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19 February 18th, 2011 Chris Whitesell OUT as DAYS Co-Head Writer!

News out of Soap Opera Weekly this week has Days of our Lives co-head writer, Christopher Whitesell out at the NBC soap. Whitesell joined  DAYS in fall of 2008 when then newly appointed Co-Executive Producer Gary Tomlin brought him in to assist Head Writer Dena Higley.

Whitesell had previously held this post with stints at One Life to Live, Sunset Beach and General Hospital over the course of his daytime drama writing career.  It was not clarified from Soap Opera Weekly if Whitesell was fired from DAYS, or left of his own choosing, however SOW intimated the following, “As for where Whitesell is headed…? Don’t be surprised if he pops up somewhere else!”

DAYS fans have been an uproar lately over the bad storyline choices from the writing regime of Higley and Whitesell.  So will they bring in a new co-head writer? Or, will Higley fly solo? And, where could Whitesell be going? Ah, the revolving door of the soap scribes!

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  1. Brian T says:

    I think they should have canned Dena Higley and kept Whitesell. She is terrible and I will keep saying that until she is fired. Her writing is just abysmal! I wouldn’t even want her writing obituaries.

    Reply

    Chelsea replied

    I agree that woman is a hack. I can’t believe she’s lasted this long.

    Reply

  2. Pam says:

    I don’t know who is responsible for what storylines, and don’t get me wrong-I love my Days. I’m so excited that Bo and Hope are back together where they belong and there are other intriguing storylines as well, but my very favorite is the SAFE love story, and the amount of abuse and torture in the Rafe1/Rafe2 storyline is killing me. I don’t mind having Galen on my screen x2 AT ALL :) but these past two weeks have just made me downright sad and after a long work day, that is not what I tune in to see. Galen is doing an awesome job at both roles as well are the other actors in this arc, but the torture is just too much.

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  3. Cleaver says:

    I think they fired the wrong person. Not that I’m not happy to see Whitesell gone (it’s a start, at least), but a powershift in Dena’s direction, and the possibility that she might be flying solo from here on in, isn’t something I want either. I can’t help but wonder if Whitesell was thrown under the bus to save Ken Corday a little face. I honestly can’t understand why Dena Higley has been getting away with so much, particularly over the past six months. Reading interviews in which Ken Corday continues to sing Ms. Higley’s praises in the midst of all these abysmal storylines, actors leaving, and constant criticism from viewers is just mind-boggling.

    Reply

  4. Libby says:

    I was encouraged to see evidence that executives responsible for Days of Our Lives are taking action amidst another crisis that has occurred occur over and over. However, Whitesell’s exit will not resolve the growing problem afflicting my beloved show. The real root of the problem is in poor management, governance and planning in the show’s writing leadership and approach. Christopher Whitesell has been a long time creative partner with Co-Executive Producer, Gary Tomlin. So, it is surprising to see that he is the first to go. He is not the Head Writer. I sincerely hope that Whitesell is not used as a sacrificial lamb when more changes are warranted and critically needed.

    Days of Our Lives cannot afford to be found re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic this time. The truth is writing team for the show is quite strong with seasoned and well respected writers like the Cuillitons and Michelle Poteet Lisanti, for example. However, the breakdown writers, dialogue writers and editors are not responsible for creating the arcs, storylines and overall story bible. Those units of work are the responsibility of the Head Writer. Today, the writing on the show is as poor as I have ever seen it in 38 years of watching. It is very dark, disjointed and even sophomoric right now. The show used to be celebrated for strong character development and well orchestrated story arcs. Today all of the basic components of good storytelling are missing. Higley’s trademark throughout her career and DOOL tenure has been to provide plot-event driven stories without utilizing deep character development. She has been narrowly pitching high level story ideas and events as detailed, comprehensive plans to Ken Corday and the executive teams. Sadly, the executives have trusted Higley with her approach even to the extent of having Ken Corday publically support and preview these poorly considered stories with the general public through interviews and publicity releases. Corday and the executive team must admit they have put their trust and confidence in the wrong writing leader for too long now. Fans, which have loyally supported the show through good times and bad times, are now angered with the lazy and short-sighted writing approach and resulting waste now appearing on air.

    Now is the time for Ken Corday and the executive team to make a hard decision that they have avoided for a very long time. Corday and the executive team have made difficult decisions in the past to ensure the viability of the show for its viewers. I know they can do it again. It is time to have well planned, governed and executed character-driven stories with someone at the helm of the writing that is capable of doing the job. Dena Higley has proven over and over that she is not capable or equipped to perform, as needed.

    These should be the best of times for Days of Our Lives. The show is celebrating a rich 45 year history with a signed 2+ year renewal of contract on network. Loyal and loving fans are eager to see the show overflowing with creative well-written stories and robustly defined characters. This is not the era of remote locations, elaborate sets and wardrobe. It is the time to get to work with the riches that the show possesses now, including a talented and hard working cast, a strong show runner and a financial model honed to support the show. It is critical to relieve Dena Higley of her duties or allow her to resign as soon as possible.

    Reply

  5. Kate says:

    As far as I’m concerned Whitesell, Higley and Tomlin should all be axed. Whoever thought putting two Rafes on my screen in a frontburner storyline when one is barely tolerable needs to go, and whoever let that person run with the idea needs to ride shotgun.

    Reply

    JamesScott4eva replied

    Best comment!!!!! Maybe finally we can get my lovely EJAMI instead of this god-awful EJOLE and TWO RAFES.

    Reply

    Chelsea replied

    Yeah, one Rafe is too much of a bad thing, whoever thought of two Rafes need to have their head examined.

    CONNIE replied

    hOPEFULLY WE CAN NOW SEE OUR EJAMI TOGETHER – AS NO COUPLE HAS CHEMISTRY AS MUCH AS THESE TWO.

  6. cinnamon says:

    the two Rafe’s is not the problem. The problem is the Rape, Torture, Lies, Manipulation. Ejole have amazing Chemistry together.To bad Ej just can’t grow up and act like a adult instead of a 2 year throwing a fit. Because his son loves Rafe. Its ok for Johnny to love Nicole but not love Rafe. Ej is doing nothing but Raping Sami all over again but this time he isn’t doing it physically he had to put someone else in to do that. He is manipulating Sami again with replacing her husband with Rafe 2. Galen is doing a great job at playing both parts but I hate that they are having him do this abuse storyliine. It sickens me. Dena needs to be let go. I don’t know what writer it is that has something against strong woman. Or that woman always need to be abused but it is sick.
    No woman deserves to be mentally or physically abused Like Sami has been for Years. The person that has always been behind that type of abuse is Ej. Thats not love that is just plain sick obession. He even told Rafe that he completes Sami and Ej don’t want Sami to be complete. He wants her where she is vulnerably and easy to manipulate.
    We need to see our real SAFE couple back on screen. Not the abuse and being mean to kids and torturing of Rafe
    Please Put SAFE back together end this nightmare!!!!

    Reply

    Anony replied

    “Please Put SAFE back together end this nightmare!!!!”

    No, just end SAFE gagfest once and for all. These 2 are the most yawn-inducing, contrived and mismatched couple that has absolutely ZERO charisma and chemistry that I have ever seen on a soap opera.

    As for rape-rape is FORCED sex. As far as I can tell NO ONE is forcing Sami to do anything. In fact, I think she rather enjoys it- the sex is probably better than with the Cro-Magnon (ie Original Rafe). That she can’t even tell that the imposter has a different penis, a different technique or may make even different sexual noices says it all, don’t ya think?!

    It also proves that they don’t really have a “connection”-she’s in love with the IDEA of him, not the actual him….JMO. And Snore (aka “Safe”) is just sex: all we ever see is them in bed together, nothing more-oh except, perhaps EJ stirring the pot …but that just shows how flat they really are!

    Reply

    JamesScott4eva replied

    EJOLE totally flopped the first time – what makes them think its gonna work again. BRicole sizzle with chemistry and EJAMI combust. Alison Sweeney and James Scott work so well off each other

    Reply

  7. Imane Assi says:

    I just hope with these changes we will have better writing and the real Chloe Lane back.Sick and tired iof thed estruction of this very famous and loved characters to prop new ones like Melanie ,Daniel,…..

    Reply

  8. LUMILY says:

    Whitesell Higley and Tomlih should all be axed.
    BRD/Lucas and Sami and kids back as a Hortom Family today and for ever.

    Reply

    JamesScott4eva replied

    I am an EJAMI fan but I liked Lucas alot- he was soooooo funny and his chemistry with James Scott was much better than Galen’s and I actually enjoyed Days at that time. Lucas has great bantering with Sami that actually bought humor to the show and now its all dark and depressing. Who wants to see suicide! This is a SOAP so please make it one

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  9. Jeannette Welsh says:

    i am so glad that finally SOMETHING will change.. The story lines lately are so.. DUMB… unrealistic.. sadly, though.. i dont think the damages that have been done in the last 2 years can be fixed..

    Reply

  10. kim says:

    I hope this means that wonderful actors like Wally Kurth & Judi Evans may actually get a storyline. Why bring them back if you’re not going to use them to their full potential? Bring back their kids…. I like it when they introduce characters that make sense. Geez, I really miss the old Days. :(

    Reply

  11. Anita says:

    Firing Matthew Ashford was wrong and another thing he does not need to have storyline with Jennifer he had dark past and I am sick of Jack dying so princess Jennifer can have storyline with perv Daniel again no cares about it. Jack has his sister in town and Abby and others why does everything have to revolve around Jennifer she not only character on the show that he has tides too just because she is mother of his children doesn’t mean anything because if Jennifer can move on without Jack the same should go for Jack he need stop worship Jennifer she is no saint and she is not worthy of Horton either she caused most of Jack’s PTSD. I think it is time that you tell your loser Gary Tomlin to rehire Matthew Ashford back and he can still have his Dannifer send them off to sunset and let Matthew Ashford stay on the show let him have his storyline it is not fair that he was not given any time or anything just to pimp that loser daniel he has been there too long have not seen any improvement in his character at all. Jennifer I am sick of her innocent victim act she needs to go I hope they do not resign her contract either she is beyond pathetic. They need to bring Jack/Matthew Ashford back and maybe bring Cassie Brady or Eve Donovan for Jack Deveraux and Jennifer she can leave or stay with Daniel I do not care anymore she is major snoozefest.

    Reply

  12. Rocky Reed says:

    The pot of gold is under your nose, it is James and Allison. What in the world is going on with the writers and producers. I know you know talent when you see it. These two have above average and out of this world acting skills. They bring acting to a whole new level when they are working together. Why wouldn’t anyone with half a brain want to embrace and celebrate this type of opportunity that comes along once in a life time. I am not even sure these actors know how in the zone they are with any type of emotion they are assigned to perform. I really want Days to run for many more years in the future. I have been a fan for more than 35 years. Mediocre acting teams produce mediocrity. Extraordinary acting teams make for a winning show.

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