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DAYS’ Producer Ken Corday: “The Show I Was Looking At Was No Longer ‘Days of our Lives’ To Me”

Ken Corday
Ken Corday

Days of our Lives executive producer Ken Corday gave a candid interview in the newest edition of Soap Opera Digest regarding the state of his soap and why (yet another) creative change was needed in his latest “Plan to Save Days” feature.

SOD’s Editorial Director Stephanie Sloane conducted the interview with the longtime showrunner, asking questions that fans and industry critics have wanted answers to for months. Corday didn’t hold back, criticizing the direction of the show, and admitting the environment behind the scenes wasn’t very conducive.

When asked why he axed his head writers in February, Corday answered bluntly, “Because the show I was looking at was no longer recognizable as Days of our Lives to me.”  He says he contemplated making changes as far back as last summer, reaching out to veteran scribes (and now head writers) Dena Higley and Josh Griffith, but for reasons he wouldn’t get into, it didn’t work out.

Corday praised the accolades that former writers Gary Tomlin and Chris Whitesell brought to the show, which include a Daytime Emmy and GLAAD awards, but says the previous writers were burned out and “not getting it done.” Keeping up with his oft-used car motif, the producer says he felt “the car was headed for the edge of the cliff” and thus a change was needed. In describing his “overall feeling” for why a change was needed, he went on to cite the over-focus on new characters, lack of romance, negativity and complacency on set, and the all-important 50th anniversary as the key reasons for his stepping in.

Though this latest “Plan to Save Days” feature follows the now all-too-familiar mea culpa storyline and “what’s coming will be better than ever” hyperbole that’s become expected whenever DAYS swaps head writers, it’s still worth the read. Corday gives insight into how new head writers Dena Higley and Josh Griffith landed the reins of his show, the number one issue on his list of things he wanted to see, anniversary plans, how the returning fan favorites will be incorporated, and so much more.

The July 13 edition of Soap Opera Digest is available for digital purchase Apple Newstand now, and will be on-sale next week.

Author’s Note: As stated above, the interview is actually a good read. While Corday comes across as a very in-tune executive, who’s learned from the mistakes of the past and knows exactly what the show needs to return to form, it’s more of the same for those of us who, unfortunately, have heard this far too many times. I’m hard pressed to feel any excitement considering the déjà vu I’m getting. As I’ve stated on Twitter, #NothingMattersUntilSeptember. I turned off the show soon after news of TomSell’s firing was announced, knowing full well that the show I tuned into come September would be radically different than the dreck on-screen for the next six months. I want Days of our Lives to succeed more than anything. I’m a proud third-generation viewer and many of my fondest soap memories have come from Days of our Lives, so I’m hoping Corday’s able to get it right this time.

One of the major issues I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around is his decision to wait nearly eight months from the time he first contemplated making a change before he took action. He reached out to Griffith and Higley from June-August 2014, meaning he knew the creative for what was written six months out and filmed five was majorly problematic, yet he did nothing. In fact, he had the audacity to plead with the fans to give the new characters and stories airing in the winter a chance, even though he was unhappy with what was being produced. How are fans supposed to trust that? Had he stepped in last summer, the troublesome stories dominating the air since December would have been short-lived. 

What do you think about Corday’s pointed comments? Do you think this time will be different?

Be sure to check out a history of Ken Corday’s comments pre-and-post creative team shakeups from 2010 to 2014 on the next page.

Ryan White-Nobles
Ryan White-Nobles is Editor-in-Chief of TV Source Magazine. He's began covering entertainment and soap operas in 2005. In 2009 he co-launched Soap Opera Source, and led the TV Source rebrand in 2012. He's a natural #Heel who loves a spirited debate and probably watches too much TV. Follow him on Twitter at @SourceRyan to discuss all things TV, soaps, sports, wrestling and pop culture.

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  1. Currently, there seems to be three types of characters. Screw-up, Passive-aggressive judger and Villain. Abigail gets to be both passive aggressive and a screw up. And the same thing happens over and over again. The same thing happens over and over – as though the current writers just keep repeating what they thought worked before. Will admits to cheating again (ruining scenes that straight up said it was the first time with Paul), Nicole and Eric get trapped in a room together (but this time they are near naked instead of tied up) and Abigail once again thinks she’s pregnant with the wrong guy (but this time it’s the other DiMera brother). The show is going in circles.

  2. The changes being made at DAYS — starting with the change of regime of head-writers — was the beginning of knowing that a positive change is coming. I only wish he’d been able to secure Josh and Dena last summer, or even hired part-time head-writers like AMC did before Lorraine Broderick came back in a full-time capacity. And now they’re clearing house by outsting some new characters to pave way for familiar faces and names, so I cannot wait for this fall when the *new* DAYS takes place.

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