No one yet knows the ultimate fate of NBC's longest-running entertainment program, but its stars know they're out of a job in a couple of weeks. TVLine first reported the news Tuesday that Days of Our Lives, a soap opera that's been on the network since November 1965, will go on hiatus at the end of the month, and that all cast members have been released from their contracts by producer Corday Productions. A source says that even when the cameras stop rolling, there will be enough episodes to air until the summer, as the show shoots eight months in advance. The show isn't canceled, but if it's renewed and production is re-set for March, all new contracts would have to be drawn up for the actors on the show, and Corday could offer lower pay.
"It's actually a shrewd—if cynical—business move," an insider says. "Worst-case scenario, they lose half their cast. Best-case scenario [for Corday], everyone agrees to return at a lower salary." Per the Hollywood Reporter, Corday claims Sony Pictures, which distributes Days, has neglected to put its full muscle behind marketing the show because it owns CBS competitor The Young and the Restless. "In the annals of Hollywood television, it is difficult to identify a distributor more guilty of blatant conflict of interest, deceit, perfidy, and abuse of market power" than Sony, Corday claimed in a suit filed earlier this year. At least one star doesn't seem worried. "We're not being cancelled," Chandler Massey, who plays Will Horton, tweeted. "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!" (Read more Days of Our Lives stories.)