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The State of ‘Days of Our Lives’ As It Celebrates 11,000 Episodes

GL Spoilers: January 12

As Days of our Lives celebrates its 11,000 episode, we take a look at the current state of DAYS.

For over 40 years Days of Our Lives has entertained millions of fans and on Wednesday, January 21, the show will air its 11,000th episode. Primetime fans make a big deal about reaching 100 episodes, but few soaps reach the 11K milestone. 2008 was a rather tumultuous year for the fledgling soap. Hit with controversy during the Writer’s Strike, it seemed to follow the show throughout the spring and summer as well. The good news for the show is ratings have been on a fairly steady upswing for the past few months.  Days of Our Lives finished the fourth quarter of 2008 tied for #4 in the coveted women 18-49 demographic, while they topped the women 18-34 category overall. That’s great news for fans, the bad news however – don’t expect anything special in Salem for the special 11K occasion.

The episode airing today will feature John Black and Marlena Evans being attacked by Dr. Charlotte Taylor. This will most likely set up an exit for the super couple as they depart Salem on Friday, January 23rd. It was announced over one month ago that Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn were let go amidst budget cuts after the show was officially renewed by NBC.

Many at the time announced it as the “death” of DAYS. After all, what is DAYS without John and Marlena? These icons are DAYS and with them gone who will take their place? It’s not like anyone could though. Faced with minimal storylines for the past few years, maybe it won’t be such a hard adjustment for some fans. It would be like the first half 2007 all over again – only this time without the sporadic appearances. Fans have already seen fan favorite couples like Jack and Jennifer depart, as well promising young characters such as Abby, Shawn, and Belle over the past few years. We’re no stranger to our favorites being let go due to yearly budget crises. Who can forget the show treating the fans like suckers by killing off half the cast, then bringing them back. And let’s not forget the seemingly annual firing actors only to bring them back within months and firing them again later. We’re also no stranger to the never ending threats of cancellation.

Even with all of that (and more), DAYS continues on. In fact it’s holding rather steady in the ratings when most other shows are experiencing huge losses on a week to week basis. So if Days is able to hold onto its audience and operate under severe budget cuts, the future might be a bright one for the show. The big question remains…can it hold onto that audience? Can it build and grow? I hope so.

Here is a recap of current storylines going on in Salem, USA along with a preview of what to expect in the next few weeks!

Rafe/Sami/EJ/Nicole/Brady- Sami is stuck in the safe house with Rafe and the two seem to be bonding well now, but will the friendship they’ve established turn into more? Is there more to Rafe than what it seems? Let’s not forget Sami is prego with EJ’s baby, unbeknownst to him. However Lucas and Chloe know the truth. EJ also doesn’t know that current finance Nicole lost her baby and is now faking a pregnancy in hopes of landing a new child and keeping EJ around. A recently returned Brady also knows her secret, but how long will he keep it? When will Nicole see how much Brady cares for her?

Kate/Daniel/Chloe/Lucas/Maggie- Chloe & Lucas found unexpected love last summer. Everything seemed to actually go smooth for the twosome until recently. Chloe seems to have feelings for Daniel. Now that Kate has ended her relationship with the doctor he is free – will Chloe set herself free? Will the two have a secret affair? And is Kate really over Daniel? The truth is bound to come out, especially when Maggie spots Chloe & Daniel together.

Melanie/Philip/Stephanie/Max/Chelsea- Philip & Stephanie are by far the best pairing on the show (in my not so humble opinion). The two have had a friendship for some time now, moving on to a flirtatious affair a few months ago.  With Stephanie working with Phillip, it seems that flirtatious friendship has developed into something more. However, crazy (and annoying) Melanie keeps inserting herself between the two. Phillip seems to be falling for Stephanie, but also can’t shake his interest in Melanie. Then there’s Max and Chelsea, who are forging a great friendship in their seemingly isolated storyline. Let’s just hope it stays that way. No more incest love…even if they don’t share blood!

Steve/Kayla/Bo/Hope/Abe/Lexie- I never claimed the show was perfect! Bo has started to get these premonition-like flashes after his accident. His vision of Theo came true; will anyone believe his next one about Kayla? Abe and Lexie continue to bond as Theo makes some progress.

Charlotte/John/Marlena- Charlotte has her eyes set on John, and when she realizes she won’t get him the gloves come off. She goes on the attack, but John & Marlena survive. In fact he gets his memories back – and the couple remarries before leaving town. Contrived plot point that brings about a hurried reunion and quick ushering off the canvas? Sounds like Belle and Shawn all over again.