This year has been a twisting and turning roller coaster ride for fans of Passions. Has it finally come to an unfortunate end?
Just 11 months ago, NBC announced that the network was canceling eight-year-old Passions. The soap would leave the airwaves in Fall 2007 at least in part to make room for a fourth hour of the Today Show. The peacock network owns the soap opera and assured fans that it was seeking a new home for the residents of Harmony.
Miraculously, Passions was saved a few months later. In April, NBC announced that it would continue to produce the soap and new episodes would air four days-a-week exclusively on DirecTV.
Soonafter, the satellite TV provider launched a major campaign that urged fans to subscribe to their service and to get their friends to do the same. Fans were told that this would be the only way that they would be able to see exclusive Passions programming and see the new episodes. Many pleaded that they couldn’t subscribe to DirecTV, so online viewing was made available in October — for a hefty $19.95 monthly fee.
Now, after being on DirecTV for just a few months, it seems that the soap has been cancelled once again.
The news first leaked out in a message from actress Tracey Ross to her fans on Friday. The rumors were confirmed in the last few hours by Liza Huber and Eric Martsolf. According to the actors, DirecTV has opted not to renew the soap opera. After an eight-week extension, production will be shutting down for good on March 28, 2008.
According to Ross and Huber, Passions’ weekly schedule will also soon be trimmed from four to three episodes, ensuring that the series will air throughout the summer. This is likely being done to stretch the soap’s time on DirecTV to a year. Because DirecTV subscriptions typically come with a year commitment, the provider likely wants to have ammunition against claims that fans have been the victim of a “bait and switch.”
Ross also said that NBC is trying to find a new home for Passions but the chances are slim at best. While there’s been no official confirmation from either DirecTV or NBC, it seems like the rocky ride for the residents of Harmony may be coming to an end. We’ll keep you posted on new developments so stay tuned!