Emmy Winning Series, After Forever, Streaming Friday Nights

Basking in their Emmy glow, After Forever begins syndication with BTV Digital Studios.

The first season of the digital series made history when it won more Daytime Emmy Awards than any LGBTQ+ themed drama series in history; including all Daytime and Primetime winners. The groundbreaking series is primed to repeat its historic wins with the recently launched second season, which is streaming Friday nights on BTV.

Michael Slade's Emmy Win

Loss is a topic rarely told through a queer lens, but when crafted and executed honestly, it has the power to broaden our perspectives.

“We as gay men, after we’re no longer 35, tend to disappear from popular culture,” argues Emmy-winning TV writer and playwright Michael Slade. The writing process was cathartic for Slade, whose partner, Richard, died of cancer several years ago.

After Forever changes the way older gay men are portrayed through characters who embark on relatable adventures in life and in love.

Kevin Spirtas' Emmy Win

Hollywood has looked to increase the diversity in film and television, including the portrayal of LGBTQ+ stories. Actor, Kevin Spirtas, stars in After Forever and also serves as Executive Producer with Slade, both whom created the series together.

Having both worked on NBC’s long-running daytime soap, Days of Our Lives; Spirtas playing Dr. Craig Wesley, and Slade as one of the show’s writers. Both men met to talk about a promising idea Spirtas had for a drama about an age group that has all but been ignored in LGBTQ+ entertainment.

Slade became intrigued by Spirtas’ proposal for a digital series that would feature older characters in leading roles. Slade was thrilled to work out the concept for with Spirtas; however, making the series was not simply a creative project for the former Days of Our Lives writer. It was a way for him to therapeutically heal, while revealing the grief he felt from seeing his late partner succumb to terminal illness.

“The Emmy wins were surreal,” Spirtas and Slade recall. “When we sat down to create (After Forever), Emmys weren’t even on our radar."

After Forever won 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards for:

  • Outstanding Digital Drama Series

  • Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series (Michael Slade and Kevin Spirtas)

  • Outstanding Directing of a Digital Drama Series (Jennifer Pepperman)

  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Digital Drama Series (Kevin Spirtas) 

  • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Digital Drama Series (Erin Cherry)

2019 Daytime Emmy nominations also went to Mitchell Anderson for Outstanding Lead Actor, Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress, and Tony Award-nominee, Anita Gillette (‘Moonstruck’, ’30 Rock’) was nominated for Outstanding Guest Performance. Slade and Spirtas also received consecutive nominations for the Writers Guild of America Award in the Short Form New Media – Original category for season one and season two.

After Forever won 2020 Daytime Emmy Awards for:

  • Outstanding Writing for a Digital Drama Series (Michael Slade and Kevin Spirtas)

2020 Daytime Emmy nominations also went to the Huffman was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, Lenny Wolpe was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor, The Good Wife's Mary Beth Peil was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress, Scott Michael Salame and Timmy Scheus were nominated for Outstanding Art Direction and Scenic Design, while the entire After Forever team was nominated for Outstanding Digital Drama Series.

Season two will syndicate on BTV a few months after season one. The series, which is set and filmed in New York City, also features scenes inside the legendary piano bar, Don’t Tell Mama

Executive producers include Spirtas, Slade, F. Robb Caster, Drew Desky, Dane Levens, Arnold R. Spirtas and Sandra T. Spirtas, with Allison Vanore serving as producer. Co-Executive Producers include Ken Fakler, Alan D. Marks, Barbra Marks, Julie Michaels, and Eric J. Spirtas, with Scott Adler, Thomas Joseph Farrell, Kath Farrell and Nancy Degnan serving as Associate Producers. BTV distributes the series worldwide.


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