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The Best in Soaps 2013

Greg Vaughan and Eileen Davidson

Best Soap: Days of Our Lives and General Hospital (tie)
Hey, we tried to pick one over the other — really, we did — but we simply couldn't. NBC's Days of Our Lives, the soap that once costarred Satan, continued to wow us with its awesomely trashy shocks: Stefano hires a hit man to cut off Rafe's penis! Sonny is forced to deliver his boyfriend's baby! Kristen beds a drugged-out priest and gets it all on video! But mostly Days did what it does best — bring us deeply involving relationship drama with characters we've loved and cherished for decades. Its Emmy Award for Outstanding Daytime Drama in June — the show's first in 35 years — was well-deserved.

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Daytime Emmy Watch: Handicapping the Best Soap Nominations

Vincent Irizarry, John Aniston

Nominations for the 38th annual Daytime Emmy Awards won't be announced until May 11 but we can tell you right now which soaps are most likely to land in the Outstanding Daytime Drama competition. Here's a look at what each of the seven serials submitted for the top prize and how they stack up.

All My Children (episode 10,505; airdate November 23, 2010)
A strong, crackling hour during which Dr. David Hayward — not dead after all — walks into the courtroom during his murder trial and shocks the snot out of everyone in Pine Valley. Oddly, there are no out-of-the-park performances here but the noir-ish flashbacks detailing how the dastardly doc (played by fan fave Vincent Irizarry) faked his demise and tried to frame his rival Ryan are exceptionally well crafted and quite riveting. The stuff of grand memories? Not really. But this is good, solid work and in some years (like this one) that's more than enough to put a show in the race.

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Soap vixen Arianne Zuker has opted...

Soap vixen Arianne Zuker has opted not to renew her contract at Days of our Lives. As Nicole Walker (aka porn star "Misty Circle"), she has spent eight filthy and gorgeous years slutting around Salem. The comedic highlight was definitely Nic's love triangle with Brady — who was played by Zuker's real-life husband, Kyle Lowder — and his Greek zillionaire grandfather, Victor (Jen's papa, John Aniston).

"Arianne has decided to take this opportunity to venture out and explore new projects," a show rep says. "The cast and crew of Days know that she is an extraordinary talent, and although she will be dearly missed, we wish her every success! There are no immediate plans to recast the role of Nicole.” Zuker last airs Feb. 7. FYI, the Days rep says no exit scene is planned to explain the actress' absence and that Nicole's story is being left "very open-ended." read more

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