NBC's "Days of our Lives" has released what fans have been clamoring for since the May announcement of new head writers and June's reveal of behind the scenes changes, your first look at the "New DAYS" that begins on Monday, September 26 with the debut of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas' material and Greg Meng and Noel Maxam Co-Executing Producing.
Greg Meng along with Noel Maxam were named Co-Executive Producers of NBC's "Days of our Lives" on Tuesday, June 14, when the series released the first set of changes hitting the soap after the hiring of new head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. While the writing duo shared with Soap Opera Network what fans could expect from the soap when their material hits the airwaves starting Monday, September 26, Meng took the time to tell viewers why they should continue tuning in before that day comes.
Matthew Ashford returns to NBC's "Days of our Lives" this September when his character, Jack Deveraux, finds himself back in Salem facing many changes and new challenges. Soap Opera Network spoke with Ashford at the "DAYS" studio about his return to the soap, his work on the web based series "The Bay" and the most pirated movie of 2008!
For the past two and a half weeks, I found myself in unfamiliar territory when it came to running the website as I was based out of Los Angeles. Normally, I run things here in New York. What I found unfamiliar, however, was finding out the true stories behind what many soap fans can't seem to get enough of - the Disney/ABC and Prospect Park connection as it relates to "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" and even "General Hospital." So what did I learn that I can share with you? Plenty!
It was Thursday, May 19 when word broke that Dena Higley was out as head writer of "Days of our Lives" and former "Passions" Associate Head Writers, Darrell Ray Thomas and Marlene McPherson were in. Since the announcement, a lot has been speculated, talked about and dissected by anxious fans waiting to get some ounce of news on what they can expect to see when "Days of our Lives" relaunches itself this September. On Thursday, July 28, Soap Opera Network visited the Burbank set that houses "DAYS" in studios 2 and 4 and talked with the shows new head writers outside of the now defunct Salem Place set about what fans can expect when their material debuts on Monday, September 26. The duo also give us a scoop on what the Friday, September 23 show that precedes their official debut is all about.
Honestly, the title sounds more interesting than what is actually happening. Later this evening, Soap Opera Network will be migrating to a new service provider that promises better and faster service than we've ever received in the (almost) 10 years we've been online. What that means is that we will not be posting new content on the site, including our message boards, after 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT. The transition should be short and quick without any real interruption in service. In fact, everything will be so fast that we do not expect any issues with propagation (if you are wondering what that means, see below).
As we reported yesterday, we likely have to thank our federal government for providing the funding necessary for Prospect Park to pick up "All My Children" and "One Life to Live," which were both canceled by ABC on Thursday, April 14. The announcement that ABC would be licensing the two iconic soaps to Prospect Park was made on Thursday, July 7, but according to sources the financial deal actually came together back in May, just in time for what is said to be the deadline period for the government to hand out grant money to companies looking to invest in New Media. We thought it was crazy too, but we checked and it is definitely true. What we know about this deal is that upon their completion on ABC, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will be migrated to an as-yet-to-be-named Hulu-esque internet video service that would allow both daily soap operas to continue their storytelling for millions of online users and "be delivered with the same quality and in the same format and length," as fans have come to expect for more than forty years, according to the joint press release issued from Disney/ABC and Prospect Park. Translation: One hour per day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year will remain within the realm of reality. What wasn't clear at the time was after both soaps complete their runs on ABC, they will also conclude on SOAPnet.
It has been three months since we've learned that "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have been canceled and would no longer be seen weekday afternoons on the ABC Television Network or weeknights on SOAPnet. It has been a truly unique period for this industry that has seen fans rallying together to try and help save shows that have become part of their everyday lives. Whispers, rumors and reports were trickling in at a record pace, often times we would find our heads spinning. Weeding through the information that we received here at Soap Opera Network, we aimed to report what we felt had the most backing or we were able to verify through various other sources. Turns out we may have had a big inside source all along.
It was June 8 when newly appointed "General Hospital" head writer Garin Wolf previewed to TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan that "sometimes they come back" in reference to what fans can expect from his tenure as the shows top scribe. Since then word broke that Leslie Charleson would be returning to the soap as Dr. Monica Quartermaine nearly a year after being placed on recurring status, but never seen or used since. Also expected to return in recurring capacities are Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine) and Ingo Rademacher (Jasper 'Jax' Jacks), who were both fired while under the Robert Guza Jr. dictated writing regime. Also showing their face for a lengthier stay than originally thought, and in a recurring capacity, is Constance Towers whose Helena Cassadine is finding herself a new boy toy after many years of lacking a 3 dimensional personality, the return of Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) and more Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliott).