Longtime "Days of Our Lives" fans will no doubt be watching the show this week, as several former stars of yesteryear are returning. The first to arrive is Leann Hunley in her former role of Anna DiMera on Jan. 9. Hunley was last seen in 2010. In her storyline, Anna, who seems to be not quite right in the head, is on the hunt for Stefano, whom she blames for the death of her husband, Tony DiMera (Thaao Penghlis). Anna's quest brings her to Prague, where Marlena (Deidre Hall), Paul (Christopher Sean), Rafe (Galen Gering) and Shane (Charles Shaughnessy, who returned to "Days" last month), are following up on sightings of the supposedly deceased Stefano (played by the late Joseph Mascolo).
Returning to "Days" on Jan. 11 are Christie Clark (Carrie Brady Reed) and Austin Peck (Austin Reed). Clark last appeared on the show in 2012, while Peck has been off the show's canvas for approximately 11 years. As part of the search for Stefano in Prague, Carrie, who is Anna's daughter, and her husband, Austin, who live in Switzerland, come to the rescue by getting Anna and Marlena out of jail after Anna shoots at a man she thinks is Stefano.
Our condolences go out to Drake Hogestyn (John Black, "Days"), who on Dec. 26 posted a photo of his mother, Shug, on social media, revealing that she had passed away. Hogestyn wrote: "We've all lost some great ones lately ... I just lost the greatest. Love you Mom."
Actor William Christopher, who was known to "Days" fans for his role of Father Tobias in 2012, died Dec. 31, after battling cancer. Prime-time TV viewers will remember Christopher for his role of Father John Mulcahy on the hit series "M.A.S.H." He also appeared on a long list of popular series such as "Mad About You," "Hogan's Heroes," "Gomer Pyle: USMC," and "The Andy Griffith Show."
Francine York, who appeared in "Days" in 1978 as Lorraine Farr Temple, died Jan. 6 after battling cancer. Incidentally, Lorraine's daughter on "Days," Donna, was played by Tracey E. Bregman, who now plays Lauren Fenmore Baldwin on "The Young and the Restless."
The big news from "General Hospital" is that Blake Berris (ex-Nick Fallon, "Days of Our Lives") begins appearing in a few episodes as Damian Spinelli on Jan. 13. When the news broke, fans of Bradford Anderson, who has played the role of Spinelli since 2006, were up in arms. But Anderson quickly took to social media stating the cast change is temporary because he was appearing in a couple episodes of the Showtime series "Homeland," which conflicted with the "GH" episodes featuring Spinelli's return. Anderson asked fans to be "understanding," adding that the powers-that-be made the perfect choice in Berris.
In other "GH" news, Don Swayze began appearing Jan. 5 in the role of Buzz, a homeless man who becomes involved with Julian (William deVry). Swayze played Shaw Roberts on "The Young and the Restless" and a pawn broker, Rip, on "Days of Our Lives." He appeared on such series as "True Blood," "Criminal Minds" and "Hawaii Five-0."
Several stars from "The Bold and the Beautiful" will be presenting the answers on the Jan. 11 episode of "Jeopardy," when the popular game show will feature an entire category devoted to the soap. Check your local listings for the time and channel of the syndicated show.