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Melissa Archer Debuts On DAYS! What Were Your First Impressions? And, A Preview For Next Week When Serena Sees Eric!

Courtesy/NBC

Courtesy/NBC

On Friday’s episode of NBC’s Days of our Lives, Melissa Archer made her return to network daytime television in the role of Serena Mason who arrived on the scene in Salem!

The former One Life to Live favorite where for years she played Natalie Buchanan, had a few scenes setting the stage for big moments next week.  What we learned – Serena is friends with Melanie (Molly Burnett), and she has a job doing research work at the hospital and she is a journalist.  Melissa shared scenes also with Aloma Wright’s Maxine.

When Serena sees Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) at the hospital elevator she admits she knows who she is to Maxine, and that the doc hasn’t aged a bit!

Next week, DAYS officially ushers in Archer with this newly released promo, where we begin to know the back-story of Serena’s relationship with Eric Brady (Greg Vaughan).

So, what did you think of Melissa’s entrance on to the scene? Are you looking forward to seeing how Greg Vaughan and Melissa work on-screen as a love match? Comment below, but first check out the NBC promo after the jump!

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DEE
DEE

Watched her on OLTL for years, glad to see her back on a soap. Miss all those she worked with on OLTL also.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Miss our beloved OLTL so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I wish she had been Sarah or an unknown relative of Marlena’s…a neice Samatha Evans had given up for adoption but i forgot she is suppose to be a love interest for Eric…just hope she’s not a snooze like Jordan who i think will die in a fire at the club Sonny is opening…doubt they’ll recast!!!

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Yes to all that, jimh!

denisefan
denisefan

Love Melissa Archer. Seems Days will transition well from the departure of Sami and EJ.

Margie
Margie

Melissa is terrific and makes everyone in her scenes come alive – Eric could sure use that! Can’t wait.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

She was instantly interesting…glad she’s a part of the Days family!!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

I hope so, jimh. I loved her on OLTL……she needs to outshine herself as everyone is expecting her superlative-self to deliver and then some….great expectations. She is as cheery as ever…later.

dmr
dmr

Yes; Eric could use some excitement!

dani
dani

she looked so good…so good to see her….kind of excited for her and Eric..

Amber
Amber

I am so sorry to say this Dani, but Melissa is the worst actress in daytime. I cannot stand, her horrible acting. I will skip her scenes with eric.

Eric Buchanan
Eric Buchanan

So Excited to see Melissa’s debut. Was a big fan of hers on OLTL. She brings a lot of talent and personality to the show….can’t wait to see where it leads!

Mark
Mark

Love that promo “OLTL’s Melissa Archer returns to daytime”…I love the soaps! Long love the soaps!!!

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I noticed that too. Looks like the people at Sony and NBC acknowledge the foolish action of the alphabet people.

Gary Turner
Gary Turner

I noticed it too, I was thinking the very same thing, what a________s the so called Execs at ABC-TV were – neither One Life to Live nor All My Children should have EVER been cancelled – their inability to combine the two shows and present them as half hour inceptions (I should say their unwillingness to at least make an attempt to experiment with a new model of both shows) will only assist NBC especially since currently there are 5 actors on DAYS who were previously on AMC/OLTL ~

louisa
louisa

Great promo! Love the OLTL shout out! I think Melissa is going to bring a lot to the show. And she didn’t seem like Natalie at all. Can’t wait to see what happens. Now if Days would just hire Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser!

Johnny
Johnny

I agree with you louisa, Hire Erika Slezak as the new Caroline Brady. Peggy Mccay is 87 years old, and rumor is her health has gone down hill. Also hire Robin Strasser as the new Vivian Alamain, she would be terrific.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Florence Henderson should play Caroline Brady…she already played Carol Brady matriarch of a Brady family anyway…lol…Erika is too young for that part…Josh Taylor who is Roman is in his 70s…Erika is 68…having the mother younger than her son would be ok if Roman was from a previous marriage but he isnt…id rather see Erika as Laura Horton…she could be recurring and make occasional appearances so she wouldnt have to relocate if she desires to remain in CT…She as Laura and Jerry Ver Dorn as Bill Horton would be awesome…

CeeCee
CeeCee

Oh, man, Johnny….how fantastic that would be!!! The women of OLTL would add so much more spice and entertainment to Days.

4ever DAYS
4ever DAYS

Johnny, jimh is right…Caroline Brady is a great great grandma.

As far as I’m concerned, Peggy McCay owns the role of Caroline. When she retires or dies, Caroline dies…it’s that simple.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

My apologies Johnny…i had failed to mention Robin Strasser would be an excellent choice as a recast Vivian…

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Robin might be willing to relocate since she did or does own property in CA. I doubt Erika would want to leave CT. But, one can certainly hope. Ideally, I’d like to see this mess between the alphabet people and PP resolved and OLTL go back into production. Some people had trouble viewing online. Luckily, I did not.

Gary Turner
Gary Turner

Llanviewer, I appreciate your optimism. For a long time, I shared it, thinking that One Life could come back, as could AMC – but Prospect Park royally screwed everything up – although the initial blame does remain with the idiots over at ABC-TV. It seems doubtful, albeit not impossible, that One Life could still re-surface…well miracles do happen and it is the Holiday Season so…..

Mark
Mark

I love robin strasser!

Jeremy
Jeremy

I like Melissa. I hope her character is worth-while. I’m not a fan of the Melanie character or the actress who played Mel. Not a Melanie, Daniel fan. Boringville. I’m hoping Melissa knocks it out of the park alongside her OLTL pal Kassie. GH or DAYS would be lucky to get Erika Slezak back into the soap worlds.

Gentry Ashmore
Gentry Ashmore

I wish Melissa all the best. She is wonderful. So missing Natalie and John McBain and my beloved OLTL. Nothing else compares.

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I’m right there with you Gentry. Nothing compares to our beloved OLTL.

Stacey
Stacey

I so agree with you Gentry. I miss Michael and Melissa as well and I know many others do as well. THEY WERE GREAT ! Would love to see them again.

Sara
Sara

How wonderful would it be to see this couple again. They sizzled on OLTL and am sure they could knock it out of the park again. Easton’s character on GH is terrible. It is a damn shame!

Andrea
Andrea

Easton lost his mojo on GH. Silas Clay is not a good long-term character for him. What I wouldn’t give to see him on DAYS!!!!!

Emily
Emily

I agree too. Miss John and Natalie. I wonder if ME will continue on GH? They’re not doing much w/his character Silas. Not much family, friends, not fleshing him out much. Would LOVE to see them on screen again. 1 day….

Emily
Emily

Until then, looking forward to watching MA pop and cause trouble on DOOL:)

Sherry
Sherry

Love her! She seems different from Natalie so far but all it will take is a nudge from Nicole I reckon and Serena’s gloves will come off too. Definitely see lovely chemistry between she and Eric already on the promo. They look like a couple I can root for hopefully and it made me smile when I heard the part about Melissa Archer returns to Daytime because she’s the reason why I’m giving Days a shot. Hope she’s around for a long time!

Nick D.
Nick D.

If Easton ever left GH would be great to see him reprise his Tanner role on Days opposite MelArch.

Marianne
Marianne

Hell yes it would be fantastic!

Jay Keaveny
Jay Keaveny

It’s wonderful to see Melissa back on TV. I’m sorry that it won’t be as Natalie but time marches on. I would especially like to see her in some scenes with Kassie Depaiva.

anacarrie
anacarrie

I agree. It is wonderful to see her; I’ve missed her. I occasionally watch her early days on OLTL and of course along with Michael Easton as John and Natalie. I gave the reboot a chance but it just was a different universe as far as I was concerned. I am just going to enjoy her and whatever story lines envelop. I know she’ll do a good job. Did they run a promo like this when KDP joined? Just curious.

Brandee
Brandee

Liking Serena and Eric already, smokin’ chemistry!!! Would they be called Seric? Or Erena? First impression of Serena is that she’s adorable and a bit mysterious. Welcome to Days Melissa Archer And Serena! Both are a breath of fresh air for this soap.

Beth
Beth

I’m a fan of Melissa Archer, but as has been said here, I wish she’d come to Salem as a Horton or relative of a legacy character. DOOL has a history of bringing on actresses with a fan following like Sarah Brown and Chrishell Stause, and having them play a newbie with no connection to the town, and then firing them. I’d be more interested in watching Sarah Horton or Melissa Horton than Serena Mason, but I’ll watch and hope for the best. DOOL is sagging right now and it needs more romance and exciting storylines, and I’m not sure that creating a backstory for Eric and Serena, where the romance happened off-camera, is a great idea. I can’t recall one single successful couple on soaps where they’d fallen for each other off-camera. But as I said, I’ll hope I’m wrong and that Melissa has a successful run on DOOL.

Mo
Mo

I liked her. She seems like she’s a good actress and vibed well with Melanie.

Kay
Kay

I think Melissa is a wonderful actress and will definitely be an asset to OLTL.

Kay
Kay

I made a mistake, I meant to say GH, not OLTL!!! Please fix that typo.

Days Of Our Lives

Days of our Lives to Air in the UK Beginning In January

Salem is coming across the pond to the UK!  Look for the British to enjoy the long-running daytime soap airing  exclusively on the Sony Channel beginning on January 20th of 2020.

According to Metro: when DAYS does debut in the UK  viewers will see the story pick-up from the series 53rd season where in story; Vivian Alamain returns to Salem after Stefan O. DiMera arrives on the scene claiming to be her son, which all happens on New Years Eve along with three major kisses.

The season which will bow on Sony Channel marked the first full season run of episodes from current head writer, Ron Carlivati

This isn’t the first time DAYS has aired in England, previously it has runs on  CBS Drama, Zone Romantica, and Channel 5

Episodes picking up from season 53 will broadcast at 9;10am.

So, glad to hear DAYS is coming to the UK? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Stephen Nichols On His DAYS Return As Stefano: “I Knew I Didn’t Want To Be A Cheap Imitation.”

By now, Days of our Lives fans have witnessed that the heralded return of longtime favorite, Stephen Nichols came with a twist.  When Nichols re-emerged on the canvas, he was now playing Stefano DiMera, but in the face and body of what seems to be Steve “Patch” Johnson.

Nichols, who along with Mary Beth Evans, have been known as enduring supercouple Patch and Kayla, and now they find themselves in the Salem time jump in a different set of circumstances,  First of all, Kayla is romantically involved with Justin Kiriakis (Wally Kurth), and Nichols returned as Stefano and is in ca-hoots with Princess Gina (Kristian Alfonso).

Photo: JPI

In an interview in the current issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Stephen opens up about taking on the classic soap villain role made famous by the late, great Joe Mascolo.

Nichols admitted there was some trepidation taking on and in approaching how to portray the role: “It was daunting and a major challenge to take on. I knew I didn’t want to be a cheap imitation. I wanted to get Stefano’s essence.”

In preparing for his new journey on DAYS, Nichols noted: “I watched the master, Joe Mascolo.  I got lots of videos of Stefano. Stefano in every mode: Manipulating, laughing, Stefano with the ladies, with his children, and, of course, Stefano raging.”

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So, what have you thought of Stephen as Stefano thus far?  What do you think of the plot twist? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Head Writer Ron Carlivati Talks On: Ben Weston, Soap Amnesia, Doppelgängers, and the Time Jump

Days of our Lives viewers have been going through some changes over the past month since the launch of the innovative time jump from the creative mind of the series and Daytime Emmy-winning head writer, Ron Carlivati.  As episode after episode unfolds, the audience has been finding out just where their favorite Salem residents have landed and with whom, in the one year flash-forward.  There have been shocking deaths revealed, longtime couples facing different kinds of obstacles that could change their relationships forever, and some characters brought back on the canvas, in one form or the other, to shake things up.

On the series finale of the Inside Salem: Days of our Lives Podcast,  Ron Carlivati was the very special guest and addressed many of the decisions that went into making the flash- forward happen starting with when Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) wakes up from her coma after her fall, thanks to Princess Gina (Kristian Alfonso), and how it impacts the canvas.  You can listen to the can’t-miss interview here via iTunes or at NBC.com/Inside Salem.

Due to the length of our conversation with the talented head scribe, some of the questions and answers did not make it into the podcast finale due to time constraints.  So, we have brought you the rest the interview here as Ron discusses: the popularity of  #Cin, back-from-the-dead storylines, writing for the original series on the DOOL app and further creative decisions that went into crafting the one-year time jump.  Check out what Ron had to say below.

Photo: JPI

You have been able to make #Cin, the hottest duo on daytime by taking a now reformed serial killer, Ben Weston (Rob Scott Wilson) and pairing him with the daughter of one of DAYS all-time supercouples, Bo and Hope in Ciara Brady (Victoria Konefal).  Were you ever  concerned as to how this story/romance would play to the audience at home, because in reality no parent would ever just stand by and let their child get involved with a man who strangled and killed women, previously? 

Ron:  To sort of try to glorify a guy who strangled women and make him into a romantic lead, we don’t do that lightly.  Not unlike, Todd Manning (Roger Howarth) on One Life to Live who was a rapist, and who became sort of an anti-hero, but also a romantic lea.  And in this day and age, it’s even a bigger decision to do something like that, I think.  So, that said, it is a soap opera and there are certain things where we know we are pushing the envelope.  We know in the real world that no mother would ever get past her daughter being with a guy who murdered, killed, and strangled three women or strangled and shot one, but the pairing worked so well.

Photo: JPI

In the time jump, you gave Ben an intriguing prison cell mate in Will Horton, given that Ben had “killed” him previously.  Add to that you brought back Ben’s criminal father, Clyde back into the mix.  There’s lots of prison orange these days on the screen.

Ron:  When we knew we were sending Ben to prison, then obviously father and son have to cross path. It just added another element, so it wasn’t just going to be Ben and Will (Chandler Massey) talking to each other, and making a shawl together like Martha Stewart. (Laughs). Ben’s relationship with Clyde was interesting to me.  As horrible as Clyde was and is – there does seem to be some sort of love that he has for Ben.

Photo: JPI

On the soaps, and as has been part of DAYS enduring legacy, characters are killed off, only to be brought back to life somewhere down the road. Many return with classic soap amnesia as a vehicle to drive story.  Is there ever a time when as a writer, or as a soap fan, you think “enough is enough”, and characters should just stay dead?  Many fans who watch daytime dramas get very invested in tragic death stories, where characters have these shocking or sudden, or long goodbyes, and the viewers goes through the grieving process; along with the other characters, for what then seems like a waste of an emotional investment when said character turns back up alive.

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Ron:  We were talking about bringing Jack (Matthew Ashford) back right around that same time we had the Will story.  We couldn’t bring two people back from the dead at the same time, and that’s why Jack’s return kind of got put on the back-burner, so we could do the ‘Will is alive’ story arc.  Look, the audience will go with you, especially if they want somebody back desperately.  They will overlook how did it happen, and how could they be alive.  They will accept almost any explanation, but I think you’re right, if you do it too much, you tend to water down the permanence of death … especially deaths that you saw on-camera.

Photo: JPI

Viewers know you love doppelgänger storylines.  And, in the time jump you brought back none other than Hattie Adams (Deidre Hall).  Why the decision to bring Hattie back at this time?  I know Deidre loves playing her.

Ron:  I think Deidre likes playing something different than Marlena, because she played Marlena for many, many years, and she knows her like the back of her hand.  Hattie is an escape and something fun, and the chance to do and say outrageous things that Marlena would never do.  So, we bring her back whenever we can to have fun with, and again, it seemed to work because  she was in prison, and we set Eve in prison when we started the time jump off, and we’re like, “Who’s Eve (Kassie DePaiva) going to be talking to?” and we’re like, “Oh, well of course.  It has to be Hattie.” (Laughs)

When do you first see the fruits of your labor?  Do you see a feed from the set as the show is taping? Do you receive episodes where you see how what was written has come to life? 

Ron:  In prior shows, One Life to Live and on GH, I saw it when it aired. At One Life, I was in the studio, so I often saw production shooting scenes.  Here, they send me the completed shows once it has been completely edited, the music has been put into it, and it’s all ready to roll, and they email me the link to 5 or 6 shows.  So, I could in theory watch a couple of weeks ahead of the audience, but I tend to (unless I’m so, so curious about how a certain thing turned out) watch it when it’s on TV.

Photo: JPI

The “Lani (Sal Stowers) and Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) joining a convent” storyline is at a critical point in story.  How did you come up with the decision to put Lani, and of all people, Kristen together and about to take their vows as nuns, and kind of becoming bff’s?

Ron:  I mean, you can’t imagine sort of two more unlikely friends as Kristen and Lani.  We grew to really love the relationship that developed between the two of them.  I think we sat down and said about the time jump, “There have to be enough big changes that you do the double-take.”  Like, Will is Ben’s cell mate, Adrienne is dead, and Justin and Kayla are together now.  You had to have enough of those WTF moments to justify passing a year of time.

You have also been writing series for the DOOL app.  What did you think of Chad and Abby in Paris with that being the initial one and how it all came to pass?

Ron:   It was fun.  I had no time.  I was writing six episodes a week of DAYS, and I was asked “By the way, can you write two seasons of a web/app show for us?” (Laughs) Greg Meng (Co-executive producer, Days of our Lives) has really been the mastermind behind this app and developing this app into something.  I love all of the stuff you guys came up with for all the behind the scenes content, but I know that Greg really wanted original series content on it, too.  Chad (Billy Flynn) and Abigail (Kate Mansi) just seemed like the logical couple to do that with.  You wanted somebody tied to Salem that wasn’t currently on the campus, but you know the audience cares about what their up to, and Chad and Abby just seemed perfect.  The process was totally different because I’m used to writing six outlines a week that are 15 pages long, and all of the sudden, I’m like, “She comes in, this happens, and this happens.” .  That’s like a whole episode of an app series right there.  Corday Productions produced it while they were producing the regular show, and they made a special set into Chad and Abigail’s apartment, which I thought looked incredible.

Photo: JPI

Chad & Abby in Paris had a bit of a different look and feel then the regular airshows, which I think made it enticing.

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Ron:  I loved the look of it.  I felt it was just a little bit different than Salem.  We had the establishing shots of the Eiffel Tower and all of that stuff, and look, we had to keep it simple, but we added in Austin (Austin Peck).  We had Tony (Thaao Penghlis) come in season 2.  We had the new characters of Juliette (Rachele Schank) and Sylvie (Shawna Della-Ricca).  So, it was fun, and it weirdly just timed out so perfectly because we did 8, took like a week off, did another 8, and that last episode was posted right when Jennifer fell.

Right, so it timed perfect to get Chad & Abby back on the airshows.

Ron:  It timed out perfectly so that we could have Abigail get a call: “Something has happened to my mother.  We have to go back to Salem.”  So, you last saw Chad and Abby in Paris, and then the following week they were back in Salem.

Photo: JPI

Now, with the kind of massive move for DAYS with the time jump, you have to figure out: “Who are the casualties?  Who am I going to lose?” Viewers learned in short order that: Adrienne (Judi Evans) isn’t alive, Haley (Thia Megia) isn’t alive, and Jordan (Chrishell Stause) isn’t alive.  What went into the decision-making process to kill those characters?  I’m assuming it was to further the story of others on the canvas.

Ron:  Yes.  Anytime we kill somebody, it breaks my heart every time, because these are like my babies.  You fall in love with these characters, and you care about them a lot, and you care about the people who play them.  So, it’s a big decision to say, “Let’s kill them.”  It may be a great story, like, “I’m going to get this amazing story if I kill X,” but that’s a person and a job, and it’s not something we ever do lightly.  That said, in a year of passage of time, you know that life and death is going to happen, and to us, it felt like to really signify the passage of time, there had to be at least one or two people who are no longer alive, and then show how that affects our story.

Photo: JPI

Did you ever think that instead of 1 year that you’d do a bigger jump?  Like, “What if I did 5 years?”  Because it’s interesting, I was reading some comments on social media from fans who are like, “What year is it?  Is it just 1 year?  Why didn’t they do 5?” (Laughs)

Ron:  5 seemed like a lot.  I think people change physically a lot in 5 years. I wasn’t prepared to cast little children as teenagers… that would be a lot. (Laughs)  I think you run the risk of it being almost too disorienting for the audience.  Also, then it would be me having to figure out what happened over 5 years instead of just 1. (Laughs)  So, 1 year just kind of seemed perfect, and it had to be an even year so that even though it’s a crazy coincidence that Jennifer woke up 1 year to the day she fell into the coma, you needed Thanksgiving to still be Thanksgiving, and Christmas to still fall on Christmas, and that kind of thing.  So, it had to be an even year.  I think it worked out great and I hope the audience continues to go on the journey with us, because there is a lot more to come!

So, have you been enjoying the DAYS time jump thus far? Which storyline has piqued your interest most? Let us know via the comment section below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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