Good news soap fans! NBC announced today that it has picked up Days of our Lives for its 45th season.
With this latest pickup, it will keep the show on the air through 2011. Marc Graboff, chairman of NBC Entertainment says, “Days of Our Lives continues to be a favorite of the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 45th season. Days has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively.” Last year, executive producer Ken Corday told Soap Opera Digest that from September of 2009 to March 2010 would be the most important six months in the history of the show because the ratings from those months will determine whether the show is picked up for another year into 2011. Well it looks like Days’ hard work has paid off!
Days is generating the biggest year-to-year gains for any daytime series on any major network in total viewers and women 18-49 viewers. In an age when rival soaps are hemorrhaging viewers, Days continues to see growth. This is simply unheard of in the genre. The show is not afraid to use its veterans – John Aniston (Victor Kiriakis), Joe Mascolo (Stefano DiMera), and Suzanne Rogers (Maggie Horton) have been driving story for over a year and are fully integrated with the “younger set,” as they should be. The cast is enjoying themselves. The viewers are enjoying what they see. The show is getting critical recognition that it has lacked in the past few years. Things just keep getting better for Days. NBC daytime’s lone wolf soap is enjoying the fruits of their labor. Slashing the budget hasn’t compromised the integrity of the show.
Yes, they’ve had to write Peter Reckell (Bo Brady) off the show for two months because he’s nearing his episode guarantee, but instead of paying Reckell double to continue taping during his current cycle, the show is telling stories with the supporting cast they already have in place around the star. That leaves Days with the necessary funds to plan a farewell storyline to the show’s matriarch, Frances Reid (Alice Horton), who passed earlier this year. Days recently announced a cavalcade of fan favorite returns coinciding with the farewell to Alice storyline. Instead of seeing the show over pay and over use a leading actor, Days is investing in their history and giving the audience a chance to say goodbye to a character and an actress that they’ve welcomed into their living rooms for 40 years with the help of some friendly faces from the past.
Yes, Days was the subject of mainstream media scrutiny when they fired superstars Deidre Hall (Marlena Evans) and Drake Hogestyn (John Black) in late 2008. Despite initial fan and outcry that the show would fail without Hall and Hogestyn, Days has experienced a period of creative growth that has resulted in bringing viewers back despite controversial firings and writing changes. Days has even seen critical recognition that it has been lacking for quite some time. Last year, they received multiple Daytime Emmy nominations including one for Outstanding Daytime Drama. Days was able to net two acting wins, with Tamara Braun’s (ex-Ava, Days ; ex-Reese, AMC; ex-Carly, GH) Outstanding Supporting Actress win and Darin Brooks’ (ex-Max) Outstanding Younger Actor win.
TVSource Magazine would like to congratulate the cast and crew of Days of Our Lives on their renewal! Hopefully, the rest of the daytime lineup is taking note of Days’ playbook instead of squandering the time they have left telling storylines without payoffs and throwing tired storylines without character development at the wall to see what sticks.
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