In the last few weeks, Days has gotten busy with casting changes. Below I'm going to summarize some of them. The information is from various sources, which is the only reason I'm not sourcing as some come from publications and not from the web.
First off, we have the status changes. Wally Kurth had to drop out of recurring on "General Hospital" to appear solely on "Days Of Our Lives". So goodbye Ned and hello to an increased presence of Justin. Judi Evans who plays Adrienne, and Justin's cheating wife also has been bumped up in status. Of course, we've been seeing her as of late in scenes with their son Sonny (Freddie Smith) and the man her character has turned to in Justin's absence Lucas (Bryan Datillo). Since Days tapes so far in advance, we don't know if the reason for the change was this plot, or if it has to do with the departure of Freddie Smith. The program has yet to announce if the role is being recast. Mary Beth Evans (Kayla) is back on contract. The show is aging and recasting her younger son Joey and as I wrote in an earlier post Stephen Nichols is back as her erstwhile husband (or former husband) Steve "Patch" Johnson. One has to wonder if this ties into the show's 50th anniversary. They know some parts of the viewing community will tune back in to see these characters in a larger capacity.
Departures that are coming up soon on screen include Molly Burnett as Melanie and Melissa Archer as Serena. Molly's return stint as Melanie was only 6-months long, so she should be off screen rather soon. As a character, the story of Serena wasn't all that interesting so again we have the Days curse of getting an actor who is known for another soap opera role being cast in a new part and the story flailing. The list of performers this has happened to on Days is ridiculously long. It used to be said that Days would make stars not find them from other shows and put them in prominent positions. For the most part, this is true as many of the actors who are well-known over the years on Days may have had smaller roles on other soaps, but weren't a lead player until their turn in Salem.
I hope that Days becomes more interesting in the coming weeks and we don't have to wait until late Summer to see major changes. Though with the taping schedule such as it is, I probably am making wishful thoughts.