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BIRTHDAY PLOG OR 20,440 DAYS

I know, the Patch Blog is way overdue. Sorry, I’ve been busier than an actor on a soap opera. Hey, I am one! Yes, I had this week off from the show, but there is always something to be done around the house and it was my birthday this week. Excuses! Included in the enormous box of gifts my wonderful fan friends sent me were many sweet birthday wishes in the form of notebooks filled with poems, thoughts, assorted birthday remembrances. Included was a "Birthday Chronicle." I know you’ve seen them, looks like a one-sheet newspaper. Anyway, there is a section that mentions the days you… I have been alive. Man, I never stopped to figure that out… 20,440. Does that seem like a lot or a little? I turned to my wife and remarked how we don’t get very many days. Another wakeup call to make the most of the ones we do get. So thanks, everyone, for the incredible birthday. I love you guys a lot. (See photos at stephennichols.net.)Man, do I love the babies. Mary Beth Eva... read more

February 22, 2007: Cocktails

Office fans, unite. It's Kate Flannery with the latest on-set dirt and such. First of all, many thanks to all the fans of Dwight, Meredith and the bat from last week's episode, "Business School." I got so many bat calls and bat e-mails that I have to answer a few Frequently Asked Bat Questions:• Yes, it was a real bat in the room. • No, it wasn't a real bat in the bag with my head. There were bat wranglers and puppeteers, and our director, Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, keeping us all in the right place. I loved working with Joss. He was really fun and very comfortable around bats! Rainn [Wilson] named the bat "Gary," since the bat came in nameless.Rainn and I had a lot of fun doing this scene with a bag over my head. There was a lot of screaming, which doesn't really bother me. I screamed a lot on stage in The Valley of the Dolls in NYC, and really learned how to scream often and not mess up my voice. I was a little sore the next day. Not bad. Rainn and I h... read more

February 18, 2007: The O'Donnell Family

How can you go wrong? A beautiful city, a beautiful family, a great team — it was truly an enjoyable week. Ty was joined by Eduardo, Tanya, Paul and me. We headed to a town that is rich in history, flavor and music, making us appreciate being on the road. And we met a beautiful and amazing family.The O'Donnell family has six children, five of whom have some form of autism. You would think that this family would complain or feel angry at the situation in some way, yet they feel like they are blessed and the most fortunate people in the world. The mother of this family shows each child love, care, affection and attention while at the same time being a good wife and helping out at the local school. She believes that each child is a special gift and a blessing. After spending just a moment with this family, you realize that she is right. Each child is so special in his or her way, and makes your heart melt until you are in love with each and every one of them. They all have special... read more

A Note from the Author

So, before I talk about this week's episode, I thought I might catch you all up on the goings on at Stages 6 & 7 at Disney. It's been a while since I wrote an episode. Sunday night's "Love is Difficult" (co-written with humor and grace by Ms. Molly Newman) represents my first writing on Brothers & Sisters since "Mistakes Were Made, Pt 1." Also, today I finished co-writing episode 18 with Marc Guggenheim, and Greg Berlanti and I are going to pen the season finale together, which I am looking forward to. His hand is on all the scripts, and I freely acknowledge that we would not be here had it been left to me alone — Greg understands the delicate and sophisticated balance of dark and light, escapism and truth-telling that works here. I honestly believe that my episodes would have been a miasma of angst without his gentle touch, and we'd be off the air. Not that I don't have a sense of humor — I mean, I know my way around a joke — but somehow, I tend to gravitate ... read more

February 15, 2007: Business School

Hello, Office groupies. This week's episode is another doozy! Ryan brings Michael to his business school to be a guest speaker, and Dwight tries to trap a bat in the office (and Meredith's hair gets in his way). Have you seen the promos with Rainn [Wilson] and me? May I say, I never looked lovelier! I don't know if you've noticed, but we don't get a lot of makeup on our show, and after this week's episode I will quit bitchin' about my lack of glamour. If you've seen the promos, you know how crazy my hair looks. So for all the vanity insanity that comes with mating and dating, I officially give up! Valentines, don't model your special look after me. Not unless you never want to see him again.The funniest thing about this show is that I kept saying, "The way I look on this show, I am never gonna get any." Well, I was dead wrong. My boyfriend of almost a year and I will be celebrating our first Valentine's Day off the beaten path. I didn't mean to use "beaten." He's a really nice guy. ... read more

Meet the Parents

Welcome to another episode of Men in Trees [Thursdays at 10 pm/ET, on ABC]. This week's installment, "The Indecent Proposal," was written by our creator, Jenny Bicks. She is also a great blogger, so you should check out what she says about this one on the writers' blog at ABC.com. I know it sounds like I'm plugging the ABC website every week, but I promise I'm not some shameless promoter for the network. I just enjoy reading what our writers are thinking. This episode was exciting for me because it's the first time I have a scene with Jane (Seana Kofoed). In fact, this will be the first time that our characters ever speak to one another on the show. Seana and I were always saying to each other, "Wouldn't it be hilarious if Jane went out to Queens with Annie and met her insane family?" Well, Jenny Bicks must be a mind reader, because that's exactly what happens! Annie is bringing Patrick home to meet the parents and announce their engagement, and she tries to set up Jane with her cut... read more

Kenny Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Hello, this is Kyle Sullivan from The War at Home. (I play Larry.) This week's episode is entitled "Kenny Doesn't Live Here Anymore." Can you guess what happens? Yup, Kenny moves out. His parents eventually come around and accept him for who he is. This week features a ton of guest stars, all of whom are characters you've seen before. Martin Mull is back as Principal Fink, Marcelo Tubert's back as Kenny's dad Achmed, Jackson Rathbone will be Kenny's boyfriend Dylan, Dreux Frederic is Taye, and Carla Renata is Eartha, the social-services lady. Kenny's mom is also back on the show and is played by Rose Abdoo. When we were in production for this episode (which was about three or four weeks ago), I was still addicted to that Nintendo DS that I'd stolen from Dean in the previous week. I was playing so often that our camera guys made fun of me; they started calling the DS "Kyle Crack" so as to mock and ridicule my newfound love. I eventually lost interest (mostly 'cause I got to some leve... read more

Daydream Believer

I've been traveling the last week and a half from L.A. to Dallas to Atlanta and back. Still working off little sleep, I find myself daydreaming. I used to walk and talk in my sleep when I was a child. Would wake up and find myself out of my bed, down the stairs in the living room on my rocking horse, or other places. I've done it a couple of times as an adult, had conversations with friends on the phone that I don't recall and waking up in a different room. I wake up slightly disconnected for the rest of the day. Having roamed while asleep, I then dream while I'm awake. I associate travel with dreaming. Fall into a reverie on trains and planes. When I come to, I'm in another city, another time zone, and sometimes feeling that no time or space has passed at all.I was in Atlanta last Tuesday when CBS aired The Unit's double-header evening of "Sub-Conscious" and "Johnny B Good." "Sub-Conscious," written by Daniel Voll, explores the dreams of unit wife Kim Brown (played by Audrey Marie ... read more

I Have Never Taken Nude Photos

The episode we are working on this week, "The Italian Affair," deals with secret pasts. In cleaning out their storage closet, Eddie (Brad Garrett) and Joy (Joely Fisher) find a roll of film with photos from a trip to Italy they've done their best to forget. The reason they've tried to bury the whole vacation is that on their way home, Eddie spanked Joy like a toddler. She was so humiliated that she left him, and he had to do everything he could to get her back. For the last 20 years, Eddie and Joy have not spoken of their trip to Italy, lest they dredge up the old feelings of resentment sparked by this terrible event. We also learn yet a little more about the sordid past of Steph (me). As far as we knew at the beginning of the series, Steph was as sweet and innocent as could be. True, she did trade sex for furniture, but for the most part, a joyful post-wedding romantic haze surrounded her. Things have changed since the wedding.Before I bring us to this week's episode, let's do a br... read more

February 11, 2007: Semper Fi

I always say that the families we help are metaphors for the larger story of America; this story is no exception. This week we helped a true American hero. A man who selflessly served his country in its time of need, all without seeking any spotlight or reward. The man I'm talking about is Jason Thomas, a former Marine who threw on his uniform and drove towards the danger on that fateful September morning of 2001. On September 11, 2001, a day that no American can ever forget, Jason Thomas was living on Long Island and had seen the reports of those planes hitting the World Trade Center. Donning his Marine Corp. uniform, he sped toward ground zero to lend a hand wherever he could. He and another rescuer found and rescued the two Port Authority Police officers from underneath the rubble of the Trade Center and were eventually immortalized in the Oliver Stone film World Trade Center. The most amazing part of the story is that Jason just went home after the rescue and never came forward... read more

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