On January 17, 2007, NBC Daytime announced the unthinkable and it sent shock waves throughout soapdom. After an eight-year run, Passions was being canceled as of September 7, 2007 so the network could make room for an extra hour of their popular broadcast, The Today Show. However, NBC shared with Soapdom that they had great respect and continued hopes for the freshman soap and its fans and were investigating options in regard to placing it in some shape or form elsewhere.
Speculation began immediately. Would they stream new episodes at NBC.com to compliment the currently same day streaming of each day's show? Would they negotiate with SOAPnet to carry new episodes, or at least take on the show from day one, re-airing the old episodes? Would they take the show and new episodes to FX which is already airing repeat episodes? What did the network have in mind? Only something completely new and different.
Soapdom is delighted to reveal that Passions is alive and well and will continue to air brand new episodes as of September 17th on none other than DIRECTV's The 101 Lineup.
Here's the whole scoop:
NBC Universal Television Studio and DIRECTV, the nation’s leading satellite television provider, today announced that the NBC Universal-produced daytime drama Passions has found a new home on DIRECTV where the popular program will continue for a 9th season. Under the new agreement, NBC Universal Television Studio will produce brand-new episodes to air Monday-Thursday on DIRECTV’s original programming channel, The 101.
The celebrated daytime drama, which currently averages over 2 million viewers and enjoys an intensely dedicated fan base, will end its network run on NBC September 7 with a series of cliffhangers and will resurface on DIRECTV September 17, picking up where the series left off. The show will remain in its current time slot of 2 PM ET and DIRECTV will air encore marathons of the show each weekend.
“Passions fans no longer need to mourn the demise of their beloved program as it has found new life on DIRECTV,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president of Entertainment for DIRECTV. “We care about this show and are extremely proud to give it an exclusive home here at DIRECTV.”
“This new arrangement with DIRECTV is truly a landmark development that allows NBC Universal to extend the Passions brand in a fresh and entirely new way, to DIRECTV’s 16 million homes,” said Marc Graboff, president, NBC Universal Television, West Coast. “It will reward the dedicated fans of the daytime drama who can continue to enjoy it on DIRECTV and also opens up a great new model for other television programs to find new life on other non-traditional platforms.”
With the shift to DIRECTV and one less day a week of new episodes, there are bound to be some cast changes and maybe even some characters being written out. However, the majority of the cast and crew is expected to return when the one-hour series begins shooting the new DIRECTV episodes in August.
And get this. If you're not currently a DIRECTV subscriber, the satellite company will make it easy for Passions viewers to keep track of the happenings in “Harmony” by providing fans free installation, a DVR or HD receiver upgrade, and a portable DVD player by calling a special phone number (866-788-0003) or visiting the Web (www.directv.com/passions) that will give those without DIRECTV plenty of time to switch before the new season begins. Passions fans can also visit www.nbc.com for more information about the show.
Passions will be the first scripted drama series to join The 101 original program lineup which includes viewer favorites like Project MyWorld, The Fizz, havoc on The 101, and Championship Gaming Series. The series will broadcast four one-hour episodes per week, as well as a weekend marathon of that week’s shows so fans can catch up on the action each week.
Oh and in case you didn't know, Passions explores the lives, loves and losses of four core families in the small New England town of Harmony: the Cranes, the Lopez-Fitzgeralds, the Bennetts and the Russells, each of whom have their own distinct and diverse personalities. The series debuted on NBC in 1999 and has routinely been amongst the top daytime programs for women ages 18-34, and currently is tied for #1 among all daytime dramas in both women ages 18-24 and females 12-24.
New episodes of Passions will begin shooting in August and will continue to be taped at the CBS Studio Center in Studio City, Calif. The show is produced by NBC Universal Television Studio in association with Outpost Farms Productions, Inc.
Soapdom congratulates Passions on its continued success.
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