'Days' Writing Team Axed
'Days' Writing Team Axed
The WGA strike is expected to come to an end in the coming days, but this has not stopped the execs over at NBC's Days of our Lives from firing its entire writing staff, comprised of Emmy Award winner Hogan Sheffer, Tom Casiello, Frederick Johnson, Meg Kelly, Gordon Rayfield, Judy Tate, Judith Donato, Renee Godelia and Richard Backus.

On Friday, February 1, the scribes were informed that their services were no longer needed.  Casiello believes their firings are the result of what was going on behind-the-scenes.

"I could probably launch into an essay about the inner workings of a television show… the secret cabals and the back alley strike deals that were made," Casiello wrote on his official MySpace.  "I could potentially try to analyze the whole situation, try and find out how a writing team that started out the year doing strong [in the ratings], then ended up in LAST PLACE [due to dictates from the higher-ups] then somehow managed to come back and end the year in 4th place in Households and 1st place in the 18 - 24 demographic were all summarily kicked out at once."

That said, Casiello went on to acknowledge various members of the Days of our Lives cast and crew, as well as avid followers of the show.  He also bid farewell to his co-writers, deeming them as the “most wonderful team” he has ever worked with, and singled out Sheffer, a “true friend mentor.”

“There wasn't one moment of paranoia, bitterness, anger, drama, jealousy - nothing but laughter and support and a genuine love for what we do. That's so rare to find around a writers' table in soaps these days… They were my heroes before I got the job, and they're my heroes after,” Casiello said.  "Hogan Sheffer is a gentleman, a scholar and a true friend and mentor.  Whether you liked what he did or hated it, I'm telling you - as a boss, you can't ask for anything more.  He is full of joy.  He is integrity.  He is the real deal.”

It is widely believed that Dena Higley, who returned to Days of our Lives during the strike, will be named the permanent head writer of the show when a strike settlement is finalized.  Higley had worked with the NBC soap until 2004, when she was hired to write for ABC's One Life to Live.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Tom Casiello Official MySpace, soapcentral.com  
(Image Courtesy of NBC)