According to setside sources, Days of our Lives is in the midst of a house cleaning. Two of the shows contract players have been released - and there is talk that more stars will be sent packing in the weeks ahead.
Last month, Lisa Rinna (Billie Reed) announced that she'd been informed that her time in Salem was coming to an end. Due to storyline, Rinna's character would be written out. The actress, who returned just four months ago to much fanfare, will last air in December.
[Click for more on Rinna's exit]
Though unconfirmed by the show, Justin Melvey (Colin Murphy) will also make an exit in the upcoming weeks. Show insiders, however, are split as to when the actor will make his last appearance. One source hints that Melvey will exit about the same time as Rinna. Another, however, indicates that Melvey will remain in the show into the first quarter of 2003.
Jay Kenneth Johnson (Philip Kiriakis) will also be leaving the show in December. The actor announced plans earlier this year to leave Days of our Lives at the end of his current contract. Johnson's contract expires in December, but his final airdate may not come until January.
[Click for more on Johnson's exit]
Internet buzz states that DAYS execs want to drop as many as ten contract players to recurring status. Long-time Soap Opera Central visitors may remember that a similar rumor made the rounds in March 2001. In fact, the rumor was very much the same: the show reportedly wanted to clear its roster of veteran performers in order to bring aboard younger talent.
[Click for coverage of last year's rumors]
Executive producer Steve Wyman denies that any such mass firings are imminent.