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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

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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Interviews

Y&R’s Jason Thompson Talks On: The Self-Destructive Billy Abbott, Victoria, Phyllis, And Katie’s Disappearance

As February sweeps kicks in to high gear on The Young and the Restless, Billy Abbott (Jason Thompson) and his ex-wife, Victoria Newman (Amelia Heinle) are once again in each other’s orbit.  First, Billy was not too happy to learn that his nemesis, Cane Ashby (Daniel Goddard) shared some passionate kisses with her.  In fact, he went running to Cane’s imprisoned wife. Lily (Christel Khalil), to give her the lowdown.  Next, their child, Katie has gone MIA, but as viewers saw on Friday’s cliffhanger she is somehow heard singing through the walls at the Newman Ranch. Previously, Katie said she was playing with an imaginary friend, but someone is lurking around and watching the Newmans every move!

And let’s not forget, Summer (Hunter King) is back in Genoa City!  The last time she hit town she all but destroyed Billy – his gambling addiction returned, she tried to seduce him, and he slept with her as revenge against Phyllis for her having sex with Nick (Joshua Morrow), and we could go on!  After all the hurt, and the dissolution of their relationship, Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Billy are not seeing eye to eye on much, but saying they will try to work together.  Can they?

To fill us in on all the drama, Jason Thompson chatted with Michael Fairman TV and weighed-in on: the future for Villy, Philly, what he has learned from working on two major soaps; General Hospital, where he played the popular Dr. Patrick Drake, and Y&R, his thoughts on his recent Daytime Emmy Pre-Nomination in the Lead Actor category in what was a banner year of storyline for him in 2018, and much more.

Insightful, driven, and talented, Jason is one of the standouts in our genre.  Check out what he had to share below.

What did you think about the plot point that had Billy going to visit Lily in prison, and once there, he informs her that her husband, Cane has been kissing on Victoria!?

JASON:  What I think about it is somewhat irrelevant.  It wasn’t hard for me to rationalize it.  In the moment, Billy was hurt and pissed off.  He is irrational sometimes.  Once he got to the prison, I think he second-guessed himself.  Lily did a pretty good job of convincing him that she needs to know what is going on in order to just live in a certain amount of truth in this situation.  Billy felt that it would be worse for her wondering what was going on on the outside without knowing the truth.  I think that in that moment, he was convinced that telling her the truth was the right thing.  There was a part of him that wanted to get back at Cane, and when Billy gets hurt, he seems to lash out a bit and then sometimes he kind of recoils.  Could he have let it go?  Probably.  I think it’s an interesting thing for Lily and Billy’s relationship; to be honest.  Billy has always respected Lily.  I think that he’s always looked at Lily as someone who does the right thing, and was a good wife, and a good mother, and all of those things.  He thinks that she is in a rough place and wanted to offer her a little bit of support, and that’s the way that he did it.

Photo: JPI Studios

Where do you think the show can go now with his relationship with Cane?  They have been contentious all this time, anyway, and now this has happened.   How do you think this will resolve, or would it ever resolve?

JASON:  I think it’s one of the most interesting relationships Billy hasI don’t know that it will ever resolve.  I don’t know that Billy thinks too much about Cane either way, but in saying that,  there is still no one that can get under his skin and quickly!  In an instant, Cane can be Billy’s enemy and I think that’s great.  I always think there is story for Billy and Cane.  In our working relationship as well, I think we both get a different energy out of each other that inevitably ends up in the characters.  That’s always fun.

Photo:” JPI

How does Billy feel about Victoria now?  She’s been struggling since her relationship with J.T., making out with Cane, etc. 

JASON:  Billy does have feelings for VictoriaI think it’s a number of things that contributes to this.  I think it’s where he finds himself in his life.  He has been kind of hurt by the woman he loved (Phyllis).  He had everything for a moment that he wanted … he had the job, he had the girl, and if he had just done the right thing and had a little bit more self-control, he probably would have been in the best place of his life.  So, when all of those things get pulled away, the one constant is just when he goes to see his kids and they smile, and they don’t know what’s going on in the outside world.  I think the only people who don’t judge him are probably the kids.  There’s something really comfortable about that situation.  No matter what happens, there’s always going to be a little something with Victoria.  She’s always very supportive (not that she hasn’t been very, very upset with him, at times), but there is always something about their relationship that will keep him wondering if they should be together.  I think it will probably be like that for the rest of their lives.

Billy is still unaware that Victoria, Nikki, Phyllis and Sharon are all part of a cover-up in J.T.’s murder.  How aware is Billy in the depths of the abuse Victoria suffered at the hands of J.T.?

JASON:  There was never really a big realization about how dramatic, hurtful, and volatile the whole situation was.  It was a shock to hear all of that obviously, but he has no idea about the depths of it all.

Photo: CBS

If he found out, how do you think he would react knowing what Victoria had gone through?

JASON:  I think he would probably want to kick him again and then re-bury him. Billy has got a lot of flaws, but there is one thing that he will do, and that is always stand up for his family, and that includes Victoria.

Currently, it is just devastating for Billy when Katie goes missing.   He’s like, “I can’t go through this again after what happened with Delia,” and I know you didn’t play the Delia material, because you weren’t on the show at that time.  However, this does give you the opportunity to tap into all of that.

JASON:  Yes!  I mean, that is his biggest fear … going through all of that again.  I think that he would rather not be on the planet than go through all of that again.  What happened to Delia is never going to ever leave him.  I can’t imagine that something like that ever really does.  You just deal with it on a daily basis probably, and things come up, and you feel it all over again, and this is one of those moments.

Courtesy/CBS

I think that you being a father of two children now in your own life; really gives you a perspective when you play these things types of emotions and scenes out.

JASON:  Definitely.  Peter Bergman (Jack) and I were having a conversation about how much life and living, and trying to live a full life, really helps you with your acting.  I work really hard on my craft, but the most important thing that I can do for my work and my career is live a full life.  With the kids and everything else in my personal life, that to me is something that I can always draw upon.  It’s hard to even let myself go there sometimes, because of how scary it would be.  But yeah, I think Billy is not far off from that.  That character has a lot of life and is tied to this volcano and it’s just waiting to erupt, and that eruption is good and full of liveliness fear, and anger.  Some of that comes from hurt, and some of that comes from pain, and some of that comes from a good time, and some of that comes from addiction, and it makes it fun for me because there’s always something to play.  When I talk about what I think of a particular story line, I don’t think of it as, “Oh, I would never do this,” or “I would never do that.  That doesn’t make any sense.”  I try and make sense of everything.  That’s my job.  I just try to find a reason why Billy would be in that situation; instead of trying to find a reason why he wouldn’t be.

Photo: JPI Studios

Would you say that the situation with Katie will draw Victoria and Billy closer together?  At the end of Friday’s episode, they hear Katie’s voice in the wall, so they know she is alive.

JASON:  I think so.  One step up is often two steps back with them, but they are always connected in that way.  The kids do that, and what they’ve been through in the past, and like you said, I wasn’t necessarily there for a lot of that, but it’s in this character.  I would never say never with Victoria.

Photo: CBS

So, where is Billy at with Phyllis?  You and Gina Tognoni played that coupling to the hilt and the show separated them.  Major romances are never really ‘done, done’ on soaps.

JASON:  I mean, it only gets worse with Phyllis.  I’ll say that.  They’re not in a good place.   We have gone through some changes behind the scenes.  So, I have no idea what is happening as far as storyline.  I think there is always going to be something unresolved with Phyllis, but that’s the good thing about this kind of stuff.  You can put these two people together when you have two actors who kind of embrace it, and work at it, and have a natural chemistry, which in turn helps the characters have chemistry.  When Gina and I talk about what we did and accomplished with our characters, to be honest, it’s a little bit of a bummer that they are kind of apart right now, because we had a lot of fun.  We really enjoyed working with each other.  We felt like there was a lot more there to continue to explore, but like you said, it’s never over.  As far as the way that he sees Phyllis … it’s interesting.  I think as an outsider, he kind of looks at her as a selfish person who is going to get and grab whatever she wants, but I feel like he does understand her differently than other people do.  I think he’s looking at Nick and Phyllis and shaking his head like, “You can’t be serious.” (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI

You have had quite a gold mine of leading ladies in your daytime career from: Kimberly McCullough (Robin) to Kelly Monaco (Sam) while you portrayed Dr, Patrick Drake on General Hospital, to Gina and Amelia at Y&R.  I have to say that of all of the leading men on daytime, I think you’ve had consistently some major romantic kickass scene partners.  What are your thoughts on that?

JASON:  Yeah, I have been very fortunate.  I can go back thirteen years now and talk about how much Kimberly helped me out in the beginning, and how patient, and impatient (laughs) she was in a lot of ways.  Kimberly taught me a lot about how the business is, and to hold onto your values, and that it is very important to collaborate with your directors, and your writers, and your producers, and with other people that you work with.  You then see new things.  I’m constantly seeing things in other characters where I’m like, “That would be really interesting to shine a light on.”   I think there’s something really interesting about Sharon (Sharon Case) and Billy.  I think Billy could bring something out in Sharon that somebody else can’t.  That’s what is exciting for me as an actor – trying to find something different and trying to bring life that is not necessarily there yet.  I have had a lot of trust from writers, from producers, and from networks.  I have been very fortunate in that way.

Hunter King has returned to Y&R as Summer.  She played havoc in Billy’s life her last go-round.  I know now she is currently after Kyle (Michael Mealor) and not after Billy, but does Billy blame her at all for his spiral back into his gambling addiction?

JASON:  Realistically, if  Billy were really being dead honest about it and trying to really work soberly in his life, he would say there’s nobody to blame but himself.  There’s definitely that conversation that could be had between them about the situation that they found themselves in.  They both hurt each other pretty badly, and the people surrounding them.  I think there is probably a little bit of blame that can go around on both of them, but I don’t think he really sits back and blames her for falling back into addiction.  She might have been one of the triggers, but I think that he was really responsible for that.

Congratulations on your Daytime Emmy Pre-Nom in the Lead Actor category!  It’s quite a talented group of ten actors that made it through to the final round of competition. You certainly had a stellar year of material!

JASON:  I had a ton of great storylines last year, and it just kind of kept going, and kept going One thing I will say that really helped me out is my relationship with Mal Young (Ex- EP and head writer, Y&R).  We got along really well.  He helped me out by letting me know six months ahead of time where we planned on going with the story.  So, I was able to understand and slowly build the depths of hurt, and the gambling, and how it got further along, and the lies.   I was able to understand where we were going and the plateau that we needed to get to, which was very helpful for me. I worked with amazing people constantly; every day was like something different.  The hard part in this next round of voting is trying to find something that represents the whole year.  When I look at that list of pre-nominees, I’m proud of the work that daytime actors do … everybody from a little bit of a younger guy like Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS) to icons like Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) , and Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH).  What Maurice brought to my life as an actor and still does has been wonderful, and on the other side of that you’ve got Peter Bergman, who is like a real brother to me now, and we’re really close.  It’s a nice comradery between everybody in the category.  It’s a great group of people to be included with, and aside from the competition part of it, that’s the really cool part.

Photo Credit: JPI

So, let’s talk about your on-screen, mom, Jess Walton (Jill).  I’ve heard you say publicly how much you really like working with her, and she with you.  What can you say about when you do get some scenes with Jess, and get to play that mother-son relationship?

JASON:  That’s another one that you can loop in with all of the other women I’ve worked with.  It’s a different kind of relationship, but talk about a soap icon! Jess Walton is right up there.  She’s a pro, and she’s got this little girl inside that is the sweetest thing alive, and her little giggle.  I can say that relationship is just there with her.  I would love for her to be there more.  If there’s one person that can tell Billy to just, you know what, she’s somebody that can give him a little whipping, and he’d be like, “Okay mom, you’re right.” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Finally, you are on this juggernaut of a show that just celebrated yet another milestone, 30 years at #1.  You go from a historic show like GH, to another here at Y&R that keeps celebrating these milestones that nobody will ever overtake.  All of this has to be a ‘pinch yourself’ moment for you?

JASON:  Yeah, I definitely pinch myself.  I think at this moment, all four soaps that are left are having monumental anniversaries and celebrations, because the truth of it is, it’s really incredible what soaps have done in our history.  With playing Patrick on General Hospital, I still look back on that time and that character, and am just so grateful that I was able to bring him to life.  Every once and awhile I wonder what Patrick’s doing.  On the other end of that, to come over to Y&R with a show that is now 30 years at number #1, and the pride that they have, and the support that they have from the network, there’s a real kind of challenge that we have in order to keep that up.  It is not about the slogans, or the glitzy ad campaigns in the magazines that say, “Hey!  We are #1 for 30 years.”  While that’s very important, what’s more important are the people who have gotten us there for the last thirty years.  We have to show them respect by doing the best that we can and continue that. That’s what drives us. You can feel it in the building.  To take on a character like Billy, who has been a part of that for a very long time, there is a pressure that comes with that, but at the same time, there is an excitement of taking on this character and continuing to make him relevant, and a part of this great soap’s history.

So, do you want Billy to end up with Victoria, Phyllis, perhaps Sharon, or someone else? Who do you think has got Katie and is watching the Newmans?  Are you rooting for Jason to receive a Lead Actor nomination for his work on Y&R in 2018?  What do you think about the other sentiments shared by Jason in this interview, and what was your favorite part of our discussion? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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