It looks like Joseph Mascolo
) might not be returning to Days of our Lives as fans had hoped. The actor and show execs have been in talks for the actor to return, but the talks have reached a stalemate.
The sticking point, according to a show source, is the term of Mascolo's contract. Mascolo wants to return to work in a long-term storyline. Show execs, however, only want Mascolo to return for a short-term engagement. This is not the first time that show brass and Mascolo have had talks screech to a halt.
A long-time member of the Days of our Lives family, Mascolo made news in 2001
when, after departing DAYS amid a contract dispute, the actor joined the cast of rival CBS soap, The Bold and the Beautiful
. The actor immediately dismissed
talk of Stefano being recast with an in-character "bah humbug."
"My contract is up in May and I tried to negotiate in good faith," Mascolo states. "Usually, one expects some give and take but the powers that be are adamant. They now feel that the character of Stefano should take a rest - as if Stefano ever rests."
In 2002, Days of our Lives' writing team put to rest talk that the character would soon be returning by killing Stefano. Of course, DAYS fans knew that the door would remain open for the character's resurrection since this was not the first time that Stefano had been "killed."
Earlier this year
first reported that Mascolo would be leaving The Bold and the Beautiful at the end of his contract. Unlike his exit from DAYS, money was reportedly not an issue in the actor's decision to bolt. Mascolo had reportedly been unhappy with his character's story -- or lack thereof -- and decided that he would leave until the show could come up with a suitable storyline.
Days of our Lives fans first got an inkling that Stefano might be returning soon when a mysterious "gloved hand" started appearing around Salem earlier this year. Many fans immediately jumped to the conclusion that the mysterious hand belonged to Stefano - and they may have been right. However, as the storyline unfolded on-screen, some behind-the-scenes changes caused a rapid change in the identity of the mystery person. In May
, Days of our Lives head writer James E. Reilly was ousted from the show amid a ratings slump. It is believed that Reilly might have had plans to reveal Stefano as the "gloved hand." However, Hogan Sheffer took over as head writer last month, Sheffer expressed an interest in wrapping up the storyline because it had, in his opinion, dragged on too long.
Mascolo previously appeared on Days of our Lives from 1982 to 1985. He returned briefly in 1988 before making a permanent return in 1993. Mascolo's most recent appearance was in 2001.
NBC declined to comment for this article