Days of our Lives viewers are in for a shock when Abigail Deveraux is suddenly murdered, bringing portrayer Marci Miller's time on the NBC soap opera to a close. According to the show's head writer, Ron Carlivati, the jaw-dropping storyline was written due to Miller not being available full-time.
"For us and for the audience, it's always heartbreaking for a character to die because we love these characters, and they are part of our lives and part of our family. Even though they're fictional, it hurts anytime we kill somebody," Carlivati says in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest. "In this instance, it was mostly for a practical reason, because Marci was not going to be available to us full-time on contract and it made it challenging to tell story for Chad [Billy Flynn] and Abigail."
Carlivati explains that without both halves of a couple being around permanently, the show is pushed into making tough decisions, such as do you have the couple break up? Do you have one half of the couple leave town? Or do you recast? He says breaking up Chad and Abigail would have been a bummer because the couple is happy; having Abigail leave town for extended periods would leave Flynn and the character of Chad "in flux or stagnant"; and a recast is always risky, even if it's bringing Abigail's former portrayer, Kate Mansi, back because the actress "may not necessarily want to come back on contract, so you risk being in the exact same position that then Kate leaves and what do we do?"
So, ultimately, Carlivati and the powers that be at DAYS decided to kill Abigail -- which he admits was an incredibly tough decision, considering she is a legacy character.
"That was a hard decision among the writers, with the network, with Corday Productions, with everyone," he shares. "Some people saw Abigail born on this show, so, she is a legacy character from a legacy family. That doesn't lessen the sting, but these shows, in some way, mirror life and you do lose loved ones, and death is a part of life. I am aware that it will upset some viewers, but ultimately it was a judgment call that we all had to make and we decided it was the best course of action."
The silver lining (if there is one) is that Abigail's murder kicks off a big murder mystery storyline that will play out over the summer with many suspects, including Abby's sister, Gwen (Emily O'Brien); her uncle Lucas (Bryan Dattilo); and several others that Carlivati says "may have a motive to have possibly wanted Abigail dead."
Abigail's death story will also bring some beloved characters back to the canvas, more of which you can read about here.
Marci Miller originally joined DAYS in 2016 but decided to leave the soap to pursue other projects in 2018. She returned in 2020. During her tenure on the NBC soap opera, she has earned three Daytime Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Lead Actress Category (in 2018, 2019, and 2022).
What do you think about DAYS' killing off Abigail? How do you feel about the reasons behind the show's decision to write such a tragic ending for the character? Which Salemite do you think is responsible for Abigail's death? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.