So, Nelson has reported his “news” which is up at a special Suds report:
Grab a bottle of vodka before reading this updated news item on Days’ head writer Dena Higley reportedly vacating her duties because no one’s going to like this one bit, so don’t shoot the messenger. That sound you hear is me about to jump off a cliff with an anvil tied around my waist!
Here are the facts: Higley has not been head-writing Days “for quite some time.” A source close to Higley tells me, “If the press/fans aren’t happy with what they’re seeing, they should turn their attention to [co-executive producer] Ed Scott. He’s been writing and rewriting story, dialogue and scenes for weeks and weeks. He’s also encouraged actors, including one overblown diva, to rewrite not just her own lines, but her scene partners. [This star] has taken to telling others that she and Ed are the head writers. The mess on the air is not the doing of the actual credited writers, but by amateurs. What leaves their offices bears little resemblance to what ends up on screen.” The Suds Report has also learned that two other Days actors have been encouraged to rewrite their storyline.
The Writers Guild of America is now involved in the matter. The irony in all of this is now the Guild, who have been investigating Higley for allegedly scabbing during the writers’ strike, now has to defend her. Thanks to Scott and company reportedly hijacking the series, Higley may have just been given the out of a lifetime. I am told the WGA have photographic proof of the “coup d’etat,” and will fine the series for allowing non-Guild members to pen the soap.
Executive producer Ken Corday is said to be trying to seize control of his series, and is hoping to position Higley back at the helm.
In a June 10 blog on NBC’s website, Higley hinted at the backstage upheaval: “I had a crappy week at work. I don’t know how else to describe it. For anyone who thinks I just make stuff up for Days and it’s perfectly realized on the TV screen, I’ve got a flash for you… I strike out more than I hit. So many times I’ll work out a story only to have it axed. It’s not that I think I’m always right. But sometimes the rejection and the sense of ‘fighting city hall’ is just exhausting emotionally, physically and [worst of all] mentally.”
As previously reported, Scott wanted to replace Higley with Y&R executive producer Josh Griffith or Emmy-winning head writer Jack Smith.
Another west coast soap opera is dealing with the same issue, but proof is an issue.
I admit I wasn’t expecting this but I’m not that shocked Dena would come out and say such. Why? Cause I don’t believe it. Not yet. ES has a huge reputation in the industry and I can imagine him not taking kindly to Dena’s story telling, but I doubt he is responsible for the likes of Chan, Mad Max, Phorgan going down the toilet, etc. Does he tweak scripts? Probably. But I can’t imagine him outright taking over the show like this w/o Corday stepping in.
The “diva” probably is MBE, who was known for being unhappy with the lack of Ava followup but to call her a diva is the most laughable thing I’ve ever heard. I think SN and MBE are responsible for their scenes last week and ES probably approved it.
The only reason this could possibly be true is that Blind Item that came out stating a young actress on an NBC soap is able to get huge storylines but hated because she sleeps with a producer and snorts cocaine. If true, it would be SH, KR or RM. I take SH out…she looks far too healthy to be a coke addict and though she is featured a good deal, her couple is mainly about her costar, not her. KR is a candidate, but her screentime didn’t rise prominently until this past few weeks and still…the emphasis is on her costar. That leaves RM who I feel it sad given she is the most talented one of the bunch, but has been given way more than she deserves in screentime and story-wise.
What I would really like to do is shoot Nelson Branco. This is not that big of news unless it’s 100% true which I doubt, even with the BI above. By riling up fans over the weekend when this could have waited. Obviously he was trying to cover himself since he broke the story that Dena was leaving early before she did so officially. No wonder Toups didn’t want to touch it.
In my opinion, Dena was throwing out garbage and ES was trying to make it work so it could be taped! She gets all huffy and this is where the resentment came in. Now she’s proclaiming it’s all him. No, for me to buy this, I need someone else other then Dena’s people to say.