After much anticipation, NBC announced today that it has renewed “Days of our Lives” through the 2015-16 television season. The renewal ensures the soap will celebrate its 50th year on television. The series debuted on November 8, 1965.
“‘Days of our Lives’ continues to be a fan favorite for the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 50th season,” said Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment. “‘DAYS’ has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively due to the hard work of the producers, writers, cast and crew who have worked tirelessly to make ‘DAYS’ the ratings success it is today.
It seems like just yesterday that the world was ready to nail the lid on the coffin of daytime soap operas. Ratings were low across the board, and a slew of sudsers — “Guiding Light,” “As the World Turns,” “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” — were cancelled, leaving only “Days of our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” on the air. But to the surprise of critics and many soap fans, 2013 saw a drastic turnaround: All four remaining soap operas saw a significant increase in ratings, and “The Young and the Restless” once again made a list of the top 10 most-searched television programs of the year, among popular series like “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead.” So why the complete 180 in daytime soap popularity?
Soap Opera Network recently attended an event at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where soap opera insiders like John McCook (Eric Forrester, “B&B”), Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer, “GH”), Marnie Saaita (casting director for “DAYS”) and Michael Maloney (author of “The Young and Restless Life of William J. Bell: Creator of The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful”) discussed the recent resurgence and more. Read on to find out what these soap opera experts had to say about the genre’s past, present and future!
According to Deadline Hollywood, former “Days of our Lives” star Mark Hapka (ex-Nathan Horton) has joined the cast of the FOX Digital Studio original sci-fi series, “Parallels.”
Per the website, Hapka will portray Ronan Carver, a street-smart underground MMA fighter who has been estranged from his family since age 16 only to be forced to confront his past in an adventure through parallel universes. Also cast in the series are Jessica Rothe (“Gossip Girl”), Eric Jungmann (“Night Stalker”), Constance Wu (“One Life to Live”), Yorgo Constantine (“24″) and Michael Monks.
“Parallels” hails from the mind of writer/director Christopher Leone with Laura Harcom set to produce.
“Days of our Lives” star Alison Sweeney will announce on the Tuesday, January 21 edition of “The Ellen Show” that she will be departing the NBC Daytime drama series after portraying the role of Samantha “Sami” Brady for 21 consecutive years. Sweeney’s contract is set to expire in December 2014, according to published reports.
“I decided that it’s going to be my last year with the show,” said an emotional Sweeney to host Ellen DeGeneres on her future at “DAYS.” Sweeney added, “I’ve been on ‘Days of our Lives’ since I was 16 years old and I have never had more than a two-week vacation in that whole time. I mean, it’s so awesome. I love Sami, I love Salem, I love my job. I love daytime, I love the fans, I love everything about it.”
In case you missed it last year when it premiered on Lifetime Movie Network, LMN has scheduled several re-airings of “Hunt for the Labyrinth Killer,” which stars former “All My Children” actor Michael Nouri (ex-Caleb Cortlandt) as a retired and respected judge accused of being Daedalus, a serial killer infamous for luring his victims to their deaths through labyrinth traps.
Also in the film is former “Days of our Lives” actress Valerie Wildman (ex-Fay Walker), who plays the role of Beth Harrington, a “real housewife” with a secret. Wildman can currently be seen in the new season of “Venice: The Series.”
The “Hunt for the Labyrinth Killer” airing schedule is as follows:
Friday, January 17 marked the final tape date for “Days of our Lives’” Camila Banus (Gabi Hernandez), who joined the soap in October 2010. The actress announced plans to depart the soap in an August 2013 interview with Soap Opera Uncensored.
“Tomorrow is my last day shooting as my beloved character Gabi! Thought this photo was dramatic enough. Everyone wish me luck on my last day of taping as Gabi on Days of our Lives,’” wrote the actress the day before she filmed her final scenes in a message published on her Instagram page.
Next week on NBC’s “Days of our Lives,” Gabi (Camila Banus) and Will (Guy Wilson) get ready to christen their child with their whole family all in attendance to celebrate, but a surprise guest may have other plans in store.
“Oh, my god!” says a shocked Gabi as Sami (Alison Sweeney) and Kate (Lauren Koslow) look on with their own surprised faces, but who could make all three begin to clam up? Viewers can only begin to speculate if it has anything to do with a certain “dead” man!
Ratings Report for the Week of January 6-10, 2014
NOTE: Please do not copy and paste the entire ratings. Thank you.
Numbers are based on Live+Same Day ratings
(Compared to Last Week/Compared to Last Year)
1. Y&R 5,472,000 (+159,000/+833,000) * <—- 5 year high
2. B&B 4,135,000 (+8,000/+576,000)
3. GH 3,289,000 (-41,000/+433,000)
4. DAYS 2,991,000 (-30,000/+426,000)
* New high for JFP/Altman/Passanante regime
* Highest since December 28, 2008 – January 1, 2009
1. Y&R 3.9/11 (+.2/+.5) * <—– 5 year high
2. B&B 2.9/8 (+.1/+.3) ** <—– 5.5 year high
3. GH 2.5/7 (+.1/+.4)
4. DAYS 2.2/6 (same/+.3)
* Last time at 3.9: Dec 28 – Jan 1, 2009
* New high for JFP/Altman/Passanante regime
** Last time at 2.9: April 28 – May 2, 2008
For the second week in a row, “Days of our Lives” has generated its top Women 18-49 Audience in more than two years!
According to Neilsen live plus same day numbers, the week of January 6 through the 10th saw 688,000 women 18-49, the biggest audience in that key demo since the week of November 21-25, 2011 — even a step up from last week’s number, which was 669,000.
It was quite exciting news when word leaked that “The Partridge Family” star Shirley Jones was headed to “General Hospital” in February, but it looks like her Port Charles storyline may lead to even more of a thrill!
TV Guide reports that the Oscar winner and sitcom icon (who also appeared on “Days of our Lives” as Irish matriarch Colleen Brady back in 2008) will play Mrs. McClain, a lonely widow who sees something strange and disconcerting while paying a visit to her late husband’s grave.