More casting news — some surprising, some not — behind the cut…
The cast and crew celebrated the show’s 50th anniversary with a cake on the Brady Pub set on Monday, and this photo, tweeted by Lauren Koslow, confirms something that’s been rumored for a while: Brandon Beemer, who played the second adult Shawn Douglas Brady, is back on set and filming. (He’s in the bottom right of the photos, kneeling with Martha Madison, Jen Lilley, and Billy Flynn.) According to info that’s been trickling out online, the show got Jason Cook (the first/current adult Shawn) back for the 50th anniversary and was hoping to get him to stick around long-term, but he prefers to focus on writing and directing. If that’s the case, I don’t mind Beemer being back. I never thought he was bad, and he’s a familiar face who’s likable enough and worked well with the actors who play his family. It’s kind of funny that this is the second time he’ll be taking over from Cook, but they could do a lot worse.
In other cast addition news, Soap Opera Digest reveals that Real Andrews, formerly of General Hospital and As the World Turns, is joining Days in a to-be-named role. There aren’t many details available as of yet — including whether this is a contract role or a short-term one — so all we can do is speculate. Aside from the obvious (that he’ll be Abe’s brother, Jonah, because in Salem, all black people are related or they’re Maxine), this could totally be a story-specific doctor or lawyer role. Guess we’ll find out when he starts airing in 2018 or whenever.
Finally, Jason47 reports what we’ve all kind of known for some time: that Peter Reckell (Bo Brady) only signed on for a short return stint, and once it’s over, both he and Bo will be leaving the show — in a more final way than before. Bo is slated to die of an illness, thus closing the door for Bo/Hope, allowing Hope to move on, and giving fans the closure they’ve needed since 2012. I think that having Bo die is a smart way to wrap things up, but given that they knew this is how it was going to go, I’m not sure I understand the decision to have Aiden go out the way he has. They could have Bo return, having been in captivity, only for Hope to be torn — and then Bo becomes the final victim of the Necktie Killer when he saves someone else from an attack, so he dies a hero and Hope is conflicted even as she faces her new marriage to Aiden. This could’ve also spared Will, who could’ve been sent out of town to be recast, while still giving Bo, Hope, and their fans a dignified ending. I’m not sure of the wisdom in essentially resetting Hope to where she was in 2013 with this series of moves, but we’ll have to wait and see how it all plays out.