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DAYS Interview: Mary Beth Evans & Stephen Nichols
Topic Started: Apr 8 2009, 06:34 PM (2,978 Views)
ljacks13
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There is a really good interview with Mary Beth Evans and Stephen Nichols about their dismissal from DAYS. They don't hold back which I can appreciate. Here are some their quotes:

Digest: Were you surprised to hear the characters were being written off?

Nichols:
Yes and no. Yes, because I was surprised that they allowed two of the most beloved characters in the history of the show to just fade into the background and then eventually away. No, because the support and story had not been there since Ed Scott [former co-executive producer] was let go which, by the way, was a huge mistake. Ed's departure sent morale on the set on a downward spiral.

How would you characterize you return in DAYS?

Nichols:
We had our moments and Hogan Sheffer [former head writer] was putting a lot of energy into us. Hogan did research and watched the early shows from our first run. He told Mary Beth and I that, to his eye, it was the best stuff ever on daytime. The trouble was, he was the only one doing the research. Writer's assistants were frequently coming to me and Mary Beth, asking us the history of the characters. You would think the show would have these things written down somewhere. Finally, I handed everyone beautifully packaged DVDs that our fans had put together of every episode we were ever in. I must say that the first story (the Ava story) Dena Higley [headwriter] was responsible for overseeing was great. After that, we were dropped like hot potatoes and once Ed scott was out of the picture, we were in trouble. He fought for us, I know that much.

Evans: I said to Ken, when it finally came down that we were going to let go. I said, "Thank you. I always wanted to come back. I always like to play the second chapter of these characters and I had a great time." I feel like it was a real win; I didn't leave there feeling like, "Oh God." Other times when I've left shows, I have felt so sad or anxious, but I didn't feel any of those feelings. It's been such a spin there for a while, with just so many people getting fired, and there was just so much going on that it was pretty stressful. Everybody cares about everybody there, it's like a family and to watch all your friends get laid off, it's really hard.
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Kenny
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ljacks13
Apr 8 2009, 06:34 PM
Nichols: I was surprised that they allowed two of the most beloved characters in the history of the show to just fade into the background and then eventually away. Story had not been there since Ed Scott [former co-executive producer] was let go which, by the way, was a huge mistake. Ed's departure sent morale on the set on a downward spiral.

Nichols: We had our moments and Hogan Sheffer [former head writer] was putting a lot of energy into us. Hogan did research and watched the early shows from our first run. He told Mary Beth and I that, to his eye, it was the best stuff ever on daytime. The trouble was, he was the only one doing the research. Writer's assistants were frequently coming to me and Mary Beth, asking us the history of the characters. You would think the show would have these things written down somewhere. Once Ed Scott was out of the picture, we were in trouble. He fought for us, I know that much.
:wub: :wub: :wub:

I love Stephen Nichols. He really is one of the most talented actors in daytime -- not to mention one of the smartest.

Thanks for the excerpt!
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pnelsen


Mary Beth and Stephen are always a class act.
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☼ Jinx ☼
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Live. Love. Laugh. ♥

And, one of the funniest. Letting him go was a dumb dumb move!
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Red Mist
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I agree with Steve, Getting rid of ED SCOTT was a huge mistake...I really think they need to keep files on these characters that outline their life events and personality...If they had that then maybe Dools characters would be more grounded....They are always all over the fucking place.

Thank you so much for giving us these highlights.
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Bradyclan


He is so right. It was a mistake to let Ed Scott go.
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oldschoolfan


Thanks for posting. It's a real shame that the actors have to give the history of the characters they portray. Hell, anyone can go on the internet and see all of the 80s. Assholes! I love Stephen Nichols and that fact that he recognizes his fans.
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Margie


I miss them so. I no longer watch the show and i cam back to it for them and enjoyed it most of the time, but now I just can't watch as I am too sad and angry about their departure.
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Ponz
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Great comments! I admire SN's bluntness and honesty.

Quote:
 
Nichols: We had our moments and Hogan Sheffer [former head writer] was putting a lot of energy into us. Hogan did research and watched the early shows from our first run. He told Mary Beth and I that, to his eye, it was the best stuff ever on daytime. The trouble was, he was the only one doing the research.

Sheffer replaced several veteran DAYS writers with his ATWT buddies so he's not blameless in this area.


Edited by Ponz, Apr 8 2009, 07:34 PM.
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coffeelover


I think Ed was great an actor's producer - Gary I think came in and did the tough job of trimming the budget - out with the Days vets and in with the Passion's beefcake.
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Kriss4


Those two are wonderful people and talented actors to boot.


It's too bad the writers never really had a clue what to do with them. That's been a big problem for Days writers for quite some time. They lack imagination for anyone over a certain age.

The WRITERS are the downfall of Days. They can't write anyone consistently well. They let the audience and the actors down all the time.
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Mikegoldy
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Once again I'm torn about SN and MBE. They really shouldn't have been brought back in the first place. They had been gone 16 years, hadn't been mentioned in years, and then one day, there they were again. Their return didn't support or advance story, like Hope's return did years ago, and when Peter Reckell returned. I think that was the true problem
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DrewHamilton
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Ponz
Apr 8 2009, 07:34 PM
Sheffer replaced several veteran DAYS writers with his ATWT buddies so he's not blameless in this area.


And I don't blame him one bit. A lot of the DAYS writers Hogan got rid of were from Reilly's writing team and they were very amateurish. The writers that had to go probably didn't get Hogan's material well, and Hogan saw that his material wouldn't make it onto the screen the way he wanted it to with those writers. So he brought in his own crew, and I still saw no big problem in the writing. I would say Hogan's writing team gave more nods to the history of the show than any other writing team I have seen thus far, INCLUDING Brash and Cwickly.

So I don't blame him at all.
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DrewHamilton
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Mikegoldy
Apr 8 2009, 11:02 PM
Once again I'm torn about SN and MBE. They really shouldn't have been brought back in the first place. They had been gone 16 years, hadn't been mentioned in years, and then one day, there they were again. Their return didn't support or advance story, like Hope's return did years ago, and when Peter Reckell returned. I think that was the true problem
I agree. Their return did nothing for story, other characters or the show in general. the return should've been one of the biggest returns that the show ever saw, but we didn't get that at all.
Edited by DrewHamilton, Apr 8 2009, 11:45 PM.
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granolagirl
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I think bringing them back without a plan was a huge mistake. But I also think it says a lot about the situation the show was in, back in 2006. There was the Frankie/Jen/Jack triangle, the Philmi/Shelle fertility quad, the Lumi/Carstin quad, the end of the Alex North story, and Bo/Hope/Billie/Patrick. It's difficult to see where any of those stories were going to go for the long term. The only new potential at the time was EJ's arrival, and that was botched too.

For Payla, there will always be potential story with Jack. But we all know what happened there.
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granolagirl
Apr 9 2009, 12:02 AM
I think bringing them back without a plan was a huge mistake. But I also think it says a lot about the situation the show was in, back in 2006. There was the Frankie/Jen/Jack triangle, the Philmi/Shelle fertility quad, the Lumi/Carstin quad, the end of the Alex North story, and Bo/Hope/Billie/Patrick. It's difficult to see where any of those stories were going to go for the long term. The only new potential at the time was EJ's arrival, and that was botched too.

For Payla, there will always be potential story with Jack. But we all know what happened there.
I think it was also a mistake to just throw them frontburner immediately. Kayla should have been on the show at least 6 months before Steve returned.
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DrewHamilton
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Amello
Apr 9 2009, 12:04 AM
granolagirl
Apr 9 2009, 12:02 AM
I think bringing them back without a plan was a huge mistake. But I also think it says a lot about the situation the show was in, back in 2006. There was the Frankie/Jen/Jack triangle, the Philmi/Shelle fertility quad, the Lumi/Carstin quad, the end of the Alex North story, and Bo/Hope/Billie/Patrick. It's difficult to see where any of those stories were going to go for the long term. The only new potential at the time was EJ's arrival, and that was botched too.

For Payla, there will always be potential story with Jack. But we all know what happened there.
I think it was also a mistake to just throw them frontburner immediately. Kayla should have been on the show at least 6 months before Steve returned.
You have a point.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Mikegoldy
Apr 8 2009, 11:02 PM
Once again I'm torn about SN and MBE. They really shouldn't have been brought back in the first place. They had been gone 16 years, hadn't been mentioned in years, and then one day, there they were again. Their return didn't support or advance story, like Hope's return did years ago, and when Peter Reckell returned. I think that was the true problem
Here was the problem IMO.

The idea to bring them back came when JER was still with the show. Around the time they first aired, word got out that he was out. I'm sure everything was being discussed so what should've been done was they either postponed the return or slowed down the story. Instead, they brought them both back anyway and went ahead with things. The problem was they were brought in during a period of turmoil. Just as their story was beginning we had the transition from JER to Beth Milstein and then we had the transition from Beth Milstein to Hogan getting his stuff off the ground. Then, Corday decided to destroy Hogan's plans by stupidly "experimenting" with the show by backburnering John/Marlena/Bo/Hope and other vets completely so Steve and Kayla had no one to really help their story along. By the time things started to improve, it was too late. So many fans were down on Steve and Kayla afterall the transitions and after isolating them from the characters who they should've been interacting with that it was hard to ever truly get them on board with them and it never did happen. They needed Bo, Hope, Marlena, John, and the other vets to help them be re-integrated to the canvas. People would've cared more about Steve and Kayla and their story if the other vets were more involved, like they were early on in Hogan's material and like they were once they started all interacting again.

The show screwed up and, ironically, the one who got it right completely was Higley. Hogan was good but it still never really came together. Higley really gave Steve and Kayla what could've been a strong story with the Ava story but it got dropped and that is what I find so funny about SN's comments. He praises Higley for the Ava story yet he thinks getting rid of Ed Scott was a mistake. Ed Scott was the reason that story fell apart and the reason why Ava got tossed in with J&M., which led to SN and MBE complaining about how it all ended. Right around the time the Ava stuff began to change rapidly (sorry but there is no way Joe Penny was only meant to be there a week) was around the time the show began to fall apart due to the backstage bullshit, which rightfully got Ed Scott fired. Now, Higley should be gone too and she is not absolved of anything but Ed Scott deserved to be fired. There were better ways of handling it and I'm not sure what is more disturbing...what Ed Scott actually did or the fact that so many people think the show was wrong to fire him. He broke the rules. He deserved it and the fact the show had already been under enough scrutiny with the WGA and so many others did not help matters. He had to go. Just look at how he has found no other work since. That shows the guy deserved what he got. If it was no big deal, he would be somewhere by now or working on something.

I can't wait to read the full interivew but this is interesting. MBE is classy as always and I can see how the situation was stressful. SN makes some good points and I do think Ed Scott stuck up for them alot. I'm sure morale did spiral downward after he left but it wasn't just Ed Scott. The show was in turmoil and no one knew if it was going to be renewed. Saying everything fell apart because of Ed is making him out to be a martyr and he is so far from that and this comes from someone who loves Ed. I think he is a talented guy but he got what he deserved.

Going back to the way Steve and Kayla returned, they really should've modeled it on Hope's return at Maison Blanche. First off, I would've had Steve and Kayla being mentioned for a few weeks to set the stage for their return. Then, I would bring Kayla back and work her into the canvas and reintegrate her. Get the audience to care for her and get to know Steve through her. Then, pull out the "Steve is alive" card. Hell, have him lurk as a mysterious figure for weeks and then reveal him. Then, have them find each other and play out his amnesia for as long as you can, just like what happened with Hope. This way, as Steve remembers and learns about his life, the audience does too. Once he gets his memory back and they reunite, then you can explore his missing years and even introduce perhaps someone Kayla dated or fell for in LA or something to keep them on the frontburner. There was so much story potential, if it all just came together right.
Edited by PhoenixRising05, Apr 9 2009, 12:32 AM.
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Kenny
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PhoenixRising05
Apr 9 2009, 12:32 AM
Higley really gave Steve and Kayla what could've been a strong story with the Ava story but it got dropped and that is what I find so funny about SN's comments. He praises Higley for the Ava story yet he thinks getting rid of Ed Scott was a mistake. Ed Scott was the reason that story fell apart and the reason why Ava got tossed in with J&M., which led to SN and MBE complaining about how it all ended.
I think Stephen Nichols meant that Ed Scott's departure was a bad thing for the show. I don't think he was speaking in terms of just Steve and Kayla's story, but cast morale and the overall quality of the show when Ed was fired.
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PhoenixRising05
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GET EM STEPH!!

Kenny
Apr 9 2009, 12:34 AM
PhoenixRising05
Apr 9 2009, 12:32 AM
Higley really gave Steve and Kayla what could've been a strong story with the Ava story but it got dropped and that is what I find so funny about SN's comments. He praises Higley for the Ava story yet he thinks getting rid of Ed Scott was a mistake. Ed Scott was the reason that story fell apart and the reason why Ava got tossed in with J&M., which led to SN and MBE complaining about how it all ended.
I think Stephen Nichols meant that Ed Scott's departure was a bad thing for the show. I don't think he was speaking in terms of just Steve and Kayla's story, but cast morale and the overall quality of the show when Ed was fired.
Sure, bad for the show in terms of production but it had to be done.

Yes, Higley should've been gone too. Hell, she should've never been given the HW's job. However, what he did warranted this course of action. Ed is smart. He knew what he was doing was wrong and the fact that he did it after being in this industry for so long is the part that really makes him come off badly because you know he knowingly did it. He should know better. The guy was a strong leader. All he had to do was get the cast on his side and have them all come with him or assist him in making a case to Sony or some of the higher-ups. If they did that and really stirred the pot, something would've been done, especially with Corday who caves to pressure.

That is why Tomlin has gotten shit done. He does what he has to do to and is a hard-ass about it but he has to be to make the difficult decisions that need to be made. He goes to Corday, makes his case, and does not give up until he gets the result he wants. However, he does all of it within the rules. It's remarkable how similar Tomlin and Langan are in what they've done in the early parts of their stints with Days.
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