Primetime TV Book Reviews
The Days of our Lives: The True Story of
Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives by Ken Corday
Review by Suzanne Lanoue
I enjoyed reading this book. If you aren't a
fan of Days of Our Lives, I don't know if you will or not.
The first part of the book is all about the Corday family,
not the show. Ted Corday created the show, and then he got
sick and died, so his wife took it over. His son Ken took it
over in 1980, and he is the one writing the book.
My only complaint about the book is that I wish there was
more meaty material about the show and the actors, the
behind-the-scenes things that happen on the show. Ken just
seems like a very nice guy who mostly says nice things about
everything. I can certainly understand why he wouldn't want
to dish the dirt, but it does make the book seem a little
Still, it's an entertaining book for any Days fan. His
writing skills are not the best in the world, but there were
only a few boring parts. It's clear that he really loves his
family. Speaking of which, he treats his brothers's
mental illness and other family troubles as if they're part
of a soap opera, and that was a little odd.
If you are a Days of Our Lives fan, you should definitely
read the book because there are some interesting and
possibly enlightening things in there for you.
I was able to interview Ken last week, so I hope soon to be
able to transcribe that and put it up. I will link to it
Days of Our Lives: 46 Years and Still
Executive Producer Ken Corday addresses
decline of daytime dramas in memoir paperback release
With the cancellation of four long-running
soap operas in recent years, only 50 percent of daytime
dramas that were on the air two years ago are left standing.
Days of Our Lives, which celebrates its 46th anniversary on
November 8, is one of the survivors.
Executive Producer Ken Corday acknowledges
the struggles and adjustments the show has made to maintain
its longevity in a newly added chapter to the paperback
release of his memoir,
The Days of our Lives: The True Story of
Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives (ISBN: 9781402260841;
November 15, 2011; $14.99 U.S.: Television/Memoir, Trade
Corday blames two opposing, yet deciding,
factors for the decline of aytime dramas. "One-the cost of
producing a talk show or reality show, compared to a
scripted drama, is easily half as much. And two - more
importantly - the death of the great storytellers, daytime
head writers whose talents created and grew the art form."
In his memoir, Corday talks about his
anxiety and ultimate triumph in getting Days of Our Lives
renewed by NBC through September 2013, with an option for an
additional year, and the recent refocus of the show on
bringing back beloved characters and a return to the core
values their fans want: love, adventure and family.
"Romance is the heartbeat of every
successful soap," Corday writers, "Not trickery or, worst of
all, portrayal of the ugliness of the real world. The soap
opera audience wants romance, adventure, intrigue, mystery,
and beauty. Nothing else will do."
"The Days of Our Lives" is the first insider
account of the history behind one of the most beloved soap
operas. It is about the family that conceived it,
believed in it, and sometimes seemed to live it along with
millions of viewers, as they struggled to create and build
one of the most successful and enduring TV shows in history.
For the first time, fans will discover the
true stories that drove the fictional ones they loved on TV,
a story of living a dream and raising a family while
everything around you, even fate, seems to conspire against
About The Author:
Ken Corday was only a teenager when his parents, Ted and
Betty Corday, first created NBC’s daytime drama Days of our
Lives in 1965. A year after the show’s inception Ted passed
away and it was up to Betty to carry on the show. Ken became
his mother’s support system as she taught him everything he
would need to know to continue on the family legacy.
Ken received his Bachelor of Arts in Music from the
University of California, Santa Cruz before receiving a
Master’s Degree in Composition from San Jose State
University. His additional film and television credits
include serving as Executive Producer for the “Rituals”
pilot episode in 1983 and as producer for the Acme Video
“The Big Fish.”
Prior to taking over as Days of our Lives Executive Producer
in 1985, Ken worked on the show for almost ten years, first
as a composer, then as Assistant Producer, and finally as
Ken’s first love is still music, and in addition to his role
as Executive Producer, he continues to compose all of the
original background score for the show. Ken lives in Los
Angeles with his wife and two daughters.
Sourcebooks is a forward-thinking, independent
publishing house with a passion for books and a
dedication to the belief that books change lives. We are
committed to innovative publishing, where every book is
personal and every author’s voice has a place. We are a
group of passionate, energetic and enthusiastic book
lovers, and we are committed to helping readers
experience each book. Sourcebooks has over 70 employees,
publishes over 300 new titles each year, and celebrates
their success with 14 New York Times Bestsellers.
Sourcebooks is proud to be a leading publisher of
poetry, as well as the largest woman-owned book
publisher in the country. Visit
more information, and check out the Sourcebooks
our Interview with Ken Corday!
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