The only way the show gets canceled is if Corday no longer wants to produce it. That's quite possible, particularly if he loses the Sony lawsuit.
The filming hiatus also gives him a chance to totally re-invent the daytime process, moving it more toward staffing/production models used in primetime and by streaming services. With all the money being tossed around to find the next "big hit" show, it seems odd that there wouldn't be someone with deep pockets who would love to buy into a product with a 50-year history, millions of hardcore fans, and a profitable business model.
Why do we even have Episode Guarantees? Presumably this was to keep actors from fleeing to better opportunities? Maybe that whole concept gets thrown out the window and actors are hired for a set period of time.
It was only about a decade ago that DOOL even really began to operate by "seasons". Sure, storylines would always peak during Sweeps. But do sweeps even matter to the networks or to advertisers any more. ABC and FOX have already started tracking success of a progam based on 35-day viewing. That's right, a whole month -plus. Which is how TV works on the edge of 2020.
And why use only newbies? There's not exactly huge demand for any of the over-40 cast members. They'll use the actors that are recognizable and affordable.
I see no reason to be pessimistic. If Corday loses the Sony suit, then my mind may change. If the Today Show were running on full cylinder and scoring huge ratings, I might worry about Hour #5. That isn't happening anytime soon. NBC isn't going to just hand back an hour to the affiliates. The Kelly Clarkson Show is the only syndicated program launched in the past decade to get any traction. And we will see what happens to her after her initial two-season commitment.
In the end, we can all speculate and theorize. No one really knows. If this message board had historical postings, we could probably search the posts from the 90s, the 2000s, and even 5 years ago which cited the imminent Doom of DOOL. There are always a legion of doomsayers. Someday they will be right.
I still expect to see DOOL at Season 60.
And then some.