Big Days of Our Lives casting news was confirmed on Tuesday afternoon and this tidbit has fans buzzing. Melissa Reeves is out, and Cady McClain is stepping in to play the role of Jennifer Horton. This is said to be a temporary shift, but it sounds as if it may continue for a while.
This Days of Our Lives casting change originally sounded like some wild bit of gossip that seemed unlikely. However, as Daytime Confidential reported on Tuesday, this one is the real deal. Apparently, the decision came from Reeves and was due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Reeves lives in Tennessee with her husband Scott -- another soap veteran -- and their extended family. Apparently, she felt that traveling between Tennessee and California to film Days of Our Lives was too risky. She is staying back home, and McClain is taking over as Jennifer.
While it is not yet known when Reeves' last scenes will air, McClain has reportedly started filming.
Days of Our Lives started taping again last month after a months-long production hiatus. Luckily, because they typically tape about six months ahead of when shows air, they had plenty of new content to broadcast while other soaps had to go to reruns. Now, however, that may mean that McClain's scenes will be aired sooner than expected, given their usual turnaround.
Soap Opera Digest connected with a spokesman for Days of Our Lives who confirmed Reeves' exit and McClain's addition to the cast. This news was a big shocker to fans, and they wasted no time in jumping onto Twitter to share their reactions.
"Really REALLY hope this is only temporary. There's only one Jennifer and that's Melissa Reeves," one fan tweeted.
"I'm okay if it's just temporary to wrap up things. I don't want to see anyone else permanently fill the role," noted another viewer.
Plenty of DOOL fans expressed their hope that this was truly just a short-term change. On the other hand, quite a few viewers seemed excited about McClain coming on-board and wouldn't mind much if she stuck around.
"This can stay permanent. I don't like Missy and after her comments earlier this year, I'm 100% for them making this full time," declared one person.
"We need it to be permanent," another supporter remarked.
Despite how the official reports suggested that the decision was solely based on pandemic-related travel concerns, some have wondered if there might be some additional factors at play here.
First, Reeves just became a grandmother recently. Her daughter Emily welcomed a baby boy, and her son is also expecting his first child. Staying close to her grandbabies might have influenced her desire to stay close to home for a while.
On a less positive note, Reeves has raised eyebrows over some of her social media posts of late. She drew criticism for sharing some controversial conservative posts, although according to Daytime Confidential, those played no role in the move made by the actress to step away from the series.
Will Reeves return as Jennifer at some point in the months ahead, or will Days of Our Lives slowly transition into keeping Cady on permanently? This is a big shift in terms of DOOL comings and goings, and viewers will be anxious to learn more.