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Y&R’s Susan Walters and Michael Mealor Talk On: Diane and Kyle’s Mother/Son Reunion, Working Together, and Returning to Genoa City

Photos: CBS and JPI

At the end of Friday’s episode of The Young and the Restless, Diane Jenkins and Kyle Abbott come face-to-face as the highly-anticipated mother and son reunion is about to take place.  As in any juicy cliffhanger on the soaps, viewers will have to wait till Monday to see how it all plays.

In the meantime, their portrayers, Susan Walters (Diane) and Michael Mealor (Kyle), chatted with Michael Fairman for an exclusive conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel discuss the enormity of the big scenes, working together for the first time, and both returning to the number-one rated soap after time away from it.

Photo: JPI

Walters, who recently returned to the role of the ‘back-from-the-dead’ Diane after two decades away, details how the noted bad girl just might try to win back the son she abandoned for all of these years, and just what is Diane’s present state of mind.  Will she go back to her deceitful and manipulative ways to have her son and now her grandson, Harrison, in her life? Is she sincere? What’s up her sleeve?

Michael Mealor talks fondly of working again with his on-screen father, Peter Bergman (Jack) and how he will also be integral to the storyline, plus how nervous he was his first day back to the set and the weight of the scenes involving both Bergman, who reveals to Kyle that his mother is alive and wants to see him, to his confrontation with Diane.

Photo: JPI

During the interview, Walters and Mealor also share their thoughts on the fan reactions to their returns.  For Mealor, many viewers were devastated in the summer of 2021, when Kyle was written off the show and Michael went off-contract.  But now in 2022, Kyle is set to be front and center, along with the upcoming return of his on-screen wife, Summer (who will now be played by Allison Lanier).

Photo: JPI

In addition, Susan’s chats on her soap beginnings when she played Lorna Forbes on ABC’s Loving, how her husband Linden Ashby (Ex-Cameron, Y&R) runs lines with her and does a terrific Victor Newman impression, and more.

Photo: JPI

Watch the full interview with Susan and Michael below, followed by the final moments of Friday’s Y&R cliffhanger, and the latest promo for the CBS daytime drama series.

Then let us know, do you think Diane will find away into Kyle’s heart? What do you happens for Diane and Kyle in story?  Let us know in the comment section.

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I just can’t get to the “why” of this decision to resurrect Diane or the purpose of her possibly reconciling with Kyle. I doubt they’re going to be playing happy families so it must be that the evil Diane is still afoot. Do we really need that? We’ve had perfectly good vixens in the past (like Hilary) that they’ve dispatched so why this boring, colorless character? Someone explain it to me like I’m five. That said, I’m thrilled to see gorgeous and talented Mr. Mealor back in town. I’m hoping for a possible friendship with Noah…he needs a buddy. Or a job with Adam at Newman Media working with Sally again? Not likely but one can dream.

I’m so glad to have Diane back on the show , she shouldn’t have been killed off. And also very happy to have Michael Mealor in the show. I hope the show continues to focus on the Newmans and Abbotts . If we could have one more bad girl on the show that would be great . I vote for Tara or Gloria . (Make Gloria a villain not comedy

No way! Diane is a menace to Genoa City. I liked the other one better though. Such a waste of airtime. They let Rey go, then bring boring Diane, Ally, and Tessa’s sister!

I never liked Diane Jenkins when she was the bad girl. I don’t disbelieve nor do I care if she’s changed. For the most part I find Kyle boring, so maybe his mother and new Summer will give him some substance. First thing I’d do if I was him is get that poor little boy’s hair cut, reminds me of Chance. You can’t even see his cute little face. Yes, I know the curly blond hair is beautiful, but I just don’t like it on a boy his age.

Oh Violet, that poor little boy…are they making him a junior Fabio? What’s going on with that hair..a toddler version of the Biblical Samson? I do like Kyle without Summer; they’re one of those couples that just don’t generate sparks anymore. I’m hoping we’ll see more of Kyle in the boardroom, not the bedroom.

Soaphound
As I said in another post, Kyle kind of bores me. Don’t know exactly what it is. Maybe I expect him to start singing at any moment, he really reminds me of Buble`. I betcha he’ll give his mother a chance. I hope her change is real and not a con. I do not see Summer going along with this at all, especially with Phyllis bad mouthing Diane all the time. I know in the soap world this happens all the time but in reality I’ve never seen a person change completely.

Love Kyle and Summer, and the little boy is precious, long hair is very popular right now, my two nephews have it. So whatever!

Violet…I wasn’t watching Y&R when Diane was the “bad girl.” What did she do that was so bad? Yes, let the little boy have at least a summer haircut.

rose
It would take too much space here. If you can try and GOOGLE Diane Jenkins and settle in for a good read. She’s done everything imaginable to so many citizens of G.C, Jack, Victor with whom she married, stole his sperm where it got switched when she and Nicki were fighting over it and she wound up getting Jack’s little swimmers, aka,Kyle.As I said, so much to learn about this gal.

Just Google it, so much to write, wasn’t it enough though, that She faked her death and left Kyle?

Bad? She was evil, she did to a child something that should never happen, a parent leaving, especially how close Kyle was to her. She is a narcissist.

I always liked Susan Walters. Loved her as Lorna in Loving. Hope she is treated well this turn in Genoa City. I am no fan of implausible resurrections despite their acceptance as a daytime storytelling device. I try to regard this all as another well-meaning attempt to right the wrongs of Bill Bell’s daughter-in-law. It’s tough to build a strong Abbott family when so many… Colleen, Delia, Keemo… are killed or written out. Not to mention husbands (Brad), wives, in-laws, and extended family (Theo). It’s important to keep Kyle strong for the future. Not sure I like him bring a dad but it keeps lineage going and opens door for Tara to come back one day. (Yes, please cut the kid’s hair!)

Well, things are moving right along with this most recent reunion, come back to life with Diane and all her haters including Phyllis who saw her and Michael together today. This woman reminds me of a feral cat, ready to attack at any moment. I thought I read somewhere that she was leaving Y&R. Even if she does, Iam sure she’ll leave lots of destruction in her wake. I have not decided if I believe Diane’s story yet. Sounds too good to be true, just like Santa Claus.

Phyllis isn’t going anywhere! I don’t blame Phyllis, I hate Diane too. I still say Victor has Michael watching Diane.

Thought the wedding looked fun and was well done, really not over-the top. Diane looks familiar but have no idea what those far-reaching evil deeds are beyond the obvious. The actress appears to have a lot of talent and stage presence.

Wish Jack had not allowed himself to be seduced and remain neutral regarding his new granddaughter. Too obvious and too immediate to link her with Noah.

Feel a broad distribution of players has been mapped, and they are awaiting their directions; or rather, we are.

Interviews

Y&R’s Michelle Stafford Talks on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, Allison Lanier, and ‘Pacific Palisades’ with Finola Hughes

It has been 20-years since daytime dynamo, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) of The Young and the Restless, has captured the Daytime Emmy for her continued outstanding performances. She previously won Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1997 and Outstanding Lead Actress in 2004, and along the way has amassed 12 nominations for her work.

Now, Stafford finds herself in a crowded field of women going for gold at the upcoming 51st annual Daytime Emmys to be handed out on Friday, June 7th on CBS. Nominated along with Michelle in this year’s Lead Actress race are: Finola Hughes (Anna, GH), Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B), Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B), Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH) and Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS).

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Michelle about her nominated scenes, her on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier being recognized for the first time in her career for her work as Summer, and her enduring friendship with Finola Hughes; which dates all the way back to when they were co-stars on the 1997 primetime soap opera, Pacific Palisades. 

Photo: JPI

Michelle participated in the Michael Fairman Channel’s 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nomination Special last Friday, where she chatted with us and the fans live to celebrate her nomination along with several other actors. Here’s what Michelle shared on these key topics below.

Photo: JPI

What scenes did you submit, and what about those scenes did you think showcased you as an actress for the Lead Actress competition?

MICHELLE:
I went from the beginning of Phyllis’ spin out, to her pleading to be exonerated. The thing that I liked is it showed what I do love about the character of Phyllis, and that is that she is dark. She can be very dark and really fierce, but then very broken. I liked that it showed all of that. I had some scenes with Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) that I started with that weren’t really meant to be as intense as they were, but they ended up being very intense. Basically, Phyllis is talking to her friends and no one believes her about this woman, Diane (Susan Walters). No one believes her and she has no friends and no one wants to know her. She’s become the villain, and it showed her just complete frustration. Then, there is this scene. It was so funny because Phyllis is like in Diane’s face going, “You’re afraid of me.” And then, I got up in her face and Phyllis goes, “and you should be afraid of me.” I’m watching it going, “Bitch, I’m afraid of you!” And then, at the end of my reel, she is just so broken talking to the judge.

Photo: JPI

Your on-screen daughter, Allison Lanier, scored her first Daytime Emmy nomination and in the highly-competitive Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama series category. What are your thoughts on Allison?

MICHELLE: Allison worked so hard last year. She works hard all the time. She’s so great. I’m so happy for her because she’s just a very focused, hardworking actress. I think, she really has a great look and she’s just fantastic. I feel just so rich in that Hunter King played my daughter for so many years, and now I have Allison.  You know, Allison came into the story when my character was really jacked up and very adversarial and fighting with Summer all the time. I think it was a little daunting for Allison, but she got it. This is daytime, and you have to get on the express train. It’s moving. You either jump on or you don’t get on. Not every actor can do it. It’s a special technique and I think that’s what we all love about it, because that’s the challenge to actually put out something somewhat decent. I never want to say good, because I don’t know if it’s good but somewhat decent, in the limited time we have. I saw what Allison submitted which was fantastic. It’s really impressive. I always say anyone who could be good in daytime is phenomenal out there.

Photo Fox

You and Finola Hughes are nominated together, and are good friends dating all the way back to when you were both on Pacific Palisades together. You had played the character of Joanna, and Finola was the character of Kate. What do you recall about your time on the show?

MICHELLE: The characters we played were best friends on Pacific Palisaides, and I created a great friendship with Finola. Looking back at my time on that show, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have. Of course, I was younger and I thought, “This is my first show. I’ll get many more.” You don’t appreciate things like you do when you’re older. Not that I didn’t appreciate it. I mean, I knew I was really fortunate. I knew I was lucky. I grew up in this business. I knew how lucky I was, but it was just a very different kind of character for me to play. I think it was a little challenging because I had gone from playing Phyllis, to playing like this wholesome Midwestern girl off the farm. So, that was a bit challenging for me, but I had a good time.

So, what do you think of the scenes submitted by Michelle for this year’s Emmy competition? Will you be rooting for her to win her first Emmy in over 20 years? What do you remember about Finola and Michelle in ‘Pacific Palisades’? And, what do you think about the on-screen dynamic between on-screen mother and daughter as played by Michelle and Allison Lanier? Weigh-in via the comment section. And in case you missed it, you can catch the ’10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special’ below featuring live conversations with 10 of this year’s acting nominees.

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General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes Chats on Her Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Nomination, New Directions for Characters in Port Charles, and Anna’s Love Life

In four out of the last five years, General Hospital favorite, Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), has almost become a perennial nominee having once again scored a Daytime Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress for the upcoming 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

Hard to believe, but Hughes won her one and only Daytime Emmy back in 1991, and has amassed a total of 11 Emmy nominations during her enduring daytime drama career. As those who have watched GH know, throughout any calendar year, you can find numerous stellar performances by Finola that could be tops on any Emmy reel.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Finola during the 10th annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special to get her reaction to landing in the field of six fantastic women vying for gold, what scenes went on her now Emmy-nominated reel, what she thinks of how GH is shaking things up under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte, and the future of Anna’s love life. Here’s what she shared below.

Photo: ABC

What scenes did you wind up submitting that landed you in the running for the Daytime Emmy in this year’s Lead Actress category?

FINOLA: The whole Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez) shooting and the accident and that whole thing. Then, talking about that with Sonny (Maurice Benard), and then a bit of the breakup with Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and then finding out that Valentin had lied.

Who helped you put the reel together?

FINOLA: One of our producers at GH, Michelle Henry. We have these amazing producers. They’re sort of the unsung heroes. They’re in the booth all day when we’re shooting. They do this wonderful thing where they earmark something, if they think that it’s been a good performance. So, they just have this sort of little list (that helps come Emmy time). So, that’s how that worked with Michelle.

Photo: ABC

Now you’ve had a string of recent Daytime Emmy nominations. Do you think GH is  writing more for your strengths in the last several years?

FINOLA:  Yes, and I think it’s become stronger recently. I think writers really take the lead sometimes from an actress or an actor who’s going through something or moving through something in their life. Maybe, that’s they were just seeing, you know, different layers and colors and so they started to write to that.  I’m not sure. It certainly felt like I’ve had some things (material) that resonated with me.

What I have loved about Anna is that she is very complex. She often wrestles with herself over her past as a double agent, or certain guilt that she carries around. It’s interesting when the lines are blurred for her and things get messy.

FINOLA:  I do well with complex and I like messy.

So, what do you think about the nominees in the Lead Actress category with you?

FINOLA:  They are great. I don’t know Annika Noelle (Hope, B&B) very well, but I hear she did wonderful work and she sent me a lovely message. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) I obviously reached out to, Tamara Braun (Ava, DAYS) reached out to me, and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and I just got on the phone last night and congratulated each other on our nominations, and of course, Cynthia (Watros) is here with me at GH.

Photo: JPI

You do like do like the fashion of it all for Emmy night, correct?

FINOLA: God, I I live for it. I’m as shallow as that. I might play some complex on television, but I’m that shallow in real life.

So, do you go by the trends of what to pick out to wear for a red carpet, or you just kind of go off what you think looks good on you?

FINOLA: I do like the trends. I really like the fact that the sleeve is having a big moment right now since the film Poor Things. It sent it into the stratosphere.

It’s been 33 years since you won your last Emmy. Do you think you’re a better actress now than when you were even 10 years ago?

FINOLA: I have no idea. It feels like a game of golf always for me, because get on set, like today, I was doing some work this morning and I just doubt myself.  I’m like, “Did I really bring it?” I do think I’m harder on myself now than I was when I was younger, because I really didn’t know what I was doing at all.  It’s a very hard question to answer. I feel like it’s different, but I’m constantly in battle with myself as to whether something works or not.

Photo: ABC


What are your thoughts then on being Emmy-nominated, at times, for more than three decades?

FINOLA: At this point in my life, I just find the whole thing encouraging and extraordinarily sort of affirming, and sweet and lovely. It’s extraordinary to even be acknowledged. That’s the truth.

Currently, on-air, Anna is taking a harder line with Sonny. There’s been a shift.

FINOLA:  Yes. That’s been really interesting. I was talking about this with Steve Burton (Jason), and we actually were working together today. We found like this level between the two of us when it comes to Sonny. It was just really like another whole level as to what I’m doing. I think what’s happened is people’s roles in Port Charles are becoming delineated, you know, where there’s less gray. It’s like we’re sort of moving into areas, right? All of us. That’s kind of great because then you’ve got the hospital, you’ve got the police station, you’ve got the mob, you’ve got the Quartermaines you’ve got Curtis’ nightclub, and so there’s these different areas. Then, your character becomes very specific.  I had those scenes with Genie Francis (Laura) that aired the other day, and it makes sense that we are sort of waking up because unfortunately Sonny’s going through something which we don’t know about, but he’s not behaving well. So, therefore we are like, “If he would do that, then we need to wake up to that Sonny has always been like that.” But, it’s not true. Sonny hasn’t always been like that. We still deal in the gray, because we are searching for the gray in ourselves, which is interesting. And then we have to make a decision, such as, “Where do you stand? Who are you actually?” I think posing those questions to the actual characters is kind of interesting.

Photo: ABC

Now, who’s going to be the man in Anna’s life?

FINOLA:  Well, I want to do some more stuff with James. Obviously, James and I text all the time about how we’re not working together. We all know what Valentin’s up to. However,  Anna doesn’t quite know.

I was originally thinking they might put John “Jagger” Cates (Adam Harrington) in a romance with Anna?

FINOLA: Oh, I know. I love Adam. He’s so wonderful, and so is Charles Mesure (Brennan). Obviously, Laura Wright (Carly) has been working with the two of them as well. They’re both looking like they are in love with Carly, so what can I do? I’ll just take the leftovers. However, I’m hoping that I get to play Valentin. The thing that’s interesting is that he’s a Cassadine. His father has now passed on, so he’s now at the front of the wagon of the Cassadines. It’s in his blood. So, I don’t know what they’ll do.

Photo: ABC

What was our family’s reaction when you told you are an Emmy nominee? 

FINOLA: We had just taped three days of a very big event on the show. I was really tired yesterday and I was sort of laying down pretending to take a nap, as I never can nap in the middle of a day. Then, Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) called me to say that, Cynthia Watros and myself, had been nominated for Lead Actress. So, I actually got up and I walked outside and my three kids were sort of wandering around doing kid teenage stuff. I sort of told each of them individually. I was like, “I got nominated.”  They actually said, “Congratulations!” So, I think it actually resonated through the haze of online extravaganzas that teens are looking at it.

Make sure to check out the 2024 Daytime Emmy Nominations Special from this past Friday night below, where several of this year’s Daytime Emmy nominees stopped by the Michael Fairman Channel to share their reactions and more on going for gold come June 7th.

Now let us know, are you happy Finola was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Daytime Drama Series? Who do you hope Anna winds up with romantically down the line on GH under new head writers, Patrick Mulcahey and Elizabeth Korte? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Stephen Schnetzer Talks On His Return to Days of our Lives and Working with Susan Seaforth Hayes In Emotional Episodes

Who says you can’t go home again? In the case of Another World favorite, Stephen Schnetzer (ex-Cass Winthrop), he has proven that it is true, and you can go back to your soap roots and where it all started for you.

Last week on April 11th, Schnetzer, along with several other key returns were on set at Days of our Lives taping all-new episodes of the Peacock streaming soap opera, centering on the funeral of Doug Williams (the late Bill Hayes), and as part of the iconic soap opera’s 15,000th episode.

Stephen is reprising his first daytime role as Steve Olson, the brother of Julie Williams (Susan Seaforth Hayes). The last time Schnetzer appeared on a DAYS set was during his one and only run on the show from 1978 to 1980. Clearly, viewers will be in for some very emotional scenes when Steve returns to Salem to be there for his sister, Julie in her time of need. In real-life, Susan has been going through her own grief, having just lost Bill back on January 12th at the age of 98.

Photo: NBC

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Stephen during the 15K episode celebration ceremony, and during a break from taping the gut-wrenching funeral scenes, to get his thoughts on being part of these highly-anticipated moments that will air later this year in December. Here’s what he shared with us below.

What has this been like for you to work with Susan Seaforth Hayes after all of these years?

STEPHEN: She’s a dream and she’s so bright. We ran lines yesterday and we ended up just visiting for about 45 minutes and just catching up and telling tales about each other’s career. She even dropped off the autobiography that she and Bill did. And being back here at DAYS, every time I turn a corner, there’s another familiar face. When I was on the show 40 more years ago, a bunch of the guys, played softball on a team together. This is really a trip down memory lane as I knew it would be.

Photo: JPI

Taping Doug’s funeral must be a hard day for Susan. Are you checking in with her to help hold her up through this?

STEPHEN: I am and I’m checking in with Amy Shaughnessy (Susan’s assistant), and she’s holding her up more than anybody. We’re there for each other.

There will obviously be some major hankie-inducing moments when Steve comes back to Salem to console his sister.

STEPHEN: Oh, wait till you see it in December. It’s going to be great.

Were you surprised you got this call to come back to the show decades later?

STEPHEN: It was out of the blue! I was completely surprised. They should have called me decades ago! That’s what surprised me. When Another World went down, I thought I’d land somewhere else and it never happened. That was more of a surprise.

Photo: JPI

Cass is such an identifiable character for you. As well, you and Linda Dano (ex-Felicia Gallant) are so synonymous together as best friends Cass and Felicia from Another World. When fans heard you were reprising your role as Steve Olson on DAYS, they are now hoping there will be more of you on the show to come.

STEPHEN: Steven Olson is a real “Cassian “character. I cut my teeth on Steve Olson and that’s how Cass was introduced. He was kind of a roguish charmer. And then when the character stuck for Another World, they rehabilitated me, and turned me into one of the shows heroes. And that’s what would’ve happened if I stayed as Steve Olson probably. So, Steve is the ‘pre-Cass’, Cass.

Photo: JPI

As the story goes, you originally decided to leave Days of our Lives?

STEPHEN: I was never on contract. I was doing a day and a half a week and I got a Broadway play directed by Franco Zeffirelli starring Joan Plowright and Frank Finlay. I was able to it as I didn’t have to break a contract or anything. I cut loose and went back to New York for that.

How well did you get to know Bill Hayes during your first time around on DAYS?

STEPHEN: My first episode was with Bill and Susan, as her long lost brother coming into Salem. They were so good to me. They were so kind. I had been doing eight years of classical repertory theater, never been in front of a camera. I tell everybody, it took me longer than any other actor I’ve ever seen to get comfortable in front of a camera. And they were very supportive at that time in my career. Coming back to honor Bill now in 2024, and to be see Susan, I am just so happy to be here.

Looking forward to seeing the scenes between Stephen and Susan Seaforth Hayes come December and Doug’s funeral and surrounding episodes? Do you hope that DAYS might bring the character of Steve Olson back for a longer stay? Comment below.

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