For just the third time in the NBC soap's history, Days of our Lives received the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series Writing Team. The show's previous wins came in 2012... and way back in 1976.
Ron Carlivati assumed the role of head writer on Days of our Lives in early 2017, but due to DAYS' production schedule, his work didn't make it to the screen until the fall of 2017. Still, many of the night's other Emmy winners from Days of our Lives specifically noted that the change to the show's writing team played a role in their own Emmy victories.
As for what the show submitted for Emmy consideration, here's how Carlivati described it. "We submitted an episode where J.J. [Casey Moss] is writing goodbye letters to his family, and we find out he's going to commit suicide at the end. The follow-up show was on Christmas Day, when he gets forgiveness when Theo [Terrell Ransom Jr.] wakes at the end of the episode."
Carlivati admitted that tackling the issues of police-involved shootings and suicide are not typically the types of stories that soap operas are known for.
"You know, it's a big deal to take on something like that," he explained. "I did see a lot of people responding on Twitter and things like that. A woman actually reached out and said she was very depressed and that she was having these kinds of thoughts. And the actor who plays J.J., I saw him reach out to her and give her a phone number to call, and I saw other people tweet their support for her. We're writing a daytime soap opera, but we try to make a difference when we can."
Earlier in accepting the Emmy on stage, Carlivati offered a special thanks to the fans -- including one very close to his heart.
"Thank you so much to the fans, especially my 82-year-old-father in Rochester, New York. He watches DAYS faithfully every day, and I love him for it and for so much else."
For the first time in the show's storied history, Days of our Lives' Directing Team was awarded a Daytime Emmy. In 1974, Days of our Lives won the very first Daytime Emmy in the directing category, but back then, the award was given to an individual and not to the show or its directing team.
When asked about the biggest challenge the directors face, Grant Johnson replied, "The biggest challenge is just to finish the day on time! And to do quality work in that amount of time. That's the biggest challenge, walking in every day."
With other daytime dramas experimenting with ways to make their shows look different, Sonia Blangiardo explained that any changes at DAYS are the result of changes in the show's writing that require the directors to look at the best ways to explore those changes on-screen.
"I think as the writing is changing and expanding, that organically gives us that opportunity and freedom," Blangiardo shared. "It becomes more of a necessity. You have to honor what the scripts are, how to represent them properly. And I think everybody is so open to [new things]. If it doesn't work, they'll tell you. But if it works, they embrace it, and they work with you to make it the best it can be."
When asked why he thinks the DAYS Directing Team was rewarded this year, Johnson was quick to respond. "It was the script, no question about it. It's always the script," he stated. "If we get a good script, and we're able to do it justice, then this is what happens."
Later, the show's head writer, Ron Carlivati, took a moment to remark on the Directing Team's win. "When our directors won, I was absolutely thrilled," he said. "It's so gratifying to see the work get recognized."
Since 2000, only two other soaps have won the Directing and Writing trophies in the same year. In 2008, One Life to Live pulled off the feat. In 2015, The Bold and the Beautiful took home both awards.» PART SIX: LEAD ACTOR AND LEAD ACTRESS