Days Of Our Lives has terminated the contracts of their entire cast, it has been claimed.
On Tuesday TV Line reported that the stars were told not to come back as the soap opera is heading into its hiatus at the end of this month. It is not yet known if the show will be canceled.
The NBC daytime TV show has been struggling in the ratings as talk shows and cable TV has offered stiff competition.
The series began in 1965 and for decades was a big hit. It is now NBC's last remaining soap opera.
The biggest stars of the show are Jennifer Aniston's father John Aniston, 86, who plays Victor Kiriakis, Kristian Alfonso as Hope Alice Williams, Nadia Bjorlin as Chloe Lane, Mary Beth Evans as Kayla Brady, and Deidre Hall as Marlena Evans.
NBC has yet to comment on the move. The network and its parent company Sony are currently deciding what stays and what goes in 2020.
The show is currently in its 55th season.
A representative for Sony told TVLine 'the studio is not involved in contract negotiations — that falls to Corday Productions.'
The show films eight months before its air date. That means DOOL has enough episodes to run until the summer of 2020.
The site added that if NBC was to go ahead with the show and not cancel it they would need to start filming again in March.
It was also claimed that if the show is renewed for another season, producers could go back to the cast and ask them to sign new contracts at a lower salary.
'It’s actually a shrewd, if cynical, business move,' one insider said to TVLine. 'If Days gets picked up, [Corday] can offer the actors new contacts at a reduced rate and with a take-it-or-leave it attitude. Worst case scenario, they lose half their cast. Best case scenario [for Corday], everyone agrees to return at a lower salary.'
The show - the most widely distributed soap opera in the United States - is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Salem.
It follows the lives of the Horton, Brady, Kiriakis, Hernandez and DiMera families.
The series was created by husband-and-wife team Ted Corday and Betty Corday.
Many of the cast members stay with the soap opera for decades.
Frances Reid, the matriarch of the series' Horton family, remained with the show from its inception to her death in 2010.
Suzanne Rogers is the longest-serving member of the program's current cast having appeared on the show since 1973.
Susan Seaforth Hayes – the second longest-serving actor currently on the program – is the only cast member to appear on Days of Our Lives in all six decades.
Other daytime soaps that are still going are ABC’s General Hospital, and CBS’ The Young and the Restless and The Bold And the Beautiful.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.