Pivotal* Character Recast

*Please note my sarcasm.

There’s been a lot of whispering about this online for months. First the character’s name appeared on the cast page of a script, and then the actor was rumored to be working on the show. Go behind the cut to learn the “thrilling” news…

Billy Photo 4 Yann Bean[1]


Per Soap Opera Digest:

Daytime newcomer Billy Flynn has been cast as the new Chad DiMera, confirms a spokesperson for DAYS. He will make his Salem debut on September 12.

To which I say: “Meh.” Usually I’m not so cynical about stuff like this, but this just feels like a pile of blah to me. I guess it’s good that they’re intent on keeping a DiMera presence in Salem even after James Scott (EJ) departs, but Chad has never quite gelled as a DiMera for me. I really don’t need a third go-round of Chad/Abigail, nor are Abigail and Ben strong enough as a couple to need a devious spoiler, though I guess it’s possible he could have sparks with Kate Mansi or with Molly Burnett (rumored to be returning as Melanie). My other gut reaction is “This guy doesn’t look like Chad at all” — and I know weirder recasts have happened, but it just feels like another generic young person with tenuous ties to me.

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9 Comments on “Pivotal* Character Recast”

  1. Dylan Says:

    Sounds pretty blah to me too. I guess it’s not surprising that Casey isn’t coming back since he basically just left. It just feels so forced. I mean let’s recap his last six months on the show: the brain tumor lie, which was so tedious, and the Cameron & Abigail snoozefest, which was even more tedious and boring. I just am desperately hoping that he doesn’t try to get Abigail back. Ugh

    • mykleraus Says:

      The brain tumor thing was at least interesting, in that SOMETHING HAPPENED. I’m glad they didn’t kill Chad off, because it’s useful to have another DiMera out there, but I just never felt they really defined who Chad was, and it doesn’t feel like enough time has passed to do that.

  2. Dan Says:

    If you ignored some of the really bad pacing and the head scratching age issue, I thought the Chad was Stefano’s son story was brilliant. It had been established Stefano and Kate’s past began pre-Salem when Kate was working as a hooker. Bringing on Madeline as Kate’s call girl cohort was interesting and Tuck was solid in her performances. Stefano was so big on family and Kate, at the time, had lured Will into the Dimera orbit and seemed to be pushing for him as heir apparent to the family legacy. It all had the potential to be really dynamic, but it just never really got there. I thought it was the perfect way to destroy Stefano and Kate’s marriage and lead to the eventual Vivian/Stefano pairing, which I think we would have gotten had Higley stayed six more months. Ah, I miss Higley a lot more than I should.

    Anyway, I don’t see this as really reviving the Dimera line. That is pretty much done. If E.J. weren’t on his way out the door, a E.J. / Chad rivalry based on the Abigail situation would be interesting, but that won’t play out for long. I suspect Mascolo’s health is preventing him from appearing since this show usually makes everyone play to pay. I think it’s also part of the reason that the Jordan story has been a hot mess. Notice how James Read is staying a bit longer than the original contract offer and how E.J. has suddenly returned to the drug game. I think they’ve been writing around Stefano a lot for less malicious reasons than the online audience suspects.

    Chad has plenty of non-Dimera connections to make his presence in Salem work. He was Sonny’s business partner, Will’s pal, Abigail’s former flame, and Kate’s former stepson. With Gabi gone, I suspect Kate will take Chad under her wing a bit more since her world continues to grow smaller.

    With all that said, what is interesting is we should expect another round of exits from the younger cast in the coming months. Mansi’s contract is up around the end of the year and Freddie Smith’s should be up shortly there after. Those exits would again mix up the younger set and make Chad’s presence a bit puzzling.

    Anyway, I’m wondering what will happen to Ben since they’ve completely retooled the character with Robert Wilson Scott in the role and he doesn’t seem to have brought much more to the table than Justin Gaston has. At least, Gaston could have played the original music storyline which seems to have been scrapped.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I loved the idea of making Chad a DiMera, and parts of the execution worked (if, like you say, you just ignore the timeline). It just never quite added up to anything compelling or dynamic. Remember how Chad was basically offscreen for months, then came over with a letter opener to “try and get a DNA sample” from Stefano or something, and then they tossed him in with Abigail, and it all just kind of sat there. I really liked the Lexie/Chad dynamic, too.

      I think you’re right about writing around Joe Mascolo. They clearly want to evoke Stefano, and plenty of this stuff would work better if he were to appear even once a week. I hope he’s all right. Apparently he has an appearance (or appearances) coming up…

      Are Mansi and Smith on 3- or 4-year contracts? I know a lot of the newbies have been signing on for 4 years in the past decade or so.

      Ben is blah. I don’t think Chad will replace Ben — I think they’ll give us a triangle/quadrangle. Abigail & Ben are working as part of the larger Sami story, but there’s no way they can carry a story. Honestly, instead of recasting Chad, I wish they’d bring in a new Philip (or Andrew Donovan). Either of those could be fresh, interesting pairings for Abigail.

      • Dan Says:

        Smith and Mansi are both 4-year contracts, but they both arrived in 2011. Given DAYS filming schedule, I’d imagine their contracts would be up soon.

        To be honest, I tuned out that summer because I felt they spent TOO much time on the returnees during Alice Horton’s funeral. I know that’s blasphemous, but, while the event itself was beautiful, a lot of the side stories they cooked up ended up putting the rest of the show into limbo. I’m not even sure I saw Madeline’s death. Maybe I’ll have to find it on youtube.

        I thought about bringing on Andrew, Phillip, or even Alexander Kiriakis, but each one would bring an additional complication that I think Chad doesn’t really bring to the table. He has some solid connections with what’s there now, and there’s time to develop other ones as time goes on. For some reason, I find hard to believe both Andrew and Theresa would be in town without one of their parents being there on a recurring basis. Alexander would be great, but with Wally Kurth committed to GH, major story opportunities would be missed.

      • mykleraus Says:

        Ah, yeah. I spaced on the timing, with them being so far ahead in shooting. I know Mansi started airing in Feb 2011, so she must be up pretty soon. If she bolts, they NEED to recast.

        Madeline’s death was “fine.” It was on the damn pier, of course, and not as dramatic as it should’ve been, and the follow-up was sort of funky. I did like Tuck in the role, though.

  3. Andie Says:

    Haha. He looks like a more refined Frankie Muniz from Malcolm in the Middle. Please for the love of God don’t have Chad try to get Abby back. I want to see him pissed at her for sleeping with EJ. I would rather see Chad with Melanie or maybe bring back Chloe and pair them up.

    • mykleraus Says:

      OMG. I totally see the Malcolm thing now. He also kind of looks like Blake Berris (Nick) to me.

      • Andie Says:

        LOL Nick was so creepy and a stage 5 clinger. I’m so glad he’s gone for good. I kind of feel like they need to get more Horton’s back in lieu of the ones who died/moved/contracts or avilability don’t give them as much screen time (ie Juile and Lucas).

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