Not to worry - a deal has been made to save our favorite soap. As of September 17, 2007, NBC's Passions will move to DIRECTV. Apparently, DIRECTV (the nation's largest and most popular satellite provider) has a new channel, The 101: "The premiere destination for new exclusive programming only on DIRECTV!" Passions will be entering its' 9th season of daytime drama. However, under the new agreement, the sudser will only be aired Monday through Thursday.
Passions is unlike any other soap opera in which it at times, resembles the 1960's hit sitcom, Bewitched. Despite its quirky storylines, Passions maintains a fierce two million viewer followership.
According to officials, fans can expect the last airdate on NBC to be on September 7, 2007. There will be a number of dramatic cliffhangers in the hopes that viewers will sign up with DIRECTV to find out what happens to our beloved characters. Programming will resume ten days later - a long ten days to be sure. It is scheduled to run at 2:00pm eastern standard time and enhanced by running encore weekend marathons.
"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."
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 (interactive television) , and Championship Gaming Series.
The majority of the cast and crew is expected to return when the one-hour series begins shooting the new DIRECTV episodes in August. 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, while continuously maintaining the lowest Nielson Ratings among all daytime soaps.
According to the official DIRECTV website, they are currently offering a super promotion to those who do not currently have DIRECTV in their homes.
Those fans without DIRECTV will have plenty of time to switch before the new season begins. DIRECTV 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). Passions fans can also visit www.nbc.com for more information about the show.