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Days Of Our Lives

Greg Meng Interview: Exclusive Behind the Scenes – Days of our Lives

Executive in Charge of Production for Days of our Lives, Greg Meng, chats with Michael Fairman in this exclusive behind the scenes visit to the set of the NBC soap. In honor of DAYS 45th Anniversary, Meng and co-author Eddie Campbell, have put together Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration in Photos. Watch as we take a look at a day in the life in Salem with special guests, Galen Gering & Shawn Christian.

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Michael, what a trip! How neat is this? We got to see the actual stage set ups and the interiors of the rooms,etc. It is great to see you walking through history. This project must have thrilled you. You did an amazing job, and it was terrific to watch you work you way with the stars and with Greg. I hope you can do this with other soaps and give us more glimpses into the workings of soaps. Now I have to check out some of your other pictures and interviews that were not in the walk through. Oh yeah, Galen does have exceptional teeth! Ha,ha! Again, great job, Michael…..

ITA. It’s nice to see Greg Meng too as we usually just see his name at the credits. Michael, this is so cool. Thanks for posting and Galen is always a good idea! Great to see the dressing rooms. Thank you 😉

Thank you Michael! You always make the fans feel apart of Days!! lol Love seeing Shawn and his dressing room… I also spotted a t-shirt I sent him in one of the photos in the book… That was so amazing… Michael you are the best!! xox AlyciaRashea ~~Alycat04 and The Shawn Christian Angel

no james scott/ej dimera ?this is boring

I agree

I agree too & I think James is the leading man not Galen

In traditional Michael Fairman fashion, a fabulous look
into Days. I have been watching Days since from the first
episode and I have been a devoted fan since day 1. Thank
you MIchael for another great interview. Thank you Greg
for the tour. Thank you Galen for being a part of Days of
our lives. This book is #1 on my Christmas list. Awesome
gift for Days fans.

Oh Michael how you have spoiled us with this amazing behind the scenes walk through of Days! Thank you for presenting such a rare treat! Greg was very generous on his tour and I loved his introductions of Fran and Jayne both of whom are in the book. Being a huge fan I had to have A Celebration In Photos. It is everything you say it is on your tour – a beautiful presentation. I feel fortunate to be able to own this collection of vintage and recent photos of what is still my family’s favorite program. I feel as though I was raised on Days and now my daughter tweets me from college her reactions on the latest episodes. Thank you for the exciting tour. I’m passing the link on to other family members to also enjoy.
When you next see Galen and Shawn thank them too for the peek in their dressing rooms. Galen’s smile is always bright, but not as bright as the one he brings to the fans. ( Darn that his character Rafe’s wedding to Sami didn’t happen in time to make the book! I’m sure it would have been a stunning addition to the weddings section.)

Great interview ! You are so relaxed and comfortable with the people that you interview. Keep up the good work.

Thank you so much for this wonderful backstage tour of DAYS. It was totally exciting to see the sets and the dressing rooms and how things actually work on the show!
Please thank Shawn and Galen for letting us share time with them. They were more than gracious in letting us in on their world.
Can’t wait to get this book! It ‘s definitely on my Christmas list!!

Absolutely loved this interview! It makes me want to go out and buy the book right now! Do you know if they are coming to the Chicago area? I heard Detroit but would love it if they would come to Chicago! Loved seeing Galen’s dressing room and Shawn’s too! Both are such handsome men! This just made my day seeing Galen! You also do an excellent job of interviewing!
Hopefully you will have more and more interviews with Days characters especially Galen/Rafe!

Excellent job Michael! I wanted to see more and more. Very well done and enjoyable to watch!

Funny, Michael, telling Galen he even looks good in the book. Like that’s hard for him to do. Loved everything about this. Can’t wait to get the book, hopefully for Christmas. Thanks to Galen and Shawn for sharing with us.

Thank you Michael for doing another amazing interview.Thank for sharing more behind the scenes stuff. I will be getting this book for Christmas. Thanks Galen and Shawn for sharing with us. You do the most amazing interviews.
Thanks again Michael for a wonderful interview I can’t wait to get the book looking forward to getting it.

thanks for the interview and look behind the scenes and the making of the book 😉 love the bits of info.. nice sets and great look back at the costume. please pretty please soap gods, let there be a red dress in sami’s future with EJ – she is the only other character that can pull that color off plus she has already done white way too much and black of course.

Thank you so much for video! It was great to see what goes behind the scenes!

Hi, I am a HUGE fan of Days of our Lives and have been watching it since I was a toddler…. I think this book is a fantastic idea!! Is there anywhere in Canada that I can buy this? Or do I have to purchase it online…. I don’t have a credit card so that’s my dilemma with buying online….

Thanks, this is great.

my gosh what can i say but it felt like home as days has been a part of my life for years.finally i saw a glimpse of part of the set its so awesome to see how it all works to make the majic we enjoy.salem usa will always have a special place in my heart and to actually see the set im like a scool kid .i will definately get the book showing the iconic set and pics of our beloved actors and actresses who became our family and will be in our hearts for all of the days of our lives. days stole my heart many years ago and i am a proud man who will not deny what i like . have a great day goood job with the interview. i look forward to many more days of our lives episodes as i hardly miss any unless im in a hospital lol. thanks again mr.gareth oscar tillery of greenville alabama

Greg, you said that you need to get the nfans back who have stopped watching? Well most of those fans are women that have watched the show for many yearsmainly due to family values. When we lost Francis Reid, Bo & Hope was next to be the family tradition. Now your getting rid of the main character in that duo.You need to get rid of Gabi,Roman,Tee,Kate,Jen,Abigail,Cameron,just to name afew. their storylines are over.You talked about romance!.Why not give family tradition a go. Bring back Shawn & Belle. I have been watching this show from day one 49 years ago. I have read the fans thougts on the show about letting Bo go & 145 out of 166 was in awe of him leaving. Is it not true that the fan base is what makes the ratings? You & the rest of the writers & execs come in and think you know this show.Please dont insult all of us that have watched this show since Mr. Corday created it.

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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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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