Have the sands of the hourglass come to a halt? NBC’s long running soap opera “Days of Our Lives” is going on “indefinite hiatus.
News came down Nov. 12, 2019, that the entire cast have been released from their contracts effective at the end of the month, TMZ first reported.
However, at least one of the stars has come out and denied that the series, which started in 1965, will be canceled.
Chandler Massey tweeted “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!”
“Days” reportedly has a production schedule that puts it about eight months ahead of airdates — meaning it likely has enough episodes in the can to last until the summer of 2020.
That will give NBC and Sony Pictures Television some breathing room before making a decision if the show will return for a 56th season.
It’s worth noting that Massey’s tweet is worded in a way that doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of a forthcoming cancellation.
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!
Almost all TV shows do take production hiatuses at one or more points during the year, whether or not they’ve been renewed, the releasing of the actors from the contracts, if true, is a bit of an unusual move since it typically means the cast can pursue other projects.
This means that actors may not be available when and if the series goes back into production.
In the uncertain world of TV, “Days” actors are likely facing the tricky decision of whether to pursue other work to ensure they keep working, but take the risk of joining a project that’s ultimately unsuccessful (and possibly not being able to go back to “Days” if it is renewed having potentially breaking loyalty to the production).
In many cases, actors have contracts that keep them committed to a series unless it’s canceled, even if the show hasn’t been renewed officially, though there are exceptions and actors can negotiate exits if a better role comes along.
Daytime soap operas, once a staple of afternoons, have declined in popularity over the years.
Most soap operas, however, are comparatively cheap to produce since they are rapidly shot with multiple cameras, reducing the need for multiple takes and stopping shooting to change lighting and blocking setups between takes.