|Days of Our Lives|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||14,000 (as of December 17, 2020)|
|Executive producer(s)||Ken Corday|
The Burbank Stduios|
30 Minutes (1965–75)|
60 mintues (1975–present)
Corday Productions, Inc. (1965–present)|
Screen Gems (1965–74) Columbia Pictures Television (1974–2001)
Columbia TriStar Television (2001–02)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
NTSC (480i) (1965–2010)|
HDTV (1080i) (2010–present)
|Original run||November 8, 1965 – present|
Days of Our Lives is an American daytime soap that is broadcast on the NBC television network. As one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, it has aired nearly every weekday since its debut on November 8th, 1965, and has subsequently been syndicated the many countries around the world. The series was created by the husband and wife team of Ted and Betty Corday, and Irna Phillips, considered to be the mother of the American soap opera, was an early story editor for the serial. Many of the show's earliest storylines were written by William J. Bell. In November 2019, the show entered a four-month production hiatus; That same month, Days of our Lives was renewed through September 2021.
Due to the series' success, it was expanded from 30 minutes to 60 minutes on April 21, 1975. Since that date, the mid-show bumper, featuring the phrase "We will return for the second half of Days of Our Lives in just a moment", was aired with every episode and voiced by the series' original star, MacDonald Carey. The series focuses on its core families, the Hortons and the Bradys. Several other families have been added to the cast, and many of them still appear on the show. Frances Reid, the matriarch of the series' Horton family remained with the show from its inception to her death on February 3, 2010. Suzanne Rogers celebrated 40 years on Days of Our Lives this year, appearing on the show more or less since her first appearance in 1973. Susan Seafroth Hayes is the only cast member to appear on Days of Our Lives in all six decades it has been on air.
Days of Our Lives aired its 10,000th episode on February 21, 2005 and its 12,000th episode aired on January 11, 2013. The show was given the title of most daring drama in the seventies due to covering topics other soaps would not dare to do. The show's executive producer is Ken Corday, and co-executive producers are Greg Meng and Lisa De Cazotte. Days of Our Lives is the most widely distributed soap opera in the United States. The original title sequence voiced by MacDonald Carey is still used to this day.
The show has been parodied by SCTV (as "The Days of the Week") and the television series, Friends. Some cast members made crossover appearances on the show, including Kristian Alfonso, Roarch Critchlow, Matthew Ashford, Kyle Lowder, and Alison Sweeney. The show has high-profile fans such as actress Julia Roberts, and the late Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.
The Cordays and Bell combined the "hospital soap" idea with the tradition of centering a series on a family, by making the show about a family of doctors, including one who worked in a mental hospital. Storylines in the show follow the lives of middle- and upper-class professionals in Salem, a middle-America town, with the usual threads of love, marriage, divorce, and family life, plus the medical storylines and character studies of individuals with psychological problems. Former executive producer Al Rabin took pride in the characters' passion, saying that the characters were not shy about "sharing what's in their gut."
Critics originally praised the show for its non-reliance on nostalgia (in contrast to shows such as As the World Turns) and its portrayal of "real American contemporary families. By the 1970s, critics deemed Days of Our Lives to be the most daring daytime drama, leading the way in using themes other shows of the period would not dare touch, such as artificial insemination and interracial romance. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of Our Lives ' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the only daytime actors ever to appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose on-screen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.
In the 1990s, the show branched out into supernatural storylines, which critics immediately panned, as it was seen as a departure from more realistic storylines for which the show had originally become known. However, these storylines did have the desired effect, making Days of Our Lives the most-watched daytime soap among young and middle-aged women, also becoming one of NBC's five most profitable shows in any time slot. In 2006, when asked about his character, Jack Deveraux, "coming back from the dead"—for the third time—actor Matthew Ashford responded, "It is hard to play that because at a certain point it becomes too unreal...actors look at that and think, 'What is this — the Cartoon Network'?"
In addition to receiving critical acclaim in print journalism, the series has won a number of awards, including a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama in 1978 and 2013 and a Writers Guild of America, East Award for Best Drama in 2000 and 2013. Days of Our lives actors have also won awards: Macdonald Carey (Dr. Tom Horton) won Best Actor in 1974 and 1975. Susan Flannery (Laura Horton) and Eileen Davidson (Kristen DiMera) won Best Actress in 1975 and 2014, respectively. Suzanne Rogers (Maggie Horton), Leann Hunley (Anna DiMera), and Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali) won Best Supporting Actress for, respectively, 1979, 1986, and 2009 and Billy Warlock (Frankie Brady) won Best Younger Actor for 1988. In 2009, Darin Brooks (Max Brady) took home the Emmy for Best Younger Actor," and Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali) won for Best Supporting Actress, the show's first acting victories in over 21 and 23 years, respectively
As with all other network programming, Days of Our Lives ' ratings have declined somewhat since the 1990s. In January 2007 it was suggested by NBC that the show "is unlikely to continue [on NBC] past 2009."In November 2008, in an eleventh-hour decision, it was announced the show had been renewed through September 2010. The 18-month renewal was down from its previous renewal, which was for five years. The show made somewhat of a comeback in 2009, with ratings increasing as the year progressed. In March 2010, the show was renewed once again through September 2011; then again on November 8, 2010, its 45th anniversary, the show was renewed for two more years through September 2013, with an option for an additional year which would keep the soap on through 2014, its 49th year on the air. The series received a two-year renewal in January 2014 that is set to last until September 2016. Beginning on November 8, 2010, which marked Days of Our Lives' 45th anniversary, the show began airing in high definition.
The show was officially "rebooted" on September 26, 2011, in an effort to gain back its lapsed audience, appeal to long-term loyal fans, begin new stories, and boost ratings. Former fan favorite characters were reintroduced as part of the reboot. These included Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford), Carrie Brady (Christie Clark), and Austin Reed (Patrick Muldoon). All three, including actress Sarah Brown, were fired from the show in an effort to lower production costs. The reboot was met with mixed reviews from critics. Head writers hired to handle the reboot, Marlene McPherson, and Darrell Ray Thomas Junior were subsequently fired due to declining ratings. Chris Whitesell, and former Days executive producer Gary Tomlin were rehired after being fired as part of the show's revamp. Daytime Emmy award winner Lorraine Broderick was hired as a member of the breakdown writing team in April 2012. Days of Our Lives is noted as the fourth longest running soap opera in the United States.
On November 30, 2014, NBC launched a new logo for Days of Our Lives at the 2014 Hollywood Christmas Parade, in celebration of the series' fiftieth anniversary On February 11, 2016, NBC renewed Days of Our Lives for one-year, with the option of an additional year.
When Days of Our Lives premiered in 1965, the show revolved around the tragedies and triumphs of the suburban Horton family. Over time, additional families were brought to the show to interact with the Hortons and serve as springboards for more dramatic storylines. Originally led by patriarch Dr. Tom Horton and his wife, homemaker Alice, the Hortons remain a prominent fixture in current continuity. One of the longest-running storylines involved the rape of Mickey Horton's wife Laura by Mickey's brother Bill. Laura confides in her father-in-law Dr. Tom, and the two agree that her husband Mickey should never know. The secret, involving the true parentage of Michael Horton (a product of the rape) and Mickey's subsequent health issues as a result of the revelation, spanned episodes from 1968 to 1975. This plotline was made even more complex with the presence of Linda Patterson (originally Margaret Mason for many years, later Elaine Princi) who claimed that her daughter Melissa had been fathered by Mickey. When Mickey married the lovely Maggie Simmons (Suzanne Rogers), Linda became even more involved in the storyline as the show's main villainess, marrying the wealthy Bob Anderson (Mark Tapscott) and taking over the running of Anderson Manufacturing when he became ill. The storyline involving Mickey, Laura and Bill was the first to bring the show to prominence, and put it near the top of the Nielsen daytime ratings. Another love triangle, between lounge singer Doug Williams, Tom and Alice's daughter Addie, and Addie's own daughter, Julie, proved to be very popular around the same time. The storyline culminated in the death of Addie in 1974 and the marriage of Doug and Julie in 1976.
In the early 1980s, the Brady and Dimera families were introduced, and their rivalry quickly cemented their places as core families in Salem beside the Hortons. Around the same time, with the help of head writers Sheri Anderson, Thom Racina, and Leah Laiman, action/adventure storylines and supercouples such as Bo and Hope, Shane and Kimberly, and Patch and Kayla reinvigorated the show, previously focused primarily on the domestic troubles of the Hortons. Since the 1990s, with the introduction of writer James E. Reilly, Days of Our Lives has moved from traditional plots to some supernatural and science-fiction-themed stories, in conjunction with the rivalry of good vs. evil, in a Hatfield/McCoy feud style the Bradys versus the DiMeras. Under the tenure of Reilly, ratings rose to #2, and stayed there until he left in 1999 to start his own creation of Passions. Despite the introduction of new head writer Hogan Sheffer in 2006, ratings failed to revive, which led the show's producers to hire a few past fan favorites to stop the ratings hemorrhage.
In addition to the love triangles of Bill/Laura/Mickey and Addie/Doug/Julie, other memorable storylines include the 1968 story of amnesiac Tom Horton, Jr who returns from Korea believing he is someone else and then proceeds to romance his younger sister Marie; the 20-year tragic love triangle when John Black steals Marlena Brady from her husband Roman; the 1982 "Salem Strangler" (Jake Kositchek, who was nicknamed "Jake the Ripper") who stalks and murders women; the 1984 Gone with the Wind storyline in which Hope Williams and Bo Brady hide out on a Southern plantation and dress up as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler (devised to keep viewers tuned in while rival network ABC's soaps were preempted due to the 1984 Summer Olympics); and "The Cruise of Deception" in 1990, when madman Ernesto Toscano invites all his enemies aboard a ship, the S.S. Loretta, and holds them captive.
In 1992, the show received a reboot with additions such as refurbished sets, the debut of the Brady Pub, the addition of new characters such as Vivian Alamain, Lisanne Gardner, Billie Reed, and Kate Roberts. Later that same year, Days of Our Lives introduced its highly popular teen scene with new characters such as a SORASed Sami Brady, played by Alison Sweeney, Carrie Brady, played by Tracy Middendorf, and then back to Christie Clark again, Austin Reed portrayed by Patrick Muldoon, Lucas Roberts played by Bryan Dattilo, Abe Carver's younger brother Jonah Carver, played by Thyme Lewis, Jamie Caldwell, played by Miriam Parish, and Wendy Reardon played by Tammy Townsend to appeal to younger viewers. However by 1997, the characters of Jonah, Jamie, and Wendy had been written out or faded into the background, proving to be unsuccessful and the Carrie/Austin/Sami/Mike love triangle and the Will Horton paternity issue/custody battle storyline had now been taking most of the series' air time.
The shocking and ratings-grabbing 1993 plot when Vivian Alamain buried Dr. Carly Manning alive (the first controversial storyline from head writer Reilly); and the 1994–1995 storyline in which the town's Christmas tree burns down and Marlena becomes possessed in Exorcist fashion.
Also from 1993 to 1998, the soap saw a lot of actress Eileen Davidson. Her character, Kristen DiMera suffers a miscarriage in secret, and in a panic to keep John Black away from Marlena, pretends to still be pregnant with John's child. Stefano hires a doppelganger, Susan Banks to conceive and bear a child for her (which resulted in the birth of EJ DiMera). Eileen Davidson portrayed the entire Banks family clan, four in total (including one male), as well as her main character.
2000 saw the departures of front-and-center cast members, Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain and Jensen Ackles as Eric Brady. Ackles and the character of Eric had been one of the main focus of the series for the past three years prior, in which the void would be hard to fill. Ken Corday and NBC announced plans to re-introduced a SORAS Brady Black, immediately following the conclusion of Eric's storyline. That spring, Kyle Lowder was cast as the new Brady Black, whom would now be aged to his early 20's, first appearing on August 21, 2000, a month following Eric's exit. Lowder's Brady did prove to win over the majority of viewers, as his pairing with Chloe Lane proved highly popular. The pair married and left town in 2005 when Lowder's contract was not renewed.
2003–2004's "Melaswen", saw several characters purportedly die at the hands of a masked psychopath; they are later revealed to have been kidnapped to the secret island of Melaswen (New Salem spelled backwards). 2007's "Bradys and DiMeras: The Reveal", told the story regarding how the Brady/DiMera feud started.
Past characters returned in June 2010 to honor the passing of matriarch Alice Horton, whose character died on June 23, 2010. On June 23, 2011, Days of Our Lives introduced Sonny Kiriakis, the show's first contract gay character onto the canvas to be featured in the show's first gay storyline] Freddie Smith (Sonny) said in an interview, "He’s very confident and mature, he’s traveled the world and is very open-minded. I’m very excited to portray him." Subsequent to Sonny's arrival, Will Horton investigates his own sexuality, and reveals himself to be gay. He later starts a romantic relationship with Sonny. They eventually marry.
On January 26, 2012, episode 11765 was a tribute to soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and previous wars with a PTSD therapy group for Jack Deveraux to talk over his time held captive there. This was also when the inline Next On promos were discontinued in favor of an external weekly promo.
Opening Title Cards
The following list is of cast members who are currently on the show: the main and recurring cast members, or those who are debuting, departing or returning to the series.
Current Cast Members
|Lucas Adamas||Tripp Dalton||2017-|
|Lamon Archery||Eli Grant||2017-|
|Lindsay Arnold||Allie Horton||2020-|
|Matthew Ashford||Jack Deveraux||1987-1993, 2001-2007, 2011-2012, 2016-|
|Camila Banus||Gabi Hernandez||2010-|
|Brandon Barash||Jake Lambert||2020|
|Nadia Bjorlin||Chloe Lane||1999-2005, 2007-2011, 2013, 2015-|
|Tamara Braun||Ava Vitali||2008, 2015-2015, 2020|
|Isobel Durant||Claire Brady||2020|
|Mary Beth Evans||Kayla Brady||1982-92, 2006-|
|Billy Flynn||Chad DiMera||2014-|
|Galen Gering||Rafe Hernandez||2008-|
|Lindey Godfrey||Sarah Horton||2018-|
|Deidre Hall||Dr. Marlena Evans||1976-1987, 1991-2009, 2011-|
|Drake Hogestyn||John Black||1986-2007, 2008-2009, 2011-|
|Jay Kenneth Johnson||Philip Kiriakis||1999-2002, 2007-2011, 2020|
|Lauren Koslow||Kate Roberts||1996-|
|Mike C. Manning||Charlie Dale||2020|
|Eric Martsolf||Brady Black||2008-|
|Cady McClain||Jennifer Horton||2020|
|Marci Miller||Abigail Deveraux DiMera||2016-2018, 2020|
|Stephen Nichols||Steve Johnson||1985-90, 2006-09, 2015-|
|Emily O'Brien||Gwen Rizczech||2020|
|James Reynolds||Abe Carver||1981-2003, 2004-|
|Suzanne Rogers||Maggie Horton Kiriakis||1974-1984, 1985-2003, 2004-|
|Sal Stowers||Lani Price||2015-|
|Alison Sweeney||Sami Brady||1993-2015, 2017-|
|Josh Taylor||Roman Brady||1997-|
|Paul Telfer||Xander Kiriakis||2015-|
|Robert Scott Wilson||Ben Weston||2014-|
|Arianne Zucker||Nicole Walker||1998-2006, 2008-|
Recurring Cast Members
|Elin Alexander||Holly Jonas||2020-|
|John Aniston||Victor Kiriakis||1985-1997, 1999--|
|Brandon Beemer||Shawn-Douglas Brady||2006-2008, 2016-|
|Sydney Brower||Arianna Horton||2020-|
|Cary Christopher||Thomas DiMera||2020-|
|Bryan Dattilo||Lucas Horton||1993-2010, 2012-|
|Judi Evans||Bonnie Lockhart||2003-2007, 2017-2018, 2020|
|Jayna and Kinsley Fox||Henry Horton||2020|
|Stacy Heiduk||Kristen DiMera||2018-|
|Bill Hayes||Doug Williams||1970-84, 1986-87, 1993-96, 1999-|
|Remmington Hoffman||Li Shin||2020-|
|Tina Huang||Melinda Trask||2020|
|Leann Hunley||Anna DiMera||1982-1986, 2007-2010, 2017-|
|Victoria Konefal||Ciara Brady||2017-|
|Wally Kurth||Justin Kiriakis||1987-1991, 2009-|
|James Lastovic||Joey Johnson||2015-2017, 2020-|
|Heather Lindell||Jan Spears||2004-2005, 2020|
|Martha Madison||Belle Black||2004-2008, 2015-|
|Casey Moss||JJ Deveraux||2013-|
|Thaao Penghlis||Tony DiMera||1981-85, 2007-09, 2019-|
|James Read||Clyde Weston||2014-|
|Susan Seaforth Hayes||Julie Olson Williams||1968-84, 1990-96, 1999-|
|Michael Teh||Vincent Belman||2020|
Comings and Goings
|Jackee Harry||Paulina||March 2021|||
|Precious Way||Chanel||March 2021|||
|Cady McClain||Jennifer Horton||February 17, 2021|||
|Brock Kelly||Evan Frears||February 19, 2021|||
- ^ Days Summary. TV.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
- ^ Frances Reid — Days of our Lives — Bio — DAYS — ALice. Soapoperadigest.com. Archived from the original on 2005-03-20. Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
- ^ The Suzanne Rogers Interview. Daily Radar.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-24.
- ^ Susan Seaforth Hayes Bio. Soap Opera Digest.com. Archived from the original on 2009-02-15.
- ^ Days of our Lives Season 40, Ep # 10,000. OVGuide.com.
- ^ Days of our Lives Celebration. Soap Opera Digest.com. Archived from the original on 2010-02-09.
- ^ "TIME Rates the Soaps", TIME, 1976-01-12. Retrieved on 2007-06-09.
- ^ Soap Opera Digest article, issue of 10 February 1998, page 42
- ^ Josef Adalian. "iTunes plays Days", Variety, 2007-06-10. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
- ^ Friends: The One That Could Have Been, Part I. TV.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
- ^ Friends: The One After the Super Bowl. TV.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
- ^ Friends: The One With Joey's Award. TV.com. Retrieved on 2007-06-10.
- ^ Fonseca, Nicholas. "Daytime's Secret Weapon", Entertainment Weekly, 2004-05-28. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
- ^ "Sex and Suffering in the Afternoon", TIME, 1976-01-12. Retrieved on 2007-06-08.
- ^ ‘DAYS’ Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration With Reveal of New Logo During the Hollywood Christmas Parade!. Soapoperanetwork.com (November 12, 2014). Retrieved on November 12, 2014.
- ^ Days Of Our Lives Renewed By NBC. Penske Media Corporation (February 11, 2016). Archived from the original on February 11, 2016. Retrieved on February 11, 2016.
- ^ Jackée Harry announces new role on Days of Our Lives. NBCUniversal (December 8, 2020).
- ^ Silver, Carly (December 8, 2020). WATCH: Jackée Harry Teases 'Fabulous' DAYS Role on Today Show. Confidential Media, Inc..
- ^ SOD (December 8, 2020). Jackée Harry Joins DAYS. American Media, Inc..
- ^ McGaughey, Alex (February 2, 2021). Precious Way Joins Days of Our Lives Cast as Jackée Harry's Daughter.
- ^ Cushman, Dustin (February 2, 2021). Precious Way Lands New Days of Our Lives Role as a Character Connected Through the Carvers. SheKnows Media.
- ^ Fairman, Michael (February 10, 2021). Cady McClain to Depart Days of Our Lives. The Michael Fairman Company.
- ^ Mistretta, Amy (February 12, 2021). Brock Kelly Returns to Days of Our Lives as Salem's Evan. SheKnows Media.