12:06pm PT by Rick Porter
'Days of Our Lives' Cast Released From Contracts
The future of NBC's daytime soap Days of Our Lives is in doubt after the entire cast was released from their contracts.
The 55-year-old drama — the longest-running entertainment show in NBC's history — will go on an indefinite hiatus at the end of November, although enough episodes have been banked to play out the rest of the 2019-20 season.
NBC and Sony Pictures TV, which distributes the show, declined comment. Calls to producer Corday Productions were not returned.
A source pushed back on the idea that the entire cast has been released, telling The Hollywood Reporter that since the show was eight months ahead in production and will wrap for the season in November. At that time, some actors may be released if there's no renewal decision.
Corday, which carries the contracts with the cast, made the call to release the actors. Days of Our Lives was renewed for 2019-20 in January; should it be picked up again, production would likely resume in the spring — but the cast would have to negotiate new contracts. Sony Pictures TV and NBC had been in talks for another season when Corday released the cast.
Corday also sued Sony earlier this year, claiming the studio hadn't put forth its best efforts at distributing Days of Our Lives. The claim said Sony made a decision to "eliminate any competition to its wholly owned series 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."
Sony had several of Corday's claims dismissed in August, although Corday's allegation that Sony failed to adequately market Days of Our Lives and share marketing costs was allowed to move forward.
Days of Our Lives is one of four remaining daytime dramas on the broadcast networks; CBS' The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful and ABC's General Hospital are the others. It is averaging about 2 million daily viewers this season, the smallest audience of the quartet.
TVLine first reported the news.