Days of our Lives is going through yet another overhaul, and once again timing is critical! The show has been faltering again in the ratings and apparently not even the great Will Horton coming out storyline, extremely well-written by Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas could save the scribes, because the other storylines with Salem’s favorite couples being torn apart for various reasons, was not clicking with viewers. So with that, and host of other issues facing the lone NBC soap, DAYS co-executive producer spoke to TV Guide for what happens next in trying to get Salem back on the map!
Meng on if NBC instigated and demanded a writing change at DAYS: “We spoke with the network and collectively felt we needed to take a pause, make a change with the writing and the style of the show for a while and see if that will redirect things. The ratings situation is very complex and difficult, and we have a tremendous challenge with that right now. Everybody on the Days team, and that includes NBC and Sony, our distributor, wants this show to succeed and we’re doing everything we can to make it work. We all have different visions as to how to achieve that success but the good news is that we’re all in synch on the future. No one wants cancellation. Even though we brought in Darrell and Marlene to reset Days last September, it was always our feeling that the show needed to constantly be nurtured with smaller resets. This isn’t the end of the world. We’re just resetting it again in an effort to get it right.
Meng on how all the Salem couples were written under McPherson and Thomas: “People do want to see the major couples but the problem is you can’t tell good story when couples are together and everything’s all hunky-dory. That’s the challenge Darrell and Marlene have been up against. They tried some unique ways to split up those couples yet that hasn’t quite worked. But they get an A-plus for effort. In hindsight, I do think too many couples splitting up has been an issue. We also brought in the wonderful Sarah Brown (Madison) and threw her into a lot of material very quickly. Maybe too much too quickly. But, again, we feel like we’re in a great place to make the next step.”
Meng on if the next step is seeing another major shuffle of major characters being weaved in and out ( as already posted today, DAYS let-go four actors) and if the firings will be epic, like Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn being pink-slipped a few years back. “Yes. And that’s all I’m going to say about that right now, We’re looking at weaving people in and out, and bringing them back later if we can.”
Meng on if there is viewer backlash from the gay storyline as OLTL faced with KISH: “I don’t know. I think it’s a beautiful story and we are committed to it. But probably it’s not the story that most women are going to tune in for every day, the one they don’t want to miss. I think it’s a story everybody likes, but the women want to see romance. Our goal is to get back lapsed viewers — our family of viewers who stopped watching altogether or aren’t watching us every day.”
So soapers, what do you think? Can another round of firing actors and bringing in writers save DAYS? What do you think the integral problems with the show are? What would you like to see on-screen that you are not being given the opportunity to see? Let us know!