Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn in Days of our Lives.
For fans of the long-running American daytime soap opera Days of our Lives, the cliffhanger that began when the Nine Network axed the series last year after 45 years of continuous broadcast in Australia has finally been resolved.
A deal between pay TV platform Foxtel and US studio Sony means the sands of the show’s iconic hourglass will flow on Australia’s fair shores once more.
Foxtel will re-launch Days of our Lives on its Arena channel in April, screening episodes the same day as their US broadcast. This fits Foxtel’s broader ‘‘express from the US’’ strategy of offering first-run international content with no delays.
The Days of our Lives cast in 2002. Photo: AP
Prior to its launch, Foxtel will screen 10 catch-up episodes, introduced by cast members, to provide a bridge for fans between events in Salem when last seen in Australia, and the current episodes.
Foxtel’s general manager of entertainment channels, Brendan Moo, described the show as a ‘‘truly iconic television series".
‘‘[Days of our Lives] has amassed many generations of fans and we are delighted to be able to bring the series back to Australian television.
These were the Days of our Lives
The wedding choke scene with Lauren Koslow, Alison Sweeney and Josh Taylor in Days of our Lives.
‘‘We’ve also made the decision to express episodes ... which means Foxtel customers will be able to watch the show just hours after it airs in the US and take part in the global fan conversation online and via social networks to enhance their viewing experience.’’
Days of our Lives first aired in Australia in 1968, three years after its debut in the US. It aired continuously on Nine until the decision last year to axe it, part of broader cost-cutting at Nine.
Originally just a half-hour, it starred dashing Dr Tom Horton (Macdonald Carey), his son Mickey (John Clarke), troubled daughter Marie (Maree Cheatham) and Tom’s wife, the omnipresent, always understanding Alice Horton (Frances Reid).
In the 1970s it rose from a simmer to a boil, delivering now iconic storylines connected to the show’s resident super-villain, the much-murdered, seemingly indestructible Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo).
It also introduced a handful of iconic characters including Bo and Hope (Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso), Roman Brady (Wayne Northrop, later Josh Taylor) and the saintly Dr Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall), who still appear in the series.
Arena will launch the series on Tuesday, April 15, pairing it with another US soap, The Young and The Restless. Foxtel acquired that series in 2007 after it was axed from free-to-air TV in a similar fashion.
Foxtel will also screen a weekly ‘‘omnibus’’ of episodes on Sunday mornings, and make the series available to Foxtel subscribers online via its On Demand service, on set-top boxes or the Foxtel Go iPad app.