Guest Author - Alice Rienzo
In a twist no one saw coming, although many had hoped for, Soap Opera Network is reporting that the entire writing staff at Days of Our Lives has been fired. Longtime viewers have seen the dramatic twists and turns the sudser has taken since head writer, John Reilly, got the boot last year. In recent months, veteran actors have disappeared off the canvas amid specualtion that they would never return. "Trimming down" was the phrase most used in anticipation of the soaps demise in 2009. Then suddenly, actors reappear with casually inserted lines about their whereabouts. Think back for a moment how Lexie’s dismissal and reinstatement as a doctor had been explained.
Soap Opera Network broke the story on Saturday, February 2, 2008. They noted:
"According to sources, the following writers have been fired and will not return to the show after the strike ends: Head Writer: Hogan Sheffer; Associate Head Writers: Tom Casiello, Frederick Johnson, Meg Kelly, Gordon Rayfield, Judy Tate; Script Writers: Judith Donato, Renee Godelia; Script Editor: Richard Backus. The status of the other Script Writers: Bettina F. Bradbury, Cydney Kelley, and Jodie Scholz is unclear at the moment."
In a blog post to all the fans of Days of Our Lives, writer Tom Casiello writes a tearful farewell to all of the crew and actors on the set.
To Tony and Anna, characters I never dreamed would be on my screen again, much less saying the words I wrote.
To LeAnn and Lauren Koslow, for letting me write the one and only Kate/Anna scene of 2007 - a story I hoped and prayed would be picked up at one point. And who knows - maybe it still will be?
To Julie Pinson, who redefines supporting player, and SHOULD be a leading lady... and whom I always tried so hard to give more to. I'm sorry, Julie - you deserved better.
To Bo and Hope, for letting me infuse them with a sense of humor again. and especially Kristian Alfonso, for collaborating with me on one of the most wonderful eulogies at John Black's funeral.
To John and Marlena, two characters I struggled with, and were JUST figuring out and finally learning to love again weeks before the strike brought everything to a crashing halt. You taught me how to delve deeper, to see how complex you both were - and how you weren't cartoons at all, but truly detailed, layered characters.
To Steve and Kayla, and especially my lovely Judi Luciano (who remembered me from when I was an INTERN at Another World nine years ago!!!), who I had the pleasure of writing for again as Adrienne - the Johnson family are personal favorites of mine. And to write Benjy's death broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes - and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
To Nick and Chelsea and Max and Stephanie and Belle and Shawn - for teaching me how to write kids, how NOT to write kids, and especially to Brandon and Martha for letting me move them out of the world of "kids" and into adulthood.
And to Sami, Lucas and EJ - three characters who went round and round, and always taught me something new about the power of temptation, redemption and love.
We will just have to wait and see what will happen to our beloved soap.