The decline of daytime dramas is turning into a soap opera at “Days of Our Lives.”
NBC’s long-running soap released the entire cast from contracts and will go on “indefinite hiatus” at the end of the month, according to several reports.
The move puts the show, which premiered in 1965, in jeopardy, The Hollywood Reporter noted. Enough episodes have been shot to cover the rest of the 2019-20 season, the outlet reported.
“Days of Our Lives” actor Chandler Massey, who plays Will Horton, told fans on Twitter that the show was not being canceled.
“We are pausing production because we are so far ahead of schedule (and it saves us $),” Massey wrote. “Days will still air during the entire hiatus, so you won’t miss anything!”
If the soap were to be picked up again, filming would probably restart next year and the cast would have to negotiate new contracts, TVLine wrote.
Sony Pictures TV, distributor of the show, declined to comment. NBC didn’t respond to HuffPost’s inquiry.
One unnamed source disputed the reports, telling The Hollywood Reporter that some actors would be dismissed if there’s “no renewal decision.” Another anonymous source told Variety that the hiatus was planned to give the cast time off for the holidays.
“Days of Our Lives” trails CBS’s “The Young and the Restless,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and ABC’s “General Hospital” in the ratings, averaging 2 million viewers daily.
The soap opera, which premiered in 1965, won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding drama series in 1978, 2013, 2015 and 2018.
The show also has a “Friends” connection. Matt LeBlanc’s Joey character acted on a fictional version of “Days of Our Lives” as Dr. Drake Ramoray, and Jennifer Aniston’s father John Aniston has built his career on “Days of Our Lives” as Victor Kiriakis.