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Soap Opera Digest Commemorates DAYS 50th Anniversary! Issue On Sale This Weekend!



Days of our Lives 50th anniversary is on, and while the show doesn’t turn the big 5-0 until November, already plenty of plans, celebrations and memorabilia are in the works.  To get things jump-started, Soap Opera Digest has put together a commemorative issue of 50 years of life in Salem!

The issue features a comprehensive look at the longest running series in NBC history featuring over 40 interviews, supercouple secrets, juicy backstage gossip, vintage photos, and more.

The special issue will hit newsstands this weekend, so make sure to pick up your copy, and begin to take a stroll down memory lane with you favorites from the daytime drama series.

Now tell us, of everyone that has ever appeared on DAYS, whowould you like to see back the most for the 50th celebration on-air?   Share your thoughts below, and let us know if you will be adding SOD’s DAYS special 50th anniversary issue to your collection!

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There are several actors on that cover who should be back for the 50th anniversary, and at the top of the list are Stephen Nichols, Charles Shaughnessy, Patsy Pease and Peter Reckell, if only for a short time. I know money is tight but they’ve got to let go of some of the newer characters who aren’t working out and use that money to hire back these actors, even if it’s only for a brief arc. A show where Serena, Melanie, Paige and Ben are front burner is a show that will remain fourth out of four soaps in the ratings and that will be inching closer to cancellation.

What about Wayne Northrop, Beth? My grandmother loved him. She always compares him to the present Roman, Josh Taylor, whom she says could never fill Wayne’s shoes….LOL.
You and I must think alike….those last four characters you’ve mentioned have not arisen any interest, nor have gotten a WOW out of me. They are the most blah, insipid, and lackluster characters on the soap, which is dumbfounding, since I loved both of them previously. What happened? Other than having sex with two idiots, what do they do? One goes around, obsessively trying to switch elephant statues…the other, with the non-descript, alien haircut, stands around in the halls of Salem hospital looking like she does not belong there, stupefied.
I have been chanting the same litany for months……Theresa and Nicole are the most captivating, fascinating, gripping, multi-faceted and attention getting personalities on the show……USE THEM.
Eve could be up there also if she were given the role she deserves. It is a shame to what lowly status TPTB have reduced her. I also love, love, love Kate…what a woman! She always keeps me on my toes. Paul and Sonny are also favorites of mine.
Someone up there in the soap “Royal Court” needs to take notice and listen to the fans.

Josh Taylor will always be Chris K. to me…he might have made a fine Roman but tptb never gave him the material to shine and make the character his own!!!

Why aren’t Doug and Julie on that cover? They were Days’ first super couple?

They shouldve been up there…Doug and Julie were the hottest couple of the 70s and kept the ratings high for many years plus are the only soap couple ever featured on the cover of Time Magazine…what a slap in the face to exclude them!!!

I completely agree with your selections about those who should return — I would include anyone on the cover they can possibly get.

In addition, I sadly agree with you about those who need to take a step back from featured story lines. Those story lines are also wasting excellent actors who should be given newer, more interesting stories.

I’m glad you said “anyone on the cover they can possibly get” because I left out Matthew Ashford and didn’t mean to do that. I love Jack Devereaux and miss Jack and Jen so much!

It actually pains me to say this, but unless DOOL can figure out what to do with Kassie DePaiva other than having Eve have sex with her daughter’s boyfriend and constantly talk about Paige, I don’t know that KDP is being used the best way she could be. She’s a talented actress and has a huge fan following but this version of Eve is a flop because of the writing. Now if Shane and Kim returned, even for a short time, every now and then, I could see Eve having a place on the canvas. But as of now, Eve Larson is not working for me.

Kassie DePaiva was wasted from the getgo

I thought she had some spark with Greg Vaughan at the very beginning… but they nixed that

the only way I see this… is if… they brought back Peter Blake… and he hooked up with Eve… and therein Eve could reign… if she could get past Stefano….

I could just spit… at Jennifers histrionics… JJ is a grown man… ship Paige off to Stanford.. and either WRITE Eve and JJ unlike Ava and Morgan (GH)… or cast a man for her

it’s a danged shame DOOL has nosedived so fast in the space of one year… and yeah, that’s not unlikely… look at Y&R

DAYS wasted so much time in and around the Brady, Eric, and Daniel… who are dullards these days

PS: Wayne Northrop, Charles Shaughnessy and Patsey Pease would do wonders for the show…. I keep saying… a recast of Andrew… for Abs

Kassie DePaiva is most definitely being underutilized. I’m very disappointed at the story line she has been given. In addition, I find the way the character, Jennifer, is being written as an irritating helicopter parent. I hope both KD and MR get better stories soon.

Could have done without that homophobic witch Melissa Reeves on the cover. Think I’ll skip buying this one.

Just read that Peter Reckell and Stephen Nicols will be back for the anniversary.

I Love Melanie she’s a very good actress and she’s funny

Thanks for the heads up I will definitely be picking up a copy of SOD Days special issue. As for who should be back for the 50th. every living Horton, Brady, Dimera, Craver and Kikiakis—and flashbacks of those who are now departed. I want them all– LOL

thank you sod for taking days more seriously than the show runners!!! ahh bo/ hope, kayla/ patch, austin/ carrie!!! glory days….
days needs to cut its losses on ben, serena, dr dan, melanie and make budget room for all the characters that long time fans really care about!
carrie, austin, belle, shawn, phillip, frankie, patch, bo of course, billie, kirsten and peter aka the real di meras!!! just a sample of my wish list!!!!

I am trying to understand why would days and Soap digest allow this special anniversary edtion book be release in March and not at the very end of October are the first week of November, I know it is their 50th year being on air but it should have been relase around the time I stated it being release later in the year would have had special meaning to days and it devoted fans more at the time 50th is due. I may be wrong but this may be days last year come shotly after making 50th it is something about how they rush this special edtion to come out unless they will be doing and bigger and better special edition later in the year, I just find this to be suspect of worst things to come of days.

Sandy, I would suspect it’s a money/marketing thing. DAYS is very suave about merchandising the show: coffee table books, t-shirts, etc. It seems to me that since the article said this was the first of many other things to come that they’re trying to spread out the 50th anniversary stuff to build up the hoopla about the show. Not sure starting this early is going to do it. By the time the actual anniversary arrived in November, the SOD mag is going to seem like old, old news that’s missing half a year of history. I would have liked something closer to the dates you mentioned, October, too.

DAYS is contracted “through” september, 2016

with all this influx redo upheaval…. IT IS ALL affirmation of NBC dedication to keeping this show ON THE AIR

cornerstone of DAYTIME

It may be coming out now and staying on the newstand for a while.

Yeah I thought the same thing, that it was too early to release it now but that it will be on the stands for many months like they do with People and Entertainment Weekly special editions.

@Sandy J

if DAYS , expires… ie: cancelled

it would do my heart so much good…. if : let’s go out with a bang

Jennifer and Daniel : “die”

Lexie should come back as a ghost for Abe – Celeste should make it happen with her cards!
Sami, her kids, Carrie & Austin, Belle & Sean, get Mimi out of that coma! HA! Definitely all the living Brady’s as well as Brandon Walker but before all that please kill off the character of Melanie as she is without a doubt the biggest blemish on the history of Days Of Our Lives – even worse than those gemini twins!!!!!

Oh man I could totally get behind Lexie coming back to visit Abe and having Celeste bring her back! Great idea!!!

I definitely think that Carrie and Austin should visit.

I Love Melanie and I agree about the children they should also bring Lexie and Jack back from the dead they’ve done it before they can do it again I hope they bring E.J. back ( James Scott) no replacement because he’s perfect and Sami and E.J.s kids I Love Little Johnny he’s such a Wonderful actor . They should also bring back Phillip

I will buy this issue !

sidebar : stat : SOS : Melanie is ruining Eric Martsolf’ Brady !

oy! WHY? must she constantly tilt her head cutesy and play with her hair…

as if needing acknowledgment that she’s that good in bed… yesterday’ ep

I gagged when she told Brady…. Melanie is never boring ! huh? she’s as bad as Daniel

Melanie is the worst character on the show. I hate that Brady is wasted on her when he’s got hotties like Teresa and Kristen to deal with.

I stopped watching Days ten years ago. Sorry, none of those ppl on the cover will get me to tune back in. It’s about the writing, and not the character returns for me. The soap needs more compelling storylines. Where is the spectator? Who is in charge of the ISA these days? Where is the next Stefano Dimero? Answer these questions and I will definitely tune back in.

The show needs another Stephano type super villian…ive made suggestions in the past…unfortunately tptb dont listen much to the fans!!!

I really love your idea of Stephen Schnetzer, ex- cass winthrop from Another World to show up in DAYS for the reason you stated

if not a villian… a business tycoon… so Kayla would accept him

plus as a love interest for Mary Beth Evans’ Kayla

That’s why days is always last in the ratings.

Definitely want to see Stephen Nichols, Wayne Northrop, Patsy Pease along with Charles Shaughnessy, Crystal Chappell, Lisa Rinna, Christy Clark, and Peter Reckell.

Along with the actors, who’ve played Vivian (Louise Sorel), and Lawrence (Michael Sabatino).

Good news is that Peter Reckell and Stephen Nicols are confirmed for the reunion.

Matt Ashford, to finally and permanently unite Jack & Jennifer. Then Stephen Nichols and Peter Reckell. I’d love to see an umbrella story with the classic supercouples–Steve and Bo trying to rescue Jack, or something similar. Sadly, I doubt the show will do this.

I wish the same but unfortunately you are most likely right…they probably wont do it!!!

A story that would have had Steve/Bo leave their families to rescue Jack and tie everything together with the ISA, Shane and Kim… That means the writing would need history. So fitting for a 50 right?

Denise Alexander as Susan Martin…and let her be Annes mother…Stephan Schnetzer as Steve Olsen…Tina Andrews as Valerie Grant…Corinne Conley as Phylis Anderson…Patti Weaver as Trish…Gloria Loring as Liz…too many to list…bring back 50 former stars for the shows 50th…

Yes to all that, jimh!

So the thing Days is best known for and is shown on the cover of the anniversary issue is the supercouples…something Corday and crew not only refuse to revisit, but have seemingly gone out of their way to destroy. The male part of all the couples (save John) has all but abandoned their wife. Couples aren’t written for any longer, only short term hookups and tawdry sex. There’s no romance left in Salem.

So true about everything you said…

I hope that Wayne Northrop is featured in this book.

I would like to see Jed Allen, Joe Gallison, John Clarke and Gloria Loring appear on Days of Our Lives far the 50th Anniversary. John Clarke played Mickey Horton. Mickey is dead. But John could return as a different character, just for the anniversary.

Yes, I plan to purchase the Days 50th Anniversary special edition of Soap Opera Digest.

Mickey can appear in a dream of Maggie’s, where he warns her of Victor’s old ways returning.

Love that idea!!!

@ Kristina — Wayne Northrop is most definitely featured, I interviewed him for it myself in fact! It was wonderful to hear his stories. — Mara from Soap Digest

Great news!

DOOL fans!
hitting the half century 50 !!

It would be nice for original cast member Maree Cheatham (Marie) to visit!

She most definately should return…including all three adult Mike Hortons begining with Wesley Eure!!! Wish Micheal Fairman would do interviews with former Days stars on the shows 50th!!!

Great ideas, jimh!

I would love to see Patty Weaver again…great voice. Wasn’t Neil another important character?

Would love to see carly and bo

Steve, Shane, Kim and Carrie would also be great

it would be a dream come true ; of mine ; to see Bo and Carly return home, together… and thereby give Hope a lease on life….

Aiden is fastidious and loves his own fancy face, it’s one of the few things going on right now that keep me… Kristian Alfonso being in love

OK : 1 disgruntle

I’m over the writers constant pinning Melanie and Theresa at odds over Brady
ENUF ! it’s these juvenile antics that doesn’t bode well for either of them… I know for fact that Jenn Lilly has a maturity and layers to share… hope that missing baby and Brady cache fills her purse

I’d like to see some with the last name of HORTON back on the show. Where’s Mike? Jeremy? Bill? Is Tommy dead? It doesn’t seem that the Hortons ever had boys to carry on the family name; not too many to choose from. And what about David and Scotty, Julie’s son and grandson. Julie’s brother? Maggie’s girls? Heck, I’d love to see Doug and Julie back more often! How about all the old entertainers from DOUG’S PLACE come back for a hospital fund-raiser? Jerrie, Trish, Robert, Liz…I’m sure I’m missing some. I really do hope they get their act together at DAYS in time for the 50th. I started watching soaps because of Alive Horton. My mom watches DAYS and I remember seeing Alice on the TV when I was supposed to be napping. Fond memories.

I loved and miss all those characters too-some ive listed like Julies brother Steve Olsen played by Stephan Schnezter ex Cass of Another World-i remember when he sold fake antiques to Julie and left town when Mary Anderson rejected his marriage purposal…also, Doug had a child named little Dougie with surrogate Rebecca North who was little Hopes nanny but i dont recall what happened to him or if the character is still alive!!!

I’ll be buying this. Would love for Viv, Jack, EJami to return.

Whatever happened to Michael T. Weiss? Shouldn’t ‘The Pretender’ pretend to give a crap about the early DAYS of his career? We need Dr. Mike Horton!

Oh, I would totally love to see Michael T. Weiss back too!!!

Wood like 2 c mike and robin come back.

Oh yeah, you’re right he should come back.

OMG I WOULD BE THRILLED TO SEE HIM COME BACK!! he is the real Mike in my opinion.

Where in the world is Michael Leon (Pete Jannings)?! Is Pete the father of Melissa’s son, Nathan? Why is Nathan’s last name Horton? We need Pete, Melissa and Nathan!!!

Bring back Michael Leon and Lisa Trusel as Pete and Melissa!! Also, bring back Mark Hapka, who was treated poorly, as Nathon Horton (Jannings?)!

Nathans father was never mentioned-would be nice if he turned out to be Jacks, a long kept secret Melissa has kept from cousin Jen??? JJ and Abigail would have a half bro!!!

I wish I had thought of that, jimh!

I think they did say pete jannings was Nathans father. Wood like to see pete melissa and nathan return.

I would love to see Jack, Bo, Sami,. E.J.. Steve, Shane, Kimberly, Chloe, Roman and lesser known Greta. I started watching Days in 1990 (their 25th anniversary year) and hope the celebrations planned are even more spectacular. I have a special nostalgic place in my heart for that whole year on Days- the Cruise of Deception, the 25th anniversary, Jack and Jennifer’s budding romance – and can’t wait to see what they do for the 50th. Can’t believe I’ve been watching for 25 years. Hope to watch 25 more!

Would also love to see Carly and Vivian, Celeste and Ivan too.

I LOVE the core families… who brought so much

but the four you mentioned… had personality, whit, stand alone performances, that spotlighted


Carly : so beautiful and SEXY… could act her socks off LOL

Vivian : comedic timing bar none : stupefied her character : was the biggest reason to draw from… Louise Sorel … impeccable timing… with all her being… the drama, comedy… her high standards …. LOVE LOVE LS’ Vivian

Ivan: perfect comedic foible… for his grand dame… and you couldn’t take your eyes off his performance either

Celeste : what can you not say ??? !!!! she blew everyone out of the water… take hold and take note… she was on fire…. Celeste and Lexie… tears she could read your beads and tarot your hide

all these characters enlivened Joseph Mascolo : long live the Phoenix.. Stefano

Gosh, Carrie and Austin would be great to see also. I just keep remembering more and more characters I’ve loved over the years.

yeah, NOW, more than ever

Carrie and Rafe’alicious

would be a great story to see either actor… Patrick Muldoon… or Austin Peck
come home with their child… only to see Carrie and Rafe pick right back up their romance… and Carrie stays w/child permanently… we all know.. she really only left because of Sami and that she was preggers and wanted to make her marriage work….

this would be an amazing time for Rafe…. I love Christie Clark

Frankie too!

I went to two stores today… and it’s not out on the newstand yet

WHO? is that couple on the bottom row far left?

Jack and Jennifer.

Will it be the same size as GH’s 50th anniversary issue? 🙂

I am unable to find the 50 th anniversary issue can I order it directly from you? Thank you in advance for your help

I CAN’T FIND IT IN THE STORE! Can I order this online?

Am I able to order this issue on line. If so please let me know how I may do so.

Will the magazine print more copies because I can’t find one either?
Please let me know what you think.

Go to the actual books/magazines section at stores such as Walmart and Target…not the checkout line. The special issue is not the regular size of SOD…It’s bigger, like Time, Life or People magazine.

Where can I find it in Canada? I’ve looked at a few places, but can’t find it.

You can download. I downloaded through I was charged $2.49. I saved $3.50, but can’t hold the actual magazine. lol

I can’t find the magazine either. Is it a small magazine like the other SOD mags or is it the bigger dementions like People magazine?

Can I download to my Nook this special 50 year edition?

I also am having a hard time finding the issue can you please tell me where to find it, thank you

I found out elsewhere that this particular special issue of Soap Opera Digest is of regular sized magazines…not small like the regular issues of Soap Opera Digest.
I also heard they’re not in the checkouts. You will need to look in the books/magazines section at stores like Walmart and Target.

I decided to download my copy. I went to and opened a free account. I was charged $2.49 for the download.

I can’t believe the magazine hasn’t said more about Peggy McCay. She has been on Days since 1983 and her acting career goes back to 1949. She is a prime time emmy award winning actress and has had more appearances in tv and movies than any of the other actors. Peggy has dedicated her life to her acting career and once again she has been nominated this year for leading actress on a daytime drama Days of Our Lives. Please take the time and show her the respect she has earned by giving her a good write-up.

I would love to see Liz, and Neil come back ,also, what about Trisha, Scotty, Val and Don Craig

Love “Patch”. Hope these writers do NOT destroy a great character just to prop up a newly hired kid!!!!

I hated that GH wasted Stefan and destroyed him merely to prop up Nikolas (who is still far less interesting)! But JFP was a horror and is now destroyed Y&R for me after she threw away good actors and insisted her pet be a lead despite the blandless

I can’t find the DOOL 50th SOD magazine. Can you tell me where I can buy it? Thank you.

Please bring Matthew Ashford back with James Scott, Peter Rekkyl, Allison Sweeney, Stephen Nicols and keep Molly Burnett and Melissa Reeves I’m probably missing a few of my faves but this would be a Wonderful start Thanks. Oh and bring the previous Chad back and keep Eileen Davidson and I don’t like the new Will he’s a horrible actor.

I Love Melissa Reeves she’s not homophobic

i can not seem to be able to find this special issue please help

Where can I get the 50th anniversary issue, can t. Find it on news stands

Hepburn and Tracy, Bogart and Baccalaureate, Sweeney and Scott; days of our lives had the best and most believable love couple it has been my limited pleasure to observe in a long time. Seldom does a couple pair up and make the love they portray so real and wonderful to watch. To allow them to quit the show and leave the fans who fell in love with both of them is a crime. We loved them, worried about them, and probably for the first time in our lives were able to feel and see what it was like to experience real love. I don’t think anyone who watched and lived them felt that the love shared between them was acted and not being real. The end of this team was a crushing blow to all of us who believed in them and their love. How do you forgive such a painful experience?

my mum and I loved watching days and we still do. I hope Laura Jenifer’s mum comes back to the show. I also loved patrick lockhart and mimi. I also hope alice horton will be on it as well. mike horton be good as well. what about susan the kristen lookalike with edmend crumb her husband. I think that ann must be related to laura in real life. keep up being number 1 congrates mum and I would say.

where can i obtain a copy of the 50 th anniversary edition of days .have been watching since the first day it aired. and would love to have a copy. thank you for any help to get this issue.

I would love to see Kristen come back. Looks like the Dimeras are down to very few family members. Kristen is one of the best written and performed characters (by our dear Eileen Davidson) on DAYS.

Hi I am wondering why everyone is leaving.I am from Montreal. I cannot find the days of our lives 50years Messaging no where please tell me know where to get it .also there was another one that was herald day of our lives 50years cannot fine that either I like to know if Bo is coming back.I loved to see Bo and hope back together again Iike to see Tony come back. I heard Sammy is coming back is that truth.I loved rj. And sammy are they married in real life? .I know julie and Doug are.another deidre ann hall that Sammy mom in real life.

My favorite couple of all time is patch and Kayla.. So I hope they keep steve and no on the show. I was thinking maybe a kid of steve shows up that looks just like him ,patch and all and it be a g
irl.. And they try to find out who her mom is and things like that .

I loved Paige. Loved jj and paige. Would not have killed her off but i agree that serena melanie ben eve clyde and aiden can all go. Dont like any of them. As far as who to bring back i would love to see bo and jack back for good. Bringing back austin and carrie and pete and melissa would also work for me.

Everyone needs a copy. I want Jack to surprise Jennifer. I want to stop seeing rumors of Days being taken off the air. I belong to Days Groups and I know too many love it to lose 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.


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.


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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