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|Steve Frame||Aug 17 2008, 05:25 AM|
As I have read and talked to others in the last few weeks, the Cordays are loved by people on the set, but they tend to make decisions quickly - well at least Betty Corday and her son, Ken did. Ted never got to be producer long enough I guess, plus he had his co-creators Allan Chase and Irna Phillips still heavily involved in his time with the show. |
I know from some other sources and then some reading that Days has gone through so much backstage controversy over the years - probably more than any show in daytime history - at least legal controversy anyway.
All the way back to the 70's, first when William J. Bell and Betty Corday went to court - still not sure what all that was about. It ended up with Betty Corday getting part ownership of Y&R.
Then with the legal problems with Pat Falken Smith - not once but twice - when Corday fired her both times. She allowed Smith's replacements to use outlines and stuff that Smith had created and Smith carried her to court both times.
I know that the Hayes' evidently are still close to the Days family, but I have to wonder how the feathers that got ruffled back in 1984 with them ever got evened out - if they did. I know both Bill and Susan were very vocal about their firings to Soap Opera Digest. Betty Corday and Al Rabin were the execs at that time and they didn't even speak out on the firings - only Ken did. Bill and Susan did not like the directions of their characters at all and just reading between the lines I think that led to the firings - but also it was an age thing.
Here are a few details from that exit interview in Oct. 1984:
The last appearance for both was in mid March. Their contract at the time was for two guaranteed appearances and was due to expire April 85. NBC, Columbia and Corday Productions had the option to terminate sooner.They contacted the Hayes and said they wanted to renegotiate - giving them half the number of appearances and pay and no guarantee of a storyline. They felt that since 1980 they hadn't been given much on the show and that it was at it's worst when Hope was introduced played by Kristian Alfonso. They felt Doug & Julie were written as "the heavies of the Western world" becoming unpleasant to push Hope as the heroine. They discussed it with producers and writers. It was especially hard on Bill as he had raised 5 children and felt it was not in keeping with character. They stopped worrying about it and when it came to negotiations and they were offered more out time and vacation time, but their big request was for a story. They were told that there was very little chance of D&J ever having a story again.
Ken Corday is quoted;
"Basically,what happened with the upsurge of GH four years ago was, and I think it went hand in hand with the fact that more young people were watching in college and high school, that the producers got wise to it and started telling much younger stories. ABC was the first to get on the bandwagon with GH and AMC followed suit. We, in the last two and a half years, have really re-adjusted our storylines and brought in characters under 20. It's proven to be a great success to tell the young storylines as well as the storylines for those over 20, 30 etc."
He maintains that Doug & Julie's appearances were just as regular but the focus changed, becoming the focal touchstone for younger characters and taking on the matriach/patriach role, but they were not happy with that. He said the expansion of the show from 25-30 players, doing faster paced shows and 3 or 4 stories a week meant that their high guarantee wasn't feasible any longer.
Susan was very wise in what she said. I love her for it and it has so turned out to be true. She said that TV always imitates success but wonders if it will attract long term loyalty, as young viewers get jobs etc and are not steady viewers. What about the steady viewer who is more settled - not 8 years old but maybe 25? This is more the backbone of the show, she stated. She goes on to say that constantly creating a new hot couple means audiences end up with no-one to root for.
They talk about how much the show has meant to them and don't rule out a return if offered a 'good story'
Ken Corday said that the door is always open to return and right now they are testing the waters to see how Salem floats without them. There might come a time when either party might instigate a return.
I have always wondered why Rabin or Betty Corday who were the Execs at this time never went on record about the firings.
I agree with Tim that Days has always been the subject of controversy. The only thing that is different is that back then Days had the budget, the ratings, and still generally a good and respected reputation (not the producers and the like but the show itself had a reputation for quality). Today those things are just not there. Ratings are down for all of daytime. Ad revenues are not there. Days fans are too rabid and fickle. And sadly Days just has not had a good reputation for quality since JER was there the first time - not nescessarily quality but they have been more the joke of the industry since then and not taken seriously as they once were. All that and repeated controversies will make it harder for any network to want to pick it up at this point when NBC finally says they are done with it.
And I agree with others who say that Ken Corday is not the smartest businessman but you hear more and more of the cast who talk about him and even after he fires them or has problems with many of them they always want to come back.
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