Days of Our Lives has been a staple of NBC’s broadcast schedule for almost six decades, but after 57 years on the air the show is bowing out. But don’t worry, Days of Our Lives isn’t canceled, it’s just moving over to a new home: Peacock (opens in new tab).
Vulture (opens in new tab) reports that from September 12, Days of Our Lives will make the switch to streaming marking the end of an era. Its move will also signal NBC’s exit from a genre of television it helped pioneer: the daytime soap. The network is credited with starting the sudser craze in 1949 with These Are My Children, and the genre peaked in the early 1970s with almost 20 daytime soaps running across various channels.
Days of Our Lives premiered in November 1965 and to date more than 14,000 episodes have aired on NBC. However, with the popularity of daytime soaps decreasing at the turning of the millennium, and the rise of streaming in the last decade, the show has faced an uncertain future for several years now. In fact, of the four remaining network daytime soaps, Days of Our Lives draws the smallest average viewing figures.
A final cancelation may well have been in the cards, but instead the show will be moving out to NBC’s streaming service Peacock where new episodes will be exclusively available. The small, but passionate, Days of Our Lives fandom is likely already familiar with Peacock as the service offers a string of Days of Our Lives spinoff series. Clearly, these have been popular enough with Peacock viewers for NBC executives to be convinced to move the flagship show over as well.
“This programming shift benefits both Peacock and NBC and is reflective of our broader strategy to utilize our portfolio to maximize reach and strengthen engagement with viewers,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, in a statement. “With a large percentage of the Days of Our Lives audience already watching digitally, this move enables us to build the show’s loyal fan base on streaming while simultaneously bolstering the network daytime offering with an urgent, live programming opportunity for partners and consumers.”
When Days of Our Lives ends its remarkably TV run in September that will leave just three daytime soaps still broadcasting on network television: ABC’s General Hospital and The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS. These could be the next candidates to make their way over to streaming, leaving an American intuition merely a relic of the past.