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Y&R’s Gina Tognoni Opens Up About Billy’s Bombshell With Summer & What’s Next For Phyllis

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Talk about walking in at the wrong moment and getting an earful!  That’s exactly what happened to The Young and the Restless’ Phyllis on Wednesday’s episode.  Taking the moment to level his revenge and payback for Phyllis’ romp with Nick (Joshua Morrow), her beau Billy (Jason Thompson) tells Phyllis that he slept with her daughter, Summer (Hunter King), right as Summer is standing there!   With that moment now out in the open, and Billy’s intention behind it, look for fireworks to fly!

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Daytime Emmy-winning gem, Gina Tognoni, who brings the complex Phyllis to life on the CBS daytime drama series, to get her take on how Phyllis handles this shocker, and the ramifications it poses to her, and the key relationships in her life.

As to what happens in the near future, looks like Phyllis is not going to do too well with what has just come to light, and that may set her on a whole new trajectory!  But will it be to Jack (Peter Bergman), to Nick (Joshua Morrow), or to someone else?  And, oh, there is that little item of her part in the death of J.T. Hellstrom.  Will that ultimately prove to be her downfall?  Here’s what Gina dished on the latest developments from GC.

When Phyllis gets the bombshell dropped upon her that Billy had sex with Summer, in that immediate moment what does this mean for Phyllis’ relationship with her daughter?

GINA:  Phyllis never saw this coming.  She is gutted and disgusted with her daughter in the moment, and in disbelief that her daughter would turn on her like this.

What about Billy saying to Phyllis and Summer that he had revenge sex with Summer to get back at Phyllis for sleeping with Nick?  Is she disgusted with him?

GINA:  I mean, she is speechless with him.  She’s speechless that he would stoop so low.  In her mind, this is a different offense.  Her sleeping with Nick is something that can’t be put in the same ballpark as Billy sleeping with her daughter.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would sleep with Summer; after the truth about her tryst with Nick came out at Sharon and Nick’s wedding?

GINA:  I think she was consumed with her own guilt and her own loss of control that it was not in the forefront of her mind.  So, when he plops that on her, that’s what leaves her to be absolutely speechless.  Whether you call it karma, or whatever, she got knocked with some of that, and she doesn’t know what else to say.  She’s devastated by both of these people.  In Phyllis’ mind she had moved on and was trying to make things right, but Billy sleeping with her daughter just crosses a boundary.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I actually thought Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would go to Summer, after the Shick wedding busted wide open, as she drank out those tiny liquor bottles!

GINA:  She was drinking the bottles, and it was all out, and her life was beginning to unravel, which caused her to want to numb the pain, because it was getting so intense.  It came out at the wedding that she slept with Nick, but what she was upset about was how Billy and she had now imploded, and their relationship has been forever changed.  That’s what that drinking was about.  They had overcome so much.  Here they were trusting each other, she was supporting him, brought him out of his gambling addiction, and she ‘drowns’ herself, and then we come to today. She walks in, and he just unloads it, and says, “I slept with Summer.”   From that moment on, we start to see that she has a break, and the break is in her personality.  Not that she’s a multiple personality, but it’s literally so painful for her that it changes something within her, and we’ll see something within the next two to three weeks on-air of what that means.  Phyllis gets really drastic, which has been fun to play.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does she think at all, that this is her fault, because she did sleep with Nick?

GINA:  Oh, yes.  She’s so confused and so overwhelmed by how screwed up it’s gotten that she is in survival mode.  We’ve seen Phyllis go in and out of that during the almost five years that I have played her. This is good stuff to play, and the writing is much more detailed than I have ever seen it.  When you see the scenes that are airing the rest of this week, they were done in one take.  Jason Thompson’s performance is so good, and Hunter King is really wrapping her arms around this role in such a cool way, that I just think the viewers are going to feel something.  Phyllis is just wrecked.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

One of the great scenes that you’ve had this year was when Phyllis realized that Summer is going after her man and she confronts her.  Phyllis slapped her own daughter and then went on the offense to keep her daughter from meeting up with Billy.  Summer did try to seduce Billy, and his gambling addiction wouldn’t have resurfaced at this time in his life, if it weren’t for her.

GINA:  Yes. Summer did push it.   I think in life, people disappoint us in such a profound way.  People are human.  We will be disappointed.   You pray to God that it’s not to certain levels, but it happens.  At the end of the day this is still her daughter, and it’s that bond that you have forever, and you love them, and you have to find a way to forgive because it’s natural: that love in your heart for your child.  That’s all I can say about this story, because it’s bizarre. (Laughs)  It sounds so funny, “My daughter slept with my boyfriend.” (Laughs)  You know what I mean?  However, when you really think about it, Summer broke her mother’s heart.

Even though Summer was a big contributor to the combustion of Billy and Phyllis’ relationship, Phyllis wants what’s best for her?

GINA: That’s the way Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) is writing it.  I think that’s the most human way to do it.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry, or that you have to be trusting in a situation like this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What does this mean for any future for the duo known as “Philly”?

GINA:  I was just saying to Jason Thompson: “I don’t feel like we’ve really worked together or hung out, because we’ve broken up on this show, so I never see you,” and he said, “I know! It’s so bizarre,” and it really is, because you get into such a rhythm with somebody.  You develop this shorthand where you understand each other’s rhythms.  Now, I’m getting to work with different groups of people.  Phyllis and Billy have such a very good dynamic.  It works.  So, to mess with something that’s not broken, (I mean, obviously it’s broken in Genoa City) it’s a bummer.  The good news is, maybe we’ll find our way back to one another.  She loved Billy very much.  That’s very much her soulmate.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Where does Phyllis see Jack in all of this?  At times, in scenes, it looks like maybe she could rekindle her relationship with Jack.

GINA:  Here’s the thing … Jack represented wisdom to her.  Jack is the type of man that no woman should ever walk away from.   Phyllis screwed that up.  She also screwed up her relationship with Billy, but I actually think that Billy had a lot to do with that too.  They both have demons.  Billy and Jack are two great men that she has failed at.  How does she live with that much failure?  How does she see herself?  What does she do?  She can’t make Billy come back, and she can’t be forced to love him.  They’re both so hurt by all of this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Joshua Morrow was on my podcast Soap Nation Live recently, and we were talking about the hotness that is Phyllis, and how there’s this constant sexual tension between Nick and Phyllis, and how they play videogames as their foreplay, before they have sex.  (Laughs) Where is that relationship at now?

GINA:  Yes, there is that foreplay with the video games. (Laughs)  Gina and Joshua have never really explored the dynamic of Phyllis and Nick.  It was Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis, Y&R, now Nina, GH) and Joshua who played that.   Now we are getting a chance to get Gina and Joshua’s take on it.  Joshua is very present when you work with hum, and that’s a very powerful thing.   So, we’ll see what happens with those two, but right now it seems to be a very physical thing between them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Then, there are the ramifications of Phyllis’ part in J.T.’s death and the four women in collusion to hide what happened to him. What is it like for Phyllis having to work with Sharon on this, when Phyllis was the cause of Sharon’s wedding to Nick to blow up?

GINA:  Well, she’s compartmentalizing.  She’s got the J.T. thing that she wants to control as much as she can, and she’s got to also be successful in her business career.  She’s proving something to herself, and she’s proving something as a woman.  Phyllis wants to be taken seriously, but she’s got this conflict that’s telling her that she’s a fraud.  She’s got this murder cover-up that she’s involved with.  Again, like in life, you try to go forward, but everyone has demons and things inside them that take them off their game.

Is there any part of her that thinks she could wind up in prison for this crime?

GINA: Yeah!  Her whole life could just blow up to a whole other level! That’s how I see it!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I know throughout your soap opera career; the writers and producers have loaded you up with heavy material, because you are an accomplished actress who can always deliver.  But, how do you feel now getting all of this material and trying to work through it?

GINA:  I’m getting to a place just now where I’m going, “Okay.  We’ve got this.”   For the last month and a half to two months, it’s been a lot.   Now, I’m starting to find my center and balance.  At first, it was a lot to digest.  I even felt emotional not working with Jason, and not working with Peter Bergman.  There is that attachment, were you go as an actor: “That was ours.  We built that, man!”  Then it moves on and it takes its shape, and you have to remind yourself that’s your job: that you are the chameleon.  You have to come in and sell it, and commit emotionally, because that’s your job.  There are certain days that I feel too much, and I have to remember to just breathe.  Day by day is how I take it, but I feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

If you could preview to the audience what they should watch for with Phyllis, what would you tell them? 

GINA:  Watch the subtle differences within Phyllis.  There is even a different look in my eyes.  I’m bringing her to a place, and she’s bringing me to a place that I have never

So, what do you think Phyllis should do now in her relationships with Summer and Billy? Are you glad the truth is out that Billy had sex with Summer? Who should be the new man in Phyllis’ life? What changes do you think will happen to her personality as previewed by Gina in this interview? Comment below.

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ShayAVPsonniorsolitarebecca1Soaphound Recent comment authors
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AVP
AVP

I love Gina and Jason as Phyllis and Billy. I dislike Summer VERY much. Her storyline (and angst) just doesn’t make sense to me. But, Gina and Jason make-up for the holes in the storyline, and the lackluster character/acting on the other end. They are just soapy-goodness! I don’t see ANY chemistry between Gina and Joshua.

Denise A Daniel
Denise A Daniel

Gina is simply the Best. I truly hope Phyllis/Billy can eventually work through all of this because Gina/Jason are perfect together. They’ve both hurt each other terribly but time & love can heal them. I do not want to see Phyllis bending over backwards anytime soon for Summer. That girl is so entitled & petulant. She needs all her financial support stopped. She needs to be humbled.

jaybird369
jaybird369

Denise…I DO NOT LIKE Summer…PERIOD!!!!! Never have, never will. So whenever that WHINY BRAT pops up on my TV screen, I usually do 1 of 3 things: I either yell at my TV screen, press the MUTE button on my remote control or I hit the FAST-FORWARD button. Works for me…lol.

Have a good one, Denise.

Celia
Celia

As far as I’m concerned, ThisBilly, thisPhyllis, Nick, and definitely Summer got their just desserts.
However, the reason for my post is sort of relevant/or not…..depends how invested one is in following the ‘norms’ of good grammar.
For years I’ve had to endure the bad grammar on all the remaining soaps. I have tried not to say anything because I do not want to look like a Miss-know-it-all…..nonetheless, the teacher in me is stronger than I am. Cannot seem to stop the devil in my head.
I will give an example. Today, Mariah said, “…..for Tessa and I” . WRONG!!!!!!
This is one of the most common grammar mistakes ( completely independent of spelling mistakes and typos) people make.
‘For’ is a preposition, which is ALWAYS followed by an object. In this case, ME is the object. “I” is in the subjective case—-in other words, “I” is ALWAYS the subject. It never ever follows a preposition. Learn your prepositions, writers!!
The writers also need to brush up on their pronouns in other parts of speech—parsing of sentences ( singular or plural). The wayward direction of the English language will undoubtedly lead us to speaking in sign. LOL.
We need to get rid of COMMON CORE. It is ruining Academia. This is one of the promises Trump made. I commend him in many promises he has kept. But, education shoukd not be put on the back burner, albeit I’m pretty confident ( too much is going on, I get it) he will get to it…..condidering he has a young son.
I apologize for the rant, but not for my good intention.
I hope this obsevation gets posted.
❤️

DonnaRaye64
DonnaRaye64

You misspelled “shoukd”, teacher…

Celia
Celia

I hope you get the sarcasm–I purposely mistyped ” student”. Spelling is not following any grammar rule…..one either knows how to spell or not. And, everyone makes typos.
Do you feel vindicated, Donna? Ha!!

Lew S.
Lew S.

Celia. I am in total agreement!

Celia
Celia

Thank you, my friend!!❤️

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Celia, this is way off topic but I can’t help it…I had to contact you. Just watched Friday’s episode of GH and am just now recovering from an hour-long giggle-fest. Sam Spadeless and Spinelli doing another “super sleuth” assignment! When she wears those “power suits” and tries to act sophisticated, I just start howling! Walking/stalking around Margaux’s mom’s house like she’s doing a dust inspection!? And WHO exactly is babysitting this time? These Sam Spy tales give me such a tickle…though probably not in the way the writers intend. Anyway, THANKS for indulging me.

Celia
Celia

Hello, Soaphound,
Oh, I get it!! I was subbing for a few days last week…..so, I caught up late last night. And, I am more than happy and willing to indulge.
I was giggling just as hard….albeit, it is such a somber time…( RIP).
Who lets anybody into her house? Did they give Margaux’s mother a curtesy call before invading her ‘space’ ? Bad acting all around!! Child’s play….
I did laugh, but when the giggles stopped, I realized how stereotypical this show is. Why the matronly spinster hair style? Do all female agents, executives etc. dress so conservatively? So wacky? I guess the same goes for teachers? A bun and thick, miopic glasses; wearing homely clothes? That blouse!! I didn’t get a look at her footware…..was she wearing her usual stilettos?……would sort of negate the rest of her garb.
Aside from that, and I will take every tomato and shoe thrown at me, Monaco is such an inproficient actress. Protocol for acting is getting more and more eschewed.
How long does it take to drink a glass of water? I thought they were doing …….well, you know… takes less than that for a qu!ck!€ ( I know, I’m so naughty–I apologize to any sensitively delicate minds, LOL). Sooo well-timed, that….returned from the kitchen at the nick of time. Usually, in such situation, suspense builds. I would usually call out-loud , ” Hurry up!”. Nothing!!
I’d love to see Sam impersonating a nun, Soaphound. Perhaps, she did in the past?
Spinelli? What can I say? I don’t know why, but when I see him, I always have the urge to get jittery….he stresses me out….he seems neurotic.
Babysitting? Danny takes care of Scout, don’t you know?!?!?! LOL.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Oh Celia, you reminded me of my 1980s guilty pleasure “DYNASTY”, which I’ve been rewatching via DVD. What campy fun…especially the arc when Joan Collins’ vitriolic, trampy Alexis disguised herself as “Sister Marie” in efforts to free an ex-lover from a terrorist prison! Natch, this Sister Marie had full eyelashes, kohl eyeliner, and passion pink lipstick. Not even Sam Spadeless could carry that off! I don’t dislike Kelly, especially since our Billy speaks so highly of her, but she often seems to lack the emotional resources of most major actresses, like Maura West, Michelle Stafford, and Jane Elliott (how I miss Tracy Quartermaine!) As far as Spinelli, I used to like him until he turned on Drew. Now all I can say is that he has really nice hair. Danny babysitting Scout, LOL! But on the plus side, he couldn’t do any worse!

Shay
Shay

“Sam Spadeless???” Very cute, indeed! However, I do have to inquire whatever happened to the previous dictate that forbade us from creating clever nicknames for soap characters…Has the ban (finally) been lifted or does it only remain in effect for certain posters???? Just wondering….

Soaphound
Soaphound

Cheap shot, DonnaRaye. A simple keystroke error doesn’t lessen the import of what she’s saying.

Celia
Celia

Thank you, my love!!
Back to Y&R…… I have the sneaking suspicion that the blackmailer is ….yup…you guessed it (LOL).. ta-da: JT.
Am I ever wrong?! HaHa and LOL.
What say you, Soaphound?❤️

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, I guess you’re right about J.T. It’s the only plausible explanation. Unless Rey was taking a midnight stroll that night and…..oh heck, it’d better not be ANOTHER new character!

AVP
AVP

I can’t stand Rey! The character is inserted into every scene/storyline. Lola is another unnecessary character. Their characters/scenes come off as awkward.

Celia
Celia

Agreed, my friend. Rey is an unsympathetic puzzle. I’d say ‘enigma’, but he doesn’t exude any sort of ‘enticing’ mystery to even be given that ‘honor’….I didn’t like him as Dario (Days), and I don’t like him as Rey. Arturo, I like even less. ….not sure about baby-sister, yet.LOL.
This new development, with Ashley as owning every Abbott patent ( if I understood correctly), is ‘sorta’, “kinda” scrambling for an inspiring storyline….don’t like that either…
On a more positive note: the women’s fashion/ wardrobe is fantistique!!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Rey is so unappealing he reminds me of something Sophia on “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” once said: “There’s something about him I don’t like. I can’t put my finger on it, but if I did I’d have to wash it.”

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Ha! I disagree about Rey’s appeal (or, in your opinion, lack thereof) but that’s a great line. “The Golden Girls” really had great writers and no one could deliver a zinger like those four women. Thanks for today’s chuckle!

AVP
AVP

OMG, “I love The Golden Girls!” Great quote! & agreed, I can’t stand the character or his family!

Celia
Celia

Hi, again, Soaphound,
Yes, it looks like JT is playing mind games with the women.
I have a second possibility.
How about Rey? Perhaps, he has gotten a hint—-suspects something, somehow?
Is he pushing the envelope so far as to see if all of the women, or one of them will crack?
Blackmailing them is a ploy? He is just laying in wait—hungry like the wolf?
If my theory is conceivable, I think there will be one small, big problem…..Rey is falling for Sharon. He will find himself between a rock and a hard place.
I recently got the vibe that Rey is honorable ( I could be wrong and should stick to my first-impression theory-LOL). What to do? Love vs righteousness, or vice versa? What a quandary!!
❤️

rebecca1
rebecca1

Sorry, CeeCee; Trump couldn’t speak proper English if his life depended on it. Not only does he speak nonsense; he’s barely legible when he TWEETS his nonsense. Although I do so appreciate the enormous material he supplies the late night shows. Has me rolling!

Celia
Celia

Actually, Rebecca, I beg to differ. His grammar, compared to Obama’s is impeccable. I notice these things.
I really do not want to get into politics….nor bashing the President. I’ve heard enough to last me a lifetime…..you have the right to say as you wish! Not here, I beg you.
I mentioned him because of Common Core….which has to do with education….not politics.❤️

cathy shoemaker
cathy shoemaker

You are kidding right? You need to listen to some of Obamas speeches again. You can’t possible compare his articulate responses to the crazy rambling of Trump.

rose
rose

Cathy & All…And not just Barack. Michelle as well, and she doesn’t have to plagiarize. Trump may fire up his supporters with negatives and bullying. But he doesn’t even come close to the Obamas, and how they speak and inspire audiences in a positive way. You know…Aim High. Michelle did it when she was First lady. And again on NBC Today show last week on International Day of the Girl which was mainly devoted to her launching an international girls alliance, especially devoted to education. It was an incredible show which included around 1000 girls from over the world who have overcome what their countries did not offer them and other girls.
I can only think some teachers here must for some unfathomable reason I will never understand give Trump a pass (especially about women), and make him a teacher’s pet. Even though they can at times give a fail to characters and actors on the soaps for bad behaviors, in their opinion.

Patrick
Patrick

“… the Obamas, and how they speak and inspire audiences in a positive way. You know…Aim High.”

Hi Rose… simply want to state how whew at ease this all sounds… finding common ground… “make it like it was” I don’t know.. I just know.. i’m keeping the faith … rallying till Nov 6th… when at the very least my hope is that the democrat take control of the house… CLEAN UP

stop the bleeding.. the complete obliteration and desecration of our judicial system… all I want.. WAKE UP CALL PEOPLE.. together we’ve all walked the walk… same step

Soaphound
Soaphound

Rose, THANKS for saying this, particularly about Michelle Obama. I admire her and can’t wait to read her upcoming memoir. Her dignity, values, and intelligence sure beats the current crop.

Soaphound
Soaphound

I know, rebecca1. And why does he repeat everything twice or more? And who knew so many cruel, torturing despots were really “terrific guys”? We learn something new every day, don’t We?

rebecca1
rebecca1

Im telling you, Soaphound, late night is our friend. Not sure if you watch Kimmel, Colbert, or Meyers but their recaps of what he says and does is beyond hilarious while managing to show the irony, the sheer lunacy. They’re getting me through this. It’s a camaraderie of humor in a twisted, surreal, dark time.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Hello Rebecca! I hope all is well!

Great humor, indeed! We need to have a few laughs with all that is going on. I looked you up here in attempts to reply to you again. I left a reply to you in the Genie Francis interview thread. Even though my comment is partially given in the “Recent Comments” area, the actual comment does not appear in the thread. I have no idea what happened… Suffice it to say that I attempted to give you accolades and agreement for your political commentary. Even if my particular reply there has been “lost,” hopefully this one will appear and allow me to say this: Keep up the good fight, Friend! 🙂

rebecca1
rebecca1

Weird. I was able to “edit” on my tablet but didn’t see the edit option from my desktop.

rose
rose

rebecca1…FYI in case you hadn’t heard. New show with potential called “Legacies. Girl is a cross between vampire and werewolf. show has ties to Vampire Diaries, the Originals and a Salvatore School. :))

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey, rose. Yes. It’s the story of Hope Mikaelson, the daughter of Klaus and Haley (Originals vampire and hybrid mom, the werewolf). I was soooo upset when The Originals was cancelled. Absolutely loved it. So, I gave Legacies a shot and so fair I’m not impressed. Maybe for the younger set as in teens. I will, however, give it another shot or two to see if it improves and if there are enough adults to hold my interest.

The Vampire Diaries, though also about a younger set somehow seemed more mature both in characters and stories. Also, the cast started heading up toward mid 20s/30s in addition to those in their 40s, 50s. And The Originals barely had any teens; more of an adult supernatural society again with mid 20s on up.

So, we shall see. Thanks for the heads up! Been watching Poldark; it’s so good. Eagerly awaiting Outlander.

rose
rose

Rebecca1…I liked Vampire Diaries, but never took the time to get into The Originals, even though I “liked” Klaus when on VD. I have been trying out the new Charmed. Hard to compete with the original where even Finola was mom. We shall see. What I am liking are reruns of The Closer and the followup Major Crimes. Great ensemble cast and stories. Even the occasional soap actor like James Patrick Stuart. And like you, eagerly awaiting Outlander.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I recommend these if you’re not watching: Ray Donovan, The Flash, The Gifted, Westworld, The Walking Dead, Ballers, Billions, Counterpart, Chesapeake Shores, 911, Animal Kingdom (NOT about animals; crime show.) That’s a helluava lot of TV! LOL; thank you OnDemand! Binging is my friend. 😉

If you’re not watching any or all of these read the synopses. Some may be too violent for you; not sure. But they’re all excellent shows.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Celia, our language is dying more deaths than Helena Cassadine. I agree about “I and me” and would like to include people saying “ecscape” and switching affect & effect. I also love watching the ‘crawl’ on news shows…Do they even employ a proofer? Misplaced apostrophes on its and it’s, ambassador spelled with one S, and countless others. To some it’s nitpicking. To me, it’s a sign of laziness, lack of interest, and the general apathy of people during the last three decades. That’s why I continually go back to Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, John Updike, Charlotte Bronte, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others who know how to make our language beautiful and meaningful. Poor grammar and sloppy writing are not just rare anomalies. They are sad facts.

AVP
AVP

I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. My pet peeves regarding our language/poor grammar include:
its/it’s, there/their/they’re, your/you’re, etc. My personal opinion, I think it’s a lack of reading/wanting to learn. I love to read, and try to make time for it. The explosion of social media is not helping, it dumbs people down, IMO.

Celia
Celia

Oh, man, AVP….Your comment is music to my ears. I’ve, actually, replied to Shay about the same pronouns and adverbs as you just have.
My other pet peeve is using a singular subject followed by a plural verb and/or pronoun.
As far as reading; I consistently find grammar mistakes in books, as well. What to do? I don’t know.
Perhaps we should hit the streets and calmly protest the evils of bad grammar in a civilized way? It’s a worthier cause than the violence out there.
Later, my friend.❤️

Shay
Shay

But, of course your reply to me never posted, as is the case for mine directed to you. Never mind they discussed actual, valid pet peeves in terms of poor grammar and English usage. Yet, others get to have their say…petty, petty!!!

Celia
Celia

I am a grammar fiend, my dear Soaphound. Nonetheless, people confuse grammar with spelling and typos ( which when typing –LOL–amounts to the same thing). …..I am an optimum speller when not on an electrical devise.
And, I am always in a hurry, especially when my 4-year old is not in pre-school.
I’m with you on all points. Soap characters are the worst….many use correct grammar. ….such as, ” Neither you nor I is going out”. Most people insist on using a plural verb ( are). “Neither” is a singulr subject….What about, “your”, “you’re”, “there”, “their”, or “they’re”?. It’s not laziness….it’s not knowing the difference or carelessness.
My son said “brung” yesterday….This tells me that children’s grammar ( in homes) is not corrected. Well, I set him straight.
You named some of my favorite classical authors! You gave me goosebumps. LOL.
Maura Wells has perfect diction and is grammatically “poised” LOL. I have yet to catch her in a grammar mistake. Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott and Peter Bergman are Ok, as well.
I guess I’m making too much out of this, but schools, in general, hardly stress grammar….or spend enough time on the subject. It stops in middle school.
I have family in Toronto, where grammar in not co-ordinated within English class….it is a separate subject from English Literature. Most importantly, it continues throughout High School in most disctricts. We should adopt such programs.
Great chat—great minds and all that jazz. Ciao. ❤️

Shay
Shay

Amen to the electronic device notion! Both autocorrect and spellchecks can be absolute menaces! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve typed a more obscure word and either the computer doesn’t recognize it and automatically changes it to something I didn’t intend or it insists there is an error in spelling, only for me to double check and find that I was right all along! As much as I enjoy the many pleasures of cyber life, I have to admit that it’s hastening the demise of literacy and proper usage of the English language….especially amongst those who never had the benefit of enjoying an education during more luddite times.

AVP
AVP

“Brung” is another pet-peeve of mine!

Celia
Celia

Be careful there, AVP….good grammar is out of style. Don’t rock the boat, or the fangs and claws come out!! LOL.
❤️

Shay
Shay

Well put, as usual, CeeCeeGirl!!! Could not agree more with you over “Common Core.” It’s an absolute disgrace, especially when you consider the outrageous amount of taxpayer dollars which have been squandered in order not to “educate,” but “indoctrinate,” the youth of America. Same for “Academia” at its highest levels….I am so grateful I obtained my college degrees when they actually meant that one had mastered their chosen subjects, rather than simply been inculcated with politically-correct, SJW nonsense that leaves today’s students totally unprepared for the real world, not to mention, reality, in general! And you are also correct about the dearth of proper English usage in modern society….that’s one of the reasons I refuse to even watch domestic programming anymore…the scripts are so poorly written that they are simply atrocious! Give me a proper British series any day…listening to their intelligent dialogue and beautifully-spoken word is absolute music to my ears! As for Twitter…considering the utter profusion of profanity and often general lack of intelligent thought displayed there, I would hardly conclude that our president is one of the worst offenders found on that platform. The fact is, he successfully uses that cyber cesspool to go over the heads of the MSM in order to deliver his message and that is quite frankly, brilliant! I love the way he hammers his critics again and again…of course, he’s no Shakespeare, yet he is indisputably “effective!” (That one is for you, Soaphound….) But if you want truly witty tweets and rapier sharp retorts phrased with the most carefully-composed grammar and punctuation, I must suggest one particularly talented actor’s page, although I shan’t names names. However, let me just add that he is Mensa-level smart, attended M.I.T….and it shows! Bet you can already guess to whom I am referring, mia amica!….Later!

rose
rose

I’m all for good grammar, even though mine’s probably not perfect. But even good grammar can’t make up for what is being said, especially out of the country’s highest office. And not just for young sons, who may have the advantage of going to the better schools, but daughters too. You know, examples of how you refer to, treat, or address others for instance. And that’s just for starters.

Abruzzfan
Abruzzfan

Thank you, Rose. Well said!

Dr Helen Ruth
Dr Helen Ruth

Thank you for saying this, Celia. I am also a teacher, and am horrified at the awful grammar on soaps and in the general population. I agree, too, with your comments about POTUS.

Karenwexler
Karenwexler

Hey Miss English teacher you misspelled considering you typed condidering
.. preach to your self… oh by the way you also misspelled Should you typed shoulkd…lol…

Celia
Celia

PS. I am a Physics teacher with a PhD… that’s Doctor to you. LOL….but I sub English class on Fridays. This term is all about Willy!!
I don’t understand your angst and sarcasm. Is everything ok?
❤️

Vivian
Vivian

Great great interview! Love Gina! She’s always so smart and insightful.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Well, it’s hard to have much sympathy for serial cheaters, particularly Phyllis or Nick. But it makes for dependable drama and a great chance for actors to really let loose. I imagine Gina will not disappoint. As for the duplicitous Summer and childish Billy — flush ’em. I have no use for either, especially the JT version of Billy, all snark, overconfidence, and not a hint of warmth for ANYONE. Phyllis needs to go into therapy and find out why she continually self-sabotages and to stay “manless” for a while. As for Billy, who cares? Kyle is much more interesting.

Celia
Celia

Hello, my friend,
Phyllis does need help….I would never have the audacity to delve into anyone’s brain….not a psychiatrist. But, Soaphound, perhaps, Phyllis is insecure? Perhaps, she has never felt loved? Is crawling into bed after a fight, or a presumed break-up a self-gratifying ( not in a sexual way), indulgence…..is it to maintain her self-esteem?
I appreciate Gina; loved her as Kelly (OLTL)–great actress. Yet, there’s always that little impish ‘but’….she’s not Michelle Stafford.
JT? No, No, No. No charisma. I didn’t take to his role as Patrick ( GH) either. No Billy Miller, he.
❤️

Iakovos
Iakovos

“… Daytime Emmy-winning gem…” SO TRUE!

Thanks for the great interview, Mr. Fairman. Ms. Tognoni is a force, a genuine talent I have enjoyed on all her soap stops. Thanks goodness the genre hangs on to give her a strong series and role as she continues her career. Phyllis is a complex character and was so identified with its originator. But Ms. Tognoni has made Phyllis her own, to the point I forget there was a previous actor in the part. Lover and hate her, Phyllis is an awesome creation. Keep going, Ms Tognoni! (You too, Mr. Fairman! I rely on this site for my sudsy news and features.)

cathy shoemaker
cathy shoemaker

I agree. Thank you.

Jeanne
Jeanne

Philly are the reason I watch this show.

Gina and Jason are too great together to be wasted on other people.

Teresa Reynolds
Teresa Reynolds

I love Gina, she’s an amazing actress and brings a lot of her talent to the character. I don’t think Phyllis should be linked up with another guy though, she need to work on her other demons and work on her. I also don’t think she should be so quick to forgive Summer ” person I still don’t care for”, Summer came back with a motive to break Billy and Phyllis up and then slept with him just to get back at her mother. Summer need a reality check and a lot of growing to do. she need to work hard to gain trust and stop being a spoil entitled brat.

Genna Corsentino
Genna Corsentino

I love this character! However, I don’t see her as such a failure at all. In fact, she and Lauren and Jill are the strongest women on this show. They are career women. They can take care of themselves but they, all three, are very hard on themselves. Phyllis has been stronger than every man she has ever been with, except Damian, many years ago. He really loved Phyllis and taught her how to see the best in herself. I see this story with Summer, in the same way the writers do, except, I believe that Summer has a deeper problem and going after Billy is just a symptom of that problem. I believe that Phyllis and Billy were good, at the time, but they have moved apart, in every way. I knew that when Phyllis slept with Nick and Nick slept with Phyllis. Nick doesn’t love Sharon either. She is his old shoe. Nick and Phyllis should reunite and become a family again. They have a fire! A chemistry together and they need to bring back Lauren and Michael as their friends as well. Right now, Phyllis is in a place that is overwhelming. Nick can help her. They both need the distraction of what is wrong with Summer. That is what should bring them back together. Phyllis can help Nick in his company and she would embrace the new house and a new start. Phyllis and Nick both still love each other and they should be able to explore that again. They both need a breath of fresh air. Watching Nick chase the loser, Sharon, is really stupid. He needs to move on. I don’t want to see Phyllis let this unravel her. She might become more cautious and a little more emotionally removed but I believe that Nick could be there for her, because he knows her and he knows how shattered she is. THE THING THAT ALWAYS GETS ME ABOUT HOW THEY WRITE FOR PHYLLIS IS HOW THEY ALWAYS SCREW HER OVER. She has been there for her men, good and bad but when it comes to her and something happens, where she needs a strong support, they always bail on her. Nick always called her his “warrior princess’ because she fights for her family, her kids. She loves deeply and that is why she is so shattered. I would like to see Phyllis take Nick into he confidence and tell him about Nikki and the JT incident and I would like to see them both work to get to the bottom of who is blackmailing them. It has been a long time since we have had a good story like this could be. I am looking for something new and different out of Y&R and this would be a good start toward that.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I have been disgusted with Summer ever since her return, never understanding her beef with her mother. Didn’t even understand her answer when Phyllis asked her point blank, what exactly did she ever do to her, to be acting like she hates her, and ultimately going after her boyfriend. She’s always been her parent’s “Supergirl”, and they did not deserve this treatment. I have not one ounce of pity or compassion for this girl, now or the events to follow.
We have seen a mother going after the daughter’s boyfriend,as on GH and DOOL, but my memory not being as good as it was, can not remember this situation. One of the worst has got to be on B&B with Bill taking advantage of his daughter-in-law, having sex with her and pursuing her openly. Boggles the mind, how far these writers go, to get and hold on to viewers, not realizing that in some cases, it sickens and chases them away.

Conni Kroeger
Conni Kroeger

I watch Y&R BECAUSE of Billy (Jason Thompson) and Phyllis (Gina Tognoni). They are why I tune in every day/week/month… To mess with their chemistry would be hammering a nail in the proverbial coffin of Y&R.

Karen Ross
Karen Ross

Love Phyllis and Billy together. I agree Phyllis and Nick have no chemistry together.
I think Billy and Phyllis need to kiss and make up.
I also do not like Billy and Victoria together, please don’t put them back together.
Summer needs to grow up. Spoiled brat, however Hunter King does a awesome job in her role.

Kimmie Walter
Kimmie Walter

Extremely Hard for this Philly Fan to watch the decimation of My beloved couple I don’t even watch YR if they aren’t on ‍♀️.. I hate what Mal has done to them and like Gina said “they worked, why mess it up?” Gina and Jason are Fantastic Actors who always bring their best to the table but I’m so hurt they have to be broken again and Mal is destroying such greatness Gina said she was “emotional” not working with Jason.. Trust me Gina the fans feel it way more I can only hope that somehow out of this mess, comes a beautiful love story that can be recreated with Philly

Judy
Judy

Totally enjoyed this article. Thank you

Alexandria
Alexandria

Nick and Phyllis burned up the sheets there. I kinda like their dynamic. Very interested to see Gina and Joshua’s interpretation of Nick and Phyllis if they go there. It would be cool to see them as friends before entering into a sexual relationship.

Phyllis and Billy are great, but they need a break. Send that dirty Summer away.

Gina is such a flawless actress to watch. I love watching her. She’s a joy.

Alicia
Alicia

Phick friends and sexual partners is 2006 lol

Karen
Karen

Phyllis was shocked to be told that her daughter,Summer,slept with her boyfriend,Billy.

General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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

The Michael Channel

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  • Rodd: “Can't wait!
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  • Karen: “I agree about David Caruso. I loved him. Dennis Franz too. I liked Ricky Schroeder but the writers ruined his…
  • LinesofLove: “Gorgeous woman, talented hardworking star, Michael Michele can stand in Dominique's shoes wonderfully!
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Maura West as Ava

General Hospital

Airdates: Wk of 3-11-2019

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