People who are familiar with soap operas to some extent should be familiar with Days of Our Lives. This is because the show is one of the longest-running soap operas that can be found out there in the TV landscape, seeing as how it started up in November of 1965 and is expected to continue throughout the 2019-2020 season at the very least. However, Days of Our Lives has popped up in entertainment news in recent times because there are indications that a once-certain-seeming future is no longer looking so set in stone.
What Happened to Days of Our Lives?
In short, the entire cast of Days of Our Lives has been released from their contracts. For the time being, this is not a statement that the show has been cancelled. However, it is more than enough to cause concern on the parts of Days of Our Lives viewers, particularly since the show has been seeing falling numbers in recent times.
Still, it is important to note that this is not a statement that the show is being cancelled. Instead, there seems to be a number of potential explanations for what has happened. For instance, it is possible that this is a part of a move meant to change how Days of Our Lives is made. Essentially, the show is filmed eight months beforehand, meaning that there are apparently already enough episodes for the remainder of the 2019-2020 season. However, there are some indications that the people behind Days of Our Lives want to switch over to filming two months beforehand, which has a very practical benefit in that it would provide them with much more control over the stories that they are telling.
With that said, there is a much more cynical explanation as well. Simply put, releasing the cast of Days of Our Lives puts them in a much weaker bargaining position. As a result, when the filming for the next season starts up, the people behind the show can use that to negotiate lower prices for what said individuals will be paid, thus lowering their production costs in hopes of securing higher profits. Sure, there is a chance that they will lose some of the cast members, who have presumably already started searching for opportunities elsewhere because they need to eat. However, the cast members for soap opera tend to be more replaceable than their counterparts on other shows. Something that is particularly true in this case at this point in time because Days of Our Lives is apparently moving forward in time to make it easier to explain any changes as needed.
Why Are Soap Operas in Decline?
Regardless, it is perfectly understandable for people to be concerned about the potential cancellation of Days of Our Lives. Once upon a time, the TV landscape of the United States was home to more than a dozen soap operas. Nowadays, there are just four of them still around because of cancellations. Those that exist are some of the most famous soap operas that have ever been made in the United States, but that wasn’t enough to save some of those that have been cancelled. As such, it is no wonder that a lot of Days of Our Lives fans have been concerned to say the least.
As for why soap operas have been seeing lower and lower numbers, there isn’t a single answer so much as a number of them. For starters, the sheer number of people involved in making soap operas means that they have higher production costs than a lot of other shows. As a result, while soap operas can still be worthwhile from a financial perspective under the right circumstances, most TV networks tend to be less than enthused about them. Instead, they prefer to go for unscripted shows that are cheaper to make, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to interested individuals because this is something that has been happening throughout the TV landscape rather than being limited to this particular part of it.
Second, the fact of the matter is that soap operas have a smaller viewer base than before. More women are now in the workforce compared to their counterparts from past decades, meaning that there is now a smaller percentage of female viewers with the right amount of spare time in the right time slots to follow such shows. Even worse for the people who make soap operas, said individuals now have more entertainment options than ever before, not least because they can just either TiVo or stream other kinds of programs that they are interested in instead of being limited to whatever is being broadcast by the TV networks.
Third, people’s viewing habits have changed. There are still plenty of people who watch soap operas, but there is now an increased taste for other kinds of programs during the daytime. In particular, it is worth mentioning that daytime talk shows have replaced soap operas to a considerable extent among the people who used to make up the latter’s primary viewer base, which is a problem for soap operas without a simple and straightforward solution. On top of this, the kind of melodrama that enables soap opera to stand out can be found in plentiful supply elsewhere, as shown by the frequent clashes on the right kinds of unscripted shows.
Fourth, while soap operas are still called soap operas, the companies that used to push them have recognized the changing nature of TV consumption. As a result, soap operas now have a harder time attracting the interest of sponsors, which in turn, further tightens their finances.
Summed up, soap operas are in a bad situation. It isn’t wholly unsurvivable, as shown by the fact that there are still a number of soap operas hanging on in the United States. However, it is clear that soap operas need to keep up with the times to keep themselves running far into the future. Due to this, it will be interesting to see how Days of Our Lives will change in the near future, assuming that everything works out fine so that it can indeed resume production as its producers have promised.
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