RUMOR PATROL: Is Drake Hogestyn OUT at Days Of Our Lives?; Why Are Soaps Throwing The Vets Out With The Bathwater?

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Praise Daytime
. Okay, we bring you this with trepidation because we all know how whenever news stories are broken by online sites, the soaps love to run to the print mags to yell "not true" only for it to be later confirmed that the online sites were right all along, i.e. the on set turmoil with Dena Higley on Days, Ed Scott‘s firing, Josh Griffith being out at Y&R, Andrea Evans leaving OLTL, etc., however online sources are saying that Days of Our Lives front man Drake Hogestyn has once again been let go.

Again, I repeat, this is just a RUMOR at this point, because we here at Daytime Confidential, nor any of our blog-o-pals have heard any word from the set or an official source, but if this is true, it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the people in charge of Days of Our Lives care absolutely nothing about their fans.

John and Marlena (Deidre Hall) have been arguably the most popular couple in daytime since the mid-1990s and, save for the time when the late James E. Reilly was writing for them, their enormously vocal fans have been consistently given the shaft. I understand that the actors who play them are part of Days‘ allegedly uber expensive "Big Four" (Hogestyn, Hall, Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso), but anyone who would even think about touching these actors, or Joe Mascolo and Alison Sweeney for that matter, before gutting newbies like Molly Burnett, Shawn Christian, Shelly Hennig or even veteran actors who don’t have similar fan bases like Thaao Penghlis, Josh Taylor and Leanne Hunley, shouldn’t be working in television. Do you think Grey’s Anatomy would get kill of Meredith first to save money? Would Brothers & Sisters can Sally and Calista to keep that one brother and his wife no one cares about?

I swear the daytime soap opera industry has to be the only business establishment that doesn’t learn from the mistakes of its peers Someone really should provide these suits with case studies, since that’s the kind of thing they no doubt understand. Here, I’ll take a stab at it:

Remember Santa Barbara after A Martinez and Marcy Walker (Eden and Cruz) left? Neither do we.

Remember what happened at Another World once TPTB decided to let focus groups and budget concerns dictate casting decisions, costing the show Alice Barrett (Frankie), Paul Michael Valley (Ryan), Kale Brown (Michael) and Charles Keating (Carl). Sure Keating came back, but by then it was too late. (Are you reading this Ellen or are you to busy watching The Hills?)

Speaking of daytime’s savior Ellen Wheeler, how about an example from a soap that is still on the air? Guiding Light made the decision to get rid of stars like Grant Aleksander (Phillip), Paul Anthony Stewart (Danny), Nancy St. Alban (Michelle), backburner Maureen Garrett (Holly), Liz Keifer (Blake), Marj Dusay (Alex) and the best actor in daytime, Justin Deas  (Buzz), while sporadically using returnees like Maeve Kinkead (Vanessa)  and Kurt McKinney (Matt), and look where GL is now, fighting for dear airtime in the streets of Peapack.

Did the brass at this 70-year-old soap really think characters like Cyrus, Marina, Ashley, Grady, Rafe and Natalia would make fans forget about losing beloved veterans? If anything it made long term fans who know the score resentful about these characters, no matter how promising some may be.

We’ve all heard the logic. You can get four hair models for the price of one vet. Well, from where this soap fan is sitting, watching this industry implode daily and ratings bleed out in such a way that there isn’t enough gauze in General Hospital to stave it off, I have to ask the question Dr. Phil made famous to the people in charge of daytime television: How’s this business model working for you?

I am not saying playing veteran actors is all it takes to save a soap. Lord knows Days of Our Lives proved that isn’t the case. They brought back Patch, Kayla, Jack, Jennifer, Frankie, Austin, Carrie etc. yet it didn’t make a ratings blip.

One Life to Live has been on an "I Love the 80’s" tour for the past six months and many fans, especially newer ones, have been left scratching our heads, or banging them against our TV screens. So of course it isn’t all about having popular characters. The storylines have to be there and network execs with the creative instincts of paralyzed slugs need to butt out and let the writers do their jobs by not mandating which couples should reunite and/or dictating how many days Actor A or Actress B should be on the air based on Six Sigma analysis. They should also stop viewing the casting departments of their shows as a vehicle to hook up their out-of-work BFFs with cushy new gigs, meanwhile dismantling the few storylines their soaps had going that were actually good (re: As The World Turns).

What it all boils down to is,  if you ask the 150 or so people who still watch daytime soaps if they would rather watch an expensive vet three days a week or some Gap model learn how to act on the front burner of their favorite soap, I predict most would go for the vet, especially those of us over the age of 11.

I’m not saying the vets shouldn’t be asked to take paycuts, because they should, across the board. Soaps aren’t making the money they once did, so to pay these people 80’s era salaries or even 90’s era salaries is ridiculous. But to simply get rid of a veteran star with a huge fanbase without even trying to make it work is soap suicide.

Look at the brillantly-rebounding CBS soap The Young and the Restless. Bringing back the beloved Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) has been key to redeeming the show and quite the lovely hallmark to Y&R’s lapsed fans. And as of yet, they haven’t had her eat poisoned pancakes.

By placing more value on a smattering of newbies than on the vets, daytime has effectively succeeded in driving off the grandmothers and mothers who once got their daughters and granddaughters hooked on this genre. I damn sure hope it will all have be worth it when a spinoff starring Dr. Phil’s wife or The Mark Consuelos Show takes the place of Days of Our Lives or Guiding Light.


44 Responses

  1. Profile photo of daysfan65

    Isn’t this crazy?? It is so insane, we we’re doing this same thing almost exactly last year!

    I do love how you interject tons of humor into these things Jamey!!!

  2. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Didn’t TIIC learn anything last time??? I am waiting to see C’s (Dr.Evansblack in the forums) reaction to this, she is one of the biggest John/Marlena fans here.

  3. Profile photo of CtFireWitch

    Good Gods! What the hell are they doing over there? Daysfan65 you are so right. But when they bring him back maybe they’ll restore his memories, I hope. The news just keeps getting worse…

  4. Profile photo of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    If true I guess we now know what the Variety article meant by “As part of the renewal it’s understood that the show, led by exec producer Ken Corday, will be making some onscreen changes as well, including some cast shuffles.”

  5. Profile photo of zyona

    Jamey I wish they replace Dena by you, oh I forgot they don’t want talent like Nelson said. I wish whatever fixation Dena has with these young actors she gets therapy or something, instead of ruining my favorite show.

  6. Profile photo of jpp1975

    If he goes, it will be even worse than last time, because I enjoy Robo-Jawn so much. I wish they’d stop jerking the fans around! And if JKJ leaves as Philip…why do Dena Higley and Ken Corday seem to hate DOOL so much?

  7. Profile photo of

    How ridiculous. They keep coming up with new reasons for me NOT to watch!

    Honestly, at this point, Days would be better off dead.

  8. Profile photo of snowi

    Okay, I’m not going to pretend to be a huge Drake fan, but even I know how important this character is to the show. Umm didn’t you try this last year morons? And didn’t the fans revolt? You want to save money? GET RID OF THE NEWBIES THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT!! This is just pure insanity.

    What a freaking dumbass move. I agree Jillian, heaven help Dena and Corday.

  9. Profile photo of east.west

    Here’s my 2cents.

    There was no reason for him to come back.
    And b4 you fans attack here’s how I see it.
    John’s death provided great drama the show has been lacking for awhile and I applauded the fact that they had the balls to do it at the time.
    But then Ken caved and brought him back and for what. John and Marlena haven’t been acting like they way the fans wants them to be like and they wrote an agonizing story (maybe fun for Drake) w/a damn disc w/his memories on it.
    So unless Dena plans to write for John and Marlena w/his memory of his beloved Doc and his life b4 in tact there’s no reason for him to be on the canvas.

  10. Profile photo of snowi

    So we are firing the actors because the writer sucks and doesn’t know how to utilize their talent?

    Sorry I’m in a bitter mood right now, JKJ leaving, Drake possibly being fired….who’s next? When I see characters like Melanie and Nicole sucking up all the airtime, I get very resentful. I would rather have Drake than some of these other characters.

  11. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    Jamey, thanks for the insightful column about the lack of common sense in daytime. I know that the industry can’t afford all the vets that the fans want, but the get rid of all them that still has a large fanbase and fans still wants to see and ignoring them or putting them in the back burner and hiring “hair models” to save money is not helping the genre, it is crippling it. I do believe that you need new blood to spice the show and to bring in new viewers, but to have young and new person dominating screen time that should for the vets make the fans tune out more than tune in. I think that Y&R is getting it now that they can still bring in the faves vets and still bring on what newbies that can act and carry s/l is working. I feel that ABC can hired the vets full time if they want, but Frons don’t want them because he rather spend it on promotion that spent it like on good writers or hiring back fan faves with good s/ls that will make fans tune into it. I do agree, that putting a character or show on one person is hurting the drama even more and fans are not watching the soaps anymore. And repeating the same damn s/l over and over again is getting tiresome and we need fresh ideas and new blood in the industry.


  12. Profile photo of STRTRKN

    I have enjoyed Nu-John, but I’m ready for John to be cured and have him and Marlena spend a good week together like the good ol’ days before Stephano tears them apart again. When “John” doesn’t recognize / acknowledge his son, that’s just pitiful. I also know there has to be a “next generation”, but how I long for the big adventure stories with the vets. I grew up with Days, back when its code word was DOOL–in other words, I’ve been with the show a long, long time. If Drake goes, I think my household will go too. And I sure hope TPTB get bit by the clue dog and save what’s left of Days before it’s past the point of no return.

  13. Profile photo of Jennifer

    Days is having problems because the writers don’t know how to write a soap. There are no stories on this show anymore.

    It’s sad to see this talented actor who brought new life to his character this year let go. There are so many good characters on this show that have stories we’d love to see. It’s a shame there are no writers on the show capable of telling them.

  14. Profile photo of season1217

    You know what, daisyclover? You better get a refund on that ticket because Corday and Higley already own property there!


    //**I’m so hood!**\\

  15. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Lol, I doubt they would buy any property there, the Ejamiers created that space and i really doubt any of them would let Dena or Corday anywhere near DI ….thought it would explain a lot of things…..

    I mean maybe the reason we have all this crap on our screen is because Dena has been downing the brainbleach like campaign on new years eve..

    From the forums on Denial island lol:


    Wow, Denial Island has really taken off! I thought I’d give a little explanation where it came from… in case it wasn’t obvious lol

    Denial Island is a place for those fans of – well, it was mainly for EJ and Sami fans, but it’s become the place you go when something about your couple has happened, and you’re in denial about it! Eg. what happened between EJ and Sami on Dec 29, 2006.

    Anyone is welcome on Denial Island – as long as you bring along your own supply of brain bleach (to remove unwanted memories)!


    yes it was first started by me C (Dr.Evansblack) and B(brooke) one faithful day so many months ago ! were in the middle of our own Mardi Gra ! Right now come and join !

    Lol gotta love history lessons on fake imaginary places :) lol

  16. Profile photo of season1217

    ” … I doubt they would buy any property there, the Ejamiers created that space and i really doubt any of them would let Dena or Corday anywhere near DI….”


    My bad. It must have been Retarded Island or the island that Jason Morgan owns, Brain Damaged Island.


    //**I’m so hood!**\\

  17. Profile photo of ssjohn

    All I know is that should be President Obama’s first thing to do, declare war with RetardIsland, take out the evil’s of Dena Higgly, Bob Guza, Ken C and Brian Frons, they are all there and just plotting on ways to destroy our shows, this evil must stop, it is time for change, change for the better..

    Or Obama will just say “deal with it” …

  18. Profile photo of snowi

    I just saw spoilers for the week of the 24th and I can basically sum them up like this: MELANIE

    Oh and there is some other stuff going on too, but who cares. They concern characters that the audience actually gives a damn about so they don’t matter.

  19. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Maybe we should all use reverse psyco……..nevermind the writers can’t even spell psychology so why should i expect it to work on them?

    I am really debating if i should stop watching DAYS, I really doubt i will but ugh this is a horrible decicion and just proof that Jeff Zucker (head of NBC) wants the show canceled.

  20. Profile photo of Jon

    I’d actually prefer to see Days cancelled than a bare budget show starring Dena’s faves Sami & EJ! I’m afraid most of my faves are gonna get axed!


  21. Profile photo of ssjohn

    I agree, Melanie needs to be spun off into her own show, its what Dena deserves! so she can take Melanie, create her own show (on soapnet or something) and because of all the work involved well Dena can leave DAYS to Tom C and she can have her own spinoff.

  22. Profile photo of Dr.EvansBlack

    So is it time for me to flip a shit? YOU BETCHA!!!!

    What in all that is soap holyness is going on! He just came back and they have done NOTHING to him except for make him into RoboDick and look all the good that did… oh wait it did nothing. They are not doing anything with J&M, I am not saying that J&M should be on every day every minute, but at least more than once a week and with a decent storyline besides this back and forth crap. UGHHHHH I am sorry if this makes no sense I am so mad right now I could throw something…. I am going to go cool down….. or just rant to some people…. I think the ranting is more likely….

    Dena is going to kill this show…. oh wait she has already…

  23. Profile photo of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    I honestly don’t think this has anything to do with Dena. I think it has everything to do with the Variety story and the fact that there would be onscreen cuts. Hogan didn’t have any control over DH being fired last time, why would Dena have any control now?

  24. Profile photo of ssjohn

    It doesn’t matter that Dena doesn’t have control she screwed the characters over. And DONT say it was over ‘budget’ reasons because even if they are only on 3 times a month there is still storylines you cna do with the characters instead of the way they are wasting them.

    Also you want budget cuts? you get rid of Steve and Kayla, Melanie, Philip Chloe and you bring on a new character for Brady to fall in love with and you use your vets when you can.

    There is no reason for the ‘who killed Trent’ storyline to be so much in the forfront that every character is involved and no one really gives a crap.

    arg see what you did C???? -.-

  25. Profile photo of Axl4ever

    It’s like I said on a previous post. We did the “firing” of Drake last year at about the same time. Get a brain. Most people who have watched soaps for years want to see the veterans. There needs to be some sort of balance between vets and newbies. In order to bring the next generation of soap vets to life we have to build up the newbies, I get that. But let the newbies have ties and storylines that allow longtime fewers to relate and care & get new fans into both. And they also need to be newbies that have talent and strong storylines. One relative newbie that comes to mind (which she isn’t, but she has the talent to bring a show in to a the next step) is Kristin Storms. That is one talented girl. We need people like that or Gigi on OLTL. These are some younger talented actresses. And the funny thing is they both came from Days. Get a clue DOOL.

  26. Profile photo of ssjohn

    Oh More AWESOME Drake/John rumors are coming out :) glory days are here again John mite stay! (notice how i said John not Drake?)

    Here is a ‘blog post’ style post i made on the forums:

    Would Days Do It??????????
    With the news (/rumor) that Drake H is out as John Black, the rumor mills have been running rampant, now there is a new rumor that states the Dena Higgly and Ken Corday are on the hunt to recast the infamous John Black, possibly with James Hyde (Ex-Sam Bennet Passions), now i would like to remind everyone that this is just a rumor and that there is no facts to this story at this time.

    But with that said would the people in charge of DOOL really attempt to recast the iconic role?

    I am of the opinion that John and Marlena fans are not in love with the Character of ‘John (Ryan, Roman) Black (Forester, Dimera , Alimane, Brady)’ they are in love with the chemistry and acting between Dedria Hall and Drake Hoganstyne.

    Now another rumor is out there that the great DH of DAYS (And no i am not talking about Dena) mite possibly be OUT as well, so the question becomes would days ALSO recast the role of Marlena Evans as well???? and if not are we going to see a sunset ending for Jarlena (Real John with memories and Marlena) or Jawndie (RoboJohn + Marlena) or will something happen and we wont get any sunset ending at all???

    Remember as of this moment all of this is purely rumor but ‘if’ any of this happens what do you think will happen? will you continue to watch days or was this the last straw? sound off in the comments below and lets discuss it, also check out the forums for more heated discussions.


    Here is the Rumor the ‘post’ is based off of–

    “Dena Higley has been toying with the idea of enticing James Hyde to join the show as the NuJohn Black! She makes it no secret she’s a big fan of his and would love James Hyde to join the show as John Black! She said he has the sexy look she envisions John should have. She believes a younger actor will attract a younger audience to the show. Sources say he’s been in close contact with Higley andDays executives about possibly joining the show sometime in early 2009 after Drake’s John Black story wraps up.”

  27. Profile photo of THEBEST

    I may just have to turn in my hourglass pendant if this actually happens. Complete & utter BULLSHIT!

    ***///11.09.85: The Ultimate Soap Viewer Was Born…\\\***

  28. Profile photo of soapfan14

    What Variety story? I read the MF interview and I think he is still bitter over being fired the first time. So unfortunatly I don’t think he will come back if they ask him to again.

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