Blackmail, baby swapping, and murder seem to be daily occurrences on daytime dramas, but stalwart Days of Our Lives is going where no soap has gone before: one year into the future.
"This is a great way to reset things in Salem," says executive producer Ken Corday of the time jump, which kicks in Monday after a hint at the end of the November 8 episode and will result in some cast upheaval. He adds, "It will be a catalyst for many more [changes] to follow."
One person still on the scene is heroine Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), who first appeared in 1976. "It'll shake things up," Hall says of the "fun" twist, which leans into the show's rich history. (Days celebrates its 54th anniversary November 8.) "It will remind people of things that used to be going on [in Salem]."
Has the show been canceled?
Watch for former cast members Stephen Nichols, Billy Flynn, and Kate Mansi — and more screen time for Hattie! The outspoken Marlena look-alike (also Hall) will become more prominent and, notes the actress, "The more reined in that Marlena is, the more unbridled Hattie is."
Why is 'DAYS' going into the future? And what's next? Head writer Ron Carlivati answers our burning questions.
Naturally, couples will come together and split apart — but Marlena and her longtime love, ISA operative John Black (Drake Hogestyn, above, with Hall), are solid, Hall says: "You can't get in between them…but somebody tries."
Looking back over 40-plus years, Hall recalls another twist from 1995, when her character was possessed by the devil! ("Marlena is so appropriate, but to just cut loose and be crazy was fun," she says.)
These new storylines will "reunite our fans," Hall believes. "People will call their friends: 'Did you see what happened?'"
Days of Our Lives, NBC, check local listings