ABC‘s long-running All My Children might have ended with a literal bang, but let’s face it, it was more like a head-scratching Gone With The Wind meets Who did JR shoot? lackluster whimper that left most fans disappointed. Obviously seeing the demise of AMC as a potential for new viewers, NBC stepped up to the plate with a clip-fest-filled Friday episode of their own tenured sudser,Days of Our Lives, and that was just the beginning. On Monday, September 26, DAYS will continue the celebration with a much touted episode honoring dearly departed DAYS patriarchs Tom and Alice Horton as the town celebrates the unveiling of the Horton Town Square. Monday also marks the official return of several favorite former cast members and a millionaire matchmaker date for EJ.
One of the few Salemites not invited to the Town Square is EJ DiMera (James Scott). Of course, being a DiMera, he doesn’t care if he’s invited or not. EJ shows up at the party with Patti Stanger on his arm. If you’re a fan ofBravo‘s Millionaire Matchmaker, you already know Stanger. That’s right, she IS the Millionaire Matchmaker, so it kind of makes sense that DAYS eternally unlucky-in-love EJ might need some help. During the episode, the two are seen strolling through the newly renovated Horton Square where they encounter EJ’s once-and-future ex, Nicole (Arianne Zucker). Maybe Patti will encourage the two to make it work once and for all. Of course the real question is why is Stanger on DAYS? Simple. Bravo and NBC are both properties of NBC Universal. Nepotism, my dear, simple nepotism. It doesn’t hurt that Bravo is currently airing new Season 5 episode of Millionaire Matchmaker on Thursday nights.
In a storyline honoring beloved DAYS patriarchs Alice and Tom Horton (played from the show’s inception until their respective real-life deaths by Francis Reid and MacDonald Carey), their on-screen granddaughter, Hope (Kristian Alfonso) and her husband, Bo (Peter Reckell) have been working to complete the Salem Town Square. On Monday’s show, Bo andHope invite nearly every member of Salem society to the unveiling of the town square, but it’s not just a fancy gazebo they plan to reveal, they’ve got plenty of special guests.
Of course regular DAYS watchers have seen the odd little promos inserted between the commercial breaks as of late, so it’s no real surprise to viewers that Jack Deveraux is back. Of the five actors who’ve played Jennifer Horton‘s (Melissa Reeves) on-again off-again hubby, Jack Deveraux since the character first arrived in Salem back in 1987, Matthew Ashford, the third actor to play the part, is most familiar to viewers. When Jack first came to Salem, he was the entitled wealthy son of dirty politician, Harper Deveraux. Initially a villain himself, Jack eventually fell for sugary-sweet Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves), another of Tom and Alice‘s granddaughters. Over the years, Jack and Jennifer have provided viewers with some of DAYS best laughs, touching romantic scenes and biggest adventures.
Ashford first appeared in the role of Jack Deveraux back in 1987 following brief stints by Joseph Adams andJames Acheson. Ashford initially remained with the show until 1993 when Mark Valley (currently seen on Harry’s Law) took over the role. Steve Wilder enjoyed a year-long stint asJack from 1997-1998, with Ashford returning once again in 2001-2003, and again in 2004-2007.
In addition to Jack‘s, as yet-undiscovered return to Salem, Carrie Brady and Austin Reed (Christie Clark & Patrick Muldoon) are among Hope‘s surprise guests at the unveiling of the Horton Town Square. For those who might be tuning in to fill the void left by AMC‘s demise, Clark‘s character, Carrie, is part of the Brady clan, one of DAYS longtime families. Carrie was first seen back in 1982, played by actress Andrea Barber (who went on to 80s sitcom fame as DJ‘s obnoxious bestie, Kimmy Gibbler on ABC‘s Full House). During her early years, Carrie was introduced as Roman Brady‘s feisty daughter with Anna DiMera. When Clarktook over the role of Carrie in 1986, they introduced a sweeter, more grown-up actingCarrie. Over the years, she was romantically linked toJulio Ramirez, Lawrence Alamain, Tanner Scofield, Austin Reed, Lucas Roberts and Mike Horton, ultimately ending up with Austin. Clark was a featured cast member from 1986 until 1991, then rejoined the show from 1992-1999, and again in 2005-2006. Just last year she returned to DAYS for a brief appearance. During her time away from DAYS, Clark reportedly traveled Europe, and studied in London. In 2002, she married her husband, Thomas Barnes. Clark and Barnes have two young daughters.
As for Carrie‘s beloved Austin Reed, he came to Salem a struggling boxer back in 1992 with his troubled sister, Billie following soon after. Not long after coming to Salem, they learned that Kate Roberts was their biological mother and that Lucas was their brother. Carrie‘s sister Sami (Allison Sweeney) set her sights on Austin, going so far as to drug and date-rape him. Despite Sami‘s interference, not to mention brief flings with Brandi,Jennifer and Rory, Austin and Carrie eventually ended up together. Muldoon joined DAYS as Austin in 1992 until 1995. From 1995 until 2002, then again in 2005-2006, Austin was played by Austin Peck (currently seen as porn-producer/turned music-producer, Rick Powers onOne Life To Live). Since leaving the role of Austin back in 1995, Muldoon has kept himself busy with TV and film work. Upon departing DAYS, he joined the cast of Melrose Place, playing Richard Hart. He followed that with multiple film roles including: Starship Troopers, Stigmata, Miracle Dogs Too, Christmas Town, Repo, Last Will and the upcomingK-11, co-starring Twilight‘s Kristen Bell. In an interesting twist of fate, Muldoon plays a famous rock star in K-11I. Interesting because in addition to his acting career, Muldoonis also an accomplished singer/songwriter. With musical partner, Niel Ives, Muldoon is lead singer for the band, The Sleeping Masses. Their song, The Woman Is The Way was featured in Jessica Biel‘s 2009 film,Powder Blue. Muldoon‘s return will be the first chance viewers have seen the original actor in the role he first created.
As Monday’s Days of Our Lives draws to a close, uber-couple John Black and Marlena Evans are revealed as the ultimate special guests at the Salem Town Square dedication. As they say in the world of soaps, tune in to this column tomorrow for more on John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall).
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