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Are DAYS' days Numbers?


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Are DAYS Days Numbered?

Posted Sunday, December 11, 2005 8:12:52 PM

NBC's two daytime dramas have been beset with rumors that their days are coming to an end. For many soap fans the rumors are just part of the norm - CBS's Guiding Light has been rumored to be on its last leg for the better part of a decade.

Like Guiding Light, NBC's Passions has been beleaguered by poor ratings ever since its debut in July 1999. Passions does, however, have some pluses in its favor: its typical viewer skews young, the very type of viewer that advertisers crave.

Days of our Lives, meanwhile, has been on the air much longer than Passions. The show celebrated in 40th year on the air in November 2005, a major milestone for any scripted television program. But the show almost didn't reach that magic milestone.

In late 2002, talks between NBC, Corday Productions, the owners of Days of our Lives, and Sony, the distribution company for the show, broke down during the renegotiation process for continuing the broadcast of the show. Because of the show's shrinking ratings, a problem facing all of television's daytime drama series, the fees and licensing costs became a major issue during the talks. When it looked like the three partners might not reach an agreement, there were whispers that a rival network - particularly ABC - might try to acquire the rights to broadcast Days of our Lives.

Eventually, it was announced that a new deal was reached and Days of our Lives had been renewed for another five years. But there new deal came with stipulations. First, in an attempt to cut costs, James E. Reilly was brought back as head writer. At the time, Reilly was also serving as head writer for Passions. The scribe continues to work in the same capacity for both shows. The second condition was that DAYS' renewal would come in two parts - an automatic three-year renewal and an option to pick up the final two years after that. The option for renewal comes up in March 2006.

"We're going into this future of television [which is]going to be changing very drastically in the next five years in all of the dayparts," NBC entertainment president Kevin Reilly said during DAYS' 40th anniversary celebration. "You see the iPod deals, watching shows on people's cell phones… and we're going to be working very hard to figure out how [to] keep this great franchise alive."

Reilly hinted that NBC may need to find alternative ways to distribute the show. That, said Reilly, would land squarely on the shoulders of Sony.

It isn't as though executives involved with Days of our Lives have not been seeking out ways to get new eyes to tune into the show. In 2004, same-day repeats of Days of our Lives bean airing in primetime on the Disney-owned cable channel, SOAPnet. DAYS episodes had also been available for download on the Sony-operated Soap City web site. That service was suspended earlier this year. Last month, NBC and Sony partnered up for a "frequent viewer" program allowing DAYS viewers to answer trivia questions in return for points that are redeemable for DAYS (and Sony) merchandise. NBC, meanwhile, entered a partnership with Apple earlier this month that allows iPod/iTunes users to download episodes its primetime shows. As of "post time" no plans were made to offer episodes of Days of our Lives or Passions as part of this service.

If an agreement to continue to airing of Days of our Lives is not reached, the show could potentially go off the air sometime in 2007.

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Sigh.. not your fault, Mitch, but must we really go through this again?

DAYS is fine for the next few months. Passions is, too, and I personally think SciFi getting reruns has only helped matters. Days also has SOAPnet going for it, so... NBC would be idiots to lose their two daytime dramas.

So, must we rehash this all over again?

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Would NBC just throw in the towel on its daytime line up just like that? DAYS has rebounded this year in that ever important 18-49 demo and now is consistently finishing 2nd of tying for 1st place.... Passions continues to bring in along with DAYS good 18-34 numbers and the teen girls demo.... I dunno Passions maybe but I'd like to think DAYS is safe. I have no use for either show but I know these shows have very loyal followings and a very vocal fanbase here on these boards (at least DAYS does) so it is always a shame when cancellation rumours pop up.... Its kind of a sad thought to think by this time 2 years from now DAYS, Passions, GL and possibly ATWT could all be off the air :unsure:

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Would NBC just throw in the towel on its daytime line up just like that? DAYS has rebounded this year in that ever important 18-49 demo and now is consistently finishing 2nd of tying for 1st place.... Passions continues to bring in along with DAYS good 18-34 numbers and the teen girls demo.... I dunno Passions maybe but I'd like to think DAYS is safe. I have no use for either show but I know these shows have very loyal followings and a very vocal fanbase here on these boards (at least DAYS does) so it is always a shame when cancellation rumours pop up.... Its kind of a sad thought to think by this time 2 years from now DAYS, Passions, GL and possibly ATWT could all be off the air :unsure:

Thats a very sad thought indeed. Can you imagine 4 shows off the air in 2 years, that is MAJOR. The remaing 5 would die off in the 5-7 years following.

Lets hope NBC honours their contract with DAYS for the remainder, I really hope they hold on to it, in the meantime DAYS still has 3 more months of ratings to keep inching up those numbers, lets hope they break back into the 3.0's in HH, that would put DAYS above their averages the last time they were in negotiations with NBC.

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Its kind of a sad thought to think by this time 2 years from now DAYS, Passions, GL and possibly ATWT could all be off the air :unsure:

Hell, I could see OLTL joining that list, too. As hard as it to think of these shows, which have been around for years and years and years, coming to a sudden and abrupt end in the next few years, it's entirely possible. Viewers just won't see it coming, I don't think. For shows that have sustained this long, you almost expect to see warning sirens and buzzers going off to precede the announcement, but it always seems to come out of nowhere... such and such show is cancelled, last airdate six months from now. No real warning, despite the constant worries.

If this happens, it would leave only Y&R, B&B, AMC and GL. For daytime, that's nada.

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If 4 go in the next 2 years, it will be a quick end to daytime. I can't see daytime drama continuing for awhile with only 4 or 5 soaps left on the air, I think all networks will eventually just give up.

Yup. And Soap Opera Digest will be scaled down to a six page magazine, LoL.

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I don't see daytime ending. There will be less choices, yes. But daytime has always survived.

Take a look at game shows. Syndie champs WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY were the only two game shows worth watching in the mid-to-late 90's. Thanks to GSN(who, BTW, has promised a revisit to game shows instead of reality shows) and WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE?, game shows continue to exist.

I see a world with Y&R, B&B, AMC, and GH existing. Those are four soaps. I see them probably all getting rebroadcasted on SOAPnet or even moving to SOAPnet if enough households get the channel within the next three to five years.

There will ALWAYS be new soaps, ALWAYS be an interest. Even if the soaps aren't packaged in the way we want.

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Sigh.. not your fault, Mitch, but must we really go through this again?

DAYS is fine for the next few months. Passions is, too, and I personally think SciFi getting reruns has only helped matters. Days also has SOAPnet going for it, so... NBC would be idiots to lose their two daytime dramas.

So, must we rehash this all over again?

Actually NBC already displayed their idiocy when they cancelled Another World, so I wouldn't put it past them, in all honesty.

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