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

NBC Universal

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On Monday, September 26, “Days of our Lives” introduces a new era of drama when new co-head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas take over. On that day, citizens of Salem gather together for the launch of the new Horton Town Square that will house restaurants, boutiques and an even a book store.

According to a “DAYS” representative, the Horton Town Square will include the following locations:

  • Sherman’s Sporting Goods
  • Hourglass Fine Hour Decor
  • Janet’s Boutique
  • Mandalay Cafe
  • The Mighty Pen Stationary, Gifts, & Crafts
  • Salem Books 

For the novice in you,you’ll notice the series paying homage to the Hourglass that has helped define the soap for nearly 46-years. Meanwhile, Sherman’s Sporting Goods sounds like a take off from the popular Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, while the Mandalay Cafe sounds a little like the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. We’re also glad to know that our favorite Salemites do indeed still read books, despite the immediate availability through Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iPad/iPhone devices. We know some drama will have to be going down there at some point. No one just reads books as  it is still a soap after all.

For more on the news set, check out the gallery below:



Corday Productions/Sony Pictures Television

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — 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 producing.

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Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – 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.

“There are surprises even coming up very soon on the show, so don’t wait until September 26, which is the big revitalized relaunch of the show, but there are surprises between now and then,” said Meng, who also discussed those “mini-plots” you’ve been seeing on your screens since Monday, August 1 (Please Note: This interview took place on Thursday, July 28) and what exactly caused the show to make such drastic changes just a few short months ago both on and off screen.

For more from our interview with Greg Meng, tune into the clip below.



Thomas A. Montalto/MontaltoPhotos.com

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) – 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!

With details of Ashford’s return still being kept under wraps as the drama gears up for a relaunch on Monday, September 26 with new head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Ashford wasn’t able to share much about Jacks’s return to Salem, but he did say that Jack “has been through some loss.” The actor also noted what’s to come for onscreen partner Melissa Reeves and her character Jennifer, who along with Ashford portray the popular couple Jack and Jennifer on the soap. “Jennifer has had some significant changes in her life. She’s had to make adjustments in her feelings and now Jack has to deal with that.” he said. Referring to Jack and Jennifer’s daughter Abigail (Kate Mansi), Ashford shared that “Abigail has grown and become quite the young lady.”

For more on what Ashford had to say about his return and how much daytime has changed since we last saw him check out our exclusive interview below.



Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — 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.

Side Note: Please pardon the wind, it wasn’t something we could control. Also, yes we are aware that Marlene’s name was misspelled in the intro part of the video. We’re working on trying to correct this ASAP. Thanks for understanding!



Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — What started out as a typical week that began on July 25 ended up being one of the worst in Soap Opera Network history, but you wouldn’t have known it from a behind the scenes perspective.

On Wednesday, July 27, I had posted that our server was being transferred to a new provider that would allow our readers to load us up faster than ever before and if you blinked, you would have missed the change in systems. Unfortunately, you kept on blinking and for three consecutive days Soap Opera Network was offline, no where to be found and no way to say TOLDJA! (gotta love our Nikki Finke at Deadline.com). On Saturday, July 30 and heading into Sunday, July 31, Soap Opera Network‘s Community Message Boards returned to the web with a new look courtesy of a software upgrade. Although it takes getting used to, I have to admit it is one of the better looking changes our boards have seen to date. We will be tinkering with minor details per recommendations from posters. Additionally, today, Soap Opera Network has debuted its new website using a new platform. While the old platform was nice and did us wonders for more than five years, times have changed and so have we. We hope you like the redesign and we will definitely be correcting any bugs you or we may come across in the hours, days and weeks to come, specifically in relation to links, etc. We hope you like the new design as much as we did in building it for you.

The Scoops You Came For

While we were offline and left to cleaning up the mess that we were forced into, we had learned that “General Hospital,” despite Prospect Park’s desire to have it did not sign a deal with Disney/ABC Television Group to bring the series to the World Wide Web when it debuts “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” in January 2012 (yes, ladies and gentleman this is now the confirmed debut month for the web launch for both soaps). We also learned that Tamara Braun is indeed returning to “GH” in the coming weeks despite the shows explicit denial to the contrary, although it remains unclear as to whom she will be portraying. But that wasn’t the biggest scoop of them all. Soap Opera Network has learned that when “One Life to Live” wraps filming at the ABC Television Center in New York City this November, it will indeed be moving its studio space when Prospect Park takes over production. But, despite reports that it will be moving to one studio somewhere in the Big Apple, we have learned that it isn’t just moving to one specific studio, but to three! According to sources, “One Life” will call one studio in Brooklyn and another in Queens home once production begins on v2.0. The third studio location wasn’t made clear at press time, nor were the names of the studios in the aforementioned boroughs, however we’ve been told that with the excess studio digs “One Life” crew members will not be forced to take down as many sets as they have been doing for much of the shows 43-year history on ABC.

Not one to leave another exclusive out, Soap Opera Network was in Burbank on Thursday, July 28 and visited the set of NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” where we spoke with newly appointed head writers Darrell Ray Thomas and Marlene McPherson, who have promised many things for fans who have felt the show has turned into something they no longer recognize. From the return of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena, to the debut of the Horton Square and even a sneak peek at what’s been going on with the characters before their material debuts on Monday, September 26, tune Soap Opera Network as we prepare you for new “DAYS” to come.

Until next Notebook

 

Errol Lewis



Disney/ABC Television Group

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — On May 18, 2011, Robert Guza Jr. was fired as head writer of “General Hospital” and Garin Wolf was named the new head writer.  With Guza leaving, it’s not surprising that his wife, breakdown writer Meg Bennett, was also let go from the show.  Breakdown writer David Goldschmid was also fired.  Replacing them on the breakdown team will be Shelly Altman, who’s been writing breakdowns for “One Life to Live” for the past 11 years, and current “GH” script writer Tracey Thomson (though she may only be helping out with breakdowns temporarily).

Over at “Days of our Lives” the changes just keep on coming.   Ryan Quan who’s been a script writer and writers’ assistant gets promoted to breakdown writer, replacing Michelle Poteet Lisanti.  Joining the script writing team is Pete T. Rich.

More changes are expected at both soaps.

For discussion, join us in the Writers/Directors thread.



Thomas A. Montalto/Montalto Photos

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Six years of “Passions” prepared “Days of our Lives” star Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) well when it came to expecting the unexpected, so when the NBC daytime drama series decided to make some drastic changes recently with new head writers and new producers, it was only natural that the “Passion” side kept all things positive. In his Soap Opera Network: On the Red Carpet interview, the actor shares what it has been like to work with former “Passions” writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Thomasnow at the helm at “DAYS” and what fans can expect from the long-running drama series.While rumors abound that numerous stars from “DAYS” past will be returning to Salem when the show resets itself this September executives at the drama series have been keeping mum on announcing who will be returning, but that hasn’t stopped actors from giving us a little hint. “We’re bringing back some of the yester-years and some of the old characters that have been beloved for decades. I can’t believe I can say that, but yeah decades. I’m excited, I’m excited,” said Martsolf. As for what he’s wearing, watch the hilarous video and see him describing his “black suit,” which turns out to be from Hugo Boss, the most worn line of clothing for men on the Emmy red carpet.



Paul Skipper/JPI

After weeks of reported firings, hirings and rumors, NBC’s “Days of our Lives” is breaking its silence. In a press release issued to Soap Opera Network, the program has outlined a series of changes that will be reflected on screen beginning in September that includes highlighting romance and the faces of beloved characters once more. Behind the scenes changes include the hiring of “Passions” scribes Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas and naming Noel Maxam and Greg Meng as Co-Executive Producers. The duo replace Gary Tomlin, who was fired last week. The behind the scenes changes are effective immediately.

“It’s time to make a more positive, romantic, and intriguing show driven by the power of heroic love. I’m very excited about the new adventure we are about to take which is based on the show that my parents created 45 years ago,” said Ken Corday, Executive Producer and owner of the daytime drama series.

“‘Days of our Lives’” initiated a strong direction of change by appointing a new head writing team consisting of Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. The successful writing duo plan to change the direction of the show as they tell contemporary stories based on the solid foundation of the ‘DAYS’ history of family, romance, and intrigue,” the press release stated. According to McPherson and Thomas, “New fans will find many reasons to stay, and longtime fans will find many reasons to return.”

The big changes taking place this fall begins with a grand event, which was expected as McPherson recently tweeted “The excitement is building! Huge party with many surprises the week of 9/26! You are all invited! We promise you won’t be disappointed!”

“The new writing team has already generated much excitement with the compelling stories they have written, and we plan to translate those stories to the screen with a refreshed look,” said Meng, who for over ten years has served as Executive in Charge of Production for the drama series. Before joining “DAYS,” Maxam for his part had a long and successful run at CBS’ “The Young and the Restless.” He began his daytime career with the drama series in 1997 as an Associate Director. He served in this position until 2002, but directed a number of episodes since 1999 until his departure in September 2007 to join “DAYS.” He was named Supervising Producer in late 2008. Both “Y&R” and “DAYS” are co-produced by Sony Pictures Television.

“I am confident these changes will bring back excitement and anticipation to our family of fans as they tune in each day to see what happens,” Corday promised. “You won’t want to miss a single episode of the new ‘DAYS’ ahead!

As previously reported, actors Crystal Chappell (Carly Manning), Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain), Bren Foster (Quinn Hudson), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane), Tamara Braun (Taylor Walker), and Francisco San Martin (Dario Hernandez), head writer Dena Higley and co-executive producer Gary Tomlin are OUT!  It has been reported that Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans), Drake Hogestyn (John Black) and Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux) are IN! Rumored to be joining them in the coming months are Mark Hapka (Nathan Horton), Bryan Datillo (Lucas Horton), Christie Clark (Carrie Brady Reed) and Patrick Muldoon (Austin Reed). Reps for Datillo and Muldoon issued a “no comment.”



Paul Skipper/JPI

It has been three weeks since Ken Corday, Executive Producer and owner of NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” made his first move to save the soap from near oblivion with the firing of Head Writer Dena Higley and replacing her with former “Passions” scribes Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas. In the weeks that followed, soap stars Crystal Chappell (Carly Manning), Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain), Bren Foster (Quinn Hudson), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe Lane), Tamara Braun (Taylor Walker), and Francisco San Martin (Dario Hernandez) were all out of jobs. If those changes weren’t enough to signal a revolution heading toward Salem, it was definitely made clear with the firing of Co-Executive Producer Gary Tomlin along with the expected returns of Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans), Drake Hogestyn (John Black), and Matthew Ashford (Jack Deveraux) and the rumored returns of several former cast members including Mark Hapka (Nathan Horton) and Bryan Dattilo (Lucas Horton).

Since receiving word from Jeff Gaspin, the now former Chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment (now NBCUniversal Media), late last year that the network had decided it would renew “Days of our Lives” for two additional years, on top of its previous contract that was set to expire in September 2011, the daytime drama series has been trending downward in the Nielsen ratings. This is in direct contrast to the upward trend the soap had received prior to its renewal. In our interview with Corday back in May of 2010, he laughed when he said that “the show grew 10% in ratings from the previous year, which NBC can’t say about any of their other shows between 2008 and 2009.” Unfortunately, between 2010 and 2011, the drama series is experiencing a downward spiral and it’s no laughing matter.

In the latest ratings released covering the week of May 30, 2011 through June 3, 2011, it was revealed that “DAYS” is down a whopping 17% in Women 18-49 and another 15% in Households season to date (September 20, 2010 through June 3, 2011). Only ABC’s canceled “All My Children” had a bigger loss in Women 18-49 (down 22% season to date) with a much smaller loss in Households (down just 5%). So what can “DAYS” do to turn things around before seasons end? Not much of anything.

Unlike in primetime where scripted television airs mostly in originals from September through May, daytime scripted television airs in originals from September to September, therefore “season to date” would cover from September 20, 2010 through September 16, 2011. Why is this piece of information so important? “Days of our Lives,” now celebrating its 45th anniversary year on television, is currently filming at such a rapid speed that there is literally no way that Higley’s material will stop airing before the official close of this season, or is there?

Days after news broke that Higley was fired, it was announced via Twitter by Judie Henninger, an NBC employee who handles the networks promos for “DAYS,” that 17 episodes scheduled to tape before Higley’s ouster were being rewritten by the shows new writing team. While the tweets have since been deleted, Corday confirmed that Co-Head Writers McPherson and Ray Thomas were rewriting a number of episodes. “We didn’t have to reshoot anything, but we had to rewrite three weeks of shows yet to air and chart a new course,” said Corday in the June 14 issue of Soap Opera Digest when asked if any storylines were being changed. Interestingly enough, in the same response he confirmed that Chandler Massey‘s Will Horton would indeed be portraying the rumored gay character on “DAYS” despite the show itself still not confirming the news to the press directly. “We are telling a story dealing with the first gay character on the show and that had to have another look and the take on that had to be changed. It will be written much more slowly and carefully. It’s a story about one of our characters coming to grips with who he is,” Corday stated.

For her part, McPherson has joined Twitter to bring a voice from the new writing team straight to disgruntled fans who were thrilled to learn that changes were finally happening at their favorite daytime soap. In her first tweet on Saturday, June 4, McPherson said “Writing the first week of “our” shows! So exciting! Don’t miss 9/23!” This was our first indication as to when we could expect the teams material to begin airing, although it doesn’t make it clear if said material was part of the rewritten scripts or if they would be credited for a time prior to this episode as co-heads with Higley (when material is re-written…it remains based on the outline of the original writer leaving credit with said original writer and those that made any changes). While minor details still need to be sorted out, fans should at least expect a big party to kick off a new era for “DAYS.” On Saturday, June 11, McPherson tweeted “The excitement is building! Huge party with many surprises the week of 9/26! You are all invited! We promise you won’t be disappointed!” What are those surprises? You’ll have to tune in to find out of course. Until then, Soap Opera Network has learned exclusively that “Days of our Lives” will outline numerous changes in a press release going out tomorrow that includes the announcement of its new co-executive producer (rumored to be Noel Maxam), the ouster of Gary Tomlin, and the likely announcements of who is returning to the drama series beginning this fall.

Are you ready for better “DAYS?” We sure are!

“Days of our Lives” is a production of Corday Productions Inc., in association with Sony Pictures Television.









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