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Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI (7)

How much longer will the sands be flowing through the hourglass?

It’s good news for the residents of Salem — not to mention those of us who spend time with them every day: the long-running soap has officially been renewed for two more years.

Sadly, the show’s fate wasn’t necessarily a given. Sure, it’s been airing for over five decades, but if there’s one thing soap fans have learned, the future is not certain. And where Days of Our Lives is concerned, many feared that the show’s move from NBC to the Peacock streaming service might translate into the show being on its last legs.

But as it turns out, viewers did follow the show to its new home. In fact, Peacock says that the soap has “consistently been a top 10 title” since it relocated.

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“Following its move to Peacock last September,” the streaming service said in a press release, “Days of Our Lives has been picked up for an additional two seasons. The latest renewal for the venerable soap will take one of television’s most iconic and trailblazing [dramas] through its 60th season.”

The news comes as several shows are approaching major milestones. The Young and the Restless will mark its 50th year on CBS (having first aired on March 26, 1973), while ABC’s General Hospital is ramping up to celebrate its 60th anniversary on April 1.

At the station, Jada's and Talia's mouths drop and their faces light up, as Talia clasps Jada's wrists.

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While many predicted moving to Peacock would spell the soap’s doom, it is perhaps not surprising that the opposite has proven true. This is not exactly the first time Days of Our Lives has managed to defy the odds. When first it began airing, the then-30-minute soap was a ratings disaster… and it remained so for several years, seeming to live on the verge of cancellation.

Until, that is, a name very familiar to soap fans stepped in as headwriter: William J. Bell. He took the reigns in 1966 and set about trying to breath new life into the ailing series. “It needed help,” he said during an interview with the Television Academy. “It needed revamping!” So successful and popular were his resulting stories that Corday Productions actually sued to prevent him from leaving to create another show. (Of course, he would later go on to co-create with wife Lee Phillip Bell The Young and the Restless.)

By the 80s, Days of Our Lives had become a show which vacillated wildly between traditional, romantic storylines and those which were a bit more outlandish… especially once the villainess Stefano DiMera entered the picture in 1982.

Kristian Alfonso, Peter Reckell"Days of Our Lives" Set Cast Photo Gallery bo hope jpi days

More recently, the spin-off series Beyond Salem (and its sequel, Beyond Salem: Chapter Two) aired on Peacock, laying the groundwork for the show from which they sprung to follow suit. In fact, headwriter Ron Carlivati recently told Soap Opera Digest that the currently unfolding Bo/Hope story was originally conceived as the third chapter of Beyond Salem.

“The reason Marlena and Kayla and Kate were sort of in limbo for a few weeks in heaven/purgatory is because we were stalling,” the scribe admitted, “because we did not have an answer about whether we were doing [another] Beyond Salem. I personally loved the little interim arc in heaven. I thought that was super-fun. But it was kind of a pit stop on the way to them being in this mysterious lab, in these cryogenic tubes.”

While there’s still no word on whether another edition of Beyond Salem might be on tap — or perhaps another holiday movie in the veins of Days of Our Lives: A Very Salem Christmas — viewers can at least rest easy knowing that for the next two years, the sand will, indeed, continue to flow through the hourglass.

Days of Our Lives now exclusively airs on Peacock. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to Peacock. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Relive every spectacular storyline, romance and twist of this iconic soap’s history in the photo-packed gallery below.