As first reported by TVLine, the soap will go an indefinite hiatus at the end of the month. The 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. According to sources, negotiations for another season of the show on NBC are currently underway.
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.
If Days is renewed for a 56th season, the actors will have to be re-signed. Unlike primetime TV where recastings on long-running series are rare, they are common practice in daytime, putting pressure on actors to accept terms dictated by producers.
After a big wave of cancellations of daytime soaps, the genre had been stable for the past few years with the four remaining series, Days Of Our Lives on NBC, General Hospital on ABC and Young and the Restless and Bold and the Beautiful on CBS. Like any network programming, soaps have come under economic pressure amid declining linear ratings.
UPDATE: Later on Tuesday, Days of Our Lives star Kristan Alfonso posted a video from the set of the show, assuring fans that “we are not going anywhere.” She was joined by the soap’s head writer.