After much anticipation, NBC announced today that it has renewed “Days of our Lives” through the 2015-16 television season. The renewal ensures the soap will celebrate its 50th year on television. The series debuted on November 8, 1965.
“‘Days of our Lives’ continues to be a fan favorite for the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 50th season,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “‘DAYS’ has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively due to the hard work of the producers, writers, cast and crew who have worked tirelessly to make ‘DAYS’ the ratings success it is today.
As “General Hospital’s” executive producer, Frank Valentini, recently revealed to Soap Opera Network, the next few months of the iconic soap opera are going to be filled with can’t-miss-television. And Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri) says that part of the excitement to come will definitely include some twists and turns in the complicated baby situation his alter ego is caught in with Britt Westbourne (Kelly Thiebaud) and Lulu Spencer (Emme Rylan).
“As far as I know, there’s going to be a lot more baby drama, which I love,” he tells Soap Opera Network. “Just when you think it’s going to be concluded, it won’t be! The conclusion that you guys think is happening, which I think is in the works, is not as simple as what you think it might be. Don’t underestimate Britt Westbourne, that’s all I can say! She’s a nut bag. She’s smart and conniving.”
Best known for his portrayal of Joey Buchanan on ABC’s “One Life to Live” in the 1990′s, actor Chris L. McKenna is heading to CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.” The actor first noted his joining the series in a tweet to his followers on Friday, January 17, which said, “It appears I’ll be making a bit of a return to soaps. At least for a few episodes.”
Per a rep for the daytime drama series, who confirms the actor’s joining, McKenna will be portraying the recurring role of Mark Harding and begins filming his scenes tomorrow, January 22 with a first airdate set for Monday, February 17.
“He’ll appear during an exciting event that will bring several Genoa City residents together,” says the rep.
It seems like just yesterday that the world was ready to nail the lid on the coffin of daytime soap operas. Ratings were low across the board, and a slew of sudsers — “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” — were cancelled, leaving only “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” on the air. But to the surprise of critics and many soap fans, 2013 saw a drastic turnaround: All four remaining soap operas saw a significant increase in ratings, and “The Young and the Restless” once again made a list of the top 10 most-searched television programs of the year, among popular series like “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” So why the complete 180 in daytime soap popularity?
Soap Opera Network recently attended an event at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where soap opera insiders like John McCook (Eric Forrester, “B&B”), Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer, “GH”), Marnie Saaita (casting director for “DAYS”) and Michael Maloney (author of “The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell: Creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful”) discussed the recent resurgence and more. Read on to find out what these soap opera experts had to say about the genre’s past, present and future!
According to Deadline Hollywood, former “Days of our Lives” star Mark Hapka (ex-Nathan Horton) has joined the cast of the FOX Digital Studio original sci-fi series, “Parallels.”
Per the website, Hapka will portray Ronan Carver, a street-smart underground MMA fighter who has been estranged from his family since age 16 only to be forced to confront his past in an adventure through parallel universes. Also cast in the series are Jessica Rothe (“Gossip Girl”), Eric Jungmann (“Night Stalker”), Constance Wu (“One Life to Live”), Yorgo Constantine (“24″) and Michael Monks.
“Parallels” hails from the mind of writer/director Christopher Leone with Laura Harcom set to produce.
“Days of our Lives” star Alison Sweeney will announce on the Tuesday, January 21 edition of “The Ellen Show” that she will be departing the NBC Daytime drama series after portraying the role of Samantha “Sami” Brady for 21 consecutive years. Sweeney’s contract is set to expire in December 2014, according to published reports.
“I decided that it’s going to be my last year with the show,” said an emotional Sweeney to host Ellen DeGeneres on her future at “DAYS.” Sweeney added, “I’ve been on ‘Days of our Lives’ since I was 16 years old and I have never had more than a two-week vacation in that whole time. I mean, it’s so awesome. I love Sami, I love Salem, I love my job. I love daytime, I love the fans, I love everything about it.”
As previously reported, the annual “General Hospital” Fan Club weekend will take place from Thursday, July 31 through Monday, August 4 at the Sportmen’s Lodge Hotel and Events Center in Studio City, CA. Tickets for the Kick Off Cocktail Party, Main Cast and Blast from the Past – Part II events went on sale last week Monday.
Recently, the fan club announced additional events for several “GH” stars including mainstays Rebecca Herbst, Lisa LoCicero, Tyler Christopher, Laura Wright, Kelly Moncao, Kirsten Storms, Jason Thompson and Dominic Zamprogna. Joining the actors this year with their own events will be Michael Easton, Ryan Paevey, Kathleen Gati, and even the return of Karaoke night, now hosted by Sean Blakemore, Marc Anthony Samuel and Parry Shen.
As we previously reported, celebrity wedding and event planner David Tutera is headed to “The Young and the Restless,” where he’ll help Neil (Kristoff St. John) and Leslie (Angell Conwell) plan their upcoming wedding. And guess what? Soap Opera Network managed to snag an interview with the busy “My Fair Wedding” star to get the scoop on his visit to Genoa City!
With previous clients like Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Elton John and Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane, “All My Children”), Tutera certainly knows a thing or two about throwing jaw-dropping, impressive parties. But acting? Not so much! “They called on me obviously to play the role as myself, and I’m not an actor, so I was wondering, ‘How can I do this?’” he says with a laugh. “But… it was incredibly fun. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”
Fans of “The Bold and the Beautiful’s” Karen Spencer may be in luck: The character’s portrayer, Joanna Johnson, has teased that she may soon be headed back to the soap opera!
During a Television Critics Association event this past week, the actress told reporters that not only has there been talk of having Karen back to the canvas, she’d be willing to give the sudser another go — despite the fact that she’s currently busy writing and producing the ABC Family series “The Fosters.” “This is more than a full-time job,” she said. “But I really do like going back.”
As first reported by Soap Opera Digest, Ilene Kristen (ex-Roxy Balsom, “One Life to Live”) will again be reprising her “Ryan’s Hope” role of Delia Ryan on ABC’s “General Hospital.”
Kristen first re-appeared as the character on two episodes of “GH” back in October 2013. In those episodes, viewers learned that Delia is the mother of Ava Jerome (Maura West) and grandmother of Kiki Jerome (Kristen Alderson).