Actress Lisa Rinna returned to the NBC daytime soap Days of Our Lives this week after a decade long absence from originating the role of Billie Reed.
The return of Lisa Rinna to Days Our Lives follows on the heels of other past stars rejoining the soap for another sudsy turn in Salem, which included Deidre Hall, Drake Hogestyn, and Patrick Muldoon. But given the changing of the daytime guard from once dominant soap operas to more reality based talk shows, the return of former soap stars may a a nostalgic “one last time” comeback before soaps are gone forever.
When The Deadbolt caught up with Lisa Rinna prior to her March 8 return to Days of Our Lives, Rinna was reflective about the many changes in the soap world since her debut as Billie in 1992 and her last departure in 2003.
“Clearly we’ve all seen the changes in the soap opera world. All you have to do is look around and see what’s left on television. I was flipping through the channels and I went, ‘Okay, what’s the difference between The Chew and The Revolution?’ There is none. The real estate has changed dramatically, and that we can all see I think. I think it’s sad to lose such great shows.”
In recent years the daytime soap world lost such iconic shows as All My Children, One Life to Live, and the long-running Guiding Light. Although you could look at the cancellation of Another World back in 1999 as perhaps the beginning of the end for soap operas on television, Days of Our Lives has managed to survive despite the changing of the soap guard.
When you think about how Days has survived in troubled soap times, it’s an amazing feat of endurance. Year after year soaps have fallen by the sudsy wayside, from the canceled-way-too-soon Santa Barbara and Search for Tomorrow to Passions and many more.
So, despite the decline of soaps over the years, how does Lisa Rinna feel about the current soaps on the air and the changes she’s seen?
“The shows that are left are great, very strong soap operas. What I’ve seen – just personally – what’s changed are the budgets and the way they’re run. They’re very efficient now so that they can stay on the air. And they have to be.”
Let us know how you feel about the return of Lisa Rinna to Days and the future of soaps.