HOLLYWOOD—Nick Marone is about to receive the wakeup call he’s been desperately needing for weeks. Jack Wagner’s phenomenal performance as the nicotine addicted man, who cannot seem to find his way to giving up a habit that he realizes will kill him, is the best performance so far this year of any daytime television leading man. Four-time Daytime Leading Lady Emmy® winning actress Susan Flannery has done an absolutely tremendous job as the stubborn Stephanie Forrester, who has been chiding Nick about his addiction to smoking cigars. Once it was considered a joke to characters on the show and to viewers of the series to make fun of Nick’s cigar smoking, but after a spot was found on the man’s lung, Stephanie has been defiant in making sure that he does not develop lung cancer, as she did most recently.

This week Nick’s beautiful mother, Jackie, almost collapsed emotionally from being concerned that her son has yet to give up smoking even though he has promised her and himself that he would do so. The past several weeks have been the best of the best when it comes to daytime storytelling. Brad Bell’s parents once monopolized daytime television with groundbreaking drama and human interest stories on soaps. What the Bells understand is that it is much more compelling to tell these stories involving beloved characters than total strangers on the shows. Nick and Stephanie are staples on the soap, and Wagner and Flannery are considered two of the best thespians in Hollywood today. Lesley-Anne Down, who portrays Nick’s mother Jackie, has been inspiring to viewers. It is truly a mother’s love that is the most powerful in life, and in storytelling as well.

This past week Stephanie has been relentless, as has Jackie, and they fear the worst for Nick if he doesn’t stop smoking. The way these two ladies love Nick is the way the audience feels about their characters and the scribe who brings us the most outstanding television drama in soap history. Lee Phillip Bell told me once, “Brad is amazing. He has even eclipsed his father in this genre.” I agreed with Lee at the time, and concur once again. This is the best storyline on any show currently airing on television. ABC won raves and acclaim for their rape storyline on “Private Practice,” but it doesn’t compare to the real drama playing out in the lives of our favorite city of angels’ characters Nick, Jackie and Stephanie. Just don’t turn off your TV yet. It’s about to go to a whole new level of spectacular performances and storytelling.

“The Bold and the Beautiful’s” 6,000th episode will air on Monday, February 7. Executive producer and head writer, Bradley P. Bell, tells Canyon News, “Jolted into reality by a recent health scare, Nick continues to battle his addiction to smoking cigars. Formerly an enemy and now a friend, Stephanie promises Nick she’ll remain by his side through his struggle. As Nick faces denial and his inability to quit, Stephanie brings Jackie, his son Jack, and four lung cancer patients and survivors, including actress Kathryn Joosten, to assist in intervention.”

This amazing storyline is nothing short of Emmy worthy work from the acting, to the writing, to the set decorations. Jon McKee did an amazing job taking these exclusive stills of scenes from a storyline that I believe is the best in daytime television today.

Photographs by Jon McKee Photography.