NBC has now confirmed that Lisa Rinna will, in fact, be headed back to Days of our Lives. Word of Rinna's return to daytime first leaked just before Halloween when the Huffington Post reported that the NBC soap was looking to cast a high-profile star to generate additional interest in the show.
"I am so thrilled to be back and excited to be acting again," Rinna told the Hollywood Reporter. "I have done reality shows, talk shows and I thought, what a great way to come back and play a character that I love to play so much. Feels very full circle -- like a new old chapter."
Rinna debuted as Billie Reed in 1992 and remained with the show for three years. She returned for a short-term engagement from July 2002 to January 2003. Since leaving Days of our Lives, Rinna has gone on to find even more celebrity as a host of Red Carpet coverage at awards shows and as a contestant on several reality programs. Rinna was also an Emmy-nominated co-host of the soap-skewing talk show, Soap Talk.
Though it's been nearly nine years since Rinna made her last appearance on Days of our Lives, that's not the last time that fans caught a glimpse of Billie. Julie Pinson was the last actress to step into Billie's shoes, playing the role from 2004 through 2008.
So why bring Billie back into the fold now?
"Lisa is doing a James Franco," a source told the Huffington Post, referencing Franco's ongoing special guest star role on General Hospital. "There is something full circle about bringing her back to the role that made her famous and now harnessing her celebrity to secure the future of the show."
Details of Rinna's story are still being kept under wraps. NBC would only say that Rinna's story will be "explosive" and involve interaction with on-screen mom Lauren Koslow (Kate Roberts) and former soap lover Peter Reckell (Bo Brady).
Rinna reports back to work this week, and her scenes will air March 8.
Update: Due to a pre-emption, Rinna's first airdate will now be March 9.