The cancellation of Passions by the NBC network last spring and the groundbreaking move of the soap to DIRECTV, the nation’s leading satellite television provider on September 17, 2007, left many fans with much to be desired. The cry went out to Passions' former network from those who could not get DIRECTV in their area, or simply could not afford it, to please continue streaming the soap via nbc.com.
Soapdom can now confirm that the cries did not go unanswered. DIRECTV is giving fans an all-access pass to Passions as it makes its ninth season debut on DIRECTV’s original entertainment channel, The 101. Starting October 1, fans of the daytime drama will be able to keep up with all the action in Harmony, no matter where they are, through an online subscription service available for $19.95 a month at www.nbc.com/passions .
Every new episode from The 101 will be posted daily to the site and housed for 8 weeks, ensuring that fans will have plenty of time to keep up with the plot.
“The fans have spoken and we’re listening,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. “Since we announced the Passions move to DIRECTV, we’ve had a significant response from fans requesting that we continue to stream the show online. We know that Passions fans are religious about keeping up with the happenings in Harmony, and are happy to be able to offer them the option of an online subscription if they can’t make the switch to DIRECTV. Now fans can catch the daytime drama anywhere, anytime by signing up for the monthly subscription.”
So congrats, Passionistas. You can now continue to tune in to Passions Monday-Thursday, but for a price.
Making soap operas available online via a subscription service is not exactly an earth shattering twist in the storyline. Sony's now defunct soap opera fan destination, SoapCity, offered As the World Turns, Days of our Lives and The Young and the Restless available to download for $1.99 per day, or $9.99 per week. Despite a massive on and off line advertising and promotion campaign for the product, Sony deemed the downloads unprofitable and therefore unsuccessful and pulled the plug after about 18 months leading to the ultimate demise of SoapCity.
But fear not. Should fans simply refuse to pay for a soap that was formerly available daily for free, Soapdom will continue to offer Passions daily episode recaps and Passions sneak previews at http://www.soapdom.com .
More News for Passions Fans from DIRECTV
DIRECTV has also added four all new Passions LIVE! episodes to The 101 schedule, giving fans a chance to interact with their favorite cast members on a weekly live call-in show. Passions LIVE! is hosted by Eric Martsolf who plays Ethan Winthrop, and airs at 8 p.m. ET every Thursday. Those fans without DIRECTV can still take advantage of the special Passions offer by calling 866-788-0003 or going to www.directv.com/passions .
In response to the success of Passions LIVE!, DIRECTV has extended the weekly show for an additional four episodes, airing Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The 30-minute live call-in shows are hosted by cast member
“The first four episodes of Passions LIVE! generated an overwhelming response from fans so we knew we had to keep new episodes coming,” said Patricia Ishimoto, General Manager, DIRECTV Original Entertainment. “DIRECTV is breaking the mold, giving viewers access to their favorite soap stars on a weekly basis and the cast enjoys having the opportunity to interact with their fans. It’s a form of instant gratification for both the actors and the viewers.”
Each episode of Passions LIVE! will be broadcast on DIRECTV’s original entertainment channel, The 101, as well as streamed live on the Passions’ Web site www.nbc.com/passions .
DIRECTV Makes Passions Interactive
DIRECTV has also added a unique feature to Passions episodes with interactive quizzes where viewers can use their remote control to answer questions about the show, the characters and the cast. These trivia features will be found within each episode and will test fans on their Passions knowledge with questions pertaining to the week’s story line, as well as from past seasons.
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. Passions airs on The 101 Monday –Thursday at 2:00 p.m. ET with encore presentations at 7 p.m. ET and marathons every Sunday from 10 a.m. –2 p.m. ET. The show is produced by NBC Universal Media Studio in association with Outpost Farms Productions, Inc.
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