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Daytime Emmy Nominee Eileen Davidson Reveals More On Her Deal With Y&R On Home & Family! There Still Can Be Some DAYS In Her Future!

Courtesy/HallmarkChannel

Courtesy/HallmarkChannel

It’s a big week for Outstanding Lead Actress Nominee Eileen Davidson as she heads into Sunday’s 41st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, since she is considered one of the favorites to win the gold for her performance on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera!  And on top of that, Davidson just signed a new two -year deal to return to The Young and the Restless to play Ashley Abbott.

The beautiful and talented star visits Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family today chatting with hosts Christina Ferrare and Mark Steines all about her new contract, what happened when she was originally fired by Y&R, coming over to DAYS, and now returning to the CBS soap.   As revealed in her  pre-taped discussion with Christina and Mark, her new deal gives her time to visit DAYS too!

Eileen remarked, “I just signed a two-year deal with Y&R again.  I left DAYS a year-ago to spend more time with our 11-year-old son, who’s transitioning into the sixth grade. I took some time off and I did a small story arc on DAYS, which I just wrapped up two weeks ago. It’s going to start airing at the end of July for three months where Kristen comes back into town. I know, it’s very complicated (laughs) and now I’m back on The Young and the Restless starting in September for two years … but it’s in my contract that I can do some days on DAYS!”

On feeling wanted again by the show that originally let her go, Davidson said it has to do with the changing of the guard who is now at the helm in Genoa City and the network: “It was really nice. It was very rewarding to know.  There had been a changing of the guard there too in the interim, so they were like, ‘Oh, my god. We want you back!’  CBS Daytime was like, ‘Please, come back! ’ They were very nice about it.”

As for her time at DAYS for the year that won her a shot at an Emmy, Davidson commented, “I had the best year of my life … the best material …. a great time with wonderful people … and then I was awarded with an Emmy nomination!”

Watch Eileen’s segment on Home & Family below!  Then, let us know, are you happy to hear she can still return to DAYS?  What do you think about her new deal?  What do you think will happen to Ashley when she returns to GC this time?

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I’m glad that her new Y&R contract allows her to visit DAYS (when needed)!
That tells me that DAYS has left the door open for Kristen to return (after the 12 weeks).

Me, too. Eileen is so incredibly talented! I absolutely adore her on DOOL!

Me too. I just love her portrayal of both Kristen and Ashley. As a fan of both DOOL and Y&R I am so pleased to know she is available for both roles. Congrats to Eileen and her fans!

Glad to hear that Eileen’s contract allows her to appear on Days from time to time. I haven’t see Christina Ferrare in years. She looks great.

Eileen Davidson just signed a two year contract with Y&R with the option to also do some scenes on Days. That stinks. Billy Miller could not get a contract to do some other things while on Y&R and they turned him down and he left the show along with 1 1/2 million viewers. How exactly does that work FAVORETS I guess.

Perhaps. But she does have seniority over him. Eileen Davidson was on the show for 27 years before Billy Miller came aboard.

She deserves SOMETHING for that.

Wow, Joyce, I basically just left the exact same comment as you before reading yours! Great minds think a like! 🙂

I don’t know what Billy was asking for, but it is a shame they couldn’t work out a contract. He is sorely missed on Y&R. Hopefully nuBilly can breathe new life into the character.

David Tom is doing a wonderful job–he is Billy Abbott. I can’t help but think that the powers that be are watching the latest tapes thinking,’We’ve made a terrible mistake.’ He has really stepped back into his shoes and has found his stride. Dumb mistake.
About Eileen–she astounds me with her ageless beauty and has managed to sustain it without visible signs of plastic surgery or botox injections. I can only hope the writers hand her some decent material. Last time I saw her on Y&R she was hitting on Stitch, who is young enough to be her son, and he politely rejected her overtures. She’s too good for that. I smelled JFP all over that scene as she loves to humiliate female characters played by actresses for whom she does not care. Just ask Genie Francess.

The difference is that YR & Days can work together to make that happen because they are both owned by Sony. Billy Miller was doing a lot more Primetime so YR wont have any control over shooting schedules, and Primetime shows are not going to work around his YR schedule either.

If he booked a role in advance thats great because a writing team can work around that. But for quicker turn around roles from audition to shooting, its not so easy to make that happen in a blink of an eye. For instance everytime they brought him back for Ringer, his YR storyline kept getting interrupted. It truly does effect shooting schedules. The only way this could truly work was for him to book shows on CBS where in house they can make it work like Victoria Rowell had when she shot YR and Diagnosis Murder at the same time. Same network, Same house, Same Goals. But for a different network, they could care less about his YR shooting schedule.

@T Thomas very good points made on your post and if everybody is truly a fan of Billy Miller be happy for him. If he really wants to do other things besides Daytime he needs to get out there and be free to do it.

You are absolutely correct, Travis. Miller’s situation cannot be compared at all to Davidson’s. First, Davidson proved herself to be a draw decades ago playing the same roles on DAYS & Y&R. She has established fan bases w/each show, & more importantly, the professional reputation & relationships to back that up. They know what to expect from her & that she will deliver because of her track record.

Miller OTOH wants to have his cake & eat it, too. If he wants to be available for bigger jobs, he should have done what many former soap actors do & leap! It could pay off in spades like it did for Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Nathan Fillion & Alec Baldwin. On GH, Bradford Anderson & Julie Berman decided it was their time to go last year. So, off they went, with the best wishes of the GH brass. A clean, honest break is best IMO for viewers & TPTB because it allows them to write better stories. For instance, as much as GH fans like Robin, the consensus has been that it has been lousy for her character to go bouncing in & out of PC like a yo-yo. Sometimes a producer really does need to do what is best for the character & the soap; not the actor. Kimberly McCullough may have wanted to give Robin closure. But, her directing priorities & the story twists need to justify Robin’s absence because of them have gutted the character horribly.

Jill Farren Phelps didn’t like Billy Miller. It’s well-know they didn’t get along. He was no FOJ. She had no intention of re-signing him to a new contract. He didn’t disrupt Y&R one bit last year. Now that the show’s ratings are in-trouble, she’s in a panic and thinks Eileen Davidson will help revive Y&R. She won’t. When a show runs off talent like Michelle Stafford, Michael Muhney, and Billy Miller, it’s going to have a negative impact on the audience. Phelps didn’t like those three actors at all. So a lot of viewers have left and the key female demos are way down. JFP is getting exactly what she deserves. Karma.

I wish you folks could get over Billy Miller. He’s gone, it’s done, deal with it. It ws partly fans inability to get over his leaving which has led to the swift and undeserved dismissal of David Tom who is owning the role of Billy Abbott.
I loved Billy Miller too, but I no longer miss him.

she’s probably got the best gig in all of daytime. two soaps, the different fan base, two juicy characters. don’t watch either show, but still hey when someone got it going on you got to give them their prop.You go girl. congrats…

If you can find the time, check her out as Kristen on DAYS! You’ll be glad you did!!!

Eileen is incredible as Kristen Dimera on DAYS! I hope she takes home this year’s Lead Actress Emmy!

I don’t get it. Why do they give her the freedom to go to a competing soap, but not Billy Miller to persue other side jobs? This stinks. I loathe JPF. I guess it’ll be nice to have Ashley back though.

I love her on any show! She could read the phonebook and id watch

Glad she can still come to Days, but it won’t be for a long periods if she’s got story on Y&R.

I would like to see Ashley with Stitch. After Victoria goes back to Billy and has his baby, Stitch will need someone.

Ashley also needs to straighten out Abby. Get her away from Tyler, with whom she has no chemistry. I tend to blame that on the actor who is pretty wooden. Pretty faces (and abs) are only good if they can act.

Just glad to have a familiar face on this show being overtaken by newbies.

Me too. I read that Beth Maitland will be returning too. Maybe this show will become recognizable once again. Now if only the writing would improve…

I watch both shows and would have preferred Days for the long term deal because Kristen is just so much more interesting than Ashley, but hopefully the new regime at Y&R will realize the kind of meaty stuff she can do and use her, instead of having her wring her hands over Abby or Victor.

She probably chose to Yawn & Rest to gain the strength needed for her DAYS to come!

The more I think about it you at Y&R waited until Billy Miller signed on with General Hospital before giving Eileen Davidson the kind of contracts that Billy asked for and didn’t get. That is REALLY UNFAIR and I hope others will think twice before signing with Y&R so they don’t get screwed like Billy.

Let me get this straight…in her new 2 year contract with Y&R, Eileen Davidson is allowed some OUTS (or whatever) to do some episodes (here and there or whenever) of DOOL?!?!? Yet…TPTB REFUSED to do the same for Billy Miller when he asked for some OUTS in his contract?!?!? In more ways than one, that TOTALLY BLOWS!!!!! Bottom Line Here: HYPOCRISY 101 AT LARGE!!!!! Dumb.

they originally refused to share Eileen with Days too but then Sony went over YR and fired her b/c they felt and rightly knew she could have a much larger impact at Days. It’s just nowhere near the same situation. The mere fact that Sony owns both shows and wants the best for each means that YR really has no choice but to allow her time at Days if they want her on contract.

In any case I wish she were at Days fulltime, but alas I understand why she doesn’t want to. It’s just sad with Stefano barely on, EJ leaving, there is no DImera family come November except nuChad who has yet to be seen. A thoroughly depressing thought. Kristen should be running that town, moving everyone like Stefano’s chess pieces.

“… Kristen should be running that town, moving everyone like Stefano’s chess pieces.”

Yes, Yes, and MORE yes

Eileen Davidson : quote : said she had the best year of her life… ???? when she came back to Days of OUR Lives. I’m besotted with her for that.

then she took time off… that’s good… happy for her personal life

then she comes back for 3 months… and now she’s off to Genoa City

ghost town…. b movie : no oomph or pizzazz : lacks stirring : where’s the spell

the scripts are nowhere

I will record just fridays when she premieres

NOTICE!!!

Eileen’s DAYS are NOT just some episodes here and there! Watch her 3 month stint on DAYS! Kristen is not a supporting character! Her visits to DAYS are momentous!!!

People really can’t comment on her contract versus Miller’s because you don’t exactly know what each was looking for.

Each contract is different folks.

He may have wanted more money, etc. Chill out.

Plus it’s Eileen!!!!

LOL!!!

Thank you! Finally a voice of reason, lol. You’d think there were a bunch of soap fans sitting in on the contract negotiations for all these actors, the way some people are so certain about the terms and conditions each actor/actress wants. That’s why everyone involved uses lawyers, because it’s contract law!

Yes, I agree. Can we please read an article about Y&R’s actors without injecting Billy Miller into the subject? Really, I am so sick of the subject of Billy Miller and really, if you want to cry for justice as far as Y&R soap actors are concerned, cry for David Tom.

Agreed. What Miller is asking for is the ability to audition for pilots. Which means as a producer is harder to plan around if he lands something. What Eileen seems to want is a steady schedule she just wants more time to spend with her family. Plus if Days needs her they can plan that in far enough advance.

Unlike with what Miller wanted you cant write/ produce for amajor character with the fear that he will walk in and announce that he landed another role and will need 2 weeks off to film in the middle of a major story.

BALONEY. BM didn’t disrupt anything last year. This is just fantasy for people to justify the double-standard JFP applies to Steve Burton and Eileen Davidson and not Billy Miller. It’s well-known she didn’t like Billy Miller. He was no FOJ, so he got the boot. Now that Y&R is sinking, she’s desperate and ED is brought back. Big news is that ED isn’t going to save Y&R. Ashley is a crashing bore character. Her character on DAYS is dynamic. The one on Y&R, not at all.

Well known by who? Gossip, there is no proof that JFP did or did not like Miller. I have my theory and you have yours. Unless Miller or JFP said in an interview somewhere. It is all a theory.

And I tend to think that some fans assign more emotion to these things than either of the participants. I would bet that to JFP and to Miller it was/is just business.

I”m envious for fans of Y&R

steaming livid

comeuppance

epic fail : I presume

LOL

Salem’ites : stand ready : prevail

Days will overthrow Y&R

All my DAYS watching friends and I are just counting the minutes until her return. It will be a welcome breath of fresh air!
Personally, I cannot watch another wrung-out breakup between Daniel and Jennifer (OMG—writers, really? Just poke me in the eyes with a sharp stick) or Eric/Nicole. I could yawn myself to death. Fine, Eric–go back to the priesthood, just go and do something! Even the Brady/Teresa scenes are painful, but at least Martsolf keeps it interesting. His wrung-out agonizing breakup scenes are all with Jon, anyway! LOL

Kristen, Kristen, please deliver us from the summer doldrums!

LOL

“…(OMG—writers, really? Just poke me in the eyes with a sharp stick) ”

gouge mine out till it’s over…. The crusade is over… endearing the dullest couple in Days history is spent… lost …. damned… tarnishing… sexless … coma

Daniel and Jenn need to be orbited right outa salem.

once again godlike Daniel is given the last take… and/or scene to ruin a fine impressive fan prop for Camila Banus… Gabi… as she exits in fine form. I applaud her reel… I’ll miss Gabi…. I was overcome by Rafe… he was the bomb… a man emotional over his sister…. when he was done talking to his mom… about the state of Gabs life…. the look of forlorn… emotion overcome… as he hung up and took a sip of his beer… was priceless… I knew Rafe had it in him… bravo!

any way: Rafe is telling Hope he’d like to be the one to tell godlike Daniel… about Gabi misdeed misfortune at having been caught… her keeping secret Melanie’s kidnapping by Alex… Rafe : “if you can find it in your heart to forgive me”

that was enough… fan uproar… damnation !

Daniel: “I can’t say anything right now, till I talk to my daughter”

balk! who cares ! Shawn Christian cannot I repeat… can not ACT ! he’s so stiff… lost within his own eyes darting to and fro lifeless…

“Father” Eric : Greg Vaughan is forgiven… he’s gorgeous easy on the eyes stimulate. at this point its no longer hurry up and wait

the church left ‘him” banished his priest hood…. it’s time for him to man up and step up to the plate…

Nicole for gods sake… was his 1st love.. and he hers. no respect for AZ’ Nicole’ performance… isn’t she riveting…. the pain she renders for the audience is pulling at the heart

it’s not fair to her… how the three amigos (Eric, Brady, Daniel)… her man friends at one time or the other have disrespected her… thank goodness Rafe is still her friend. they’ve made love… proclaimed to all of Salem… at least Eric is preaching to all of Salem… as Nicole took the fall and blame for hottie Dr. Chyka

I fear this isn’t going to resolve itself… at least with eric and nicole gettting together till after ED” Kristen has given us her story arc. I still think he’s worth the wait. but… if Eric can’t make a decision… it’s making them both look too lame and one note dumb and dumber… MOVE us with your hot pairing

I really have to point out… and I don’t mind doing it… if the story is lax lame and lulling the audience attention span… then I savor the actors … for their individucal performances…. I love Eric Martsolf and Jenn Lilly… take after take… they real their unique uninhibited real

I simply adore these characters… do they belong together… I think fan majority knows with you… it’s not going to take… it’s filler till the bombshell Kristen happens… just like its standstill for Eric and Nicole….

I think a lot is going to happen…. and circumvent Eileen Davidson return

I’m really hoping Kristen comes back with a baby…
I’m hoping Eve kicks ass with Jennifer Horton… and supports Theresa…

it’d be through the roof if Eve was to illicit some romance with Justin and Adrienne has to pull out all the stops to keep whats her

for the love of serial…. writing team… feature Kayla and Hope vying for the affections of hottie Aiden…. a Brady and Horton woman… eclipsing simmering with tantalize how beautiful these women are…. it’s a big story

please bring back Sheryl for commands attention Lucas!

are Rafe and Kate back ? I loved them the first time around… what a great piqued reminder how steamy they are… the jordan and ben mystery has to be the longest drawn out story in all of days history.

too cute for words… T and Abs… not nuBen… he’s not man enough ?

pressing for DOOL

Eileen deserves to win the Emmy. There is no character on the soaps like Kristin Dimera. So twisted and so vulnerable at the same time. Most are just twisted or just evil but Kristin has so many levels and such dept. Great job Eileen!

Yes! Love ashley’. Finally y&r makes a good decision. If I had it my way I would allow other fave actors from y&r return or pop up periodically to the show and juggle 2 roles at once.. It can be done apparently? *phyllis? *b miller? *Chloe?
Anyway, hope for the best of her return.
Also, where is kyle?? And what did they do with tracy?? LOL

This is the contract that Eileen has been wanting.

She doesn’t want to do Days full time for whatever reason – even though she clearly loves the role of Kristen. I think she used the fact that Days needs her so badly (even in a very limited capacity) as leverage to score the contract for Y&R (also a Sony soap), where she prefers to work as her main gig.

Although Eileen says that the contract “allows” her to shoot some eps. of Days here and there, I think it is far more likely that the contract requires her to shoot a certain # of Days episodes over the 2 years span.

This is the best outcome for Eileen (who clearly prefers Y&R) and Sony (who I’m sure loves her on Y&R but NEEDS her very badly to prop up Days). It is great to be so in-demand and there is no actress who deserves the popularity more than Eileen does – whatever that star quality is, she has it in spades. If Eileen doesn’t win the Daytime Emmy this year then there is truly something wrong with the process. Luckily, she is well liked by the people at Y&R and B&B as well as Days, so I’d say that she has a great shot at getting the votes necessary to win.

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives wins WGA Award for Daytime Drama Series

Sunday night, April 14th in concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City, the Writers Guild of America is handing out their 76th annual WGA Awards in the fields of motion picture, television, news media, and radio/audio.

In the Daytime Drama category, Peacock’s Days of our Lives was the winner, taking home its fourth WGA Award in this category in a row.

The DAYS winning writing team consisted of Head Writer Ron Carlivati Creative Consultant Ryan Quan and Writers Sonja Alar, Jazmen Darnell Brown, Joanna Cohen, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Cheryl Davis, Kirk Doering, Christopher Dunn, Jamey Giddens, David Kreizman, Henry Newman, Dave Ryan, and Katherine D. Schock.

Photo: JPI

The team from Days of our Lives bested the only other team in the category from General Hospital, which consisted of former GH head writers: Dan O’Connor, Chris Van Etten Writers Ashley Cook, Emily Culliton, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Shannon Peace, Stacey Pulwer, Dave Rupel, Lisa Seidman, and Scott Sickles.

Courtesy/Peacock

As previously reported, a show spokesperson for Days of our Lives shared that the episodes submitted for the competition were #14663, #14678 & #14679, and mostly centered around the death, and the funeral of Victor Kiriakis played by the late John Aniston.

This week, DAYS head scribe, Ron Carlivati, confirmed that, and told Michael Fairman TV on the decision of the scripts the team submitted: “I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, and then there was Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s (Louise Sorel) crashing the reading of the will.”

You can follow along with the live updated list of all the winners from tonight’s WGA ceremonies here.

Michael Fairman TV will have more on DAYS WGA Award win as it becomes available.

So, what do you think of Days of our Lives winning the WGA Award writing award for a Daytime Drama series for the fourth year in a row? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Matthew Ashford and Melissa Reeves Talk Return to DAYS for Doug’s Funeral, Susan Seaforth Hayes, and Their Enduring Friendship

Last week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode which is tentatively scheduled to air on December 3rd. The story will feature emotional and heart-tugging scenes of Doug Williams funeral and honor his portrayer, the beloved Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th at the age of 98.

While the actors, producers, and crew took a lunch time break to pose for some pictures and speak with the press, they knew they would have to get back to taping the funeral, which was going to make it a tough day, but also cathartic for all who loved Bill Hayes.

Several returns have thus far been announced including; Melissa Reeves reprising her signature role of Jennifer Horton (a part she first played in 1985), and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux. Reeves had last appeared on the show back in 2021, and she was replaced by Emmy-winner Cady McClain in her absence when Jennifer was in storylines. In real-life, Melissa had moved full-time to Tennessee along with her husband, Scott Reeves (ex-DAYS, GH, Y&R). Now, and as previously reported, Reeves will first appear back on DAYS for the Thanksgiving episodes with the Hortons.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Matt and Melissa during the 15,000th episode celebration to get their take on: being back for these special episodes, how it has been working with and watching Susan Seaforth Hayes portray Julie’s grief over losing Doug, and how they have supported each other through the years. Check out what they shared below.

Melissa, you are back on the set of Days of our Lives for this very emotional and special moment in the series history. How does it feel?

MELISSA: Oh, my goodness. I am honored. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but to be here for Bill. He was like my real-life dance partner. He taught me how to ballroom dance. And to be here for Susan, of course, who’s just been our sweet hero this whole week. We’re just following her lead. She’s just been this incredibly strong example for us in the midst of this trial and season of her life. She is like just lifting us all up with her. It’s been incredible.

I was at Bill Hayes memorial service which was truly incredible and I know at the time you were in Tennessee. It was moving and celebratory of his life, all at the same time.

MELISSA: That’s all I have heard. I have to watch it on You Tube. They said it was just a real celebration of his life and I love that.

Photo: JPI

This must be difficult for Susan Seaforth Hayes depicting the death of Doug, when she is still grieving the loss of her beloved husband. (Susan pictured above with the returning Stephen Schnetzer who plays her on-screen brother, Steve Olson).

MELISSA: I’m sure Susan has those moments at home by herself, but she’s so good at being a leader and leading all of us. We’re following her, you know, and she’s like, “This is how I want to feel today.” And we’re just going along with her, you know? It’s so sweet.

Photo: JPI

How is it to see Matt Ashford again live and in-person?

MELISSA: You know, Matt and I can go years without talking, or seeing each other, and then the minute we see each other we’re chatting away.

MATT: Melissa was out on set doing a scene yesterday on the phone talking to a stage manager; as she was telling some really tough news on the phone. I’m like crying in the background, literally, I’m off-stage crying.

MELISSA: And then we get like back into normal life, and we’re like, okay, “What’s happening? What’s happening with this … or what’s happening with that?”

I had read, Melissa, that you were in touch with Matt about if there night be a possibility for you to reprise your role as Jennifer for these special episodes?

MELISSA: Yes. Well, Matt was like, “Hey! Would you want to come back? “And I was like, “Matt, you know, I would always come back. ”

MATT:  Every time I come here to Days of our Lives, they ask, “Where’s Missy? How’s Missy?” Everybody backstage says, “I miss her.” All of the crew is asking about her and saying, “It would be nice to see Missy. Nothing wrong with you Matt, but …”  They said, “Where is she?” I said, “She wants to come!”

Photo: JPI

There are some beautiful photos of Missy and Bill and Susan thorough the years that I found. It just reminded me of just the deep and entrenched history we all have had with the show, personally and professionally.

MATT: Missy is roughly the age where Francis Reid (ex-Alice Horton) was when she started the show, which is just crazy.

Photo: JPI

I’ve always said Missy was going to be the next generation Alice. Do you feel that Jennifer is the heir apparent matriarch of the Horton family?

MELISSA: Yes. I mean, this has been greatest blessing of my life, and that would be great. I told Ken Corday (executive producer, Days of our Lives) when I was 17 that this show would be my life. Ken always told me, “This is your home,” and I’ve always felt like that.

How have gotten through the scenes watching Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie go through the loss of Doug?

MATT: Susan is bringing her best performance life for her and Bill. I mean, she’s a showbiz baby. She always has been one hundred percent, and she’s doing it for him, and this is who they’ve always been. So, you’re seeing this amazing performance colored by her life. She has her private life as Susan, but she has enough plugged into Julie that she’s done amazing work. The director, producers and writers are giving her room to live in these moments and it’s quite wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Have you already broken down in tears during the taping?

MELISSA: Yesterday, but today’s taping of the actual funeral I think they want us to try and be just more celebratory.

MATT: I mean, it is a beautiful long life for Bill Hayes and his character of Doug Williams, and so it will be about that. Then, you get a bunch of us together in the church pews, and there’s going to be hijinks.

MELISSA: We all have been through the waves of grief. You have that awful cry and then all of a sudden you feel okay.  There are those family situations we are portraying where you’re like, “What do we do? What do we do now? You know, no one knows what to do. But, it’s so sweet. I’m looking forward to seeing how the scenes all turn out.

So, are you glad that Matt and Melissa are back for the 15K episode and Doug’s funeral? From what we can tell, it’s going to be quite an emotional journey for Days of our Lives fans, and especially the performance of Susan Seaforth Hayes, 

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Days Of Our Lives

Ron Carlivati Talks on Decision to Make Days of our Lives 15000th Episode About Doug’s Funeral, and Previews Chances for WGA Award

This week, Days of our Lives celebrated the taping of their 15,000th episode. In of it itself, that is an incredible accomplishment for the long-running soap opera currently streaming on Peacock.

However, this on set gathering was a bit different. Though the show is celebrating their achievement, they are also in the middle of taping scenes surrounding the death and the funeral of Doug Williams, played by the late Bill Hayes, who passed away on January 12th of this year at the age of 98.

As previously revealed many longtime favorites are back to honor Bill and the character of Doug including: Gloria Loring (Liz), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer), Matthew Ashford (Jack), Maree Cheatham (Marie), Victoria Konefal (Ciara) and Stephen Schnetzer (Steve) to name but a few.

Photo: JPI

Michael Fairman TV was in attendance and spoke with Days of our Lives head writer, Ron Carlivati to gain some insight into how the 15,000 episode was crafted and the decision to honor the character of Doug Williams and Bill Hayes as its epicenter. In addition, Ron weighed-in on this Sunday’s April 14th WGA (Writers Guild of America) Awards, where he and his writing team are facing off with General Hospital for the daytime drama prize. Here’s what Ron shared below.

Was this your idea to make the 15,000th episode centered around Doug’s funeral and passing?

RON: It was. When you’re looking at it, and laying out the calendar for the whole year and you see 15,000 is coming up, we’re like, “What are we going to do?” And then, we got the news that Bill had passed away and something kind of clicked. I was like, “We should honor Doug on that show.” So then, we started to kind of build around that … when does he pass away? How does he pass away? Who could come back? You know, it’s a lot.  I’m very pleased with the returns that we got as there’s so much that you could do. We wanted everybody we could get. So, we put together a wish list and Janet Drucker (co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) made it happen.

Photo: JPI

You have Melissa Reeves back as Jennifer, when the role was last played by Cady McClain. What has it meant to have Missy back for these shows?

RON: It was so nice to see Missy Reeves. I think Cady has done such a good job, but on the 15,000th episode to see Missy as Jennifer, it’s a big deal. So having her was great, and overall, the milestone was a big undertaking, because you want to live up to it. You want the 15,000th episode to be good. Now, it has a lot of real emotion that you’re playing. because for the cast and the crew they’re honoring Bill Hayes just as much as we’re honoring Doug Williams.

Photo: JPI

Was it hard for you and the team to write this episode?

RON: Yes. I’ll tell you why it was hard to write.  When I wrote, for example, Asa’s (Phillip Carey) death on One Life to Live or Victor’s (John Aniston) on DAYS, Asa is a different type of character. Like, you could have characters going, “Oh! I’m glad he is dead.” You could have different points of view, but with Doug, you’re not having that. Every person loves this man. No one had a bad relationship with him. So, you’re challenge as a writer is how do you make it that not everybody’s saying the same thing and doing the same thing. And so, we tried to find ways to make the episode about all the familial relationships and yet, how do you make it about Doug and yet broaden the scope.

Photo: JPI

I had spoken to Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie), a week after Bill’s memorial, for an interview. She said that she felt very fortunate that you did include her on discussions of how you would tackle Doug’s passing. How did that conversation go?

RON: First, I attended Bill’s funeral, which was incredible. I said to so many people it was an emotional service, but it was hard to be sad at this. The guy had an incredible life and it was an incredible celebration. And so, you’re sitting there watching this knowing that you now have to write something similar. And how do you write something that lives up to what you just witnessed? I wanted to talk to Susan to get her thoughts about, you know, how much do you want this to be about keeping Bill separate from Doug. How comfortable are you sharing your grief. She was incredible to talk to. It was a great chat.

You’re in the middle of taping these major scenes for the 15,000 episode to air in December. How do you think it’s going? Have you seen any of the scenes?

RON:  I haven’t seeing anything. I mean, we were still making changes to the script up till this morning!

Photo: JPI

The Writers Guild Awards are this Sunday, April 14th and once again this year there are two daytime drama nominees, General Hospital and Days of our Lives. How are you feeling about your chances this year?

RON: It is often just GH and us in the category. I’ve won three years in a row, so I’m kind of feeling like it’s their turn.

Photo: JPI

What episodes did you submit for contention? If I recall, they had to do with Victor’s memorial.

RON: The episodes we submitted were centered around Victor’s funeral. I think one has story with Vivian (Louise Sorel). We had some fun stuff, we had some emotional stuff at Victor’s death, and I am pretty sure that our submission was three episodes right around that time.

Did you make the decision to go with those episodes because there was a mix of humor and drama?

RON: I like to have some humor, but it was also the funeral, then there’s Sarah (Linsey Godfrey) giving birth, and then Vivian’s crashing the reading of the will. So, we had a lot of fun and it’s hard sometimes to pick three that tell a story, as opposed to submitting for the Daytime Emmys, where the writing team only submits two shows. So, we shall see how it goes on Sunday.

Courtesy/Peacock

So, are you looking forward to the emotional 15,000th episode of Days of our Lives? Do you think DAYS will take home the WGA writing award for daytime dramas for the 4th year in a row? Comment below.

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