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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow Talks The Dark Side Of Nick & That Sexcapade With Phyllis!

Photo: CBS

When Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) goes bad … he certainly does it with plenty of gusto! Over the last week, viewers of The Young and the Restless were left stunned when it turned out that this one-time do-gooder, turned heel, but not without purpose.  After constantly ending up on the short end of the stick, and after his father Victor’s (Eric Braeden) dirty machinations to take away Nick’s son, Christian, (yes, we know Adam is the bio-dad) and gain custody of the little boy for himself, Nick was left devastated vowing to not let anything like this happen again.

With revenge on his mind, Nick set out a plan that no one got wind of.  He leaked documents of Newman Enterprises … he masqueraded around town as the “dead” J.T. Hellstrom (Thad Luckinbill) … he opened his own company to take away his father’s business …  and that is just for starters.  Now back with the love of his life, Sharon (Sharon Case), once she was clued in on what Nick was doing their relationship seemed on the rocks.  So, what was Nick to do?  Have sex with Phyllis (Gina Tognoni)!  These two former lovers commiserate over their current relationship woes, while being turned on by how Nick pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes.

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Joshua Morrow, who we consider one of the true MVP’s of daytime drama, to dish on all the latest twists which have pulled Nick to the dark side.  In addition, what it means for the future in his relationship with Sharon, for that undeniable chemistry Nick has with Phyllis, and how that “J.T.” mask scared the pants off four women he cares about without him even knowing why!

Candid with that razor-sharp wit, here’s what Joshua had to say about what has gone down, and what’s to come!

So, things take a shocking turn when Nick has now donned a prosthetic mask that looks just like J.T …

JOSHUA:  Yes, this unbelievably non-creepy looking mask, too. (Laughs) 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

However, are you and Thad Luckinbill the same height? (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  No, Thad is taller at least by an inch!  I did not think it was much of an issue, but it was very technical how they had to shoot that.  It was a fascinating process to watch.  Thad shot his scenes first, and then I came in and did mine.  They imposed my face onto his, and my face is longer and fatter.  Since Thad is taller, he had to stand with his legs spread a little bit to get down to my angle.  Then, I had to do my scenes in the angle he was originally staring at Victor with; which is why in a lot of the scene I was staying as still as possible. The way the scene was written kind of helped with what we were trying to do technically, in that; Nick was calm and matter-of-fact, and laying out his threat to Victor.

What was your reaction when they first pitched this story point to you that Nick would be masquerading as J.T. with a mask on?

JOSHUA:  I remember when Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) first told me about it.  I just thought it was the most ridiculous thing.  I am like, “What?”  I didn’t know if it was going to work, but when we got down to it, I could not believe how incredible it looked on the reveal.  It was a real testament to our crew, Mal, and Patty Denney in make-up, and everyone who brought it all together.

Did you ever figure out how Nick knew where to get a prosthetic mask made to look like J.T.? (Laughs)  I was like, “Boy, is he resourceful!  Who knew that Nick Newman would know where to shop for this!” (Laughs)

JOSHUA:  I think he googled it! (Laughs)  It’s amazing what you can google!

I would have loved to have added in the scene where Nick is on his laptop thinking hard and typing away feverishly in the search field, “Where to get prosthetic masks.”

JOSHUA:  He would have to have found a way not to leak that.  People would come by at his work and go, “Why are you looking up masks, Nick?”  Meanwhile, he is getting multiple bids from the mask companies. (Laughs) 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When you watched the scene back; what did you think of it?  On top of that reveal, you then launched into this intense monologue.

JOSHUA:  I thought the scene was beautifully lit and the alleyway looked awesome.  Props did a great job of making it look seedy and dark.  It took a longtime to shoot.  A lot of people were caught up in what was actually happening, but if you add up in words how much I had to say, it was an unbelievable amount of talking.  It was essentially a five-page monologue.  I studied it so much and rehearsed it so much, that I was starting to lose my voice from it.  However, it worked and we did it in one take, which I was pretty happy about it. 

Were you and Eric Braeden joking between takes when it had to do with Nick and his “J.T.” mask?

JOSHUA:  We made some jokes initially, but because there was so much material, that whenever any of us has something like that to do with that amount of work, you want to try and be as professional as possible to let them get through it anyway they can.  Eric is obviously is a pro.  He understood what I was having to do. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a great monologue you were given and delivered, especially when Nick pointed out to Victor, that in Victor’s eyes, Nick was his ‘underachieving son.”  Y&R has never really explored how Nick was not the shining bright star in the family that Victor wanted him to be, and how Victor heaped much of that praise on Adam, for he was more “Victor-like.”

JOSHUA:  Well, he was supposed to be the apple of his father’s eye, and that was what was so disappointing.  A lot of people have said that, and I don’t think you can fault Victor for that.  He had all these grand plans for Nick, but Nick has just flat out said: “I am going to do what I want to do.”  He has done that his whole life.  It’s not what his dad wanted.  It wasn’t that Victor was disappointed in who he had become, he was disappointed that Nick was not willing to accept the path that Victor planned out for him. I understood what Victor had gone through over the years with Nick.  In terms of the monologue, it was a great speech.  I thought it was well-written, and the fact that Victor has always been supportive of Adam as opposed to Nick, while Adam has done way more horrible things than Nick has.  Nick never really understood that.   I thought the scene worked, and it’s a really cool story to tell.  I get that a lot of people may not dig it, but this is the most fun I have had on Y&R, since they initially paired Nick with Phyllis.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Last week, many fans took to social media and were outraged going, “How can Nick do this to his sister, Victoria?”

JOSHUA:  I remember saying that to Mal.  I said, “I don’t have a single problem with any of this, but Victoria is his best friend.  She is this person that he will do anything to protect.  The two of them have gone to each other about everything.  So, how does he do this to her?”  Mal sold it to me by saying, “All Nick is doing is teaching Victor a lesson, and he believes that because Victoria is so close with him that eventually she will come to understand.”  Nick knows he is going to hurt her initially, but the hope is that he can sell her on this, and make her join him.  I was really hoping for a lot more scenes where they are heartbroken with each other.  Those would have been interesting to play, but Nick has been so driven in his plan, and that is a lot of what I have been doing, while Victoria is fighting on the other side.  We will see what happens, but there is beauty in conflict that hurts.  That is ultimately what this is going to boil down to.  Nick is not going to be too hurt by what is going on with his dad, but he should be demolished to see what his sister is going through.  Hopefully, they will touch on that.

It all comes back to Nick losing custody of Christian as the tipping point.  That was followed by a scene of Nick just looking in the mirror, which foreshadowed that a dark side of Nick will emerge.  So, what is Nick’s ultimate plan?

JOSHUA:  He wants to destroy Victor, even though he got his son back.  Victor crossed such a line with him.  After everything Nick had gone through with Christian and Adam, he realized that is father is not just controlling, but this is an evil bastard who would do something like this.  Nick made a vow, “I am not going to let him do this to anyone ever again that I care about.”  That is what it is rooted in.  That he wants to destroy Newman Enterprises that is just a side of it.  Nick just really wants to hurt his dad in the worst possible way, and you do that by taking the thing that matters the most to him … his business.  I don’t think Nick fully realized the scope of it.  He thinks he can just move everything over to his new company and lead the fight in that direction.  I don’t know how far he has thought ahead, but he knows what he wants to do right now, and how he is going to do it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does Nick feel “power” now?

JOSHUA:  Yes, and it’s a power rooted in the fact that; he still believes he is doing it on his own terms, and is coming from a good place, even though he can’t see the darkness that is slowly creeping in; which I think thematically is really cool.  That is; this fight to remain true to himself, but this pull to this dark element that his father is always preaching and really living. The question is: can Nick still maintain this path he wants to go on without doing what his dad has had to do?  That is what we will see play out.

Nick is now a man full of surprises.  Last week, we also learned that he has started his own company to go toe to toe with Victor … “Dark Horse”.  In the process, he is trying to sway family members to join him.  How is that working out for him?

JOSHUA:  His ultimate goal is to take Newman Enterprises, which was supposed to be this family run company; where everyone was participating, and bringing all their specials skills and qualities that they have, but it really just became that everyone is under Victor’s thumb.  Nick wants to do the same thing, but let people be who they are, and bring those things that you are good at, so they can be successful together.  He is trying to sell them: “Do this with me and I will let you be you, and you can go as far as you want to within the company.”  It’s very idyllic.  Now whether it’s doable, who knows?   Nick approaches everyone in his family to “Please join my side.”  It’s basically creating this line in the sand, that either you are with Nick, or against him.  It’s that simple. It’s sort of what Victor does, but Nick does it with a smile. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What about his mother, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott)?  That puts her in a tough position to choose between the man she loves and her son.

JOSHUA:  Nick was really counting on Nikki to be on his side, but Nikki chose Victor.  Nick instantly thought that everyone would join him, and that is not the way it panned out.  I still don’t’ think he sees the errors in his ways, in the way he went about this, and that is probably due to his ego, and his drive getting in the way of that.  Abby (Melissa Ordway) joins him, and Noah, eventually.  No one else is his family does.  He thought Victoria would jump on it, but she says, “No.”  Victoria is finally promised Newman Enterprises and that leads her to say that, and that kind of sets up a cool conflict for Nick and Victoria moving forward as to business people and competing in the same space.  His main ally is Jack (Peter Bergman) and Jack is going to join Nick to take on Victor.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Are you concerned about the fan backlash to your character, who was always the “good guy”?

JOSHUA:  I don’t care that people don’t like it.  What I do care about is that they don’t give the story a chance and they make it personal if they say, “You are incapable of handling a story of this magnitude.” We are in the business of entertaining people, and sometimes it hits you positively, and sometimes it hits you negatively. Some of the best films I have ever seen, I couldn’t stand the way it was going down, but if it hits you, if it makes you think, if it makes you see people evolving, then it’s interesting, and that’s kind of what has happened with Nick.  It’s time for him to do something!  He has been sitting on Sharon’s couch and trying other businesses, but at his core, he knew it would eventually lead back down to something like this; doing something on his own terms, which is exactly what he wanted.

Let’s talk about Sharon.  Were you surprised that the show put Nick and Sharon back together so fast back in late March of this year, coming on the heels of Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan) leaving Nick?

JOSHUA:  I was really shocked.  But, we are all so unbelievably protective of our characters, and while telling these stories, we are trying to tell them as true as possible to them.  This happened so fast with Sharon that it felt to me like, a matter of convenience.  Melissa Claire Egan (Ex-Chelsea) left and created this kind of void.  At the end of the day, Nick and Sharon love each other, they always have.  It doesn’t not make sense to put them together.  I just thought the timing of it seemed quick and it kind of questioned what Nick and Chelsea were building towards; which I thought would have been an amazing situation.  However, when Adam was never around, it lost some of the weight that it would have had.  A lot of weight, actually, and then Missy decided to leave, which about killed me.  She turned into my best friend here.  I love her, and I completely supported her decision, but, what do you do?  You can’t just have characters running around alone all of the time.  Nick and Sharon will always find their way back to each other.  The timing and the pacing is completely up to the writers and the producers.  I will tell what ever story they want me to.

How did you feel about the arbitration scenes? I thought everyone was great in them from: Christian LeBlanc (Michael) to Eric, Melody, Sharon, you, and Lauren Woodland (Brittany). Victor and Michael went for the jugular delving into the mental state of Sharon. That ultimately played a major factor in Victor being awarded custody of Christian, and not Nick.

JOSHUA:  Weren’t those scenes good?  They seemed so real!

Then came the scenes where they take Christian from Nick.  Those were so incredibly sad, and watching you as Nick break down in tears is always heart-breaking.   It was one of your best performances.  How were those for you to portray?

JOSHUA:  It was sad, and it is very difficult to do.  Playing these kinds of scenes with these children hits me extra hard.  I love kids.  My whole life I wanted to be a teacher, or a coach.  My dad was a teacher.  I started to coach U8 Soccer when I was twelve-years old.  I love being around children.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

Why do you think that is?

JOSHUA:  I don’t know, but I like watching them, teasing them, and that’s why I coach.  I create these relationships with these little kids and they just mean so much to me.  I know at my core I was meant to be a dad, and a coach.  They bring these kids on our show, and you tell these very emotional stories, and you just fall in love with them. They are hard stories to tell when you remove kids from parents.  I have dealt with it now several times.  They are good stories to tell, well-written, hard to do, but I am always so impressed with the material kids are given – they are often very mature-type storylines, and to watch them tell them makes you swell with pride.  Now, that scene in particular with Christian, all that kid has to do is lay on my shoulder, and just that moment alone makes me tear up.  It’s like he could feel the magnitude of what was happening.  If you notice in the scenes we do, he rarely just lays on my shoulder and like melts into you, and that’s what happened in that moment, and it just crushed me.  As an actor, you are still trying to remember what you are doing in the scene, but it was hard to do   I love that little boy!  We would play in his the dressing room with trucks, and he sees me and he walks out and puts his arms out.  It’s not hard to peel him away from the teacher, and he just lays in my arms and talks. I love him, but I feel that way about: Hunter King (Summer), and Robert Adamson (Noah), and Alyia Alyn Lind (Faith), and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), too!  I truly treat them as if they were my kids, and if they need anything I would be there for them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Right now, Sharon is not happy with this new Nick!

JOSHUA: Nor, should she be.

Of course, now there is major trouble in the relationship, right after Nick proposed to Sharon and she said “Yes.”

JOSHUA:  After this incredible move by Nick, she lights into him about it. He goes, “How can you not be happy about this?” (Laughs)  She just stares at him.  I love the balls of Nick to just say that!   It was just a subtle, great moment from Sharon. (Laughs)

Sharon along with Nikki, Phyllis and Victoria buried J.T. in the ground after Nikki smashed him with a poker.  Nick doesn’t even know this has happened and he is scaring the wits out of these women!

JOSHUA:  What Nick doesn’t know, and I am sure all the fans are screaming; is what all these women know.  They think that they killed J.T, and Nick has been essentially terrorizing them without knowing it with this dead body.  He doesn’t know what is going on.  He is like, “What is wrong with you guys?” (Laughs)  So, maybe when it all comes out, Nick will go, “Oh, maybe that wasn’t the best tactic I should have taken.”  Right now, they are staring at Nick like he has a second head going: “How can you put us through this?” The women are giving Nick “Halloween eyes”, and he keeps going, “I just don’t get why everyone has a problem with what I did.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Nick and Phyllis have sex after he pulls off the first part of his master plan.  So, how would you describe what happened that in essence beelines him to his old flame?

JOSHUA:  Well, it’s go-time!  At his core, he just loves to take his clothes off! (Laughs)  So … what happened was … everyone is not happy, of course.  Nick comes home and sees that Sharon has removed her ring.  She is not home, and he assumes she is not willing to forgive him, and she took the ring off, and it’s over.  So, he leaves and is assuming they are on a “break”.  Then, he runs into the ‘electric hotness” that is Phyllis, who always gets to Nick.  She is upset about Billy (Jason Thompson) and his gambling.  They are both not happy, and they have had a couple of drinks.  They go to their foreplay which is video games.  Nick and Phyllis have always related with video games.  They are talking, and I think what ultimately happens is Phyllis is turned on by the things Nick has done, because he had outlined exactly what he did to Victor.  Phyllis has a quality in her that responds to that.  She finds it very sexy that Nick would go to these lengths and the way that he did it.  It’s definitely not propinquity, but something happens.  So, they decide to have some good ole’ sex right on the counter on the kitchen.  Good place to have sex … it’s really comfortable. (Laughs)

How does Nick feel about it when they are done?

JOSHUA:  Nick is a lot of things, but monogamy is not his greatest quality.  He feels bad about it, but if you look at Nick and Phyllis’ history, Nick has generally turned to her when he in trouble, heartbroken, confused or sad, and Phyllis seems to pull him out of that with her body.

I foresee a lot of scenes of Nick and Phyllis dancing around what happened, shooting each other weird, or frightened looks back and forth between them, especially when Sharon or Billy are in a room with them. 

JOSHUA:  Yeah, they both understand the situation.  Nick loves Sharon, and Phyllis loves Billy. They both know it was mistake; a one-shot deal between them, and they agree to keep it a secret. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

But … it is really ever over with Phyllis?

JOSHUA:   It’s never really over with Nick and Phyllis, unless someone cuts Nick off in traffic when he is in the mode of: “I’ve got to go see Phyllis! She will help me!”  Neither one of them wants to turn the page on Billy or Sharon.  They make this pact, and they are going to try to move on and pick up the pieces.

Will Phyllis come over to work with Nick at “Dark Horse?”

JOSHUA:  He does approach Phyllis about coming over to work with him, and he says, “Remember, what we did with our clothes off?  Should we do that with suits and briefcases?” (Laughs)  No, but seriously, she declines.  Phyllis says she is really happy with what she is doing, and she also says, it’s not the best thing for them to be doing, since they just had sex with each other, and they are going to try and forget about it and move on, and that they should not be around each other every single day.  Phyllis is right. They should not be around each other every single day, because ultimately they will just start having sex again.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Nick getting custody of Christian back happened to quickly?

JOSHUA:  No, I don’t. Victor clearly had some other issues going on, but I don’t think you could make a believable case that Nick should not have this little boy.  No sane judge, no lawyer, would make that decision.  I think once cooler heads prevailed, and that Victor is not exactly healthy, they saw that Nick should raise Christian.

Does Nick know what is physically wrong with Victor?

JOSHUA:  He knows Victor is having some kind of side-effect from the stroke.  I don’t think he knows the extent, or that he is being treated by Dr. Nate Hastings (Brooks Darnell).

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Would that be a game-changer for Nick, if his found out his dad was very sick and fighting for his life?  Would Nick even care at this point?

JOSHUA:  Well, outlining the story it just can’t be this one note: Nick is going to destroy his father for the rest of his life. There has to be some way for them to reconcile. Maybe, it is over Victor’s health.  That would make a lot of sense to me.  I don’t know how it is going to all play out, but I don’t think it makes a lot of sense for Nick and Victor to hate each other for the rest of their lives.  Eric and I have such great scenes together, and there are nice moments when we are allowed to be father and son.  I love the story and I hope that they don’t cut it off, but the writers will have to come up with some way to bridge that gap.

They have to redeem Nick, too.

JOSHUA:  Yes, they can’t just let him be fingers in the air, and “I’m the man, and everyone else can go screw themselves.”  That being said, I am really looking forward to the struggle of that happening.  It’s a story I am looking forward to telling.

You always said in past interviews that you liked playing the hero.

JOSHUA:  Yeah, and even when I was young I wanted to be a fireman.  I was obsessed with the idea of rescuing people.  I just wanted to save people.   Nick does have that quality.  He does want to protect his family and fix things for everyone.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

However, it must be so nice and refreshing for Nick to have a dark side, finally!

JOSHUA:  It sounds crazy to say, but having some darkness to play is refreshing. It’s given me a whole new lease on life around here.  I am coming up on my 25th year on Y&R, early next year.  Six months ago, I was thinking “I am done at 25 years.  I just don’t think I can do it anymore.  It’s been a great run.  I’ve said everything I can say.”  But honestly, this story has given me a new energy about it that I don’t see that happening.

What did you think of: Nick and Phyllis having sex?  His motives for masquerading as J.T.?  Creating his own company to take down Victor?  Do you like the darker side of Nick? Have you enjoyed the performances in this storyline from Joshua?  Comment below!

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Tina
Tina

Nick and Phyllis need to stay away from each other. It’s obvious that nick belongs with Sharon and Phyllis really does belong with Billy, although I don’t think Sharon should forgive nick easily. Nick repeatedly crosses the line over the years with Sharon wear as Phyllis truly just made a terrible mistake. Phyllis and billy could and should overcome this.

Samantha
Samantha

I always loved phylis and Nick together

Ray
Ray

Love Phyllis and Nick together. They are the best. Love the old Nick but he is even better as new Nick that can stand up for himself and his family. Not Mal Young, Nor Amelia Nor Thad will ever convince me to believe JT changed over the years to be as he was to Victoria. Thad are Amelia are both Talented, Amazing performers but put in Outstanding jobs with what they were given; but in the end; anyone that knew these characters of Victoria and JT always loved them as a couple and could always see and feel their love for each other. Sorry, JT was always too Nice a guy, always to the rescue of a woman. He would never ever consider hurting that Special one.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

The dark side of Nick was great until he had sex with Phyllis. That’s when I felt let down by the character. The names I was calling him when the deed was done can’t be printed here.

Karen
Karen

I have loved watching Josh play Nick’s dark side. His scene with Victor when he brought Christian’s things to the club was phenomenal. I am on Team Nick but I am furious with him for having sex with Phyliss. Hoping Summer is successful in her plot.

Kimmie Walter
Kimmie Walter

Nick needs to stay far away from Phyllis!! Philly is too hot to be messing them up!! Angst is one thing.. sick of the third party person in that relationship. Stay away from my girl Phyllis!! Let her be happy with Billy!! ❤️

Sarah
Sarah

Sex with Phyllis ruins Dark Nick for Me. I hope Nick and Sharon are able to work it out.

Ja
Ja

It’s all stupid, the newman’s have not been a family in forever god just let them be !! You keep sorry actors like tessa and Kyle and gloria and Jill they all need to go . You let the best go the last Adam that was on and Chelsea and the last Billy, sage , and Michelle Stafford you need to pay them more and fight to keep the greats !! The story line is getting way off script from the cliff hangers from ages ago . Lilly in jail really ? She has to pay cause no one does fans are saying ?? Really? What about sharon burnt down Victor’s house ,took a baby , killed sage by rushing after her , so much crap ! Nick for killing the girl off the roof that his daddy helped.him out of and so much other crap . They want vic to pay for whatever especially his kids but yet they don’t mind taking his money , using his name, wanting his help when they get in trouble and ect …

Tani Sterling
Tani Sterling

With all due respect to the writer, Gloria and Jill may have diminished roles, but keep them. They are some of the very best!

Annis
Annis

Love the new nick but why did he have sex with phyllis? You are ruining the storyline. Don’t let hilary leave the show.

JANIE
JANIE

I AGREE…..THE SEX WITH PHYLISS ON THE KITCHEN COUNTRY WAS SO UNCALLED FOR. JEERS TO THAT SCENE. HE IS ENGAGED TO SHARON. FOR ONCE LET NICK AND PHYLISS BE LOYAL TO THEIR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

First of all I have always loved Nick and Joshua Morrow. He usually can do no wrong ,in my eyes. Nick feels so strong about what he’s doing to Victor, which I am all for, but I am afraid it’s all going to come back to bite him in the ass! With very little family support, especially from the ones that mean the most,I think will bring out his so-called dark side, even more so, in trying to prove that he is right. I hope it works out, and Nick at least gets to keep Christian, if and when Adam comes back.

bunnyluv
bunnyluv

I actually like dark Nick. Deleted the episode he slept with Phyllis, not a fan at all. I would love to see he and Sharon be a power couple.

Soapluv
Soapluv

Phyllis is a better partner for this stronger, tougher Nick. She can support him in business and emotionally a lot better than Sharon. I like this lighter, happier Sharon but, she’s fragile and convenient, not fierce and powerful. Nick does not have time for Sharon’s doubts and fears while he fights Victor. Either strengthen Sharon and make her a support to Nick or, give him Phyllis to work by his side and help make his company stronger like she did for Fenmore’s and Jabot. He needs more help than Abby and Noah and Jack who ALWAYS loses to Victor.

Phyllis and Billy are done. They have not been viable since he started colluding with Summer. Summer has power over Billy, the addict. He is in destructive mode, Summer is a wrecking ball who shares and understands his gambling obsession so their affair is inevitable – especially after Billy finds out Phyllis slept with Nick and he will because Kyle knows.

Bring on Phick!

Jeanne
Jeanne

It’s funny because you talk about how great Phyllis can be for Nick but nothing about what Nick can bring to Phyllis.
Basically the story of their relationship. Phyllis gave Nick everything and he gave Sharon eveything. Thanks but no thanks.

Phyllis and Billy are NOT done and I know they will reunite soon.

Ray
Ray

I’m with you. Phyllis and Nick. They need to bring Dylan back for Sharon. Nick with Phyllis can stand up anyway to both Victor and Nikki. A Good Man fighting for his life and Family needs a good Strong Feisty Woman by his side. That for Nick is Phyllis 100%. Sharon is weak, whiny and can’t ever make her mind up. I don’t think Nick nor Phyllis has ever gotten over the fun and love they shared together. Joshua is amazing, Gina is the very Best of the 3 actress to be Phyllis. More BEAUTIFUL, yet every bit as Scheming as the Stafford one. Gina is Phyllis and Awesome as her.

Celia
Celia

I don’t know, Ray..”.firstly, nuPhyllis does not depict the true Phyllis….albeit Michelle’s Phyllis was going towards the path of righteousness, a character does not change so drastically overnight.
Gina Tognoni is not Phyllis no matter how TPTB try to mold her into the character.
I remember perfectly how Phyllis’ and Nick’s relationship came to be….. through deceit and lies.
Nick and Sharon ( a couple I have wanted together forever) should not remain together after what he did….but, picking up where he and Phyllis left off is a worse tragedy.
I still cannot accept Gina as Phyllis……can’t stand nuPhyllis–I vehemently protest—wrong age; considering she is the mother of a son in his late thirties and a grandmother. Too young to play Phyllis.
Perhaps, this is what she and Nick do need….get back together and destroy each other….that’s what they deserve.
Summer is a carbon copy of her mother….uses people with one idea in mind. Get what she wants.
Billy is no better. Weak men have no business being part of a true, meaningful relationship. These writers ( all soaps) tear characters to death as the worst beings crawling on their bellies, and then expect us to accept their resurrection and transformation into good, honest, moral people. I don’t think so.
Such phenomenon will only happen when elephants nest in trees.
But, it’s a soap, right?…. Still not buying it.

Momo
Momo

Nick has a long history of being a cheater. I had hoped he had changed, but apparently not. Sharon will not be happy! Billy shouldn’t be surprised. Phyllis cheated on Jack with him.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Joshua Morrow has been rocking this storyline. This is some Emmy-worthy material he has been given, so I hope he considers himself for an Emmy in 2019. He is a leading male and should be treated as one. My friend, who isn’t very pro-soaps, even says Joshua is a fantastic actor! I’m here for Josh getting to bring this storyline to life!

Ray
Ray

Yes. Josh is Great. Every time Sharon gets all falling into place, she starts whining and can’t stand on her own two feet. Phyllis needs a real man like Nick; Not a lying gambling man as Billy. The strong and the weak in Phyllis and Nick equals out to perfect mate. Nick can lean on Phyllis when he needs, she can on him, with Sharon, it is always about her. Nick and Sharon are Fun together. They Live.

Timmm
Timmm

People ride GH for its camp but a JT mask? Remember when Y&R told stories with class and very little props? I love the camp over at GH but on Y&R, I just dont recognize the show. Why? Besides the mask, Nick finally stood up to the Stache and he gets ridiculed by his Mom, Vickie sticks by Victor and Sharon runs like her hair is on fire! So Nick thinks Sharon left him so he runs to “The Smirk” for a night of disgusting sex! Nick CANNOT love Sharon. What a slap in the face to SHICK fans! Sharon may be keeping a major secret from him but it has nothing to do with sex! They are just making Nick into “ADAM LITE!”

Other problems?

Who is Billy Abbott?

Who is Jack Abbott?

What a cheap ass way to get rid of Ashley!

And killing off Hillary, why? You want diversity? Okay, fine, hire good decent actors who can act. The lady who portrays Hillary is good. Why not send her off for a return someday? No, they wont kill off Devon who sucks in so many languages but cuts Hillary? I have NO feelings for their loss or Hillary’s death because the dude who plays Devon is horrible, Hillary was a horrible person and this guy who plays Nate is all body and no acting chops whatsoever!

Arturo is on contract now. Glad to see an actor succeed but what is his purpose? Like Ravi, a good actor with no real connections to the show or strength as an individual to turn heads.

Lastly, just like over at GH, Y&R HAD a good Alzheimer story and they just keep draging it out way too long. Then, also, you wont see the characters all week and then they pop in and your supposed to feel for them? I want the characters around but either use them or lets wrap it up!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Timmm, is it just me or does this Nate character always look like he’s trying to pass a gall stone? Guess his meager bag of actor’s tricks has already been exhausted. We need him why, exactly? And I agree the Abbotts have been treated appallingly. Makes me sad to watch my favorite family in tatters. You know you’re in trouble when you’re rooting for Kyle to unseat perennial weakling Billy. And Nick an Phyllis behave like animals..shame on them!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Soaphound…oh, I agree. To me, NuNate ain’t cutting it for me. BEYOND BLECH!!!!!

Later.

Vanessa
Vanessa

Nick and Phyllis were HOT AS HELL! I was so thrilled that they had sex. I can not wait to see them share knowing glances and looks.

I also love that Nick asks her to join Dark Horse.

Keep up the Phyllis and Nick interaction! That’s what got me to tune back in.

Soapluv
Soapluv

Amen and Hallelujah! Leave that boring, whiny Sharon and let’s have some Phick heat and winning for a change.
Some Billy and Summer forbidden sex and rock and roll is probably next up and I’m here for it‍♂️

Ray
Ray

Amen. Love my Nick and Phyllis Nick with Sharon is like being at deaths door.

dmr
dmr

Josh, your first reaction to the mask storyline and its reveal was spot-on: “most ridiculous thing.”

K.Morrow
K.Morrow

Nick (Joshua) is smart, witty, handsome & honest… (Is that all son?….Love dad)

Eve Walsh
Eve Walsh

I have also been waiting for a s/l that takes Nick in a new direction. There have been too many stories that are stale and underuse JM and his acting range. I agree the reunion with Sharon was forced; it seems like there are only two or three romantic possibilities for him-Sharon, Phyllis or his brothers castoff. Cast a new dynamic, challenging woman for him.
I like the show lately, esp Dark Horse and Hevon. I have watched for awhile and I love the families. Bringing back Malcolm and Adam could add to the momentum.

Meg. Reddekopp
Meg. Reddekopp

The omly thing I did not like was Nick and Phyllis ,I hate her .Although I love Gina Still miss her Kelly and every one from O L T L .but I cannot stand Phyllis near Nick .I found Chelsea boring with him ,I only like him with Sharon Didnt like him with Avery either l,Love Sharon with Nick and M M s Adam .Not Dylan ,Scott was fine Didnt Like Abby with Scott ,by I love her with Arturo,Anyway I do like Nicks story as long as they keep him with Sharon !

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

Loved the Fri show today, at least the part at T.O.T,T with the Newmans and Abbotts, especially Nick and Billy’s little push and shove, and Nick’s parting “shot” at Billy.I was really cheering him on. Billy is going off the deep end again, as Nick said, always ruining every good thing he gets his hands on. I really like Billy, and wonder why they always make him such a screw-up. He will get it for sure from both Nick and Phyliss, after he defiles their baby girl. That’s one little snowflake that melted a long time ago!

Yaya
Yaya

If they do Phick again, I am done. Phyllis is not strong, she’s just a psycho that has borderline personality disorder and Nick is histrionic. JM knows how to put his foot in it in an interview because from what I can gather, he really does not like his co-star Sharon Case, he goes over and beyond to praise his other female co-stars, he appears a bit delusional when he thought Chelsea and Nick had a great situation; they had no chemistry, Nick and Sage: absolutely no chemistry. Nick and Phyllis: no chemistry with high vomit rates. Nick and Avery: some chemistry with no long term potential. It probably would have been best if JM did leave. I enjoyed the Memories Back to the 90s, but frankly his personality as a person makes me now not interested in anything he does with y&r. At this point he has become a PR nightmare for me. It has made me less likely to tune into the show although I do agree that they rushed the Shick reUnion too fast. Christian being returned back to Nick was too fast. There was a lot of drama that could have played out of that had he not been putting Saint nasty Sage on the pedestal. They should allowed him to go about 8 months before he received Christian back and then blast him with Public humiliation by outing him on GC Buzz reporting he was NOT the father…Two years later, bring Adam back with a long custody battle with him permanently losing custody rights and only having a transitional period of visitation. Then Nick should go to Sage’s grave, curse her, and tell her that she, was never the love of his life, that she was just a rebound play from Sharon lying about Summer’s paternity, and he got caught up and trapped into marrying her because of the baby that really never was his in the first place.

Cynthia
Cynthia

Yeah, i don’t like how JM said he doesn’t care what people think…I agree he thought he had Chelsea were a great couple, on what show. They were so boring…….Sharon Case makes JM’s character relevant………The chemistry between Sharon and Nick is off the charts…All of Nick’s other partners are boring……I don’t know what the beef is between he and Sharon Case, everyone is talking about it..What’s his deal?
I found Ph-ick sex scene disgusting, and deleted it..I was cheering Nick on for going after Victor until his disgusting sex act with Phyllis…Now I hope Victor wipes the floor with him… Set Sharon free, she deserves better than loser Nick!

Yaya
Yaya

I do not know what the deal is because they (Sharon Case & JM) were close and vacationed together with his wife. I don’t mind dark Nick; I think that is a great idea and I do not mind an edgy Sharon, but I am sick of people listening to JM for storyline ideas; none of the work. I am tired of Mal; UK soaps are different from US soaps-he needs to get with the US program real fast!

juli
juli

Nick and Phyllis are a perfect match

Mary young
Mary young

To me nick is just as important as Eric Braden he has grown into the show as his son and sons have there own ideas about there futures so let this new side of nick grow a change is as good asa rest

JANIE
JANIE

FRANKLY I ABSOLUTEY THE NEW DARK SIDE OF NICK AND HIS NEW BUSINESS VENTTURE DARK HORSE. I HOPE HE FINALLY PUTS NEWMAN ENT. IN THE GROUND. I HAVE NEVER BEEN OVERJOYED WITH NICK…HE NEVER STAYED WITH ONE VENTURE FOR VERY LONG. NOW HE HAS A REAL PURPOSE IN LIFE AND I’M LOVING THIS STORYLINE. AS FOR NICK AND PHYLISS…..NO NO NO! PLEASE WRITERS DO NOT GO THERE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

Didi
Didi

People need to lighten the hell up on Josh. He’s an ACTOR. God forbid he wants good story. Just because he doesn’t want to be “sitting on Sharons couch” doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Sharon Case. He obviously does, I’m sure she is like a sister. But think about it. Their characters have been back and forth with each other for practically the whole 25 years he’s been on the show. Same story over and over. What would you feel like if you were in your job for 25 years and you never had new challenges? I wanted Adam to come back more than anyone, but it’s clear now Mal isn’t going to do that. Instead he’s giving Nick Adam’s story and Josh has better material and story to do. I’m happy for him as an actor and you should be too. He’s waited long enough for some fun. Good luck Josh!

JKJ
JKJ

It’s time for Nick to grow up and not be so wishy-washy. Looks like he’s headed that way. Hope he finally gives it to Victor. Tired of Victor getting by with everything.

Donna
Donna

I think phyllis should go back to back. And back should find they made a mistake with the DNA results. Happens alot. He SHOULD be back at jabot with phyllis by his side and Billy exposed for his gambling and money loss and the jaboat!

ALEXA
ALEXA

The chemistry that Nick and Phyllis had was when Phyllis was played by the fantastic Michelle Stafford! I don’t see any chemistry at all between Nick and the current Phyllis! I would like to see Nick remain with “the love of his life” Sharon for awhile and see Phyllis back with Jack who I think is the true love of her life… I am enjoying the new smarter Nick and hope that he can succeed without being as ruthless, not caring who he hurts, egocentric and vile – like Victor! I want Nick to succeed because he is still filled with the light that is missing from his father!

Beverly Frame
Beverly Frame

I’ve watched Y&R since day one. It just gets better and better.

Interviews

Executive Producers David Michaels & David Parks Chat On The Moments That Made The 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Ceremony

The 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards are in the record books, and with it came surprising victories, emotional tearjerker moments, and a show that ended up with more heart than the fluff we often see within many entertainment award shows.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Daytime Emmy show executive producers, David Michaels (who also serves as the SR. VP Daytime Emmy Awards for NATAS) and David Parks to gain some insight on how they pulled off some of the major moments of the evening including: a surprise appearance by Amy Poehler, Kathie Lee Gifford’s daytime TV send-off, Shemar Moore’s touching tribute to the late Kristoff St. John, and of course, that Emmy-winning acceptance speech from Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek, who is currently battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

On the soap opera side, there was the long overdue win by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny), former GH star Hayley Erin (Ex-Kiki) receiving her Younger Actress award from her idol, none other than Alex Trebek, and B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy) receiving the Lead Actress trophy in a tough category of industry heavyweights.

In a year that was tumultuous for the producers and for NATAS with a threatened boycott by the network soaps, requests for more rule regulations and transparency, and the ongoing situation where the Daytime Emmys have not returned to be televised on cable or network TV, but have found success on streaming and social media platforms, we checked-in with Michaels and Parks for a Daytime Emmy post-mortem, and to get the lowdown of their thoughts on daytime’s biggest night of the year. Here’s what they shared.

Photo: NATAS/Getty

Let’s talk about some of the big moments that happened throughout the Emmy ceremony and how you pulled them off.  One, of course, is the Amy Poehler surprise as the presenter of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Judge Judy that nobody knew about.  How did you find out that Amy was a Judge Judy fan, and how did you keep her appearance a secret?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I want to just say that what a great job our co-host, Sheryl Underwood did in announcing it, because she saw the name on the teleprompter for the first time during the live show.  I was going to tell her that morning, but as she said, “If I was a bucket, I couldn’t hold water.”   So, very, very, very few people knew.   All through the scripts in the rundown, Amy was listed as “Presenter X.”   What happened was, the day after the press release about Judge Judy came out, Harlan Boll (NATAS publicist) forwarded me an email from a publicist that I didn’t know saying that he wanted to talk about his client presenting on the Emmys.   I called him, and he claimed to be Amy Poehler’s publicist, and I didn’t know him.  He said, “Amy Poehler is Judge Judy’s biggest fan.  She wants to present the award.”  The only stipulation is that it has to be a surprise.  Then, I went on IMDB-Pro, and checked him out, and he was indeed Amy’s publicist and for a lot of other celebrities, as well.   I called Judy’s people, and I said, “You’re not going to believe this,” and they went to Judy, and she just loved it.  I don’t even know why Amy wanted it to be a surprise, but we had to honor it.  It obviously would have done us more good pre-publicity-wise if it wasn’t a surprise, but we honored it.   We actually kept a secret in Hollywood!  I mean, David Parks knew, and maybe four other people.  I think that maybe what I am proudest of … keeping the secret.

Photo: NATAS

David Parks, did you think it would really happen?

DAVID PARKS:  You know, I am often a naysayer about things, but I actually did.  There was something legitimate about it once David vetted the manager.  There was really never any scare or anything that was like, “Oh, all of the sudden she’s busy.  All of the sudden she’s been offered this other thing.”   It was kind of like, it got arranged, and we didn’t have to do anything until that week, and then, we had to figure out the best place to drop her off and how to get Amy inside the venue with as few people as possible seeing her.   She could not have been nicer about it all too.  I mean, we got her to the closest spot, and nobody on my team knew.  Like David said, it was “Presenter X.”  Everybody kept asking.   I was like, “Not going to tell you.  Then, you don’t have to worry about keeping the secret.”

DAVID MICHAELS:  I was just very taken with how gentle and kind Amy was.  She looked me in the eye and actually thanked me for letting her do this.  She was so gracious and sweet.  The whole thing was just a great experience.

Courtesy/NATAS/Getty

Another memorable moment occurred at the end of the night, when Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm, Y&R and now S.W.A.T.) honored his dear friend and former on-screen Y&R brother, the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters) before announcing the winner in the Outstanding Drama Series category. Were you aware that Shemar was going to go off-script and talk about his love and respect for St. John?

DAVID MICHAELS:  Obviously, to this daytime community, Kristoff was very special.   I made him last in the In-Memoriam segment, which obviously was the most I could do as a producer, because there were over 30 other people who passed as well. Before he took the stage, Shemar came to the producers table and he said, “Are you sure?”  This was in regard to him saying a few words about Kristoff.  I said, “Shemar, as long as you say that you’re going off the script,” because he was.  There was nothing in the script.  I just said, “If you go out there and speak from the heart, I will have no problem with it, and I think that everybody will have no problem with it.”  He went out there, and he just killed it.  He was brilliant. I was sitting there at the producer’s table crying.  He destroyed me.  I think everybody really appreciated it, and I thought it was the perfect way to go into the final award.

DAVID PARKS:  I thought it was very genuine.  You can still feel his pain.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Next, you were able to get Kathie Lee Gifford to attend the Daytime Emmys to honor her.  How did that come together?  I assume she did not have a speech written when she addressed the crowd.  Kathie Lee is all about being “authentic”.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Correct, she actually had no speech written.  I saw her right before she went on, and she said, “Well, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.”  I said, “You’re supposed to go out there and be Kathie Lee.  You’re supposed to tell the community what you think of them.”  I also added, “I doubt this is the first time you’ve improvised,” and she laughed.  The result is what you saw, because she had not seen the tribute video before we played it, and the ladies of The Talk had actually asked to introduce Kathie Lee, because they adore her.

DAVID PARKS:  It really did come off well, because there was this concern about it not being a Lifetime Achievement Award(Not that she doesn’t deserve one, but that just wasn’t what it was this year.)  We were figuring out, how do you make this moment that is special without overshadowing the Lifetime Achievement Awards?  Kathie managed to do that.  I think it was her then winning in the Outstanding Informative Talk Show host category along with Hoda Kotb that really made it one of the most talked about moments of the show.

That award was positioned after Kathie Lee’s tribute, correct?

DAVID PARKS:  Yes, and on purpose, because in the case that she doesn’t win, you don’t want her out there kind of bumming out about it.  In all of these moments you have mentioned, the serendipity of it worked out really nicely for us.  Judy got honored, and unfortunately for her she didn’t win, but it didn’t destroy the moment.  In Kathie Lee’s case, it elevated the moment.

Courtesy/NATAS

Talking about serendipity, with Amy, Kathie Lee, Shemar, and Alex, it was almost like an organic perfect storm, and the next day people were talking about the Daytime Emmys in the mainstream press more than they had in recent years.

DAVID PARKS:  You picked up on this inclination that you have to fight sometimes to entertain, entertain, and entertain.  I think this year kind of proved that you don’t have to throw out the dog and pony show. It kind of works that you honor people, and they come out and they give these heartfelt speeches, and those mean more than those extra segments – whether it’s song or dance, or jokes, and you can tell the things that we cut out this year.  I think what it’s all about is …  getting awards, giving awards, and honoring people for their achievements.

How do you feel your co-hosts, Sheryl Underwood (The Talk) and Mario Lopez (EXTRA) did this year?  You seem to like this pairing as you have had them back multiple times now.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I thought it was Sheryl’s best year.  We didn’t give Sheryl big comedy moments, but everything she did felt so heartfelt and right.  They were there throughout the show.  They got their moments.  They got their beginning, middle, and they got their end.

DAVID PARKS:  I think as producers there was a little bit of a gift in watching what happened with the Oscars this year because it actually showed, (I mean, I’m sure it’s not what they wanted initially) not having a host kind of stream-lined that show.  People were like, “Yeah, the Oscars were pretty good this year.”  We talked about that a lot.  We don’t need to over think this.  It’s already been proven what happens if we don’t give as much to our hosts.

Photo: NATAS

Let’s talk about Alex Trebek.  That was such a huge moment when he accepted his award; winning Outstanding Game Show Host, and when he took the stage to present the Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series award.  I heard he wasn’t not feeling well at all at the ceremonies, as we all knew he is battling stage four pancreatic cancer.

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know Alex pretty well.  So, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well; even though that wasn’t what he was putting forth.  It’s interesting though because Alex originally told us he wanted to stay backstage the whole time, but once he got to the ceremony that was not what he wanted to do.  So, Alex was in the audience, and he actually surprised me.  In a similar way to what I said to Shemar.  I said, “When Alex gets out there, he’s going to get a standing ovation,” which he did, and that was the moment when I said, “Alex, if you want to say something, go ahead,” and he didn’t.  I was shocked.  He just came out and presented the Younger Actress award.  So, if Alex had not won, he never would have said anything because that’s when he got the emotion in and all of that.  He definitely took a chance.

So, Alex presents ‘Younger Actress’ and made Hayley Erin’s (Ex-GH) life, because when I did my interview with her backstage, all she talked about is what this meant to have her idol, Alex Trebek hand her the award.  Talk about serendipity!  Now, when Alex accepted his award for Outstanding Game Show Host, did you have any idea what he was going to say, because coming out of the Emmys, people were buzzing about what he shared on-stage.

DAVID MICHAELS:  No, and quite honestly, I got scared when he started that speech when he was saying he didn’t want a sympathy vote, but that’s Alex.  He will totally bring it, and then turn it around.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID PARKS:  There was a side thing that you probably didn’t know about.  We got approached by a guy looking to buy fan tickets, but they had a group who needed ADA (Americans with Disabilities) seating.   It turned out be a group of cancer patients who were terminal.  The group was SayYEStoHOPE.org.  They weren’t asking for anything.  They just wanted to be able to sit together. So, we comped them all.  I’m at the red carpet, and this group is coming up the stairs, and one of the guys from the venue says to me, “This is the ‘Say Yes to Life’ group.”  So, I start talking to them, and one of the women just had chemo that day, and they were so excited to be at the Daytime Emmys, but what they were really excited about was to see Alex Trebek.  I wish there had been a way to either acknowledge them, or to let Alex know,  because they are big Daytime television fans,  but Alex meant so much to them in terms of being a cancer survivor, and a cancer patient, just like them.

Were you worried about Alex on Emmy night?

DAVID PARKS:  I thought he looked pretty good considering what I knew he had been going through.  It was actually this past week when I read about how on Jeopardy, he was doubled over in pain on the floor.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Yeah, if you saw that CBS Sunday Morning interview, it was pretty extreme, and they showed a clip from our show, by the way.  Similar to what David described with Judge Judy and Amy, Alex stood by the monitor to see if Jeopardy was going to win, which it didn’t, and Alex was just like, “Okay,” and off he went, and I got a big hug.  Just knowing him, I think he put out a lot of energy to be there, but I think he was glad to do it.

Courtesy/NATAS

Let’s move on to another amazing moment which was General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) finally winning his second Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor.  The crowd went crazy!  What did you think about how that happened . … and the fact that Maurice didn’t have a speech prepared?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I honestly believe Maurice that he didn’t think he was going to win.  It’s been many years since he had, and I also didn’t think that any of the other nominees could complain about losing an award to Maurice, because he’s the king.  He kept saying he couldn’t cry up there, and then, he cried up on-stage.  It really was about doing the Alzheimer’s storyline with Max Gail (Mike, GH) who totally reminds Maurice of his real father, and then, to have Max win as well, I just think it was a very emotional moment for him, and it was beautiful.

DAVID PARKS:  What impressed me is that often times you think actors should be so good at giving speeches, and they’re horrible at it because it’s not scripted.  So, when somebody does give one, and it’s really heartfelt and all of that, it’s really refreshing.  It’s kind of nice, especially on such a big award.

Photo: NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  In addition, Kyler Pettis (Ex-Theo, Days) win for Younger Actor in a Drama Series, was one of the most emotional things I have ever seen.  For years, I have been impressed with his portrayal of the high-functioning autistic young man.  It was always very moving to me.  If you watched the show and the close-up on him when they called his name, Kyler immediately was crying.  It really moved me.  I spoke to him the next day at The Talk, and he was completely blown away.  I just don’t think he thought this was going to happen.

What went into the decision to make the opening number “Sing!”?  Obviously, a big part of that was you were celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sesame Street.  And, I hear Mario Lopez’s son got to see the Muppets backstage, up close and personal?

DAVID MICHAELS: They always say don’t work with children and animals – but we did it – children – a dog – and two Muppets!  The dog – of course was Q-Tip – the shelter dog who came on with Lucky Dog’s Brandon McMillan. The kids were mostly from a community theatre production of MATILDA – and Joely Fisher connected us.  They included one of Joely’s daughters, Rebecca Romijn’s twins and Gary Busey’s son!  It was my concept and our musical director’s arrangement.  I thought it would be a great, positive way to start the evening.  It is always a joy to work with the Muppets – and Ryan and Leslie who do Elmo and Abby are amazing.  When Mario’s son, Nico, came in, I wanted to be careful to not shatter any illusions – so I took him over to the Muppets and he stared at them and he whispered to me: “Are they real”?  I said “Of course they are – just like you see them on TV.”  Nico says, “Can they talk?” I  say, “Of course they can.”  Then, Nico says, “Does someone have to help them talk?”  Now I am nervous and I pause, “Well … what do you think?”  He says, “I think they have some help”  Then,  he walked around back and saw the puppeteers.  The most adorable sweet child on the planet!

Photo: NATAS

There was a lot of behind the scenes drama and difficulties in the months prior to the Emmys; including the independent investigation, requests for more transparency in the awards system, the four soaps potentially boycotting, etc.  When you look back at what it took to get here, how do you feel about the outcome?

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve used this analogy a couple of times already, and I’m not a woman, but I think this is kind of what childbirth must be like.  The pain of it is so great that you think, “We can’t get through this,” and “Never again,” and afterwards, you see the baby, and all of the pain goes away.  You’re like, “Hey, we did it, and it worked.  It was really good.  It was enjoyable.”  I think, as a producer, you don’t really want people to know the difficulties.  If people understand the difficulties of getting to that night, you’ve probably done something wrong.  At the same time, I’m the last guy to crave attention, but for the people who were aware of the challenges that we had this year to see what we’ve pulled off, and when they say, “Holy cow.  Your set, your show, the smoothness…”  that is gratifying. You know, the stuff people are experiencing in the audience or the stuff that they see on the screen is what ultimately matters.  You learn from the mistakes, but at the end of the day, as long as that experience is good for the nominees, the winners, and the fans, that is what really counts.

People always want to know how it goes backstage with the handling of the envelopes.  Do you have it plotted out so that nobody except the accountants knows the winners until the big moment on-stage?  How does that work?

DAVID PARKS:  So, this year we actually had two accountants backstage.  The envelope went from the hand of the accountant to the hand of the stage manager, who then gave it to our trophy people, who give it to the presenter.  We had our fancy, new envelopes which everybody seemed to like, but literally, nobody on the staff even touched the envelopes this year.

Photo: NATAS

It seems like you have built-in a failsafe to minimize any potential complaints.

DAVID PARKS:  People always can, I guess.  It’s always been completely above board, but this year it was just even another step.  It’s important because the integrity of the awards is important.  I laugh a little bit, when somebody thinks they know if they are going to win or not because they’re trying to read something into the position of a camera in the audience.  We even added steps with how we shot it.  We told our cameramen, “Hold your shot for like 5 seconds after the announcement has been made.  So, even though your person isn’t getting up, we don’t want you to relax.”  We don’t want the person to think they’re not going to win.  The worst thing that will happen is somebody thinks they’re not going to win like a half a second before the announcement, it’s not a life-altering thing, but we still want to make the experience perfect for all nominees.

DAVID MICHAELS:  Our director Greg Gelfand, I think is the best in the business.  This is all a big pain in the butt for him.  He’s just trying to direct a show, but he was totally with us.  Greg said, “Okay, you’ve got it.”  The cameramen were great, and Greg was great.   Again, I’ll say for the 8 millionth time, I don’t know who is going to win.  It was very exciting and it was very surprising.

DAVID PARKS:  I always tell people that if anybody wanted to have proof that we don’t know in advance, all they have to do is watch David’s reaction at the producer’s table.  We find out at the same time as everybody else, and he’s like, “Oh, my God!  They won!?  That is an upset.  You don’t understand, Dave.  That is like an upset.”

Courtesy/NATAS

DAVID MICHAELS:  I know the soaps more than David does, but I’m like a little boy back there when I see who is winning.  I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  The accountants sometimes will look at me like, “Did I do something wrong? (Laughs)  Look, there’s not much more we can do.  I was very proud.  I was very proud of the presenters, and I thought it was a great mix of all of the genres and the whole industry, and everybody was great in their own unique way.  There was some new blood at the show presenting and with the winners.

DAVID PARKS:  I have to interject my half into the little bit of love fest for David, because if there is one thing I think I hammered on David more than anything else this year was that we have to shorten the show.  The difference between three hours and three and a half hours or three hours and twenty minutes, is a huge difference.  I kept pushing David to simplify, to come up with simpler ways, or less verbose ways to do presentations, and he rose to the occasion, and before the show, he was like, “I’ve got to tell you, I don’t think I could have made this any shorter,” and I went through the script and there really was so little that could have been trimmed.  David really did a great job of answering the call and writing something that got us through a lot faster than last year.  We got a lot of comments after that said it didn’t feel like three hours.  Part of that was that it wasn’t three hours and thirty minutes.  It was actually three hours.

DAVID MICHAELS:   David Parks is the perfect foil for me and me for him.  Because we are so different, we don’t fight, but we will have words sometimes, and one of us will win, but it’s always the right decision.  One of the reasons I love working with him so much is that if he is giving me a hard time about something, there is a reason for it, and I have to really consider what he is saying.  I think that is a really healthy way to work.

Photo: JPI Studios

What would you like to see happen for the next Daytime Emmy Awards presentation?

DAVID MICHAELS:  I’d love for somebody to give us a million dollars so that we can do the most lavish show in the world.  I’d love to keep the heart going.   The one bad thing about finishing a good show is that you always take a breath and say, “Now … what do we do next time?”

DAVID PARKS:  For me, it’s that you always want to keep shows like this fresh.  It doesn’t always mean completely reinventing the wheel, but sometimes, you step back, and you think, “What can we do to freshen this up so that it’s not just a repeat?”  That can have to do with the set.   You just have to look at everything and also recognize that the best moments, as we learned this year, you can’t manufacture those.  They’re just going to happen organically.  So, you just have to create a show that allows those moments to happen, and like David said, money solves problems.  We will certainly be looking for additional sponsorship, and to build on the great ratings that we’ve had this year, and the fact that we have continued to build this event up over the years.

Courtesy/NATAS

Would you ever consider, or continue to try to get the ceremony back on TV, perhaps even on daytime television, if some network would offer you a spot to do it in?

DAVID MICHAELS:  There is nothing we wouldn’t consider.   Although I will say; that if the numbers are what we think they were this year, there were probably more than three times as many viewers as the last time we were on television.

DAVID PARKS:  I’ve always said that if they were to be on TV again, if they were to be on during the day, which is when our fans are watching TV anyway, it would make sense,  However, I have to say that I think the Daytime Emmys being at sort of the forefront of digital television puts us way out in front.  Eventually, this is how everybody is going to be watching TV.  It’s not going to be like, “Oh, we’re not on basic, terrestrial TV.”  It doesn’t matter.

DAVID MICHAELS:  You’ve got to realize that this audience is worldwide.  Being on television is not.  So, when you see that people are watching all over the world, that’s pretty amazing.

So, what did you think about what David & David shared about decisions made for the Emmy ceremony and the backstage tidbits?  How would you score this year’s Daytime Emmys? What was your favorite moment within it? Comment below.

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General Hospital

Steve Burton Interview – General Hospital – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

On the red carpet at the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) chats with Michael Fairman.

During their conversation, Steve weighs-in on the nominated scenes of Laura Wright’s which also featured him, and the friendship of Jason and Carly, plus how he told Maurice Benard (Sonny) that he had to submit himself in the Lead Actor category; an award in which Maurice won that night.

Later, Burton laughs as Michael reveals that in his recent interview with Coby Ryan McLaughlin (Shiloh), the actor said that he can and wants to take down the character of Jason; to which Steve rebutted here that it ain’t going to happen.

Finally. Steve talks on the success of his road show and podcast with buddy and castmate, Bradford Anderson (Spinelli)

Watch the interview below. Then let us know, do you like the scenes between  Jason and Carly? Do you want Shiloh or Jason to have the upper hand in their rivalry? Comment below.

For more red carpet and backstage interviews from the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Interview – Days of our Lives – 46th Annual Daytime Emmys Red Carpet

Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati chats with Michael Fairman on the red carpet at the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Carlivati and his writing team were nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series; an award they won last year.

Ron reveals to Michael that the reels submitted in the writing category were different than those submitted for Outstanding Drama Series; with the writing submissions centering around Marlena (Deidre Hall) and John’s (Drake Hogestyn) wedding and her shooting … and then the aftermath in the hospital where Marlena’s children and John have to say goodbye to her fearing she will not pull through her medical crisis.

Later, Carlivati discusses how he has become more firmly entrenched in the land of Salem after being an ABC Daytime guy for most of his life; following writing for One Life to Live and General Hospital.

Watch the interview below.  Then let us know, what did you think of Ron’s choice for the writing award? Should DAYS have toppled Y&R on the strength of those reels? Comment below.

For more 46th annual Daytime Emmy Red Carpet and backstage interviews visit the Michael Fairman Channel here.

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

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