Days of Our Lives (also often abbreviated to DOOL or Days), is an American daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday since November 8, 1965. It has since been syndicated to many countries around the world. It rebroadcast same-day episodes on SOAPnet weeknights at 8 and 10 p.m. (ET/PT) until the network's closure in 2013. The series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted Corday and Betty Corday. Irna Phillips was a story editor for Days of Our Lives and many of the show's earliest storylines were written by William J. Bell. In January 2014, the show was renewed through September 2016.
Due to the series' success, it was expanded from 30 minutes to 60 minutes on April 21, 1975. Since that date, the mid-show bumper, featuring the phrase "We will return for the second half of Days of Our Lives in just a moment", was aired with every episode and voiced by the series' original star, Macdonald Carey.
The series focuses on its core families, the Hortons and the Bradys. Several other families have been added to the cast, and many of them still appear on the show. Frances Reid, the matriarch of the series' Horton family remained with the show from its inception to her death on February 3, 2010. Suzanne Rogers celebrated 40 years on Days of Our Lives this year, appearing on the show more or less since her first appearance in 1973. Susan Seaforth Hayes is the only cast member to appear on Days of Our Lives in all six decades it has been on air.
Days of Our Lives aired its 10,000th episode on February 21, 2005 and its 12,000th episode aired on January 11, 2013. The show was given the title of most daring drama in the seventies due to covering topics other soaps would not dare to do. The show's executive producer is Ken Corday, and co-executive producers are Greg Meng and Lisa de Cazotte. Days of Our Lives is the most widely distributed soap opera in the United States. The original title sequence voiced by MacDonald Carey is still used to this day.
The show has been parodied by SCTV (as "The Days of the Week") and the television sitcom Friends. Some cast members made crossover appearances on the show, including Kristian Alfonso, Roark Critchlow, Matthew Ashford, Kyle Lowder, and Alison Sweeney. The show has high-profile fans such as actress Julia Roberts, and the late Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall.
The Cordays and Bell combined the "hospital soap" idea with the tradition of centering a series on a family, by making the show about a family of doctors, including one who worked in a mental hospital. Storylines in the show follow the lives of middle- and upper-class professionals in Salem, a middle-America town, with the usual threads of love, marriage, divorce, and family life, plus the medical storylines and character studies of individuals with psychological problems. Former executive producer Al Rabin took pride in the characters' passion, saying that the characters were not shy about "sharing what's in their gut."
Critics originally praised the show for its non-reliance on nostalgia (in contrast to shows such as As the World Turns) and its portrayal of "real American contemporary families." By the 1970s, critics deemed Days of Our Lives to be the most daring daytime drama, leading the way in using themes other shows of the period would not dare touch, such as artificial insemination and interracial romance. The January 12, 1976 cover of Time magazine featured Days of Our Lives' Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, the only daytime actors ever to appear on its cover. The Hayeses themselves were a couple whose on-screen and real-life romance (they met on the series in 1970 and married in 1974) was widely covered by both the soap opera magazines and the mainstream press.
In the 1990s, the show branched out into supernatural storylines, which critics immediately panned, as it was seen as a departure from more realistic storylines for which the show had originally become known. However, these storylines did have the desired effect, making Days of Our Lives the most-watched daytime soap among young and middle-aged women, also becoming one of NBC's five most profitable shows in any time slot. In 2006, when asked about his character, Jack Deveraux, "coming back from the dead"—for the third time—actor Matthew Ashford responded, "It is hard to play that because at a certain point it becomes too unreal...actors look at that and think, 'What is this — the Cartoon Network'?"
In addition to receiving critical acclaim in print journalism, the series has won a number of awards, including a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama in 1978 and 2013 and a Writers Guild of America, East Award for Best Drama in 2000 and 2013. Days of Our lives actors have also won awards: Macdonald Carey (Dr. Tom Horton) won Best Actor in 1974 and 1975. Susan Flannery (Laura Horton) and Eileen Davidson (Kristen DiMera) won Best Actress in 1975 and 2014, respectively. Suzanne Rogers (Maggie Horton), Leann Hunley (Anna DiMera), and Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali) won Best Supporting Actress for, respectively, 1979, 1986, and 2009 and Billy Warlock (Frankie Brady) won Best Younger Actor for 1988. In 2009, Darin Brooks (Max Brady) took home the Emmy for Best Younger Actor," and Tamara Braun (Ava Vitali) won for Best Supporting Actress, the show's first acting victories in over 21 and 23 years, respectively
As with all other network programming, Days of Our Lives' ratings have declined somewhat since the 1990s. In January 2007 it was suggested by NBC that the show "is unlikely to continue [on NBC] past 2009." In November 2008, in an eleventh-hour decision, it was announced the show had been renewed through September 2010. The 18-month renewal was down from its previous renewal, which was for five years. The show made somewhat of a comeback in 2009, with ratings increasing as the year progressed. In March 2010, the show was renewed once again through September 2011; then again on November 8, 2010, its 45th anniversary, the show was renewed for two more years through September 2013, with an option for an additional year which would keep the soap on through 2014, its 49th year on the air. The series received a two-year renewal in January 2014 that is set to last until September 2016. Beginning on November 8, 2010, which marked Days of Our Lives' 45th anniversary, the show began airing in high definition.
The show was officially "rebooted" on September 26, 2011, in an effort to gain back its lapsed audience, appeal to long-term loyal fans, begin new stories, and boost ratings. Former fan favorite characters were reintroduced as part of the reboot. These included Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford), Carrie Brady (Christie Clark), and Austin Reed (Patrick Muldoon). All three, including actress Sarah Brown, were fired from the show in an effort to lower production costs. The reboot was met with mixed reviews from critics. Head writers hired to handle the reboot, Marlene McPherson, and Darrell Ray Thomas Junior were subsequently fired due to declining ratings. Chris Whitesell, and former Days executive producer Gary Tomlin were rehired after being fired as part of the show's revamp. Daytime Emmy award winner Lorraine Broderick was hired as a member of the breakdown writing team in April 2012. Days of Our Lives is noted as the fourth longest running soap opera in the United States
When Days of Our Lives premiered in 1965, the show revolved around the tragedies and triumphs of the suburban Horton family. Over time, additional families were brought to the show to interact with the Hortons and serve as springboards for more dramatic storylines. Originally led by patriarch Dr. Tom Horton and his wife, homemaker Alice, the Hortons remain a prominent fixture in current continuity. One of the longest-running storylines involved the rape of Mickey Horton wife Laura by Mickey's brother Bill Horton. Laura confides in her father-in-law Dr. Tom, and the two agree that her husband Mickey should never know. The secret, involving the true parentage of Michael Horton (a product of the rape) and Mickey's subsequent health issues as a result of the revelation, spanned episodes from 1968 to 1975. The storyline was the first to bring the show to prominence, and put it near the top of the Nielsen daytime ratings. Another love triangle, between lounge singer Doug Williams, Tom and Alice's daughter Addie, and Addie's own daughter, Julie, proved to be very popular around the same time. The storyline culminated in the death of Addie in 1974 and the marriage of Doug and Julie in 1976.
In the early 1980s, the Brady and DiMerafamilies were introduced, and their rivalry quickly cemented their places as core families in Salem beside the Hortons. Around the same time, with the help of head writers Sheri Anderson, Thom Racina, and Leah Laiman, action/adventure storylines and supercouples such as Bo and Hope, Shane and Kimberly, and Patch and Kayla reinvigorated the show, previously focused primarily on the domestic troubles of the Hortons. Since the 1990s, with the introduction of writer James E. Reilly, Days of Our Lives has moved from traditional plots to some supernatural and science-fiction-themed stories, in conjunction with the rivalry of good vs. evil, in a Hatfield/McCoy feud style the Bradys versus the DiMeras. Under the tenure of Reilly, ratings rose to #2, and stayed there until he left in 1999 to start his own creation of Passions. Despite the introduction of new head writer Hogan Sheffer in 2006, ratings failed to revive, which led the show's producers to hire a few past fan favorites to stop the ratings hemorrhage.
Best-remembered stories In addition to the love triangles of Bill/Laura/Mickey and Addie/Doug/Julie, other memorable storylines include the 1968 story of amnesiac Tom Horton, Jr., who returns from Korea believing he is someone else and then proceeds to romance his younger sister Marie; the 20-year tragic love triangle when John Black steals Marlena Brady from her husband Roman; the 1982 "Salem Strangler" (Jake Kositchek, who was nicknamed "Jake the Ripper") who stalks and murders women; the 1984 Gone with the Wind storyline in which Hope Williams Brady and Bo Brady hide out on a Southern plantation and dress up as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler (devised to keep viewers tuned in while rival network ABC's soaps were preempted due to the 1984 Summer Olympics); and "The Cruise of Deception" in 1990, when madman Ernesto Toscano invites all his enemies aboard a ship, the S.S. Loretta, and holds them captive.
In 1992, the show received a reboot with additions such as refurbished sets, the debut of the Brady Pub, the addition of new characters such as Vivian Alamain, Lisanne Gardner, Billie Reed, and Kate Roberts. Later that same year, Days of Our Lives introduced its highly popular teen scene with new characters such as a SORASed Sami Brady, played by Alison Sweeney, Carrie Brady, played first by Andrea Barber, then Christie Clark, then Tracy Middendorf and then back to Christie Clark again, Austin Reed portrayed by Patrick Muldoon, Lucas Roberts played by Bryan Dattilo, Abe Carver's younger brother Jonah Carver, played by Thyme Lewis, Jamie Caldwell, played by Miriam Parish, and Wendy Reardon played by Tammy Townsend to appeal to younger viewers. However by 1997, the characters of Jonah, Jamie, and Wendy had been written out of the canvas, proving to be unsuccessful and the Carrie/Austin/Sami/Mike love triangle and the Will Horton paternity issue and later custody battle storyline taking most of the air time.
The shocking and ratings-grabbing 1993 plot when Vivian Alamain buried Dr. Carly Manning alive (the first controversial storyline from head writer Reilly); and the 1994–1995 storyline in which the town's Christmas tree burns down and Marlena becomes possessed in Exorcist fashion.
Also from 1993 to 1998, the soap saw a lot of actress Eileen Davidson. Her character, Kristen DiMera suffers a miscarriage in secret, and in a panic to keep John Black away from Marlena, pretends to still be pregnant with John's child. Stefano hires a doppelganger, Susan Banks to conceive and bear a child for her (which resulted in the birth of EJ "Elvis" DiMera). Eileen Davidson portrayed the entire Banks family clan, four in total (including one male), as well as her main character.
2003–2004's "Melaswen", saw several characters purportedly die at the hands of a masked psychopath; they are later revealed to have been kidnapped to the secret island of Melaswen (New Salem spelled backwards). 2007's "Brady's and DiMeras: The Reveal", told the story regarding how the Brady/DiMera feud started.
Past characters returned in June 2010 to honor the passing of matriarch Alice Horton, whose character died on June 23, 2010. On June 23, 2011, Days of Our Lives introduced Sonny Kiriakis, the show's first contract gay character onto the canvas to be featured in the show's first gay storyline. Freddie Smith (Sonny) said in an interview, "He’s very confident and mature, he’s traveled the world and is very open-minded. I’m very excited to portray him." Subsequent to Sonny's arrival, Will Horton investigates his own sexuality, and reveals himself to be gay. He later starts a romantic relationship with Sonny.
On January 26, 2012, episode 11765 was a tribute to soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and previous wars with a PTSD therapy group for Jack Deveraux to talk over his time held captive there. This was also when the inline Next On promos were discontinued in favor of an external weekly promo.
see also: Days of Our Lives Cast Members
When Days of Our Lives debuted the cast consisted of seven main characters (Tom Horton, Alice Horton, Mickey Horton, Marie Horton, Julie Olson, Tony Merritt, and Craig Merritt). When the show expanded to one-hour in April 1975, the cast increased to 27 actors. By the 25th anniversary in 1990, 40 actors appeared on the show in contract or recurring roles, which is the approximate number of actors the show has used since then.
Original cast member Frances Reid, who played Alice Horton, remained on contract with Days of Our Lives until her death on February 3, 2010, though she last appeared on the show in December 2007. Original cast member John Clarke, who played Mickey Horton, left the series in 2004. Suzanne Rogers, who plays Maggie Horton has been on the show since 1973, and Susan Seaforth Hayes has played Julie Olson Williams since 1968 with a few breaks in between, and also her husband Bill Hayes, who has played Doug Williams since 1970, though neither Seaforth Hayes or Hayes is employed with the serial on contract.
In recent years, Days of Our lives has hired back many former cast members. Twenty of the current contract cast members have been with the show, off-and-on, since at least 1999. Since 2005, cast members from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Christie Clark (Carrie Brady), Stephen Nichols (Steve Johnson), Austin Peck (Austin Reed), Mary Beth Evans (Kayla Brady Johnson), Joseph Mascolo (Stefano DiMera), and Thaao Penghlis (Tony DiMera) have been brought back to Days of Our Lives. More additions to the show include the returns of Crystal Chappell (Dr. Carly Manning), and Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain. In June 2010, characters such as Jennifer Horton, Bill Horton, Shane Donovan, and Kimberly Brady returned for a short time and were featured heavily in a tribute to Alice Horton. Guest cast members have included Elizabeth Alley. In late 2012, the show reintroduced actress Eileen Davidson in the role of Kristen DiMera after a fourteen-year absence. In mid 2013, the show debuted new characters such as JJ Deveraux and Theresa Donovan to appeal to younger viewers.
Executive producing and Head writing team
The co-creator and original executive producer, Ted Corday, was only at the helm for eight months before dying of cancer in 1966. His widow, Betty, was named executive producer upon his death. She continued in that role, with the help of H. Wesley Kenney and Al Rabin as supervising producers, before she semi-retired in 1985. When Mrs. Corday semi-retired in 1985, and later died in 1987, her son, Ken, became executive producer and took over the full-time, day-to-day running of the show, a title he still holds today. The series' current co-executive producers are Greg Meng and Lisa de Cazotte.
The first long-term head writer, William J. Bell, started writing for Days of Our Lives in 1966 and continued until 1975, a few years after he had created his own successful soap, The Young and the Restless. He stayed with the show as a storyline consultant until 1978. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, many writing changes occurred. In the early 1980s, Margaret DePriest helped stabilize the show with her serial killer storyline. Later head writers, such as Sheri Anderson, Thom Racina, and Leah Laiman, built on that stability and crafted storylines of their own, temporarily bringing up ratings. Many writing changes occurred after Laiman left the series in 1989 and would not become stable again until James E. Reilly started with the show in 1993. His tenure, which lasted for four-and-a-half years, was credited with bringing ratings up to the second place spot in the Nielsens. Other writers who succeeded him, such as Sally Sussman Morina and Tom Langan, failed to keep the ratings success, and another writer turnover continued until Reilly returned to the series in 2003.
Five-time Daytime Emmy winner Hogan Sheffer was named head writer with great fanfare in October 2006, but lasted less than 16 months with the show, with his last episode airing in January 2008. Former head writer Dena Higley's first episode aired on April 23, 2008. Her co-head writer was Christopher Whitesell until February 2011. On May 18, 2011, Dena Higley was fired. The new head writers were Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr.
In April 2012, it was confirmed that McPherson and Thomas Jr. were fired from their positions as co-head writers. Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell were hired for the position. It was later confirmed that former All My Children headwriter Lorraine Broderick would join Tomlin and Whitesell as a breakdown writer on the series.
Days of Our Lives won the Daytime Emmy Award in June 2012 for Outstanding Drama Writing Team and also won the Daytime Emmy Award in June 2013 for Outstanding Drama Series.
According to Variety, Days of Our Lives is the most widely distributed soap opera in the United States, with episodes not just broadcast via NBC, but also via cable (SOAPnet), and as of June 2007, episodes are offered via iTunes.
For the first three years on the air, Days of Our Lives was near the bottom of the Nielsen ratings, and close to cancellation. However, its ascent to the top was rapid; as the 1969 TV season ended, it became an effective tool of NBC, which attempted to dethrone daytime leader CBS. By 1973 the show, pitted against CBS' popular Guiding Light and ABC's The Newlywed Game at 2 p.m. (ET)/1 p.m. (CT),had matched the first-place ratings of As the World Turns and sister NBC soap Another World. Due to the success of the program, it expanded from a half hour to one hour on April 21, 1975. This expansion had followed the lead of Another World, which became TV's first-ever hour-long soap on January 6, three-and-a-half months earlier. Further, Days of Our Lives' new starting time of 1:30 p.m./12:30 finally solved a scheduling problem that began in 1968 when NBC lost the game Let's Make a Deal to ABC, and in its wake, eight different shows were placed into the slot (Hidden Faces, You're Putting Me On, Life with Linkletter, Words & Music, Memory Game, Three on a Match, Jeopardy!, and How to Survive a Marriage).
However, this first golden period for NBC daytime proved to be short-lived, as Days of Our Lives' ratings began to decline in 1977. Much of the decline was due to ABC's expansion of its increasingly popular soap All My Children to a full hour, the last half of which overlapped with the first half of Days of Our Lives By January 1979, the network, in a mode of desperation more than anything else, decided to jump headlong against AMC and moved the show ahead to the same 1:00 p.m./12 Noon time slot. In exchange to its affiliates for taking away the old half-hour access slot at 1:00/Noon, NBC gave them the 4 p.m./3 slot, which many (if not most) stations had been preempting for years anyway. By 1986, ABC and CBS followed suit, under the intense pressure of lucrative (and cheap) syndicated programming offered to affiliates.
By 1980, Days of Our Lives had displaced Another World as NBC's highest-rated soap. However, the entire NBC soap lineup was in ratings trouble. In fact, by 1982, all of its shows were rated above only one ABC soap (The Edge of Night) and below all four CBS soaps. The "supercouple" era of the 1980s, however, helped bring about a ratings revival, and the 1983–1984 season saw Days of Our Lives experience a surge in ratings. It held onto its strong numbers for most of the 1980s, only to decline again by 1990, eventually falling back into eighth place. In the mid-1990s, however, the show experienced a resurgence in popularity and the show reached number two in the ratings, where it remained for several years before experiencing another ratings decline beginning in 1999, the year that Days of Our Lives became NBC's longest-running daytime program (upon the cancellation of Another World). Throughout the 2000s (decade), Days of Our Lives and all the other remaining network daytime serials have witnessed a steady erosion of viewers, mainly due to vastly altered viewing habits induced by cable networks and alternative genres such as reality and talk shows on minor network affiliates.
On January 17, 2007, NBC Universal Television president Jeff Zucker remarked that Days of Our Lives would most likely not "continue past 2009." This contributed to an immediate ratings decline for Days of Our Lives. The show was averaging a 2.4 rating prior to the announcement, dropped to a 2.2 average household rating in the months after. In an April 2007 interview with Soap Opera Digest, executive producer Ken Corday commented on the ratings decline of the previous months, "If I don't pay attention to the ratings and what the viewers are saying, I'm an ostrich. I have not seen a decline in the ratings on the show this precipitous — ever. I've never seen this much of a percentage decline."
Days of Our Lives had finished the 2008-2009 television season with substantial increases in viewers (3.0 million vs. 2.8 million) and has risen to the #3 spot behind The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, respectively. It was the #2 daytime program behind The Young and the Restless in the much coveted 18-49 demographic. During the first few months of the 2009-2010 season, Days of Our Lives increased its average household rating to 2.4, and averaged consistently over 3,000,000 viewers. It was only one point behind the #2 daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, and has beat that soap on several days during the season. In 2010, Days of Our Lives continued to increase viewership, reaching as high as 3.6 million viewers on several days. A substantial increase in viewership such as Days of Our Lives has had lately also bucks the viewership trend in daytime dramas, which had declined since the 1990s for all other daytime drama series. Days of Our Lives was the only daytime drama series to increase in viewers between 2008 and 2010 and had reduced its operating budget, making it a profitable asset to NBC's broadcast line-up.
However starting in 2011, Days of Our Lives started to lose ground significantly to the point that it sometimes occupied the last position among all soaps for both total viewership and the 18-49 women demographic. The ending of All My Children on ABC combined with the return of several cast members allowed a brief resurgence of Days of Our Lives in October 2011, but ratings soon declined again. In December 2011, Days of Our Lives recorded three consecutive weeks of new lows in the 18-49 women key demo category.,and again another consecutive three weeks of low ratings in the same demographic during March–April 2012.
As of 2012, Days of Our Lives generally ranks #3 among the four daytime soap operas on the air when it comes to the total number of viewers (surpassing only General Hospital). However, Days of Our Lives is last among all soap operas for the numbers of viewers in the targeted demographic of women aged between 18 and 49 years old.
Local scheduling variations
Since January 1993 after the cancellation of Santa Barbara, WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh airs Days weekdays during its 3:00 p.m. timeslot while some stations such as WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pennsylvania air the program during the 2:00 p.m. timeslot, but most stations continue to air Days at its 1 p.m. timeslot.
However, the program has received schedule and station shifts with the start of the 2013-14 television season. One NBC station, KSNV-DT in Las Vegas, stopped carrying the show on August 19, 2013 due to a long-term move to an all-news schedule outside of network news and primetime programming; the program moved to the market's CW affiliate KVCW, where it airs at its traditional 1:00 p.m. timeslot. With the cancellation of Passions, Days is now NBC's last remaining daytime soap opera.Salt Lake City's KSL-TV moved the show to the late night 1:05 a.m. slot three weeks later on September 9 for unknown reasons, though a romantic plotline between two gay characters was theorized as a reason for the move; the station is owned by the broadcasting arm of the LDS Church.
Throughout Canada, Days of Order Lives currently airs at 1:00 pm on Global Television Network. Episodes are aired in sync with the NBC broadcast to take advantage of simultaneous substitution regulations.
In Barbados the show is very popular, though it runs several years behind the U.S. (the series began in Barbados in 1980 from the very first episode), and is aired on the island's lone television broadcaster, CBC TV 8. Viewing time is 6 pm weekdays.
Belize's Tropical Vision Limited features Days of Our Lives as an afternoon staple. Currently it airs at 3:00 pm UTC-6 Central Time, though it previously aired as early as 1:00 pm or as late as 5:30 pm as a lead-in to the news.
In Australia, Days of Our Lives was initially broadcast on the Nine Network from March 25, 1968 through until April 26, 2013, when the network axed the show based on a commercial decision. During its run on the Nine Network in the early 2000s, episodes ended up being nearly five years behind the United States, due to the network's coverage of cricket each summer.]In an attempt to get viewers up to date with the US, Nine aired a one-hour special on September 13, 2004 titled, Days of Our Lives: A New Day, which summarized four years of storylines and caused mixed feelings among regular viewers. This special was followed by episodes airing at the same pace as the US. However, the show ended up being behind the US again, and by April 2013, episodes were airing at a delay of 16 months. On June 17, 2013, Days of Our Lives resumed to Australian viewers free and on-demand at Crackle.com, as well as across Crackle's web apps on mobile devices, connected TVs and game consoles. Crackle picked up where the Nine Network left off with 10 new episodes in its first week and seven new episodes every Monday thereafter. From January 20, 2014, Crackle began releasing five episodes each week. As of May 9, 2014, Australian free-to-air Crackle viewers are up to episode 12,040.
Days of Our Lives returned to Australian television on Foxtel in April 2014. It airs weekdays after The Young and the Restless on Arena at 12:55 pm AEST. In order to bring TV viewers up to date, Arena screened ten catch up episodes, each presented by Days of Our Lives cast members, from April 1 to April 14, 2014, featuring key story lines missed during the 11-month Australian television hiatus. Then on April 15, 2014, Arena began airing episodes at the same pace as the US. Arena also re-airs the last five aired episodes shown as an omnibus catch up edition each Sunday around 7:00 am AEST.
New Zealand has aired Days of Our Lives along with The Young and the Restless since 1975, debuting on Television New Zealand (TVNZ). Originally airing weekdays on TV2 was shifted to TV One in 2003, where it was put in a 2pm time slot. The soap was approximately five seasons behind the NBC season due to being preempted by holiday and sporting programming. During October 2009, TVNZ announced that they were ending their exclusive contract with Sony Pictures. Despite a national petition from fans Days of Our Lives ended on May 19, 2010. On February 27, 2013, nearly three years the series' final broadcast on TVNZ, ChoiceTV announced their decision to pick up the series; the series began broadcasting on March 11, 2013, weekdays at 1:30pm. Broadcasting began with the series' 46th season (2011–12), meaning the show would be only 18 months behind the current NBC season in the US. ChoiceTV also re-airs the last five aired episodes shown as an omnibus catch up edition each Sunday, beginning at 9 AM NZST, when due to government broadcasting restrictions are shown without advertisements. By December 20, 2013, ChoiceTV had removed the show from their schedule for summer hiatus. However, the series resumed airing on February 10, 2014 from episode 11,880. As of April 25, 2014, New Zealand viewers are up to episode 11,933, as ChoiceTV decides on if they will renew the show.
Days of Our Lives also airs in a number of countries across Europe, premiering in Turkey on October 8, 1990, France on July 29, 1991, and since July 1998 after the end of Loving diffusion on France 2 (currently 6 years behind the U.S.), Germany on September 6, 1993, Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 1997 (currently four years behind the U.S.), Finland on August 11, 2003 (two years behind the U.S.), and Hungary on June 14, 2004. Channel 5 aired episodes of Days of our Lives in the United Kingdom from March 2000 to April 2001, eventually pulling it off the air; network executives deemed its audience of 200,000 viewers as too low a figure. Days had previously aired in the United Kingdom and Ireland on the Sky Soap channel between 1994 and 1999; episodes were three years behind U.S. telecasts. Days of Our Lives became available to viewers again in the United Kingdom in 2007 - to 2010; CBS Drama ended the run after relegating the show from daytime to 1.00am.
In Italy Days of Our Lives aired for only three months in 1985 on Rete A with the title Passano gli anni, passano i giorni; in 1992 Italia 7 started to air Days of Our Lives with a new title, Il tempo della nostra vita, and new episodes, five years behind U.S. telecasts. In 1993, after 260 episodes, the show was cancelled.
In Greece the show aired from 1994 to 1996 on Mega Channel (focusing on the Cruise of Deception storyline), 1997-2000 on Star Channel (broadcasting the 1992-1995 Reily era), and 2005-2006 on NET (with the first 320 episodes of the Salem Stalker/Melaswen storyline). On February 2011 the show continued on ET1 in a late night zone.
In Belgium, the show airs on vijf TV and they're airing episodes of 2009. They're 3 years behind.
In South Africa the soap aired on SABC 1 1996 - March 2006. Weekdays 17:10 - 18:00. From April 2005 it airs on SABC 3. each weekday from 17:00 to 17:50. Episodes are currently 3 years behind that of the USA. In 2017 the soap moved to rival channel eTV airing weekdays at 17:30. From 12 July 2019, eTV moved the soap to 16:30 weekdays.
In the Middle East and the Arab World, Days of Our Lives aired on MBC2 before moving to MBC4, with episodes 5 years behind the U.S.
Opening title sequences and theme song
Almost unmodified since the show's debut in 1965, the title sequence of Days of Our Lives features an hourglass, with sand slowly trickling to the bottom against the backdrop of a partly cloudy sky, as well as the trademark voiceover, "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives." From the show's debut in 1965 until March 1966, announcer Ed Prentiss spoke the phrase, adding "Days of Our Lives, a new dramatic serial starring Macdonald Carey." Since April 1966, the voice has been that of Macdonald Carey, who played Dr. Tom Horton from the show's premiere until the actor's 1994 death from lung cancer. From 1966 to 1994, he would add "This is Macdonald Carey, and these are the Days of Our Lives." After Carey's death in 1994, this second part was removed out of respect for Carey and his family
The theme that regularly accompanies each sequence was composed by Charles Albertine, Tommy Boyce, and Bobby Hart. The theme has only been modified a few times since Days of Our Lives premiered: in 1972, in 1993, when the opening titles were changed to computerized visuals (designed by Wayne Fitzgerald and Judy Loren), and in 2004, with an orchestral arrangement that was only used in eight episodes, after which time the theme was reverted to the 1993 arrangement. In 2009, the longtime 1993 version was retired and shortened. Beginning with the November 8, 2010 episode, there were slight changes to the coloring of the sky background in the sequence now being displayed in 16:9 widescreen. However, there was very little change in the sequence's appearance from the 1993 version
SCTV had a recurring soap opera sketch called "Days of the Week" which featured Martin Short and Andrea Martin.
Days_of_Our_Lives of Our Lives was somewhat satirized (or perhaps merely referenced) on the hit NBC sitcom Friends when series regular Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) was cast as "Dr. Drake Ramoray" on the show, despite Joey living in New York when Days of Our Lives is shot in California. Subsequent episodes featured pseudo-Days of Our Lives storylines invented for the sitcom, and included some guest appearances by real-life cast members from the soap opera. Joey's stint on the show ended when he angered the show's writers; his character was killed after falling down an elevator shaft. Later, his character was brought back to life thanks to a brain transplant from the character Jessica Lockhart, played by Susan Sarandon. Alison Sweeney (Sami Brady) appeared on Friends as faux Days character "Jessica Ashley," Kristian Alfonso as Hope Brady, and Roark Critchlow as Mike Horton. In an episode in which Joey hosts a "soap opera party" on the roof, Matthew Ashford and Kyle Lowder make appearances as his co-stars. In the spin-off sitcom Joey, Joey is nominated for "best death scene" after his character is stabbed while performing surgery. The show was also parodied as "Light of our Love", or "LOOL", in the Nancy Drew video game Stay Tuned for Danger.
The Simpsons episode "Pygmoelion" features a fictional soap opera, "It Never Ends", based on Days of Our Lives.
Days of our Mornings is a long-running radio parody, broadcast weekday mornings on 5FM in South Africa.
The Fairly Oddparents episode "Add A Dad" features a parody name as "Dads of our Lives".
The show has had many high-profile fans. In 1976, TIME magazine reported that then-Justice of the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall, would call a recess around the 1 p.m. hour to watch Days of Our Lives. Actress Julia Roberts admitted at the 2002 People's Choice Awards that she was a fan of Days of Our Lives, asked to be seated near the cast, and upon winning her award stated, "I'm very nervous because the cast of Days of Our Lives is here." In 2004, during the show's Melaswen storyline, Roberts' interest was considered notable enough that Entertainment Weekly quoted her saying that "the show has gotten a little wacko." A 1998 TIME article mentioned that Monica Lewinsky was a passionate fan of Days of Our Lives, so much so that she wrote a poem about the series in her high school yearbook. The article compared her whirlwind experiences in the White House to a story on Days of Our Lives. Best-selling novelist Brian Keene has stated in interviews that he has watched the show since 1983, and pauses from writing each day during the hour it is on.
Daytime Emmy Awards
• Drama Series in 2013 and 1978 • Lead Actor for Macdonald Carey as Tom Horton in 1974 and 1975 Drama Series in 2013 and 1978. Lead Actress for Eileen Davidson as Kristen DiMera in 2014 and Susan Flannery as Laura Horton in 1975. Supporting Actor for Eric Martsolf as Brady Black in 2014. Supporting Actress for Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali in 2009, Leann Hunley as Anna DiMera in 1986, and Suzanne Rogers as Maggie Horton in 1979. Younger Actor for Chandler Massey as Will Horton in 2012, 2013 and 2014, Darin Brooks as Max Brady in 2009 and Billy Warlock as Frankie Brady in 1988. Cameo Appearance for Hugh McPhillips as Hugh Pearson in 1980. Lifetime Achievement in 2004 for John Clarke as Mickey Horton and Frances Reid as Alice Horton.
Young Artist Association members Leading Young Actress for Kirsten Storms as Belle Black in 2002 Young Performer for Collin O'Donnell as Shawn-Douglas Brady in 1998 Young Actor for Scott Groff as Shawn-Douglas Brady in 1992 and Michael Bays as Julio Ramirez in 1989. Young Actress for Aimee Brooks as Sarah Horton in 1991 Recurring Young Actress for Jillian Clare as Abigail Devereaux in 2005 and 2004 Juvenile Actor for Meegan King as Pete Curtis in 1980 Juvenile Actress for Tracy E. Bregman as Donna Temple Craig in 1980
Soap Opera Digest readers Outstanding Daytime Serial/Soap in 1992, 1991, 1989, 1988 and 1986 til 1984 Lead Actor for Robert Kelker-Kelly as Bo Brady in 1994, Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in 1988, John Aniston as Victor Kiriakis in 1986, Peter Reckell as Bo Brady in 1984 and 1985, Jed Allan as Don Craig in 1979 and 1978 and Bill Hayes as Doug Williams in 1977 Lead Actress for Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans in 1995 and 1985 til 1983, Patsy Pease as Kimberly Brady in 1986 and Susan Seaforth Hayes as Julie Olson Williams in 1977 Supporting Actor for John Aniston as Victor Kiriakis in 2001, Richard Biggs as Marcus Hunter in 1993, Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in 1986 and John de Lancie as Eugene Bradford in 1985 and 1984 Supporting Actress for Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady in 2005, Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain in 1996, Deborah Adair as Kate Roberts in 1994, Joy Garrett as Jo Johnson in 1989, Arleen Sorkin as Calliope Jones in 1985 and Lisa Trusel as Melissa Horton in 1984 Younger Lead Actor for Kyle Lowder as Brady Black in 2003 and Peter Reckell as Bo Brady in 1986 til 1984 Younger Lead Actress for Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady in 2001 Mature Actor for Macdonald Carey as Tom Horton in 1985 and 1984 Mature Actress for Frances Reid as Alice Horton in 1985 and 1984 Child/Youth Actor for Jason Cook as Shawn-Douglas Brady in 2001, Scott Groff as Shawn-Douglas Brady in 1994 and Brian Autenrieth as Zachary Parker in 1985 Child/Youth Actress for Kirsten Storms as Belle Black in 2001 and Andrea Barber as Carrie Brady in 1985 and 1984 Male Newcomer for Jensen Ackles as Eric Brady in 1998, Patrick Muldoon as Austin Reed in 1994 and Charles Shaughnessy as Shane Donovan in 1985 Female Newcomer for Patrika Darbo as Nancy Wesley in 1999, Lisa Rinna as Billie Reed in 1994, Arleen Sorkin as Calliope Jones in 1985 and Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams-Brady in 1984 Female Scene Stealer for Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain in 1999 and 1995 Female Showstopper for Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain in 1997 Villain for Joseph Mascolo as Stefano DiMera in 1997, 1985 and 1984, Jason Brooks as Peter Blake in 1995, Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux in 1989 and John Aniston as Victor Kiriakis in 1986 Villainess for Arianne Zucker as Nicole Walker in 2001, Alison Sweeney as Samantha Brady in 1999, 1998 and 1996, Louise Sorel as Vivian Alamain in 1994, Jane Elliot as Anjelica Deveraux in 1990 and Miranda Wilson as Megan Hathaway in 1985 Comic Performance for Matthew Ashford as Jack Devereaux in 1993, Robert Mailhouse as Brian Scofield in 1992, Michael T. Weiss as Dr. Mike Horton in 1988 and Arleen Sorkin as Calliope Jones in 1986 Super Couple for Melissa Reeves as Jennifer Horton and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux in 1991 Hero for Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in 1989 Contribution for Deidre Hall as Dr. Marlena Evans in 1986
Favorite Show/Soap Opera in 2001, 1996 til 1993 and 1979 til 1977 Mature Actor for Macdonald Carey as Dr. Tom Horton in 1979 and 1978 Mature Actress for Frances Reid as Alice Horton in 1979 and 1978 Villain for Quinn K. Redeker as Alex Marshall in 1984 Storyline for the "Baby Switch" storyline in 2001 and the "Who Fathered Marlena's Baby?" storyline in 1994 Couple for Deidre Hall as Dr. Marlena Evans and Drake Hogestyn as John Black in 2005, Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams and Peter Reckell as Bo Brady in 2003 and 2001 New Couple for Alison Sweeney as Samantha Brady and Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Horton in 2005 Return for Judi Evans as Adrienne Johnson in 2005 Super Couple for Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady and Stephen Nichols as Steve Johnson in 1989 and Patsy Pease as Kimberly Brady and Charles Shaughnessy as Shane Donovan in 1988 and 1986
Hottest Male Star for Peter Reckell as Bo Brady in 1996 and Drake Hogestyn as John Black in 1995 and 1994 Female Star for Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams in 1999, Melissa Reeves as Jennifer Horton in 1994 and Crystal Chappell as Dr. Carly Manning in 1993 Romance for Christie Clark as Carrie Brady and Austin Peck as Austin Reed in 1997 Soap Couple for Lisa Rinna as Billie Reed and Robert Kelker-Kelly as Bo Brady in 1995
Exciting New Actor for Michael Leon as Pete Jannings in 1984 and Josh Taylor as Chris Kositchek in 1978 New Actress for Kristian Alfonso as Hope Williams in 1984, Tracy E. Bregman as Donna Temple Craig in 1979 and Andrea Hall as Samantha Evans in 1978
Best Love Story for Melissa Reeves as Jennifer Horton and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux in 1992 Wedding for Melissa Reeves as Jennifer Horton and Matthew Ashford as Jack Deveraux in 1992
Soap.com readers Best Drama Series in 2014 Writing Team in 2014 Lead Actress for Arianne Zucker as Nicole Walker/DiMera in 2014 and 2011 and Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady/DiMera in 2010 and 2008 Supporting Actor for Eric Martsolf as Brady Black in 2014, Matthew Ashford as Jack Devereaux in 2012, James Scott as EJ DiMera/Santo DiMera in 2008 and Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Roberts in 2007 Supporting Actress for Arianne Zucker as Nicole Walker in 2013 and Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady-Roberts in 2007 Younger Actor for Chandler Massey as Will Horton in 2014 and 2013 and Blake Berris as Nick Fallon in 2009 Younger Actress for Shelley Henning as Stephanie Johnson in 2012, Molly Burnett as Melanie Brady in 2010, and Rachel Melvin as Chelsea Brady in 2009 and 2008 On-screen Couple for Drake Hogestyn as John Black and Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans in 2008 Dressed for Nadia Bjorlin as Chloe Lane Jonas in 2011 Heroine for Kristian Alfonso as Hope Brady in 2007 Fight for Jay Kenneth Johnson as Phillip Kiriakis and Brandon Beemer as Shawn Brady in 2007 Love Scene for Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Roberts and Alison Sweeney as Sami Brady-Roberts in 2007 Storyline for Death of Zack Brady and the Aftermath in 2007 Fantasy Boyfriend for James Scott as EJ Wells in 2007
Hottest Actor for James Scott as EJ DiMera/Santo DiMera/Wells in 2008 and 2007
Most Annoying Character for Bryan Dattilo as Lucas Horton in 2008 and Annie Burgstede as Willow Stark in 2007
Worst Dressed for Crystal Chappell as Carly Manning in 2011
Writing and direction wins
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team in 2012 and 1976. Best Individual Director for a Drama Series for Wes Kenney in 1974.
Union members Writer's Guild of America "Best Television Writing in Daytime Serials/Drama" in 2000 and 2014 Director's Guild of America "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Daytime Serials" in 1999 [for Episode #8557]
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members Live & Direct to Tape Sound Mixing for a Drama Series in 2013 and 1974 Stunt Coordination in 2013 and 2012 Makeup for a Drama Series in 2012, 1997, 1992, 1991 and 1988 Hairstyling for a Drama Series in 2008, 1999, 1997, 1995 and 1988 Multiple Camera Editing for a Drama Series in 2007 and 2004 (TIED with One Life to Live) Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for a Drama Series in 1997 (TIED with The Young and the Restless) Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series in 1997 and 1990 Costume Design for a Drama Series in 1988
Soap Opera Digest readers Musical Achievement in 1994 Favorite Song for the "One Dream" song in 1993
Notable organizations Environmental Media Association, USA "Daytime TV" in 1991 [for Episode #6322] GLAAD Media "Outstanding Daily Drama" in 2014, 2013 and 2012 People's Choice public voting USA "Favorite Daytime Dramatic Television Series" in 2003, 2002, 1998 and 1997
Entertainment Industries Council PRISM "TV Daytime Drama Series Episode or Storyline" in 2001 for the "Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" storyline "TV Daytime Drama Series Continuing Storyline" in 1999 for "Lucas and Maggie"
TV Guide "Favorite Soap Opera" in 2000 and 1999