Two More Departures Announced

There are two more Days stars on their way out — though, interestingly, neither appears directly related to the upcoming change in writers. Jump behind the cut for details…

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Jason47 reports that Molly Burnett (Melanie) has finished filming and will last air toward the end of May. Apparently, she only signed on for a six-month stint, and since she finished filming in December (!!), her taped material is coming to its end next month. I’m both blindsided and yet totally unsurprised by this. It’s obvious that TPTB love both Burnett and Melanie, and I was sure the Higley/Tomlin regime would have lots to do with her, but I guess the idea was to get her back for whatever time they could to soften the blow of Sami’s departure. The fact that they knew this was short-term makes it even weirder that they’ve focused so hard on her romance with Brady — although knowing that it’ll be over soon helps me be less annoyed at how little rooting value they actually imbued it with.

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Meanwhile, Freddie Smith (Sonny) has apparently opted not to renew his contract, according to Soap Opera Digest. Smith first aired as Sonny in June 2011, so his four-year contract would be up right around now. He was still on-set and filming until very recently, so he’ll likely be airing through late summer or early fall. I can’t say I’m shocked, since so many of the younger actors seem to fulfill their initial four-year contracts and then bolt, but it’s a big problem for the show to spend all that time investing in these up-and-comers and then be left with a void in the show. One upside of this is that it keeps Sonny and Will from being kept captive in Supercouple Hell. I don’t imagine they’ll write Will out with him (…though I wish they’d recast), so the characters will both move on to other things. I’ve already read speculation that they’ll kill Sonny, since Dena Higley promised “big story” for Justin and Adrienne, but it seems like such a short-sighted waste to kill off a promising young character just because the actor has decided to exit. (Also, they just put Wally Kurth on contract, so it would make sense for him to have a kid on canvas, no?) I’m definitely not opposed to a recast here, though I have enjoyed Smith a lot.

I’m actually starting to get worried that there isn’t going to be anyone left by the 50th anniversary.

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12 Comments on “Two More Departures Announced”

  1. fluffysmom Says:

    I’m not shocked about Freddie’s exit. The majority of the 20 somethings choose to pursue other opportunities when their contracts end.

  2. Dylan Says:

    Really sad about Freddie. Honestly, if some big change doesn’t come soon on the show I’m out, especially after Freddie leaves because he and Paul are the only reason I watch nowadays. Everything else is so dull on the show right now. I’ve never been a fan of recasts and after Will’s recast I’m not very enthusiastic about another one. And of course I would hate for them to kill Sonny, I just hate when they kill off promising characters.
    Weird that Molly is leaving – she hasn’t done anything since she’s been on the show except talking to Brady about how they are going to date and also fleeing from the casino people.

    • mykleraus Says:

      I really hope the writing change at least gives things a shot in the arm. Usually that’s good for at least a few months of exciting changes, plus the 50th anniversary stuff. I’m more concerned they won’t be able to ride that momentum beyond the holidays…

  3. Andie Says:

    I’m really upset about Freddie leaving as well but, I wish him the best if luck in all of his future endeavors. I will certainly keep my eyes peeled for any of his upcoming projects bc he’s such a cutie and a phenomenal actor. As far as Melanie, she’s barely a “blip” on the radar screen; she got on my nerves, I will not miss her.

    • mykleraus Says:

      He’s done a great job. It’s a shame he’s had to play a supporting role for so much of his tenure.

      I really like Molly Burnett, but the writing for Melanie has been very irritating this go-round. I won’t miss the character nearly as much as I thought I would.

      • Dylan Says:

        Yeah it would be much easier if he had a big run already on the show, but really we hadn’t learned much of anything about his backstory until Paul came. I wish we could learn more about his past and imperfections, etc. Oh well, I understand why he would want to explore other options.

      • mykleraus Says:

        I’m glad they FINALLY delved into his backstory. I’d like to know more about Sonny’s relationships with his three brothers, too.

  4. otherweb1 Says:

    “It seems like such a short-sighted waste to kill off a promising young character just because the actor has decided to exit.” I TOTALLY agree, because this is exactly what they did to Nick. He was perhaps the biggest punk in Salem and the only one I’d ever seen (besides Stefano of course) who had the ability to make EJ crap himself … that alone was plenty of justification to recast rather than kill. But then again, we must remember that “deceased” is a loose term around Salem. While it’s sad, I can see why the youngins move on so quickly, as they probably all have the ultimate goal of hitting it big with a primetime series, like at least 2 former young days cast members have done. That’s AWESOME though that Wally is back on full-time! Although, I quit watching the show a couple of months ago because it has gotten SO bad! But I still check in here from time to time 🙂 Hopefully they will actually do something with Wally, and not waste him like they do with Aiden and Hope! Again, I haven’t watched in a couple months, but I’m guessing the Aiden/Hope story has gone absolutely NOWHERE in the past few weeks!

    • mykleraus Says:

      I really think this current Chad could’ve been a Nick recast. He hasn’t shown himself to be as strong as Blake Berris with the really dark, heartbreaking material (yet?), but he’s solid and bears a resemblance to BB. He also plays that sort of smarm really well. I don’t think killing Nick got them as much story as they could’ve gotten out of it (Gabi could’ve gone to prison for shooting him plus her role in Melanie’s kidnapping, and he still could have survived).

      Nothing is happening with Aiden and Hope. They’re happy now. Their scenes are cute, but there’s zero dramatic content.

  5. Dan Says:

    While I enjoy Freddie Smith, his departure won’t be a loss. Even though Smith was always the stronger of the two, the show was always more invested in Will than Sonny. I hope they recast because I like Sonny’s position on the canvas.

    Burnett’s six month contract explains everything and pretty much ensures my belief that Burnett’s return was a production decision. Similarly, the show went after Darren Brooks prior to his popping up on “Bold and the Beautiful.” It’s probably for the best.

    If production supported the writing rather than dictating it, maybe we would have a stronger show.

    • mykleraus Says:

      Agreed. Cramming actors into the show just because is not going to fix anything. Melanie definitely has a place on-canvas if the writing can support it, but this whole stint has reeked of ‘What can we do with her?!?’


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