'Days of Our Lives': Alison Sweeney Returning

Days of Our Lives has seen several actors leaving Salem in the past few months, but one familiar face is coming back. Alison Sweeney has signed a deal to come back as Sami Brady when the show resumes production. This stint will be Sweeney's longest-running return to the show since she left as a full-time castmember in 2014, after playing Sami for 21 years.

Series producer Corday Productions said Sweeney signed on to appear in new episodes that will begin airing later this year and continue through most of 2021, reports Deadline. Sweeney's new storyline will be centered on her family and relationship with daughter Allie Horton, played by Lindsay Arnold. Sweeney has returned to the show every year since 2017 for shorter stints and filmed her previously-planned 2020 stint, which started airing in mid-July and will continue through September, before the coronavirus shutdown.

"It is always a beautiful day in Salem when we get to welcome Alison Sweeney back to the canvas," Days executive producer Ken Corday said in a statement. "Sami Brady is an integral part of our show's history and we are elated that she's coming home again." Sweeney's character was first introduced in 1993, and Sweeney's performance earned her a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also won a special Fan Emmy for America's Favorite Villain in 2002.

Production on Days of Our Lives was put on hold in March. Unlike rivals General Hospital and The Young and the Restless though, fans did not have to worry about repeats because there were enough new episodes to keep things fresh until early October. Production is now set to resume on Sept. 1. The other daytime soaps have already returned to filming.

Sweeney's return to Days could provide an anchor for a show that will be undergoing some major changes in its record 56th season. Victoria Konefal, Kristian Alfonso, Greg Vaughan, Casey Moss, Chandler Massey, Freddie Smith, and Galen Gering have all left the show after the entire cast was released from their contracts before the show was renewed in January. Alfonso's decision was particularly shocking since she had been on the show for almost four decades. "In the last few years, Days of Our Lives is not the Days of Our Lives as I know it," she said in an interview with Soap Opera Digest recently.