Last week saw the sad demise of Days of Our Lives' Abigail (Marci Miller). But what was behind the decision to kill off the legacy character? Head writer Ron Carlivati opened up in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, on sale now.
The scribe shared:
For us and for the audience, it's always heartbreaking for a character to die because we love these characters, and they are part of our lives and part of our family. Even though they're fictional, it hurts anytime we kill somebody. In this instance, it was mostly for a practical reason, because Marci was not going to be available to us full-time on contract and it made it challenging to tell story for Chad [Billy Flynn] and Abigail. So we didn’t really have the option to have Abigail around, and then that always becomes a problem when one-half of a couple is not going to be available to you. What’s the solution at that point?
The show considered recasting to Kate Mansi (ex-Abigail), but Carlivati explained:
Kate has been willing to come back, but may not necessarily want to come back on contract, so you risk being in the exact same position that then Kate leaves and what do we do? Then the option would be to recast yet again with someone who maybe is willing to be here on a more permanent basis, but then you’re dealing with a new face. We’ve been very lucky in recasting Abigail, but you don’t always know if that’s going to work. So ultimately, we decided to kill the character.
As Salem grieves Abigail, there will be some familiar faces coming back. Carlivati dished:
Yes, Cady [McClain] is coming back as Jennifer. As bad as it is to lose a character, it does give us the opportunity to play some very rich, emotional stuff. There is real emotional material for the actors to sink their teeth into, so, you're going to see great stuff from Matthew Ashford [Jack] and from Cady as Jennifer, from Billy Flynn as Chad, from a lot of the family. We don't take this lightly at all. It's going to have big, long-lasting impact on the characters.