What made the Daytime Emmy winner want to reprise his role? Vaughan dished:
[Co-Executive Producer] Albert [Alarr] reached out to me and said, ‘We want to bring Eric back,’ and I was like, 'Well. great, just tell me when and what’s the story.' We talked it out and he said it was very important for Eric to come back and help reshape some storylines that had been affected by his absence, but also help them to go in new directions.
What’s in store for Eric when he returns home from Africa to surprise wife Nicole (Arianne Zucker) for their first anniversary? Vaughan previewed:
He’s just grabbing hold of his nearest and dearest and his heart and soul and not letting go. He is just trying to hold on as long as he can until he has to return, knowing his visit is short. So it’s not the quantity of time, it’s the quality of time that’s important. You come to town, you want to see everyone that’s important in your life and I think he accomplishes that. Unfortunately he becomes aware of something unexpected, which drives a wedge. …
Vaughan told SOD he’d “never say never” to returning to Salem once again. He added:
But going back and playing in the playground with the same kids, I love it.