John and Marlena’s Salem homecoming is (finally) upon us.
TVLine recently spoke to Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn, the suds vets behind daytime’s power couple, about their much anticipated return to NBC’s Days of Our Lives this Monday — a comeback that appears, at least for the moment, to be a happy one.
TVLINE | Talk a little about what fans can expect from your respective returns to Salem.
HALL | Besides Drake and I coming back, there are lots of characters returning. Days‘ core family is once again going to be there for viewers, with the show doing family stories that are reality-driven. But we come back partially to help dedicate the new Horton Square, which is a wonderful new set on the show.
HOGESTYN | It’s a huge set that will be there forever and has a multitude of stores that surround it. As we go on in the series, you’ll get to go in each store — so it’s a new element to the series.
HALL | And, of course, we’re also back to put out some fires that have begun. [Laughs]
TVLINE | So, we’ll see a happy homecoming?
HALL | Yes! We just show up and see everybody, but Abe (James Reynolds) and Lexie (Renée Jones) were certainly lovely to encounter. And our family, as well. Carrie and Austin are there.
HOGESTYN | Carrie (Christie Clark) the original Austin (Patrick Muldoon) are back in town and Jack (Matthew Ashford), who’s going to have his hands full because Jennifer (Melissa Reeves) and Daniel (Shawn Christian) are getting closer… It’s just been so much fun getting to know the younger cast on the show. They were just starting to come on when Deidre and I left, so there is this youth movement on the show that we’re just getting to know. If this is any indication of the actors that are coming up, daytime is in good hands. These kids are good; they’re professional.
TVLINE | Do you think it’s a good move for Days to bring John and Marlena back at this time, given the state of daytime television?
HALL | I think what [executive producer] Greg Meng figured out was that there’s an audience hungry for their show’s core values. Days is getting better minute-by-minute with new writers and executive producers, and we kick it off big time.
HOGESTYN | Networks are always trying to find that big audience and they throw things up on the wall to try new things — some stick, some don’t. But at the end of the day if a TV set is on, other eyeballs are going to begin walking into that room and seeing it. If it takes getting the older demos to turn that set back on, there’s going to be a better chance of younger people catching on as well. That’s the show they’re bringing forward on Days now. And if any part of the audience left because Deidre and I left, they’re going to come back now and it’s going to be a good thing.
TVLINE | What can you tease about any new drama John and Marlena will inevitably face? That’s a given, right?
HALL | Yes, of course. [Laughs]
HOGESTYN | Have they told you anything, Deidre? They probably tell her more than me. I don’t ask. [Laughs]
HALL | I’ll say that it’s really exciting.
HOGESTYN | As soon as I walk in my trailer now, it’s so exciting to read the new scripts and trying to guess where they’re going with the show. That’s where we are right now and it’s great.