Ken Corday

Daytime Drama Producer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his nearly two-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Ken Corday talks about his parents, Ted and Betty Corday, who, along with Irna Philips and Allan Chase, created Days of Our Lives which premiered in 1965. He describes the premise of the show and explains his initial involvement with the soap opera - as a composer of music cues for the series. He details his ascent up the ladder from assistant producer, to producer, and eventually to executive producer, taking the reins from his mother shortly before her death. Corday outlines lessons he learned from his mother, talks about all aspects of the show's production, and reflects upon several of the longtime cast members, including MacDonald Carey, Frances Reid, John Clarke, Suzanne Rogers, Deidre Hall, and Joseph Mascolo. He discusses successful storylines such as the "Salem Strangler," Marlena's possession by the devil, the "Cruise of Deception," the "Salem Stalker," and Philip's Iraq War mission. He speaks about his relationship with head writer Jim Reilly, whose unusual storylines have come to define the series over the last decade, comments on the concept of the "super couple" in daytime television, and discusses the future of daytime serials. Beth Cochran conducted the interview in Corday's office at Corday Productions in Burbank, CA on April 26, 2006.

"Viewers watch "Days of Our Lives" and all other daytime dramas for romance, romance and more romance. If there's a family or two involved as a frame, that's great, but it's not about putting the evening news on at noon. It's not about doing a talk show where it's just endless talk. It's about passion. It's that first trip around the block. When Bo looks at Hope and she looks in his eyes -- I could die. They're star-crossed. They belong together. That's the secret to daytime."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives legacy
Ken Corday on the opening sequence of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the song "Friends and Lovers"
Ken Corday on a particularly memorable fan letter
Ken Corday on how he'd like to be remembered
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his parents, Ted and Betty Corday; on studying music and getting into television
On the creation of and his early involvement with Days of Our Lives
On scoring music for Days of Our Lives; on becoming a producer for the show; on popular storylines and characters

Chapter 2

Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives cast
On having actors play multiple roles over the years; on recasting popular characters; on aging soap opera characters
On Days of Our Lives form 1985-present - a typical production week, budgets, sets; on favorites location shoots

Chapter 3

Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives storylines and families; on "Bo and Hope"
On characters on the show in the 1980s - "Eugene" and "Caliope," "Shane Donovan," "Patch,"
On the Days of Our Lives supercouples; on minorities on Days of Our Lives; on the Carver family; on casting
On becoming an executive producer on Days of Our Lives' and his mother's death; on his father and Corday Productions and working with NBC; on commercial sponsors

Chapter 4

On his relationship with head writer of Days of Our Lives, James E.(Jim) Reilly; on the writing process; on his relationship with the show's directors; on the rehearsal process
On the show's 40th anniversary and keeping it fresh; on popular storylines: "Carly is buried alive," "Cruise of Deception," and "Roman as John Black" 
On primetime specials; On "Marlena possessed by the devil;" on love triangles and political storylines; 
On his thoughts on primetime soaps; on soap opera weddings

Chapter 5

On the Days of Our Lives audience and ratings; on fan mail, celebrity fans and fan magazines
On the daytime Emmys; on the international success of Days of our Lives; on Soapnet; on the future of soaps
On his proudest achievements; on the stigma of soap operas; on taboo subjects; on advice to aspiring producers and how he'd like to be remembered
Shows

Days of Our Lives

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Ken Corday on visiting the set of Days of Our Lives , a show created by his parents, long before he began working on the show as a producer
Ken Corday on how his parents got involved with Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the creation of and early days of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on how Days of Our Lives is different from other soap operas
Ken Corday on how he joined Days of Our Lives as a musical composer
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives cast
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives storylines and supercouples 
Ken Corday on storylines and production of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives legacy
Topics

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Ken Corday on censorship on Days of Our Lives

Characters & Catchphrases

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Ken Corday on how Days of Our Lives is different than other soap operas
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives great ratings and characters in the '80s
Ken Corday on the Salem Strangler storyline of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on "Stefano DiMera," Days of Our Lives' first super-villain, and his son Tony
Ken Corday on Kristian Alfonso joining Days of Our Lives' as "Hope"
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives patriarch Macdonald Carey, "Tom Horton"
Ken Corday on the "Carly buried alive" storyline
Ken Corday on the "Marlena is possessed" storyline

Emmy Awards

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Ken Corday on primetime specials before the Emmys
Ken Corday on the daytime Emmys

Minorities

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Ken Corday on minorities on Days of Our Lives
Professions

Composer

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Ken Corday on composing music for Days of Our Lives since 1979

Producers

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Ken Corday on becomong a producer for Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on becoming an executive producer on Days of Our Lives' and his mother's death
Ken Corday on how his duties changed from producer to executive producer; on changes he made as executive producer
Ken Corday on advice to aspiring producers
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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Ken Corday on the creation of and early days of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives cast
Ken Corday on storylines and production on Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on storylines and production of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the Days of Our Lives legacy
People

Stella Adler

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Ken Corday on Stella Adler's "Five 'I's' for training actors"

Kristian Alfonso

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Ken Corday on Kristian Alfonso joining Days of Our Lives' as "Hope"
Ken Corday on "Bo and Hope"

John Aniston

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' John Aniston, "Victor Kiriakis" 

William Bell

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Ken Corday on writers of Days of Our Lives

Macdonald Carey

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Ken Corday on the opening sequence of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives patriarch Macdonald Carey, "Tom Horton"

John Clarke

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' John Clarke, "Mickey Horton"

Ted Corday

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Ken Corday on his parents, Ted and Betty Corday
Ken Corday on the creation of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on casting Days of Our Lives patriarch Macdonald Carey, "Tom Horton"
Ken Corday on his father, Corday Productions and working with NBC

Betty Corday

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Ken Corday on his parents, Ted and Betty Corday
Ken Corday on the opening sequence of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on how his mother got involved with Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on becomong a producer for Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on becoming an executive producer on Days of Our Lives' and his mother's death; on what he learned from his mother 

Eileen Davidson

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Ken Corday on Eileen Davidson's multiple roles on Days of Our Lives

Deidre Hall

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Deidre Hall, "Marlena" 
Ken Corday on the "Marlena is possessed" storyline

Susan Seaforth Hayes

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Susan Seaforth Hayes, "Julie Olsen Williams" and Bill Hayes, "Doug Williams"

Bill Hayes

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Susan Seaforth Hayes, "Julie Olsen Williams" and Bill Hayes, "Doug Williams"

Joseph Mascolo

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Ken Corday on "Stefano DiMera," Days of Our Lives' first super-villain

Gloria Monty

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Ken Corday on Gloria Monty inspiring Days of Our Lives writers to have ambitious storylines

Sally Sussman Morina

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Ken Corday on what Sally Sussman Morina brought to Days of Our Lives

Stephen Nichols

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Charles Shaughnessy, "Patch"

Wayne Northrop

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Wayne Northrop playing different characters over the years

Irna Phillips

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Ken Corday on how his parents got involved with Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the creation of Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on recasting popular characters

Peter Reckell

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Peter Reckell, "Bo Brady" and on "Bo and Hope"

Frances Reid

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives matriarch Frances Reid, "Alice Horton"
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives matriarch Frances Reid, "Alice Horton"
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives matriarch Frances Reid, "Alice Horton," aging over the years

James Reilly

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Ken Corday on head writer James E.(Jim) Reilly and the writing process
Ken Corday on Eileen Robertson's multiple roles on Days of Our Lives
Ken Corday on the "Carly buried alive" storyline
Ken Corday on the "Marlena is possessed" storyline
Ken Corday on head writer James E.(Jim) Reilly's controversial contributions to the show

Julia Roberts

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Ken Corday on fan of Days of Our Lives, Julia Roberts

Suzanne Rogers

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Suzanne Rogers, "Maggie Horton"

Charles Shaughnessy

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Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' Charles Shaughnessy, "Shane Donovan"
Ken Corday on Days of Our Lives' "Shane Donovan" being written out of the show

Pat Falken Smith

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Ken Corday on Pat Falken Smith returning to Days of Our Lives as head writer, creator of the Brady and DiMera families
Ken Corday on the creation of the Brady family

Arleen Sorkin

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Ken Corday on "Caliope"

Brandon Tartikoff

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Ken Corday on Brandon Tartikoff's thoughts on serialized prime time shows

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