Concerns have been raised about the fate of one of television’s longest-running shows after the entire cast of the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives” was reportedly released from its contracts.
TVLine reports that the daytime drama, which dates all the way back to 1965, is set to go on an “indefinite hiatus” at the end of this month.
“While the NBC sudser has not been canceled, the unprecedented — and decidedly ominous — move comes at a precarious time for ratings-challenged ‘Days’ and the vanishing soap genre as a whole,” TVLine reports, noting that series distributor Sony Pictures Television is in negotiations with NBC to renew the show. NBC and Sony weren’t commenting.
Deadline notes that the impending hiatus, which it describes as a cost-cutting move, “comes during the usual renewal window between NBC and ‘Days’ distributor Sony Pictures TV; a renewal for ‘Days’ typically comes at the start of the year.”
Deadline adds: “The decision to release the cast came from Corday Productions, the production entity on the series created by Ted Corday and Betty Corday. With daytime drama ratings continue to slide, and the current season (through end of summer) of ‘Days’ already in the can, the company is limiting its exposure in case the series is not renewed for another season while also employing a possible negotiating tactic with the cast.”
TVLine quotes an insider saying: “It’s actually a shrewd — if cynical — business move. If ‘Days’ gets picked up, [Corday] can offer the actors new contracts 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.”