Ins and Outs at Passions

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Jesse Metcalfe does not re-up. Silvana Arias joins the cast.

Telemundo Telenovela Star Silvana Arias Joins Passions in New Contract Role as Jesse Metcalf Takes His Leave

Read with Caution - Contains Scoopage

Passions has confirmed that original cast member Jesse Metcalfe (Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald) has opted to leave NBC's Passions upon the expiration of his contract.
"Jesse has decided not to renew his contract," the spokesperson from the show is quoted as saying. "He's going to pursue other projects and we wish him the best of luck."
During his nearly five-year run on Passions, Metcalfe has also found time to film special guest appearances on the series Smallville, where he played the character Van McNulty. No word yet on whether he could take a more permanent role with the series. Metcalfe also had a small part in the tele-movie 44 Minutes: The North Hollywood Shoot-Out.
Show execs have not yet decided if the role of Miguel will be recast or simply written out. A decision on the character's future is expected at a later date.  A final airdate for Metcalfe has also not yet been released. 

As one Lopez-Fitzgerald leaves the canvas another is soon to arrive.  The stunningly beautiful and talented star of Telemundo's Amor Descarado, Silvana Arias, has been hired in the contract role of Paloma Lopez-Fitzgerald on NBC’s Passions, Senior Vice President Daytime, NBC, Sheraton Kalouria announced to the press. The move marks the first time that talent from a Telemundo telenovela will fill a contract role on an NBC daytime drama.

"The casting of Silvana Arias is a great example of the cooperation and synergy that is at work between NBC and our Spanish language network, Telemundo.  Their extraordinary pool of telenovela stars was a natural first place to look when we wanted to add to Passions' founding Latino family."

According to Creator, Head Writer and Consulting Producer James E. Reilly, “Paloma Lopez-Fitzgerald, the youngest child of Pilar and Martin, is fiery, stormy and emotional. We're all familiar with the antics of her older sister, spitfire Theresa, but just you wait - Paloma will give even Theresa a run for her money.  Harmony will never be the same once Paloma hits town." 

Executive Producer Lisa de Cazotte continues, "Paloma arriving on the canvas kicks off a story arc of the Irish-Latina Paloma being found in Mexico where Pilar's sister has raised her.  Passions will be heading to Mexico, for its second international location shoot since launch, in late spring 2004.  Additionally, the character of Paloma will be fully bilingual, just as Arias is, and the character will play out scenes in both English and Spanish.” The character of Paloma has been referred to frequently, but never seen, since the series' inception in 1999.

Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Arias followed in the footsteps of her father, classic theater actor Nelson Arias when she was a teenager by performing in Peru's popular telenovela Maria Emilia as Susanita Pena.  Her family moved to Miami, Florida from Peru when Arias was offered the role of Jimena Arismendi in the telenovela Gata Salvaje. Her career soared from there; she landed roles on the popular novelas Pobre Diabla and Soledad and the English language series Karen Sisco before landing the role of Coni on Amor Descarado for Telemundo.  Arias will be moving from Miami to Los Angeles for her role on Passions

Arias is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese and English and has a love for all things fashion. She graduated from fashion design college in Peru and when she's not acting can be found pouring through books on fashion history, design and costuming.  She also enjoys American films and loves to go to the movies.  In addition to her father, Arias was greatly supported in her dreams to be an actress by her mother, who was a social worker in Peru, and her two sisters Taola and Mariana. Arias' first tape date on Passions is Monday, March 29 and her first airdate is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 17, 2004.