Drake Hogestyn was hired in 1986 to take over the role of "Roman Brady" after Wayne Northrop left the series after a falling out with the show's writers. Several years later Northrop approached the producers of the show about him returning to the series, which created a problem because Hogestyn had quickly became one of the show's most popular actors. In order to keep Hogestyn on the show while allowing Northrop to return to the series as Roman, a storyline was crafted that revealed that Hogestyn's Roman was actually a mercenary named John Black who had been brainwashed into thinking he was Roman Brady as punishment for betraying his employer Stefano Dimera. This allowed Hogestyn to continue on the show while allowing Wayne Northrop to resume his previous role.
In 1991 Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans Black) was lured back to Days of Our Lives with the promise that she could serve as executive producer of a DAYS spin-off called "Manhattan Lives". Initial hopes were to begin airing in 1994 if Another World wasn't renewed. In the end Another World (1964) was renewed and the spin-off never came to be.
The show celebrated its 10,000th episode on Monday, 21 February 2005. The episode began with a special introduction by Frances Reid (Alice Horton) as she reflected on the first days filming (nearly 40 years ago!), with a short clip from the very first episode. At the show's close, Frances returned stating that she felt that Sami's trials and tribulations were just beginning and to join the show tomorrow as they began their second 10,000 shows.
In September 2015, while reporting on the millions of Syrian migrants who were undergoing extreme hardships to get to safety in Europe, John Oliver and the other writers on Oliver's HBO show "Last Week Tonight" saw a news interview with an enthusiastic, bright, wheelchair-bound sixteen-year-old Syrian refugee named Noujain Mustaffa. Mustaffa said that she had learned English by watching her favorite TV show, Days of Our Lives, she was a particular fan of the relationship between Sami and E. J., and she wished that E. J. had not been killed off. In response, "Last Week Tonight" arranged for Days actors Alison Sweeney (Sami) and James Scott (E. J.) to film a scene for "Last Week Tonight" showing E. J. returning from the dead (after having been resurrected by a witch doctor). In the scene, Sami and E. J. briefly discuss E. J.'s return but then quickly move on to sympathizing with the plight of the Syrian migrants, making sure to work Noujain's name into their conversation multiple times.
John Shrum designed the pilot's stage sets, salvaging set elements from the former "soap" designed by Spencer Davies. Shrum integrated stair, door, window, fireplace mantle units. Building the Horton House set, the living room was spread open like a book, the central arch in front of the main house door, a "y" hallway leading to the rest of the house. John selected a neutral color pallet of "putty" grays for all the scenery. This color scheme was a common pattern in color television set design. Early transmission electronic signals had problems with backgrounds with intense hues, as reds, yellows, oranges, because these background colors reflective color values affected actors' skin tones. Blue hues were the most compatible, and for this reason, the hospital's corridors, nurse stations and lounges, rooms, were established in the pale blue color. After the pilot sold as a series in 1965, John Shrum continued as Art Director, acting as supervising Art Director, allowing novice Assistants to helm the art direction duties. Hub Braden Art Directed the summer of 1968. Ed Flesh, from NBC-NY, replaced Hub and was Art Director from 1968 through 1974. During this period, Studio 9 was built to move the series to it's own stage, freeing up the main NBC Stages 2, 4, 1 & 3 for Specials and for host-variety series (Andy Williams, Phyllis Diller, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson). In mid 1969, Gloria Monte developed a new day-time series "Bright Promise" with Hub Braden as Production Designer. This program moved in and was set-up on the other half of Stage 9. This combination of shows utilized the stage facility full time. "Return to Peyton Place" replaced "B.P." in 1971-1973, until the show was canceled. Milt Altman, NBC-Art Department Director, moved Ed Flesh from the "Days" show responsibilities assigned to work on game show pilots. Hub Braden took over "Days" from 1973-1975. Milt Altman then assigned Braden to the new game show series, "Wheel of Fortune" (pilot set designed by Ed Flesh), NBC practice was to use one person as the art director, expected to decorate the sets. Replacing Hub, Milt Altman assigned Scott Rittenhour as Art Director to "Days" production staff. Scott demanded an assistant art director. Milt assigned (a newly hired) Mary Ann Biddle as Scott's assistant, who was expected to decorate the sets.