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Disney Junior unveiled! SOAPnet's replacement set to premiere March 23rd!

Courtesy/DisneyJunior

Courtesy/DisneyJunior

Here it is soapers!  Your first look at Disney Junior, the 24 hour cable network that will replace the only 24/7 soap opera television network, SOAPnet!   March 23rd is the date that for many of the country you will go from seeing the drama of the boardroom and the bedroom, to watching animated figures with shows such as Doc McStuffins, Gaspard and Lisa, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates!”

ABC/Disney is gunning for pre-schoolers 2-5 and their moms, instead of airing same day and date episodes of your favorite soaps, The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, and General Hospital.   While this is another black day for soap fans, it forces us to look for, or continue , the other options once again to see your soaps :  afternoon viewing, your DVR/Tivo, or watching them online.

Here are some excerpts from ABC’s release heralding in their new cable outlet for kiddies!

“Disney Junior, a 24-hour basic cable/satellite channel expressly for kids age 2-7 and their parents/caregivers, will launch Friday March 23 (12:00 midnight, ET/PT) in the U.S., joining 28 other Disney Junior channels around the world. The announcement was made today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena, California, by Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. Disney Junior was introduced as a daily programming block on Disney Channel in February 2010 and, year to year, its ratings are up 26% among Kids 2-5 and 36% among Boys 2-5.

Courtesy/DisneyJunior

The popular Disney Junior daily programming block will continue on Disney Channel while the new 24 hour channel will fulfill parents’ demands for quintessentially Disney programming throughout the day. The Disney Junior channel will be available via major cable and satellite providers Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and Verizon, among others.

Marsh said: “This marks the beginning of a sea change in the ‘preschool plus’ television landscape. The response to our Disney Junior programming block has been extremely positive from both our affiliate partners and our viewers’ parents. On March 23, when it launches as a stand-alone channel, our audience will have the opportunity to experience an engaging, learning-focused and uniquely Disney destination on a 24-hour basis.”

Disney Junior invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. A council of academic advisors comprising experts in the fields of child development, transmedia, storytelling, early education and creativity will guide Disney Junior’s learning and development curriculum.

Nancy Kanter, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and General Manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, said: “Disney Junior series each have specific curriculum experts and now, to maximize overall learning value, we are deepening our conversation to include a channel advisory council that will share research and knowledge in the world of education and bring important perspectives on innovations in early childhood learning.”

The programming schedule includes:  “Doc McStuffins” – an animated series about a six-year-old girl who communicates with and heals stuffed animals and toys in her backyard clinic. Under the consultancy of the Hollywood Health & Society division of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, the series will highlight the importance of taking care of oneself and others, while showcasing the hallmarks of great Disney storytelling – fantasy and wish fulfillment. Emmy Award-winning writer/producer Chris Nee (“Little Bill” and “Deadliest Catch: Crab Fishing in Alaska”) is the creator and executive producer, and Emmy Award-winning Norton Virgien (“Rugrats”) is the director. “Doc McStuffins” is a production of the Dublin, Ireland-based Brown Bag Films (two time Academy Award nominee for “Granny O’Grimm” and “Give Up Yer Aul Sins”).

“A Poem Is…” — Laura Linney, Viola Davis, John Leguizamo, Jessica Alba, Owen Wilson and Liev Schreiber are among the narrators of the second season of the acclaimed short-form series designed to introduce young children to the beauty of a poem.

“Magical World of Disney Junior” — a weekend movie night featuring telecasts of Disney’s vast array of classic and contemporary movies, including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Bambi,” “Dumbo,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Cars,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Aladdin,” among others.

“Gaspard and Lisa” — the adventures of two best friend puppies as they experience the wonders and challenges of school and family life in their Paris neighborhood. Based on the books by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, “Gaspard and Lisa” is produced by Chorion.

“Guess How Much I Love You” — a tender animated series centered on the father-son relationship between Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare. Based on the UK picture book, Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, the series will air exclusively on Disney Junior the Channel. “Guess How Much I Love You” is a production of the Australia-based SLR Productions.

In addition to current hits “Jake and the Never Land Pirates,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Little Einsteins,” “Handy Manny” and “Special Agent Oso,” the channel will also present viewer favorites from the past, “Higglytown Heroes,” “Stanley,” “JoJo’s Circus” and “Rolie Polie Olie,” among others.

Disney Junior reflects the emotional connection generations of consumers have to Disney storytelling and Disney characters, both classic and contemporary. It invites mom and dad to join their child in the Disney experience of magical, musical and heartfelt stories and characters, while incorporating specific learning and development themes designed for kids age 2-7. Disney Junior’s animated and live action series blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills. Disney Junior launched in February 2011 with a daily programming block on Disney Channel. In its first year, Disney Junior posted the network’s biggest yearly audience in the daypart in Total Viewers, Kids 2-5, Boys 2-5, Girls 2-5 and Women 18-49 and increased by double-digit margins among preschooler demographics over year-ago levels.”

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Nancy Wizner
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Nancy Wizner

Not a fan! My kids are grown. This station will be OFF my TV the same as ABC! So sorry to see Soapnet go because I work all day and do not own a DVR recorder to watch whatever soaps are left. Guess its time to invest in one. Thanks for keeping us informed on all the fun stuff, Michael!

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

im trying to remember ,where have I see these cartoons before?I dont know, all over the place ,looks like its going to happen, no change of heart from abc/disney,they are proving there hate for the soaps ,by insulting us with another network for kids,and they are killing the one and only soap channel that we have .they dont hear us ,this is why I will not watch anything that network puts out there ,abc could have kept that channel played the old soaps create new ones ,and let the continuing stories in pine valley and landview go on,and those stupid… Read more »

Bonnie
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Bonnie

how many 3-7 year olds are up past 9:00 at night, this is sooo stupid!! Barbara, if the ratings do not go up on GH it will be gone in September.

barbara t
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barbara t

I know,my kids were never up that late ,they should be in bed ,I dont get it ,and I am worried about general hospital,the ratings have to get better abc has no problem cancelling soaps.

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

Disney, you stink! As my moniker indicates, I am a “mom of 3” and I can tell you the last thing my household needs is another TV Channel for kids! My soaps are my “me” time. As a hard-working wife & mother I don’t think that is too much to ask. I am in full-boycott of ALL things Disney because of the cancellation of the ABC soaps & SoapNet. I’m sure CEO Robert Iger has plenty of “me” time with his $50,000,000+ 2011 earnings. Give the rest of us 99% a break. I even paid more for my cable bill… Read more »

MBmomof3
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MBmomof3

I should add, I contacted my cable provider to complain about the change and will change my cable plan once SoapNet is off the air. I’ll save some money, but I’d rather have my soaps.

By the way, advertising sponsors, I make the purchasing decisions in our households, not my kids. I am watching who advertises on all ABC/Disney channels and actively boycotting them too.

Michael
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Michael

Another reason to hope Anne Sweeney gets fired ala Brain Frons. I wish soapfans would unite on March 22nd and create a plan to boycott ABC for one entire day/week. I LOVE SoapNet- I really hate ABC.

barbara t
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barbara t

I havent watched anything on abc since my soaps were canceled,all I watch is general hospital,television goes on at 3 off at 4.abc/disney will never have me as a fan anymore.Once I make up my mind to do something ,I stick to it.Ill never change my mind about that network ,unless all my children and one life to live are brought back where they belong.

Dr. Donald G. Boudreau
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Dr. Donald G. Boudreau

We, as in our family and friends are continuing our boycotting of ALL THINGS ABC and Disney for their having canceled “One Life to Live” and “All My Children.” In response to these cancellation policy decisions, decisions made by Disney’s Robert Iger and ABC’s Anne Sweeney and Brian Frons, evidence is emerging suggesting that ABC is witnessing half of the Daytime audience fan base fleeing its network programming entirely, as some acutely perceptive observers (i.e. including among others, the acutely prescient Robin Strasser, et al.) many months ago had well predicted would be the tragic outcome. In an honorable business… Read more »

barbara t
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barbara t

I hope that abc /disney has spies and they come here and read what all of us have to say about there cancellation of our soaps and how many people were hurt in there decision to do so,and again you tell it like it is .I wish we could get agnes nixons rights to her stories,I dont understand abc/disneys ,keeping the stories hostage ,they say the soaps are dead,so give them up,how can they loose ,I think I read it here ,someone wrote if they dont have them, no one else will get them ,now thats greed.I really wish we… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Nice having a doctor on the site, LOL.

1loveabcsoaps
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1loveabcsoaps

Doc, Shelly and I (1loveabcsoaps) have some good idea’s posted below. What do you think of them and do you have any to ADD to our list?

sue
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sue

The last thing we need is another reason for kids to stay indoors, Disney & ABC you really did not think this through. I have enjoyed soapnet for years ( also paid extra on direct tv ) Missing all my stories, I will contune to Boycott all ABC shows ( except GH) and ALL DISNEY ( already cancled family fun magazine & movie club) now i record All My Children, One Life to live & General Hospital. guess i will have plenty of room on my recorder after Soapnet is gone. You really don’t pay attention to the consumer ,… Read more »

david
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david

“A 24-hour basic cable/satellite channel expressly for kids age 2-7 and their parents/caregivers.” To watch together? Or does Disney mean parents/caregivers can park their kids in front of the television and forget about them? What children ages 2-7 are awake and watching television 24 hours a day? Add a vending machine to dispense food and you can leave the kids alone for a week at a time. Disney Junior–the substitute parents/caregiver–addicts your children to mindless television, freeing up more of your time for what’s really important.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

I know, who lets there kids watch tv in the middle of the night?alot of parents today do use the tv to baby sit there kids,no wonder the family is dying .I like your vending machine to dispense food,and leave them for a week ,the last thing I ever wanted to do was to bond with my kids in front of a dam tv.someday I would love to count all the kid channels out there ,then ask abc/disney why they were hell bent in destroying the only soap channel for another kid show.

gloria
Guest
gloria

Gag me. This is another stupid move by ABC/Disney. I detest both of them-only watch ABC for GH. That is it. Why on earth can’t the Disney Kids get a channel of their own? Why, why, why, are soap lovers losing everything? Damn it. This is frustrating. Just sick over it all. Today I was watching GH on the treadmill & during a commercial actually reached for the remote, just for a second to see what was happening on Guiding Light! Crazy, huh? But I used to love to switch back & forth & watch all the soaps. I hate… Read more »

david
Guest
david

I don’t understand when there is a channel for every conceivable type of human interest that there cannot be one channel on this planet for soap operas. Are children ages 2-7 a bigger spending consumer audience than the people who watch soaps? Last time I checked, most kids this age don’t have credit cards, disposable income, or shop for their families.

gloria
Guest
gloria

Oh, I have been screaming this from the rooftops since last April. I mean, seriously, there is literally a channel devoted to interest you can think of but they are robbing soaps fans blind. I love SoapNet, just love it-I loved Soap Talk with Ty & Lisa Rinna, and I loved One Day with Wally Kurth & Soapography. I don’t know what happened to these shows but they were so good. And you would think, not expensive to produce. I was hoping SoapNet would pick up shows like Another World, Santa Barbara, Loving, there are so many to choose from.… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

To be honest, I’m NOT upset by this. They’re re-airing all of my childhood shows so I can’t be too bittersweet about it. And yes, soap fans will slam me but I’m trying to see my own positive about this. I can re-live my childhood and share with my baby cousin.

LUMI
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LUMI

as soon as soapnet is gone,so is my cable bill,thats 70$ amonth I can save for gas and food

Christy
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Christy

I had my cable shut off July 2008, (to save $50 a month) so this boycott will be easy!! 🙂 I don’t know why they can’t play old soaps and have kids programming too. Like others said, play one during the daytime, other at night! I still wouldn’t pay $50 tho!

ethel
Guest
ethel

why couldn’t tptb & tiic show programs during the day for the kids & still show the soaps at night????

Sherry
Guest
Sherry

Because Ethel that would involve ABC/Disney actually have a heart and brain and compromising with the fans.

Robert C
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Robert C

If Disney wanted to added Disney Jr i am not to upset about that but they could have seen if the cable companies would add the station and kept Soapnet on the air instead of replacing one network with another one.On Comcast Cable in Sacramento their are more then one network that has the exact same programming on at the same time on more then one channel like our local CBS Channel which has the same shows on at the same time on channels 13 and 90 and the GSN is on more then 1 channel with the same shows… Read more »

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Let’s continue to find other ways to BOYCOTT abc. 1. Send soap to the abc studio 2. Cancel cable and get the dish (support no disney shows) 3. Call Disney 818.460.7477/ 663 818.560.1000 4. Watch no abc channels BUT support General Hospital at 3pm, and change channel. 5. Tell your friends and family to do same, and REMIND them to make sure they are. 6. Post abc boycott on your Facebook accounts 7. Sign all petitions and start your own petitions. We want OLTL back. 8. Email Oprah, Call her, Twitter her, Facebook the HELL out of her & ask… Read more »

Shelly
Guest
Shelly

I have a plan and it’s very simple: 1) For the time being, I only watch GH on ABC. 2) My trip next 2 weeks to central FL, for the first time ever, will not include a visit to the Mouse House. 3) On March 23, I intend to contact my cable company and have all the Dis channels removed from my lineup. 4) IF GH is cancelled, I will draft a letter to my local ABC affiliate explaining why I will no longer watch their channel. Local affiliates survive by local advertising. If I have the time, I will… Read more »

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Im with you 1loveabcsoaps .cant think of any more we can do to ,you pretty much covered it all. we cant give up,im not .and I continue to call and e mail abc/disney every day sometimes more .keep signing the petitions on facebook.we cant give up.

liz
Guest
liz

This is really upsetting. At least for now, I can watch classic episodes of OLTL & AMC. It has softened the blow of losing them both. When SoapNet goes off the air, I don’t know what I’ll do. I really miss my soaps! I have watched both since day one. This is just too hard to take. ABC/D, I wish someone would cancel your existence, you evil, rat bastards! Have an effing magical day.

gloria
Guest
gloria

I know what you mean, having SoapNet & the reruns was a comfort-this is just another blow to soap fans. I agree with every word you said. ABC & Disney can go straight to hell.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

Im with you liz ,I love you calling them , the rat bastards <I have a few choice words to call them to, but I cant use them here.I hope abc/disney has a magical day and there new shows, all of them ,make them wish upon a star that they never would have canceled our soaps ,they sure wanted to get out of the soap business ,didnt they ?another disappointment for us.

Jamie L
Guest
Jamie L

i cant agree more i love my soaps i hate 2012 i rather get hit by a astriod then lose my soaps thanks for nothing abcd and disney i really hope this is the end of the world this year then i will die laughing at you guys hahahaha

Alley
Guest
Alley

Where will I get my Gilmore Girls fix on the weekends? Damn them! Looks like my cable bill will be a little less money as well.

I’ve already been boycotting ABC. The only show I watch is GH and if it’s cancelled, bye bye ABC for good.

This sucks.

gloria
Guest
gloria

I fell in love with Brothers & Sisters on SoapNet, never watched it on ABC but recently I realized SoapNet was starting it over with the very first episode. I have been dvr-ing it like crazy but March 23 will be here before I get all the shows recorded. Damn it. Will have to buy dvds or something. I was hoping to get into Gilmore Girls next but I guess not. I love SoapNet & will miss it like I miss everything else that is being taken away from us.

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

dont stop watching brothers and sisters, another show abc/disney got rid of that they shouldnt have ,there family meals are so funny reminds me when my gang gets together,I dont think abc/disney likes family shows, not like they use to.there prime time shows are getting trashier and trashier .so abc/disney is not missed in my home.

Appleridge
Guest
Appleridge

Arent some cable proviuders still carrying soapnet past March 23rd?

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

I dont see how if its been turned into disney junior ,on march 23rd.of all the networks that are out there we cant have one soap channel, makes no sense.

Heather
Guest
Heather

Yes but only temporary until they are able to carry Disney Junior.

1loveabcsoaps
Guest
1loveabcsoaps

Yes, brother and sister’s was a Great Show…., and could have used better marketng and advertising…. I love Sally Field. A Big Sally Fan…

barbara t
Guest
barbara t

it was one of my favorite shows ,another killing by abc/disney that show had a lot of life left in it.I was so disappointed when it was canceled but I wasnt surprised.seems that abc is getting away from family programming .I miss the walkers to.also think the time should have been changed put on earlier.

lipstickcat
Guest
lipstickcat

Why can’t they atleast throw us a bone & show old episodes of AMC & OLTL? It won’t cost them anything & they can leave Soapnet alone! We don’t need anymore kids channels! There must be a dozen already! They’re only used to sell products to kids so they can bug their parents to buy them junk!

Dmitri
Guest
Dmitri

This is complete s***!!! Disney already has Disney Playhouse in the morning for little kids, why spoil it for us soapfans with yet another one when this is not needed?

Tina
Guest
Tina

I for one do not understand WHY children would need a 24 hour station, when children are supposed to be in bed !!! I am one show away from blocking ABC and Disney from my televisions. If General Hospital goes, so does ABC and Disney right off my remote, I PROMISE I will block the channels. No more purchasing Disney products either !!! Tired of their total disregard for all of us loyal soap fans !
Sign me ” pis**d off and had enough” !!!

ruth s overton
Guest
ruth s overton

i’m excited to find where disney jr is or will be in march, 2013. “that’s fresh” sounds totally fascinating. guess it’s a cooking show to show how to cook healthier. i’ve gained two sizes due to a foot problem. can’t wait to learn to cook healthier.

Breaking News

Cady McClain IN As DAYS Jennifer Temporarily Replacing Melissa Reeves

Rumors that have been swirling are confirmed true.  Cady McClain is coming to Salem and Days of our Lives to replace Melissa Reeves temporarily as the new Jennifer Horton Deveraux.  The casting news was confirmed by a Days spokesperson, according to Soap Opera Digest.

Daytime fans recall, Cady is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner and has previously appeared as Dixie on All My Children, Rosanna on As the World Turns and Kelly on The Young and the Restless.  McClain has already begun filming as Jennifer.

Reeves, who commutes from Nashville to Los Angeles to tape episodes of Days of our Lives, decided not to return to set when the NBC soap opera resumed production earlier this month due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,

In addition, Melissa became a grandmother last month with her daughter Emily’s first child, and now soon will welcome her son Larry’s first child later this month, which is another reason Reeves chose to stay put in Tennessee.

So, what do you think of the Jennifer switcheroo? Excited to see what Cady brings to the role? Comment below.

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Breaking News

‘Knots Landing’s’ Beloved Kevin Dobson Dead at 77

Knots Landing longtime fan favorite, Kevin Dobson (Mack McKenzie) has passed away at the age of 77.  The actor’s death was first reported by the United Veterans Council of San Joaquin County’s Facebook page.  Dobson died on Sunday, September 6th via “medical complications”.

However, The Hollywood Reporter had more clarity and reported that Dobson died Sunday evening in a hospital in Stockton, California, after struggling with an autoimmune deficiency. Arthur Toretzk, Dobson’s rep, shared that with the entertainment news outlet.

The post via Facebook read: “Army Veteran, Veterans Rights Activist, Film and Television Actor Kevin Dobson has passed away. He was 77 Years Old. Condolences to the entire family. Rest In Peace… March 18 1943-September 6 2020.'”   Dobson was the former chairman of the organization.

During his career in primetime, Kevin was also widely known for his work on the crime show, Kojak from 1973 to 1978, playing Detective Bobby Crocker working alongside Telly Savalas.   Earlier in his TV career he appeared on: The Mod SquadEmergency! and Cannon.

Photo: CBS

When Don Murray’s exited Knots Landing in 1982, Dobson was cast in the role of M. Patrick (“Mack”) McKenzie, the love interest for Michele Lee’s Karen.  Lee and Dobson became an undeniable favorite duo of the CBS primetime soap opera and for all-time in soap history.  During his run on ‘Knot’s from its fourth season to its conclusion in 1993, Dobson won five Soap Opera Digest Awards for his performances.

Photo: JPI

In addition, Dobson got his start in daytime soaps, and eventually wound back on them following the ending of ‘Knots’.  He first appeared on NBC’s The Doctors. In 2008, DAYS hired him to play Mickey Horton after two other actors did not work out replacing, the original Mickey,  John Clarke, who retired, In shorter stints, Kevin played Governor Harrison Brooks on One Life to Live in 2003. and Judge Devin Owens on The Bold and the Beautiful in 2006.

He is survived by his wife Susan and his three children, Sean Dobson, Patrick Dobson and Mariah Dobson.

Share you remembrances and condolences in the comment section for Kevin Dobson.

Also check out below The Michael Fairman Channel’s sit-down interview with the ladies of ‘Knots’ from earlier this year; where Michele Lee, Joan Van Ark (Val) and Donna Mills (Abby) mark the 40th anniversary of the series …and also share remembrances of working with Dobson.

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Days Of Our Lives

Marci Miller Opens Up About Her Decision to Return to DAYS and Her Concerns Replacing Kate Mansi

This week will mark the return of Marci Miller in the role of Abigail Deveraux DiMera on Days of our Lives.

The popular actress, who had been nominated for two Daytime Emmys in the Lead Actress category during her initial run on the NBC soap opera, revealed some of the complex emotions she had in determining whether or not to come back to Salem as detailed in this week’s Soap Opera Digest on newsstand now.

Once again, Miller is taking over the role from her predecessor, Kate Mansi.  As DAYS fans know. Mansi won a Daytime Emmy for her work as Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2017 and first played the role from 2011-2016, then Miller took over the role.  Abigail’s last arc was played by Mansi when she returned from 2018- to the first part of 2020.  Miller had stepped away from the role in 2018 as she wanted to concentrate on other projects.

Photo: JPI

In regards to her comeback, Miller shared with SOD: “You never know how discombobulating it might be.  That was one of the things I had to weigh in coming back, was whether or not it was fair to the fans for me to accept (the offer) because Kate hadn’t been there for a very long stint. For them to do this flip-flop thing was a little bit of a concern of mine.”

Miller ultimately says she felt that it was better to have Abigail on the canvas, than not in all, and in the hands of an actress who was familiar with the role than a new actress to take over the part.

Make sure to check out SOD for more on Marci’s decision to return to the NBC soap opera.

Meanwhile, look for an exciting story ahead for Miller when Abigail gets back in action in Salem.

So, what do you think of Marci’s careful thought-process to coming home to DAYS? Comment below.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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