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I would get the writers together to lay out interesting stories first. I'd go back to the 80s where they had actual stories like Miami, Stockholm, Orpheus, etc.

Once they know the stories that they want to tell, then they need to figure out how to lead into them with the vets and pace them to introduce new characters (good and bad) and develop the ones they have.

I'd bring bring back Eric Brady and Andrew Donovon as partners in the ISA. Jeannie Donovan as well. I'd bring back Mike Horton and make the hospital part of the story again. When someone gets hurt, you need a good doctor you can depend on. I'd bring Melissa (divorced) and Sarah Horton back. I'd have Melissa working with young people and give Sarah a job in an office for a new 'questionable' businessman that Andrew and Eric are investigating. Sarah and Andrew could be an interesting couple, but let the story and chemistry lead, not force a relationship that isn't there.

I'd love to see Eric and Nicole at odds. He did love her. I'd love it if they have a long complicated back and forth relationship where Nicole and he both realize true love and eventually she redeems herself and earns his love. I think of all that Kim went thru with Shane, Patch went thru for Kayla, etc. I'd love for them to be friends no matter what (like John and Marlena), then lead to love if the story naturally evolves there. If Nicole and Eric don't work, Melissa might or Melissa could gel with Brady.

I'd have Will and Sonny be involved in younger stories, starting their careers, dealing with the workplace, making mistakes but growing and maturing. I might sora-ize Ciara, Joe, and Theo to this group. I'd add a young troublemaker like a Julie or Eve to this group to cause mischief and mayhem. :)

And along with the stories, I'd like the strong friendships and relationships that make me care and enjoy watching day to day. The laughs (like Eugene and Calliope) and the tears (like Isabella's death), and the intrigue and soap evil (like Angelica Devereaux and Vivianne Alamain) and the strong family support that Alice typified to make Salem feel like family. Hope, Justin, John, Marlena, Shane would be the infrastructure and still have great story moments, but be a part of the bigger picture. Mike and Kayla could have new stories to tell. Bo could eventually come back with a story that engages everyone as could Phillip. My focus would be on the 30s-40s, but all age groups would be well-represented.
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