodness sake make him gay. It’s time and more Gloria too plz.

Need a business story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Joan
Joan

Michael I appreciate your interview with these new Y&R writers. It lets me know that after over 20+ years watching Y&R, I won’t continue. I loved Y&R’s fast moving and breathtaking episodes. Current stories are an insult to long-time viewers, especially since they make no sense. Favorite characters (smart, savvy, business people) are always victimized by new characters and written as clueless. That is ridiculous and old. Then these new writers make the characters behave in ways they would never behave. Plus, who wants to watch long-time couples always break up, as if they can’t do anything else.

I read that there are new Y&R viewers and ratings are higher. More recently I read that at least 111,000 viewers have stopped watching. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that Michele Stafford (Phyllis), Billy Miller (Billy), etc., all have left Y&R and then turned up recently on a different soap opera! Y&R has become too confusing and depressing for me. I’m glad that the writers are happy with it, but many viewers are not!

EC
EC

Summer is definitely not a character I care to see more of.

Cassie
Cassie

This just seems like a bunch of mumbo jumbo and the same crap we’ve been seeing.

I don’t have any clue what these writers are thinking. The show has lost more than a fifth of its audience since Michael and Billy left and the demos get lower and lower.

Is there a plan in place to fix this? Because these two certainly are not the answer. Where is Jack Smith or Kay Alden or Sally Sussman Morina. JFP’s regime has become a failure.

Sinny
Sinny

Shick is so passe. Been there done that over and over and over. Everyone on the show is a pathetic loser. These writers are the worst of the bunch. I thought this was one of the lamest interviews every. Nothing was really said other than them trying to pay themselves on the back for destroying the best soap in the business.

Geena
Geena

That’s the impression I got! Trying to make themselves sound like geniuses when they have no clue what they are doing. They knew from the beginning that Mariah was fake Cassie? No way!! Not from what we saw and heard on screen.

King
King

Haha! I won’t tune in because they only use Cane and Lily as fillers! They deserve so much better than this! Seriously why did they fire MAB? I hated MAB but there was no need to fire her FOR THIS!!! Those 2 head writers are horrible and JFP is even worse! MAB had better ratings when she was fired so let’s hope JFP and all her friends are given the boot (very) soon! It can’t get worse at this point except JFP stays… SONY and CBS better take action now before it is too late!

bunting
bunting

Hey at least they get screentime and love scenes. They put Likey through hell and back last year and when they spoiled a “passionate” encounter for Likey which fans got excited about it ended up being them sadly hugging in bed for 20 seconds because they found out they weren’t having a baby. They are lucky if they get a one minute long love scene a year. Now they have been backburned and are shown once every couple weeks and their family members are on even less. The Baldwin stories garnered Y&R four emmy nominations this year, and as a reward all three Baldwin actors have been shoved to the backburner.

Dee
Dee

Well said friend I am so disgusted at the treatment of Likey since Josh left. I h had hoped we would see them in as many love scenes as Lauren had with that disgusting pig Carmine and yet NOTHING and I thought MAB was bad.

big blue
big blue

This interview only confirms my conclusion that neither CBS or Sony give a damn about the future of Y&R. These two writers don’t have a clue about the history of the show or respect for its audience. How insulting. They know nothing about the characters they are writing for. It’s just plot driven drivel. To think they would have any input in selecting the replacement actors for Michael Muhney’s Adam and Michelle Stafford’s Phyllis is scary. Their selection of David Tom for Billy Miller’s Billy Abbott just shows how incompetent this regime is.

These two failed writers’ track records says it all. Y&R is headed for the same fate as ATWT, OLTL, and AMC. Get rid of them or just cancel the show.

Lawrence
Lawrence

I agree with you 100%. The writers are only interested in current new characters and could give less of a damn about the show’s history. I can’t see how Passante is praised for character development when she did the exact opposite at ATWT

Jewell
Jewell

Another thing that should have been brought up,is that many fans think Paul is really Dylan’s dad,which I hope turns out to be true,would have great storynooortunities.. After watchibgbtheir scenes,I would actually like to see Billy and Chelsea together..

Real Deal
Real Deal

These two writers don’t have a clue as to what the hell this show is about. Their description of Nick as “the Hero” was astounding. The man is serial adulterer and lied about his being the father of Summer. The man is not a hero.

The interview gave real insight as to why they have been writing for shows that have folded, like AMC and ATWT. This is just so sad. Y&R is a wreck right now. Now I know why. These two, plus the Executive Producer that hired them, need to be shown the door.

Sinny
Sinny

Nick is such a loser, he and Sharon are FF stuff now. He is not a hero. He is a cheating scumbag. Lily and Cane.. really? All they do is screw like rabbits while old man cane leers at Lily and rubs her in public like they are 12. DT is not working as Billy. I can only imagine how bad the Phyllis and Adam recasts will be.

Linda
Linda

We want to invest in the younger generation of the core families of Genoa City.
I’m calling “BS on JEAN”: “One of the things about this show that is so great is that the history of the show is so guarded and preserved, and so you do get to play younger characters in multi-generational stories, and being an important member of an important family.” Then WHY IN THE HELL did you kill Delia? She was the ONLY blood-related granddaughter of Jill Foster Abbott, the ONLY Grandchild of Esther, the ONLY child of Chloe (who is the Goddaughter of Katherine), ONLY Daughter of Billy Abbott!) THESE ARE CORE MEMEBERS OF THE SHOW! So much for preserving the younger generation of the CORE! You could have killed Fen or Summer and No Fans would have cared!

bunting
bunting

Bull, many would have cared if Fen or Summer would have been killed off. I hated Delia being killed off but that doesn’t mean they should have killed off Michael and Lauren’s only child or Phyllis’ daughter instead. ME and HK, who play Fen and Summer, are arguably the two best young actors they have on the show.

Millie P
Millie P

Are these writers for real? I couldn’t believe how unknowledgeable they are about the characters. The long time fans of this show should be respected instead of making up stories out of thin air that defy the show’s history. It’s disrespectful and insulting.

I have tolerated a lot of garbage these past five years or so. My favorite actor, Michael Muhney, was treated like trash by the show and the cast, but I stayed with Y&R. Now, I think I’ve had it. These people don’t know what they are doing. Passanante ruined ATWT. She’s destroying Y&R with her little friend right now. No thanks.

Name*Lon
Name*Lon

This interview did not help. These people have no idea what they are doing. And don’t seem to care that they are failing. Now our Michelle S. is on General Hospital and I am still p…ed about Michael M. He is Adam Newman! No one can play that character like Michael! He was treated unfairly. With the loss of three irreplaceable actors and this writing I can’t …

Katie
Katie

No mention of any of the black characters. Are we supposed to believe the people talking in this interview know squat about Y&R when nothing about Jill, the Winters, Lily, Cane are mentioned. You people do remember at one time 25% of this shows audience was African American. Shame on you Michael Fairman for ignoring these characters and for the writers in this interview to completely sidestep them.

Goodness and enough about Billy/BM and Adam/MM. You’d think they were the only 2 characters recast on this show. How about recasting Kyle with someone with some presence and talent, a greyer character with some brains to stick it to Jack, Billy, and Victor. And for god sakes, give Jill Foster Abbott Chancellor and let her anchor a part of the canvas. It’s ridiculous.

Donna
Donna

They did talk about Neil, Leslie, Devon and Hilary. So I don’t understand this comment. Are they not black?

Jimmy
Jimmy

If they really want to beef up the African-American set, they need to bring back Drucilla and Malcolm, two characters with boat loads of history and several connections to the canvas. Neil hasn’t had a real relationship with anyone since Dru “died” and Malcolm was a very interesting character, albeit not when Darius McCrary played him (terrible recast decision!) I’m still hoping Leslie’s husband Barton turns out to be Malcolm, because Terrell Tilford would do well in the role, IMO.

jane thomas
jane thomas

if these two are the writers for Y&R. I don’t expect to start watching again..I’ve never seen such low=brow SLs…and the nuBILLY? I can’t imagine a daughter to VN even being remotely interested in the little creep….his facial contortions, when he speaks, are laughable……..where did you find this actor…JR-HIGH drama club??? and NICK is a HERO????? He is a serial adulterer….he has sex with anything he can put on a desk.!!

George
George

Fire them please , I want my old young and the restless back with the original music, this show is unwatchable!:)

Sarah
Sarah

Nick Newman a hero?!! Thanks for the laugh. If this spoiled, selfish, hypocritical caveman is a “hero”, then I guess Victor Newman is the Easter bunny. Cute and cuddly. But seriously, this is the misogynistic crap we get with 3 women in charge?!! Female characters always have to be redeemed to become worthy of controlling and unapologetic men who never pay for their misdeeds. (And by “pay”, I don’t necessarily mean go to jail, but have other characters come down on them hard and stay mad longer than a day.) I agree with other posters who feel that these writers, (and basically every HW/EP since Smith and Alden) just don’t get who these characters are at core. Too much plot-driven, let’s-make-the-character-do-whatever-we-feel-like-to fit-a-dumb-story, hack writing. It’s insulting and NOT entertaining to watch our faves be altered to prop other characters (e.g., Dylan, Avery, Chelsea) or fit agendas. This longtime viewer is finally done.

k/kay
k/kay

At this point my dear ladies/writers I am Rhett saying to you “Frankly my dear I don’t give a dam,” Please continue to think about the Adam & Phyllis recast tomorrow like never. Adam, Billy & Phyllis were hard hitters to replace them bad move. You just admitted that David Tom is not cutting it you just too naïve to realize it.

YnRNoMore
YnRNoMore

I want Sharon and Nick to stay together this time. Just let them be a family and give them drama, but let them stay together already! Enough of this make-up-to-break-up stuff!

I don’t miss MM’s Adam or MS’s Phyllis. Out with the old, in with the new!

Jimmy
Jimmy

“Out with the old, in with the new?” Take me to the water so I can be baptized! There are only very few actors that can do as well as MM and MS did in their respective roles. Look at what David Tom is doing to the role of Billy. Technically, he is the old, as he was on Y&R fifteen years ago as the first adult Billy. Billy Miller was so much better in the role, and I highly doubt the show will find an actor suitable enough to play Adam as devilishly good as MM did, or an actress that will play Phyllis as fiery and sexy as MS did.

Shannon
Shannon

I’m over Y&R after reading this interview. It’s been made clear the new HW don’t plan on having what Sharon did to Summer and Phyllis come out and I have much better things to do then watch this garbage.

Wise
Wise

Despite, what I see daily on my screen, I have had the hope that things would get better and time and stories would evolve for other characters. This interview has quashed all hope. IMO, The show is now worse than it was in the last days of Maria Arena Bell.
The show no longer attempts to show their disdain for the audience. I was told that the show owes nothing to the audience, so, apparently the audience owes the show nothing. It is time to let go and find something else.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Shelly and Jean, despite my reservations, have truly continued making Y&R a soap once again worth watching. They’ve been writing interesting and compelling storylines, and I cannot wait to see what the next three years has in store for them. I’d love for Y&R to truly have an LGBT storyline; Phillip could return and have a lover, or lovers. I think it’s the one sole thing missing from the series.

They don’t write perfect couples, which there should never be in soap operas. They are compelling writers, and I cannot wait to see what comes next for the residents of Genoa City!

Truth Detective
Truth Detective

Scott, sorry but I’ve got to laugh. Jean Passanante destroyed ATWT and now she’s doing the same to Y&R. You’re comments just cracked me up.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Sorry that you feel this way, TD, but I disagree with you on every account. She has been saving Y&R, It’s Maria whose reign utterly destroyed the show. It’s funny how people complained about her story-dictated characters, but now that they’re character-driven, y’all complain more. Why are you never happy with the show? It’s the best it has been since before Maria Arena took reign.

And Jean did amazing work on ATWT.

Lawrence
Lawrence

“And Jean did amazing work on ATWT”

Too bad that her Amazing work led to cancellation

“She has been saving Y&R”

To bad that her saving y and r has led to the show hitting lows in the target demo for the last 4 weeks.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

I feel exactly the same as True Detective. I watched (“suffered” is probably a more accurate verb) the final years of ATWT pinned by alleged writer Jean Passanante. I will go to my grave thinking that woman’s writing killed ATWT.

So far, it seems that she is doing the SAME thing with Y&R —- bland, uninteresting plots that focus on new, uninteresting characters while inanely ignoring all the potential in the history of the show that could drive future plots.

The strange decision to revisit the minor plot from 30 years ago about Nikki in a cult in order to make Dylan her son (done thru Ian Ward, a character who NEVER appeared in that old plot!) reminds me of the type of things Jean did on ATWT —– revisiting Allison’s birth to reveal another fertilized egg that became her brother; constantly mentioning “Susan Hughes” during the Nancy Hughes funeral but NEVER mentioning Don or Penny, the only siblings of Bob that we actually knew. Meanwhile, she can’t seem to write enough for Dylan — who quickly is becoming the Janet Cicconi of Y&R.

Jean just completely is off the mark and, sadly, has absolutely NO clue what she is doing or that her writing is so godawful.

How does this woman remain employed writing for soaps??? She worked on AW when it was cancelled, was the head scribe for ATWT for several years until it was axed, then scurries over to OLTL to write just in time for it to get the hook. With a track record like that, who in the world would hire this woman to write for their show??

Is someone intentionally trying to get Y&R low ratings and cancelled??? It sure seems like that to me with the hiring of folks like alleged writer Passanante. She is producing the same quality of swill that she gave us on ATWT and we all saw where that ended.

I like this site. However, I would MUCH prefer if there were some hard-hitting questions for a writer like Jean Passanante, given her well-known background. This interview seems nothing more than a “puff”, PR piece.

Sinny
Sinny

LOL I had to laugh too Truth. This team of wack writers have ruined this show,.

toronto
toronto

You guys are ridiculous really…..I agree totally with Scott the show has been awesome lately and i feel the writing team has done a great job with character development and recovering from the mess of the previous regime….the show is now focusing back on character driven stories, lots of romance, intrigue and humour…..if you are such a YR fan then support the show through its highs and lows …right now it is on its high and very proud of the writers in making the show watchable again….Kudos to Jill, Jean and Shelly !!!!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Finally glad to hear a refreshing and positive take, such as yours TORONTO!

MPMAJOR
MPMAJOR

First of all, I want to say “Thank You” to Michael Fairman, for your interview with the headwriters of Y&R. I have to say after reading and gaining more insights or getting a feel of these two headwriters, I can finally heave a sigh of relief. I realized that as a whole, Y&R will never ever completely feel like Bill Bell’s Y&R again. Maria A. Bell and her headwriters left Y&R a complete mess and chaos. Character or characters were no longer recognizable and some destroyed and the Sharon character got the worst of this terrible writing. I am very happy that the headwriters realized that they have to clean up the previous regime’s writing in order to fix a character or characters so these characters can move forward or evolved. I think the writing team is finally hitting its stride at this point and I’ve been following all of their stories and now that the stories are coming full circles, the twists and turns, are very intriguing and full of surprises, and really been enjoying some of the acting chops of the younger generation, specifically, Camryn Grimes’s as a hallucination first, then a real lookalike, hired by Victor Newman, for example. I am invested in Ian, too, and how he is influencing the lives Genoa City folks, specifically Dylan and Avery, and the whole cooking show, and if Avery and Dylan are sitting ducks or being conned. So, it looks like there are going to be a lot of reveals coming up and who Mariah really is and what Ian is up to will have major effects on lives. Can’t wait to tune in for that.

Donna
Donna

I am loving Ray Wise as Ian Ward! They’ve definitely found gold in this very talented actor!

Donna
Donna

Are we ever going to find out who really hit Delia with their car? Most of us don’t buy that Adam was responsible.

And I really wished this show could have worked out something with Billy Miller. I believe he really wanted to stay, but Y&R didn’t seem to want to work things out. Big mistake because with Michael Muhney leaving too, this left a huge gap. David Tom was alright on the show all those years ago, but he definitely does not have the charm and amazing talent that Billy Miller had. And I used to love Billy and Victoria as a couple. But that magic is gone.

Donna
Donna

I am happy to see Sharon finally finding some peace and happiness. I never thought it would be with Nick, but I’m okay with this as long as Nick stands by Sharon and never hurts her the way he did after Cassie died when he cheated with Phyllis. And I know Phyllis will be waking up at some point, but maybe she won’t remember a darn thing. One can hope.

Geena
Geena

Y&R is failing on all fronts! Nothing in this interview is getting me excited about upcoming story. Just more of the same recycled stories we have already seen with the exception of Fassie becoming Mariah. How many stalkers can we have? How many baby daddy triangles can we have? WE already did these stories in 2013. Please give us something brand new!

I wish they would hurry and bring back Adam and Phyllis but they seem to be totally stalled. I wonder what actor will decide to leave next…that’s all they seem to do under JFP!

Nanci
Nanci

Failing on all fronts?
I so disagree!
Despite a few frustrations, I have confidence for
the future, am enjoying some of the current storylines,
characters, etc., too. I for one will never jump ship!

As for Adam, I think next week or the following week, he
will make his appearance. Hope so. Curious to see the new
guy, and how his return affects Chelsea, etc.

Carlos
Carlos

Michael, Thank you for a great interview of these two talented Head Writers. For those of you fans with limited space in your brains, it’s really time you should move on, stop watching Y&R, stop the hate, enough MM, is gone get over it already!!!!!You really don’t have a clue on what it takes to write a story….the story arch is great, and interesting, if only to me.unlike GH, which core family ties have been marginalized, and almost disappeared underneath the crime laced family ties, Sonny C……..his kids his connections…..the Young Restless is a great show

Kellie S
Kellie S

Funny thing Carlos, everybody has a right to their opinion and a lot of folks don’t like it right now. To insult those that disagree with you shows your own lack of respect for other’s and their views.

Y&R has damaged itself with its audience. Jill Farren Phelps has allowed this show to sink into a mess and they blame her for the exits of several big actors, including Stafford, Miller, and Muhney. Any you know what Carlos? A lot of people aren’t going to get over it, so you just need to deal with it.

The show is lousy and these two women write it. Well, they stink and so does Y&R.

Nanci
Nanci

“Y&R has damaged itself with its audience.”
What does that mean??

Sinny
Sinny

Amen to this. We all have the right to our views without some jerk trying to tell us we don’t. This show is failing and failing in a big way to obviously MOST of us. Count the comments here and you can see way more are unhappy then are happy. I also think this was a real puff of an interview with very weak questions. I think there is a real lack in the leading lady department. All of the women are written as weak and needy and that is not why I tune in. We need some strong female characters . SHARON the wackjob is not it. The show is boring.. that is the worst part about it.. B O R I N G

Paula Jackson
Paula Jackson

Wow, I’d hate to be married to you Carlos. How insulting can you get?

Deal with this: I miss MIchael Muhney A LOT! I WANT HIM BACK!

I think the show STINKS.

That’s my opinion…you can deal with it.

Nanci
Nanci

I agree about the challenge of writing a soap.
Day after day. Pretty much every day of every year.
No summers off, like primetime. Gotta keep the
drama going, the ideas flowing…constantly…all the
while dealing with actors suddenly needing time
off, or deciding to quit altogether to pursue other things,
and having to switch gears to work around these changes,
etc. etc.

But having said that, that doesn’t mean the networks don’t
have a responsibility, in my opinion, to stay on top of hired
writers and keep them accountable. If the ball is dropped
too often, then obviously the whole show suffers and viewers
walk. I will never walk away, but the current writing does need
some improvement. For now I will focus on all that I still love
about Y&R.

Lynda
Lynda

Dear Jean and Shelly

Thank you for the “reset” on both Sharon and Nick. Both of them were trashed by the previous regimes and I am just so happy to finally see them both return to the wonderful characters they were.

Now, if it could just come out that Sharon never changed anything about Summers paternity and it was all just a hallucination on her part.
Summer fits in as an Abbott much better than as another entitled Newman brat like Abby. I love seeing her mentored by her daddy Jack and hope to see more of her at Jabot as an executive in training..

Jimmy
Jimmy

I think it would be interesting to make Sharon Ian’s daughter, and bring her mother, Doris back to the canvas – played by Kim Zimmer! There would be so many story possibilities there, like maybe Stitch helping Doris recover from her injury and allowing her to walk again. Plus, it would bring a powerhouse actress to the show, and start a new storyline for Sharon, which she is in desperate need of. The interaction with Sharon and Dylan as brother/sister would be interesting, and seeing KZ and RW go head to head as Doris and Ian would be fantastic!

As far as recasts go, I think Robin Christopher would be a great choice as Phyllis, and the only actor I could see remotely replicating what Michael Muhney had as Adam is Trevor St. John. Obviously, I would love to see MS and MM return to their roles instead, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

As far as Billy goes… I don’t even know what to say other than David Tom is ruining the character. Some people say he’s the “real” Billy and the show made a good choice bringing him back, but Billy Miller was so much better in the role. Billy and Victoria were my favourite couple, and now I don’t want them together anymore because DT and AH do not have the same chemistry she had with BM.

Nate
Nate

OK–I agree Summer is a great actress, and the character, as annoying as she has been in the past, needs to be made more likable. BUT–as so many have said in the past, I hate when soaps in general focus more on the younger cast (in the summer months), and the core players become background for the stupid woes of the younger cast. We need to remain focused on the core characters, while having the younger cast woven into their stories. And PLEASE–I want to see Fen in a same-sex relationship!

Jared
Jared

I do believe these two writers are doing the best job since since the failed LML/MAB eras, but that’s not saying much, unfortunately. LML came in like a bull toward a china cabinet, and MAB was plain clueless. I guess that Bell name didn’t mean much after all, because she ruined this show like no one could. The best person to write Y&R, frankly, is I. I have watched this show since the 1970’s, and I understand its history and its rich character palette like only a handful of other people do. I would push to bring back Ashley Bashioum (Mac), Eileen Davidson (Ashley), Thad Luckinbill (JT), Greg Vaughan (Diego), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), and Heather Tom (Victoria). I would purge this show of all its excess baggage and return it to its legacy of cross generational character driven drama. New characters would be established slowly before integrated fully into the canvas. Old characters would remain true to their personalities and histories. I have storyline arcs for each of the main characters, and I’m ready to go. 🙂

Timmm
Timmm

Michael, great questions, terrible answers! These two women gave ZERO insight! A waste of your time and the readers time!

Sylvia Fisher
Sylvia Fisher

What I don’t understand is that iff these women are such terrible head writers, why were they hired? You can look up anyone on the Internet these days – see their history – see what their strengths and weaknesses are. Is there such a dearth of good head writers? These women gave non-answers. I am not amused.

Paula Jackson
Paula Jackson

These two have ruined soaps all over the dial. How did they get their jobs? Phelps hired them, so they must be two of her FOJ’s. It certainly isn’t talent that got them these jobs.

Look at how many soaps they wrote are gone. Passanate wrecked ATWT and snuffed it out. Altman nearly killed General Hospital until she got the boot with Phelps. Things look bad for Y&R.

Sinny
Sinny

They are bad.. GH is doing so much better now those 2 idiots are gone.. Y&R is tanking in a BIG way.

Lawrence
Lawrence

Sometimes I think that a cartoon writer will have more insight and creativity than these writers

jaybird369
jaybird369

Lawrence…your comment made my day…LOL!!!!! I agree. Also…ANY cartoon writer would do WAY BETTER than those clueless Shelly and Jean chicks. Yep.

Garrett Godwin
Garrett Godwin

I only have one or two things to say: bring back Michael Muhney! Reunite Adam & Sharon so they can be a family with Faith and Connor (little ‘Peanut’), take their revenge on Victor, the Newmans and the entire Genoa City hypocrites, rule Genoa City, and take on the entire world!

Lynda
Lynda

They are trying to “reset” Sharon, not further destroy her.

Amy Martin
Amy Martin

Bring back Michael Muhney and Billy Miller. Big big mistake to let them go.

I have an idea… have a contest (Sony and CBS) and let fans submit scripts. Can’t possibly be worse than what these two ladies are coming up with. They do not know the show; they do not care about the fans. Sad. This show was classy. Kind of an embarrassment now. Bring back Michael Muhney and Billy Miller.

Gail Gentry
Gail Gentry

The truth of the matter is they aren’t going to bring MM or BM back so what is the real reason they fired them because the fans are not happy at all and most of them are not watching the show anymore so then another soap gets taken off the air because of one jerk who don’t look into things before she starts firing somebody and then they need to get rid of her instead I wish they never let her get into this soap it has be on top for how long now and now it is going down hill because of her and her alone get her OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lael
Lael

Y&R needs a total *Reset* not just a single character! Its a complete and utter mess obviously with the penmanship of these writers and JFP. Reading this interview and their history explains volumes. The 26 Daytime Emmys nominations? They had categories to fill. I just do not understand all the recasts, firings of key actors, story lines that are going nowhere and frankly don’t care anymore to watch. This fiasco has gone on too long for this former viewer. I would rather watch my clothes dry in the drier…it would be more interesting than Y&R now.

Alan
Alan

“I think it’s really…about putting yourself in the public eye and the consequences, and also this blooms into a bigger and more global story with characters you probably wouldn’t obviously connect that are part of the story.”

I’ll be very surprised if the cooking show yawn-fest doesn’t end up being nothing more than Austin the camera-man becoming Summer’s first boyfriend and then turning out to be a stalker obsessed with Avery.

Didi
Didi

Good God. The last thing we need is MORE Summer Newman/Abbott. Blech. Zzzzz.

Connie
Connie

The show has lost alot of excitement. Sharon has been raised way higher than she should be. To write about Sharon, you have to remember all the things she did and said before she is considered the person we are supposed to except as the best person.
Sharon has been convining her whole time on Y&R. We viewers that have been watching for the full time remember all and hate to see it slip by the writers that have been added to the show.
Phyllis fans are at great numbers and want her to come back and settle the score with Sharon. Phyllis should be the hero of this storyline. Phyllis should be the one to get Ian out of Summer’s life. Phyllis is the one that needs to protect her child. Many of Phyllis’ fans are wanting to see Phyllis put Sharon in her place. Let Nick keep sucking up to Sharon because he has always been to her rescue. She will never be able to stand on her own. Now, when the writers try to get her to stand alone and pass over her muddy past, the Y&R fans really don’t like it.
Just let Y&R come back to the dark side it was on. Loved it when the show went off one day and you sat on the edge of your seat to see what was really going to happen. Finger bitting endings. I, along with many others would love to see that type of excitement return. Another thing is the show needs to end the storyline before moving on. Who killed Hightower?, who really killed Delia? ETC. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to express myself here. I love the show the way it was. I am now beginning to not care if I watch it today or not. 🙁

jaybird369
jaybird369

Huh??? Are these two chicks for real??? This is, like, the most LAUGHABLE interview ever!!!!! Also…Nick is a hero and Sharon is in much better shape now?!?!? Oh, really…on what planet?!?!? Gimme a break already!!!!! Nick is acting like a clueless and lovesick college frat dude in heat and Sharon is becoming more and more dim-witted each day. It makes me sad that the character of Chloe is now off the Y&R canvas. But…I DO NOT blame Elizabeth Hendrickson for abandoning the sinking Y&R ship. At all. I APPLAUD her!!!!! EH did the right/sensible thing by leaving Y&R. Bottom Line Here: Shelly and Jean DID NOT answer any questions at all. All they did was give answers that were BLECH AND EVEN MORE INSULTING!!!!! No wonder Y&R continues to sink further and further!!!!!

TOTAL LAMENESS ALL THE WAY!!!!!

General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Jonathan Jackson Talks Avery’s Love Quandary, Saying Goodbye To ‘Nashville’ & If He Would Return To General Hospital

With just three weeks before the series finale of CMT’s Nashville, Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) finds himself in a major conundrum.  The woman he has loved and had a child with, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panetierre) has returned home after escaping a cult compound, just as Avery has opened himself up to the start of a new relationship with Alannah (Rainee Blake).  After not hearing from Juliette, added to the many times he felt she abandoned him and their child, will a betrayed and hurt Avery want to find a way to patch up their relationship … or try to keep Alannah by his side?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with five-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson to get the lowdown on what transpired over the last few episodes and how it may end for Avery, as we inch closer and closer to having to say farewell to the Music City drama.

Since Nashville wrapped its sixth and final season a few months back, General Hospital fans have been wondering and hoping, if now is the time that Jackson would return to his role as the beloved Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis). Jackson originated the role in 1993 and stayed with the series till 1999.  He next returned in 2009 for a few years, then left again, and was cast on Nashville.  Jonathan made a special return in 2015 to appear in a storyline that reunited him on-screen with Geary one final time, before the soap icon retired from the show.  In this interview, Jackson addresses a return, some of his favorite moments of all-time on GH, what he learned from Tony and Genie, and more.

Those that follow Jackson are aware that his talent knows no bounds.  He is also focused on his music career, and his band Enation, which has been building on its success, playing recent sold out shows in Europe, while Jackson also had been on the final Nashville tour performing with the cast.  So, buckle up!  The next step in Jackson’s career will be one to watch.  Now, check out our insightful and heartfelt conversation below.

Avery is caught in a compromising position by Juliette, when she walks in while Avery is making out with Alannah, who has just has taken her top off.   What goes on in Avery’s mind at that point?  Is it, “Oh, no! I’m busted!” (Laughs)

JONATHAN:  It’s all sorts of things.  There is the visceral reaction, and then in his mind trying to figure what to do.  It’s sort of awkward, because they are in her house and her photos are everywhere (Laughs).  However clumsily and strange it is, he is trying to move on and get a life together with someone, and yet deep down he still has feeling for Juliette, which is mixed with anger and all of that.  He is having all different confusing conflicting emotions, all at the same time, and for Alannah as well.  It’s kind of a mess!

Courtesy/CMT

By the end of this week’s episode, viewers saw Avery and Juliette start to talk, with Avery letting her know just how he feels about her leaving him, and that he has decided to move out.  All Juliette is asking is that he keeps talking to her.  As Nashville moves toward its conclusion, the big question for the character of Avery will be … who is he going to end up with, if anyone?  I would assume many longtime fans would be rooting for Avery and Juliette, because they have gone through so much together.

JONATHAN:  Yes.  However, I have been receiving messages from fans, and talking to fans on tour, and they are slightly conflicted, too.  There is a lot of love for Avery and Juliette, but there is also frustration around the whole thing, and that they want Avery to move on and be happy. 

Courtesy/CMT

Where is Avery at with his relationship with Alannah?  He was getting close to her, and now she is attempting to put distance between them since Juliette resurfaced.

JONATHAN:  It’s difficult to pinpoint where Avery is at right at this moment.  There is a lot going on, and a lot of it is rooted in the fact that he went to Bolivia to try and bring Juliette home, and when she refused him that was so devastating for him.  The Alannah relationship snuck up on him. In some sense his heart is still attached to Juliette, but his mind is telling him it’s over, and that she is gone.  Avery and Alannah are connected to each other on a certain level.  It surprised both of them.  I think he has genuine feelings for her, but it’s also him pushing himself to move on from Juliette, which is something he has not been able to do.

Without Alannah, the band flounders with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery, and then there is the health situation with Will (Chris Carmack).  Alannah’s presence really put a kink in Gunnar and Avery’s friendship.  She stared out with one guy, and was on her way to being with another.

JONATHAN:  Gunnar and Avery are really good friends and care about each other a lot, and it is certainly an awkward moment in their friendship.   In terms of the band, they lose Will who has been through this health crisis, and then Alannah.  The music components are kind of imploding and they are just trying to hold on to their friendship, and not have that implode along with the band.

Courtesy/CMT

Brad (Jeff Nordling) is making advances towards Alannah, and she originally tells Avery about it.  What does he think of the situation?  Now, she may do whatever Jeff wants her to do to get ahead in the music biz, since Juliette came back into Avery’s life.

JONATHAN:  I think Avery is trying to be supportive of Alannah.  It was a little bit of a blow for her to leave the band, but he generally wants to support her.  Avery has this instinct to be protective, as well.  He kind of has to hold himself back a little bit and not complain too much. He knows Alannah is an independent person, and may not want his help.  With the situation with Brad, Avery is aware of it, but she is walking into that in her own way.  It’s a moment for Avery to sort of step back and trust her that this is how she wants to go about her career.

Did you know Rainee Blake was going to be your potential love interest this season? Did you screen-test with her?

JONATHAN:  We did not screen-test together.  I think relatively earlier on I heard that this might happen, but it is one of those things were you never really know.  Often times, the writers and the producers bide their time and see how things develop as a couple, and how the audience responds to the on-screen chemistry.  You never really know if it’s going to materialize.  I actually did like how Avery and Alannah started to connect on the tour bus several episodes ago. The audience got a tease of a different side of Alannah, and Avery kind of brought that out.  Rainee was great to work with.

Courtesy/CMT

You have gotten the opportunity as Avery to tug on the heartstrings, as a dad raising his little girl, Cadence, all by himself, with a the runaway mother who never shows up.  How was the journey working with Hayden Panetierre?  You two had to battle, bicker, fight, and had to play all these ups and downs together to make the story work over many seasons of Nashville.

JONATHAN:   It was really amazing, and for me that is one of the things I will miss most about working on the show, and that is working with Hayden.  It’s such an interesting thing when you work with people for so many years, and all of the emotional ups and downs that the characters go through.  Often times, we would be doing a lot of intense and emotional scenes, but for whatever reason, we would find a way to have a lot of fun and find the humor when we are doing those.  I have a lot of love and respect for Hayden.  I think she is incredibly talented. We both started off in soap operas (Hayden was Lizzie on Guiding Light) and thus had a certain approach to our work, and our work ethic.  For me, it’s always a highlight in my career when I get to work with somebody that the scene is already great, because of the person you are working with.  We would constantly share ideas back and forth between us.  The thing about working on Nashville was the friendships we developed in the cast, especially going on tour with the cast and to experience all of that with everybody else.

Courtesy/CMT

What happened when you found out that this sixth and final season of Nashville would be its last?  Did you have any idea that this was coming down the pike when you wrapped season 5? 

JONATHAN:  No.  I don’t think anybody knew when we wrapped season 5.  We did not know till right before everybody else that this was going to be the last season.  We were in production maybe halfway through season 6.  I think that it helped having that time to adjust, and it gave us some time for reflection.  It really did help in a sense, because you know other shows they might wrap a month, or two later, and it’s over.  You don’t get to say goodbye, but we really did.  We got to say our goodbyes.

Courtesy/CMT

I can imagine that was heartbreaking.  When you think of the rollercoaster ride you and the cast had been through together which included: the cancellation by ABC, then the show coming back on CMT, only for it to be cancelled again, it’s quite a lot to deal with and not knowing if there is job security.  Do you recall your last day on the set?

JONATHAN:  I do remember it very well.  There were a lot of beautiful moments with people, and having so much love for the crew and so many amazing people that worked on the show.  We wrapped on April 10th and then we flew to the U.K. on the 12th   It was two days later that the tour started.  Even though filming was over, we were on a plane and then on a bus together, which was really good for all of us.  I know it was for me to have another ending.  In some ways, the end of the tour was even more emotional, because that really felt it was the end.

Photo Credit: CMT

Do you think there were more stories to tell on Nashville … or, do you think the series is going off the air when it should, as the stories can tend to get repetitive on any long-running series? Do you think this was the right time for Nashville to say goodbye?

JONATHAN:  I don’t know how other people’s perspectives are about it, but I know from my perspective, I think we told the story that was there to be told for these characters.  That is sort of the bittersweet reality of it.  It’s painful to say goodbye to a lot of people that I had become very close to, but at the same time, there was a sense of peace about it.  It really did feel like the right time.

What can you say tease about how Nashville concludes? The series finale airs on July 26.

JONATHAN:  One of the hardest things about being in a long form series; whether it be in the primetime format, or the daytime format, is often times the lack of resolution that takes place. You are pertually in Act 2 and in all the drama.  So, knowing that the show was over, allowed the writers to approach everything from the perspective of the end, and Act 3.  Certain storylines have resolution, and others are left open-ended.  There is a good overall balance from the writers of what the audience is going to experience with the end of the show.

Courtesy/ABC

I produced the General Hospital 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys.  I remember looking at some of your storylines and touching performances all over again that still hold up to this day.  One in particular was Lucky pulling tough love on Luke (Tony Geary) during his father’s intervention.  Lucky is such a valuable character on the canvas.  Would you consider going back to GH? 

JONATHAN:  My perspective on that is; I don’t really put that off the table.  I really don’t have plans to do that, because after coming off six years on a series, that is a lot.  I am definitely looking for other projects that have an Act 1, 2, and 3, that happen a little sooner than Nashville did.  I always have going back to GH on the table, because it’s like a family for me.  I have always said that that even when I left in the 90’s; that GH would be something I would come back to.  But, I am very committed and excited about what is happening with Enation, and excited about some other projects that are out there on the acting front. I don’t see going back to GH in the near future, but I never write it off.

When you last returned you did come back to be part of Tony Geary’s exit.

JONATHAN: Yes, yes, which I was really happy to be a part of.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Still years later, when you think of all the stories you portrayed as Lucky, is there one, or two that stand out to you among the rest?

JONATHAN:   There are many.  There were a lot of stories, and the writers wrote so much material, and that is a double-edged sword.  It’s great to have, but it was so much that I really couldn’t continue. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: ABC

I remember saying to you years ago, “You cry so well on camera. They are going to keep expecting you to cry, and they will be throwing scripts like that to you every day!”

JONATHAN:  And that is exactly what happened!   But for me, it’s the moments with the co-stars that I will always carry with me.  There are endless ones in my memory with Tony Geary. “The intervention” was certainly one of those moments.  I had those moments as well with Tyler Christopher (Ex-Nikolas, now Stefan, DAYS), and Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I remember having these scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny) when scenes on the soaps were much longer.  And of course, earlier on, with Genie Francis (Laura) as well.  I feel like as an artist, I was really formed by Tony and Genie’s presence and observing them and watching how they worked.  I asked so many questions to them as I really wanted to learn.  They really protected me in so many ways, and yet gave me the freedom to try to find my own way through a whole process as well.  Those are the things that really jump out at me, as well as working through the scenes prior to filming, especially with Tony.  He and I would go pretty deep with what we were trying to figure out; what the scenes were, and what they were about, and how to approach it.  That part of the process was really memorable to me.  The unique thing I think in this industry for me was that I started at 11-years-old and got to come back to the show in my mid-20’s, and got to have that connection with another actor, and explore this father and son relationship.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I don’t think, and I really mean this, that there has been a father/son relationship on television like Luke and Lucky’s.   It was so multi-faceted.   Have you stayed in touch with Tony?

JONATHAN:  We definitely stay in touch.  Again, when I left General Hospital, I did not know if anything like that would happen again in my career where I would form sort of long-lasting friendships with people.  Most of the time you do a film and you get to know some people, and you go your separate ways, and that’s just how it is.  So I was really grateful for Nashville, because I feel like we were able to have those long-lasting relationships. I can’t really put into words my relationship with Tony.  It’s just a lot of love and gratitude, and respect that I have for him.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagram

Meanwhile, your music career is very exciting of late.  Last month, you played the Royal Albert Hall in London with your band, Enation.  How was that experience?

JONATHAN:  It was amazing.  I went overseas with the Nashville tour and then Enation did a couple of shows, and then we opened for Echo & the Bunnymen.  The last gig on that tour was at Royal Albert Hall.  I have loved Echo & the Bunnymen for such a long time, and so this was wonderful for us.

Will Enation be touring more coming up?  

JONATHAN:  We are looking to go back to Europe later this year, or the spring of next year, and are working out those details.  We are going to be touring in the United States later on this year.

Photo: JJacksonInstagram

Did your wife Lisa (Ex-Hannah, GH) meet up with you on this recent European tour?

JONATHAN: The Nashville tour ended in Ireland, and then my wife and kids came over for the last two shows there. Then, got to go around Ireland for a couple of weeks and drive around, and it was fun.

Did you notice a difference between the European music fans of Nashville as opposed to those in the U.S.?

JONATHAN:  Yes, and no.  One of the things I have noticed playing over there is that the distinction in musical genres isn’t quite as a sharp as it is in the U.S.  Over there, the radio seems to play a lot different kinds of music.  So, it was a pretty seamless transition for a lot of the people that came to the Nashville show.   We see a slight difference in the music fan base, and it mainly has to do with that they may go to a country show one week, and a couple of weeks later go to a rock concert, and not think twice about the genre.  It’s just they are looking for good music.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagramm

Hard to believe we are turning the page on another great character played by Jonathan Jackson as Nashville heads towards its finale.  What would you like to say to the fans, the #Nashies, who have loved, and have stuck with show every step of the way?

JONATHAN:  Just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all the support, especially when the show was cancelled.  CMT saw the enthusiasm and support from the fans here and internationally, and that was a huge part for us to be able to get the last few seasons.  It has really meant a lot to us creatively to write that 3rd act, sort of speak, and have that sense of closure. I also would just say to the fans that have come out to the Nashville concerts as well, that it has meant so much.  We feel like we have had some beautiful moments with everybody, and so I am very grateful for that.

So, what do you think will happen to Avery at the end of Nashville?  Do you want him to end up with Juliette, Alannah, or by himself? Should GH try to lure Jonathan back to the his role as Lucky Spencer? Comment below!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On: Jack Finding His True Biological Father, His Co-Stars, And If He Would Like A New Love Interest

On The Young and the Restless turns out Ashley (Eileen Davidson) is not the only child raised as an Abbott; whose father is not John.  As viewers learned back at the end of March, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) is not the biological son of the Abbott patriarch, either!  This has sent Jack on a pursuit to find out who he truly is, and who he truly belongs to, because being John Abbott’s (Jerry Douglas) son meant everything to him.

Once again, this story has given multi-Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman an opportunity to play the complex layers of one of daytime’s best characters.  Recently, Jack had gone through his mother Dina’s (Marla Adams) old diary, where there was a key page missing out of it.  He then located a photo, which led him to believe that none other than late Phillip Chancellor II (played by the late Donnelly Rhodes) is his real father.  Is Jack a Chancellor?

Hell-bent on exhuming the body for DNA proof, Jack is getting massive pushback from just about everyone on Genoa City.  It is not helping the situation that Dina is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her recollections of what transpired years ago when she had an affair, may not be accurate.  Now this week, Jack has a plan that may backfire and ends up involving his son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) in the process.  Will these two work together to get the proof of the truth?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the actor’s actor, Peter Bergman to get his take on: the surprise story twist he never saw coming, if Jack has the purest of intentions, or if he is just chomping at the bit get his hands on Chancellor Industries, if he would like to see Jack have a new love interest, and more.  It’s always a treat to speak with Peter.  Here is what he had to say about Jack’s latest inner-turmoil.

Jack is not John’s Abbott’s son.  He is searching for the answer of who is his biological father.  Now, Jack believes he has found the answer in the photo he found that included Phillip Chancellor II, and then went to Dina to confirm the answer, even knowing his mother is battling Alzheimer’s disease.  Don’t you think he jumped on this notion of Phillip being his dad all too son?

PETER:  Jack has stumbled upon evidence that this is for real with the photo he found.  He went to Dina on what was a very lucid day for her, and she was pretty damn clear.  So, therefore it wasn’t just the ramblings of a lost woman.  Jack is very eager for an answer.  Could it be argued that he jumped on this as a possibility? Yes, and for a number of reasons.  First, he feels somewhat utter-less and needs to be connected to something, but he also knows his family, and the history of this family, and “Oh, my God” could that be a way out of this untethered feeling that he had.  So he is really grabbing on to this pretty quickly.  Second, it is not lost on Jack that part of inheriting all of Phillip’s traits might also bring him part of the Chancellor estate, which would belong to Jack and perhaps he could pick-up at the corporate level where he left off.  So that is exciting, but certainly not central to his thinking.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Everyone thinks from Cane (Daniel Goddard) to Jill (Jess Walton), to Billy (Jason Thompson) , that all Jack truly wants is to stake claim as an heir and to try to take control of Chancellor Industries.  Are they that far off from the truth?

PETER:  How honest is Jack being with himself?  We will find out!  He would want to stake his claim … and maybe a little bit more!

What was your reaction when you learned that Jack would be revealed to be the son of Phillip Chancellor II, when for decades you have been playing so much of what drives your character that he is the son of John Abbott?  Were you like, “What!??” (Laughs)

PETER:  I have been doing this much too long, to go “Why?”  I, quite frankly ask, “Where do you want to go with this?  Where do you want to take me?” The things that I have done in the past that I have fought the most have usually been the things that really led me somewhere.  I tell the story all the time of John Abbott dying.  They decided to bring him back as Jack’s conscious, and he would appear in scenes with Jack and talk to him.  I thought “C’mon. This is The Young and the Restless, and I am doing a ‘ghost’ storyline?”  I fought it and I didn’t like it, and I was wrong.  It was fantastic, and it worked great, and the audience liked it.  I learned from it.   I don’t go, “Whaaat?” that much anymore.  There have been a few of those including: the whole doppelganger story, while it confused me at times, and I thought this had gone a few steps too far, but it led us to Billy/Phyllis/Jack story. It was a direct line to that, and one of the most dynamic storylines I have ever been in.  So, I see this current story, and I go, “That is an interesting turn.”  Then, as an actor, I dig into it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack wants to exhume Phillip’s body and everybody from Jill to Cane is objecting.  Esther (Kate Linder) is worried Mrs. C. will roll over in her grave if he does this move.  As we will see, Jack does not take “no” for answer.

PETER:  Jack eventually all but gives up, but then a door opens slightly for him to look at this a different way   Jack reluctantly walks through that door.

Do you think Jack has ever thought of the possibility of: “What if I am the son of someone from the circus … or the former pool boy at the country club?”

PETER:  I have thought it’s amusing when I have met people who have explored their past lives. They have always been a prince or a princess. They were never menial laborers.  I think he looks back and is kind of curious.  I think Jill points it out to him that he is not at all suspicious that he is the pool boy, or the golf pro’s offspring?  He knows the tryst happened at the country club, and so the first person you think of is one of the elite of the country club. 

Courtesy/CBS

It would be such a huge devastating fall for Jack if something like that turned out to be true!  Jack so wants to belong to a family that has wealth and prestige that goes along with their name.  I wonder what it would be like if he had to say, “Yes. It’s true.  I am the pool boy’s son!” (Laughs)

PETER:  I don’t know how that would fit Jack.

How is working with the latest Kyle, you’re on-screen son, played by Michael Mealor? The part had been recast multiple times and the actor didn’t stick.

PETER:  I cannot say enough good things about Michael.  This is an extremely disciplined, very talented, and very professional guy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  I think he is doing a great job.  Michael gets looser every show.  He likes to take big chances and try a lot of things.  We have had a lot of young actors on the show and what they do is try to project that they are cool.  They don’t go outside of the, “I’m going to be cool, and honest, and real.”  They say, “I am going to be solid, and make simple choices.”  Michael takes big chances doing large stuff, and going overboard  That’s scary do to as an actor, but I watch him in scenes with Hunter King (Summer) where he is trying to appear cool, but just her physical prescience gets to him.  You can see it in his performances and it’s wonderful to watch.   It’s lovely to see in a 26-year-old and it’s fantastic.  I have high hopes for Michael.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This version of Kyle seems to be a bit of a chip-off-the-old-block.  He can play dirty just like his dad!

PETER:  As far as where Kyle is at … he is like Jack Abbott.  He is not a good guy, nor a bad guy.  Kyle is a bit of an opportunist with a heart, who wants to feel a part of things, but he also takes advantage of the situation, in a way that sometimes works against that. 

We saw Jack stumble and drink again as he fights his addiction when learning the news that John is not is biological father.  Do you see him stumbling again, and going back to popping pills and booze, if Phillip Chancellor II were not to wind up being his dad?

PETER:  I don’t know if he will see him spiraling, but it is worth saying for someone who is a constant and has a had guiding light of  ‘what’s right, and what’s wrong” and that now has been taken away from him essentially when John Abbot goes “Jack!”, that is a game-changer.  What we can expect from Jack now may change.  Jack isn’t as bound by “what would dad do” as he once was.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, we may be surprised with a turn in attitude from Jack?

PETER:  You may be surprised.  So much of his life, and certainly so much of what I play is that Jack has spent his whole life trying to be like John Abbott, because John Abbott is his father.   Now that is not so. So, how much effort should Jack be putting in to being like John Abbott?

Good point!

PETER:  It will be interesting to see where that goes!

We have seen many actors in the soaps portray drug and alcohol addiction. When Jack’s played itself out originally, it was one of the most harrowing to watch.

PETER:  He got to a dark place very fast.  It was out of control.  It was an important part of the Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Jack story, because he honestly did not have the strength to do it by himself, and he had somebody to help him through it   As it turned out, it was a formative experience for Jack and for Phyllis; one that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. They know things about each other that the rest of the world does not know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Billy recently read Jack the riot act, when Jack told his brother about being Phillip Chancellor’s son.  Having had it with Jack, Billy threw him out of his office.  Where do you think the relationship stands between the brothers at this point?

PETER:  It’s really hard for Jack.  He is still on the board at Jabot.  He has family ties there, and he still gets the checks, but it feels so weird for him, it really does.  He is trying to be a bigger man and let Billy do what Billy is going to do.  Deep down inside Jack has known Billy for a really long time, and when Billy sort of combusts, boy, does he go! Jack hates that Billy is holding the reins of Jabot, if things fall apart for Billy.

Viewers are seeing Billy turning to gambling again.  What would Jack do if he finds out what is happening to his brother?

PETER:  I don’t know what he could do.  I am not sure what he could do to stop the CEO of the company as things currently stand.  It’s hard for Jack to relax around Billy. It’s not a promising situation.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the Jack and Bill will ultimately be there for each other when the chips are down moving forward?

PETER:  Jack has a soft place in his heart for addicts for reasons we both know, and a soft spot for family.  It will be interesting to see how well Jack’s patience holds up, if Billy should go down that particular rabbit hole.

Do you think Jack might visit Chancellor Park and have a chat with the late Katherine about the revelation about Phillip and Dina?

PETER:  I think Jack is really trying to be realistic about all of this.  It could clearly be proven, but he is impatient.  He could wait for Chance and Phillip III to come back from their Himalayan trip, but he does not want to wait.  It’s just so easy if everyone would be practical about this, and get some fragment of Phillip’s remains, and there would be a DNA test.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack’s nemesis, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is having a lot of issues, too.  This includes his mysterious health diagnosis …

PETER:  Oh, damn! (Laughs)

How does Jack feel about Victor these days and the plight that he is in?

PETER:  Jack has such contempt for Victor.  However, Jack can occasionally see that Victor is important to some people, but Victor to Jack is everything that is wrong in the world.  As to the fact that he is struggling right now, does Jack wish bad physical health on him, or anybody?  No. However, if things didn’t go easily for Victor, Jack would not lose any sleep over it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Don’t you think it’s time for Jack to have a real, honest-to-goodness, love interest?

PETER:  Jack should have a new love interest.  I think the writers and the producers of The Young and the Restless are paying me a lot for half of what I do.

Jack should find true love.  Someone who will be with him and whom he loves with all his heart, and someone who loves him back, flaws and all.  A romance where he is not manipulating her, or she is not manipulating him, for financial or corporate gain.   Do you think at this point that is even possible?

PETER:  I think that would be a swell thing, but that would be a daytime show investing in an actress that is over 40-years-old.  They have done it, but it’s a rare thing.  But yes, I do feel like we are seeing two-thirds of Jack.  There is another third of him that is completely unexplored and that’s a shame.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We saw those heartbreaking scenes that aired last year where Jack had to admit to Ashley that his mother has Alzheimer’s.  How is he going to continue in his relationship with Dina knowing she has had multiple affairs throughout her life, and when married to John?

PETER:  This is a real difficult place for Jack.  Obviously, he has his mother back in his life in one sense, but his mother has been responsible for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in his life over the last two years.  It’s just one thing after another.  Had his mother been faithful to John, Jack would not be in this situation.  Had his mother not returned, we could have gone on with life as it was, and now all this mess is in part Dina’s doing.  Now, Jack has moved out of the house and so his mother is slipping away by the minute, and Jack is not around for it.  He keeps visiting, and he keeps stopping by, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.  Jack struggles with that a lot.  He should be more in Dina’s life and be around for that, but being around for that means being in the Abbott house.  Everywhere he looks are reminders that he is not who he told himself he is for his entire life.

One of the more endearing moments came at this year’s Daytime Emmys, after Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) took to the stage to accept her award for Outstanding Lead Actress.  She thanked you while you were in the audience.

PETER:  This is in keeping with my new plan for the Emmys each year,  What I do is: I try to get a nomination so that I can sit in the audience after I have lost and hear the winner for Lead Actress thank me personally. (Laughs)  I am two for two in the last two years! (Laughs) Gina Tognoni had won that category the year prior.  Eileen Davidson is the greatest, and she has been for all intent and purposes my leading lady on Y&R.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now, Eileen Davidson has announced, and made the decision to leave her role as Ashley.

PETER:   I can’t say enough things about her.  I adore her … I adored working with her. She is every bit as good as everybody thinks she is.  She comes to work prepared   She never needs hand- holding or spoon-feeding.  Eileen is the real deal; had she been one of Jack’s lovers that would have been over a long time ago.  The fact that she is his sister is fantastic.  Now with her exiting the show, I will miss her terribly.

In closing, viewers should watch for Jack’s next move?

PETER:  Jack is not leaving any stone unturned.  He has to figure out who he is, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, do you think Phillip Chancellor II is truly Jack’s biological father?  If not, who do you think is?  What have you thought of Peter Bergman’s performance in the storyline? Would you like to see Jack have a new love interest?  If so, who would you like to see the series bring onto the show to play opposite him? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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This week, a shocking move leaves Victor stunned! What will happen when the mystery around J.T. is revealed, and the fallout from it begins? Check out this explosive promo from Y&R. Leave A Comment

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