After much speculation and nervous fans, Days of Our Lives was renewed for a 51st season on NBC. The news came on Feb. 11 that the stories about the residents of Salem would continue for another year.
Despite a bump in ratings during the 50th anniversary season, the holdup in contract negotiations with Sony, NBC and Corday Productions was curious and led to the rumor that the long-running soap could be on the chopping block.
Since DOOL fans are all celebrating today, here are seven reasons why the show was picked up for another dramatic and delightful year.
The show has experienced a nice bump in ratings with the recent storyline about who Maggie would choose to receive the heart of her brain-dead son Daniel — Brady or Eric? According to Deadline, over 2.914 million viewers tuned in the week of Jan. 4-8 to learn about her decision. That's the highest viewership since January 2014.
NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt was optimistic about the show's return in a January interview with TVLine so that bit of information was encouraging to fans before the contract negotiations began.
"We're happy with where Days was this year," Greenblatt said. "We have a negotiating period that starts in February. Stay tuned."
The producers of DOOL gave viewers a treat by bringing back some familiar faces from years past. The brief return of Bo Brady to close out the Hope romance storyline was sad and dramatic, but the couple was reunited before his death. Other notable characters who joined the cast for the 50th season included Patch, Kayla, Shawn, Sami and Belle. It was a welcome sight for longtime fans.
While the exit of beloved characters isn’t a happy occasion, the serial killer storyline left fans on edge — who would be killed off next? We lost Serena Mason, Paige Larson and William Horton to the Necktie Killer, Ben Weston.
Other sad departures came as a result of contracts not being renewed with actors Kassie DePaiva and Shawn Christian.
The serial killer on the loose in Salem gave the actors on the show a renewed sense of purpose and energy on the set. At the Day of Days event last November, the cast praised the writers with plotlines they created. The Necktie Killer made TV audiences wonder which character would be his next victim.
DOOL is the only remaining soap left on NBC Daytime programming. With the discontinuation of the daytime programming block back in 2007, the soap continues to be a reminder of days past.
Fans can only reminisce about the years Passions, Another World, The Doctors and Santa Barbara were on the network. However, DOOL is still standing proud and strong.
When TV critics dismiss the soap genre as tired, a new set of ratings often proves that daytime shows aren't going anywhere. The audience remains strong, and no one is more supportive than the soap opera fans. In fact, Deadline hinted that there may be a 52nd year for DOOL as well.
At the end of the day, it's always the network's decision, and it sounds like DOOL is here to stay.
"NBC is incredibly proud of the legacy of Days of our Lives and we couldn't be more excited to bring its fans new stories for the 51st season," said NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke in a public statement on Thursday. "In a business where having a show remain on the air for two seasons is considered a success, what Days has achieved is extraordinary."
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