You may have already read the news that Days of our Lives is set to go on an extended hiatus at the end of November, but that doesn't mean that it's time to pull the plug on the long-running series. DAYS has not been canceled, and new episodes will continue to air for months and months and months...
DAYS has a fast-paced production schedule, meaning there is still a whopping eight months of episodes ahead -- no matter what happens during renewal negotiations between Sony and the soap's production company, Corday Productions. From the hints of what will take place on-screen over the next few weeks, it sounds like fans are in for a real treat. Head writer Ron Carlivati is giving the scoop, starting with the reveal that the show's current time jump storyline has been a dream of his since long before he joined DAYS.
"I have to admit, it's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. And it's a concept I pitched at One Life to Live and at General Hospital, and for various reasons we did not do it," the writer tells TV Insider. "At DAYS, we thought about doing it a year ago and the timing just did not work out; even though we were all excited about the idea, the pieces weren't falling into place. I kept it in the back of my mind and finally the stars aligned, and we realized with the [fifty-fourth] anniversary show coming up, it would be a perfect time and stories were in the right place, and we started to steer in that direction."
The time jump storyline kicked off on Monday, November 11, with Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) waking from her coma and learning that she's been asleep for a year. Carlivati says that they chose Jennifer as the impetus for the time jump because they needed something to help ease viewers into the new, fast-forwarded Salem.
"This [time jump] is a lot for the audience to digest and take in and we were mindful of that," the scribe explains. "I thought the best way is if a character is going through the same thing as the audience, and we finally hit upon Jennifer... as Jennifer learns about all the changes that have happened in Salem, the audience is finding out along with her."
As fans will see, the time jump brings about some major changes -- not just for Jennifer, but for everyone on the canvas. And Carlivati says he has been waiting ages to finally see these whoppers play out on air.
"A lot of people's circumstances have changed, some are pretty outrageous. I can't wait for the audience to see it! I've been waiting so long for these episodes to air," he says. "I really think it's going to be a lot of fun to see what's different and, also, there's some mystery to it. You learn about certain things that have changed but you don't find out exactly why. This couple's apart but what happened? Or this person's dead and what happened? You learn a lot up front but it allows us to let the story unfold over time."
That being said, there's actually quite a bit of stuff that remain the same. After all, the powers that be at DAYS didn't want Salem to look like an entirely different place; it's still the same soap opera that people have loved since its debut in 1965.
"You want the audience to be shocked by some stuff -- why pass a year if some big changes aren't going to happen? -- but at the same time, also it's not an entirely new show," Carlivati says. "For every couple we broke up, there's a couple that stays together. So we wanted to change enough big things in Salem that it was worthwhile to go on this journey, but at the same time, keep some stuff that's familiar because we are asking a lot of the audience to go on this little journey with us."
The soap's head writer isn't able to reveal too much about what's ahead for specific characters, but he does say that the next couple of months in particular -- especially the holidays -- will be filled with can't-miss moments.
"I love to play the holidays on the show, depending on the circumstances of the story. But especially with Christmas in Salem, if we didn't hang our ornaments then the audience would hang me!" Carlivati says with a laugh. "And New Year's Eve, I like to do something big and fun at midnight. So we are doing that this year as well. There are some familiar faces coming back and I think some people may have a hint or two about that. So yeah, you just have to see how it unfolds!"
For more from Carlivati on the future of DAYS, check out TV Insider's full interview with the writer here.
How would you like to see the next few months unfold in Salem? What are your thoughts on the NBC soap's time jump storyline? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.