Home > Interviews > Deidre Hall & Drake Hogestyn tease their return to Salem and the revamped DAYS 2.0.

Deidre Hall & Drake Hogestyn tease their return to Salem and the revamped DAYS 2.0.

by Jim on August 2, 2011 · 66 comments

Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn on the red carpet last night at the SLS Hotel.

@NBCDays  While the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour continues to roll on, last night was the extravagant NBC party at the SLS Hotel in West Hollywood where stars from all the NBC series (including E!, Bravo, USA, Oxygen, MSNBC and more) mingled with the press to chat about their respective series and upcoming new seasons.

Of course, I had my eagle eye out for cast members from NBC’s long-running daytime serial Days Of Our Lives and who ended up being there but the soon-to-return Deidre Hall (Marlena) and Drake Hogestyn (John Black). (I hoped some of the other returning cast members – Patrick Muldoon, Matthew Ashford and Christie Clark  I grabbed some one-on-one time with them and, as you can see, had to get a picture with them to talk about how they ended up back on the show and exactly how John and Marlena return to Salem. [My quick chat with Galen Gering can be found RIGHT HERE.)

Jim Halterman:  As I’m sure you hear all the time, I’ve watched the show since I was kid…

Drake Hogestyn: And why did you start watching?

Jim: Because my mother watched it and I got hooked when I was 10 years old!

Drake: This is what we were just talking about. Over the years, Days has tried different things to get younger demographics. Some work, some don’t work but one thing I know is they’re bringing back characters like John and Marlena and part of the audience for whatever reason is going to turn that TV set back on and as long as that TV set is on, younger eyeballs are going to come into the room and go, ‘What are you watching? What are you watching?’ That is the best way to get the younger demographic nowadays and that’s what NBC is doing.

Yours truly with Drake & Deidre

Jim: Have you kept up with the show while you’ve been away? If so, what do you think about the last few years?

Deidre Hall: I haven’t kept up so I can’t speak about that but I know that when Greg Meng talked about me coming back there were a lot of things that had to be done right before that could happen. and I wrote a book called Deidre Hall’s Kitchen Closeup and was on a book tour with Greg, who was promoting his Days of Our Lives book (Days Of Our Lives: 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos). He ended up saying ‘When are you coming back to the show?’ I said, ‘I don’t have any plans to come back.’ He said ‘We’d like you to’ and we all smiled and that’s how that went. Then later he asked ‘What would it take to get you back?’ And I said, ‘Well, it would take being invited.’ Greg turned to me and said ‘You’re invited.’ That’s when it began in that moment. Greg has that integrity, I think, and I thought ‘I think he’s not kidding!’ The changes he has made were profound. He’s changed Executive Producers, himself and Noel Maxam – dream team! He’s got two new writers who have written for us before and now combine all those talents that believe in the same code of Days, which is core family values, high drama, love and romance and away from the science fiction stuff we’ve been getting into later. It’s Days 2.0 and it’s what you came to love many, many years ago and they’ll come back and see it again.

High drama is in store when Marlena & John return next month on DAYS.

Drake: I also did the book tour with Greg and he’s really hands-on and he’s been involved for a very long time and when it got down to the point where he actually called and said ‘I think it’s time to talk’ and all of a sudden things happened really fast. The old writing team was out, the old producing team was out. I said ‘Greg, are you our new showrunner?’ and I thought who else could step into this position? I said to my wife that Greg Mentz and Noel Maxam would be a perfect marriage. When I heard that and then bringing back writers Marlene McPherson and Darrel Ray Thomas, it would take us back to the 90s when we were at the top of the game. They really know the show so this has been a dream come true.

Jim: Can you tell me how John and Marlena come back?

Deidre: There’s a big event and we have a brand new set that’s been designed for the show. It’s the new Town Square and so we come back essentially to help dedicate the Square. We also come back because there are some little problems in Salem that we’ve gotten dragged into and we hit the ground running. We’re at that party and people come, people go and it’s high drama for five solid days.

Drake: Then the set they built, it’s the whole width of NBC and it’s called The Horton Center and it’s got a plethora of stores all around and it will be the inside/outside type of set where you can go inside different doors and you can turn things around. It will be ideal. As far as the character John Black, he is recovering from when he left the show. He intercepted the toxic needle that was meant for Doc (Marlena) from the evil psychiatrist and John is just starting to gain his strength and, at the same, there’s an event where the authorities are waiting for him to reach American soil. This storyline is an umbrella storyline which because of that event, it’s going to encompass all the core members of the show in a way where everyone is going tro be a little bit of odds with each other so it’s going to take a lot of strength in the couple…when she says we hit the ground running, everybody all of a sudden, everybody’s life suddenly changes and the show is going in a whole new direction.

Deidre: Everybody has a point of view, everyone is equally invested in that point of view and it’s reality-based.

Jim: And John and Marlena are together, right?

Drake: They are together.

Deidre: Yes they are!

Jim: That’s what I needed to hear. I can’t wait!!

Days Of Our Lives airs every weekday on NBC. For more on Days check www.nbc.com/days.

{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Nancy Mineo August 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

I would love to see John & Marlena return to the show, no matter what the story line, I am sure that they will fit right back in where they belong. Sami really needs her Mom at this time and Brady Black needs Dad to set him straight. Can’t wait for their return, as I have watched the show since the beginning right through to my current Golden Years….

mikesangel August 4, 2011 at 11:10 am

I have also watched Days since I was a kid with my Mom. Now I DVR it and listen to it every morning while I get ready for work. I actually know the voices that well that I don’t even need to see the screen to keep up with what is going on in Salem. I miss hearing John’s voice, and I would also love to see Shawn and Bell return with their kids too. I’m not a fan of adding in the gay character to the show just because every other show is doing it, I think it’s been overdone by every other show on prime time television. Other than that, keep up the good work! Really enjoyed the evil Rafe and Sammi dinamic, more Rafe is a good thing!

Linda August 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

OMG can’t wait……….oxoxoxooxoxoxoox

Linda August 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I have been watching DAYS from day 1…do not miss and episode!!

Janet Young August 4, 2011 at 10:30 pm

I am so gald to hear that Marlene and John are coming back to Days of our Lives in Sept. The show is not the same without them. I have been watching Days of our Lives from the begining when it started back in 1965. Now that the other people are coming back to Days I hope that the storyline will get better, so people like me will watch for a long time. Please try not to cancelled it because I love Days of or Live and all of the people in it.

Janet Young

Sylvia Black August 5, 2011 at 11:55 am

I have been watching the show since the 60′s when it was a half hour show. Watch every single day and love to hear John and Marlena are coming back. Getting tired of the Kireakis – DeMeara story line. Loved the Rafe/Sammi line. Please don’t cancel the show.!!!!

donna August 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm

i am so happy to see one of my favorite couples back on days been watching since 1970 and havent missed one day and i would love to see more of our favorite couples back on days like steve and kayla i was so happy to have them back on than they were gone again keep the great couples comming back please don’t cancel days best day time soap ever

Sue August 6, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for interviewing Days Of Our Lives stars! This sounds so good, I can’t wait till Sept 26.

Nancy Cooper August 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

so excited to hear about the return of John & Marlena, the chemistry between them is amazing, I’ve been watching over 40 years and love the show. I’d love to see more of Doug and Julie, they’re one of the originals, lets see more of a storyline for them.

Susie Anderson August 13, 2011 at 11:22 am

So good to hear about John and Marlena coming back.. I started watching days when I was I8 in 1965. My grandmother got me hooked on it.

Karen McKenzie August 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I started watching days in 1965 when there wasnt a vcr or I colnt afford one so on the days I worked I had my Mom watch it and tell me what happened then she got hooked on it when my son married I was at his house his wife at hte time had days on he said oh no I cant get away from it his motherinlaw also watched it now my husband watches it one of my grandaughters watches it sometimes

Karen McKenzie August 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Iam so happy to have John and Marlena back

LUMILY August 15, 2011 at 2:18 am

I am so very happy John and Marlina are coming home to Days,
Now may we have Bryan Dattilo/Lucas Horton back home with his kids and family and fans to stay forever,thank you Joanne :)

Darlene August 15, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I saw John And Marlana when I lived in Ms., and they were awesome and they belong together, I am very excited that will be back, thank you.

Valerie August 17, 2011 at 9:00 am

Omg im so happy for there return can’t wait…. There the best!..

Valerie August 17, 2011 at 9:14 am

Omg im so happy for there return can’t wait…. There the best!..
Wish Jennifer and jack were back together !… And you would bring back Belle and Shawn and the children . And some of the other old carecters . Not a fan of putting a gay carecter on the show thats whats wrong with all the other soaps. And look how they’ve ended up ! Keep the show going love it .

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