Ken Corday is quoted in Soap Opera Digest as saying: “You will see, in the course of a month, in the neighborhood of six characters leave Salem and five or six characters return or come to Salem, leading up to a huge September.”
On the comings side of the ledger, we now have: Matthew Ashford as Jack Devereaux, Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans Black, and Drake Hogestyn as John Black.
On the goings side, we have Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain) and Chrystal Chappell (Carly Manning). Though Carly Manning’s lack of storyline has been evident long-term Days of our Lives fans will no doubt speculate whether Crystal Chappell’s departure is related to the rumored backstage tension between her and Deidre Hall when Hall returned to Days of our Lives in 1991.
One thing is certain, the Days of our Lives shake-up is giving (some) fans exactly what they want—the core group of characters from the 80’s and 90’s that viewers grew to love during that period. Corday has promised a focus on fan favorite characters across a tight ensemble of 15 rather than 30 characters, which means there are likely more departures to be announced in coming days and weeks.
Let’s hope that the new writers Marlene McPherson and Darrel Ray Thomas are penning a storyline arc that encompasses those 15 characters in a compelling, action filled AND emotional storyline, rather than stories with small groups of characters circling in their own orbits that we’ve been subject to recently.
Hopefully, John and Marlena’s role in the upcoming storylines entails more than providing support to Rafe and Sami as they deal with Rafe’s wiped memory and vengeance against the DiMera’s.
If the return of Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn as John and Marlena doesn’t bring eyeballs back to the soap opera, perhaps Oprah is right in her assertion that soap operas have had their time.
Photo credit: flickr/jfer21