Soap Opera Digest: Well, the big news is that DAYS is moving to the streaming service Peacock on September 12. Tell us everything!
Ken Corday: It’s very exciting. This was baked into the last contract when we were renewed in 2021. The network always had the right to migrate the show exclusively to Peacock and now they’ve decided to do so, and we’re excited. The bottom line is, this is the future. Whether people believe it now, or in a year or two, this is the future of first-run dramatic television. Let’s just hope the migration is wonderful and our loyal viewers stick with us and subscribe.
Digest: Do you think the success of BEYOND SALEM played a factor here?
Corday: Yes, definitely. I think that BEYOND SALEM, as wonderful as they were, were, in a way, a litmus test for Peacock to see how the show performed exclusively behind the paywall. Certainly the last one did very well, CHAPTER 2, and knowing that, they felt the best way to boost subscriptions was migrate us, and I think BEYOND SALEM has had a lot to do with it.
Digest: Are you concerned that people might be reluctant to watch on a different platform?
Corday: Well, we have to find a way to make this very easy and palatable for our viewers, be it young or old, to know how it works, not only by subscription, but how it actually works at home on your phone and with your TV. So we’ll be doing some promos, PSAs for that. We’ll have Bill Hayes [Doug] and Susan Seaforth Hayes [Julie] showing each other how to access Peacock.
Digest: What about people who are worried that the show isn’t going to be the same?
Corday: For starters, it’s the same show. You will probably be getting more show content after February of next year [the show currently has episodes filmed through February 2023] because we don’t have to limit the show to 38 minutes with 22 minutes of commercial time. On Peacock, with the lower subscription, you get four minutes of commercial time, and with the higher subscription, you get no commercial time. So, that’s good. Also, the broadcast quality on streaming is better than network broadcast from transmitters, just a technical point.
Digest: What about your international viewers who don’t get Peacock? What do you say to them?
Corday: Well, the show is still distributed by Sony Pictures Television all over the world, and in about 20 percent of the markets it was in eight years ago. But no, the international markets won’t be impacted. Canada is a little tricky because they air the show a day ahead, and there are some things that have to be worked out with that.
Digest: What is your overall message to the viewers?
Corday: It’s 2022 and the future is here. There are three certain truths of life: The most precious thing in life is time, so this is happening quickly, and we have to make the most of it. The most constant thing in life is change. We have to accept that and roll with it. And the most important thing in life is happiness. We have to make NBC happy and the viewers happy. There’s trepidation, because this is a big change, but it’s still going to be the same DAYS that you know and love and it will be better in small ways. First, longer program length. Come spring, we will be able to say and do things that are a little bit more titillating than on broadcast. It’s still DAYS OF OUR LIVES but it’s not your mother’s DAYS OF OUR LIVES. It changes, it’s growing, but in all the best ways. The network has been extremely positive, extremely encouraging, extremely happy, all the extremes, and are allaying any qualms I may have. So, it’s really wonderful to have that kind of profile from programmers and the business people that run NBC and Peacock.
Digest: What do you say to the people who, after the news was announced, were saying DAYS is going to be canceled?
Corday: Yes. It’s funny to see how all the bottom feeders grabbed it and went, “DAYS is canceled. Next.” It never ceases to amaze me how, you know, “If it bleeds, it leads,” and let’s say the worst things we can say about it, right? This is not the end of an era; it’s the beginning of another era. This is the best part of the job for me, these exciting, pioneering times, making changes like this and trying to keep everything positive.