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Heather Lindell Returns to Days of our Lives

Photo: JPI

This week on Days of our Lives, look for the return of the manipulative and psychotic Jan Spears when Heather Lindell reprises her juicy role on the NBC daytime drama series.

Heather has played the role on and off since 2004, and in story, Jan has a longstanding vendetta against Belle  (Martha Madison) in her quest for Shawn (Brandon Beemer)

Now, according to the latest Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Jan will get a visit from the MarDevil and share scenes with the one and only Deidre Hall (Marlena).

Lindell told SOD on the upcoming story and scenes that fans will see: “I was definitely into it, mostly because I wasn’t possessed, so I wasn’t too nervous about my performance. Deidre Hall is such a professional and so used to inhabiting the character that it seemed very natural for her. I had a blast shooting it with her, we had a really good time.”

And in the latest promo for DAYS (see below), something is truly off when there are not one, but two Belles that Shawn has to contend with.  The work of the MarDevil?

So, excited to see Heather back on-screen and causing all sorts of trouble for Shelle? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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So come all ye unfaithful
don’t be left out in the cold
You don’t need no invitation, no
your ticket is your soul……

If ever there was a woman in need of serious help it most definitely Jan Spears. You would think that after 17 years Jan would have gotten the message that Shawn wants no part of her.

anne
It’s not her fault for once. Did you see Mardevil start bringing her out of the coma? It’s another crazy scheme mixing her up with Belle and Shawn.

So the Devil will take over Jan, transform into Belle, sleep with Shawn, and then reveal itself as Jan? For what reason, exactly? This better be one of the last twists with this possession story because it’s starting to overstay its welcome. Hoping for a New Year’s miracle that this story ends!

Well, ReRon loves to repeat himself, and one of his favorite gimmicks is the “unexpected” arrival of somebody at the stroke of midnight on New Years Evil.

We know that “Father” Eric Brady is coming back soon…. will he be the NYE return, or will he actually make it back to his family for Christmas, and somebody else will return later??

Because the way this show airs during the Hellidays… they’re probably still going to be on Christmas through the 28th and then it will magically be New Years Evil the next day…

Jimmy -why does the Devil do anything? He does it for the fun of it. Obviously, the Devil is bored and wants to create havoc for the mere mortals living in Salem . After which, the Devil will sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch the show.

In my own defense…. Hell gets kinda boring after a few thousand years. A Devil’s gotta break the monotony somehow!!

This MarDevil story needs to continue on and on and on. It’s not overstaying anything! More more more! Delicious! Best story EVER!

This satanic storyline is truly getting old and boring. There is absolutely nothing endearing about the characters. No heart-stopping moment. No climax. No interesting scenes. It’s silly and childish. Jan Spears is such a wishy-washy character, regardless her crazy/evil ways. Plus, I really don’t care how much fun Deidre is having personifying Lucifer. Irritating!!
I actually FF through the Bedeviled-Marlena scenes. Please let it be over!!

Totally with you here, Celia — on all points. I initially stated I thought it was embarrassing for the actors to utter these lines. And the “cringeworthiness” continues… Some thought it would all come to an end by Halloween. Sadly, no. To me, this whole storyline is an embarrassment to the show in particular — and to the genre in general.

Over the years, soaps have stolen (recycled?) storylines from other soaps. For example, GH had unsurpassed success with Luke and Laura going on adventures, so other soaps copied that formula. And the list goes on and on. Let’s suppose, for the sake of argument, that DOOL gets a ratings bump from the Satan storyline (although I haven’t read anything about the ratings, and heaven help us if there is a bump). Isn’t it conceivable that the other three soaps would ponder how to fashion their own Satan storyline? Make it even better? And which character Satan should inhabit? How far to push the envelope?

As far as this viewer is concerned, the envelope has been pushed beyond repair, beyond recognition. The shark has been jumped. In fact, while they’re at it, maybe Marlena as the devil should actually jump a shark, preferably one with both Susan Banks and Jan Spears in its mouth as it goes for a deep dive…

As always, Jamesj75, you make excellent, thoughtful points. My question about this bedeviled (!) story is: What demographic is it aimed at? If it were 1973 and we were still in a frenzy over “The Exorcist”, then maybe I could understand it. But now? The average cable series has far worse, and more disturbingly graphic, horrors going on. Every other show has a supernatural element to it but these travesties are mainly for teenagers. Are they hoping to lure in those kids to DOOL? If you want younger viewers, bring back Casey Moss and Chandler Massey for some talented AND gorgeous men to bask in. But…if they still insist on foisting this nonsense on us, at least have special effects beyond a high-school level production. You’ve chosen the right word, James: embarrassing. For all of us. Happy Season to you, James!

Thank you, Soaphound! Great points by YOU! “What demographic” — indeed! And I have to agree with the “high-school level production.” This reminds me: in the episode in question (Satan wakes up Jan), Jan commented on Marlena’s eyes changing color, but the audience didn’t see that. I wonder whether the contact lenses have worn out their welcome with Ms. Hall, as this storyline has also worn out its welcome… And in another topic, I meant to reply to you in another thread, in which you gave great commentary regarding the “Corinthos Crime Hour” — love it! And your suggestions for Budig’s possible screen time/salary were she to return were brilliant! Have a Great Holiday, Soaphound!

Hey, James,
I like the inexplicably fantastical supernatural as much as anyone—However, this is not a continuous SYFY saga.—especially when said storyline has been hung up to dry for twenty-five years and then revisited without a stimulating, “hold your breath” input. The output will unfailingly be as bland as pap.
I think the writers have gone too far with the rewriting of this fallacious, empty story.
It’s an insult to our intelligence—-To what end? We all know Satan will again be symbolically slain by Michael, The Archangel —Let Michael appear in the form of Xander. LOL.
Something’s gotta give because this show has become a snore-fest.
Better yet, bring back Eric, as his old self, the priest.
All I can say? I can’t wait for this torment to end. Torturous to watch.
Happy Holidays, my friend. To you and yours!! Let’s pray, the New Year will bring a little bit of sunshine and normalcy back into our lives.

Hello Celia. Thanks so much for your reply and further expansion. I think your point about this not being “a continuous SYFY saga” is the salient one, and I agree that “the writers have gone too far with the rewriting of this fallacious, empty story.” Eric (as priest or whatever) is always a welcome return. Have a Great Holiday, Celia!

James…as always, you make PERFECT SENSE!!!!! Thank You for that. Now…a few thoughts of my own on this…

1. From long ago, Round 1 (or whatever) of The MarDevil was plenty enough for me.
2. Brother…AWESOME IDEA where Susan and Jan are concerned. But Susan annoys me A LOT MORE…LOTS MORE!!!!!
3. Oh…and if I wanna watch something about the devil (or whatever), I’ll re-watch the original 1976 horror classic Carrie…which has always been my ALL-TIME FAVORITE horror movie!!!!! YEAH!!!!!

Later, My Brother.

Thank you for your backup, jaybird369! I also appreciate — and applaud — your comments. Take care, Friend!

Okay, one more thing about Satan transforming Jan’s body into Belle’s: When Jan (as Belle) was trying to seduce Shawn, part of her repertoire was oral sex (not explicit to the viewer but clearly implied). Call me a prude if you wish, but simulated oral sex is a sleazy and lazy gimmick. It’s bad enough that this Satan storyline is going on far too long, but appealing to prurient interests is further degradation and embarrassment for this show. And don’t get me started on the logistics of that phone call between Shawn and who he thought was Rafe, with no explanation on the setup…

Jamesj75
I agree with everything everyone said. I can’t say how sick Iam of all this crap. My FF is getting a good workout.Also, what you called a lazy gimmick brought an “oh my” from this old lady and Iam definitely not a prude. I think both actors were a little embarrassed. I would have been, no matter what end I was on,

Violet Lemm, so glad to read your reply. And thank you for the backup. Maybe with the outrageousness of the whole Satan storyline, some aren’t bothered by such things. I just think it’s so trashy and demeans the actors involved as well as the show. Happy New Year, Friend!

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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