How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of 'GH,' 'The View' and 'The Chew'; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

How WATCH ABC Changes Will Affect Viewing of ‘GH,’ ‘The View’ and ‘The Chew’; Shows Also on Hulu Plus

 
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Darrell Ray Thomas
Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

When we reported that Marlene McPherson (pictured right, with former “DAYS” co-head writer Darrell Ray Thomas) had been hired on as head writer of Prospect Park’s version of “All My children” back on January 23, it was unclear at the time as to whether she would be joined by a co-head writer. Soap Opera Network has since learned that it’ll be a “Days of our Lives” reunion of sorts for “AMC” as McPherson will be joined by Elizabeth Snyder, who was an Associate Head Writer at “DAYS” from 2011-2012.

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Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – In an interview posted earlier today by TV Guide‘s Michael Logan, it looked like “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng was alluding to the possible ouster of actress Sarah Brown when he stated “we also brought in the wonderful Sarah Brown [Madison James] and threw her into a lot of material very quickly. Maybe too much too quickly.” Sadly, it looks like he was indeed commenting on Brown’s character on the show in past tense.

Soap Opera Digest is reporting that Christie Clarke (Carrie Brady), Patrick Muldoon (Austin Reed), Matthew Ashford (Jack Devereaux) and Brown are all being let go in what is being now being called phase one of the mass firings expected at NBC’s “Days of our Lives.”

In the case of Clarke, Muldoon and Ashford, the trio returned to “DAYS” in September as part of the soaps big reboot. Brown joined the cast in early October as the first new character introduced by recently ousted head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.

Last airdates are unknown at this time as a representative was unavailable for comment at press time, however, considering “Days of our Lives” currently films three months ahead of airdate and the new writing teams material is scheduled to hit the air in mid-August, per Meng, look for the quad to last air in August.

Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as this breaking story continues to develop.



Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

TV Guide‘s Michael Logan got the first real interview with “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng, just days after the soap fired its head writing team and replaced them with the team of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell. In the interview, Meng promises some epic firings in the coming months!

Although many speculated the reasoning behind Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.‘s ouster from the NBC daytime drama series, only Meng was able to shed light on how things went down. “We spoke with the network and collectively felt we needed to take a pause, make a change with the writing and the style of the show for a while and see if that will redirect things. The ratings situation is very complex and difficult, and we have a tremendous challenge with that right now,” Meng said to Logan. “Everybody on the ‘DAYS’ team, and that includes NBC and Sony, our distributor, wants this show to succeed and we’re doing everything we can to make it work. We all have different visions as to how to achieve that success but the good news is that we’re all in synch on the future. No one wants cancellation. Even though we brought in Darrell and Marlene to reset ‘DAYS’ last September, it was always our feeling that the show needed to constantly be nurtured with smaller resets. This isn’t the end of the world. We’re just resetting it again in an effort to get it right.”

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Peter Kramer/NBC

On the heels of “Days of our Lives” replacing the head writing team of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. with a new head writing team consisting of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell, TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio is reporting that part of the deal NBC signed in order to keep Matt Lauer with the network late last week could include a possible fifth hour of “The Today Show.”

“Lauer’s new agreement keeps him in the coanchor chair of the morning show for four years and includes a program development deal, which could give him an ownership stake in a syndicated show outside of ‘Today,’ TV Guide Magazine has learned. The contract could earn him in the neighborhood of $100 million, according to people familiar with the deal. One idea already being kicked around is spinning off Lauer’s regular segment ‘Today’s Professionals,’ in which he spars over hot-button issues with a panel that includes Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The segment could also be developed into a fifth hour of ‘Today.’

NBC Universal

The ink on Lauer’s new NBC contract is barely even dry, so discussion of how it impacts “Days of our Lives” is too early to tell if even at all. Additionally, the network giving Lauer a stake in a syndicated program doesn’t necessarily mean the end of “DAYS” or any indication of the network looking to tinker with its barely there daytime schedule, which consists of the long-running daytime soap and hours three and four of “Today” (aka: The Today Show 2 and The Today Show 3). A syndicated program could logistically air on any affiliate willing to pay the most dollars to air it. This includes stations that currently air network programming from ABC, CBS, FOX or even The CW.

If, however, the network does decide to add a fifth hour of “Today” on its schedule, it would greatly impact the future of “DAYS” as NBC’s current contract with Sony Pictures Television and Corday Productions, producers of the soap, is set to expire in September 2013. A decision on renewing the show for additional years will not be made until at least March 2013, according to sources.

The latest Nielsen ratings data shows “DAYS” hit a new series low in Women 18-49 viewers and tied its series low in Women 18-49 rating, the key sales demographic advertising rates are set and sold by.



Pictured: Gary Tomlin (Photo: Aaron Montgomery/JPI)

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — With news of Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell‘s ascension to the top of the “Days of our Lives” writing team after the NBC daytime soap let go Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., less than a year after the two were hired to replace Dena Higley, Soap Opera Digest in its newest issue (issue dated April 16, 2012) is reporting that Tomlin and Whitesell has added the multiple Emmy award winning talents of veteran writer Lorraine Broderick to its new regime.

Broderick, who most recently enjoyed a stint at ABC’s “One Life to Live” as a breakdown writer shortly after penning the final months of “All My Children” as the soaps head writer – she was hired at “AMC” just days before the network officially announced it had decided to cancel both soaps with “Children” going off the air in September 2011 and “One Life” completing its run in January 2012 - joins “DAYS” in the same position she had at “One Life to Live” until its final episodes were written. “We are excited and look forward to the stories of romance, suspense and intrigue this new dream team plans to tell,” Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng said via Digest.

Broderick’s long career in daytime television as a writer began more than three decades ago when she was hired on as a script writer at “All My Children” in 1979. She held that position until 1981, when she was named Associate Head Writer. She would begin a short stint as the soaps Co-Head Writer in 1987, but would revert back to her former position as Associate Head Writer beginning in 1988 until 1991. She left “AMC” for “Guiding Light” beginning in 1992, where she was hired once again as an Associate Head Writer (1992-1993). After leaving “GL,” Broderick would find herself at numerous daytime soaps in various capacities including the role of Head Writer and/or Associate Head Writer at “Another World,” “As The World Turns,” “One Life to Live” and “Port Charles.”

Before marking her return to “DAYS” later this year, Broderick was previously credited as Head Writer of the soap for just one month (October 1999).



Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Earlier today Soap Opera Network broke the story that NBC’s “Days of our Lives” has decided to end its relationship with co-head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. The female half of the dynamic team has now spoken out on Twitter against the decision by revealing that the two weren’t given enough of a chance to develop the soap to where they wanted it to go thanks to network interference.

“NBC never let us tell our stories. They kept stopping us and changing our direction,” said McPherson, who also took the time to thank the fans for hanging in for the ride (for the full tweet, see below).

Sources tell Soap Opera Network that Thomas deleted his Twitter account late last week.

An NBC spokesperson did not return requests for comment at press time.

Marlene McPherson’s Twitter Response

Twitter

Former “Days of our Lives” Co-Executive Producer Gary Tomlin and Co-Head Writer Christopher Whitesell will take over co-head writing duties effective immediately. Note: “Days of our Lives” films approximately three months ahead of airdate, however, in most cases the soaps writing is completed four months in advance. Therefore, depending on rewrites, Tomlin and Whitesell’s material should begin airing sometime in August after the Olympics on NBC.



NBC Universal

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Exclusive! Soap Opera Network has learned that “Days Of our Lives” has fired Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. as its co-head writers and replaced them with Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell.

McPherson and Thomas were hired in May 2011, replacing Dena Higley, to help shepherd the “DAYS” reboot (the returns of fan favorites Drake Hogestyn, Deidre Hall, Patrick Muldoon, Christie Clark and Matthew Ashford).  Unfortunately, the ratings did not improve and the show recently hit a new low in Women 18-49 Viewers with just 496,000 total tuning in from that ratings category for the week March 19-23, 2012.

Tomlin returns to “DAYS” after being the Co-Executive Producer from September 17, 2008 – September 2, 2011 (on air episode dates) . This will be Tomlin’s first head writing gig in about 27 years – he was Head Writer of “Another World” in the mid-80′s.  Though he was an interim Head Writer for “One Life To Live” (on air episodes dates: February 1, 2008 – May 1, 2008) during the 2007-2008 Writers Strike.

Whitesell also returns to the show after being Co-Head Writer from October 13, 2008 – June 13, 2011 (on air episode dates).  This will be Whitesell’s 6th Co-Head Writing stint: he co-head wrote for “General Hospital” (1997), “Sunset Beach” (1998 – 1999), “One Life To Live” (2001-2003), “As The World Turns” (2005-2007).   Whitesell was writing breakdowns for “The Young and The Restless” for the past year.



Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As Soap Opera Network first reported yesterday evening, Lisa De Cazotte has been hired to fill the shoes of the departing Noel Maxam as Co-Executive Producer of NBC’s “Days of our Lives.” In a statement issued earlier today to the press, Co-EP Greg Meng confirmed that De Cazotte will be joining him as Co-Executive Producer and that, “[Executive Producer] Ken Corday is excited to have Lisa join the ‘Days of our Lives’ family.”

The change from Maxam to De Cazotte is effective immediately.

De Cazotte was the Executive Producer of “Passions” for the show’s entire run (July 5, 1999 – August 7, 2008). This reunites her with former “Passions” writers and current  “DAYS” Co-Head Writers Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. and Marlene McPherson.

De Cazotte began her soap opera career as an intern for “One Life To Live” in the early 1980′s and worked her way up to Coordinating Producer before leaving in 1991 to join “Santa Barabara” as a Producer. When “Santa Barbara” ended in 1993, she joined “All My Children” where she was a Coordinating Producer and later Supervising Producer. In 1996, De Cazotte left “AMC” to help start NBC’s new soap opera “Sunset Beach” where she worked as a Producer and Supervising Producer. In 1998, De Cazotte was chosen to be the Executive Producer of another new NBC soap, “Passions.” After “Passions” ended, De Cazotte was name the Executive Producer for the second season of SOAPnet’s “General Hospistal: Night Shift” (July 22, 2008 – October 21, 2008). In 2009, she returned to “All My Children” as a Producer and worked there for a year.

Maxam joined “DAYS” as a Producer/Director in August 2007. In late 2008, Maxam was promoted to Supervising Producer. Beginning his daytime career with “The Young and the Restless” in 1997 as an Associate Director, Maxam directed a number of episodes at the drama series starting in 1999 until his departure in August 2007 to join “DAYS.” He was named Co-Executive Producer along with Meng in June 2011 in what producers called a “reboot” of the series.



JPI

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — EXCLUSIVE! Sources have confirmed to Soap Opera Network that “Days of our Lives” has fired Co-Executive Producer Noel Maxam. His replacement will be former “Passions” Executive Producer Lisa De Cazotte.

This comes as a shocking development as Maxam was named Co-Executive Producer this past June, along with Greg Meng, who will remain as Co-Executive Producer.

De Cazotte was the Executive Producer of “Passions” for the show’s entire run (July 5, 1999 – August 7, 2008).   This reunites her with former “Passions” writers and current  “DAYS” Co-Head Writers Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr.  and Marlene McPherson.

De Cazotte began her soap opera career as an intern for “One Life To Live” in the early 1980′s and worked her way up to Coordinating Producer before leaving in 1991 to join “Santa Barabara” as a Producer.   When “Santa Barbara” ended in 1993, she joined “All My Children” where she was a Coordinating Producer and later Supervising Producer. In 1996, De Cazotte left “AMC” to help start NBC’s new soap opera “Sunset Beach” where she worked as a Producer and Supervising Producer. In 1998, De Cazotte was chosen to be the Executive Producer of another new NBC soap, “Passions.”   After “Passions” ended, De Cazotte was name the Executive Producer for the second season of SOAPnet’s “General Hospistal: Night Shift” (July 22, 2008 – October 21, 2008). In 2009, she returned to “All My Children” as a Producer and worked there for a year.

De Cazotte is a graduate of Fordham University and has 4 Daytime Emmy nominations.

Stay tuned to Soap Opera Network as more details become available.



(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — October 8, 2011 marks the tenth anniversary of Soap Opera Network, an online magazine celebrating the world of soaps past, present and future.

Soap Opera Network began as an online message board on the then popular ezBoard (now called Yuki) platform by two individuals that wanted to start a more industry based discussion forum for fans of the soap opera genre with the idea that not only could one discuss the comings, the goings or the general news of the day, but have the opportunity to learn more about the names, the faces and the minds of the people that help make daily dramatic serials happen year in and year out. At launch, soap operas “All My Children, “As The World Turns,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live,” “Passions,” “Port Charles,” and “The Young and the Restless” were on the schedules of television networks ABC, CBS and NBC.

In November 2002, Soap Opera Network left ezBoard and became its own .com service.

Thanks to elaborate databases such as a ratings archive (how soaps rated over the years), episode count archive (who appeared in episodes of a soap opera each and every month and year), its end credit archive (who wrote, directed or produced each episode), including a listing of episode writers and directors along with profile pieces on more than 80% of the writers, producers and directors, Soap Opera Network has cornered the market on information surrounding the inner workings of the soap opera format.

Over the course of its ten years, Soap Opera Network has interviewed a number of daytime’s biggest stars and behind the scenes personnel including Susan Lucci, Erika Slezak, Melody Thomas Scott, Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Sarah Brown, Hillary B. Smith, Robert S. Woods, Ilene Kristen, Ken Corday, Cameron Mathison, Cady McClain, Eden Riegel, Judith Light, Bradley P. Bell, Brian Frons, Maria Arena Bell, Sherri Shepherd, Daniel Goddard, Greg Meng, Marlene McPherson, Darrell Ray Thomas, Nancy CurleeMelissa Archer, Kristen Alderson, Julie Pinson, Ron Carlivati, Frank Valentini, Linda Dano and many more.

Current Soap Opera Network staff is as follows:

Xavier Toups, Co-Founder
Errol Lewis, Editor in Chief; General Hospital Editor; Days of our Lives Editor
Angela Rosa, Managing Editor; All My Children Editor
Scotty Gore, Managing Editor; One Life to Live Editor
Venus Stone-Cutter, The Young and the Restless Editor
Gehrig Burnett Jr., The Bold and the Beautiful Editor









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