Posted tagged ‘Behind the Scenes’

Outstanding Drama Submission Episodes Revealed

April 26, 2017

The 44th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are being presented this Sunday, April 30th, most likely in the mother-in-law suite at Ken Corday’s home (and broadcast via a series of courtroom sketches placed in front of someone’s webcam they installed to watch the dog while they’re at work), and SoapCentral has the breakdown of which episodes every series submitted for consideration in the Outstanding Daytime Drama Series category.

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For Days, the two submitted episodes are as follows:

Episodes #12807 and #12811
Air Dates: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 and Monday, March 28, 2016

Episode 1 Synopsis: Rafe and Steve are determined to rescue John. Marlena unexpectedly joins them. Paul continues to be brainwashed. When it looks like Yo Ling is about to be captured, he bites down on his ring and ingests a lethal poison.

Episode 2 Synopsis: On a dark and stormy night, Abigail believes she sees Ben staring in the window at her. J.J. and Chad assure her that Ben is nowhere near the house. J.J. comforts Abigail with a story from their childhood…then reassures her that they will catch Ben. Just as Abigail starts to relax, one of the guards reports something on the perimeter, and J.J. rushes out. Alone, Abigail sees a dark figure darting into the tunnels and sends Chad after him. She then returns to the living room, finds Thomas gone from his carrier…and turns and sees Ben holding her son.

As a viewer who has seen 99% of the episodes that aired during the eligibility period, I would say these are… interesting choices. From the perspective of a producer looking to win an Emmy, or a voter basing my decision on the two episodes submitted for viewing, I’d have to call these tactical, even smart, picks. Do they represent what Days of Our Lives looked and felt like on a daily basis during the period being considered? Not really, except that they’re both dark as hell (literally and figuratively). Do they look as if Days were taking risks within the medium, attempting to innovate and do some interesting things? Absolutely.

Back when that first episode aired, I found it narratively unsatisfying as the “final” big reveal of John Black’s origins — but it was also cinematic and engaging as a standalone piece. Tobin Bell (who’s nominated as Guest Star for his turn as Yo Ling) was a great bit of casting and also scary as hell. I could completely see this working as Emmy bait, and it’s cool that it features vets like John, Marlena, Steve, and, uh, Rafe.

As for the second submission, it was a little more traditional soap, although they really went above and beyond in creating a creepy ambiance that we don’t get to see much these Days. The centerpiece of the entire thing, aside from the mood, was Kate Mansi’s itchy, unraveling Abigail, and it was some of the best work she did during her five-year run. I get why they went with the standalone episode set at the mansion, but I felt then, and still feel now — just as with a lot of those singularly focused experimental episodes they tried in 2015-16 — that they were struggling to fill the hour with content. I kind of wish they’d gone with a subsequent episode in which Abigail tied Ben to the bed and lit him on fire, but maybe they felt that was too dark for a heroine (although Mansi was electric then), or maybe there were other storylines going on in the same episode that they felt dragged down the pace — think about being an Emmy voter, being caught up in the fascinating Abigail/Ben stuff, and then having to cut to Summer’s useless ass or Ciara trying to speak Human.

All things considered, these are, on their own, fairly strong submissions, and they show Days making a real play for the prize instead of just going with some ho-hum, middle-of-the-road stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how voters respond.

Actress Returns for Limited Run

April 19, 2017

This one has me excited. I have a feeling you’re either gonna love it or hate it…

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Actor (Possibly? Probably?) Out

March 22, 2017

This one isn’t official, and of course it’s coming out in a bizarre way, but head behind the cut to see who…

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2017 Daytime Emmy Noms Announced

March 22, 2017

The nominees for this year’s Daytime Emmys, which will probably be held in someone’s garden shed and broadcast on Facebook Live, were announced earlier today. Days of Our Lives scored 22 nominations, including a nod for Outstanding Daytime Drama Series. It was also nominated in the Writing and Directing categories, as well as several technical ones [full disclosure: I think they just went ahead and plopped all four remaining soaps into all those categories this year, which, whatever].

USA - 2015 Daytime Emmy Awards - Los Angeles

As for the performers…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Drama Series: 
Vincent Irizarry (Deimos Kiriakis)
Billy Flynn (Chad DiMera)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Daytime Drama Series:
Kate Mansi (Abigail Deveraux DiMera)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series:
John Aniston (Victor Kiriakis)
James Reynolds (Abe Carver)

Outstanding Younger Actor in a Daytime Drama Series:
James Lastovic (Joey Johnson)

Outstanding Guest Performer in a Daytime Drama Series:
Tobin Bell (Yo Ling)

First of all, this is John Aniston’s first-ever nomination. How?! I’m also not sure what James Reynolds submitted in order to garner a nom, but he’s a strong actor and seems like a nice guy, so more power to him.

I’m not super-surprised about Vincent Irizarry being nominated, because he’s a big daytime name, but I don’t think he’s done any particularly impressive work on Days (largely because his material has barely made sense). I wouldn’t even be shocked to see him win, since Days actors who have either been fired or left the show — Tamara Braun, Eileen Davidson, Chandler Massey — have a history of doing that, more so than performers actively airing. I don’t really think Billy Flynn has much of a chance, mostly because that category tends to skew older, but we’ll see.

Kate Mansi being up for Supporting Actress while Flynn, her storyline partner, is up for Lead is a little weird, but I guess the thinking was that she only aired for half the eligibility period. I do think she has a better chance of winning in that category, though.

As for Lastovic… the Younger categories are always a little weird (I think the age limit is 25?), and he did have some decent performances and interesting material. I can see how the stuff about Ava’s murder might’ve made for a good reel. I don’t even know what to say about Yo Ling. Tobin Bell did a great job playing a very non-Days part in scenes that felt nothing like Days. That story also seems like it was 10 years ago, for as relevant as it is to the current show. So, he’ll probably win.

Deadline Hollywood has the nominees here, or if you really want to exhaust yourself, you can check out the full (and I mean full) list of ’em here. The official ceremony will be held on April 30.

The New, New, New Plan to Save Days

March 21, 2017

What’s that old saying? “April showers bring really boring 1-2 pm television hours”?

In what has become a wretched, time-honored tradition for viewers of Days of Our Lives, we now find ourselves at the beginning of spring, with months of material left to air before a new writing team’s work shows up onscreen. And, honestly, I’m bored. I can only make so many jokes about Nicole’s hair or Rafe’s bathroom or this DOA mob war. So let’s play a favorite game: speculating about what the new regime might do, as well as what we’d do if it were up to us.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 11.53.12 AM

Putting this behind a cut, on account of casting news that implies spoilers…

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Actress Out! [Updated]

March 1, 2017

I’m really, truly surprised by this.

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Days Renewed!

February 21, 2017

After all the rumors that Megyn Kelly’s move to NBC would spell the end of Days of Our Lives, and the news of a new head-writing regime… the network has just announced that it’s renewed Days for another year!

days-of-our-lives-today-151027-tease-01_18a0b0a663609ae0ed7daad3f609a12b

From TVLine:

Despite rumors that Days of Our Lives was nearing extinction, NBC has renewed the venerable soap opera for a record 52nd season, TVLine has learned exclusively. The pickup comes a month after the sudser fired co-head writer Dena Higley and replaced her with General Hospital vet Ron Carlivati. Days‘ other co-head writer, Ryan Quan, is sticking around as a creative consultant.

I was beginning to get nervous that the lack of an update meant NBC was just going to let the show keep filming until it had enough episodes banked to take them to the end of this contract and then decide not to continue airing it past that, but maybe they were waiting to see how things would look under Carlivati’s pen. It’s always difficult to get full clarification on this, but I believe this means it’s guaranteed to be on-air through September 2018. Or maybe November 2018. At any rate, there are more Days ahead, and with any luck, they’ll be able to right this ship and not have the next renewal be such a nail-biter.