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!