|Days of Our Lives Honored for 45 years!
The Scoop plus a few Spoilers ...
|September 29, 2010
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- The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences paid tribute to Days of Our Lives’ 45 years on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in West Hollywood. And what en event it was! A dish lovers delight.
- Ross Mathews (Chris) warmed up the crowd and introduced John Shaffner, Chairman of the Academy. Chairman Shaffner welcomed
the Days family and praised Days as a cultural landmark. He then read a letter from the mayor of Los Angeles, who congratulated executive producer Ken Corday for “45 years of wonderful television.” The
show has provided jobs and starts for many.
- A clip of the Corday story was shown to the audience, while the webcast presented the backstage scoop with Ty Treadway and Ross (aka Chris, Kate’s once upon a time assistant). Ross confessed that
he teased Alison Sweeney about having to go high definition and then added she had nothing to worry about. “She’s so pretty!”
- Back to the stage. Ken Corday was introduced. For him, Days is the story of “the DiMeras, the Hortons, and the Bradys.” He wistfully recalled his father on his deathbed asking his mother to run the show. Then it became a huge hit and she passed the torch to Ken, the then reluctant composer.
- Back to the future. Ken revealed that 2 hours prior to the event at the Academy, he received a phone call from Jeff Zucker, the soon-to-be-dethroned president of NBC. Zucker told him the show meant a great deal and he was sure it “would go on to be 50.” It is the longest running scripted show on NBC.
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|- While the audience watched an old clip on family in Salem, Ty got backstage and personal with Bryan Dattilo, who was in fine form, joking that Lucas has been “doormatted” endlessly. Ty asked what Lucas was doing in China. Bryan grinned there were no cameras to follow him in China. Ty looked confused. Bryan was asked about his start on the show. He was 21 years old, with a 16 year old Alison Sweeney, though he was secretly in love with Jennifer. Back to the stage. The panel on family included Melissa Reeves (Jennifer),
Suzanne Rogers (Maggie), Mary Beth Evans (Kayla), and Maree Cheatam (Marie). Suzanne’s favorite memory of Frances Reid (Alice Horton) is Christmastime. She got choked up and called her the rock who held them all together. She still feels her presence. Marie is the surviving member of the original cast. Her character left with an illustrious history, only to return as a nun. Ken compared Mary Beth’s timeless looks to a portrait that never fades. Mary Beth blushed and then praised her beautiful on screen daughter Shelley Henig. The audience giggled when they were all asked how their characters were related. “Missy, who’s your mother?” Mary Beth wondered. “Crazy Laura,” quipped the fair Melissa.
- The next clip was about romance. Meanwhile, Ty got backstage with Molly Burnett (Melanie). Turns out Mel’s world has “a few life threatening things coming up!” Back to the stage. The romance panel consisted of Susan Seaforth Hayes, Bill Hayes, Peter Reckell, and Kristian Alfonso. Susan explained that things are much faster paced now as opposed to the past. Back in the day, she and Bill used to run lines, rehearse, go back to their room, make love …The audience cheered! Susan didn’t miss a beat. “We’re an old supercouple but we’re still at it!” Bill stood up and took a bow. To him, the most romantic decade on Days was the 1970s, likely for the reasons Susan previously mentioned. Kristian Alfonso remembered her expensive wedding dress for the London wedding and the big romance of Hope the girl from the private school and Bo the rebel. Turns out the actual wedding ceremony was shot at the studio. while all the exteriors were shot in London. Peter was asked about the New Orleans adventure.
He felt the best part was that Frances was with them and that was the start of “Fancyface” as a nickname for Hope. Ken Corday recalled
how thousands of adoring fans were waiting at the airport when the famous couple landed. Ken then complimented Kristian/Peter and Susan/Bill as “the two greatest love stories.”
- The action, adventure, and heroes clip was shown to the audience, while Ty got backstage with Shawn Christian, aka Dr. Dan. Shawn confessed he is ultra-critical of himself and strives to keep it truthful. He was teased about his shirtless scenes and grinned he doesn’t mind those at all! Back to the stage. The next panel was a veritable macho who’s who, with Charles Shaughnessy (Shane), Josh Taylor (Roman), James Reynolds (Abe), Galen Gering (Rafe), and Drake Hogestyn (John Black). They were asked about injuries and such. “The best
gig is the coma,” declared Charles. One got to lie around and listen to others saying lovely things about you. He had 4 or 5 comas. James mused he still has bullets in his head. Drake was credited as being the swashbuckling John Black and asked about his heroic experiences. He remembers every moment as if it were yesterday. He appreciated learning how to take down a thief on the show, for a couple of years ago, he put it into practice, to “beat down” a real intruder. Josh was asked about his dual roles. After 10 years, Ken Corday called up the once bartending character to take over the role of Roman Brady. Ken assured him half the audience had changed, the other half would be glad he was back. And he was right. Galen was asked about Rafe, the “good guy who likes a bad girl.” He pointed out Rafe tries to do the right thing but has a tough time succeeding against EJ, as he still “holds all the cards.” Intriguing …
- Next up the audience was treated to a clip of the villains. Ty was shown backstage with Wally Kurth (Justin Kiriakis). They shared a secret. Back in the 1980s, when Justin and Adrienne were married in Greece, it was in a real church, and the local priest accidentally married them for real. Oops! Back to the stage. The villains panel included Joe Mascolo (Stefano), James Scott (EJ), Lauren Koslow (Kate), Louise Sorel (Vivian), and Arianne Zucker (Nicole). According to Ken, when Joe first walked into a room, he OWNED it. These 5 actors all own their villainy. Joe reminisced about putting little chips in Vivian’s body. “We could do anything to anyone!” Louise loved coming back after 10 years and was very surprised to realize that Vivian had always been psychotic. James was questioned about whether there is hope for EJ to not be a villain. “No.” He elaborated. Sometimes EJ toys with the idea of doing things differently, but he will ALWAYS go back to Stefano’s way. Arianne smiled that Nicole can justify everything. Ken marveled how many viewers feel that Nicole can do no wrong. Lauren views the villains they portray as “outsiders,” the ones who represent the darker side. Louise told a true story about meeting some women at a spa who invited her for dinner. After drinking wine, they told her they wanted to OFF their husbands and how they planned to do it! Before the villains panel came to an end, Ken asked that the one villain missing from the stage stand up. And so John Aniston – aka Victor Kiriakis – did. The crowd cheered.
- The next clip for the audience concerned growing up in Salem. Ty was backstage with Judi Evans (Adrienne), who laughed upon hearing she and Wally Kurth were still married according to the Greek Church. Nowadays, her story involves advising Stephanie, giving her sons advice on the phone, and trying to hook up with Justin again. Back to the stage. Alison Sweeney (Sami), Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), Jay Johnson (Phillip), and Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) were the growing up in Salem panel. Ali was asked about her 11 weddings. She insisted only 5 went through. “Ghoul Girl” was remembered. Nadia was teased about still wearing black. Bryan called her hot. When Bryan was asked about growing up in Salem, he showed his comedic side. “You’ve got to expose yourself.” Things got colorful and he brought up a note 16 year old Alison Sweeney had written him about the ground rules for love scenes. It was his first such note. Jay admitted he had nothing to add. “That’s why he still has a job!” said Bryan. The crowd roared with laughter. Jay was asked about how he has changed since the teen romances. He grinned his voice has changed, in addition to his growing as an actor. Nadia pointed out they were each other’s first on screen kiss. “I just remember the hay,” chuckled Jay. Ali pointed out Bryan had his arm in a cast when they had their first romantic moment. She wishes she could say she grew up with Bryan Dattilo, but they haven’t grown up yet. Bryan replied they did indeed grow up together and broke a lot of beds. But Rafe hasn’t broken any beds like him, huh!
- The final topic was the business of Days of Our Lives. Ken spoke of the downsizing and the integration of products, which reflect the nature of the business. The business panel pointed out the need to make the shows profitable, to ensure they continue. Head writer Dena Higley revealed that she is always instructed to make things “bigger, faster, louder.” But the main ideals remain. That is, for a story to have heart and redemption …
Co-executive producer Gary Tomlin explained the need to do 7.5
shows per week. Everyone works hard to keep the show on the air.
He acknowledged Dena must make compromises in the writing. They have gone to old style stories based on emotion. Dena was quick to
add the performances have never been better from the actors. NBC thanked the producers, writers, crew, and cast for making a show that is just as good as it was 45 years ago.
Ken jumped in and praised Gary and Dena for pulling everyone together. They are the finest two pros he has ever worked with and he feels blessed.
Afterwards,letters of congratulations were read from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the National President of Actra, Donald Trump, Sharon Osbourne, Jeff Zucker, Steve Marko the president of Sony,
Jeff Gaspin the chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, and the
Bell family of Y&R fame. Lastly but not leastly, John Shaffner, the Chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, returned to the stage to present Ken Corday with a statue to commemorate the event. Amid the applause, Ken put his hand on his heart and thanked everyone, moved and determined to raise the show to new heights …