Days of Our Lives
- 56 Seasons
Since 1965, soap opera fans have been tuning in to Days of Our Lives to follow the goings-on in the fictional town of Salem. One of television's longest-running scripted shows and one of the few classic soaps still in production, Days of Our Lives has a loyal worldwide fan base. Days revolves around the adventures of several interlocked, and constantly feuding, families, particularly the Horton, Brady, and DiMera clans. The show is anchored by "supercouple" Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) and Hope Williams Brady (Kristian Alfonso); Suzanne Rogers as matriarch Maggie Horton, a role she's played since 1973; Drake Hogestyn as the fearsome John Black and Deirdre Hall as his long-suffering lover, Dr. Marlena Evans; Matthew Ashford as reformed villain Jack Devereaux; and a cast of several dozen more. Days has also, in recent decades, introduced more suspense and supernatural elements in order to appeal to modern fans, including ghosts, demonic possession, serial killers, and mind control. Days has developed a reputation among soap fans for a habit of killing off characters only to bring them back months or even years later. Like all classic soaps, Days is feeling the pressure of losing its increasingly elderly audience and challenges from cheaper, higher-rated reality and talk shows. In early 2012, the Days producers fired current head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., replacing them with soap veterans Gary Tomlin, Christopher Whitesell, and Lorraine Broderick. It remains to be seen how the inhabitants of Salem, and their ratings, will fare under the new writing regime.