Are the days numbered for “Days of Our Lives”? The NBC daytime soap opera has aired since 1965 (that’s 54 years, folks) and after celebrating that milestone this past weekend, rumors began to swirl Tuesday after TVLine reported that the entire cast had been released from their contracts, and that production would go on indefinite hiatus at the end of the month.
NBC, Sony, and Corday Productions all declined to comment Tuesday.
An individual close to production told TheWrap Wednesday that no cast members have been released from their contracts, and that when production wraps at the end of the month, some contracts are naturally coming to an end. They added that the show takes a holiday hiatus every year, but because filming is so far ahead of schedule — a whopping eight months — they’re ending ahead of NBC’s usual beginning-of-year pickup announcement.
However, three actors on the show told TheWrap Tuesday that they have been released from their contracts. One actor, who declined to be identified, said that that if the show does resume production in March, it would start from scratch in regards to contract renegotiations — meaning if actors are asked to return, it could be at a sizable pay cut.
So, the show hasn’t been canceled; it just hasn’t gotten its next pickup yet. NBC is expected to make that decision in early 2020. As of now, the soap has banked enough episodes to air through Summer 2020.
The question is then, does “DOOL” deserve a Season 55? After all, these are dark days for “Days.”
The NBC soap has been last in ratings in the key women 25-54 demographic among its broadcast competition for nine straight seasons, last ranking even third (out of four) in the 2010-11 season. It’s also last among women 18-49 and in terms of total viewers.
Season-to-date, CBS’ “Young and the Restless” is still the champ of the space, which readers can see below. Below “Y&R” are the damn near neck-and-neck “General Hospital” and “Bold and the Beautiful.” That leaves “Days of Our Lives” in a position to only mop up the remaining ad dollars. Reference the above point about the potential salary cuts.
Note: “Season-to-date” measures Sept. 23, 2019 through Nov. 10, 2019, which is the start of the Nielsen season through the end of this past weekend. The below numbers come from the ratings currency’s company “most current” data set, which includes one week of delayed viewing where available. Each of the soaps have 35 episodes counted here.
- “Young and the Restless” (CBS): 0.98 rating
- “General Hospital” (ABC): 0.89 rating
- “Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS): 0.88 rating
- “Days of Our Lives” (NBC): 0.76 rating
- “Young and the Restless” (CBS): 0.60 rating
- “General Hospital” (ABC): 0.57 rating
- “Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS): 0.55 rating
- “Days of Our Lives” (NBC): 0.52 rating
CBS, which still (accurately) touts itself as “America’s Most-Watched Network,” takes over in terms total viewers. That’s to the detriment of ABC’s “General Hospital,” which one would still consider higher-rated.
See those rankings and episodic averages below.
- “Young and the Restless” (CBS): 4.120 million
- “Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS): 3.464 million
- “General Hospital” (ABC): 2.431 million
- “Days of Our Lives” (NBC): 2.247 million
Some of the stars of “DOOL” took to social media to defend the show on Tuesday, including Kristian Alfonso, who plays Hope Williams Brady.
“We are still here,” Alfonso said in an Instagram video from set. “And I have someone to confirm that,” she continued, bringing “Days of Our Lives” head writer Ron Carlivati into the shot.
“Today is Tuesday, November 12th, and we are still here and we are not going anywhere. You heard it here first, folks. Don’t listen to the news, always — especially that report,” Alfonso said.
Chandler Massey, who plays Will Horton, also tweeted, “We’re not being canceled. We are pausing production because we are so far ahead of schedule (and it saves us $). Days will still air during the entire hiatus, so you won’t miss anything!”
And finally, one one of the show’s former stars Eileen Davidson who played Kristen DiMera, leaves us with this nice message: “Sending so much love out to the wonderful people at Days of our Lives behind and in front of the cameras,” she tweeted. “Such a fantastic and talented group of people.”
If the dead can come back to life anywhere, it’s on a soap opera.