Freddie Smith gives in-depth explanation of why Days of our Lives decided to cut contracts with cast, reveals when show's hiatus might end

Posted Thursday, November 14, 2019 6:28:13 AM
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Many questions are circulating about what's going on behind the scenes at Days of our Lives, which recently made the unprecedented move of canceling its contracts with all cast members. Series star Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) explains why the powers that be made that decision and reveals the mood on set as the soap's long hiatus nears.

Panic and rumors abound this week after a report by TV Line revealed that the entire cast of Days of our Lives has been released from their contracts, and the long-running daytime drama is set to go on an indefinite hiatus beginning at the end of this month. The news has many fans gobsmacked, but several of the series stars have come forward to assure everyone that there's no reason to worry about the upcoming extended break and contract situation.

Chandler Massey (Will Horton), Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady), and Camila Banus (Gabi Hernandez) are just some of the stars who have commented on the NBC soap's situation (you can read more about what they had to say here), but Freddie Smith (Sonny Kiriakis) has given a longer explanation of what's happening behind the scenes as Sony Pictures Television and NBC negotiate renewal possibilities.

In a video posted to his Twitter account, Smith explains that he and the rest of the cast knew ahead of time that they were being let out of their contracts, and fans who follow him closely weren't as panicked as others might have been because, as he says, he's been "speaking about [the upcoming hiatus] vocally, like, 'Hey, Thanksgiving, we're done for a while.'"

He goes on to explain that outlets like TMZ spread panic when they reported that the entire cast had been fired, but he doesn't deny that those reports are accurate -- if unnecessarily flamboyant.

"We technically all were fired, but that sounds negative," Smith explains. "Our contracts were just all ended because [the show wants] to save money. This whole entire battle with Days of our Lives isn't that more people or less people are watching it, it's just that there's such a ladder from Sony to NBC to Corday; there's a lot of people in between, and it's all about money. So, for them, canceling the contracts of 30 series regulars and then, with the crew, I mean, I don't really know, but if I had to guess, they're going to save a couple of million dollars. So, if that couple of million dollars is going to be what helps negotiate to get us picked up for another year, [it makes sense]."

While it would be understandable for the cast to be in a panic -- after all, many of the stars have been contracted series regulars for years and years -- Smith says the opposite is true. And he credits that to the fact that he and everyone else connected to the show are confident that it will be renewed for another year during the upcoming hiatus.

"Being on set, walking the halls, talking with everybody, no one seems nervous," the actor reports. "And also, with a lot of new sets being built, they're investing money. If we were going to be never coming back, why would they be building new sets, and why would they be spending money on a web series? They shoot that during our schedule, and that's a lot of money to shoot that; they're shooting that legitimately. So, we're looking at that and going, 'Why would they spend all of this money if we're gonna [be canceled]?'"

Because DAYS shoots about eight months in advance, when it stops production at the end of November, it will have enough episodes to air through the summer of 2020. The cast and crew will theoretically come back at some point before the pre-made shows come to an end, and Smith reveals it may be sooner rather than later.

"It's a complicated thing, but I think we are going to come back," he assures in the video. "I've heard as early as January 15, and I've heard as late as April 1."

For more on DAYS' hiatus and contract situation, click here. And for a preview from the soap's head writer on what viewers can expect storyline-wise in the months ahead, click here.

What do you think about Freddie Smith's explanation of what's going on behind the scenes at Days of our Lives? How do you feel about the soap's unprecedented move to save money during renewal negotiations? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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