. It was the DOOL Celebrity Basket Ball Game that Tipped Me Off!
Like many of you, I was deeply saddened to see so many beloved characters killed off one by one as victims of the Days of our Lives serial killer. It didn’t seem like there was an end in sight. This was not just one or two characters biting the dust, this was like ten, twelve! Where was the carnage to end?
At first, I thought the purge had to be due to budget cuts. But DOOL’s James Reynolds (Abe) assured me in a recent interview that thinking along those lines was way off base. Although many stars were no longer airing after they’d met the wrath of the Salem Stalker, many of those same stars were still under contract and therefore, still getting paid. No budget savings there.
But how could the show survive by killing everyone off? Were they truly going to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with an entirely new cast? Something like that had never been done before in soaps, but look at NBC’s primetime hit, Law & Order. How much lead character turnover has that show experienced? Hasn’t hurt the ratings one bit, in fact, it’s probably helped.
Again, like many of you, I wracked my brains on a daily basis trying to figure out where DOOL head writer, James E. Reilly was headed with his story telling. Surely, he wasn’t intending to permanently retire almost half the cast of the show.
Then came word from the show spokesperson in the form of the events for the unofficial Days fan weekend, held the first weekend of June every year. Slowly the list of venues and hosts began to appear in my email box. Deidre Hall’s Irish Wake of Remembrance. The Brady Boys Night of Dinner and Fun with Peter Reckell (Bo) and Jason Cook (Shawn). But what about the annual Celebrity Basketball Game that was always a major part of this weekend? Right, yeah. That game was hosted each year by James Reynolds (Abe). Abe was the first character killed by the Salem Stalker. Reynolds was no longer with the show, so I figured there was no game this year. Wrong.
I got word about the Celebrity Basketball game. It was taking place. It would be in the usual high school gym in Pasadena. This year, however, the charity benefiting from the event would be Ronald McDonald House. Okay, interesting. But there was no name attached as the host of the event. No one like James Reynolds, who had hosted the event for years.
When suddenly the dawn hit. Of course! I bet James is hosting again. I bet he’s returning to the show! I bet they are deliberately not publicizing that he is attached to the basketball game because they don’t want to tip us off. But clever sleuth that I am, I was on the money. Reynolds was in fact about to return to Days – along with just about everyone else that was killed off. I was right.
But for Reynolds, there was no mystery attached to his hosting the basketball game. “I had planned all along that I was always going to do the game this year,” he said. “In fact, I had talked to Ali (Alison Sweeney, Sami) about making sure the actors were set, and sort of being my recruiter. I was always going to do it.”
There were, however, a few changes this time. “One of the problems I had this year, was my own schedule,” said Reynolds. “I didn’t get to organize the game until late. And the school that I had been doing it for was having some issues, and then I found the Ronald McDonald House as a charity – because I always want to donate proceeds to a charity.”
Pictured at right, Jim Reynolds with Anne Marie and Erin, two of his publicists.
Reynolds went on to explain that the Basketball game is the one event of the whole weekend that is done for charity and he always want to keep it that way. Due to his schedule and the issues with finding the charity to support, “it all came together late. I’ve only been working with it now for a short period of time, with directing the play and all, it’s been a little difficult, but I always intended to do the game.”
Regardless of Reynolds’ intention to always do the game this year, the lag in receiving info on the event and then the mysterious lack of a host attached until about three weeks before game time, was still my tip that the cast would be returning. Or maybe, it was just wishful thinking!
Either way, they’re on the way back!
The James Reynolds Celebrity basketball game raised $3,200.00 this year for The Pasadena Ronald McDonald House.
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