Days of Our Lives

Sorry soap fans, you can't blame Days of Our Lives' short-term contract renewal on the evil Stefano DiMera!

NBC has inked a deal with Sony Pictures TV to extend its run of the long-running daytime favorite Days for just 18 months, Variety reports.

The soap, which is celebrating its 43rd year on the air, had previously signed a renewal pact between Sony and Corday Prods. for a five-year term.

However, it's understood that another year could be tagged on to the 18-month contract if certain parameters on the show are met. That would keep Days on the air through September of 2011.

This is most likely a sign of uncertain times for the daytime scripted dramas, especially at NBC. The network has axed most of its soaps, including moving cult favorite Passions to DirecTV, where it was eventually cancelled.

But, don't look a gift 18 months in the mouth, sudser fans. After all, NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker said a few years ago that Days of Our Lives might not be renewed at all. Though Zucker hasn't commented on the renewal of late, the short contract could signal that NBC's does not have long-term plans for soaps.

What do you think of Days' shorter deal? Should soap fans be worried?