For only the second time in 36 years, Days of our Lives has been awarded a Daytime Emmy for its writing. The last time the show won was in 1976.
In an interesting bit of irony, three of the writers that received Emmys as part of the NBC soap's win are no longer with the show. Dena Higley was let go as head writer in May 2011. Earlier this year, Marlene MacPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr., were relieved of their duties as co-head writers. MacPherson and Thomas were brought aboard in 2011 as part of the show's "reboot."
Associate head writer Rick Draughton accepted the Emmy on behalf of the DAYS writing team, and Draughton made sure to thank NBC for continuing to support its sole remaining, and often low-rated, soap opera.
"We're a little surprised, but excited, and we have to say thank you to Ken Corday, to our cast, crew, our producers: Greg, Janet, Lisa," Draughton stated. "To the writers, of course, we're so excited. And most of all to NBC for keeping the sands going through the hourglass, because without them, we wouldn't be here and we wouldn't have this."
The Outstanding Writing Team category remains one of the most competitive categories. In the past seven years, seven different soaps have claimed the Emmy.
IN-DEPTH: Find out which soaps have won for Outstanding Writing Team.
"Because I'm the oldest and the baldest, I've been selected to represent the directors and accept this award," director Bill Ludel mused from the stage. "We figured out that as a team, we've shot 5,000 out of the 12,607 episodes of General Hospital. Our goal right now is to do everything we can possibly do with the help of Vicki Dunn and everybody at ABC to stick around and shoot at least another 5,000."
Just a few months ago, General Hospital's fate seemed grim. ABC had canceled two of its other daytime soaps -- All My Children and One Life to Live -- and it seemed poised to scrap GH in favor of cheaper, unscripted programming. The Revolution, which replaced One Life to Live in the schedule, tanked in the ratings, prompting ABC to keep General Hospital in its lineup.
"We want to thank our producers and writers, cast, and amazing crew. And we want to share this Emmy with our directing colleagues on the other soaps who understand the challenges and roadblocks and the excitement and joy we have every day creating a show we can be proud of."
General Hospital added to its tally of Outstanding Directing Team honors. The show now has eight wins in the category, six of those wins coming since 2000.