Looking beyond 2016.

According to TVLine, executives at NBC are optimistic that the network will extend its contract with its sole remaining soap opera, “Days of our Lives,” beyond 2016.

“We’re happy with where ‘Days’ was this year,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told TVLine.

NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke agreed.

“We’ve been really happy with the show,” Salke said in the same article. “I’ve been over there seeing Ken [Corday, executive producer] and the team and the new writers. They’re an incredible group and we love the show. They got a [ratings] bump in the fall for their 50th anniversary. There’s a creative resurgence and exciting storytelling going on right now. We need to negotiate with Sony [Pictures Television], but I’m optimistic. We would like the show back.”

Soap operas have had a tumultuous time in recent years, and the numbers for “Days” have not always looked so good. Network pickups only come one or two years at a time, with rumors swirling each time whether the daytime show centered in Salem will make the cut. In 2010 NBC picked up “Days” through September 2013, and in that time it became the lowest-ranking soap on air with viewers bottoming out in 2011. In 2013 it was picked up through 2014 as ratings rose, and Days was last renewed in 2014, which ensured the fate of the soap through September 2016. That deal will actually be fulfilled in March due to the soap’s six-months-in-advance shooting schedule.

The negotiating period starts in February, and Soaps.com has anxiously been awaiting word from TSA ever since there was a meeting to discuss the show’s renewal. The ratings for “Days” hit their highest point in two years the week of January 4-8, reaching 2.914 million households. That was the week beloved character Dr. Daniel Jonas (Shawn Christian) was killed in a car accident while the lives of Eric Brady (Greg Vaughan) and Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) hung in the balance.

Soaps.com will keep readers updated with developments as they occur.

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Photo credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

– Hollie Deese