DAYS’ Seaforth Hayes on Gary Tomlin: “He Wants to Tell Human Stories, Emotional Stories”

In the first installment of a multi-part, We Love Soaps interview with one of daytime’s most beloved reel and real life supercouples, Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes (Doug and and Julie, Days of Our Lives), Seaforth Hayes sheds some light as to why DAYS’ co-executive producer Gary Tomlin has been so instrumental in whipping the once-struggling sudser back into shape.

We Love Soaps: They underestimate the patience of their audience. DAYS has gone up in the ratings this past year, and part of that I think was due to the fact that they told a slow paced old-fashioned baby switch story. It was told slowly, with nuances, so that the audience was grappled for an entire year.

Susan Seaforth Hayes: We have a producer at the moment [Gary Tomlin] who is an actor, a writer, a producer, and a director. He has earned his living in all of those capacities on all the networks for years. My mother [Elizabeth Harrower] worked with him. I worked with him on SUNSET BEACH. There’s nothing he does not know how to do. Apparently, when he came on the show he said that we are not going to tell stories about computer chips implanted in the brain of the leading man anymore. We’re not going to do the “you’re dead, now you’re resurrected” story. Now when you’re dead, you’re dead, so watch out [laughs].

Susan Seaforth Hayes: He wants to tell human stories, emotional stories. I did a scene with Alison Sweeney [Sami] a couple of weeks ago, which was a confrontational scene. We were pretty well rehearsed, and of course we have to be, because its one-take or die. She was just a fountain of tears at the end of it. Gary was standing there, because he’s now always on the set. He doesn’t go into the booth, he doesn’t go into this office, unless he absolutely has a meeting that is unavoidable. He is there from the first shot of the day to the last shot of the day. He said, “That scene was gold. What we do there, nobody can do that as well we do. No one touches these emotions the way we do.” He is very proud of his cast. Other than the frenzy with which it is being produced, it is really a joy to be there now.

Can Tomlin hold a seminar with required attendance by TPTB at The Young and the Restless? Be sure to check out Parts One, Two, Three, Four and Five of Damon Jacobs‘ chat with the soap royals for even more intimate tidbits!

6 Responses

  1. Profile photo of richalan67

    I have watched YR for 24 years and usually catch DOOL several times a week. They are night and day in my opinion. I didn’t enjoy the double double sl but the rest if great.

  2. Profile photo of marknsprmo

    OMG! Please stop with the Y&R constant bashing. The show is good. On a day to day basis it is better than any other show. It needs some help with pacing. From the lighting to the wardrobe  from the acting, dialog, camera work. It has everything. I seldomly feel like Y&R is on a budget. Except the fact that everyone spends too much time at the coffee shop and the health club, Y&R feel just as opulent as ever. I am happy they are doing more plot oriented stories. They still do plenty of character driven stories as well.
    As for Days, I really did enjoy the baby switching story, however they have yet to come up with a story to replace it that is as satisfying. Maybe with Alice’s funeral something will spin out. I get really tired of the couple switching thing every year or two when they try to put everyone together to see who is good together. Who is Daniel good with? Who works with Phillip? Should Sami be with Rafe or with EJ? It says to me that the show doesn’t know what direction it wants to go in and that noone has a good idea.  Ya know a good plot sometimes pulls things together.

  3. Profile photo of Dariclone

    This is a wonderful interview! Rverybody should read all five parts if you haven’t already. They really go into the behind the scenes politics on the show and what it was like to work under different writing regimes.

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