Days November sweeps preview
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

From the sounds of it, we’re going to need to watch the show this month while wearing shock absorbers.

Hard as it is to believe, we’re already zooming straight into the holiday season. But before we carve that Thanksgiving turkey or begin baking cookies in anticipation of a visit from a plump, bearded guy who totally isn’t Uncle George in a rented costume, let us gather around for that other big event which takes place every year around this time: November sweeps. To find out who will be doing what to whom in Days of Our Lives‘ Salem, we went straight to headwriter Ron Carlivati.

“This is an even bigger than usual November, because Days of Our Lives is celebrating its 55th anniversary,” says the scribe. “So there’s the big party that Gwen is throwing for Jack and Jennifer to celebrate the anniversary of their wedding as well as her coming out of the coma. And of course, we all know that something very big is going to go down during the festivities because, hey, why else have a big, splashy party on a soap?”

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It also happens to be the wedding anniversary of supercouple John and Marlena, as well as Justin and the late Adrienne. (What can we say… November is for soap weddings what springtime is for real-world brides.) “Because Adrienne is no longer with us, Justin is in a very vulnerable place,” says Carlivati. Translation: This could be the perfect time for Bonnie to make a move. “As for John and Marlena, there’s some big stuff coming up for them that I don’t really want to give away quite yet.

“But look,” he adds, “ever since the show lost Tom and Alice Horton, John and Marlena have become that central matriarch and patriarch. So they’re always going to be important to me, and they’ll always be in story.”

What’s Next for Ben?

Although November starts with Ben finally getting answers from Vincent, it’s not particularly clear that they are the ones the grieving husband wanted. “The audience knows that we don’t have Victoria Konefal (Ciara), at least right now,” points out Carlivati. “So if there’s even a little part of Ben saying, ‘Everything points to Ciara being dead, but I can’t let her go,’ how does he move on? His story becomes a lot about those efforts to move on. Who does he lean on? What support system do you turn to when you are going through this kind of grief? Dead or alive, you’ve lost the person you love.”

More: Is this where Ben can find Ciara?

Because the audience is “so invested in Ben,” the writer says that we will “be going on that journey with him.” Of course, this only leaves us to wonder where it will lead him and who might be waiting there! (In the past, we’ve had some ideas along those lines.)

A Shocking Connection

For weeks, sparks have been flying between Kate and Jake. Sure, both would deny there’s anything there, but they won’t be able to once they cross a line that can’t be uncrossed. “Their fling is going to be a really fun secret,” laughs Carlivati, explaining that there are numerous reasons for the pair to keep their dalliance under wraps. Chief amongst them? “Kate worked really hard to get to a place where she and Chad have been able to reconnect. And of course, there’s no love lost between Jake and Chad. So Kate sort of says, ‘Look, if this is going to happen, nobody can know.'”

days jake kate shirtless JJ

“Ya like what ya see, Kate? Take a picture… it lasts longer.”

Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Another person who would definitely disapprove of this unconventional pair’s affair? Gabi. And while she’s not currently on the canvas, that will change by month’s end when she and big brother Rafe come back to Salem. “Gabi’s return will almost immediately take an unexpected twist that’s basically setting the table for what’s down the road.”

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Elsewhere under the DiMera roof, Abigail and Chad’s relationship will hit a bump in the road thanks to his refusal to lighten up where Stefan’s brother is concerned. “Abigail thinks they should give Jake a chance and that, if they’re all going to be living under one roof, they should try and make the best of it,” sets up Carlivati. “Chad is having none of it. He doesn’t trust Jake, and the guy rubs him the wrong way. That will cause some friction between Abigail and Chad, which gives Gwen the opportunity to step in and exploit that.”

One thing this will not turn into, he wants to make clear, is a Jake/Abigail/Chad triangle. “I feel like we sort of played that angle with Stefan,” he reflects. “So while there are certain underlying elements which might feel similar, that is definitely not the direction we’re going in.”

The Test Results That Will Change Everything

Is Tripp the father of Allie’s baby? Let’s just say that the all-important DNA-test results don’t necessarily clear things up in the way that all of the involved parties might wish. “They will be somewhat surprising to some people,” teases Carlivati, adding that what happens next will have a major impact on the tight-knit community. “Couples will find themselves on opposite sides, and relationships will be tested.”

Days allie sami fight

Sami won’t be back in November, but trust us… Allie will make up for her absence!

Credit: © XJJohnson/

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As for Allie, Carlivati warns that unfolding events “will definitely allow us to see that she is Sami’s daughter.” And just when a boy might need his mom most, Tripp’s will reappear… sort of. “Ava returns,” confirms the writer, “but she has to stay sort of in the shadows. There are still charges hanging over her head, and if people knew that she was alive, she would be arrested immediately.

“But at the same time,” he goes on, “she’s come back to find that Tripp is being accused of rape. Let’s just say that Mama Bear will have something to say about that!”

Will the Honeymoon Soon Be Over?

Apparently never having heard that secrets on soaps are both bad for a marriage and as likely to come out as May flowers after those April showers, Eli hopes to keep Lani from finding out that he’s the reason her best friend is behind bars. “All Eli wants to do is protect his pregnant wife,” sighs Carlivati, “because he was afraid her involvement with Kristen would result in her possibly having to give birth in a jail cell.”

Ultimately, Eli is in a no-win situation. “If he isn’t able to protect his wife, she could go to jail, but if Lani finds out what he’s done, it could lead to problems in their marriage,” agrees Carlivati. “This also will put Eli and Brady on opposite sides, because they’re both going to do what they have to in order to save the women they love.”

In Other News…

There’s been more than a little friction between Xander and Sarah of late, but never fear, as the pair will soon realize that their issues are really about a third party. “They’re going to play a fun little game in order to get the goods on Philip,” teases the wordsmith. • Having left town quickly and remained largely out of touch with those he left behind, Rafe will be stunned to find out upon his return that Hope — with whom he had romantically reconnected — has left Salem, seemingly for good. “A lot has changed since he left, and he’ll need to figure out exactly how he fits in now,” says Carlivati. • “Claire and Charlie will continue to get closer, but there will be a little bit of a spoiler when Theo comes for a visit,” previews the scribe. And while the Internet is full of speculation about Charlie’s connection to another very big story on the canvas, Carlivati opts to remain mum on that point, breaking out the words that have kept viewers coming back to their soaps for decades: “Stay tuned.”

On your way to the comments to sound off on the storyline that has you the most psyched, why not check out the below photo gallery of Days of Our Lives’ all-time best characters, ranked.