HomeTVDays of Our LivesSoap Opera Network Reports Former Passions Scribes Take Helm at DAYS Jamey Giddens May 19, 2011 93 Comments Soap Opera Network is reporting former Passions writers Marlene Clark Poulter and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. have been hired as head writers of Days of Our Lives. Poulter was associate head writer for NBC's wacky-but-popular cult sudser from 1999-2008. Before that she wrote for DAYS from 1991-1999. Thomas wrote for Passions during its entire run. I know Passions wasn't everyone's cup of soap (I certainly had my issues with it), but I still see this as a win. Dena Higley is perhaps the worst head writer in the history of daytime television. There's no place for Salem to go but up from where I'm blogging. Let's just hope people don't start romancing monkeys, cutting off penises and/or are talking to themselves all the time. Breathe in. Breathe out. 93 Responses emblazoned May 19, 2011 How is this a win? Sure, it may be the lesser of two evils, but why should we celebrate the appointing of head writers who wrote one of the worst shows in the history of television? This is like saying soap fans should have to settle for mediocrity. I saw Dena’s firing as a huge opportunity to rejuvenate Days and make sure it didn’t meet the same fate as GL, ATWT, OLTL, and AMC. Log in to Reply chaka May 19, 2011 Will people start stating their full names every time they walk into a room? Log in to Reply Jamey Giddens May 19, 2011 Passions was low rated in households, but it was very popular with the younger eyebals Madison Avenue beats off over.I am not thrilled (would have rather it be Sheri Anderson and Thom Racina, but anyone, even the chimp who fell in love with Luis Lopez Fitzgerald, is a better head writer than Dena Higley. Log in to Reply cheryl85 May 19, 2011 Once again Ken is taking from the James Reilly brand yet still claims he ruined Days, mhmm! However, I am game to new writers because Higley destroyed my favorite soap and made it unwatchable. I’m so optimistic right now about Days! Log in to Reply david46208 May 19, 2011 This is very good. As I asked before I think one of these writers is African American. This would be good and marked as a possible move forward for the series. Days needs to hit on all sides at this point to stay afloat. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 OMFG THIS IS AMAZING NEWS!!! This is as close to getting JER back as it gets! Holy shit!!! I am IN HEAVEN!!! Finally, Days will be good again!!! *does a HUUUUGE happy dance* Log in to Reply DaytimeFan0001 May 19, 2011 I am a Passions super fan. Glad for them and for the cast and crew of Days. I am thrilled to see that execs are seeing the problem is in the WRITING and are doing something about it. Shame on ABC Daytime for not making that decision sooner for AMC. Log in to Reply giogio May 19, 2011 DaytimeFan – Yea you know you are so right. They are trying to fix things not pull the rug like they did with AMC and OLTL. At least they are trying to keep going. Thats why I say if AMC and OLTL are saved I would rather it be on a different station because ABC is mean. Log in to Reply emblazoned May 19, 2011 Passions was and still is the punch line of jokes. It was the worst of all the bad cliches (albeit intentional) that have kept viewers tuning away from soap operas since the 90s. Jamey, I am usually 100% behind your opinions, but I can’t be happy about this one. Why not bring new writing blood to daytime? Why do these shows keep hiring writers from cancelled shows? Obviously they DO NOT have what it takes to survive in daytime. Log in to Reply cheryl85 May 19, 2011 [quote=david46208]This is very good. As I asked before I think one of these writers is African American. This would be good and marked as a possible move forward for the series. Days needs to hit on all sides at this point to stay afloat.[/quote] I agree. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 emblazoned, STFU. Clearly you didn’t “get” Passions. If you don’t like this news, STOP WATCHING DAYS!!! You have to respect the fact that Passions had an extremely loyal fanbase and is the ONLY cancelled soap in the past twenty years to get a second chance on another network. Log in to Reply Jamey Giddens May 19, 2011 @David. He has to be a brother. I don’t know anybody but brothers who have the middle name Ray! LOL Everyone in my family has the middle name Ray (except for me) after my grandfather. We have a Brian Ray an Eddie Ray, even a Shirley ray. Hell, the new writer might be some kin to me! LOL Log in to Reply DaytimeFan0001 May 19, 2011 I’m happy for both GH and Days for getting new writers Still no new blood- which isn’t good. But I guess considering the state of the industry, no one is going to take a chance. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 I’m ORGASMIC thinking about these two people writing Days in the style of JER. Days was at its best (and peaked) from 93-97 when JER wrote the Golden Era of Days. If we get more stories like that, with amazing characters like Marlena, John, Carrie, and Austin, I will be over the moon! Log in to Reply Brando628 May 19, 2011 Why do ALL sopas just trade BAD writers back and forth constantly?? Why can’t they just hire some new writer that knows the show’s rich history? I’ll never understand why there seems to be only one writing pool from soaps. You watch, Dena will end up writing for another soap within six months. Log in to Reply THEBEST May 19, 2011 Hopefully, they’ve got what he takes to at least make DAYS watchable again… Log in to Reply jockteen10 May 19, 2011 In my book anything is better than having Dena as the head writer of Days. And I kind of liked Passions so this is something i’m kind of happy about. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 @THE BEST: They wrote Passions, and Days was at its best when written by Passions’ creator, so I have the utmost faith in them! Log in to Reply emblazoned May 19, 2011 [quote=Brando628]Why do ALL sopas just trade BAD writers back and forth constantly?? Why can’t they just hire some new writer that knows the show’s rich history? I’ll never understand why there seems to be only one writing pool from soaps. You watch, Dena will end up writing for another soap within six months.[/quote] Exactly. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 The remaining soaps seem to be on a creative upswing this week. Now if they just fired Scott Hamner and Hogan Sheffer, Y&R might be good again! Log in to Reply gato1 May 19, 2011 Wow Alistair cant we have different views here without being told to STFU? You sound like a child. I think we should all see what happens before making judgements, I am very optimistic! I agree with Jamey anyone is better than ol’ girl! DAYS hasn’t just been bad it has been BORING! Log in to Reply david46208 May 19, 2011 @ Jamey: You know the first thought that came into my head when I read the news was of a singing mermaid, a big old woman running around with a skeleton head, an orangutang for a nurse and a lesbian who is thin-as-hell who rips off her face is the stalky villain Alistair Crane. Then my mind flipped to endless weeks of women getting raped and it being played out like they had just been pulling out a hang-nail. Over and over again. And it was not in just one storyline it was many at the same time with different characters as the rapist. Side note: There is no way anyone could “get that.” I’m just saying Allistaircrane, about the weekly raping mess in not one but several storylines. Yet getting back to the topic at hand I hope they ditch whatever they might have picked up from James E. Reilly there or were just forced to write that crappy stuff. Because we don’t need none of that at Days. I would have preferred to have Sally Sussman Morina or even have had them recruit Ron Carlivati or Lorraine Broderick (She was a writer there before). Hell, even LML would be good at this point. So we’ll see. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 David, Passions was a HIT. Days under JER was so successful that they allowed him to create Passions in the first place. We need more writers with JER’s creativity and genius. This is an EXCELLENT move for Days. I haven’t watched since JER left in 2006, but I will be watching again!! Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 IMPORTANT NEWS: Marlene Clark Poulter wrote for Days from 1993-97, encompassing JER’s era. So she’s familiar with these characters and Days’ best style of storytelling. Quit whining about the Passions connection and take joy knowing someone who worked on Days’ golden era is coming back!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlene_Clark_Poulter Log in to Reply gato1 May 19, 2011 BRANDO- All the networks use the same tired writers because they know they can handle the huge amount of work it takes to write soaps. Good or bad, they know they will have SOMETHING to film. To me, that is the MAIN reason for the end of the genre, there is no new blood. Both ATWT and OLTL were critically acclaimed when they took a chance on newbies Hogan S. and Ron C. Log in to Reply ConqueringBlue May 19, 2011 I’m willing to give this a chance. I was a fan of Passions, for the most part. Preferred its first four years or so to the latter ones, but anything would be better than Dena Higley at this point (knock on wood). I also have to give Passions props for being the most diverse soap on the air, and if one of these writers wrote for DOOL in the past, they should know the characters well enough. To those demanding some new blood, I hear you. The problem with that though, is that soaps are a dying breed, and I would imagine the task of HWing a daytime soap is probably daunting. Being in charge of that many episodes a year, trying to plot out stories to last for months, the fast pace, I’m not sure it’s something most television writers can do. We all talk about how we could do a better job than some of these hacks, but I’m sure it’s a difficult task to take on. On top of that, there are blackout periods to save money, forcing the writers to work double time to make up for those couple of weeks when nobody is working. Writing for soaps seems to be nothing short of a nightmare presently. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 These two writers also have experience working with Gary Tomlin, Days’ EP, who was a director on Passions for years. Also, the last time Days brought in a male/female headwriting team with no previous headwriting experience, it was the very success Peter Brash/Paula Cwikly pairing from 2002-03 who turned Tom Langan’s shit into gold. This is GOOD news! Log in to Reply david46208 May 19, 2011 A hit with 12-17 year olds. The prepubescent bunch. And even they jumped ship once Passions became worse than Nelly’s Tip Drill video as it related to women. After year 5 Mr. Rielly felt sexual abuse and misuse of women was all the rage in every storyline. But I will give these writers a shot at Days… Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 Marlene won a Writer’s Guild Award for Best Writing along with the rest of Days’ writing staff in 1999 and has been nominated for several Daytime Emmys for both Days AND Passions. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 David, that’s the audience networks and advertisers want. And JER delivered the goods! And it’s sad and ignorant that you just dismissed all teenagers like that. Log in to Reply DaytimeFan0001 May 19, 2011 Maybe these writers will bring romance back to Days. Say what you want about Passions, but they knew how to create some very very popular pairings. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 Consider this: Marlene was part of such classic stories as Carly buried alive, Gina’s 1994 return, Marlena’s possession, Aremid, Maison Blanche, Carrie/Austin/Sami triangle, Kristen/Susan/Sister Mary Moira/Thomas/Penelope and the Killing Pool, just to name a few. If we can get ONE story just as good as one of those classics, I’ll be a happy camper. Log in to Reply keanna May 19, 2011 I am willing to give them a chance, I liked Passions. And Marlene was there in the ’90s when Days was great. Plus I are I think Darrell has to be brother!!! Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 Totally agree, DaytimeFan0001. Therethan, Shuis, Juvy, and Charguel were EPIC couples and part of some insane love triangles. Days needs to go back to basics and this is a good start! Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 19, 2011 The new fans who didn’t see any of JER’s work are in for a treat! Days will finally be exciting again instead of this boring nonsense where people stand around talking about their feelings all day. Log in to Reply GLTURNS70 May 19, 2011 I just hope he is Mature and Grounded Days doesn’t have time for Bull Shit I will watch anything as long as it’s good and is rooted in character and history. Log in to Reply Ryan-Scott May 19, 2011 I say to these two: just don’t fuck with Magic please!! Log in to Reply appleridge May 19, 2011 Marlene also wrote for GH in the late 80′s Lets Give Her the a chance at the helm Log in to Reply Susan Hunter May 19, 2011 This is good news for Days. Just give them six months to make a dent in the mess left by Dena, before demanding their heads. Also, they were part of Jim Reilly’s team, they weren’t Jim Reilly. Don’t judge them before you see what they have planned. Who knows, maybe they will take the show back to the Bill Bell era. Log in to Reply david46208 May 19, 2011 @ AlistairCrane: I will give them a chance, but about that demo. Soaps were always about mothers passing them down to their daughters and inexplicably to their sons (lol). Passions was not pass-down. On the other hand if delivering the goods meant watching Theresa, Fancy, Jessica etc… get raped and/or whore themselves out 5 days a week at the same time. Then we see why we have so many problems with the “youth of today.” Every soap magazine complained about the amount of sexual violence that happened on Passions. Sorry, that was not delivering goods. That was delivering shame! Log in to Reply SoapArmageddon May 19, 2011 I never really watched Passions, so I can’t say anything about those two writers. But Dena Higley’s Days Of Our Lives was an utter horror show. Days was the show that brought my family together again after my Mom quit speaking to her sisters. Seeing a possessed Dr. Marlena Evans Brady floating over that damned bed made them get on the phone and call each other in shock. In other words, this show is a sentimental favorite of mine and I’m thrilled to see they’re trying to fix it. I also hope that we get a gay storyline with BOTH Chad and Will, and not just Will and some new guy. That would be cheating the fans who love the chemistry those two have. Log in to Reply Soap_Stud May 19, 2011 Shall we wait and see? I know I will be waiting and watching and hoping. Log in to Reply marknsprmo May 19, 2011 [quote=AlistairCrane]Consider this: Marlene was part of such classic stories as Carly buried alive, Gina’s 1994 return, Marlena’s possession, Aremid, Maison Blanche, Carrie/Austin/Sami triangle, Kristen/Susan/Sister Mary Moira/Thomas/Penelope and the Killing Pool, just to name a few. If we can get ONE story just as good as one of those classics, I’ll be a happy camper.[/quote] Well AlistairCrane we all know your love of James Reilly. I think we know that many long time Days fans absolutely hated the mans writing. I personaly hated every single storyline you mentioned in this comment except for the Marlena is the serial killer story (which I must admit I did like up till the ending.) I have very solid examples of why I did not like the man’s style including his totaly changing character’s characteristics until they were unrecognizable all for the sake of fitting into his stories. And unlike everyone else, apparently, I thought the Kristen/Susan etc characters to be cringeworthily bad. I was embarassed for Eileen Davidson having to wear those god awful teeth and have to try to talk with them in her mouth. She ended up talking like noone else ever in the history of the world. It might have been funny, but somehow it came of embarassing. (for funny look at Eugene and Caliope in the 80s. They knew how to do it.) I could go on and on. But what DAYS needed was for someone who had skills and maybe some success in writing to come along. (success meaning ratings.) To exchange Dena Higley for two writers whose experience is with the low rated Passions is to just simply make the situation worse. Log in to Reply applesauce May 19, 2011 I sure the hell hope not, if they do go along with this storyline it’s definitely going to be over with all the other’s who unsuccessfully found out and subsequently wound up on the chocking block and into the TV land ghost yard with all the other bad ideas ever though of. Sure there’s pockets of groups on the Internet here and there, but it ultimately stops thereafter. What online group doesn’t have one? Maybe when they had 3 + million back in 2009 they could have at least tried it, but these numbers have gotten a lot lower ever since a “rumor” was put on by the EW blog and the erosion sunk even further. I didn’t think it was possible for them to get any worse, even though the awful year that followed and ultimately Sami shotting E.J was the nail in the coffin (or the shot that killed the show) and people left in droves thereafter. The East/West coast audiences left network television in much larger numbers than the middle and other segments of the population which is exactly the groups that should be targeted. 10 years ago a case could have been for a ratings bubble effect, but the shock value has long since disappeared as it’s neither ground breaking nor an effective practical model to reach mass quantities of overall or young viewers. Log in to Reply Ryan-Scott May 19, 2011 I had been a fan of Reilly until characters were killed and buried and then ended up on an island with really no explanation as to how. That was bullshit. Log in to Reply dkp May 19, 2011 As long as they don’t nix the Will story, I’m good. Log in to Reply appleridge May 19, 2011 i dont think There stuff will air Til August So I Hope Not Im Lookin 4ward to the will story Log in to Reply TV Gord May 19, 2011 LOL! Passions was such a hit, it was cancelled TWICE! Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Alistair, I can definitely agree with you about Brash and Cwikly, with the exception of the Gemini Twin storyline. The pod thing was sooooo stupid. I could have done without that attempt at science fiction. The implanting of Kate’s embryos into Marlena was interesting enough. They didn’t have to be geneticly engineered. Days is not The Million Dollar Man or something! Anyway, I enjoyed them, but they weren’t there for very long. I wonder if Poulter and Thomas will be at Days for very long either. It seems like they bring in these pairs like Brash/Cwikly, Swajeski/what’s his name, etc. as interims, but who knows. I’m just VERY happy that Dena Higley is leaving. This show has been god-awful since the end of 2008 pretty much, which brings me to agreeing with you about Y&R. I would reaaaaaaally like for them to get rid of Hogan Sheffer and Scott Hamner. Log in to Reply giftofamber May 20, 2011 I didn’t like ANY of Mr. Reilly’s “classic storylines” on DAYS. I didn’t watch Passions because it replaced Another World, but my sister did & it sounded like the same roll your eyes stuff that Mr. Reilly tried to pass off as soap opera. DAYS finally decides to get rid of Dena (thank god) & they hire PASSIONS writers? I’m sorry, but this looks like a conspiracy to me to get us to the point we don’t care about the show so they can cancel it without a fuss. Log in to Reply david46208 May 20, 2011 @Nathang1983: Bring back Tom Langan he was there and wrote my favorite storyline with Bad Lexie in the infamous Baby switch Storyline. http://timeaftertimeonlinedrama.webs.com/apps/videos/channels/show/1072102-lexie-carver-chronicles My I would have never fallin love with the actress Renee Jones or knew she had that much talent if it wasn’t for that storyline. Log in to Reply david46208 May 20, 2011 @marknsprmo: You know as much as I am going to give them a chance, this sounds awfully a lot like the “Kerjesky” duo being hired at All My Children. For people to feel comfortable about their soap they have to know that it is in capable hands. Many of us (you included) are not so sure these hands are the capable ones to lead Days back to the #2 spot it hit over a year ago. But you are right I hated those Reilly years on Days the first time around. @ Ryan-Scott: On Passions he repeated the Buried Alive storyline with Sheridan. By the time Passions was about to get canceled viewers had had to endure a singing mermaid who turned people to stone when she sung. But when He wrote the Salem Stalker storyline on Days it started out good and then once they all ended up on some Island that looked like Salem I was like “It’s time to go Reilly.” Might I remind everyone that maybe one of the worst storylines ever or 2 of them were The Jessica/Spike pimp/prostitute storyline and Alistair wanting to take over the world with a Chalice. Sometimes you didn’t know if you were watching a soap opera or a Nickelodeon children’s special. Log in to Reply marknsprmo May 20, 2011 Nathang don’t blame Brash and Cwikly for that twin thing. That was the brain child of Dena Higley and it is how she stole the job of head writer from Brash and Cwikly. It was supposed to reengergize the show. Ken Corday was gushing about it when he announced her as the new headwriter. David46208 if anyone had bothered to watch Another World during the Swajeski years, she probably would not have gotten a job again. Her only saving grace was all those great characters that Lemay Harding left her. Which she dismantled piece by piece. Still she is not the worst head writer in history. I am happy that AMC is in safer hands but scratch my head as to why it took a cancelation to place the show with the writers that should have been there all along…… I think Days needs a head hunter to find a really good writer that is not already affiliated with NBC daytime or with Ken Corday. The writing is too imbred and too many people have worked their way up to this position. Head writer is NOT a reward for long term script writers. It is a highly creative job that requires a strong vision. Days doesn’t have to give me MY view of Days to succeed. But it does need a guiding decisive adult vision. If Ken Corday thinks that putting these two in charge will change anything, he might remember that several of the head writers he has employed came from the same writers pool. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 David: I agree about Lexie during the Langan era, but everything else he did was GOD-AWFUL. The Greta-Austin Garden of Eden storyline immediately comes to mind. The brainchip thing (although Sally Morina created it) was not quite as bad as Eden, but close. I nearly jumped for joy when Bo took that brainchip, threw it on the floor, and stomped on it during the early days of the Brash-Cwikly tenure. It was like symbolism! I am going to be guardedly optimistic about the new headwriters. Just about anyone or couple of writers are better than Dena Higley. Log in to Reply Susan Hunter May 20, 2011 So you’re rid of Dena and you’re still upset. How can you be upset with something before it even begins? Give it a shot, stop being prejudiced. Jim Reilly is dead. These two writers are not Jim Reilly. Sometimes I think soap fans just enjoy the art of being upset all of the time. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Mark: I didn’t know Dena Higley came up with that crap! That is very surprising. They ruled then! I remember the suspense with Tony coming back and the blue key thing, among others. It was very interesting without being so out there. And I remember Another World toward the end. It was pretty stupid. Two things that come to mind on the finale were the gorilla that was in love with Cass and the 300 year old man who Cindy had partnered up with. Embarassingly stupid. Log in to Reply RoseVioletDaisy May 20, 2011 [quote=marknsprmo]Well AlistairCrane we all know your love of James Reilly. I think we know that many long time Days fans absolutely hated the mans writing. I personaly hated every single storyline you mentioned in this comment except for the Marlena is the serial killer story (which I must admit I did like up till the ending.) I have very solid examples of why I did not like the man’s style including his totaly changing character’s characteristics until they were unrecognizable all for the sake of fitting into his stories. And unlike everyone else, apparently, I thought the Kristen/Susan etc characters to be cringeworthily bad. I was embarassed for Eileen Davidson having to wear those god awful teeth and have to try to talk with them in her mouth. She ended up talking like noone else ever in the history of the world. It might have been funny, but somehow it came of embarassing. (for funny look at Eugene and Caliope in the 80s. They knew how to do it.) I could go on and on. But what DAYS needed was for someone who had skills and maybe some success in writing to come along. (success meaning ratings.) To exchange Dena Higley for two writers whose experience is with the low rated Passions is to just simply make the situation worse.[/quote] ICAM marknsprmo, alot of those stories were absolutely cringe-worthy, especially the stuff with Eileen Davidson playing one weirdo after another complete with crappy dentures and silly accents. It was ludicrous and laughable. The biggest problem Days has in terms of pleasing it’s fanbase is this very schism, between the fans who loved the far more traditional soap Days had once been and those who came aboard during and adored Reilly’s camp-fest. Passions was never a hit with anyone other than 12-25 year olds and while that demographic kept Passions on the air for a while, catering solely to them ultimately sunk it because they are easily and quickly bored and distracted and once the novelty of Passions blatant ridiculousness wore off, many dumped it and never came back. Another portion got into it as teens or college students and once they started their adult lives, they had no time for it and since it wasn’t a family legacy inherited from mom or grandma they didn’t care enough to make the time. Log in to Reply curacaoman May 20, 2011 So it’s back to Supernatural, Daytime Edition! Log in to Reply Carol2 May 20, 2011 [quote=david46208]I would have preferred to have Sally Sussman Morina or even have had them recruit Ron Carlivati or Lorraine Broderick (She was a writer there before). Hell, even LML would be good at this point.[/quote] If you’d rather DAYS not be all about rape then Carlivati is a bad choice. Log in to Reply diana_m May 20, 2011 Oh No!! I was so thrilled to hear that Dena Higley was gone. But Passions was the worst soap ever. I could never sit through more than 2 minutes. And JER completely destroyed the show. Was so thrilled to hear about Matt Ashford’s return – but his character was destroyed during JER’s reigns. Oh no, no, no, no, no. Days is going from bad to worse. More plot driven stories without character depth. Cheese without heart. Why not Sheri Anderson?! Log in to Reply Carol2 May 20, 2011 [quote=marknsprmo]David46208 if anyone had bothered to watch Another World during the Swajeski years, she probably would not have gotten a job again. Her only saving grace was all those great characters that Lemay Harding left her. Which she dismantled piece by piece. Still she is not the worst head writer in history. I am happy that AMC is in safer hands but scratch my head as to why it took a cancelation to place the show with the writers that should have been there all along……[/quote] Aside from bringing back Iris and possibly Sharlene and bringing in Evan, I can’t remember Lemay bringing in anyone during his brief return. I thought she did a fine job with characters like Vicky, and to a lesser degree, Felicia and Cass, and I liked some of her new characters like Ryan and Paulina, but as the years went on she was more of a mixed bag. The only real complaint I had with her writing was what she did with Donna and Nicole, and I didn’t like Frankie/Cass. I don’t think she’s a bad headwriter…she’s just not great. She wasn’t suited for today’s soap world. If anyone is. Log in to Reply marknsprmo May 20, 2011 [\quote] The biggest problem Days has in terms of pleasing it’s fanbase is this very schism, between the fans who loved the far more traditional soap Days had once been and those who came aboard during and adored Reilly’s camp-fest.[/quote] Amen Rosevioletdaisy! It is really too bad because Days of our Lives was once a great show. Especially when Bill Bell and his associate Pat Falkin Smith wrote the show. Pat’s short term return in the early 80s served as a springboard to reinvent Days and had a second golden age. This era while uneven was highly adventurous and romantic with big touches of humor and family. I truely miss those years and wish Days would return to one of those two formats. The first one was highly dramatic and fearless with totally outrageous(for the time) stories that pushed the limits. Told in a traditional soap opera manner with the very very conservative but loving duo of Tom and Alice Horton trying to guide their kids through rough waters of the modern world. I could easily see Days updating this format today with the ruturn of Doug and Julie in the more modernist version of Tom and Alice. Stories like the promised gay story would be right up the alley of this model. Or the escapist humor and romantic version of Days in the 80s could be a thought. This one is a little problematic with the lack of funds that soaps have experienced. Yet operatic love and funny really don’t cost money just good writing and experienced actors. A return to music guided scenes and an occasional good cat fight would be a good start to this model. Chad going on the run after finding out terrible information about the Dimera’s and taking along his buddy/bf Will could supply a summer of love on the run. Maybe they could end up in L.A. and Days could just go outside and film…. Just stop giving me this totally childish and identity challenged view of Days. And please please please no more badly concieved Reilly version. If he was the third golden age of Days, his version should have gone with him. Todays audience is not into Princess’s of nowhere, psychiatrists turning into wild animals, months of listening to someone with an extra mouth of teeth trying to say dialog of 5 different people. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Mark: Heh. I love that “extra mouth of teeth.” The storyline got old quickly, but it was so funny watching that during my summers. I’m, again, guardedly optimistic about this. I looked on imdb.com, and Marlene Poulter McPherson was with Days from 1988-1999. I just hope she and Darrell Thomas are not into the “out-there” storylines of James Reilly. He had some crazy ideas, and I certainly did not like his second tenure. You can only capture the “magic” so many times. All I know is that I can’t say it enough. Dena Higley is goooooooooooone! Yeeeeeeehaw!!!!!!! If I could do cartwheels, I would! Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Whoops, I forgot they block numbers. It should say nineteen eight-eight through nineteen ninety-nine. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 20, 2011 Passions was my ultimate favourite soap, followed by Days 93-97 and Days 2003-06. These writers are the closest we have to JER, a creative genius who got his OWN DAMN SHOW after proving to be a huge success with Days. Days has been AWFUL, truly DREADFUL since they got rid of the sci-fi/supernatural aspects of the stories. Now we have a chance to restore the magic and bring back what made Days so great in the first place! I am actually excited to watch Days again! I quit watching when Reilly left in 06 but I will tune back in and see what the Passions writers bring to the table. Haters be damned!!!!!!! Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Well guess what, Alistair, we may not get sci-fi! And I for one would be happy about that! Log in to Reply SonnySprocket May 20, 2011 I will give the new head writers a chance. Everyone deserves a chance to prove themselves without any pre-judgment. Just because they were writers under Reilly does not mean they will write exactly like him. I had a total love/hate relationship with Reilly anyway. Loved some of his classic stories like Maisson Blanche, Aremid, Kristen/Susan, etc. However disliked other stories and totally was ticked at how he diminished the Horton family and refused to write for many classic characters. We will see how it goes. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 I agree wholeheartedly, SonnySprocket. Every word. I’m just optimistic right now since Marlene Poulter was with the show during the 80s and 90s. I remember those years well, and I really enjoyed the late 80s, early 90s. Those are the years I remember the most. Log in to Reply snags May 20, 2011 First off I’m glad that Dena Higley is OUT as headwriter, about time really. Secondly, I NEVER cared for Passions. I thought it was too over the top. I also wasn’t a huge JER fan, I thought it was too over the top, but I can admit he did have entertaining stories. But at the same time, not many of the stories during JER’s tenure is really referenced today (although I could say that about many tenures as history is always re-written all of the time). But I will give these writers a chance. At least it’s not Charles Pratt or the duo from GL who went to AMC which helped lead to that show’s cancellation (I can’t remember their names). And I’m not knowledgeable of the whole system for writing a soap, but JER was the headwriter there so wouldn’t he dictate the stories and the other writers down the line write the words and essentially help fill out what JER as headwriter puts together? If that’s the case, these two can’t entirely be blamed for what people may have disliked because it would go back to the headwriter because he was driving story. Thirdly, I’m playing devil’s advocate, but what if the networks are so reluctant to hire new writers because it can be a very stressful job and hard to find someone talented or willing to deal with the demands involved with head writing a soap? It’s not to excuse the bad writing that can and DOES happen, but just trying to understand the perspective there. Hogan Sheffer (the last non-soap experienced writer to my knowledge who broke into soaps) may have pleased some fans when he joined ATWT but he also alienated others (and I believe Eileen Fulton too if I recall correctly). And didn’t he have some health issues too? Couldn’t that have been attributed at least partially to the demands of being a headwriter? But ultimately I’m going to give the writers a chance to hopefully make my beloved Salem a better place. Hopefully Marlene Calrk Poulter’s prior experience at Days gives her enough knowledge and history of the show that she can make it better along with the Darrell Ray Thomas. And I want balance! Less Sami, Rafe, EJ, Nicole and Taylor. Give me more Bo, Hope, Jenn, Jack, Will, Will’s new potential boyfriend, Adrienne, Justin, Maggie, Victor and of course MADAME Vivian! Just rotate characters around so one group of actors do not always drive story all of the time. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 20, 2011 FYI: JER was coming back to Days in Fall 2008 after Passions ended but he died and it didn’t end up happening. Finally Sony has realized Days needs help in the writing department. They are smart because they know JER-style writing is what Days needs to be a hit again. I *love* that the Passions/JER haters are getting all bent out of shape over this! Well, guess what?! For waaaaay too many years now, Days has been telling awful, horrid “character driven” bullshit garbage. FINALLY, we are getting rid of that and going back to the fun, exciting writing that made Days so popular in the 90s. Sony wouldn’t have hired these writers if they didn’t think they could bring some JER-esque elements to this show. Come on, you actually think someone who wrote for Days during JER’s original era and all of Passions’ run *isn’t* going to write Days in classic JER 90s style? GMAFB! This is a good move for Days and I am excited for this new era! I WIN! I WIN! I WIN!!!! I’ve finally got my show back!!! Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 20, 2011 People who criticize Passions just don’t get it. Passions was a satire. JER created a send-up of the soap opera genre. Something so transgressive is obviously going to ruffle the feathers of purists and traditionalists. I thought it was brilliant. It spun every soap cliche on its head and pointed out the absurdity of soap operas in general. Some people are too sensitive. Log in to Reply Carol2 May 20, 2011 I think there was a dividing line with Passions – for some reason the last 3-4 years of the show seemed much darker. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 20, 2011 It got darker but was still brilliant. 2004 and 2007 are stand-out years. The He/She blackmailer in 2007 was friggin’ AMAZING. 2005 and 2006 were good too but 04 and 07 were the best of the “later years”. And the show ended perfectly, with the wedding of Theresa and Ethan. Log in to Reply AlistairCrane May 20, 2011 Anyway, I’m out! I’m not gonna let the haters rain on my parade. I’m leaving this thread with my head held high and with my body SHAKING with the excitement that friends of JER are taking the reigns at Days and restoring it to brilliance. Yes yes yessssssss!!!!!!!! What a happy day! A glorious, joyous day! So excited for a Days that will actually be exciting and interesting again! Congrats Marlene and Darrell! Can’t wait to see Days restored to its 93-97 glory! Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Oh my gosh, AlistairCrane. LOL. You really are one fry short of a Happy Meal! Gotta give it to ya: you keep things interesting! Log in to Reply Ryan-Scott May 20, 2011 I honestly thought the work Brash & Cwikly did was good other than aliens in foil undies. I never understood why they got the hook but whatever…. Log in to Reply marknsprmo May 20, 2011 I really do not understand why anyone thought that James Reilly was that creative. He wrote about witches, animated dolls, transsexuals, heaven and hell, possession, and angels. Though noone else in daytime tv was tackling these themes, there were plenty of movies, books and tv shows elsewhere discussing these things (Chucky anyone?) Working with these topics certainly gives one more liscence than working with themes such as love, deceit, hate, revenge, family dynamic, but creativity? I could conjur up a story about possession in about a minute. All of the themes that James Reilly was famous for had open ended possibilities. So I think creativity belongs to someone who took a theme such as love and made it fresh for the viewer again. If anything I don’t think that Reilly went far enough with his “creativity” One great dissapointment for me was the character Allistair Crane. A man whose voice only we heard for several years. Why? A creative answer would be that the man had found a fountain of youth and could not expose his face in known public because his face was far to youthful. A creative answer would have been he was a vampire or werewolf and had to live exiled from his family. A creative story would be that he was a lepper and was embarassed by his appearance. Instead there was just nothing. Reilly’s unwillingness to throw himself head first into the fantasy is what caused Passions to fail. Had he actually took the show over the edge like Dark Shadows or say The Wizzard of Oz, I might have enjoyed it. But rather the show was mostly just boring and Banal. With occasional bouts of unbelievabiity because the supernatural didn’t sit well with the banality of the rest of the show. Plus the usual complaint that Reilly only wrote the bad guys as mustache twirlers and the good guys as lumps of coal. Log in to Reply marknsprmo May 20, 2011 Wow I just noticed on Days NBC website that the headwriters name has already changed. They work fast! I wonder when their stories will start being told on screen…. Log in to Reply SoapGuyFlorida May 20, 2011 UGH, the Marlena possession story is the reason I stopped watching DOL in the first place. Yes, soaps are supposed to be an escape, but that was the most ridiculously stupid storyline I think I’ve ever seen. Now they are bringing that crap back?…..pitiful, just pitiful. Log in to Reply harlee490 May 20, 2011 Can’t see how this is winner? Replacing one hack writer with two hack writers is not good. I just bidding my time and after AMC and OLTL ends no more soaps….will continue with Y&R because I have watch since debut in 1973 but I personally tired trying to watch different soaps and for me it was AMC and OLTL after GL and ATWT. It just isn’t worth the investment anymore, because it’s been a chore now with the other two and getting through until the end. Everybody fav’s is OLTL and it’s a hair better then AMC but there are a lot of holes and stupidness going on with that show. I digress, if DOOL would had brought on a writer like Sheri Anderson, Pam Long, Jeff Ryder, then I would definitely check in to watch. Ken C. I think is making horrible choices for the show. Log in to Reply Miry May 20, 2011 I am just super glad that she will be gone! B/c when she was off playing with her gold ball, the show was actually good again. Now it is unbearable and she made me actually stop watching. Log in to Reply Susan Hunter May 20, 2011 The Possession was no more or less silly than, the Ice Princess, Eterna, The Old West, Vicki Goes to Heaven, Erica being a 5 foot supermodel, and the number of back from the dead storylines over the years. As for buried alive, Bill Bell did it first. At its core, the Possession was a simple love story, the core of all of Reilly’s stories – but really no different than a multiple personality storyline. But, again, these new writers were breakdown writers for Reilly. They had nothing to do with his long term story other than outlining it. Stop judging these two based on who they worked with, especially since you haven’t seen one of their stories on air yet. Would you want to be judged based on the people you work with or for? Give them a shot. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Mark: With you saying that, I’m wondering if Dena Higley was fired 3 months ago (or however far ahead they tape), and they are just now announcing, keeping it a secret for all this time. That would be a great treat! No more of her boring, contrived crap! Log in to Reply Ryan-Scott May 20, 2011 I want to know what the backstage drama was all about. Log in to Reply gregger May 20, 2011 It’s another kiss of death for ABC soaps… Why the F does that network keep Fronsie? Log in to Reply gregger May 20, 2011 that’s odd I clicked on the Guza/GH story to comment and it went on Days. Ooooops Log in to Reply TabithaLennox4ever May 20, 2011 I have been reading on this site for quite sometime & this news made me register to post! I have watched Days since around Eighty two. so i have seen alot of things this show has done both good and bad. the bad coming from the last five yrs. PASSIONS is my all time favorite show. not just soap but favortie show period. this is good news to me. i do think Passions went overboard at times but i loved every second of it. Days druring Reily’s time was good. there was something for everyone. my problem with him was dragging stories out too long. but really wether most want to admit it or not Days has alwasy been a lil bit out there since i started watching in the early eighties. BUT they alwasy balanced it with strong characters, good stories and lots of mystery and romance. i would like for days to be a mystery/romance soap. they need to get daring again. not necessarily magic and demons but just a lil off center. a show that gives you something the rest arent giving. i only watch Days once or twice a week now if that. i will be tuning in every day when their material starts airing. i hope they dont let me down. this is probably Days last chance to get another renewal in a couple of years. Log in to Reply Dariclone May 20, 2011 I’m glad to hear that Jamey knows these writersthinks things will get better. This gives me hope rhat *I’ll* love the show again! I was a Passions fan, but I didn’t always like their storylines. I don’t neccesarily want to see supernatural stuff on Days, I just hope that these writers will focus more on history and maybe give us something new and interesting to watch. Log in to Reply Suz4th May 20, 2011 Sheri Anderson has commended this hiring, and that’s enough for me to be optimistic about a change for the better. Log in to Reply Nathang1983 May 20, 2011 Sheri Anderson’s approval does make me feel better about these unknown writers. I am excited to see what they have in store. Like it’s been said, they’ll be better than Dena Higley! By a mile. Log in to Reply gato1 May 20, 2011 I really enjoyed Passions the first few years. I had to give it up when New Years eve stretched past Valentines Day (I am not kidding). It was when Ethans true paternity was about to come out. I loved Robin Strasser as Hecuba, Timmy, Tabitha, Miguel, Kay and Theresa. Log in to Reply siomonstuart2003 May 20, 2011 LOL, Jamey. agree, I am going to give them a chance, but if they start some crappy s/ls, I would want the chimp to write for Days, LOL. j/k. Or get Sheri Anderson and Thom Racina or Gary Tomlin back for that matter, LOL. Log in to Reply charleyhorse May 21, 2011 You must remember that while Marlene and Darrell wrote for Passions, JIM REILLY created all the stories – they merely executed them. So those of you who hated Reilly’s stories can take heart that he is not writing them but those of you who loved Reilly’s stuff have no guarantee Darrell and Marlene can be as creative so yelling back and forth about it is fruitless. So everyone needs wait and give them a chance to prove themselves. Which they will, by the way. Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply You must be logged in to post a comment.