Just a day after Days of our Lives viewers came to realize that the show has skipped ahead an entire year in storyline comes something even more jaw-dropping: fans are worried that the NBC soap might not be on the air in another year. The entire cast of Days of our Lives has been releated from their contracts, and the long-running daytime drama is set to go on an indefinite hiatus beginning at the end of this month.
TV Line was the first to report the shocking news, and while it is ominous, the outlet says DAYS has not been cancelled. However, the unprecedented mass cast contract changes do not spell good news for the soap opera that is already on shaky ground due to less-than-stellar ratings and is in the midst of learning its future fate as Sony Pictures Television and NBC negotiate renewal possibilities.
Neither NBC, Sony, nor DAYS production company Corday Productions agreed to give comments on this developing story, but a Sony source tells TV Line that the studio is not involved in the contract negotiations with the cast.
"The actor deals are through Corday Productions," says the insider.
Because DAYS shoots eight months in advance, the series has enough episodes already made that when it stops production at the end of November, it can conceivably continue to air through the summer of 2020. A behind-the-scenes source says that if NBC does renew DAYS -- and there is every indication that the network doeswant the show to continue -- production is expected to resume in March. The problem is that by releasing the contracted cast members from from their commitment to the show, producers have no guarantee who will actually return.
"It's actually a shrewd -- if cynical -- business move," another insider tells TV Line. "If DAYS gets picked up, [Corday] can offer the actors new contacts at a reduced rate and with a 'take-it-or-leave' it attitude. Worst case scenario, they lose half their cast. Best case scenario [for Corday], everyone agrees to return at a lower salary."
Earlier this year, Corday filed a lawsuit against Sony claiming that Sony has purposefully been trying to "destroy" Days of our Lives. Most of that lawsuit was tossed, but a judge did allow DAYS' producers to continue on with claims that Sony breached its obligation to adequately market DAYS and share marketing costs.
While Days of our Lives has routinely been in last place in the ratings, Corday has, on more than one occasion, noted that DAYS is the most-watched programs on NBC's digital platform. Just last month Corday noted, "We are now at the table renegotiating for a better deal because the production company gains no revenue" from revenue generated by streaming.
On social media, some fans have expressed that there seemed to be no reason to continue watching the NBC soap now that its future is up in the air. Again, Days of our Lives has not been canceled at this time. "Nearly eight months of episodes have already been taped. Eight months. And those episodes will still air," an insider tells Soap Central. "This is one case where the production schedule works in [DAYS'] favor. They have plenty of time to work everything out and get the show back into production."
This is a developing story. Keep checking back to Soap Central for updates as they happen.
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