Congratulations to Days of our Lives for one more year on the air!

Years ago we never considered that our soaps wouldn’t be renewed yearly. They were a staple in daytime television viewing and the expectation was that they’d be back for another episode, another season, for years to come. Flash forward a decade or two and every season hopes, with fingers and toes crossed, that each of our four beloved soaps will be renewed for many more seasons.Episode # 13205

Every February, for the past few years we have been on pins and needles, hopeful that our surviving NBC soap opera would be renewed. It’s that time again and we’ve learned that Days of our Lives and Sony Pictures has renewed the daytime drama for their 54th season. According to TV Line, NBC executive vice president of current programming, Bruce Evans, stated, “We’re very excited about having more great Days in Salem. Ken Corday [Executive Producer] and his team continue to tell stories with which the Days loyal audience feels a deep connection. We congratulate them on their remarkable daytime legacy and look forward to what they have planned for the new season.” Corday added, “We’re thrilled that the sands will continue flowing through the hourglass for yet another year. We are most grateful to NBC and Sony for their continued support of Days of Our Lives. Buckle up, because we have some exciting and compelling new stories coming to Salem this season.”

With Daytime Emmy winner Ron Carlivati taking over head-writing duties for Dena Higley in June 2017, the show has gotten back a lot of its missed humor and zaniness, though it’s kept the same murder and mayhem storylines, there is more of a balance. Carlivati brought Halloween back to Salem with a bang, a town that wasn’t taking advantage of All Hallows’ Eve, even though it has a rich history as the location of the famous Salem witch trials.stefan-O-DiMera-first-look-days-nbc

In one year, Ron Carlivati created a brand new villainous character – a long lost DiMera son in Stefan Octavius, bringing back villainess Vivian Alamain (Louise Sorel) as Stefan’s mother and of course, Stefano DiMera as a father, with popular Daytime Emmy Award winner, Tyler Christopher who played Nikolas Cassadine on Carlivati’s previous soap, General Hospital.

Carlivati also reintroduced fan favorites to the mix such as Sami Brady (Ali Sweeney), Carrie Brady (Christie Clark), Billie Reed (Lisa Rinna), and Anna DiMera (Leann Hunley). As with his tenure at One Life to Live, he wrote in a character with DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). Abigail DiMera had already been suffering from PTSD, which made her susceptible to DID.

More: 11 soap characters with split personalities

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The scribe’s work hasn’t been without controversy. He brought Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson) and Will Horton (Chandler Massey) back to life, literally with the help of presumed dead mad scientist, Dr. Wilhelm Rolf (William Utay), and alluded to EJ DiMera (James Scott) being alive somewhere. Carlivati gave Jack Deveraux fans a thrill by bringing Matthew Ashford back as a ghost a few times. He had Judi Evans playing a dual role with Adrienne Kiriakis and Bonnie Lockhart, and simultaneously gave Deidre Hall (Dr. Marlena Evans) her sister, Andrea Hall’s original role as Hattie Adams, all to mixed reviews.

Carlivati brought dead characters back for a day with, Paige Larson (True O’Brien) and Serena Mason (Melissa Archer) who reappeared in one of the craziest Days Halloween episodes, which even included Kristian Alfonso playing a dual role of Princess Gina in a scene. He "Days of our Lives" Setbrought in actress Morgan Fairchild as Anjelica Deveraux and singer Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins to portray Sheila.

Carlivati takes chances, sometimes big risks, and it’s paid off. This year, Days Daytime Emmy pre-nomination count was higher than years past with the show boasting 18 Daytime Emmy pre-noms. The actors seem to have perked up under his writing regime.

Congratulations to another season!

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Photo credit: Howard Wise, Jill Johnson/JPI

– Christine Fix