Ken Corday's head scratcher of the soap millenium decision to gut his two biggest stars, while seemingly courting ever actor from Passions, even the chimp, has the mainstream press taking notice. Notorious gossip blogger Perez Hilton posted about the firings of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn and the New York Post also weighed in. It seems unlike the late James Reilly, the only time the team of Corday and Dena Higley know how to generate mainstream press is when they make colassal blunders. This thing is gonna get ugly.
Mouths around the soap world collectively dropped this weekend as the unthinkable happened. The recently-renewed Days of Our Lives, fired its biggest supercouple Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans) and Drake Hogestyn (John Black). In this special episode of the DC podcast Luke, Mike and Jamey invite veteran soap journalist Nelson Branco (TV Guide Canada's The Suds Report) and former Days writer Tom Casiello to weigh in from the perspective of industry insiders.
Reactions to the shocking news are gauged from the panel, including: Branco, who reveals Days of Our Lives was the first soap he ever watched and how he first fell in love with the ravishing Hall even before discovering Andrea Evans and One Life to Live; and Casiello, who during his last few months on the soap before the Writers' Strike, was part of a team under Hogan Sheffer that was forced to script out the soap's "Big Four" (Hall, Hogestyn, Kristian Alfonso and Peter Reckell) due to their reported astronomical salaries and ultimately made the decision to kill of the wildly-popular character of John Black— since they were prohibited from using Hogestyn— only to see executive producer Ken Corday panic about fan response and order them to bring the character and actor back.
The DC gang also give their perspective based on their varying histories with the show. Jamey, who has been watching the show for the better part of three decades, reveals his dismay that lower level stars like Molly Burnett, Shelley Hennig, Josh Taylor, Thaao Penghlis, Leann Hunley and Shawn Christian weren't cut first before the show even considered touching the Big Four. Mike, who watched in the early 80's and only recently tuned back in, conveys he still can't believe the show hired Josh Taylor, who once played Roman and Marlena's pal Chris Kositchek as a recast for Wayne Northrop's Roman, with Branco adding that move was a "Jump The Shark" moment for him, adding that Taylor is good friends with Corday. Luke, who has watched Days since the 90's, speculates the brass could be moving to strategically weed out most of the show's veteran performers to repackage Days for an eventual sale to ABC or SOAPnet.
The discussion then moves to what this means for the future of Days of Our Lives and the genre as a whole. If an international superstar like Hall isn't safe, who could be next? Reckell? Alfonso? Sweeney? Taking it a step further, will other soaps start to think their top stars are expendable? Could we see a day when the headline is "Susan Lucci Out", or "Eric Braeden Axed"? This is an episode of Daytime Confidential you don't want to miss.
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The daytime industry is in shock with news surfacing that NBC, Ken Corday and Days of Our Lives have fired Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn. Fans from all parts of the world are still reeling in a state of disbelief, shock and anger. As reported right here on Daytime Confidential and The Suds Report with Nelson Branco, the couple best known to the show as John and Marlena will be released from the show early in the new year.
Have this supercouple fallen victim to the axe from an organization in panic and disarray? Or, have we had the wool pulled over our eyes for yet another storyline with producers calling our bluff in a ploy to win back it's fan base and the much desired number one spot in the ratings race? READ MORE
The news that Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn have been fired from Days of Our Lives pulled me out of my self-imposed moratorium on posting for the next few days, drowning as I am in work. However as I watched this news filter out over the internets and the intertubes, the completely understandable and justifiable reactions by fans of shock, anger, disbelief and inevitable doomsaying about the future of Days were leavened by my sense that something was amiss in my own reaction. At first I couldn't put my finger on it until it hit me out of the blue.
My reaction was, "Whatever." READ MORE
Brace yourselves Days fans. The casting blood bath that started with Jay Kenneth Johnson clearing out his dressing room and top stars Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn being written out is just the beginning, says reliable sources.
"Don't be surprised if you hear some more big names that will shock your readers," said one source. "[Days] really hasn't figured out how to adapt with the changing times. It's really sad."