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December 18, 2014

Days of Our Lives shake-up: It's all about money

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 21st 2008 3:07PM
D and D at DaysJust a couple of weeks ago, all was fine and dandy in Days of Our Lives-world. Or so it seemed. The big fan shindig at Universal in Hollywood seemed to signal that the status quo was holding that the lone NBC soap still in production would be able to use the 18-month renewal granted by NBC to climb in the ratings and return to past glory. Now comes the shocking news that NBC has fired Days of Our Lives' two biggest stars, Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John). By the way, Deidre and Drake were at the fanfest. You think they knew the pink slips were on the way? Um, no.

This is all about money, folks, and instead of seeking other ways to trim costs, Executive Producer Ken Corday and company have used a hatchet and chopped off the top salaries. Don't be shocked to hear that more is coming. That could be Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso -- Bo and Hope -- the other iconic romantic couple on the show, right after Marlena and John.

In a statement, NBC said, "Days of Our Lives' has decided to rest the characters of John Black and Dr. Marlena Evans. After a year of separation, John and Marlena will finally reunite before exiting the canvas in early 2009." Well, isn't that nice. They're going to get a happy ending. There has even been talk of them returning some time in the future.

That, I'm sure, will probably not happen. I'm sorry to say this because I love the soaps, but Days of Our Lives is on shaky ground and it's getting shakier. NBC pretends to support daytime drama, but it's a facade. They canceled Passions last year and Days of Our Lives, despite being on the air since 1965, is the next to go. The only hope for Days is finding a new home, perhaps if SoapNet were to expand into production. NBC would rather expand another hour of Today than continue to support Days. This 18-month reprieve will be like a death march.

Back to Deidre and Drake. I'm really ticked about this for a number of reasons. Deidre Hall is the face of Days of Our Lives. She earned the right to leave on her own terms. Firing her is a colossal smack in the face, and considering her loyalty to the show, completely uncalled for. As for Drake, this is the second time Days has fired him. They did it in 2007 and then had to bring him back when the fans revolted. He deserved a better fate. He's a great ambassador for the show and always has been. This is indicative of how cold show business can be. NBC has shown no respect to these stars. There were other ways to save money; for starters, the cast could be cut from the bottom up. Dropping the big stars is a mistake.

The fans will revolt again, you wait and see. Days fans are among the most passionate in daytime and they will be heard. As for Deidre and Drake, I predict they both will be employed again very soon. They're too popular for another soap not to snatch them up. Drake could fit in nicely with the testosterone-driven storytelling at General Hospital and Deidre could find a happy home at The Bold and the Beautiful or The Young and the Restless.

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Bea

I have watched Days ever since it first came on. It is the only soap I watch. I can't imagine watching it with some of the people gone. Marlena and John are my favorite then comes Bo and Hope. I'm not sure if I will continue watching it. I bet Days Of Our Lives ratings will go down. If they start taking people off they won't have to many viewers.

January 20 2009 at 10:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Merle Ballard

I have been a Days fan for 30 yrs., and have seen many, many characters come and go. Each time Marlena or John's characters left the show, it left a lonely void in the storyline but this was also true of any of the "original" or older characters. They are the meat of this show. All the silly teeny-bopper storylines are just that....silly and uninteresting! I find myself not minding if I miss the show, whereas I used to have to have my "Days" fix!
If Mr. Corday continues to get rid of the older, faithful characters, I'm afraid he'll also be doing the same to we older and faithful fans and there's more of us out here than he thinks! Shame, shame on you!

December 29 2008 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jean allen

after 43 years.if Bo and Hope goes so will I love days this has lasted longer then most marriages.thnks N B C.

December 01 2008 at 9:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
S. O\'Leary

I have watched Days from the day it started. John Black used to be good, but this new roll is terrible.Robot, no feelings. Marlena reads he lines well but does not act. The show needs some new life and the new young characters are refreshing.Bo and Hope are the new Tom and Alice and absolutely have to be kept.
S.O'Leary

November 29 2008 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Mack

T his show may as well end now; what about drippy Kate & all that Botox; she should go before these 2. As for the young ones, all they can do is procreate & fight. Passions at least offered comic relief; without John & Marlena who knows.

November 24 2008 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michellew

The veterans = Days of our lives.
No vets = no days,
sorry to say but I'll stop watching in Jan 2009 - even though Kristian Alfonso (my favourite actress) is still on there, recurring just isn't doing it for me...

November 24 2008 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DIANN

I have been watching Days since I was in High School.(1964) I am in shock why don't they get rid of some of the new ones?They let Shawn&Belle go.

November 22 2008 at 11:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

John and Marlena are just as iconic as Bo and Hope. One only has to look at the reaction this story has gotten.

November 22 2008 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe stalin

They're old. They were old 10 years ago. Its time to move on.

November 22 2008 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marcia

I can't believe what I just read that NBC has fired Marlena and John, are they crazy? Most of the main story line revolves around them and always has. I have been watching Days since it first came on and this is just plain stupid.

November 21 2008 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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