'Days of Our Lives' getting canceled? Not so fast

Suzy ByrneEditor, Yahoo Entertainment

Days of Our Lives fans will continue to get their Salem fix for now.

The cancellation of the long-running NBC soap opera seemed imminent amid an ominous new report from TVLine saying the entire cast was released from their contracts and the show is going on an “indefinite hiatus” at the end of the month. However, more details are emerging suggesting the sand in the hourglass hasn’t run out yet.

According to industry magazine Soap Opera Digest, the show, via Sony Pictures Television, is currently renegotiating a new contract with the network, and a source said “everyone is hopeful” a deal will be struck. But because the show is “currently taping eight months ahead of air” — with episodes in the can through summer 2020 — the show’s renewal could come after production on the current season, the show’s 55th, wraps. The show has to be renewed before new contracts are inked with the cast members.

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The magazine noted that the timing of the TVLine story was “curious” because the cast was “aware of the break and the hiatus for months” and “production will likely resume in early 2020 after the holidays.”

Reps for Sony Pictures Television and NBC have not responded to requests for comment.

While the cancellation headlines definitely loom, insiders are starting to push back. Days queen Kristian Alfonso, who plays Hope, made a video — with a cameo from head writer Ron Carlivati — from the set showing that she and her co-stars “are still here... and we are not going anywhere.” She ended by telling fans not to believe the news — especially that report.

Chandler Massey, the show’s Will Horton for nearly a decade, posted on Twitter, “We’re not being cancelled. We are pausing production because we are so far ahead of schedule and it saves [the show] $.” He added that “Days will still air during the hiatus” so viewers “won’t miss anything.”

Camila Banus, who plays Gabi Hernandez, went live to talk about the upsetting report. “All these article with headlines saying our show’s been axed and we’re being fired are b.s.,” she said. “It is fake bullsh**. That is ridiculous.” She went on to explain, “We are very, very ahead in shooting. We always take a hiatus for Christmas. But because we are so ahead, we are taking it before.” She added that it is the show’s regular break, it just starts a couple weeks before. “One or two — it’s not big of a deal,” she added.

Carlivati shared the Soap Digest story and asked viewers to “keep calm” and enjoy the current storyline.

And industry veteran Carolyn Hinsey, a columnist for Soap Opera Digest, also shared the magazine story about “the cast being aware of the break and hiatus for months.”

However, an insider told TVLine that the whole thing seems like “a shrewd — if cynical — business move,” suggesting that if the show is renewed, the stars, who don’t have contracts, will be forced into signing deals at “a reduced rate and with a ‘take-it-or-leave’ it attitude. Worst case scenario, they lose half their cast. Best case scenario, everyone agrees to return at a lower salary.” However, that remains to be seen.

It’s no secret that soaps have been losing viewers over many years, but the multi-Emmy-winning Days, which debuted in 1965, has been a staple along with General Hospital, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.

When Days was renewed in January, it was noted that the show continued to be a solid ratings draw. The previous season saw a 4 percent increase in total viewers, year over year. And NBC Entertainment EVP Bruce Evans praised the show, saying “the actors and crew have such a tremendous respect for Days and what it means to fans. We believe that level of commitment shows through and touches our audience year after year.”

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