I think you are right, it's time to just "go there," and get the show some sort of notice again. The one thing that I have liked about Higley, is she has tried new stories, new couples, and it hasn't been the "same ol, same ol." However, nothing much happens, there really isn't a reason to watch, and yet DAYS
is still the one show that I think can get viewers back with some shock value. Three stories in the last 15 years have often been referred to, as to what brought them to the show: "Buried Alive, the Possession, and the Salem Serial Killer." What kind of story could bring new viewers to the show, because I think the days of getting old viewers back are long gone.
I'd love it if DAYS did a really compelling, realistic story for a change, but in an event. Nothing that warrants a major PSA or for the story to be written in a PSA style manner, but I think part of the problem with the show is that no one takes it seriously anymore because, one the ratings take a slight dip, they panic and undo the work of the previous story.
The show's biggest mistake was bringing all those people back from the dead in 2004 instead of killing them off permanently. I think everything(including Alice Horton's murder) was setting the show up for a major revamp and update, which would have pissed off the old guard, but would have kept the 18-49 they covet(much in the same way Marlena's Possession did in 1995).
If they do an attention grabber, Corday needs to stand behind his HW and EP and let them chart the course, no matter what. Tomlin and Whitesell are the kind of duo that can bring attention to a show. They're stunt driven, youth-oriented camp freaks, but they understand that kind of show and are loyal to the viewers that stick with them(and I love them for their efforts).
DAYS needs that kind of energy again. The fans need to feel like they can invest in a story without being told "gotcha" again. It's tedious.