Is Days of Our Lives cancelled after that shocking announcement? Fans are reeling from the news that Days had released all of its stars from their contracts, with the show going on indefinite hiatus. It's not quite as dire as it sounds, though, and a few stars have stepped in with some new updates to reassure fans.
Days of Our Lives star Chandler Massey has played Will Horton since 2010 (including a break for school from 2014-2017), picking up several Daytime Emmy Awards in the process. He's in-the-know when it comes to the show, and he tweeted this reassuring news to fans:
We’re not being cancelled. 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!
Phew! A hint in that direction was included in TVLine's initial report, but buried after the shocking news that the show was releasing the stars and going on hiatus. However, the show is only stopping production at the end of this month -- November 2019 -- and because they are so far ahead of schedule, they already have enough material to air episodes through summer 2020.
Kristian Alfonso plays Hope Williams Brady on Days of Our Lives, and she posted an Instagram video from set saying they were still there and they were not going anywhere:
Chandler Massey also added the reassurance that Days of Our Lives was "not being cancelled," which was the threat hanging over the show. Hopefully the stars are getting updates straight from The Powers That Be at Corday Productions and NBC. As the initial report noted, NBC could still renew Days for another season and if that happens, production would likely pick up in March 2020.
However, an "insider" noted to TVLine this could be considered a cynical business move by The Powers That Be. If Days does get a renewal, the production company could offer the stars new contracts at lower rates. If the stars get angry, they could walk -- which could be a PR disaster for the show -- or the stars could return at lower rates, perhaps justified by the lower ratings of the show.
Part of me wonders if this news is coming out to gauge the reaction of Days of Our Lives fans, and keep buzz strong enough to push NBC to renew the show for another season.
It's not like this is the first time Days of Our Lives has survived cancellation fears. A few years ago, it looked like the soap opera -- one of the longest-running TV shows of all time, after starting in 1965 -- might end in 2017. But clearly that didn't happen. Fan favorite stars have come and gone over the years, and fans react accordingly, but the show goes on.
There was a huge outcry to yesterday's news that the Days cast was let go and the show was going on hiatus, suggesting there is still a lot of interest out there. But is the interest from the hardcore fans who have stayed loyal watchers year after year, or is some interest from former fans who aren't keeping up anymore? Ratings still rule the roost. The Powers That Be must be hoping this news gets more fans to start watching the show again to boost ratings and keep it on the air.
There are already big changes happening in the current world of Days of Our Lives, which is still airing and -- as noted -- will continue to air new episodes of this season through summer 2020. The show just time-jumped a year into the future, which executive producer Ken Corday told TV Insider will be "a catalyst for many more" changes ahead.
Deidre Hall, who has played Dr. Marlena Evans forever (OK since 1976) said the "fun" twist will reunite the fans and remind everyone of the things that used to happen in Salem.
People will call their friends: 'Did you see what happened?'
So it doesn't sound like Days of Our Lives is winding down at all, and this may be part of a concerted effort to keep the show fresh for whoever is still watching it. But if fans stop watching, it won't be a shocking twist that kills off the show, it'll be the usual suspect of declining viewership.