WATCH: Eileen Davidson Visits 'Home & Family'; Talks Emmy Nom, Reveals She Can Do Both 'Y&R' and 'DAYS' - Soap Opera Network
Entertainment :: Talk Shows
Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios

Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios

She’s nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal as Kristen DiMera on NBC’s “,” and to celebrate will appear on the Thursday, June 19 edition of Hallmark Channel’s “.” During her taped appearance, Davidson talks with hosts and Christina Ferrare about her Emmy nomination, her brief return to “DAYS’ and recently signing a contract with CBS’ “,” where she’s portrayed the popular role of Ashley Abbott off and on since 1982. She also reveals that the length of her contract with “Y&R,” which includes the ability to appear on “DAYS” from time to time as well, is for two years. Both soaps are owned and produced by Sony Pictures Television.

Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios

Jeremy Lee/Alexx Henry Studios

When asked about working on both “DAYS” and “Y&R” almost simultaneously, Davidson shares some insight into how she went from working on “Y&R” exclusively a couple of years ago, only to then find out she’d been let go from daytime’s most watched drama series the same day she learned that “DAYS” wanted her back in Salem to play Kristen after more than a decade had gone by since departing the soap.

“It was a weird thing. A couple of years ago, I was called into the production office of ‘Y&R’ and they said, ‘The bad news is we’re firing you on ‘Y&R,’ the good news is ‘DAYS’ wants you.’ Both shows are owned by Sony, so I was kind of in shock. It felt… it was a little manipulative, I really didn’t understand it. I took a pay cut, I felt forced into it. I really was kind of bitter, and then I go, ‘I got to get out of this,'” recalled Davidson. “I was listening to [New York Times bestselling author], and she said, ‘You should go into every experience with no expectations and without judgement,’ and I just changed my mind about the whole situation. I went in with an open mind and an open heart. I had the best year of my life, the best material, a great time with wonderful people, and then I was awarded with an Emmy nomination. It really was like a metamorphosis for me because I kind of felt manipulated into this weird situation.”

When asked if she was sure she wanted to take the deal that was offered, or if she let the part of her take over that had the negativity about the situation as it was handled, Davidson said, “First of all, it was a paycut and we’re a two income home. I couldn’t just say no to it. So I felt forced into a situation where I wasn’t given much time. But it all worked out, and I’m very happy. I’m now doing both shows so it’s all worked out really well.”

Despite all the behind the scenes drama leading up to the switch in shows, the actress notes that things ended up working itself out for the better. “People were so amazing from the get go. Lovely, wonderful, warm people that are just trying to do a great show. No divas, great attitude, everybody’s working together. They just welcomed me with open arms, including [Marlena Evans], even though I had been on the show before, It was just so warm and fuzzy and just so great,” she said referring to her return to “DAYS” from 2012-2013. After taking the advice she got from Myss’ show, Davidson said, “I realized I was supposed to see that show at that moment because I didn’t want to walk into the situation hating it. I just kind of made that shift and it changed everything.”

For those wondering how long her contract with “Y&R” is and what it means for her possible future with “DAYS,” she reveals that she signed a two-year deal with the CBS soap that includes an option to make future appearances on the NBC drama. “I just signed a two-year deal with ‘Y&R’ again. I left ‘DAYS’ a year-ago to spend more time with our 11-year-old son, who’s transitioning into the sixth grade. I took some time off and I did a small story arc on ‘DAYS,’ which I just wrapped up two weeks ago. It’s going to start airing at the end of July for three months where [Kristen] comes back into town. I know, it’s very complicated, and now I’m back on ‘The Young and the Restless’ starting in September for two years, but it’s in my contract that I can do some days on ‘DAYS.'”

Learning that “Y&R” was interested in her on a more permanent basis, outside of her blink and you missed it appearances in the past year or so, Davidson says, “It was really nice. It was very rewarding to know, there had been a changing of the guard there too in the interim, so they were like, ‘Oh, my god. We want you back’ and CBS Daytime was like, ‘Please, come back.’ They were very nice about it.”

To watch the full “Home & Family” interview, click play below.

“Home & Family” airs weekdays at 10:00 AM ET/9:00 AM CT on Hallmark Channel

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Comment Below...
  • TV&MovieBuff

    That is great that she has the permanent gig on Y&R and can do appearances on Days too. That is a nice contract she worked out.

    • sands of time

      Did the definition of “permanent” change? BTW, Kristen is not a pop in, pop out character like Ashley has been for ages. When she goes back to DAYS, it will be more than “appearances”.

      I will give you credit: She did feel forced last year, but quickly loved it. “The best year of my life” is what she said. I figure she was tired after one year as Kristen, plus she wanted to be able to not feel forced. That is why she left and chose to come back on her own terms. Good for her. She should have control. Now I get to see her for three full throttle months and Y&R viewers will see her in a less demanding and commanding way until she becomes hungry for Kristen again. The fickleness has played off.

      • Andrew Hass

        Eileen Davidson signed a contract with Y&R with a clause that she can do DOOL.However she’s contractually tied to Y&R for the next 2 years unless they let her out early.However her contract may give Y&R more power than DOOL will have when and if they both need her to tape around the same time.Finally if Eileen wanted to be on DOOL full time i think she would be and find a way so that her personal life wouldn’t suffer.However maybe she’s happy going back to DOOL for 3 or so month story arcs every once in a while.

        • sands of time

          Exactly.

      • TV&MovieBuff

        Her permanent job is at Y&R. That is who she has a contract with. But she put in there that she could have time off to do Days. Since her contract is with Y&R then if they needed her to film at that time then I’m sure she would have to do Y&R first. Her contract is with Y&R. That is who she is obligated too.

        If Days needed her, they have got to still get permission from Y&R to use her. Y&R doesn’t have to get permission from Days to use her because they have her contracted to them.

        Also permanent means that in that contract she gets paid for a certain number of episodes every month even if Y&R doesn’t use her.

        At Days she doesn’t get paid over there unless Days uses her.

        • chris

          It was not ED that had the clause put in, it was SONY! Sony is the real boss here as they own both shows!

          • TV&MovieBuff

            I’m sure that Eileen Davidson has learned her lesson with Sony after the last time they made her go to Days to finish her contract. I’m sure the clause was to her approval or she would have never signed another contract.

      • SoDisqusted

        It’s hilarious how the majority of Ashley fans took one look at Kristen during the last few months of 2012, which is when Kristen finally reappeared after 14 years, and were totally against her. Fast-forward to March 2013, and they’re cheering her on and want her to stay on “Days” rather than “Y&R”. lol Only Eileen could make a sociopath lovable and fun. Kristen stirs the pot and gets the best one-liners, and biggest scenes! “Y&R” viewers finally got a taste of Eileen’s acting chops due to “Days” knowing how to write for her and utilize her. Viewers never got to see that on “Y&R”. It’s no wonder that Eileen got two noms for “Days” and only one “Y&R” and that was a decade ago. Her second nom for “Days” gave her her first one. She got her first nom ever for “Days”, a show she was only on for five years. Then she went to “Y&R” for 13, and only managed to get one nom, and that was in the early days of her return. 14 years later, she’s back on “Days” and in one year, she gets a nom and her first win. That’s all the proof you need when it comes to which show is better for her career-wise. Her story arc on “Days” coming up is suppose to be just as explosive, and it’ll probably get her her fourth nom next year.

  • Andrew Hass

    That’s great that Eileen Davidson can do both show if she wants to.However since she signed a 2 year contract with Y&R i’m thinking she wants to be there long term and only show up on Days for short term stints from time to time.

    • sands of time

      Right, because Kristen is more demanding.

      • rachybaby

        Right, because Ashley is the better character, on the better show.

        • sands of time

          No, she wants a bigger paycheck for less work on Y&R. Shenever received as much attention on Y&R as she does on DAYS. Watch and listen to her interview again. The best year of her life was on DAYS…her words! And now she as an emmy, thanks to DAYS!!!

  • http://unknown.com Bexx

    I’m so happy that she is back! Great interview.

    • sands of time

      You’re not laughing, now!

  • alistaircrane

    Well, this is great news because it basically confirms Kristen will be back for Days’ 50th anniversary next year. Hopefully Susan will return, too. Actually, I hope Susan pops up during her upcoming arc that starts in July (I have a feeling Susan will factor into EJ’s exit).

    • sands of time

      Her three months as Kristen will sizzle! Her Ashley will fizzle. Her Susan will be the dizzle!!! Long live Kristen/Susan/Sister Mary/Tommy!!!! Ashley who?

      • alistaircrane

        Ashley is indeed a boring character, but I happened to love her when she was played by Brenda Epperson. Sometimes the recast is better than the original.
        P.S. Don’t forget Penelope! ;-)

        • sands of time

          Penelope died.

          • alistaircrane

            I know, but she is part of the crew. Plus she could always re-appear as a ghost!

          • sands of time

            Did you like Eugene and Calliope?

          • alistaircrane

            They were a little before my time.

  • SoDisqusted

    Eileen is so brilliant as Kristen it’s not even funny!! To hell with Ashley, Eileen will always be Kristen! She seems really happy, and it’s great that 2013 was such a great year for her due to ‘Days of Our Lives’. It was a great year for daytime fan as well! I really hope she wins her first Emmy this year!

    • rachybaby

      Y&R is Kristen’s home & family, and has been since 1982. She will ALWAYS be Ashley. As far as I’m concerned, she was slumming it when she went to DOOL…all of that over the top “soapy” acting…yeck, yuck, yick.

      • SoDisqusted

        Her Emmy noms and Emmy win say differently. She will always be Kristen DiMera! It’s the one role of hers that’s never been recast. Ashley is another story, and Y&R has been horrible for her in terms of work. They have nothing for her to do. Kristen challenges Davidson, who also already said that she’s more like Kristen than Ashley – Ashley who is nothing more than a perpetual victim. Bad girls are always way more fun to play.

        • rachybaby

          Her Emmy wins says that there are only four soaps (well three soaps and one anti-soap) left. Someone had to win it.

          I happen to watch Y&R and have since the character of Ashley was created — by Eileen. That is patently false that “they have nothing for her to do”. She has had great story lines on the Y&R and will again when she’s back as a CONTRACT player.

          Kristen doesn’t “challenge” Eileen…she has fun with the character because it’s brash and over the top, and allows her to play crazy. But “challenging acting”? Yeeahhhh no.

          Being a bad girl is fine and fun, being an cartoonish bad girl is fun for a time but is also tacky.

  • truth

    She really got the best of both world finally with this contract.. So she will be playing on a regular basis a background, supporting character like Ashley on Y&R when she can have a big confortable paycheck and lot’s of off time and once in a while when Days needs her to checking up the stories/canva by being Stefano/stefania Dimera jr she will go to Days for a wacky 3 months arc..where she can play more dynamic and meaty material (although Days has really bad writing..but always more challenging than Ashley giving advice to Jack about his rididculous ‘love’ life..lol)
    Smart smart Eileen..she just go EVERYTHING she wanted..good for her..but on the other hand performers are fired with no time notice (poor David Tom..sigh)

    • sands of time

      So, you’re saying DAYS did not earn the Writers Guild of America Award? LOL! DAYS writing is not perfect, but it is great most of the time.

      • truth

        I persist and sign : Dool’s writing is horrific and boring right now.
        The ‘Jennifer and Daniel and their boring brood show’ is a total failure..total and abyssal. Awards on daytime tv (even in other mediums most of the time) means NADA, it is above a politic game..moreover this specific award was for Dool writing FROM A YEAR AGO aka 2013. 2014 has been awful so far and their pathetic rating numbers doesn’t help to say the opposite either.

        • alistaircrane

          Agreed. I’m not sure how anyone who calls themselves a Days fan can still watch the show under Tomsell. I quit watching when they returned in 2012 because their first order of business was firing my faves: Carrie, Austin and Jack. I consider Tomsell toxic. They also completely missed the opportunity to have Susan finally return and interact with her son EJ (who, for better or for worse, is Days’ current leading man). And Sister Mary Moira should have been part of the Father Eric story. And don’t even get me started on how they have destroyed the supercouples: Jack/Jennifer, John/Marlena and Bo/Hope!

      • alistaircrane

        “Great most of the time”? No way! Tomlin and Whitesell are the worst hacks in the history of Days of Our Lives. I quit watching when they returned in 2012 because I already saw how they damaged the show from 2008-11.

      • blake3b

        Days is must see tv! The best soap for sure.

    • rachybaby

      I’m sure now that the character of Ashley is back on the show she will have her own story line like she’s had in the past and it won’t be a wacky, over the top, unbelievable story line….

      The focus of her giving Jack advice about his love life was primarily when she periodically visited from New York. Visiting for a day or two is not conducive to a front burner status (although that conversation she had with Billy the night before Deliah’s funeral was powerful).

  • Patrick Ferrando

    Wow. She took a pay CUT to go to Days. Yikes.

    • TV&MovieBuff

      I never have fully understood that. Her original contract last year was with Y&R. It was Sony who wanted her to go to Days and finish out her contract. She should have gotten paid what that contract was originally for. Now this last return was to Days without any Y&R appearances included in that 3 month. So I could understand that she would be paid Days scale pay there. That was a total mess though the way Sony did that. I just wonder how her new contract will be as to if she will be paid the same for both shows or have a different pay scale.

    • sands of time

      Yes, because she was not needed at Y&R. I have a feeling she was paid what she wanted for her new three month deal at DAYS. Also, I’m sure her new 2 year contract stipulates same pay on both shows.

    • Andrew Hass

      Yep she took a pay cut in 2012 to go back to DOOL.Plus in an interview with SOD last year she even said she knew she would be working a lot there and even told Days she would be willing to work a lot but they worked her too much.Plus in her contract she even had an out in which she could have left after the first 3 months of her one year deal but she stayed.Plus Eileen even said she thought she would primarily be playing Susan with a little of Kristen.Plus she was so sure of that that she had it in her contract that her past stunt double would be her stunt double this time around too.So i’m beginning to wonder if Eileen was mislead by DOOL a little when she agreed to come back in 2012.

      • alistaircrane

        I am still so disappointed they didn’t have her play Susan in 2012-13. Hopefully this upcoming summer arc will fix that.

      • Joel

        Where did Eileen state she believed she would be portraying Susan? Because she never gave off that intention; it seems as if it were always Kristen in the planned comeback. Even she stated she didn’t know if Susan or the others would naturally fit into the story now.

        • Andrew Hass

          In the August 26th 2013 issue of Soap Opera Digest there was an exit interview with Eileen Davidson.In it she said when she was asked back in 2012 thought it was to play Susan with a little bit of Kristen.Plus as i wrote in my above post she said she was so certain about that that she put it in her contract that her past double Lisa Williams from the late 90s would be double again this time.So i’m taking that to mean she thought she would be playing dual roles and not just Kristen alone.

          • Joel

            I’ll have to re-read that issue; never recalled reading that information.

    • sands of time

      She’s happy she did. It was the best year of her life! And she chose to go back again. And yet again, in the future.

    • blake3b

      She’s definitely going to take a pay cut because Y&R is the #1 soap in ratings. As great as Days is it should have been #1 for two years now.

  • http://unknown.com Bexx

    It’s like a spin cycle in here. Desperado’s. LOL

    • alistaircrane

      What’s that supposed to mean?

      • GH DAYS fan

        Haven’t you been following this obiously paid poster? He only talks about soaps being boring and getting canceled. So, of course, he has a problem with people writing about how entertaining soaps are, about great actors and about the soaps’ success over the last year.

        • http://unknown.com Bexx

          You should speak about things that you know. You obviously know nothing about me.

  • xdrewxnl

    Anyone else pick up on the awkward moment at 5:44 and 5:48? Bit of tension there?

    • Joel

      No. No tension. Eileen was playing coy and channeling Kristen in that moment; nothing tension-related.

      • xdrewxnl

        I mean how she’s like “I’m playing Kristen” and the male host says “I know you play Kristen” with sort of like a duh im not stupid tone. lol.. Maybe it’s just how interpreted when I watched.

        • Joel

          Probably, since I didn’t sense tension. If anything, I sensed a bit of humour.

      • blake3b

        Yeah she’s obviously playing coy there, describing the scene.

  • ms.H

    Need a breast lift,stay with GH only don’t need u on Y/R

    • Andrew Hass

      HUH?I have no idea what you are trying to say or what it has to do with the topic.

    • blake3b

      Weird post.