The current trend in daytime TV seems to be that soap operas are on their way out. Passions and Guiding Light have both ended in the last couple years and As the World Turns will likely wrap this fall. There are also rumors that ABC may soon end one of its soaps as well.
However, there’s some good news coming out of NBC. The network plans to keep veteran sudser Days of Our Lives on the air for another year.
Days of Our Lives has been entertaining viewers daily since 1965. The serial was created by Irna Phillips, who had her hand in creating many other soaps as well and mentored fellow soap creators Agnes Nixon and William J. Bell. The cast of the series, which famously opens with sands pouring from an hourglass, includes Alison Sweeney, Peter Reckell, Kristian Alfonso, Eric Martsolf, John Aniston, Lauren Koslow, and real life married couple Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth-Hayes.
The serial has had its share of ratings slumps, followed by ratings surges. Throughout the past decade it’s been on a fairly steady decline (as most soap operas have) but has picked up recently, besting last year’s numbers by nearly 10%. It’s currently the second most-popular serial among women 18-49.
NBC Universal Television president Jeff Zucker stated three years ago that Days of Our Lives was unlikely to continue past 2009. In November 2008, it was renewed for a maximum of 18 months, keeping it on the air until September 2010.
Despite Zucker’s earlier prediction of its demise, NBC has now come to a new agreement with Sony Pictures TV, albeit a short-term one. NBC is agreeing to keep Days of Our Lives on for another season, until September 2011.
Of the renewal, Marc Graboff, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said, “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.” He continued, “Days has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively.”
While the renewal is good news for the soap’s faithful viewers, the short term agreement certainly shows that the network still isn’t committed to keeping the drama on their daytime schedule.
What do you think? Are you surprised that NBC as renewed the soap opera? Realistically, do you think Days of Our Lives will survive past 2011?