Megyn Kelly: The New Stefano DiMera?
Over the years, we’ve seen some serious threats to Salem, and even some pretty dangerous cancellation rumors, but when word broke on Tuesday that NBC would be stealing Megyn Kelly away from Fox News, it seemed to signal near-certain doom for Days of Our Lives.
Megyn Kelly, one of Fox News’ biggest stars, is heading for rival NBC News when her contract is up later this year, according to a spokesperson for NBC News. She will host a daytime news and talk show, anchor a Sunday night news show and work on special programming.
Here’s the thing about that “daytime news and talk show”: NBC actually has very few daytime hours to fill. Over the years, they’ve given more and more hours over to the affiliates to fill with whatever (presumably syndicated) programming they choose. There are only three current hours of actual daytime programming controlled by NBC itself: the third hour of Today; the fourth hour of Today (otherwise known as “The Kathie Lee & Hoda Shitshow”); and Days. And if something were to be cut from that slate…
I was reluctant even to write about this, because I didn’t want to put bad thoughts out into the universe. Days is only guaranteed to be on-air through this coming fall, and frankly, the ratings continue to slide and it isn’t exactly hitting creative peaks — though it has improved significantly from last year’s various nightmares. The whole thing made me very nervous. Makes me very nervous, I should say. And given the current Days production schedule, they’re already shooting into June and July right now, which means that if the show were to go off the air in September, they’d only have a few weeks to re-jigger plans and write the scripts for those final weeks.
But today there was this, from a variety of news sources:
Megyn Kelly’s new daytime show on NBC is expected to replace Today’s 9 a.m. hour, sources said Wednesday.
NBC News declined to comment. A network source said that timing on everything involving Kelly is still up in the air, including when she will join NBC News and when her new shows will debut.
That third hour (as the article linked above goes on to discuss) is sort of a mess right now. It’s a pale imitation of the first two hours, only without any actual news and a lot more emphasis on pop culture and light human interest. Most recently, they brought in Billy Bush to be a part of it, only to lose him after the scandal of the leaked Donald Trump tape (involving Days‘ Arianne Zucker) this past fall. It doesn’t sound like that hour would be a huge loss, since they’re struggling to fill it as-is.
So we’ll see what happens. I suspect we’ll know either way very soon. My fingers are crossed for word of a renewal right around the airing of the 13,000th episode of Days and that the sands will keep running through this particular hourglass for many years to come.
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