Days of Our Lives Drama: 50 Years of Scandals, Serial Killers and Satan (PHOTOS)

Michael Logan
Days of Our Lives

Clockwise from top right: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages; Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages; Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages; Howard Wise/JPI Studios

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Survivor: Salem

So much has happened over half a century in the soapy world of Salem. And with 12,713 TV episodes, the citizens of the sleepy town have definitely seen enough for a lifetime, from Satanic possession to scandals to serial killers. Here, we take you through the Days highlights of the past 50 years.

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1965

Making the Peacock proud, Days becomes the first daytime soap to premiere “in living color.”

1971

Days hits No. 1 in the daytime ratings, ending As the World Turns’ 12-year dominance.

Days of Our Lives

NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages

1974

The good doctor: Leading man Macdonald Carey (with Frances Reid, who played his wife, Alice) wins the first of two back-to-back Emmys.

1976

Bill and Susan Hayes make the cover of Time magazine, which calls Days TV’s “most daring drama.”

Days of our Lives

Herb Ball/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

1982

The unkillable Stefano DiMera—whose crimes range from kidnapping and organ trafficking to drug dealing and murder—hits Salem. Thirty-three years later, he’s still raising hell. Read More: Thaao Penghlis on the Return of Andre DiMera

Days of Our Lives

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages

1985

The babe and the biker boy: Bo and Hope become the hottest soap couple since General Hospital’s Luke and Laura. Read More: Kristian Alfonso on Hope's Marriage Proposal

Days of Our Lives

Ron Tom/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages

1988

The Patch and Kayla wedding (below) is a Nielsen knockout, bringing Days back to No. 1. Stephen Nichols zooms up the TVQ popularity poll to No. 2, behind Bill Cosby.

Days of Our Lives

Gary Null/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages

1994–95

Biblical plagues! Burning churches! Naked girls! Yep, Satan has come to town.

Days of Our Lives

TV Guide Magazine Archive

1997-98

Eileen Davidson juggles five characters at once, including vixen Kristen, nun Sister Mary Moira and Mary’s gangster brother, Thomas.

Days of our lives

Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

2004

The Salem Stalker slaughters half the town. Psych out! Everyone’s alive and well on a weird island called Melaswen, aka “New Salem.”

Days of Our Lives

Howard Wise/JPI Studios

2014

Sonny and Will say “I do” in soaps’ first all-male marriage. But so much for LGBT history: One year later, Will is strangled to death.

Days of Our Lives

Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

2015

Days’ executive producer Ken Corday is honored with the perfect 50th anniversary gift—an Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Drama. Read More: Daytime Emmys: Winners and Highlights

Days of Our Lives

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The Gang's All Here

Pictured: (l-r) Eric Martsolf as Brady Black, Judie Evans as Adrien Kiriakis, Jen Lilley as Thersea Donovan, John Aniston as Victor Kiriakis, Meredith Scott Lynn as Anne Milbauer, Josh Taylor as Roman Brady, Peggy McCay as Caroline Brady, Stephen Nichols as Steven Johnson, Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady, Greg Vaughan as Eric Brady, Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady, Drake Hogestyn as John Black, Christopher Sean as Paul Narita, Deidre Hall as Dr. Marlena Evans, Bill Hayes as Doug Williams, Susan Hayes as Julie Willimas, Kate Mansi as Abigail Deveraux, Robert Scott Wilson as Ben Rogers, Kristian Alfonso as Hope Brady, Missy Reeves as Jennifer Horton, Suzanne Rogers as Maggie Horton, Casey Moss as JJ Deveraux, Camila Banus as Gabi Hernandez, James Reynolds as Abe Carver, Sal Stowers as Lani, A. Martinez as Eduardo, Thaao Penghlis as Tony DiMera, Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Roberts, Lauren Koslow as Kate Roberts, Joe Mascolo as Stefano DiMero, Billy Flynn as Chad DiMero

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