Higley-Gate in Burbank

80 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Soap Opera Network Exclusive!
You may not reproduce content without written permission from author.
© 2008 Soap Opera Network. All rights reserved.



Higley-Gate in Burbank

It’s the worst kept secret in daytime -- the press knows, the actors know, the fans know and the entire industry know. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Dena Higley is expected to be announced as the new Head Writer for “Days Of Our Lives.”

Higley, who is no stranger to "DAYS," having begun writing for the show in the mid 80's, is replacing Hogan Sheffer (whose material ended on January 24th). This is Higley's second stint as top scribe for the NBC sudser. In 2003, she served as the Head Writer, whose vastly unpopular stories aired from early March to mid August. She left the show in 2004 to write for ABC's "One Life to Live." Though she earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2006 for Outstanding Writing, she was fired in 2007.

Higley's return to "DAYS" comes with a ton controversy and turmoil. During the Writers Strike, it was widely speculated that Higley was scabbing during the strike. Though there were whispers within the industry regarding Higley’s alleged scabbing, this issue didn’t become public until Carolyn Hinsey’s January 25th column in the New York Daily News. In Hinsey’s column, she names a group of writers who elected to go on Financial Core status: Josh Griffith (“The Young and The Restless”), Garin Wolf (“General Hospital”), Gary Tomlin (“One Life To Live”), Kay Alden (“The Bold and The Beautiful), James Harmon Brown and Barbara Esensten (“All My Children”) and Dena Higley (“Days Of Our Lives”). However, Higley did not go “Fi-Core,” therefore she was not allowed to write at all. It was her husband, writer Mark Christopher Higley, and close friend and colleague, writer Victor Gialanella, who decided to go on “Fi-Core” at “DAYS” -- it unknown as to when they crossed the picket line as their names still are not appearing on episodes currently airing.

According to sources close to the show, Higley’s name has been talked about at the studio as if she’s been writing for a while. This coincides with what was revealed in Nelson Branco’s February 22nd TV Guide Canada column. "DAYS" actor James Reynolds (Abe Carver) said, "Dena is our head writer," and that he’s been enjoying her work, "especially the episodes that are airing now." Airing now? But Higley’s name is not in the credits!

Sources also tell Soap Opera Network that key players at "DAYS" are unhappy with decision to have Dena Higley as Head Writer and would prefer an alternative that would be more beneficial to the show.

This isn't the only story that has people in the industry talking. In early February, the show fired nearly the entire writing team in one fell swoop. [See Report Here] Shortly after, rumors surfaced about the fired writers returning. However, that is not the case. Though there's no official word, inside sources are saying that they will be paid off through the remainder of their contracts -- similar to how they’re still paying for James E. Reilly’s massive contract.

When asked about this whole situation, one insider had this to say: "I think it's a travesty. All talent, quality and ability aside, every soap opera was under the gun for over three months due to this labor action, but most showed restraint, compassion and integrity in terms of their teams. What transpired at "Days Of Our Lives" appears to many to be underhanded, and thoroughly duplicitous. We should be producing a fictional story like this -- not hearing about people living one."

Another insider expressed this: "If it turns out that the WGA [Writers Guild of America] can prove someone scabbed, I'll have little sympathy. No WGA member is required to go on strike. For anyone who either A) disagreed with the Guild's cause, B) had financial need, or as one said to me, C) "were trying to keep their show from getting canceled" -- those writers had the option of going Financial Core. It's not a respected position among Guild members. It feels like by doing so, you are expecting the rest of the WGA members to suffer, while you reap the rewards. However, legally, this option does exist. There is no need to scab. Scabbing is even worse than "Fi-Core" because that means you're trying to get away with working during a strike -- and suffer no consequences. Well, the consequence of a Guild writer who is caught scabbing is possible expulsion from the Guild. All daytime soaps are Guild-signatory, meaning they are not allowed to use non-Guild writers. So to take this risk by scabbing during a strike -- it's a huge gamble. You could be potentially throwing away the rest of your career. If there is proof of scabbing, I believe the scab will be screwed. They won't get support from those of us who went on strike and they won't get support from those who went "Fi-Core," who at least had the courage to be public about their views. All that leaves are other scabs -- who will be too afraid of getting exposed themselves to offer any support. To those scabs, I have just one thing to say: I hope it was worth it."

There’s more twists and turns in this story, but it will have to be told at a later time........Stay tuned to SON.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

What a very mysterious article, Toupsy. LOL!

I wonder who isn't happy with Higley there. I mean, they must love her, Mark Higley, and Victor Gialanella now since DAYS has its highest ratings at the moment in a year. Say what you want about her, but Hogan couldn't get the show passed a 2.1, so Higley definitely has something going for her.

If some aren't happy with Higley, why was she employed in the first place? I swear, I pity the poor Head Writer and staff writers who will write for DAYS in the future, it has to be the hardest job of any of the soaps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Wow this is a mess.

I was asking the same things about Higley. Between Jim Reynolds and the press, they are acting like Higley has been writing all long. I wonder who it is that doesn't want Higley.

Whatever the case, the ratings are up and the show is good so that is great but this is still one mess I wish they would correct by going out and getting someone else to write the show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Great article Toups! I think Hogan was horrible at DAYS and needed to go, but Dena Higley is not the solution. I watched DAYS yesterday and was absolutely blown away. Then I remembered how blown away I was at her early days at OLTL. This is what any new HW does--give the fans what they want initially, then follow through with their real plan. Her stint at OLTL was *so* bad that there is no way I can believe she'll sustain any quality at DAYS.

I hope they get her ass for scabbing and tell her to kick rocks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

IMO, the only thing she can do is wrap stories up. She's good for the first 6 months, and then after that.....

Shitville, U.S.A.

I would truly like to know who are the people still at Days who are pissed she is there, and how Hogan's firing was handled. Hogan, when his stuff actually made it to the screen, was a great writer, and I think some may miss him down the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Even if Dena will be gone, do you guys really trust Corday to hire any good Head Writer from DAYS' past or any good Head Writer PERIOD?

Megan McTavish is looking for a job, hey you never know... <_<:lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

And this is why I'm not watching Days of Our Lives.

I don't care how superb the show might be (though I credit most anything good to Ed Scott, because I've heard that the dialogue and other writing-related details are falling very short) because I thoroughly disagree with the underhanded tactics of Corday and the Higleys. I'm on my own personal strike from watching the show until Corday rights this wrong by giving Higley's ass the boot and then apologizing for allowing such underhanded tactics to take place during the strike. Until that happens, Corday has lost my viewership. Too many stupid mistakes in a such a short period of time = me tuned out.

I'll continue watching from time to time, during key episodes, but my daily viewership is over.

Edited by Kennylicious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

The thing that always pisses me off about DAYS is that the show always seems to be in the state of transitioning. Even if there's been very good moments, there's no overall consistency. We've had 3 different head writers in the past two years, not very good IMO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

And this is why I'm not watching Days of Our Lives.

I don't care how superb the show might be (though I credit most anything good to Ed Scott, because I've heard that the dialogue and other writing-related details are falling very short) because I thoroughly disagree with the underhanded tactics of Corday and the Higleys. I'm on my own personal strike from watching the show until Corday rights this wrong by giving Higley's ass the boot and then apologizing for allowing such underhanded tactics to take place during the strike. Until that happens, Corday has lost my viewership. Too many stupid mistakes in a such a short period of time = me tuned out.

I'll continue watching from time to time, during key episodes, but my daily viewership is over.

I couldn't have said it better myself Kenny. I haven't watched DAYS on a daily basis since word Toups broke that Brandon & Martha were fired. I'll watch maybe twice a week, but I prefer to download the episodes so I can skip over the stuff I don't want to see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Even if Dena will be gone, do you guys really trust Corday to hire any good Head Writer from DAYS' past or any good Head Writer PERIOD?

Megan McTavish is looking for a job, hey you never know... <_<:lol:

IMO, the question is.....

Who would want to be crazy enough to work with Corday?

I saw a fan event piece at Daytime Royalty, which had a link to a day with Steve Nichols & Mary Beth Evans. Both of them said, to paraphrase, that they and other actors and actresses change the writing when it reaches the stage level, and through Edward Scott, they now have a colabritive relationship where the actors push the stories in the direction where they, along with ES, feel they should go.

IF, and that is a big IF, that is the case.......Corday needs to have his head handed to him for once again screwing with this show like he did. If not for ES, who knows what crap would be reaching the screen?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks Toups. I refuse to praise Higs for what we're having right now. Its all because of ED Scott the show is good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

QUOTE (Chris B @ Feb 28 2008, 04:41 PM)
I hope they get her ass for scabbing and tell her to kick rocks.

Word. If you scabbed, you don't deserve to be rewarded. Plain and simple. What happened at DAYS makes me sick. She is the most hated woman in daytime right now. People may "like her" but that's only to her face. <_< I really want to tell you guys more, but I can't right now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Toups, this is all fabulous, but I must ask...is there any update on the situation at Y&R? Is LML prepping for a HW gig at AMC? Will Josh Griffith REALLY remain HW? Things like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

QUOTE (Chris B @ Feb 28 2008, 05:36 PM)
Is LML prepping for a HW gig at AMC?

There's no buzz about this.

Will Josh Griffith REALLY remain HW? Things like that.

No buzz about any replacements. Looks like Griffith will remain as HW, at least for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks for the Y&R update Toups. I still think ABC will be stupid enough to hire LML to "save" one of their soaps. Somebody will be stupid enough to hire her. At least DAYS fans can count her out considering she fired Ed Scott and all. No way he'd let her step foot on the DAYS lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.