Special Thanks to Leo Logan (Willimantic, CT) for helping us keep this up to date
Aiden makes a call that reveals an ulterior motive; Rafe interrogates Chad about his relationship to the murder victim.
John tries to prove his devotion to Marlena; Theresa, Kate and Nicole all pursue the same goal; Jennifer accuses her rival of leaking false information to the media; Kyle tests J.J.'s loyalty.
Justin becomes the D.A. and butts heads with Rafe; evidence against Chad increases; Clyde threatens J.J.
Hope considers Aiden's proposal; Stefano says he'll clear Chad's name if he'll go after Abigail; Eric lashes out.
Kayla deals with Joey; John gets a call to leave on business, upsetting Marlena; Nicole asks a favor of Brady; Theresa turns to Maggie for assistance.
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News, Cast Updates and Scoop(News section last updated August 29, 2015)
Watch WINTERTHORNE Now!WINTERTHORNE, debuts! The delicious drama, centered around one family's candy dynasty, features plenty of faces familiar to daytime viewers, like GENERAL HOSPITAL's Kirsten Storms (Maxie) and Kathleen Gati (Obrecht), DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Martha Madison (Belle), John-Paul Lavoisier (soon-to-be Philip; ex-Rex, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig) and DALLAS matriarch Linda Gray (Sue Ellen; ex-Priscilla, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL).
Check it out at www.winterthorne.com.
Galen Gering InterviewGalen Gering Investigates the Days of Our Lives Serial Murders. Read the interview here.
50 Years in Salem! Watch a Supercut for the Days of Our Lives Anniversary(Video) In 50 years, the Horton and Brady families have seen countless steamy kisses, dramatic breakups and near-death experiences.
NBC is paying homage to Days of Our Lives's fifth decade on the air this fall, and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look at the soap opera's big anniversary.
Days premiered Nov. 8, 1965, and is one of the longest running TV shows in history. The series counts Alison Sweeney, Eileen Davidson and John Aniston (Jennifer's father!) among its famous alumni, and actors like Suzanne Rogers have called its set home for most of their careers.
Watch some of the best moments in the video above. Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.
DAYS’S NEW HEAD WRITER PREVIEWIn the new issue of Digest, Head Writer Josh Griffith previews what he and Head Writer Dena Higley have planned for Salem. “What we wanted to see was a show that was very heavy on romance, mystery, suspense and action, which I think is what is iconic about DAYS,” Griffith says. “It’s been a show that really could do mystery, action and love stories better than anybody else. We really wanted to make it an incredibly exciting, suspenseful, romantic place to be for an hour a day.” The actors are already thrilled with the new Salem. “The mood on the set is electric,” enthuses Kristian Alfonso (Hope). Stephen Nichols (Steve) adds, “There’s great collaboration. Please are really working with each other. Egos have pretty much disappeared. We trust each other.” Drake Hogestyn (John) teases, “The spin of the ball changes direction quickly, especially with John and Marlena…. John and Marlena have these really great, warm moments where the audience is going to fall in love with them all over again.” For much more, pick up the new issue of Digest, on sale tomorrow.
Freddie Smith InterviewActor Freddie Smith of Days of Our Lives Did What...?! Freddie Speaks Out. Read the interview here: www.huffingtonpost.com
Alison Sweeney: My Daughter Is a ‘Free Spirit’ When It Comes to FashionWhile Alison Sweeney says her own style is pretty much comprised of jeans and T-shirts, her 6-year-old daughter Megan Hope‘s style is much less predictable.
“Megan has a more quirky style,” the star and executive producer of Hallmark Channel’s Love on the Air, premiering Sept. 26, tells PEOPLE.
“She’s known to put together Frozen T-shirts with her favorite skirt in a way that’s very unique to Megan. She’s a super free spirit and she has her own style.”
(Photo) For the most part, Sweeney, 38, lets her daughter dress herself.
“I try to help her more depending on the circumstance,” she explains. “One time, she asked me if she had picked out a good outfit for doing cartwheels. Or if it’s cold out, you have to wear longer clothes or a sweater.”
Sweeney continues, “But if she’s met those rules about health and wellness, then I let her pick out patterns that work for her. For the most part, it’s quirky, but it works!”
(Photo) Megan’s style is so unique that the TV host has to let her daughter pick out her own clothes when it comes to shopping.
“Megan has really particular tastes, so she’s very specific about what she will and will not wear,” shares Sweeney. “I have learned not to make the mistake of buying things for her and thinking she’ll like it. You can’t predict.”
Photo) Sweeney’s son Benjamin Edward, 10, is decidedly more laidback when it comes to his wardrobe.
“I’ll get him a shirt with a guitar on it and he’s psyched,” she says. “Ben’s a little more easygoing. That pretty much sums them up.”
To see how Sweeney’s kids styled their mom, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
‘The Biggest Loser’ Loses Host Alison Sweeney After 8 YearsNBC’s The Biggest Loser is a little lighter today. Alison Sweeney, who has been a host on the weight-loss competition show since 2007, has exited the program. No reason was given and no replacement was named for the veteran series, which debuted in 2004 and has been renewed for a 17th cycle. “After an incredible run together, Alison Sweeney will not be returning as host of The Biggest Loser next season,” the show’s producers said in a statement.
DAYS STARS IN NEW MOVIEMolly Burnett (ex-Melanie), Freddie Smith (ex-Sonny) and Spencer Neville (Derrick) began work on Monday on a new film that also features Smith’s real-life love, Alyssa Tabit. Burnett posted on Instagram about their first day working on the film and added, “So excited for you to guys to see what’s coming.” Click here to see the photo: https://instagram.com/p/6xhYyGCxy9/?taken-by=mollyburnett
MORE DAYS FOR VAUGHAN!Greg Vaughan (Eric, DAYS), who joined the soap in 2012, tweeted that that he has extended his contract. He posted, "Great day today! Official contract extension @DaysofourLives & new movie @hallmarkchannel Truly Blessed!"
MELISSA ARCHER ON DAYS DEPARTUREIn the new issue of Digest, Melissa Archer discusses her exit as DAYS’s Serena. “I completely understood and somewhere, expected it,” she admits. “It was a very positive experience. I joke about it like, ‘Getting fired, it didn’t really feel like it.’ It was the most pleasant ‘getting fired’ conversation I’ve ever had. There was laughter. It was great, actually.” As for her overall Salem experience, she says, “Honestly, it was amazing. I’m not just saying this: I very wholeheartedly mean it that from the top to the bottom, I loved everybody. I thought that the sets were very relaxed. Professional and relaxed.” Her final airdate is set for next week. For more from the actress, pick up the new issue of Digest, on sale now.
Same day episodes of Days of our Lives? are coming to @PopTV?Hold the sand. Same day episodes of Days of our Lives? are coming to @PopTV?—weeknights 8/7c starting Monday. #DAYS
FINAL DAYS EPISODE FOR DAYS’S FREDDIE SMITH“I feel really good about the episode,” shares Smith. “Sonny gets to have moments with all of the people who are important to him.” Regarding his exit, the Emmy winner says, “As Sonny, I was saying good-bye to the people in his life, and I was saying farewell to people that I’ve worked with for four years. My life in Salem as Sonny, and my job at DAYS melded together. It was very emotional.” For more from the actor, pick up the issue of Digest on sale now.
Secrets and Lies Season 2 Recruits Witches of East End's Eric WinterEric Winter (Witches of East End) is about to find himself in a whole mess of trouble on Secrets and Lies.
The former warlock will appear in the second season of ABC’s mystery drama — slated to return sometime midseason — as Neal Oliver, the best friend of Eric Warner (The Following‘s Michael Ealy), TVLine has confirmed.
ebwinter : Very excited to be joining the cast of @secretsandliesabc for season 2! What will be in store for Neal?! #SecretsAndLies #ABC
Secrets and Lies‘ second season will find Cornell investigating the murder of Kate Warner, with her husband Eric as a potential suspect. Additional Season 2 additions include Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Jordana Brewster (Dallas), Charlie Barnett (Chicago Fire), AnnaLynne McCord (90210) and Kenny Johnson (The Shield).
Arrow Season 4: Charlotte Ross Set to Return as Felicity's MomFire up your Donna Smoak fist-pump GIFs, because Felicity’s mom has booked another trip to Arrow‘s Starling City.
TVLine has exclusively learned that fan favorite Charlotte Ross will reprise her role as Donna in the sixth episode of Season 4 (which kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 7). Thus far the nature of Mom’s latest visit is under wraps, but I will go ahead and shamelessly spitball: Maybe it’s time to give Dad a name?
Of course, the last time we saw Donna she had nudged her daughter to follow her heart in the direction of one Oliver Queen — who, Felicity lamented at the time, was “terminally unavailable.” But things sure have changed since then, haven’t they?
Prior to her first encore as Donna (this past April), Ross spoke with TVLine about the incredibly and abundantly positive fan reaction to Felicity’s Vegas cocktail waitress mama, effusing, “I’ve been in this business for a while and I’ve never seen anything like it…. I’m just so overwhelmed with gratitude."
The actress’ previous TV credits include Hit the Floor, Nashville, Glee, NYPD Blue and an Emmy-nominated Days of Our Lives run.
Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price heat up food eventCurtis Stone makes time for romance, even when he’s working.
Stone’s wife, the actress Lindsay Price, joined him at an event for his new at-sea restaurant, SHARE by Curtis Stone aboard Princess Cruises.
We’re told the couple looked adorable as they hugged and kissed throughout the event, held in Los Angeles Monday night. He even whipped up a special dish for her: a chicken liver parfait with pomegranate marmalade.
Price, 38, stunned in an off-the-shoulder floral-print dress 11 months after giving birth to the pair’s second child, a son named Emerson Spencer. The celebrity chef, 39, and the former “Lipstick Jungle” star also share a toddler son named Hudson.
Nia Peeples Files for Divorce from Husband Sam GeorgePretty Little Liars actress Nia Peeples has filed for divorce from her husband, pro surfer and filmmaker Sam George.
Peeples, 53, submitted the paperwork in the Los Angeles County Courthouse on Aug. 11, just 20 days short of the couple's eighth wedding anniversary.
The papers obtained by PEOPLE cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. Peeples is seeking to keep the couple's home, a Malibu, California, mobile home with an ocean view that's valued at $875,000. Also listed among the couple's community assets is a Las Vegas condo worth $91,000.
In 2013, Peeples' mobile home was featured in an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap that showed the actress trading homes with '80s pop singer Tiffany.
Peeples, who rose to fame on the TV series Fame, has been married three times before. She and George have no children, but Peeples has two children from previous marriages.
First Look: Days of Our Lives Grows a New Teen Set Practically Overnight(tvinsider.com) (Photo) Is there something in the water? Five kiddie characters on NBC’s Days of Our Lives are about to be hit with what’s known in the suds trade as SORAS—Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. On August 28, Patch and Kayla’s son Joey, last seen as a 6-year-old, will pop up as a troubled teen played by newcomer James Lastovic. This fall, we’ll also see a suddenly sprouted Ciara Brady (Vivian Jovanni) and Chase Jennings (Jonathon McClendon), both arriving October 30. Then comes Theo Carver (Kyler Pettis) on November 3, followed by Claire Brady (Olivia Keegan) November 25. (Pictured above, left to right, are Pettis, Keegan, McClendon, Jovanni and Lastovic.)
“Young people are the life blood of any soap—especially ours as we head toward our 50th anniversary in November,” says executive producer Ken Corday. “By aging these children into young adults, we’re making them more relatable to our audience and more dramatically exciting. These are not ancillary characters, but young leads. None of them will be a goody two-shoes. Each is somewhat flawed.”
And these apples won’t fall far from their trees. “You’ll see that Ciara is a lot like her mom, Hope, and that Joey is very much like Patch,” says Corday. “In fact, Joey will be giving Patch the ‘rebel’ a little of his own medicine!”
By Corday’s count, these sudden teens represent the soap’s fifth generation. “My late mom [Days executive producer Betty Corday] used to say, ‘You have to water the roots of the Days of Our Lives tree with a new generation every 10 years or so,’ and that’s what we’ve done,” Corday notes. “These are the children of the children of the children of the children, and they are vital to our future.”
Jade Harlow on "Zoo"“Emotional Contagion” – On the run as fugitives, the team flies to Zambia to gather leopard DNA in order to manufacture a cure for the abnormal behavior that's affecting animals worldwide. When it’s time to leave, they need to reach out to animal rights activist Ray Endicott (guest star Warren Christie) to get safe passage out of the country. Also, Chloe makes the ultimate sacrifice to avoid further bloodshed, on ZOO, Tuesday, Sept. 1 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.
GUEST CAST: Xander Berkeley (Ronnie “Dogstick” Brannigan), Warren Christie (Ray Endicott), Jade Harlow (Anissa Woods).
DENA HIGLEY OFF DAYS?According to a report by Daytime Confidential, DAYS’s Head Writer Dena Higley, who returned to the soap on February 9 as part of a new writing team with Josh Griffith, has taken a leave of absence. For the story, go here.
DAYS CASTING NEW ROLEDAYS is seeking a Caucasian woman in her early 40s to play the short-term, contract role of Summer. She is described as a passionate loner who has been in and out of institutions and is a small-time thief. The show is asking for experienced actors only, names preferred, to begin taping at the end of the month.
Jensen Ackles Joins Instagram! See His Sweet Selfie With Adorable Daughter() Cuteness overload.
Jensen Ackles has finally joined Instagram and what better way to do it than with a precious pic with daughter, Justice Jay.
The Supernatural hunk uploaded the super cute selfie over the weekend with the simple caption, "Hello Instagram."
The perfect pic features Ackles casually dressed in a black t-shirt and some sexy stubble sporting a sly smile. The actor has his arm around his baby girl who is sitting pretty next to her proud papa. Justice Jay's blond locks frame her sweet face as her big blue eyes look straight into the camera.
In 2013, Ackles and his wife, actress Danneel Harris announced the arrival of their first child via Twitter, writing, "We are happy to announce the birth of our precious baby girl, Justice Jay 'JJ' Ackles. She was born happy and healthy on May 30th."
"It's been quite the adjustment," Ackles told E! News exclusively that same year when asked about balancing fatherhood and filming Supernatural. "A friend of mine says it's a slightly different gear, and I said, different gear? No, you put it in park, you get out of the car, you get in a different car, you take a left down a wrong street; that's basically where I'm at now."
He continued, "I'm lost, I'm just completely lost. Season nine started and I got back to work where I at least had some sort of understanding of what's happening around me, but the baby's doing great and for me I think it's just going to be a lot more travel."
Ackles and Harris tied the knot on May 15, 2010, in his native Dallas.
Beverly Hills and New York ‘Housewives’ film in HamptonsIt was a “Housewives” takeover in the Hamptons on Saturday.
“Real Housewives” from Beverly Hills and New York headed to the Hamptons over the weekend to celebrate Bella magazine’s White Party at Beautique at the Capri Hotel in Southampton — and to film an episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
The party — hosted by Lisa Vanderpump — had guests dressed to the nines in white attire.
Vanderpump wore a flowing white strapless Isabelle Armstrong Couture gown and donned a large white hat. She was spotted filming by the pool with co-stars Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards and Eileen Davidson, plus New York’s Countess LuAnn de Lesseps.
Of course the party wouldn’t have been complete without Vanderpump’s famously well-dressed pup, Jiggy, who was floating around the party taking pictures with Vanderpump’s husband Ken Todd.
Former New York “Housewife” Jill Zarin was also in attendance, chatting with “Glee” actress Jenna Ushkowitz, but both missed the memo that it was a white party. Ushkowitz showed up in a black dress with nude stilettos, while Zarin wore a colorful print look.
Former New York “Housewife” Aviva Drescher made a quick appearance, as did de Lesepps’ current castmate Dorinda Medley.
No sign of the rumored new Beverly Hills castmate, Erika Jayne, at the party, although on Monday Jayne posted a photo of herself at the hotel where the party was held. “Rise and shine everyone!” she captioned the picture, shared two days after the soiree.
Coleen Gray, Who Played Film Noir Naïfs, Dies at 92(nytimes.com) Coleen Gray (ex-Diane Hunter, Days of Our Lives), an actress who dreamed of playing femmes fatales but was repeatedly cast as innocents in noir films like Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing,” died on Monday at her home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. She was 92.
David Schecter, a friend, confirmed her death.
With wavy hair and luminous skin, Ms. Gray had the looks to play one of film noir’s leading ladies in the 1940s and ’50s. But her girl-next-door demeanor effectively typecast her as the love interest in crime movies and cowboy pictures.
“I was always Goody Two-Shoes,” Ms. Gray was quoted as saying in “Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir,” by Eddie Muller. “The juicier parts, it was determined, were not for me.”
Ms. Gray made the most of her niche, however, appearing with some of the biggest stars of the time. Her first major part was as the love interest of a parolee, played by Victor Mature, in Henry Hathaway’s “Kiss of Death” (1947), which she also narrated. The film was the movie debut of Richard Widmark, who played the murderer.
Ms. Gray played a wife who refused to take part in a grift with her husband, a carnival con man played by Tyrone Power, in “Nightmare Alley” (1947). She also appeared in westerns, notably as the sweetheart of John Wayne’s cattle-rancher character in Howard Hawks’s “Red River” (released in 1948).
In “The Killing” (1956), Ms. Gray was the love interest of Sterling Hayden’s criminal, who is bent on robbing a racetrack before settling down with her. But she would much rather have played the scheming wife who double-crossed her husband, she told The New York Times in 1999, and not getting the part — Marie Windsor did — “was frustrating.”
Doris Bernice Jensen was born on Oct. 23, 1922, in Staplehurst, Neb. She grew up in Hutchinson, Minn., and received a bachelor’s degree in English and music from Hamline University in St. Paul in 1943.
She moved to Hollywood and worked as a waitress before signing a seven-year contract with 20th Century Fox and adopting the screen name Coleen Gray.
She married the screenwriter Rodney Amateau in 1945. That marriage ended in divorce, as did her second, to William C. Bidlack.
In 1950 Ms. Gray starred alongside Bing Crosby in Frank Capra’s comedy “Riding High” and, in 1954, Mr. Hayden again in the western “Arrow in the Dust.” She played a nurse involved in a drug ring opposite Richard Conte in “The Sleeping City” (1950), much of which was filmed at Bellevue Hospital in New York
Her film career waned later in the 1950s, and she began appearing in B movies like “The Leech Woman” (1960), in which she played a monstrous woman who uses fluid from men’s brains to ward off aging. She also appeared regularly on television shows like “77 Sunset Strip,” “Mister Ed” and “The Virginian.”
In recent years Ms. Gray, an advocate for conservative Christian causes, worked with her third husband, Joseph Zeiser, in a prison ministry founded by Charles Colson, an aide to President Richard M. Nixon who had spent time behind bars in connection with the Watergate scandal.
Mr. Zeiser, who was known as Fritz, died in 2012. Ms. Gray is survived by a daughter , Susan Amateau, from her first marriage; a son, Bruce Bidlack, from her second marriage; two stepsons, Rick and Steve Zeiser; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
When Mr. Muller, the author of “Dark City Dames,” interviewed Ms. Gray at her home, he mentioned he had recently seen her playing a disreputable schemer on a rerun of “Perry Mason.” She lit up.
“Did you believe me as a nasty person?” Ms. Gray asked. “I’m so happy.”
GH ALUM ALICIA LEIGH WILLIS IN NEW FILMAlicia Leigh Willis (ex-Courtney, GH et al) plays the lead role in a new thriller available now on Digital HD and On Demand titled DANGEROUS COMPANY.
“My character owns a multi-million dollar clothing company and she is on top of everything,” Willis teases of the mystery. “She’s got her ‘you-know-what’ together, always has, but slowly she starts to slip in terms of losing her memory. Her mother passed away from Alzheimer’s and she is diagnosed as having early-onset dementia, and slowly her world starts to fall apart. But, there are twists and turns ahead for her that you won’t believe! It was a heavy role, but very rewarding. Rick Ravanello, who plays my husband in the film, is just amazing! We had a great time working together.”
For more on Willis, check out an upcoming issue of Soap Opera Digest. To check out a clip of the flick, click here.
Lisa Rinna and Comedian Billy Eichner Jokingly Settle Their Twitter DramaFor Billy Eichner, all is right in the world again because Lisa Rinna has re-followed him on Twitter – and apologized for unfollowing him in the first place.
When the Funny or Die comedian appeared on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live on Monday, the conversation quickly turned to Eichner's recent Twitter burn, courtesy of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Rinna.
WWHL host Andy Cohen recapped the situation: At first, Eichner was overjoyed to discover Rinna followed him on Twitter, but then was crushed when she later unfollowed him, and he told the story recently on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.
Cohen got Rinna on the phone to discuss the social media snub.
"I just got nominated for an Emmy for a video I did with Michelle Obama – I'm so glad to be talking to Lisa Rinna," quipped Eichner, in reference to the Emmy nod he received for an episode of his show Billy On The Street.
"You know, there's so many things I do that I don't understand myself," Rinn explained. "I think I followed him and then he was talking too much and I thought, 'I don't want to follow him anymore,' and I unfollowed him."
When asked why she later re-followed him, Rinna admitted it was because Eichner had called her out on Conan.
"Anybody with the balls to call me out, you know, I am all on their team, I am all for them," she said, adding, "I am so sorry if I ever hurt your feelings, Billy!"
"I do love Lisa Rinna though, and I have a weird affection for Lisa Rinna," Eichner said. "So thank you for re-following me!"
‘Significant Mother’ appeals to Krista Allen’s funny, sexy sweet spotIn most descriptions of her many television roles, “sexy” is a qualifier for Krista Allen –- and it’s working for her again.
The veteran of “Days of Our Lives,” “What About Brian,” “Baywatch Hawaii” and countless guest shots on series from “Friends” to “The X-Files” is the “Significant Mother” in The CW sitcom premiering Monday (Aug. 3). She plays a newly separated wife and mother who worries her restaurateur son (Josh Zuckerman) by dating his best friend (Nathaniel Buzolic) -– which also reignites her husband’s (Jonathan Silverman) interest, prompting him to try to win her back.
“It’s really a dream role for me,” Allen tells Zap2it, “and it’s comedy, which is something I love doing. This character, Lydia Marlowe, is a woman who’s lived her life for everyone else. She is just starting to listen to her own needs and do what makes her happy … which currently is dating her son’s friend, but it evolves and becomes so much more than that. I guess you could say it’s a slightly delayed coming-of-age story for her.”
Actually, the coming-of-age notion applies to virtually everyone in “Significant Mother,” including Lydia’s mother. She’s played, in an extended guest role, by another familiar TV face: Linda Gray, legendary as Sue Ellen Ewing on both iterations of “Dallas.”
“She is so amazing,” Allen enthuses. “I’ve been a fan of hers for so long, I just loved having her around. I couldn’t think of a better person to play my TV mom, and she was really excited. She was like, ‘Nobody’s ever really given me a chance to do comedy before,’ and she had a lot of work to do, a lot of dialogue. And she killed it.”
“Significant Mother” originally was developed by writers and executive producers Erin Cardillo and Richard Keith, both actors as well, for The CW’s digital CW Seed outlet that also yielded last summer’s “Backpackers.” “They believed in the show so much, they just took us right to network,” Allen reflects, “so it’s already like, ‘OK, we’re doing something special here.’ And it’s really cool.”
Humorous as “Significant Mother” is meant to be, Allen believes it also has a serious undertone. “Lydia makes a ton of mistakes,” the actress allows, “but I find her to be quite relatable because of that. In trying to reinvent ourselves and change, we all stumble and fail as we try to do our best, and that’s what this character is doing through all of this. It’s not just the mom sleeping with her son’s best friend.”
Days of Our Lives: 50th anniversary celebration to feature a killer twist(ew.com) From now until our huge fall TV preview hits newsstands Sept. 10, EW is bringing you 50 scoops in 50 days. Follow the hashtag #50Scoops50Days on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest, and check EW.com/50Scoops50Days for all the news and surprises.
As Days of Our Lives gears up for its 50th anniversary, EW can exclusively reveal the plot that will bring the residents of Salem together only to tear them apart.
In late August, an elaborate murder mystery plot kicks off that will see several of Salem’s residents — and perhaps even some of the town’s former, fan-favorite residents — meeting their demise.
On the week of Nov. 8 — the official date of the soap’s 50th anniversary — the murder mystery plot will culminate in a “huge reveal,” the network has promised.
As previously announced, returning fan favorites include Stephen Nichols, Alison Sweeney, Peter Reckell, Thaoo Penghlis, Martha Madison, Tamara Braun, Camila Banus, and more.
So, which Days character would you want to see get the ax? And who would wield it?
Video: BIG SKY COUNTRY Kurth & TaylorVideo: BIG SKY COUNTRY by Kurth & Taylor.
'NYPD Blue' Star Charlotte Ross -- My Ex-Boyfriend Threatened to Drown My Dog!Charlotte Ross claims her ex-boyfriend was so abusive he once threatened to drown her dog.
Ross claims in a new restraining order, obtained by TMZ, she confronted then-boyfriend Patrick Eugene Aurignae over his alleged infidelity. The "NYPD Blue" star says when she grabbed his phone to read his emails, he threatened to drown one of her dogs. He also broke 3 of her nails.
Ross claims several weeks later while vacationing in Maui he also assaulted her in front of a restaurant full of people on July 4, putting her in a headlock and choking her after yet another cheating confrontation.
Ross got a temporary restraining order against Aurignae, protecting her, her son, and her two dogs.
ATWT FAVES WELCOME DAUGHTERCongratulations to Terri Conn and Austin Peck (ex-Katie and Brad, ATWT), who welcomed their second daughter together, Morgan Theresa Peck, on July 18. The couple's first girl, Keira, was born in 2012, and they both have children (her daughter Julia, and his sons Roman and Aidan) from previous marriages.
Baby On Board!Matthew Ashford (ex-Tom, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Stephen, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; ex-Jack, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) and actress/teacher Lana Buss are expecting their second child in November. "It's gonna be a girl," he reveals to Soaps In Depth. The new addition will join big brother Henry (2) and Ashford's daughters, Grace and Emma, with his former wife, Christina Saffran.
JOHN-PAUL LAVOISIER JOINS DAYSOLTL vet John-Paul Lavoisier (ex-Rex) is the latest big name to be tapped by DAYS and will portray Philip Kiriakis, son of Victor and Kate. The role was previously played by Jay Kenneth Johnson and Kyle Brandt. Lavoisier has already started filming and will first air in early December. For more DAYS casting news, pick up the new issue of Digest, on sale tomorrow.
DAYS STAR ENGAGED!(Pic) Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS) reveals that he popped the question to actress Gina Comparetto on his birthday on May 29 — and she said yes! “I haven’t talked about it on social media,” the actor tells Digest. "Our families and friends have known.” Flynn began dating Comparetto in early 2014; a wedding date has not yet been set. Congratulations to the happy couple!
Days' Ava Returns(tvline.com) One of Salem’s most unpredictable residents is popping back in for a visit.
Tamara Braun, who portrayed Mafia princess Ava Vitali on Days of Our Lives in 2008, will return for the soap’s upcoming 50th anniversary.
According to TVInsider, Braun will make her entrance in the Dec. 9 episode.
The actress, who won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2009 for her portrayal of Ava, has also appeared on the series as Taylor Walker, estranged sister of Nicole Walker.
DAYS EXEC TALKS CHANGES(Cover) In the new issue of Soap Opera Digest, Executive Producer Ken Corday discusses the changes ahead in Salem, and why he made them. "The show I was looking at was no longer recognizable as DAYS OF OUR LIVES to me," he explains. "We had to jettison stories that were not going over well with the audience and we had to give characters on the show who were recognizable and powerful more story. But most importantly, we had to, for the 50th anniversary, months after and before, give the viewers what they wanted to see." For the full story, pick up the new issue, on sale now.
SAL STOWERS TO DAYSAMC alum Sal Stowers (ex-Cassandra, AMC) has joined DAYS in a new contract role and will make her Salem debut in September. Michael Fairman (michaelfairmansoaps.com) first reported the news.
Suits Scoop: Scrubs Nurse Is Harvey Specter's New SecretaryIt might feel like Donna is irreplaceable on Suits. And yet, Harvey has found someone to fill her swivel chair.
Scrubs alumna Aloma Wright will recur on Season 5 of the USA Network series as the lawyer’s new legal secretary, Gretchen Bodinski, TVLine has learned.
Gretchen — who makes her debut in this Wednesday’s episode — has more than two decades of experience and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, which allows her to bring a fresh perspective to the firm.
In addition to playing Nurse Laverne Roberts on Scrubs, Wright has appeared on Days of Our Lives, Scandal, Private Practice and Parenthood.
DANIEL COSGROVE OUT AT DAYS?According to multiple tweets from fans, Daniel Cosgrove (Aiden) revealed at a fan event in Canada that he has been let go from DAYS. The actor, who joined the soap in 2013 and began airing in January, 2014, quickly became one half of the popular “Haiden” pairing with Kristian Alfonso’s Hope.
Girlfriends' Guide Adds Mark ValleyGirlfriends’ Guide to Divorce has found the cure for what ails Abby: a strong dose of Mark Valley, to be administered semi-regularly throughout Season 2.
The Bravo dramedy has cast the Boston Legal alum in the recurring role of “confident and charming TV personality” Dr. Harris, who’ll pursue Lisa Edelstein’s character in the upcoming season, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Valley’s TV credits include Body of Proof, Fringe, CSI, Human Target and Days of Our Lives.
In other casting news, Baby Daddy‘s Jean-Luc Bilodeau will guest-star in a Season 2 episode as Adam, a handsome, young dude Alanna Ubach’s Jo meets on Tinder.
Also: Joanna Vannicola (Being Erica) will recur as Jonathan, an androgynous power wedding planner (but for whom?); Henderson Wade (Criminal Minds) will recur as Walt, Max and Ford’s manny who helps Abby in a pinch; and Susan Hogan (Night Heat, Battlestar Galactica) will guest-star as Carol, mother of Delia’s wealthy hook-up, Gordon.
Bilodeau and Hogan join previously announced Season 2 guest star Retta (Parks and Recreation), who’ll show up as a rival editor at Abby’s new job.
The series is currently in production on Season 2.
MARTHA MADISON BACK TO DAYSOn her radio show SOAPBOX WITH LILLY AND MARTHA, Martha Madison confirmed that she is returning to DAYS as Belle, which she played from 2004-08. As previously reported by Digest, Jason Cook (Shawn) is back and the show has recasted Shawn and Belle’s daughter, Claire. Madison will first air on Wednesday, November 25.
JASON COOK BACK TO DAYSJason Cook, who played Shawn-Douglas Brady from 1999-2006, will be back for the events surrounding DAYS’s 50th anniversary in November. The popular actor has already begun taping. For more, see the next issue of Soap Opera Digest.
DAYS’S EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PENS NOVELDAYS’s Executive Producer, Ken Corday, will be signing copies of his new novel, Ladies of the Lake, at BookCon in New York City. Pick up a copy and head to the Javits Center (655 W. 34th Street) on Saturday, May 30 from 12:00-1:00pm at the ?Midpoint Trade Books Booth (#3174). The book follows the adventures of “beautiful, entitled … and lethal” families in the fictional, gated community of Avalon, CA.
NEW GIG FOR DAYS ALUMOn Instagram, newlywed Farah Fath (ex-Mimi, DAYS; ex-Gigi, OLTL) who just married Phil Galfond on May 15, revealed that she is heading north to work with Alison Sweeney (ex-Sami, DAYS). "Last night at our beautiful new house in vegas, then i gotta head to vancouver for a lil job with @alisweeney woo woo,” she posted, along with this photo. Sweeney is toiling on the second installment of MURDER SHE BAKED for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, which will air in December. “So excited to work with Farah again!” Sweeney enthuses. “I was thrilled this opportunity worked out. Can’t wait."
'Days of Our Lives' 50th Anniversary Gift: Bo and Patch Are Back!Patch and Bo are back on @DaysofourLives, and we have your first look!: yahoo.com.
Days Favorite Returns, A Martinez JoinsPack your bags, Thaao Penghlis: You’re headed back to Salem.
The Days of Our Lives fan favorite, who has appeared on the soap since 1981, is set to reprise his role as Andre DiMera, TVLine has confirmed.
Further details about Penghlis’ return — including when his episodes will air — are not yet available.
Meanwhile, soap vet A Martinez (Santa Barbara, General Hospital) is joining Days in the new role of Eduardo, who, according to Soap Opera Digest, “will have many connections in Salem.”
FIRST LOOK! DAYS CASTS JOEY(Photo) The Johnson family will be back in Salem in full force, with Stephen Nichols (Steve) already taping, along with newcomer James Lastovic who has been cast as Steve and Kayla’s now-teenage son, Joey. Look for him to make his DAYS debut in late summer.
ALISON SWEENEY BACK ON DAYS SETAfter a year away from the Burbank studio where DAYS shoots, Alison Sweeney reported back to work today. On-screen mom, Deidre Hall (Marlena), posted a photo with Sweeney on Facebook, and captioned it, "Some days are better than others. And some days are utterly joyous! Today is such a day. Days of our Lives 50th Anniversary Days of our Lives.” To see the photo, go here.
What It's Really Like to Work on 'Days of Our Lives'(etonline.com) "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives."
But how does that sand continue to fall through the same hourglass for five decades? After Days of Our Lives tied for Best Drama Series at the 2015 Daytime Emmys, ETonline went behind-the-scenes to find out some secrets about what it's really like to work for the iconic soap opera.
Robert Scott Wilson (Ben Rogers) joined the cast last January, and he spoke about how he believes everyone there is hard-working.
"From the outside world looking in, it's like, 'Oh it's just a soap opera.' I think what a lot of people don't know is how much work we actually do in a day," the 27-year-old actor and former Price Is Right model told ETonline. "We shoot almost 150 pages of work a day. Most shows that you watch in prime time that are one-hour episodes, it takes them seven to 10 days to shoot one episode. We shoot seven and a half episodes in one week."
But even then, there's no typical day.
"I can be here from 7:30 in the morning to 7:00 at night. It depends," said Wilson. "Sometimes we get really lucky and we can film multiple episodes in one day. Other times, we drag out an episode for two weeks." And the pressure is always on.
As Jen Lilley (Theresa Donovan) explained, there are no teleprompters or cue cards, and "You get one take to nail it. You have one night or maybe a few hours tops to prepare 20 scenes. You can't drop the ball." You can drop props though, whether you throw a drink across the room or pull a Theresa and whack John Black (played by Drake Hogestyn) with a fireplace poker.
"When I had to hit John over the head, I was terrified," Lilley admitted. "It was a rubber fireplace poker, and there was a stunt double I had to hit. I had to full-on hit him on the head, and I felt the reverberation in my hand. It was scary."
The dramatic scenes and outrageous storylines have hooked audiences for years, but as Bryan Dattilo shared, the show has evolved since he first started playing Lucas Horton 22 years ago.
"I think it has an old stigma of being over the top and not being a real drama, and the storylines overshadowed the acting in the past, but if you look at it in the last eight to 10 years, I don't see that," he said. "I see the best place for acting that I've seen on daytime."
Some of the best acting has undoubtedly come from Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans Black), a familiar face since 1976.
While her character has been through it all on the soap, it never gets old for her.
"Days has done a very fine job of staying current. If there are topics to be discussed, we discuss them," she said.
"We did the first crib death on television. It had never been seen on TV. There was no warning. Marlena walked in the room and saw D.J. in the crib," Hall recalled. "We did the first twin storyline. We had the first possession storyline. We had the first gay wedding. We have been heralded for our bravery, and I think we deserve it."
And it's the staying power that should really be commended.
As Eric Martsolf (Brady Black) told ETonline, "Days of Our Lives is almost like an heirloom people hand down to their kids."
Martsolf described a typical fan event, saying, "One of my favorite things to do is to watch great grandma come up, grandma, mom, mom's daughter and sometimes mom's daughter's daughter. You literally have four or five generations standing in line for your autograph, and you understand the generational power of this show."
Days of Our Lives will officially turn 50 on Nov. 8, 2015.
MARY BETH EVANS BACK ON CONTRACTMary Beth Evans (Kayla, DAYS) announced in her blog at www.plankblog.com that she has a new contract at DAYS.
"I am back on contract, working like crazy and loving the stories I am playing,” she posted on April 30. The soap’s Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Daytime Drama (not to mention the Emmy win for her web series, THE BAY) prompted the actress to reflect on her acting career. “As I stood in the role of 'belle of the ball 2015,’ in the mix of winners, I couldn’t help thinking about how life ebbs and flows. How we’re up, and then we’re down (sometimes down too long). And how we always have to reinvent and recommit, recommit, recommit! My mother-in-law called to congratulate me the following day and we reminisced about the time, not that many years ago, when I talked about what I would do next. I was hardly working in my soap job – in fact, for only the second time in 29 years, I hadn’t even made the quota of income to provide health insurance for my family. I remember feeling so anxious all the time. I am a worker bee by nature, it’s just who I am and I just can’t take the lulls. So, I got moving. I had blasts of ambition where I’d audition for a play, contact a new agent or sign up for an acting class. I started reading periodicals that inspired me. Anything that would get me me fired up and feeling productive (and better about myself). It’s during times like those that I take leaps of faith into the unknown.”
She also discusses her last go-round in Salem. “I faced a similar situation when I first went back to Days of Our Lives in 2010. I was working in the family pub, and I would have days when all I would say was, 'here is your to go order. At first I felt a bit humiliated and asked myself, 'how did it get to this?' Then I realized that I was lucky to have the job at all, and instead decided that I’d be the VERY best background player there ever was! I rocked that pretend bar – marrying condiments, folding napkins, wiping down the counters! I hung in there with a smile on my face and an improved attitude, and eventually things improved. Now, here we are four – five years later it has all changed again. I am back on contract, working like crazy and loving the stories I am playing. It is crazy how it turned around.”
DAYS NAMES WINNER OF AUSSIE TALENT SEARCHDAYS has announced Alexander Bruszt is the winner of the ‘Search For A Star” competition. Bruszt will play Flynn, a handsome, rugged Australian doctor who arrives in Salem to do his residency as a surgeon, working under the supervision of Daniel (Shawn Christian). Bruszt will return to Los Angeles next month to begin work on DAYS. He previously appeared on Australia’s most popular drama, HOME AND AWAY. DAYS viewers will first see Bruszt in November, just in time for the show’s 50th anniversary. "DAYS has a massive following in Australian,” shares Bruszt. “This is an awesome opportunity. DAYS has been on TV in the background of my life forever in my family’s home. It’s surreal that I’m going to be on the show."
Ex-Home and Away star wins role on US soap(skynews.com.au) (Photo) Former Home and Away actor and Sydney local Alexander Bruszt has been announced as the winner of the Days of Our Lives 'Search for a Star' competition.
Mr Bruszt secured the place in the long running soap opera after flying to Los Angeles last week for a screen test, where he went head to head with two other finalists.
The thirty-two year old was one of more than 300 actors who entered Foxtel Arena's online competition.
Mr Bruszt will join the cast as a 'Flynn', a handsome and rugged Australian doctor who arrives in Salem - the fictitious Midwestern town the show is set- to complete his residency under the supervision of Doctor Jonas, played by Shawn Christian.
Mr Bruszt will return to LA next month to start shooting his episodes, which will air in Australian for the first time in November during the show's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Mr Bruszt said the experience has been amazing and that this role is only something he could have dreamed of.
'I am looking forward to this opportunity to work with such an incredibly talented cast and crew on such an internationally respected daytime drama,' he said.
The US series' Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng said he's thrilled to welcome Alexander Bruszt to the Days family.
'We can't wait for fans to see what kind of trouble he'll be stirring up in Salem.'
Mr Bruszt started his career with Home and Away shortly after joining an agency at the age of 16.
He's since appeared in films such as Overdrawn, The Brother, Room With View and supporting role in Little Black Dress.
He has also had various hosting roles, including Super Simpsons Live on Foxtel's FOX8 with Amy Erbacher and Foxtel's RA surf show.
Days Sony Emails Archived by Wikileaks'Days of our Lives' Renewal, Inappropriate Behavior and "Dumb Book" Among 173,000 Leaked Sony Emails Archived by Wikileaks: Read the emails here.
The Devil Made Her Do It: Deidre Hall Picks Her Most Memorable Days of Our Lives SceneThe Devil Made Her Do It: Deidre Hall Picks Her Most Memorable Days of Our Lives Scene. Read the article here.
Days' Bo & Steve Return(Cover) Two Days of Our Lives favorites are booking return trips to Salem, just in time to celebrate the NBC soap’s 50th anniversary.
Stephen Nichols (as Steve “Patch” Johnson) and Peter Reckell (as Bo Brady) will appear later this year, some time before Days turns the big 5-0 on Nov. 8, Soap Opera Digest reports.
Nichols was last spotted in Salem in 2009, while Reckell bid the town adieu in 2012.
DIGEST CELEBRATES DAYS’S 50TH!(Cover) In honor of DAYS’s upcoming 50th anniversary on November 8, Soap Opera Digest takes a comprehensive look at all things Salem. With over 40 new interviews, rarely seen vintage photos, backstage dish and so much more, this collector’s edition is a must-have for all fans. Look for it on sale this weekend!
NADIA BJORLIN BACK TO DAYS!In an interview with Westlake magazine, Nadia Bjorlin reveals that she is headed back to DAYS to film a couple of episodes as Chloe, last seen in 2013. “It’s been so great. That show has been so good to me," she tells the magazine. "I’m not always certain what I’m heading back to do, but hopefully something funny, stir up some trouble." In the cover story, Bjorlin also dishes about her upcoming May 15 wedding to Grant Turnbull. To see the full story, go here.
DAYS ALUM HEADLINES NEW WEB SOAP(Photo) Martha Madison (ex-Belle, DAYS) will star in the new web soap, WINTERTHORNE, set to begin production in spring of 2015. The series, the latest from DEVANITY Creator Michael Caruso, tells the story of Miranda Winterthorne, who is described as seductive, loving and ruthless, and her determination to control her family’s multi-million dollar candy business.
"Women are complicated!” noted Madison in a press release. "We have complex thoughts and emotions. We can be smart, loving, angry and powerful all at the same time for a hundred different valid reasons! Michael understands this and knows how to write for that kind of woman. I can't wait to play her.”
The series will also feature Gordon Thomson (ex-Mason, SANTA BARBARA et al) and will be directed by TAINTED DREAMS creator Sonia Blangiardo.
150 ICONS: Sioux City's Macdonald Carey enjoyed long acting career in Hollywood(siouxcityjournal.com) SIOUX CITY | “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”
Millions know Sioux City native Macdonald Carey for just those words, the introduction to the long-running soap, “Days of Our Lives.”
But Carey was more than just patriarch Tom Horton on the NBC drama.
Long before he became one of the first big names to try daytime television, he had an illustrious career in films.
Born in Sioux City in 1913, Carey first caught the performing bug at Central High School where he sang in the school choir and appeared in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. He parlayed that interest into a degree in drama at University of Iowa.
Like so many stars during World War II, Carey juggled acting and military service. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 but also managed to make some of his biggest films – Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt” among them – during the same time.
Carey then launched a career in television. Juggling both films and television, he played “Dr. Christian” on a syndicated television series and Herb Maris in “Lock-Up.” During television’s golden age in the 1950s, he was a regular on such anthologies as “Zane Grey Theater.”
And then? Daytime television came calling. Carey signed on in 1965 as Dr. Tom Horton in “Days of Our Lives” and played the role until his death in 1994. He won the first two Daytime Emmys ever given for an actor in a soap opera. As a tribute to his contributions to the show, producers continue to use his voice to introduce each episode of the series.
Carey’s autobiography, “The Days of My Life,” was released in 1991.
Carey died March 21, 1994, less than a week after his 81st birthday. He is buried in Culver City, Calif., and remembered with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
NEW PROJECT FOR DAYS’S CORDAYCorday Productions is partnering with the digital TruLOVE Network (which is owned by BroadLit, Inc.), to develop original television properties based on TruLOVE's extensive library of romance stories.
“Our new projects with TruLOVE are sure to capture the hearts and fantasies of our viewers and we are thrilled to be in business with such trailblazing women as TruLove Network/BroadLit partners Cynthia Cleveland, Nancy Cushing-Jones, and Barbara Weller, and we look forward to unveiling more details soon, in true dramatic fashion,” said Ken Corday, CEO of Corday Productions/DAYS’s executive producer, in a statement. The first co-produced project is slated to be announced at the end of 2014.
Deidre Hall Videos: A Kitchen MinuteVideo1
For more visit: deidrehall.com/videos/a-kitchen-minute
THAAO PENGHLIS RELEASES BOOKToday marks the release of Thaao Penghlis's (Victor, GH; ex-Tony/Andre, DAYS) book, Places: The Journey of My Days, My Lives. "It’s really about how I got here, who crossed my path, what were the signposts, who were my mentors, and the diversity and knowledge that I gained in my 20s that I still apply now at this stage of my life," he tells Digest. "It’s also about the travel journeys I have taken, the environment, the history, the people, the language, the food — all those things." DAYS also gets its own chapter."The good thing is, I never left with a bitter taste. There is no blame game because there was more great than there wasn’t in that experience," he says. To get your copy — paper or ebook — go to amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com.
'Days of Our Lives' Producer Launches Digital Soaps Venture(variety.com) (Logo) Corday Productions, which produces NBC’s ”Days of Our Lives,” is teaming up with digital-media firm All Screens Media to launch Net Soaps/Net Novelas — a venture aiming to create and distribute original “interactive” soap operas online that let fans, thesps and advertisers participate in the shows’ development.
The venture will focus on multilingual soaps for the U.S., Latin America and Brazil. Net Soaps/Net Novelas also is making a branded-content pitch to advertisers to integrate their products or services directly in the new digital series.
“This new venture is about taking the passion consumers have for soaps and novelas into a new era,” said Ken Corday, CEO of Corday Productions, who has been exec producer of “Days of Our Lives” since 1985. “This will be original content that the fans will play a role in green lighting and casting, delivered in a form that can build devoted communities of fans in the digital space.”
Launch of Net Soaps/Net Novelas comes after another online-soaps project has gone belly-up: Prospect Park Networks, which last year launched new versions of ABC soaps “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” online before becoming embroiled in a legal dispute with the Alphabet net, last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The principals behind Net Soaps/Net Novelas say their approach is very different. “Prospect Park was taking existing shows and platform-shifting them,” said All Screens Media founder Peter Heumiller, a former VP of content acquisition for Comcast Cable. “We are creating content in a forward-thinking way that gives us a unique platform to connect with people in multiple ways.”
The sponsorship model is key for Net Soaps/Net Novelas, which has launched its website at netsoapstv.com. Advertisers can get involved to the point of making casting decisions for the shows, according to Heumiller. “It’s really coming full circle – soap operas were originally sponsored by the detergent companies,” he said.
Net Soaps/Net Novelas plans to launch the digital soaps in the third quarter of 2014 quarter, via its own websites and distribution partners. Net Soaps is the English-language version targeted at American auds, while Net Novelas will encompass in-language programming for LatAm and Brazil.
Corday Productions’ executive in charge of production Greg Meng will lead development of online portals that will engage consumers and actors in the creation of the content, via online casting and acting auditions, voting on show concepts and ongoing narrative turns. Actors will be able to upload video reels to Net Soaps/Net Novelas as part of the development process.
“We do have a lot of access to amazing talent, not only daytime but primetime,” Meng said. “We are looking at creating these shows as hyperlocal location-based shows, appealing to local sponsors that have national appeal as well.” For example, a show set in Las Vegas might attract a casino sponsor, he said.
The JV has seed funding from the partners, which are in discussions with potential sponsors and distribution partners, Heumiller said. In addition to original shoes, the venture will look to acquire programming.
The Net Soap/Net Novelas team includes independent producer Rose Ganguzza, who has worked with Brazil’s TV Globo on international distribution and also served as president of Revlon/Latin America. Ganguzza will work with her sister, Patricia Ganguzza, whose AIM Productions provides product placement and sponsorship for corporate clients, on international promotional, talent, sponsorship and distribution deals for Net Soaps/Net Novelas.
Also on board is soap-opera actress Crystal Chappell, who’s had prominent roles on “Days of our Lives,” “The Guiding Light,” “All My Children” and “Santa Barbara.” Chappell created and stars in subscription-based online soap, “Venice,” a short-form series now in its fourth season. She will work with Net Soaps / Net Novelas to vet concepts, produce and direct original shows and mentor new talent.
Corday Productions’ “Days of Our Lives” has been a staple of daytime TV since 1965. The company has produced more than 12,000 episodes of the series with distribution in markets worldwide. In January, NBC announced the renewal of the sudser through September 2016.
“The audience for soaps on TV has dropped, but it’s holding,” Meng said. The new venture, reaching digitally savvy soaps fans, “is an organic fit for us as daytime producers for more than 40 years… This takes us several steps ahead as far as watching when you want, where you want and how you interact with the show.”
History of Advertising No 89: Irna Phillips' soap operas(mediaweek.co.uk) If Irna Phillips can’t be called the mother of the soap opera, she was without doubt its midwife who could see daytime drama’s potential for advertisers – and delivered massively on her vision.
She was in the right place at the right time. It was 1930 and US radio networks and advertisers – particularly household-product manufacturers – were beginning to see the opportunities in marketing to housewives at a time when their husbands were working and their children at school.
Phillips, then 29, was an unemployed schoolteacher and part-time radio actress when she was asked by WGN in Chicago to write and act in radio’s first serial drama, Painted Dreams.
It was the story of a mother and her unmarried daughter and, although it began without sponsorship, Phillips included an engagement and a wedding in the plot to maximise product tie-ins.
Painted Dreams marked the start of what proved to be a prodigious output. Over the next 43 years, she created or co-created 18 radio and TV serials, four of which were still on air when she died in 1973.
One was The Guiding Light, centred on a minister and his church community in a Chicago suburb. Another was As The World Turns, featuring the residents of the fictional town of Oakdale, Illinois.
Phillips, who introduced soap-opera conventions such as linking scenes with music and cliffhanger endings, was excited about transferring daytime drama to TV.
In a 1948 letter to a Procter & Gamble senior executive, she envisioned sponsors’ products not only endorsed by her characters but used by them. However, she feared that women who had enjoyed radio drama while doing the housework would not be able to do so while watching TV.
Things you need to know
Phillips dictated her stories to secretaries for up to eight hours a day, producing an estimated two million words a year and earning more than $250,000 a year during the 40s.As The World Turns, the last daytime serial to be associated with P&G, was axed in 2010 after 54 years.
Ma Perkins, one of the most successful US soap operas ever, ran from 1933 to 1960 promoting P&G’s Oxydol. It was created by Anne Hummert and her ad executive husband, Frank.
NBC RENEWS ACCLAIMED DAYTIME DRAMA 'DAYS OF OUR LIVES' THROUGH 2015-16 SEASONNBC has extended its long-running daytime drama "Days of our Lives" for an additional two years, taking the show through September 2016. ‘Days’ will celebrate its 50th year on television in November 2015, continuing its tradition of passion, intrigue and adventure and cementing its place in television history.
The extension was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.
“‘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 Salke. “‘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.
“Having won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama, “Days of our Lives” continues to deliver on its legacy of quality storytelling,” said Steve Kent, Senior EVP, Programming, Sony Pictures Television. “We appreciate NBC’s continued support and are excited to celebrate the show’s 50thanniversary with our generations of dedicated fans.”
“We are thrilled to continue being a part of the NBC family and to have the support of our incredible network and studio executives who work tirelessly to allow us to continue telling our stories and share the ‘Days’ legacy with our devoted family of fans," said Ken Corday, executive producer "Days of our Lives."
“Days of our Lives” currently is delivering its best season in women 18-49 viewers in three years and biggest season in total viewers in four years. Executive producer Ken Corday follows in the tradition of his parents, Betty and Ted Corday, who co-created "Days of our Lives" and helmed the series for many years. “Days” (Monday-Friday, 1-2 p.m. ET) first premiered as a half-hour drama in 1965 and expanded to an hour 10 years later.
In its 48-plus years, “Days of our Lives” has garnered 232 Daytime Emmy nominations and 36 wins, including a recent Emmy win for Outstanding Daytime Drama. The show's success derives from its consistent commitment to excellence in writing and storytelling -- supported by a diverse ensemble of performers -- and an uncanny knack for anticipating viewer interests. "Days” is set in the fictitious Midwestern town of Salem. The core families are the Bradys, the Hortons and the DiMeras. The multi-layered storylines involve elements of romance, adventure, mystery, comedy and drama.
“Days of our Lives” is produced by Corday Productions Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television. Corday is executive producer with co-executive producers Greg Meng and Lisa De Cazotte. Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell are the head writers.
DAYS Stars Create Rap VideoMeredith Scott Lynn (Anne) and Jen Lilley (Theresa) have created a rap video riffing on the show, stars and behind the scenes crew. The video includes appearances from Alison Sweeney (Sami) and several other Salemites, along with clips from the show. “Jen Lilley [Theresa] is hilarious, on and off camera,” enthuses Lynn. “She’s a very funny, funny person. We connected with our humor in the hair and makeup room. So we created something together. It’s a surprise for the fans, the crew, the show, and all of the people who love DAYS. When you watch it you’ll get a whole other layer of the Anne and Theresa experience!” Watch the clip here: Video.
DAYS Star Launches WebsiteDAYS’s Shawn Christian's (Daniel) new website launches today. “My web site is shawnchristianofficial.com,” he states. “People stole my name and I can’t get it back, so shawnchristianofficial.com is now my official website. You can find clips and pictures. There is also news on everything I’m doing, from Arrowhead Adventure Camps [Arianne Zucker’s new organization] to the web series, ADDICTS ANONYMOUS. Anything I’ve done from AS THE WORLD TURNS [where he played Mike] to DAYS is also on the site. It’s a whirlwind of information.
Book: Days of our Lives Better LivingDays of our Lives Better Living: Cast Secrets for a Healthier, Balanced Life. Order your copy right here.
The Star Attraction by Alison SweeneyThe Star Attraction by Alison Sweeney (Author): Paperback, Kindle Edition.
Days is on PinterestThe Official DOOL Pinterest account is up and running at pinterest.com/nbcdool
Tell-All Tome About Y&R And B&B!Soaps In Depth editor Michael Maloney, along with Lee Phillip Bell, has written an authorized biography of Bell's late husband, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL creator William J. Bell. The Young and Restless Life Of William J. Bell is set to hit bookstores on June 1 and is available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.
The book details the Chicago native's pre-soap opera life as an advertising executive in the era just before MAD MEN to his unparalleled career as television's most prolific writer. Bell not only is the mastermind behind the two surviving CBS soaps, but he also wrote for suders GUIDING LIGHT, AS THE WORLD TURNS (for nine years), and ANOTHER WORLD, which he co-created along with his mentor, soap opera legend Irna Phillips. In 1966, Bell left Phillips and took over as headwriter of DAYS OF OUR LIVES, saving the show from cancelation.
The Young And Restless Life Of William J. Bell offers insights into Bill's creative process -- how he felt about recasting, publicity, spoilers, sweeps, stunt casting and, of course, storytelling! The tome contains backstage dish and never-before-seen photos from the Bell family's personal albums. Lee's successful career as a broadcast journalist in the days of live television in Chicago is also covered, and the book contains information from the "bibles" for AW, Y&R and B&B that any soap fan will want to read!
Over 65 people -- including family members, actors, writers, producers, network executives and other notables from the soap opera world -- were interviewed for this book that every soap fan will want to have! So pre-order your copy today!
Daytime Soap Opera Stars Release Epic Historical NovelDecadent Publishing is excited to announce the release of TRUMPET, by Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, stars of daytime television’s Days of Our Lives. Their debut novel, full of fascinating facts researched on site, is a historical romp through the theatrical world of the Regency Era. The adventures of heroine Elizabeth Trumpet, from innocence to experience, include famous characters of the time. Trumpet’s conflicts with love and fame in history’s most elegant yet brutal age mirror women’s struggles in our own turbulent times.
Hayes and Hayes enthusiastically spent their lives acting; this wealth of wit and experience colors every page. Their enticing fiction moves from 1803 London to Egypt, the blossoming America and beyond with heartfelt emotion and adventurous fun - just like the romantic scenes Bill and Susan love to play.
Decadent Publishing co-owner Heather Bennett states, “Bill and Susan’s television fans will be ecstatic with Trumpet’s colorful cast of characters and the actors’ famous sense of humor that shines through in the story. Historical fiction aficionados will find the depth of research and rich characterization impressive.”
Trumpet is now available in ebook format at Decadent Publishing, Bono Books and Amazon. The print version will be released in May.
Arianne Zucker and LifeCHANGEArianne Zucker (Nicole Days Of Our Lives) has worked with a number of different charities over the years, including as an ambassador for Habitat for Humanity of the San Fernando Valley and on a number of trips with the USO. She has also worked with the St. Bernard Project in New Orleans. Now, she has started LifeCHANGE, a project dedicated to making a difference by creating opportunity.
LifeCHANGE the show will take six young adults, ranging in age from 18-25, on a journey that will seek to change their lives, as well as the lives of those around them, through volunteering. "Why we picked that age is because I know for me, personally, I was a little lost," Arianne shared. "I didn't have a lot of direction myself at that age. I didn't go straight to college. I went off and modeled because luckily I was born 5'9" but not because that's what I wanted to be when I grew up. I know that to me that was a very important time."
Arianne continued, telling us that she believes those years are "a very vital time in your life. We picked that time so that young adults could see what is out there, whether it be difficult situations or whether it be opportunities for them to maybe become a philanthropist. Maybe all of a sudden they meet someone and they decide they want to be a mathematician! Who knows? Somebody that will affect them to become something more. That's how my brother and I envisioned this."
Arianne began working on this project with her older brother in 2007; they brought in former Days castmate Jason Cook because he has done a couple of documentaries. And she sees this most definitely being in the style of a documentary, not the reality television that most of us have become so accustomed to. LifeCHANGE will be "done in such a way where it's heartfelt without having to manipulate a situation. We have enough issues of our own and to capture that on television, that's enough. We don't need to manipulate anything. We want to educate and just be able to relate. I know even for my character, people will relate to her when she goes through certain things, through the miscarriage especially, or being torn in relationships or being with men who you don't really want to be with, just because."
People relate to the character of Nicole and she can affect them through her many trials and tribulations, but through LifeCHANGE, Arianne hopes to affect people in a much more positive manner. "You do affect people, more than you know," she avers. "You affect people when you're standing in line at the grocery store... But no matter what, I'm taking six kids a year. And I'm going to make a difference in their lives. And I'm not only making a difference in their lives; it really almost changes you more as a person. And everybody benefits, from the trip and from the journey. You reach the destination but the journey just begins. It's so beautiful."
What if you're not one of the lucky six chosen for this first round? How can your life be changed? "What we've done, too, what we've made available on our LifeCHANGE website and our blog area are organizations that we have worked with, will be working with, will be continuing to work with, because not one thing is near and dear to everyone's heart," Arianne told us. "I feel like if you're not one of the six people who we've chosen to go on this trip, that doesn't mean that you can't change your life on your own. Or be motivated to do it yourself. Or find a group of friends that say, hey, you know what? Our friend so-and-so is going through a tough time right now. Let's make a difference. Those are the things that we want to inspire."
"Let's start this whole butterfly effect," Arianne continued. "Because the more positive we are – and I'm kind of corny spiritual in that way – but the more positive we are, the more positive energy we'll put into the air. Think about it. When your boss comes in angry or your teacher comes in angry, who's the next one to get it? It goes down, down, down. Then your mom comes home mad because she was yelled at at work. Now the kids are affected. If you don't believe in that, or if that's not proof enough in the pudding right there, I don't know what is. What if that boss gave you a bonus today? And it rippled down to your employees. Now your mom comes home in the best mood and you got a cake for dinner!"
And who doesn't want cake for dinner?!
To learn more about how you can get your own cake and make a positive difference in people's lives, please visit www.lifechangetheshow.com.
Set to begin in Summer 2012, LifeCHANGE will offer its six participants the opportunity to travel, build new relationships and experience the warmth that results from helping others in need, while overcoming challenges, tests and obstacles on their path to self-discovery. Participants will be carefully selected upon review of their two-minute online video submission and questionnaire explaining why they would like to take this chance. Episodes will be made available to the general public on the LifeCHANGE website.
A Stirring from SalemOrder the Book: A Stirring from Salem Here!
Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In PhotosIn Book Stores Now: Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos
Deidre Hall’s Kitchen CloseupDeidre Hall’s Kitchen Closeup: Order here!
Days BookSourcebooks released Ken Corday’s The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family’s Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives
Band TogetherHave you been missing your Kurth and Taylor fix? Well, Wally Kurth (Justin, DAYS) reports that the band is back together again. "We have a new album out called 'Greatest Hits? 1993-2010' and we put on like 17 of Kurth and Taylor's greatest songs," he explains. "We actually polled our 50 ardent fans [laughs]. They voted on their favorites from the last four or five albums, and we threw them on there and we wrote two new ones that are really fun. We made the video of a song called, 'Let's Get The Band Back Together,' and the long form has a little scene where we actually talk about the singing actors on daytime. If you can believe it, after all these years and all our appearances, we've never done a music video of our own. If there was one band that was meant to be a video band, it probably would have been us." You can check out the videos, purchase the album or get a free download at these links:
Long Form Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG6EE-1xjsQ
Short Form Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=xS4SvebN-KY
To buy the album on Amazon: www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002VSRZKW/almosthuman
Free download of "Let's Get The Band Back Together Again": www.uaradio.net/Kurth_and_Taylor (just click on our "Songs" tab and hit "Free Download")
Or, finally, their MySpace page: www.myspace.com/kurthandtaylorband
Kristian Alfonso JewelryYou can buy Kristian Alfonso's jewelry at www.hopefaithmiracles.com
Alison Sweeney BioClick here for the book: All the Days of My Life So Far by Alison Sweeney (Sami)
Frances Reid (Alice Horton) Tribute PageFrances Reid (Alice Horton) Tribute Page: Click Here To See It!
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