Deep Soap: More Cast Changes at ‘Days of Our Lives’, Daytime Emmys Update

by | June 1, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Deep Soap

Ian Buchanan of 'Days of Our Lives' (Photo: NBC)


Two More Actors Depart “Days of Our Lives”

The “Days of Our Lives” cast purge continues. Ian Buchanan, who first appeared as Madison’s (Sarah Brown) Machiavellian husband Ian just a few short months ago will be leaving the show at the end of the summer. His departure comes as no surprise, given that Brown is also leaving the show and his only other connection to the canvas, a former romance with Kate (Lauren Koslow), has not proven popular with the audience.

Molly Burnett (Melanie) has also opted to leave the show when her contract ends in late June. Given that there is a multi-month gap between when DOOL films an episode and when it airs, it is unclear when Lamanie will be leaving the show. Burnett, who has guest starred on¬†”True Blood,” plans to pursue prime-time and film opportunities. Melanie is the most popular twenty-something woman on the show — something few would have predicted when her character debuted as a whiny, manipulative teen. The character’s departure will leave a void. Perhaps the new headwriters will attempt to shore up Salem’s younger set. Other than Will (Chandler Massey), none of the younger characters seem to be generating much fan interest, which is surprising given that the show has long been known for its teen and young adult romances.

Daytime Emmys Update

With just four weeks until the Daytime Emmys ceremony on June 23, the award show’s new home, HLN, is putting the show together at warp speed. The network announced a sweepstakes giving away a trip to the awards along with a makeover. HLN also live tweeeted its planning meeting from the award show’s new location, the Beverly Hilton. These were the takeaways:¬†Gabriel Gornell, head of LocoDistro, the company which is producing the show, promised a “return to glamour. Unless it can be stunning, let’s not do it.” (Amen! After the embarrassment of the past two years, everyone who works in daytime, as well as the fans, deserve a classy ceremony.) The award for Outstanding Culinary Program is moving from the creative arts ceremony to the main event. (Why not? Cooking shows are popular, and “The Chew” was not nominated so I am happy that the many talented people who work on cable food shows can get some public recognition.)

More controversially, Outstanding Morning Program will now be the final award of the night instead of Outstanding Daytime Drama. Given that the only nominees for morning program are “Today” and “Good Morning America,” the producers are probably hoping that the very public ratings war between the two shows will make the category exciting. Plus, HLN is a news channel and the category recognizes news programs. But the vast majority of people who are going to be motivated to tune-in to the Daytime Emmys, on a Saturday night, on a network known mainly for Nancy Grace, are soap fans. No one who is not employed by “Today” is passionate about it. On the other hand, thanks to the mandate that the show clock in at precisely two hours — a policy that I hope HLN will change — the final award winner gets about ten seconds to deliver an acceptance speech. If “All My Children” wins, I want the producers of the canceled soap to have the opportunity to say something meaningful about the show.

HLN seems, on the whole, to view the Daytime Emmys as an exciting opportunity for the network. It’s a refreshing change from CBS’s, “We’ll only air them if we don’t have to spend any money” mentality — though CBS does deserve credit for sticking with the show long after ABC and NBC bowed out. I am curious and cautiously optimistic about this year’s ceremony.

The Joy of Cliches

This week, two soaps are featuring the most cliched of soap conventions — and I am enjoying every minute. Everyone in Salem has a reason to want “Days of Our Lives” Stefano (Jospeh Mascalo) dead — which is more or less constant state of affairs. This week, however, they all bought guns. We all know what that means: Stefano is going to get shot. On “General Hospital,” both Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Tea (Florencia Lozano) have gone into labor simultaneously — in the middle of a storm, no less. We all know what that means: baby switch. The familiar story beats have become, when well-executed as both of these stories are, a comforting ritual. Will is despondent over being fired by E.J. (James Scott) because Stefano is blackmailing him into revealing that Sami and E.J. had a one night stand. So he bought a gun. That seems like an extreme reaction to losing a part-time job, but why not? After all of the times that Marlena has been truly tortured by Stefano, his convoluted plan to brainwash John for the upteenth time, which somehow led to a near-explosion, is what made her decide to off him? Sure. Why not? It’s all worth it for the montage of all the potential shooters holding their guns.

Then there will be the lengthy whodunnit followed by, what will in all probability, be an underwhelming resolution. Bring it on.

General Hospital” is pulling out all of the stops. Of course, neither pregnant woman will be able to make it to the hospital in time to give birth. Of course, the baby’s father’s sworn enemy will be delivering the baby. But GH does get points for one innovation: Both women were impregnated by men who had long-lost twins — who were subsequently murdered by the “good twin.” (Todd didn’t actually murder his brother, but not even he knows that.) What are the odds? Tea and Sam could have the world’s most unusual mother’s group.