With Billy Miller unable to reach a new deal with Sony Pictures Television, CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” will soon say goodbye to the actor and hello again to David Tom, who originated the role of an adult Billy Abbott in 1999. News of Miller’s exit and Tom’s return was first reported by Michael Logan of TV Guide Magazine on Twitter, but has since been confirmed by Angelica McDaniel, Senior Vice President, CBS Daytime, also on Twitter.
Earlier tonight McDaniel tweeted, ”Please join me in welcoming Daytime Emmy winner David Tom back to #YR and @CBSDaytime as Billy Abbott’s exciting storyline continues.” In response to Miller’s decision to leave she said, “I respect Billy Miller’s decision to move on and wish him great success in his future endeavors.”
Just one year ago it seemed likely that “Drop Dead Diva” would end its run after just four seasons with a huge game changing cliffhanger. In the weeks and months following the October 2012 season finale, Lifetime announced it had canceled “Diva” as it reportedly did not fit within their “brand” of programming. When all seemed lost Sony Pictures Television, producers of the series, was able to work out a deal with Lifetime that allowed the show to return for a fifth season. Today Lifetime and Sony announced that “Diva” will return for a sixth season in 2014.
After 45 years on Australian television, The Nine Network has announced that on Friday, April 26 it will broadcast the American daytime soap opera “Days of our Lives” (currently in its 48th year of production) for the final time. In a statement released to TV Tonight, a representive for the network said, “We made a commercial decision not to renew ‘Days of our Lives,’” without revealing which program it will replace the drama series with.
Since it was first announced that Prospect Park’s The OnLine Network was looking to once again revive “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” after they were canceled by ABC in 2011, it has been said that the company planned to take the shows into a sexier and edgier environment. In a recent teaser released by iTunes for its launch of the two soaps, Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord, “OLTL”) is heard saying, “My agent said, ‘What do you want in this contract?’ I said, ‘No nudity!” Fans shouldn’t expect anything too racy on either show as Prospect Park co-founder Rich Frank admitted to Michael Maloney, Contributing Editor at Bauer Publishing for Soaps In Depth, in an interview with Variety. ”We are going to be a little hotter and sexier,” said Frank. He added, “That doesn’t mean we’ll be doing anything that’s offensive. We’re trying to be contemporary and have storylines that are relevant to people’s lives.”
As expected, NBC has renewed “Days of our Lives” through September 2014. The news comes just days after NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said, “I think ‘DAYS’ is going to stick around,” during NBC’s portion of the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “I don’t know that I’m at liberty to say that officially yet, but it’s not going anywhere,” Greenblatt added. The “DAYS” renewal was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.
Eileen Davidson is returning to NBC’s “Days of our Lives” after Sony Pictures Television opted to transition her off of their soap “The Young and the Restless” and onto “DAYS” to re-create the magic of her character Kristen DiMera. Sony Pictures Television distributes “DAYS,” which is owned by Corday Productions, Inc.
According to a tweet by the actress posted yesterday, Davidson’s first airdate as Kristen is set for Thursday, October 11. “I start airing on Oct. 11. AND I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!” the actress said.
Davidson, who originated the role of Ashley Abbott on “Y&R” in 1982 and left in 1988, joined “DAYS” in 1993 and portrayed five characters (sometimes simultaneously) over the course of her five year Emmy nominated run. In addition to Kristen DiMera, Davidson portrayed famously Susan Banks, Sister Mary Moira Banks, Thomas Banks, and Penelope Kent. She returned to “Y&R” in 1999 only to find herself let go from the show in 2007 with her character moving to Los Angeles, which is where we found her for a brief time on CBS’ “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Davidson returned to “Y&R” in 2008 until her departure this year.
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.’
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.
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Earlier today, Soap Opera Digest shocked the soap world when it reported that after five years on “Days of our Lives,” actor James Scott (EJ DiMera) would soon be vacating Salem after a contract dispute with show producers Corday Productions and Sony Pictures Television hit a snag, now hours later like sands through the hourglass, Scott’s “DAYS” have changed.
In a statement released by “Days of our Lives,” Scott says “It has always been my wish to continue working with ‘Days of our Lives,’ and in light of recent reassurances given, I am optimistic of my future here at Days!” That reassurance seems to have been helped along by “DAYS” co-executive producer Greg Meng, who co-head writer Marlene McPherson noted on her Twitter page had informed her that despite Digest‘s claims, “they are [still] in negotiations.”
Prior to joining the cast of “Days of our Lives” in 2006, Scott had portrayed the role of Ethan Cambias on ABC’s “All My Children.”
(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — As previously reported, the cast of “All My Children” have received offers from Prospect Park to return to the series upon re-launch in January 2012, nearly four months after the series completes its ABC run. According to Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva, Prospect Park is offering Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) virtually the same salary she’s currently receiving from ABC.
In her Deadline.com posting, Andreeva states Lucci “is currently mulling the offer. While there will probably be some budget trimming due to the medium switch, it looks like AMC and OLTL‘s’ new producers are stepping up to keep the shows’ biggest stars and fan favorites.AMC and OLTL are scheduled to relaunch online in the first quarter of 2012. Prospect Park is also in talks with cable networks about carving out a traditional TV window.”
Should Prospect secure Lucci, it will mark the first public sign of confidence from an “AMC” actor since news of the deal between Prospect Park and Disney/ABC Television Group was announced on Thursday, July 7. The series has already lost Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard) to “The Young and the Restless” and Jacob Young (JR Chandler) to “The Bold and the Beautiful,” although for Morgan she made her deal with the the Sony Pictures Television produced “Y&R” before news of Prospect even came to light. Young announced his post-”AMC” plans on Monday, August 15.
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.”