DAYS’s spin-off series, BEYOND SALEM, premieres on September 6 on the streaming service Peacock, and will appeal to fans new and old. “It was the network’s idea,” begins Executive Producer Ken Corday of the series’ inception. “They wanted to get some eyes from broadcast to streaming and they thought a special event would be a good way to do it. It was a fast and furious order and everyone did their jobs and I think the show is great. Ron [Carlivati, head writer] and Ryan [Quan, creative consultant] were so facile. Literally overnight they came up with the concept.” The five-episode series is self-contained, and centers around a host of familiar faces. “It’s a big adventure, a caper, and you have to watch every day to follow what’s going on,” says Corday. “It’s a different kind of pace than DAYS OF OUR LIVES; there are a lot of comical moments in it.”
Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) was on board to appear as Kristen. “I was super-excited and it sounded like a lot of fun,” she enthuses. “It’s a stand-alone series and they’re bringing back a lot of people who have been on the show before. Having Lisa Rinna [Billie] on it, too? I mean, it was a done deal when I heard. I think we were on DAYS together in 2014, when she was just leaving, so it’s been a really long time. We had great chemistry. It was really a lot of fun.” For Austin Peck, who reprised the role of Austin in the DOOL App series, “Chad And Abby In Paris,” the call came as a surprise. “It was not expected,” he relays. “But very happy that I was thought of. It was great because they flew me out and put me up and did all that good stuff and paid me well and I got to see some people I haven’t seen in awhile and hit my mark and say my lines like a good actor.” It had been awhile since Peck worked with Rinna, as well. “The last time I worked with Lisa was in 1995; I think she left within the first six months of me being on the show,” he says. “So there were other Billies that I had more experience with but we had a fun series of scenes. It was cool.”
Chandler Massey enjoyed slipping back into Will’s wardrobe. “I was just grinding away in my data science day job,” reports the actor, who moved away from Los Angeles. “So it was nice to kind of hop back in it for a little bit! I’m living in Atlanta. It’s been great. I really like the city. I didn’t explore it that much when I was a kid growing up, so it feels new. It’s come a long way and I still have some old friends there and making some new friends, as well.” Massey was surprised to discover that his longtime co-star, Freddie Smith (ex-Sonny), would not be reprising the role. “I actually found out because I texted Freddie to ask him what he thought of the scripts and what he had in mind,” reports the actor. “And that’s when he told me that he actually wasn’t coming back for those episodes, which was a shock! There have been several Wills but there’s only been one Sonny, and to have to think of someone else stepping in the role was kind of jarring at first. I just told him it wouldn’t be the same. We keep in touch so it’s not like we’re never going to see or hear from each other again.”
Zach Tinker (Fen, Y&R), who assumed the role of Sonny, credits Massey with welcoming him to the set. “I love him, man; he’s fantastic,” raves Tinker. “It’s always interesting meeting your love interest, because you never really know what the chemistry is going to be. But it was super-easy with him. He’s a great guy and because we kind of banged the episodes out in five straight days, we got pretty chummy pretty fast. The NBA draft was happening at the time we were filming, so we’d do a scene together, we’d be kissing, they’d say, ‘Cut!’ and then we’d be like, ‘Yeah, so it’s crazy what’s happening with Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers!’ The transition was very smooth and it helped a lot to be with Greg [Rikaart, Leo], who I knew from Y&R [where he plays Kevin]. I felt very comfortable immediately because Chandler and I got along so well, and I had someone I already knew there. The whole transition felt very, very smooth for me.”
All of the actors are excited about being a part of a new form of entertainment. “I love the fact that it’s something new and fresh and different and never quite been done before,” shares Davidson. “I think that’s awesome, being a part of it and seeing what they can do because it is a different animal than DAYS OF OUR LIVES, so they have more latitude.” Massey adds, “I am very excited to see how it turns out. I’m excited. I am proud of DAYS and Ron and Albert [Alarr, co-executive producer] and Janet [Spellman-Drucker, producer] and everyone for taking this risk and making this miniseries on a new platform. I think their hard work is going to be rewarded. I think fans are really going to like it.”
Corday is hoping they’ll get a chance to do more. “DAYS has become more of a franchise than ever before. The good news is that the network is excited about the possibilities. They see it as an asset and something that other things can come from for Peacock. That’s the new world. Broadcast television will always be there but VOD/streaming is something they’re putting a lot of emphasis on, which is good news for DAYS viewers.”
To get Peacock, find or download the Peacock app on your device or go PeacockTV.com and enter your email address to create a Peacock account.