For more than two years, Days of our Lives has been without supercouple John and Marlena. This summer, soapcentral.com had learned, that will change. Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans) and Drake Hogestyn (John Black) will return to the show for a short-term run.
"We are thrilled that Deidre and Drake are rejoining the show," Days of our Lives' executive producer Ken Corday said in a statement. "I know their return will excite loyal fans and intrigue new viewers. We are gearing up for some amazing cast surprises and guest stars visiting Salem in the fall, launching a grand event airing on September 26th."
In 2008, Days of our Lives' executive producer Ken Corday stunned the soap world when he announced that Hall and Hogestyn would be pared from the cast. The "very tough decision" was designed to cut costs after the show was renewed through 2010, but most critics believed that the show would hemorrhage viewers. Surprisingly, the opposite happened. DAYS actually went up in the ratings, and last year, NBC renewed Days of our Lives for two additional years.
"The couple will be happily reunited after a long period of angst and separation and will be off-screen after January for an unknown period of time," Corday said at the time.
Now, as Days of our Lives cleans house -- in the past two days both Crystal Chappell (Carly Manning) and Louise Sorel (Vivian Alamain) have announced that the show would not be renewing their contracts -- it looks like DAYS is hoping to bring back viewers by bringing back the popular couple. "They're bringing Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn back for the summer, which doesn't mean they won't continue on for the fall, winter, and spring," Sorel revealed while confirming that she'd be exiting DAYS later this year.
In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Corday explained that he planned to "throw everything but the kitchen sink on-screen, but it's not going to be spread among 30 cast members. It's going to be centered on 15, and 15 who are loved and are dear to the audience."
Hall debuted on Days of our Lives 1976 and stayed until 1987. She left the show for four years, but after returning in 1991, Hall remained with the show through 2009. Hogestyn arrived in Salem in 1986. Both Hall and Hogestyn last aired on January 24, 2009.
A first airdate has not yet been announced, though Corday hinted that several fan favorites would return in September.