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Tomlin and Whitesell Out at DAYS

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  • EmmyLoser
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    #428131

    From Soap Opera Digest:

    EXCLUSIVE! MAJOR WRITER SWITCH AT DAYS!

    By SOD • Posted: Feb 9, 2015 
     

    Big behind the scenes news at DAYS: Head Writers Gary Tomlin andChristopher Whitesell are out and Dena Higley and Josh Griffith will be replacing them, effective February 16. Griffith, who has extensive soap credits, including GH, ATWT, OLTL, SANTA BARBARA and HOLLYWOOD HEIGHTS, last served as Y&R’s head scribe from 2012-13; Higley is no stranger to Salem, having served as the show’s head writer twice, in 2003, and from 2008-11.

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    EmmyLoser
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    #428133

    How strongly worded of a letter do I need to write and to whom to get this to not happen?  I’m trying not to get too worked up over this, but it’s tough considering how solid the show has been under the Tomlin/Whitesell combo and just how in the toilet it was at the end of Higley’s last run in 2011.  Man, I thought I was upset last week about the prenoms, but that’s external to the show itself, and really nothing compared to a major writer shift.

    I don’t know what brought this on, maybe some of the complaints that the show has been boring, maybe an attempt to emulate the buzzier flash and fireworks style at GH, but let me be clear: I AM NOT HAPPY.  This is less about what I think Higley/Griffith will do to the show (which I don’t think will be for the better) and more about an unnecessary shift when the show was feeling like it had found itself and punishing writers for putting out material that is consistent and character-based.  Very irritating.  I wonder if this is a Ken Corday thing (I would tend to blame him with ANOTHER return for Dena Higley) or a Sony thing (they seem to enjoy moving pieces back and forth between Y&R and DAYS, as is happening with Griffith).

    I hope public outcry forces them to change their minds, but that probably won’t happen (I’ve already written more tweets about this than I had in all of 2015 before today).  On the bright side, at least we still have Lorraine Broderick, right?  Hopefully? 

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    Paul Vargo
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    #428134

    why not promote Broderick…..,.

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    gdfl
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    #428135

    ^^  Yes!  I hope they at least asked her to take on the HW duties before embarking on this lunacy.  It makes no sense that they’d bring DH in considering how immediate the turn around was for the better when she exited last time.
     

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    robbalto
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    #428136

    I suppose it boils down to ratings. That is unfortunate, because the writing on Days is very good. When I watch Days, I just sit back and enjoy it. When I watch GH and Y&R, I often find myself wincing at the writing choices and lack of character continuity. Maybe I am more critical of GH & Y&R because I have watched them for much longer. But it seems to me that Days is the only soap getting it right these days.

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    adrianna
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    #428137

    I wonder what Lucci and Slezak think of this?  They both claimed each ruined their shows.  Seems like contunuation of same people.

    Its too bad Days couldnt get some writers at Eastenders or another british soap and make it more grounded  

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    gdfl
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    #428138

    To play devil’s (literally?) advocate, does anyone think this could work?  DH and JG have very different styles and could balance each other out.  And Lorraine Broderick markedly elevates any material with her presence.  Plus Days has built such a solid track record over the past few years that maybe we can be confident that they know what they’re doing with this decision.

    With that said, it’s potentially a pretty scary time for Daytime dramas right now.  Chuck Pratt’s should be making his mark on Y&R pretty soon, Higley is back at Days after two failed attempts on that show and a poor track record at ABC, Carlivati is hit-and-miss on GH, and B&B is only tolerated by a very specific niche.
    At least no one has hired David Kreizman (+/- Donna Swajeski) after he killed three shows (GL -> ATWT -> AMC) consecutively.
     

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    Djoko
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    #428139

    I don’t like this. Days has been amazing under Tomlin and Whitesell. Does Corday have too much control?

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    EmmyLoser
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    #428140

    In the spirit of knowing I’m probably just going to have to accept this: I think you make a good point, gdfl, as always.  Higley and Griffith might balance each other well, and they also may not have that much latitude to change a lot of the day-to-day things that are working for me.  DAYS has a team of a dozen or so writers, and yes, the head writers will be in charge of those, but there’s probably also a degree to which Greg Meng is keeping things in check, and of course there’s Lorraine Broderick.  Maybe keeping her in the position she’s in rather than promoting her is a protection.  If she’s not the head writer, she can’t be blamed for ratings issues and thus never becomes the scapegoat.  Yes, it is clear that she elevates whatever material she’s given, and for all we know she could be spinning straw into gold behind the scenes even now.  

    If I’m looking for silver linings, I do think it’s possible Higley will give stronger stories to some of the older veteran characters.  But when I think about characters, I start to worry about the character shuffle.  New head writers always axe a bunch of characters (usually a mix of dead weight and great characters for whom they just don’t want to write) and bring in new ones, some newly created, some SORASed or recasted, and maybe a returning favorite or two.  I asked myself last night, which chronic victim of head writer shuffling is likeliest to come back in this shift?  The three big ones that seem to always come or go when writers change are Billie, Jack and Carrie.  Some of us have been suggesting the return of Billie and downright begging for the return of Carrie, so those could be good.  Bringing Jack back from the dead in this case would just be ridiculous.  I’m more concerned about who gets dumped.  Some of the recent new characters aren’t great (Jordan, Ben, Clyde), but I’d hate to lose Theresa, Paul, Eve, Aiden, Serena or nuChad.   I think the potential for the bad outweighs the potential for the good.

    I’m still hoping this doesn’t actually happen, but when it does, I’ll just hope for the best. 

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    soapsarecool
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    #428141

    Too bad.  Tomlin and Whitesell have been doing an INCREDIBLE job.  Days is miles away the other soaps in terms of writing quality.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #428142

    I felt that Tomlin and Whitesell did great work up until November of last year, but the show has rebounded the past several weeks. I actually think Days was the best written show last year. On the other hand, Higley and Griffith might shake some things up and be good for the show? I remember liking Higley’s writing, I think it was on ATWT? And Griffith did great writing over at OLTL? So, we’ll see…

    To whoever made the comment about Donna Swajeski, she did PHENOMENAL work on Another World! (:

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    gdfl
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    #428143

    ^^
    To clarify, the Donna Swajeski comment was in reference to her stint on AMC with David Kreizman.  Perhaps no one knows exactly what was going on behind the scenes at ABC, but I’ve sometimes wondered if AMC was performing as well under D&D as OLTL was under Carlivati, perhaps both shows would have lasted longer.

    When did Higley write for ATWT?  I know Griffith wrote there (among many other shows), but I didn’t think Higley ever wrote for any of the CBS soaps.
     

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    eastwest
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    #428144

    #amess #onlyindaytime

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    EmmyLoser
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    #428145

    I only know of Higley writing at DAYS and OLTL.  Griffith, on the other hand, has been all over the place.  With his joining DAYS, he’ll have written at some point for all of the currently airing soaps except B&B.  

    Not that this is the point, but with two writers who went fi-core during the writers’ strike (it’s kind of startling to remember now how long ago that was, not the “couple of years” it was in my mind), does this means DAYS will be persona non grata at the WGA awards? 

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #428146

    I think I was confusing Dena Higley with another female headwriter who worked on ATWT either before or after Hogan Sheffer was the headwriter – can’t remember her name ):

    I can’t remember if I liked Dena Higley’s writing on OLTL – I’d have to think back to what was happening on the show between 2004-07. I know I loved Renee Elise Goldsberry’s work on the show, and if Dorian was on the show I was glued to my t.v. set! I was quite furious with OLTL when Todd was beating up Cole (well, Todd was Victor but we didn’t know that at the time!) (;

    I know I enjoyed Josh Griffith’s work on OLTL.

    We’ll just have to wait and see where it all goes. Does anyone know how many months ahead of time Days films its episodes?  When will these new headwriters work starting airing?

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