Archive for January 2017

Head Writer Switcheroo AGAIN

January 23, 2017

Breaking news! Dena Higley is out — though her Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, remains in a Creative Consultant post — and former One Life to Live/General Hospital Head Writer, Ron Carlivati, is coming to Days!


From Soap Opera Digest:

The show has replaced Co-Head Writer Dena Higley with Emmy-winning scribe Ron Carlivati, who toiled at both GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE, effective immediately. His title will be Head Writer. Higley’s Co-Head Writer, Ryan Quan, will remain with the new title of Creative Consultant. Daytime Emmy-winner Sheri Anderson Thomas, who has served on DAYS’s writing team in various capacities, including head writer and co-head writer in the ’80s and ’90s, will also hold the Creative Consultant title.

I’m actually way less shocked by this than I maybe should be. Carlivati has been a free agent for a while, and his brand of heightened storyline has been talked about a lot online as a possible fit for Days. And former Head Writer Sheri Anderson, who has long, long been buzzed about as being the needed fix for what ails the show, will be consulting!

I definitely agree that Salem could use a shot in the arm. As I’ve said recently, I like a lot of what Higley and Quan have set up, but I don’t necessarily think it’s playing out with as much energy as it needs to have. Carlivati’s initial time as HW of OLTL was very, very strong, with interweaving, character-driven storylines, and he brought a lot of that to GH at first, though that show seemed to get away from him for whatever reason. At any rate, I’m excited (interested?) to see what the hell happens next.

One thing Carlivati did at both those shows was establish a gay presence, so I would not be surprised to see Sonny/Paul become more prominent, or to see Will’s murder reversed. He also definitely loves vets and history — though sometimes applies established canon, er, liberally — so we should be up for some unexpected stuff in the coming months, or at least when his material begins airing in the 22nd century.

Of course, the real question is: when do we get our next The Plan to Save Days interview?!

Cancelled Casting Tidbit

January 23, 2017

Thought this might be of interest to some of y’all…

According to Serial Scoop, there was a casting call out last spring for a “Dr. Caleb Cooper” last spring/summer:

The character was a described as a “Good-looking loner. He lives on a self-sustaining farm in middle America, completely off the grid.… He finds peace and joy in nature. He keeps his past as a doctor secret, hiding the truth about a traumatic tragedy from his past.”

DAYS was looking for a strong, established actor between the ages of 44-55 to fill the role.

Actor Michael Lowry, who did stints on All My Children and One Life to Live in the past, posted a video of an audition he did for the role:

Serial Scoop adds that the role has “been scrapped,” which, of course it has, since Eric has clearly taken on the “Caleb” role — which was supposed to be involved with Hope — in this story. If I had to guess, Caleb was initially going to look like a love interest for Hope, but then he’d become obsessed with her and wind up as a crazed obstacle for Hope/Rafe, because this is Days and that’s how things go.

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 16th

January 21, 2017

A familiar face came to Hope’s rescue. Meanwhile…

The Salem Chapter of Future Crime Bosses of America held a meeting with its charter members, Chad, Sonny, and Dario. They attempted to work things out with regards to the microchip technology but only succeeded in making things worse. Dario ordered a hit on Deimos but warned Nicole to steer clear, which of course tipped her off enough to try and get to Deimos in time.

Check out the full recap to see What Happened in Salem this week!

Latest on the Future of Days

January 21, 2017

During NBC’s presentation to the Television Critics Association this past week, some of the honchos had things to say about the pending renewal for Days. From Deadline Hollywood:

“We haven’t made decisions, but we like that show,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt told Deadline at TCA. “I think we will know more in couple of months. As they age, these shows diminish, there is a lot of delayed viewing and very little linear viewing anymore, you have to keep looking at that.”

Added NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke, “We hope that the show comes back.”

This leaves me cautiously optimistic about the show getting another renewal. We’re really coming down to the wire here, but these comments sound a little bit like a “Get your shit together” threat. I still don’t think they’re confident in the ability of any talk show — including and especially Megyn Kelly, whose “popularity” feels very tied to the now-finished election cycle — to carry that hour any more effectively than Days has done in recent years, but it also can’t keep sliding for the rest of eternity.

‘Chips Ahoy

January 20, 2017

I have a perhaps-controversial opinion.


No, it isn’t that I think Club TBD looks okay. It’s still awful on every count.

My controversial (?) opinion is this: I think this microchip storyline is pretty good.

Wait, wait. Hold the tomatoes. I have some caveats — primarily, that I think this storyline is very solid on paper. If you were to describe this story to a longtime Days fan without giving away that Dena Higley were writing the show, I bet that viewer would say it sounds like exactly what Days needs right now. Think about it: the DiMeras and the Kiriakises are both privy to revolutionary technology that could earn either family millions. A scrappy, third family rises up to get involved and take that technology. All this is the backdrop for a number of personal and relationship stories. Chad and Abigail are trying to get their marriage back on solid ground, while she’s harboring self-doubt and he’s resisting the feelings he developed for Gabi. Abigail has a newfound friendship with Dario, her husband’s wild-card competitor. JJ is desperate to win Gabi back but has been tasked with investigating her father and brother, and wild-card Lani is… there. Sonny and Chad’s friendship is threatened as they step up to represent their respective families. Kate’s burgeoning relationship with Eduardo is complicated by his family having stolen and smuggled the microchips. Deimos is willing to play dirty, which again tests his and Nicole’s relationship and strengthens Chloe’s resolve to keep Holly away from him, even if it means hurting Nicole.


See? That’s a pretty strong umbrella storyline. In execution, though, it’s a bit like a house made out of popsicle sticks and Scotch tape (or, you know, the typical Days set). The microchip stuff arose out of nowhere. Chad and Gabi’s “love” was completely rushed. Sonny as a business-minded Kiriakis feels forced. It makes no sense why anyone trusts Deimos. Chloe is the damn voice of common sense with regards to Deimos, and somehow her motivation for keeping that child from Nicole still feels thin.

But there’s something there. Maybe the scripts need to be digging deeper. Maybe it’s that the setups were rushed into place, and we just need to buy into those in order to buy the story. But I will say that it’s generating a lot of scenes and dynamics that I’m enjoying, and this sort of far-reaching storytelling works so well for this incarnation of the show. So I suppose I’m willing to go along for the ride right now, based upon the potential of the whole thing and the engaging scenes that pop up along the way.

New Things to Complain About!

January 18, 2017

What a Tuesday in Salem!


Kayla and Steve are going to pay the rent on an apartment that Joey and his almost-babymama, White Jade, are going to share with three other college kids! How could this possibly go awry?

They did a nice job converting the old Sami/Rafe apartment into a new set, and I definitely don’t mind having something else to look at, but this plan is objectively horrible, yeah? I get that Kayla and Steve are good people who don’t want to cast Jade out into the wind, but let me get this straight: Joey hopes that by sharing a living space with Jade and having her be dependent upon his family, he’ll be able to faze her out of his life? Ooooookay. College is not looking promising for someone.

As for White Jade herself:


The actress seemed to fit right in on her first day, but what was the point of this recast? I feel like their story wrapped up pretty naturally thanks to the miscarriage, and they could’ve brought this girl in as Joy Wesley (I know, Joey/Joy is problematic name-wise) and had her connected to other people on canvas and without the weird baggage of a character who never totally made sense to begin with.

Meanwhile, Hope was awfully fortunate that her nephew-by-marriage was the person who just happened to find her conked out in the woods.


Greg Vaughan’s harder look for this return is kind of jarring (even though I’d been prepared by photos), but he’s still embodying that soulfulness Eric had when he was a priest, albeit tempered by the weight of the mistakes he’s made. I’m eager to see what they have planned for him. I’m guessing he was granted early release from prison and planned to hide out from society, but it seems really weird that his father, who is the Police Commissioner, would’ve had no clue about this. Although for all we know, Roman could’ve actually mentioned it onscreen and we just couldn’t understand what the hell he was carrying on about.

Over in Prague, a city composed entirely of three rooms and an alleyway, everyone’s just about had it with Anna.


Not me, though! I’ve seen some comments from people who are upset that none of the other characters seem to be taking her mental illness seriously, but frankly, I’m just glad there’s some energy to this. Austin’s exasperation with her has been hilarious, and they’re balancing it out with Carrie telling him not to call her mom crazy. (Though could Carrie please shoot back once with, “At least she’s not trying to kill you, which is what I’ve had to deal with with your mother for two decades!”) Anna’s question about how Carrie could possibly have fallen for Rafe — who’s at his most unbearable right now — was delightful, too.

I do have to say, though, that while I’m enjoying the scenes, it all feels a little bit like a fakeout. We follow some regular characters to Prague to solve this Stefano mystery, and it turns into this dog-leg focusing mostly on Anna, Carrie, and Austin. It’s similar to shoehorning Hattie and Eric into Hope’s story, or having Laura pop up randomly in the Abigail story, or even the way Shane and Kim were the ones to bring Theresa the news about Mateo. It’s like they realize the stories are thin, so they wave a shiny thing (“Someone you used to like!”) in front of us to keep our attention. I mean, there are worse things, but it does feel a bit like a trick meant to prevent us from noticing that there’s very little actual story going on.

What Happened in Salem: Week of January 9th

January 17, 2017

Chloe woke up, Hope got tossed in the trash, and Microchip Mania heated up…

Chad and Abigail reconnected during a romantic night of dinner and dancing in an Ashley Furniture clearance outlet— oh wait, that was Club TBD. JJ displayed the incompetence necessary for a lifelong career with the Salem PD when he blabbed to Gabi that Eduardo and Dario are under investigation for shady activities pertaining to the club, which Gabi insisted was impossible even though she’d actually just overheard her father and brother discussing such matters. Dario confronted a nonplussed Andre about the missing hard drive, and when Eduardo accused Kate, the multiple-time-attempted-murderess was so offended that he’d think her of capable of theft that she dumped him.

Read the full recap to catch up on What Happened in Salem last week!