The Soap Executive Who Cried Wolf?

Hall & Hogestyn

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."

Call me a rat bastard for saying so, but I honestly hope executive producer Ken Corday and the fabled powers that be have finally and at long last cut the cord. I hope they let Ms. Hall and Mr. Hogestyn go so they can make lots of money and go on to greater success and brighter chapters in the days of their own lives. Ms. Hall could easily host a talk show or have a hit drama series on Lifetime; am I the only one who remembers the sappy but well-intentioned Our House with her and Wilford Brimley on NBC? Mr. Hogestyn would be fantastic as a suitor for Lily on Gossip Girl. Either one could be cast or recast in accordance with any of the great suggestions offered by Daytime Confidential’s own brilliant Jamey Gidddens. So I say let them go forth to better and greater things because in all honesty, how long must these hire-&-fire farces go on?

You see, I’m not a Days fan. I’m the once-in-a-while viewer who mainly tunes in for one of Days’ many stunts or sweeps stories but I rarely stick around until the next one rolls up just in the nick of time for a ratings booster shot. Therefore I am not speaking as someone who grew up on Days or have any particular connection to the show. I do respect the show and its stars. We have only 8 soaps left and it pains me to see turmoil on any of them including the ones I don’t watch.

I can only imagine as a fan of daytime drama, though, what it must be like for those Days’ fans who have been tuning in longer than 90 days to see this news — this nearly exact news — once again. How many times must they as fans of this show or we as fans of the genre go through what is turning into soaps’ biggest bait & switch scam ever perpetrated in the medium? Days of Our Lives seems to go through this exercise in casting masochism every time they negotiate a new contract extension.

Insert the name of a big name Days star "fired" in a headline and watch how this publicity grabbing gambit gets the magazines a gurgling, the fans hopping mad, sets the internets ablaze and usually causes eyeballs to tune in to see who, how and when Hall, Hogestyn, Reynolds, McKay, Rogers, Hayes, Taylor, Ms. Frances Reid  or whoever else will exit the canvas, only to turn up alive somewhere and somehow in the future — after the show has stabilized and less expensive talent have been written off. To quote Sunshine Anderson, I’ve heard it all before. You have, too, be it the Salem Stalker or a devastating car accident or a bad case of mononucleosis. (continued)…

18 Responses

  1. Profile photo of Bangel Angle
    Bangel Angle

    If this was an essay, and I was a teacher, you would get a freaking A+ with a gold star and a freaking smiley face.

    Because you’ve nailed it. The main problem with DOOL, and maybe soaps as a whole (except probably Y&R), is it does not respect the longterm viewer.

    The new guy who just switched on gets all the love but the ones who’ve been there for 15, 20, or 30 plus years get steadily crapped on.

    Neither does it respect the longterm actor. You used to have to pay your dues to get the kind of service these new DOOL character are getting.

    Our show is consumed by EJ, Melanie, Nick (even though I love him), Max, Stephanie and Passion guys.

    People may love these characters but if they left, I seriously doubt it would make a dent in the ratings.

    Because the truer fans don’t care enough to stop watching because of these guys.

    But when one of the greats leave, they take a piece of the show with them.

    GL had to learn that the hard way. They brought Tom P. back, thinking that all that outcry over him leaving would bring back fans.

    But after all that Jonathan love, his return hardly made a blip.

    Yet the character of Phillip is only set to return and fans from way back are ready to turn in and give the show a chance again.

    Heck, I’m even looking forward to Elani although I wish it was the “Providence” woman instead.

    Right now, I’m sure the firing of Diedra and Drake is a stunt. But I’m frankly fed up with their stunts.

    Stop rewriting core characters to pimp new guys.

    Stop giving all the storylines to characters who have no history and no real links to the show.

    Stop pushing longterm fans away.

  2. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003

    This is the end of Days. The ratings are going to down below “GL” and that is sad. I do believe the the head honchos don’t care about the industry anymore and the genre is dying.


  3. Profile photo of engradypind

    I’ve only been watching Days for less than a year and then not on a regular basis due to scheduling – it’s and mine. I didn’t know the original John Black but I get a big kick out of this new one. Marlena left me pretty cold because she is written as extremely patronizing and cold. Still, the loss of these two characters is troublesome. These two mature characters brought balance to the melodrama created by so many twenty-something characters who just aren’t interesting to encourage me to watch. They are beautiful though. I can understand the industry’s need to create and nurture younger viewers for the soaps, but it is being done at the expense of the older viewers whose loyalty was bought with good storylines and attention to continuity. The emphasis on superficial beauty, cleavage, and rapid storytelling without adequate preparation is killing the soaps. If younger viewers require this type of story treatment to keeping watching then the soaps are doomed. I’d really like to see Drake H come to General Hospital and clean up the mob. He would make a suitable love interest for Monica Quartermaine.

  4. Profile photo of Axl4ever

    This has to be one of the worse decisions ever. To be honest, I have never been a great fan of John & Marlena, but I am so loving new John and it’s given their story so much to go from and than get fired. Marlena is the core of the show. To get rid of them will truly make alot of long time fans mad. It would be one thing if they left on their own, but to have them fired is so way beyond wrong it’s not even funny. There are some very talented younger stars to set up Days of a long time but not with sacrificing the heart and soul of the show. The funny thing is instead of getting rid of some of the bottom feeders and I do not mean this as an insult to the actors, but who really cares about Melanie and some of the other newbies on right now. It’s respect your history and the actors who have stuck with you through thick and thin. I find it quite amusing that Steve and Kayla have been voted number 1 in Soap Opera Digest week after week even when they don’t have a storyline. That should tell the TBTB something. We love the history and the characters that were there in the day and look forward to their stories. Why do you think they bring back Stefano back time and time again? Because that’s what people want. Get a clue.

  5. Profile photo of ssjohn

    I have been watching the show since 2006, Frankie and Jennifer’s wedding was when i became a viewer, the return of Patch/Kayla and Jack (back from the dead for the 52nd time?).

    I never really saw John Black, I saw some old guy making out with Marlena on a beach, and then saw this Robo John, but i have still not seen ‘The REAL John black’, Mr.Jason Bourne.

    So with this said, obviously i am not the biggest John/Marlena fan.

    But i know the history, i know that John Black should be the man in the Tux, saving Marlena from Stefano’s latest scheme while saying “thats a fact.”

    I understand the need to save money, and i get that with the renewal comes budget cuts, yes this is a ‘stunt’ to have John and Marlena “OUT” and have everyone tune in for their farewell episode.

    If NBC doesn’t capitalize on this and make it DAYTIMES biggest event they are idiots.

    “The couple you have loved for years, is finally leaving”

    They can start promoting it in December and have it ready for their exit early next year.

    But no, NBC will most likely run a ad the week they leave that will be 90% Melanie and then 5% announcer talking and 5% John and Marlena.

    This is a horrible move for DAYS, but it doesn’t have to be the end of DAYS, but under the current regime and with the current people running this it is the END.

    There is no way for Dena to save it, I want JER back, I was against him coming back but i take it all back, JER would atleast make Marlena a killer again and have people talking.

    And if in the end that is all this storyline does then good on NBC, they created Buzz for their show, but they have offended and pissed off alot of viewers in the process that may never tune back in.

  6. Profile photo of elbugten

    J. Bernard Jones, you have precisely explained why this 25+ year viewer of Days stopped watching after the “Melaswen” s/l fiasco a few years back. I’m tired of Corday saying “They’re fired! Oops, fooled ya-hiring ‘em back!” The actors deserve better and so do the fans. I don’t trust anything Corday says anymore. I watched through thick and thin, from the sublime to the ridiculous, but the final straw for me was when the entire cast was fired only to hire them all back a few months later. Then he did that with Drake Hogestyn last year. How do we know this isn’t more of the same? How many times can you be fed lies before fans say “NO MORE!” and why are TIIC at NBC so eager to play Russian Roulette, especially with the ratings as bad as they are? Will the small blip they receive from this latest stunt be considered a miracle for Days? I don’t get it.

    I understand budget cuts. The poor economy is effecting everything right now. Belts need to be tightened. Fine. Scale back some sets or some location shoots. Trim the cast. Start with the NEW cast members like Melanie, who have no ties to the show. Use the veteran characters you have. You have Dr. Lexie Carver so why bring on not one but TWO new doctors? Days is bringing on 4 new characters right now; the 2 Passions guys, and Sandra Ferguson and John Callahan. Yet, they have TONS of cast they hardly use like Suzanne Rogers, Mary Beth Evans, Stephen Nichols, etc. It makes no sense.

    As much as I hope this is another of Corday’s stunts, I hope Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn find fabulous new jobs in the meantime and when Corday comes crawling back (again) they tell him to take a one-way plane to Aremid!

  7. Profile photo of ConqueringBlue

    Wow. Okay, now there will be no reason to bring me back to Days at all, because in all honesty, the ONLY reason I have kept randomly tuning into this boring mess of a show was John, Marlena, Bo and Hope.

    This show could get rid of Max, Stephanie, Daniel, Melanie, heck I could even do without EJ. There are so many right now that I could care less about, and instead of getting rid of a whole heap of these characters, they get rid of two of the characters I actually DO care about.

    Just… WOW. This is it, the end of DOOL.

  8. Profile photo of ssjohn

    @angmc —

    Yea i know he died :(.

    I was horribly worried that he would come in and destroy it, but ARG its so bad that there is nothing JER can do to ruin it lol.

  9. Profile photo of EmmyLoser

    You know, I’m a HUGE fan of this show and I’ve been watching it my whole life. But to me, Marlena is the heart of the show. It’s not about John and Marlena being together, and it’s not about having to keep old characters around all the time necessarily. It’s about knowing you don’t fire the actress who most longtime viewers think of as synonymous with the show, and it’s about not pretending to fire her, whether true or not. It surprises me that people are so convinced this is a stunt. It wouldn’t surprise me to see John and Marlena return in May or June, but not because there’s some plan for that right now. It’ll be because of the tanking ratings. And it’ll be too late. The one saving grace of the Melaswen storyline was that fans never had to think Marlena was leaving the show. Even if Corday said Hall and Hogestyn would be off for, say, six months, because they didn’t want to pay them for a full year or whatever, it would be different. It wouldn’t feel like he’s spitting in our faces. This just blows.

  10. Profile photo of ABCJunky73

    I am shocked and floored by the firing of Dedra Hall & Drake Hogestyn! I am not an advid DOOL’s viewer, only if the storyline grabbed me at the time, but still!! It whould be like if ABC or CBS got rid of one of it’s legacy couple’s, it’s wrong. OMG! I feel for all the Jolena fans out there!

    I guess NBC killed the last of it’s great soaps! Cherish the memories DOOL’s fans. Looks like NBC is moving in the direction of just daytime talk shows and Judge Someone or other because DOOL is gone without John & Marlena!


    ***”Tick.Tick.Tick..The Hunt For Ron Carliviti Is On! REDEEM OLTL! LEAVE RON ALONE!”***

  11. Profile photo of CtFireWitch

    This is just another Corday stunt, just like “firing” Drake last year. They’ll be back, unless they’re hired by another soap. Then Corday will have egg on his face. But I do agree, get rid of some of these young uns, like Molly, who can’t act and can’t stop touching her FACE!!!

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