Few things in life are certain; however, one can understand if Days of our Lives head writer Ron Carlivati and his writing team go into this year’s Writers Guild of America Awards ceremony feeling optimistic. DAYS is the Daytime Drama category’s only nominee! Carlivati talked to Soap Hub about the show’s nom and a few other topics.
Ron Carlivati — WGA Awards
“This has happened at the WGAs before,” Carlivati says about a show being a category’s lone nominee. “Ryan Qwan [DAYS writer] was telling me it happened [in 2016] with General Hospital after I left there but before I came to DAYS. And, one of our script writers — David Kreizman, who used to head write Guiding Light — said that it happened with GL [in 2004].”
Still, Carlivati only celebrated the nod — not the win — on his social media. “It’s a little strange to talk about it as a win,” he shares. “We’re not officially the winner — yet. Though, it feels like a fait accompli.”
Telling A Story
Unlike the Daytime Emmys where writers submit two episodes on video to be judged, the scribes submit three scripts for the WGA Awards. Judges base their decision on the printed word alone; performances and production values don’t play an indirect role in opinions that are formed as they may with the Daytime Emmys. “I’ll sometimes try to choose a connected storyline,” Ron Carlivati says. “It’s not necessarily just three ‘strong’ scripts — it’s a mini-story.”
The scribe went with episodes from Spring 2022 dealing with the double weddings of Craig (Kevin Spirtas) and Leo (Greg Rikaart) and Xander (Paul Telfer) and Gwen (Emily O’Brien). “Gwen got her comeuppance, and Leo and Craig’s wedding blew up,” Carlivati recalls. “We saw how this impacted Nancy [Patrika Darbo], too.”
In addition to going with heavy drama, Carlivati says he often looks for scripts that contain a bit of humor. “I thought these scripts had all of that,” he says. In revisiting the submissions, the scribe says he’s reminded of his fondness for characters and their journeys.
Ron Carlivati Talks Leo Stark, Megan Hathaway
“I got invested in Leo’s love life,” he says. “He came on as a spoiler. Now, he has a genuine interest in Sonny [Zach Tinker]. I’ve been intrigued by Leo. He’s been out for himself, but…you see that there’s a real person in there who has a heart.”
Carlivati keeps an eye on awards shows and saw HBO hit The White Lotus pick up some statues at the Golden Globes. “I wrote for Meghann Fahy [Daphne on White Lotus] when she was Hannah O’Connor on One Life to Live,” he says. “Hannah dated Cole [Brandon Buddy], and then when he got back together with Starr [Kristen Alderson], Hannah went kind of crazy.” Knowing Fahy had that color in her acting pallet, Carlivati wouldn’t have been surprised to see the actress bring some of that to her White Lotus role.
The scribe has his own “Megan” who will prove to be quite volatile later this year — Megan Hathaway, played by Miranda Wilson. As viewers of Beyond Salem 2 saw, Bo (Peter Reckell) is back from the dead, and Megan has him — unaware that Hope (Kristian Alfonso) is determined to locate her.
“What’s so funny is that I just knew ‘Megan Hathaway’ as a name,” Carlivati says. “I’d watched some older scenes [with her in them]. I thought she plays such a great villain. She fits in perfectly. She has this right mix of old school villain, who is dangerous but also has this campy fun to her, too. [Hers] was a seamless return.”