With the soaps struggling in the ratings since the return post-pandemic, everything matters in the way the shows are presented.
Over the summer, “Days of our Lives” vet Melissa Reeves– who’s played Jennifer Horton on and off since the mid 1980s– went on social media and liked a Tweet by right winger Candace Owens denouncing Black Lives Matter. “Days” shoots far enough in advance that the uproar which followed died down somewhat. But even some of her castmates were furious with Reeves, a Born Again Christian who flies back and forth to Los Angeles from her home in Nashville.
But apparently, backstage the scandal never went quiet. And now, Reeves is out. She’s being replaced by Cady McClain, an Emmy winner from “All My Children” and “As the World Turns” who can act like crazy. (Reeves is no Meryl Streep.)
The company line is that Reeves didn’t want to fly during the pandemic, and that McClain’s stint is temporary. It’s a convenient excuse. Sony TV wouldn’t have hired a heavy hitter like McClain for short term work. As “Days” has resumed shooting, McClain will be front burner and full time. It won’t be long before she gets her groove and becomes an MVP on “Days.” Meantime, the show is indeed having trouble, as are the three other soaps. The most recent ratings have them off by 260,000 from last year at this time. A number of actors have been written off, and popular star Kristian Alfonso left the show when they tried to put her on a three month hiatus after 37 years.