The exciting announcement that Days of our Lives has been renewed for two more years comes with more fabulous news: with its future sealed, the NBC soap opera was able to work out contract deals with at least two fan favorite stars.
Per Deadline, producers at DAYS had been making "if-come" deals with key cast members in anticipation of a pick-up, one of whom was Robert Scott Wilson (Ben Weston), who reportedly signed a new contract with the series he's been a part of since 2014.
DAYS writers have long been planning to keep Wilson in Salem -- even if it meant that he would have to go on without his popular romantic match, Victoria Konefal (Ciara Brady), who chose to leave the soap (but has since decided to return and will be back this summer). As Soap Central previously reported, DAYS' writing team struggled with how to handle Konefal's exit in a way that would satisfy fans, given that Wilson was going to be staying put.
"You debate a lot of different things, including, should Ben and Ciara go off into the sunset together to make everybody happy?" head writer Ron Carlivati shared last month. "Well, that's not entirely fair to Rob, who is not leaving the show. So the struggle becomes, how do you split them up? What then becomes of Ben? How does Ben move on? Originally, we felt that Ciara had to 'die' so Ben could at least attempt to move with his life, but as we were telling that story, it felt unfinished."
He continued, "Should the character of Ben's story end because one actor made one choice and another actor made another choice? And I'm not putting the responsibility on Victoria at all. Like I said, I encourage our actors to pursue their dreams and their careers in any way that they see fit, so to me, there is no blame to be put on anyone; this is just the way it happened to play out and we are left with, what's the best outcome of that situation?"
Fortunately, DAYS viewers will get a satisfying conclusion to Ben and Ciara's love story, now that Konefal has made the decision to return and keep the Cin flame alive. But that's not the only fun story that fans have to look forward to.
Deadline reports that in addition to keeping Wilson on the canvas, DAYS has also convinced über popular new star Jackée Harry (Pauline Price) to put down roots in Salem. The actress, who has been on recurring status since making her debut in March, has reportedly signed a full-time contract that will allow the writers to more fully integrate Paulina into story.
There's no word yet on what lies ahead for Paulina's life in Salem, but Harry recently revealed that she feels like she's in good hands with Carlivati and the rest of the DAYS writing team. "It's just great having a storyline with Black people that is so magnanimous," she previewed. "It's a large idea taking shape... I'm having a good time."
With a two-season order officially set in stone, Days of our Lives could be cementing more contract deals with its cast in the coming days and weeks. Keep checking back to Soap Central for updates as they happen.
How do you feel about Robert Scott Wilson reportedly signing a new contract at DAYS and Jackée Harry reportedly agreeing to be bumped up to contract status at the NBC soap opera? What storylines would you like to see for Ben and Paulina, respectively? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.