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Is Head Writer Dena Higley out? No, but an explosive online report by TV Guide Canada's soap columnist Nelson Branco (http://tvguide.sympatico.msn.ca/Soaps/Suds) that DAYS' head scribe had quit had set off an Internet firestorm.

The original post, which appeared in Branco's 7/23 "Suds Report" cited a setside source who revealed that Higley walked after a blowup with Co-Executive Producer Edward Scott. (Executive Producer Ken Corday was in New York on business when the alleged battle occurred.) The post was removed a couple of days later, with Branco indicating there was more to the story than he originally knew. He then posted another item that said a source close to Higley indicated that Scott, not Higley, had been rewriting story and dialogue and encouraging actors to do the same, which would bring the WGA into the mix. Furthermore, the report said Scott was angling to get Jack Smith, who served as head writer of Y&R when Scott produced there, to pen the show.

The multiple posts caused a furor on the Web, with viewers weighing in about the backstage drama. One actor, who hadn't been to work or on the Internet, was taken aback when a fan asked about Higley's exit in a supermarket. "I had no idea what was going on." says the star. "I was shocked."

Though the show wouldn't officially comment, here's what Digest has learned: One, talk of tension between Scott and Higley was apparently not exaggerated, "It's not a good situation there." says an insider. "They haven't clicked from the start." Two, at press time, Higley was still writing the show. Three, most people at the set are in the dark. "Nobody really knows anything, but there are lot of meetings taking place," says the source.

This is just the latest chapter in DAYS's recent writer troubles. Higley was ousted in 2003 after the network reportedly muscled Corday into hiring back former Head Writer 9and PASSIONS creator) James E Reilly. Reilly lasted for three years, and was replaced by ATWT's four-time Emmy winning scribe, Hogan Sheffer, in 2006, Sheffer lasted nearly two years before he was replaced by Higley after the writers' strike ended earlier this year. But sources believe Higley isn't going anywhere right now. "Ken is behind her," says one. Another adds, "It's business as usual here. Nobody's really giving [the situation] too much attention.
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