Connect with us

Interviews

6

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Photo: JPI

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

Leave a comment | 6 Comments
Advertisement

6

avatar
4 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
Derrick WalkerRosiFreeman GriffinSharkeishaMichael Recent comment authors
newest oldest
Derrick Walker
Guest
Derrick Walker

Congratulations to Y&R on your win ❤️❤️❤️

Michael
Guest
Michael

Well deserved, well deserved, well deserved. #YR was the odds on favorite to win it again this year, Kudos to the entire cast, producers, directors, writers (Y&R was robbed of the Writing Emmy), camera people, make up, wardrobe, lighting and so on.

I can remember watching those episodes and bawling my eyes out, in the same way that the episodes for Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) did.

Sharkeisha
Guest
Sharkeisha

Personally I think it’s pretty embarrassing that they submitted two episodes centered around their black characters to win an Emmy, but those characters were either let go or put on the back burner for the rest of the year. If they’re good enough for Emmys, they should be good enough to regularly lead story like the white characters.

Rosi
Guest
Rosi

I thought the reel Y&R submitted from Kristof‘s funeral, he portrayed Neil winters. He wasn’t terminated from the show, he passed away. They had to write the character in the same way to honor him and his legacy on the show, and how well loved and respected he is. So what black character are you talking about?

Freeman Griffin
Guest
Freeman Griffin

My problem was that Y&R wasn’t good hardly at all during 2019. The writing was mostly awful. It won because it submitted the right episodes but that doesn’t make it deserving. GH was the most consistent show in 2019 and deserved to win but it submitted one great episode and one poor choice (the Christmas Carol nonsense). Days was the 2nd best and submitted well. B&B had the one storyline about baby Beth but was otherwise repetitious and dull in 2019. I disagree that it was well-deserved; GH deserved to win for it’s entire year and simply made a mistake… Read more »

Derrick Walker
Guest
Derrick Walker

Freeman, the problem with you is you’re looking at the whole year’s work instead of the reels submitted.

Interviews

B&B’s Kimberlin Brown and Tanner Novlan Talk on Sheila’s Motherly Love for Finn and the Next Move Against Steffy & the Forresters

The Bold and the Beautiful’s mother/son duo of Kimberlin Brown (Sheila Carter) and Tanner Novlan (Finn) chatted with Michael Fairman during a virtual interview for the Michael Fairman Channel; about the return of soap super-villain Sheila to the CBS daytime drama series, and its impact on newlyweds Steffy (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) and Finn, and their newborn son, Hayes.

When daytime fans learned that Brown was returning to B&B, they were very excited to see back on-screen as one of the greats, who’s character has caused so much trouble for the residents in both Genoa City 0n The Young and the Restless and in Los Angeles on The Bold and the Beautiful with her various crimes, deceptions, and plots over the years.

Photo: JPI

However, this time, viewers learned that Sheila is the biological mother of good doctor, Finn and her entrance into the story (at the wedding reception for Finn and Steffy) threw disruption into the lives of the Forresters and for her the son she never-got-to-know that she gave up at birth.

During this entertaining and candid conversation, Kimberlin and Tanner reveal many behind-the-scenes tidbits including: what went down during the  taping of the scenes where Finn learns Sheila is his mother as she steps out of the shadows, the confrontation at the wedding when the Forresters learned this shocking bit of intel, how Sheila plans to continue to manipulate and weave her way into her grandson and son’s life, and how she sees her vendetta with Steffy as an off-shoot of her vendetta with her grandmother, the late Stephanie Forrester (Susan Flannery).

Photo: JPI

In addition, Tanner weighs-in on Finn’s apparent ignorance of Paris’ (Diamond White) growing attraction to him, how that might trigger a Sheila/Paris partnership, or the possibility that Sheila does the unthinkable and somehow gets Steffy hooked back on opioids, or makes it looks like she has. There were many theories bantered about, and the actors share their speculative thoughts.

Photo: JPI

Now below, check out the interview with Kimberlin and Tanner.   For more celebrity interviews make sure to subscribe and check out the Michael Fairman Channel here.

Then let us know, what possible plot do you think Sheila might concoct to get revenge on Steffy and the Forresters? Let us know your favorite part of our conversation with Kimberlin and Tanner via the comment section.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on the Creation, Scenes & Cast of ‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

‘Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem’ Stars Talk the ‘Making of’ the Limited-Series & the Moments They Loved

Five of the cast members from Days of our Lives limited-series on Peacock, Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, chatted with Michael Fairman as a wrap-up following the conclusion of the streaming of all five episodes.

Joining Michael in a special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel are: Eileen Davidson (Kristen/Sister Mary Moira), Charles Shaughnessy (Shane/Drew), Peter Porte (Kyle/Dimitri), Zach Tinker (Sonny) and Rob Scott Wilson (Ben).

During the conversation, the actors share stories of the making of the series, and give insight and behind the scenes tidbits on their scenes including: how Eileen and Lisa Rinna (Billie) played recreated the ‘Amsterdam’ showdown from their time together on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but as their Days’ characters of Billie and Kristen, how Peter learned to do the Tango from Dancing with the Stars Louis Van Amstel and Lisa Rinna, plus the drag show scenes where Zach became “Sonny Delight”, and more.

In addition, Charles Shaughnessy talks on how the series harkened back to the 80’s and 90’s campy action-adventure heyday of and the opportunity to work again with Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena, while Rob fills-us in on trying to keep it together when working in scenes with soap vet Adrienne Frantz, when Ben and Ciara find themselves at a swinger’s party.

The interview is filled with many laughs, and candid moments that fans of the limited series will enjoy, especially the intel offered up by the cast.

Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem continues to stream on Peacock! Make sure to check it out if you haven’t, or rewatch it a second, or third time if you want to see more series like this in the future.

Below check out the interview with Eileen, Peter, Charles, Zach and Rob and make sure to subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity conversations.

Now, share your favorite moments from Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem, and this video interview, via the comment section here.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

DAYS head writer, Ron Carlivati talks with Michael Fairman on the creation and the making of the limited-series “Days of our Lives: Beyond Salem” currently streaming on Peacock. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Laura Wright as Carly

General Hospital

Airdates: 9-9/10- 2021

Advertisement

Popular