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News for the week of 04-Mar-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences released its Daytime Emmy pre-nomination list last week. A panel of judges will select the final nominees by May 1. Here are the Y&R pre-noms: Outstanding Lead Actress Jeanne Cooper (Katherine), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Sharon Case (Sharon), Outstanding Lead Actor Doug Davidson (Paul), Christian LeBlanc (Michael), Peter Bergman (Jack), Michael Muhney (Adam), Stephen Nichols (ex-Tucker), Outstanding Supporting Actress Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe), Jessica Collins (Avery), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea), Outstanding Supporting Actor Greg Rikaart (Kevin), Billy Miller (Billy), Peter Porte (ex-Ricky), Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan), Outstanding Younger ActressHunter King (Summer), Outstanding Younger Actor Bryton James (Devon), Max Ehrich (Fenmore), Daniel Polo (Jamie).

Doing a fly-in deal with Y&R is a kind of first-time deal for Steve Burton (Dylan; ex-Jason, GH). He talked about it with GH before he left, he even tried it out a little back when executive producer Jill Farren Phelps still helmed before that, but he’s doing it for real on Y&R now. The deal-breaker has always been not infringing on much-needed time with his family, relocated last year to Nashville. His two children are old enough (nine and six) to be fully involved in extra-curricular activities and home schooling, so Burton is very much needed at home to help his wife out. His ideal schedule is going in for two-four days straight to film, then be back home with his family four-five days straight. “Everyone is kind of being flexible, because we don’t know what the true schedule will look like. I worked five days a week on GH. It was a lot of work. Now, I actually can spend more time with my kids this way, then that way,” he told On-Air On-Soaps’ Michael Fairman in a February 25th-posted interview.

Once he was on the set, he had to make sure this new Y&R character Dylan McAvoy was nothing like his GH character Jason Morgan. That was another wish, obliged in full by the creative team of JFP and her head writer Josh Griffith. They provided Burton with a character outline and let him be free to fill in the gaps, his way. A little of himself is bound to spill over into the character, just as it had with GH’s Jason. He gets that. He just wants this new character to be new.

Trying to establish chemistry with another actor when he’s just met her? No that’s hard, “a crazy whirlwind.” But Burton and Jessica Collins (Avery) are doing the best with what they’ve got, including head writer Griffith’s notes. As for working opposite Sharon Case (Sharon), Burton feels an entirely different energy. Hint: there are a lot of laughs. “Sharon Case is actually very fun, and she makes me laugh. So half the time in scenes where I am laughing, I am really laughing at Sharon! She has that personality where she makes me laugh. I think that is why people have been saying on Twitter that we have a very comfortable and easy relationship and light about us on-screen, which is great,” Burton said.

One of Peter Bergman’s (Jack) favorite stories to perform is when his character falls head over heels in love. In his view, Jack’s soul mate is, was, and will always be Phyllis, so he’s in heaven right now. So is his co-star Michelle Stafford, who plays “Red.” After playing a lying, conniving, huge disappointment to Nick for so long, basking in the adoration of a handsome, successful, determined, and romantic man is bliss. In a joint Q&A fan video interview posted on CBS/Y&R, Stafford said she didn’t like her character being so needy and desperate for Nick’s love, especially toward the end. “I think Phyllis is really enjoying the love she gets from Jack right now.” It certainly helps when Jack’s played by the consummate veteran actor, Bergman. With all due respect to the passionate Phick fans, right now Stafford is immensely enjoying her time with Bergman, and what they bring to the table together. “I love working with [him], he’s compassionate and stand-up and I love him.” In a bit of a quizzical downer, Stafford doesn’t believe Phyllis will ever forgive her sister Avery for snaking Nick the way she did. Avery is “with [Phyllis’] ex-husband and doesn’t take any responsibility for it,” Stafford said, without giving away any compassion or further explanation. Ouch.

Cupcake WarsMarch 24, 8 p.m. ET features four cupcake artists battling for an opportunity to be (and serve) at the Y&R 40th anniversary party with the cast and crew. Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael) were on hand during the taping to enjoy some delicious cupcakes March 1. The episode will air again March 25, 3 a.m.

Michael Graziadei (ex-Daniel) joins an ABC pilot, Venice, set in California and featuring two families who hate each other.

 

Executive producer Jill Farren Phelps was brought on to update Y&R without losing its substantive, classic value. She’s trying to do this through the core characters, promising new ones, the sets, and a few creative tweaks here and there. For the 40th anniversary throughout the month of March, she will break down the fourth wall in 10 episodes. “The thing that we have planned is for 10 of the episodes surrounding the anniversary, we are treating the viewers to 10 three-minute pieces of the most iconic actors on the show speaking as the actor about their experiences and that leads you into the show,” she said. “You get a window into the actor and I love that. I think it’s original and that’s the gift. There’s no way to do a special episode and say, ‘This is 40 years.’ There’s been too much evolution. To let the audience hear from the actors that they love, that’s a special treat for the audience.”

The daytime CBS talk show, The Talk, will devote March 25 entirely to celebrating Y&R’s March 26th 40th anniversary.

Gossip for the week of 04-Mar-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Peter Bergman (Jack) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) didn’t exactly spill any storyline secrets in their joint CBS/Y&R interview. But they did have to address the lingering issue of whether Nick tampered with the DNA results making him Summer’s biological dad, not Jack. Stafford joked that Jack has “good sperm,” to which Bergman responded, “Oh my.” Otherwise, Bergman only really said that “they’ve left it up in the air,” and Stafford added, “If it’s a well-written story, I’m all for it.”

Word on the street is that Sharon and Dylan are sister and brother, not potential lovers. However, Dylan will find another love interest, other than Avery, but not with Phyllis.

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