‘Days of Our Lives’ Boss on the App, Billy Flynn & Kate Mansi’s Return
Days of Our Lives’ Gabi (Camila Banus) is currently threatening to use an app on her phone that would cause Julie’s (Susan Seaforth Hayes) new heart to stop working. The show’s producers have also developed an app but one that’s far less nefarious.
The DOOL App contains promotional content, interviews, and original material tied to the long-running NBC daytime serial. Chad and Abby in Paris, the app’s first scripted series, starring Billy Flynn (Chad) and Kate Mansi (Abby), is showing the newlyweds’ life in France. After the final installment drops in November, the pair will return to the broadcast show starting Monday, November 11.
TV Insider chatted with DAYS’ co-executive producer and DOOL App mastermind Greg Meng to discuss the app, plans for future content, and how fans can finally someday participate in choosing a story’s direction by using the app. Read on for the details.
How long was the app in development?
Greg Meng: Quite a while. Three years ago, we developed the process and the app itself, learning the capabilities it would have. Our goal was to expand and create a platform that would promote DAYS and provide additional content for the fans. We have so many wonderful, popular characters, the app is a way to tell stories for those characters that we don’t have time for on the air show.
Characters in app-isodes will make reference to what’s going on in Salem, but the show tapes several months in advance.
Yes. It can be a scheduling nightmare. There’s a lot of tracking involved. Chad and Abby are a beloved couple, who are off the canvas. Where are they? They’re in Paris. Let’s create a story for them. We’re seeing into their lives and that will align with what we see when they come back onto the show [next month]. At the end of the second chapter, they’ll be back on the air show on NBC the following week.
The app is constructed with a lot of different areas. We have original series content, games, promotional content, and original interviews. Each cast member has their own “room” where they can promote whatever they’re doing. Users can learn more about who they are.
On one hand, viewers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to when they want to watch content. On the other, you’re careful to drop a new Chad and Abby episode each Thursday.
Yes. The DOOL App is like a mini-network. With the app, anytime is time for viewing the content. You can binge watch our material or whenever you have available time.
Do you have to see Chad and Abby in Paris on the app to appreciate what sets up their return to the broadcast series?
The material on the app is to enhance the stories on the show. They’re there to be enjoyed. We have more app series coming including a surprise series that’s launching at the end of November. It’s created by Ron Carlivati, our head writer, and it’s very specific to DAYS.
Is there a fee for the app?
No. The app is free, available for downloading now. We offer new content every week. I believe we’ve coined the term “app-isode.” It’s not a “webisode” – it’s an “app-isode.”
Is Chad and Abby eligible at the Daytime Emmys in the digital categories?
I’m told yes, it will be.
Will any of the characters, for example Juliette (Rachele Schank), on the app series come to the broadcast show?
It’s possible. We’d love to have them pop in.
Can the show be seen on the app?
No. You can see DAYS on NBC.com. On the app, we have real estate to provide a variety of additional content.
Are there restrictions on language, nudity, other content on the app? If there aren’t, would you deviate from broadcast restrictions.
To my knowledge, there are no restrictions, but we know who are fans are. We don’t want to do anything offensive. We can push the limits on the app beyond what we see on broadcast. We don’t want to promote smoking, but in one of the app-isodes, Abby is at a low point and she has a drink and a cigarette. We might not have done that on broadcast.
The other daytime broadcast soaps are available on digital platforms, but are you surprised that we haven’t seen other soaps develop complete apps yet?
[Smiling] No. Do you have any idea how much time, effort, and money goes into this? It’s a lot of work. However, this has been a great outlet for us. We’re getting a positive response. It’s a new fresh way to add content to the air show. This is the wave of the future. People are watching more content on their phones these days. We’re working on some ideas that will allow our fans to be more interactive with stories [on the app]. Some will include where [users] can choose the ending.
Can a person enable multiple versions?
Yes. We would allow users to see “this is what happens if you choose this direction” and then, “this is what will happen if you opt for this other direction.”
Days of Our Lives, Weekdays, NBC and download The DOOL App here