It was my original intention to post this in the Days of our Lives thread, but that doesn’t seem to be happening, so I thought I’d try this instead:
Salem U.S.A. is about to lose another popular, young starlet. I’m hearing from multiple sources Jen Lilley has chosen to vacate the role of Theresa Donovan on NBC’s Days of Our Lives.
I thought it was strange when Lilley’s name was the first I heard mentioned, once I started snooping into who would replace Kirsten Storms at General Hospital. I couldn’t imagine Lilley leaving a full-time gig at DAYS for another temp assignment at GH. As it turns out, Lilley gave her notice to DAYS a while back. In the end, her former DAYS castmate Molly Burnett was cast as Maxie. It’s just as well. I hear Lilley wants a break from the daily suds grind.
Look for Lilley’s TV parents, Patsy Pease and Charles Shaughnessy, to reprise their iconic roles as Kimberly Brady and Shane Donovan as part of Theresa’s exit storyline later this year.
Shawn Douglas Brady will be sticking around Salem U.S.A. a bit longer than co-head writer Dena Higley first anticipated. In March, I broke news of a Days of Our Lives casting bloodbath that saw the firings of Brandon Beemer (Shawn), Martha Madison (Belle) and other DAYS cast members. Higley didn’t factor in Beemer having just started a new contract cycle when she once again wrote the popular actor off the canvas.
“They made a mistake with Brandon,” says a set side source. “They tried to fire him when he was just a few days into a new cycle. They would have had to pay him out for 26 weeks or use him, so they’re using him.”
Beemer and Madison’s smoldering chemistry was on display just this past week on DAYS. It’s insane that any writer entrusted with this soap’s future would think writing off the offspring of Bope and Jarlena is the way to go.
I’m happy that BB will be around longer, though the situation seems sufficiently weird that I’m not sure how well he’ll be used or how this might screw whatever story they would have written for him and Belle.
With Theresa, I’ll miss Jen Lilley very much — she’s generally the best thing happening in episodes heavy on Theresa/Brady/Summer/Dario — but I would rather they recast the character, which doesn’t sound like the case. Theresa is, to me, a good iteration of several character types the show has struggled with over the last 10 or so years, in addition to filling a few niches (Brady’s troubled love interest, resident bad girl now that Sami is gone, somewhat rootable underdog, in-your-face scrapper) and being a Brady.
I also think DAYS needs to give some considerable thought to adjusting their production model. I realize what they do is efficient, but how many actors have left the show over the last few years just because they need out of the daily grind of soaps? It seems to happen way more here than with any other show.