Days of our Lives fans can breathe a sigh of relief -- the show will not be canceled this year. NBC officially announced today that its last-standing soap opera has been renewed through 2011.
"Days of our Lives continues to be a favorite of the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 45th season," Marc Graboff, Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, said in the announcement. "DAYS has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively."
As first reported last year, Days of our Lives is one of the few soaps to boast a larger audience this year compared to last year. In the advertiser-friendly "Women Viewers 18-49" demographic, DAYS is up nearly five percent.
"The producers, cast and crew have worked tirelessly to make DAYS the ratings success it is today. Today's renewal is a true testament to all of their hard work," added Bruce Evans, Senior Vice President, Drama Programming, NBC Entertainment. "We could not be more delighted for them and for the multiple generations of fiercely loyal Days of our Lives fans."
Like the villainous Stefano DiMera, Days of our Lives has come back from being assumed dead on more than one occasion. In January 2007, Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal, announced that DAYS was on its last leg and was "unlikely to continue [on NBC] past 2009."
As 2008 drew to a close, NBC made an about-face, announcing that Days of our Lives had been renewed through 2010. The network also said at the time that the show's contract could be extended through September 2011 if "certain parameters on the show" were met. Clearly reducing the show's operating budget and boosting the ratings were at the top of the list of parameters.
Following the renewal announcement, the show fired some of its popular veteran performers. Though the dismissals were widely believed to bring about a drop in the ratings, that was not the case. In fact, the show's ratings actually increased. Though some demographics are more important to advertisers, Days of our Lives has boosted its numbers in nearly every demographic category -- women, girls, and men. At the end of February Sweeps, Days of our Lives reportedly pulled in about 3.2 million viewers each day. That total is up about 317,000 viewers compared to February 2009.
Days of our Lives will mark its 45th anniversary on November 8, 2010.