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Friday, January 23, 2009

Jeffrey Immelt, Jeffrey Zucker, Michael Lynton, Ken Corday

Ken Corday
Gary Tomlin
Dena Higley
Corday Productions

100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608

Sony Pictures Entertainment
12102 West Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
(310) 244-2626

Many writers see themselves as God-almighty when it comes to the projects they work on. They control the motivation, the actions and the outcome from the first page to the last. In novels, this is true, but only if there is a sole author. When it comes to film and television, every project is a collaborative effort.

Writers who step into an existing show need to play catch up. No matter how much outside research she or he does, the actor who has lived in the role will be the best asset the writer can have. However, the reverse is also true. A new writer can breathe fresh air into a show, giving it new life and inspiration. By bringing in a new perspective, the writer can give new twists to old plots and help the actors develop additional depth to their characters by opening new challenges. There needs to be a balance between the past and the future in order for the show to stay imaginative and original from episode to episode--year to year. As long as a show remains balance by being inventive, while honoring its history and keeping the egos in check, it will be able to keep its fan base happy; thereby continuing its success

Betty Corday and Irna Philips created a show that was based on romance, suspense, drama and comedy. They valued the creative effort of both the cast and crew. Betty's motto, "Don't lie to the fans; Respect your talent" was one of the main pillars that made Days an icon in television history, as was Irna's steadfast determination to create the best show possible. These two women created a genre by not accepting less than the best; they bucked the system and convinced the networks to see it their way. Not only were they were able to invent a financially profitable product that lasted for decades, but they also did so in such away that the fans stayed loyal from generation to generation.

In the past two years, you have managed to destroy everything they created. You have turned Days into nothing more than soft porn. The fans didn't just leave; you drove them away with the endless triangles, lack of real story telling, and the gutting of the established characters. Instead of focusing on the veteran actors and established characters, you created new characters that were poor written. Most high school plays are not only better produced, but also have higher quality of talent than the new actors you have brought in. Let's face it your writing staff couldn't write themselves out of wet paper bag with Freddy Krueger's help.

Like most soap fans, I started watching because of my mother and grandmother. When Dark Shadows was cancelled, she switched to Days and Another World. Even when I worked at an ABC affiliate, I would record and watch both shows. When NBC cancelled Another World, I stopped watching NBC except for Days. The firing of Dee and Drake was the last straw. Not only am I done with Days, but NBC as well. The only demographics the show still appeals to are teeny-boppers and high school drop outs that have pie in the eye dreams of marrying a millionaire even though they can’t put a coherent simple sentence together. Neither of which has the buying power to sustain or attract a profitable commercial sponsorship. You have tossed away viewers who have been loyal for decades in favor of those who are insistent and unreliable as their whims change from moment to moment--fad to fad.

When Days is cancelled in a couple of months, I will take comfort in the fact that Corday, Tomlin and Higley will be forever be remembered for the destruction of a beloved icon. Only a total moron would hired them after the hack job they did on a viable profit show.

Theresa Chaze

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