First Look: ‘Days of Our Lives’ Grows a New Teen Set Practically Overnight

Days of Our Lives - Kyler Pettis, Olivia Keegan, Jonathon McClendon, Vivian Jovanni, and James Lastovic
Days of our lives,

Is there something in the water? Five kiddie characters on NBC’s Days of Our Lives are about to be hit with what’s known in the suds trade as SORAS—Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome. On August 28, Patch and Kayla’s son Joey, last seen as a 6-year-old, will pop up as a troubled teen played by newcomer James Lastovic. This fall, we’ll also see a suddenly sprouted Ciara Brady (Vivian Jovanni) and Chase Jennings (Jonathon McClendon), both arriving October 30. Then comes Theo Carver (Kyler Pettis) on November 3, followed by Claire Brady (Olivia Keegan) November 25. (Pictured above, left to right, are Pettis, Keegan, McClendon, Jovanni and Lastovic.)

“Young people are the life blood of any soap—especially ours as we head toward our 50th anniversary in November,” says executive producer Ken Corday. “By aging these children into young adults, we’re making them more relatable to our audience and more dramatically exciting. These are not ancillary characters, but young leads. None of them will be a goody two-shoes. Each is somewhat flawed.”

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And these apples won’t fall far from their trees. “You’ll see that Ciara is a lot like her mom, Hope, and that Joey is very much like Patch,” says Corday. “In fact, Joey will be giving Patch the ‘rebel’ a little of his own medicine!”

By Corday’s count, these sudden teens represent the soap’s fifth generation. “My late mom [Days executive producer Betty Corday] used to say, ‘You have to water the roots of the Days of Our Lives tree with a new generation every 10 years or so,’ and that’s what we’ve done,” Corday notes. “These are the children of the children of the children of the children, and they are vital to our future.”

50 Years of Days of Our Lives