There has been a shake-up to the Days of our Lives writing team. The show's most recently installed writing team is out -- and they've been replaced by some familiar names.
Soap Opera Digest reports that Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., who were named co-head writers to much fanfare in May 2011, are out. They have been replaced by former Days of our Lives co-executive producer and one-time co-head writer Gary Tomlin, and former DAYS co-head writer Christopher Whitesell. Tomlin and Whitesell will be joined by Emmy winner Lorraine Broderick, who will serve as a breakdown writer.
"We are excited and look forward to the stories of romance, suspense and intrigue this new dream team plans to tell," enthuses Co-Executive Producer Greg Meng.
McPherson took to Twitter to confirm her ouster, but hinted that she was frustrated by an inability to write stories without network interference.
"Thank you [Days of our Lives] fans. U r the best and we love you," McPherson posted on Twitter. "NBC never let us tell our stories. They kept stopping us and changing our direction. Sad."
McPherson and Thomas served as associate head writers on NBC's Passions from the series' debut in 1999 through its finale in August 2008. Both had also worked for Days of our Lives in various capacities in the 1990s.
Tomlin began his career in daytime in front of the camera, appearing as Bruce Carson on Search for Tomorrow. He then transitioned to the behind-the-scenes world. He has worked as a director on both Passions and One Life to Live, had been the executive producer of One Life to Live from 2001 to 2003, and has held the role of head writer on Sunset Beach and Another World. From 1980 to 1981, Tomlin worked as co-head writer of Days of our Lives. In 2008, he was named co-executive producer after Ed Scott was removed from the post amid reports that he'd rewritten storylines without sufficient permission to do so.
Whitesell, a two-time Daytime Emmy winner, served on the writing teams of Another World, As the World Turns, General Hospital, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, and Sunset Beach. In his previous daytime stops, Whitesell has worked as co-head writer four times. Whitesell worked previously as associate head writer on Days of our Lives from 2000 to 2001. In September 2008, he was appointed co-head writer by Tomlin, but exited the post in February 2011.
Lorraine Broderick joined All My Children's writing team in 1979 as a scriptwriter and breakdown writer. Three years later, she was promoted to associate head writer. In 1986, Broderick became co-head writer -- and a year later she became the show's sole head writer. In her time away from All My Children, Broderick worked as co-head writer of Guiding Light, head writer for Another World, and as a writer on As the World Turns, Days of our Lives, One Life to Live, and Port Charles. Broderick's official title was associate head writer from her 2009 return following the firing of Charles Pratt, Jr., as head writer, until the show went off the air in September of 2011. During her time with All My Children, Broderick earned four Daytime Emmys.
To read more from DAYS' co-executive producer Greg Meng on why the changes were needed, click here.