Days of our Lives viewers are reeling from the exit of a bunch of fan-favorite characters. By the end of this week, viewers will have seen the last of Eli, Lani, Ciara, Ben, and Abigail.
With so many simultaneous exits, some fans are understandably nervous. Is this an indication that something not-so-good is going on? No, according to DAYS' Emmy-winning head writer Ron Carlivati.
"This is not some mass exodus," Carlivati told Soap Opera Digest. "This is nothing for people to panic about. We had some characters exiting at the same time, but it's not connected."
Carlivati explained that it is purely coincidental that some of the actors' contracts happened to come to an end at the same time. How is that possible? Blame COVID-related extensions and negotiations. Some of the exiting actors also wanted to try things outside the world of daytime.
Lamon Archey, whose Eli was in a coma for an extended period of time because Archey had landed an outside gig, has booked even more non-DAYS work, which prompted him to pass on inking a new contract with the show. His on-screen wife, Sal Stowers (Lani Grant), also decided not to renew her contact. Archey shared that his decision to leave "had been building for over a year" and that ultimately, DAYS could not accommodate his recurring status. Stowers echoed that the decision was "not an easy decision" to make. "As an artist, there just comes a time when you want to try to see what else you're capable of doing."
Carlivati said that having multiple front burner actors on recurring status was "costing the show a lot of money" because of having to schedule taping around those actors' schedules. The writer previously addressed Miller's unavailability as one of the reasons that led to the decision to kill off Abigail. As for Victoria Konefal (Ciara Brady), Carlivati explained that "[Victoria] really just was not available on a regular basis," adding that it is hard to tell the story of a couple in love when one-half of the couple was not available to appear on-screen.
There are zero hard feelings on Carlivati's part. "These actors are super-talented [and] they're young," Carlivati explained. "[I]t's great but it's harder for us. But I do think that they should definitely go and try."
Carlivati made it clear that he knows fans will be disappointed that their favorite actors might not be on the show anymore - but noted that many other faves are still on-screen. The writer added that he understood the need or desire for fans to see their favorite couples have a happy (or as happy as possible) ending.
The door is always open for any or all of the actors to return in the future. "We never say never," Carlivati stated.
At least one of the exiting actors is already set to return through that open door.
How are you feeling about the show's recent batch of exits? Are you more or less worried about DAYS' future after reading Ron Carlivati's explanation? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.