- Plural of passion
otheruses Passion Passions is an award-winning American television soap opera created by veteran writer James E. Reilly. The series debuted on NBC July 5 1999 (replacing Another World), and its last airdate on NBC was September 7 2007. DirecTV then picked up the series with new episodes airing on DirecTV-exclusive channel The 101 starting September 17 2007. However, DirecTV has decided to not renew its contract for the series with NBC The final episode is scheduled to air August 11, 2008.
Passions follows the various romantic and paranormal adventures of the residents of Harmony, a fictional New England hamlet. Storylines center around the interactions among members of its multi-racial core families — the African American Russells, Caucasian Cranes and Bennetts, and half-Mexican half-Irish Lopez-Fitzgeralds — as well as the supernatural including town witch Tabitha Lenox.
During its NBC run, Passions ran for 60 minutes (including commercials) every weekday (excluding some holidays). After the move to DirecTV, the schedule was shortened to four days a week (Monday through Thursday), then later whittled down further to three days a week (Monday through Wednesday) starting January 2008. Weekend marathon encores of the show are played on DirecTV, and it is also available via online paid subscription from NBC within the United States and on the paid cable SuperChannel in Canada.
Series historyPassions debuted in 1999 with major fanfare. Creator Reilly had been credited for a large surge in the ratings for Days of our Lives years before, thanks to "innovative" storylines like that of heroine Dr. Marlena Evans being possessed by Satan that drew new viewers, but also tended to alienate stalwart fans. With Passions, Reilly was able to start with a blank slate and no preexisting fan base to please. Sheridan later adopts the name Diana after a boating accident that results in amnesia.
For much of the first three to four years of the series, supernatural elements such as witches, warlocks and closet doors leading to Hell were major plot points, many surrounding the machinations of the centuries-old witch Tabitha Lenox and her doll-brought-to-life sidekick, Timmy — named by Entertainment Weekly as one of their "17 Great Soap Supercouples" in 2008. One central character was Charity, a saccharine young woman who would regularly become possessed by the "forces of evil."
In 2003, Passions submitted a trained orangutan named BamBam, who had been portraying the recurring role of Precious, for a Daytime Emmy Award. Precious was the non-speaking live-in nurse and caregiver for elderly Edna Wallace, and held an unrequited love for Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, which was depicted in elaborate fantasy sequences. In early 2004, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which administers the awards, disallowed the entry with the following statement: ''Our ruling is based on the belief that the Academy must draw a line of distinction between animal characters that aren't capable of speaking parts and human actors whose personal interpretation in character portrayal creates nuance and audience engagement that uniquely qualifies those performers for consideration of television's highest honor.
During the summer of 2005, the prominent character Simone Russell came out as a lesbian; Passions'' made daytime history by being the first serial to show two women — Simone and love interest Rae Thomas — in bed making love. In 2007, it was revealed that longtime hero Chad Harris-Crane was cheating on his wife with another man. This was also a daytime first, with the men portrayed in bed together. Passions also broke new ground in 2007 with its portrayal of Vincent as a hermaphrodite who becomes pregnant with his own father's son.
Nearly seven years after the debut of Passions on July 5 1999, the NBC-owned Sci Fi Channel began airing the series from its first episode starting February 13 2006. The reruns had originally been announced to begin February 6 2006. Due to low ratings, the reruns were taken off the air as of May 25 2006. On August 15 2006, Passions became the first daytime drama to make full episodes available for download and purchase from the popular online music store iTunes. On November 6 2006, the show also became the first daytime drama to make full episodes available for free viewing via streaming on NBC.com.
Though plagued since its inception by low overall Nielsen Ratings, Passions was historically top-rated in key demographics. The series was not renewed by NBC for a full ninth season in 2007 as a result of the network's decision to extend its morning news and talk show Today to a fourth hour. Satellite provider DirecTV soon picked up the series — with most principal cast members staying on — and began airing new episodes on its original-programming channel The 101 in September 2007. The series ran Monday to Thursday at 2 pm ET/11 am PT, with repeats airing later in the day and on weekends.
On July 3 2007 it was reported that new Canadian premium television service SuperChannel would air Passions in Canada when the channel launched in October 2007, and the series premiered on SuperChannel on October 8 2007. Though Passions episodes were no longer available via iTunes once the series left NBC, DirecTV announced on September 27 2007 that new episodes of Passions would be made available online at NBC.com for a monthly fee. This service began on 1 October 2007 for $19.99 a month then reduced to $14.99 a month when Passions schedule was cut from four episodes a week to three episodes a week.
On 10 December 2007, Variety magazine and various cast members confirmed that DirecTV had decided not to renew Passions for another season, but ordered 52 additional episodes to be taped through March 2008. New episodes of the series will air through August 11, 2008, with DirecTV broadcasting three new episodes per week starting January 2008. NBC Universal Studios wrapped up production of Passions on March 28 2008. The cast and crew were told at the wrap party that efforts to find a new outlet had failed and that the cancellation was final. A majority of the series' props were put up for sale a week after production wrapped, on April 5 2008.
Pop culture spoofsOver its run, Passions has become widely known for its numerous parodies of pop culture. One fan favorite was the 2003 spoof of the 2002 film Chicago, in which character Edna Wallace fantasized that she, her demented daughter Beth, Charlie, and her orangutan caretaker Precious had been incarcerated for the kidnapping of Sheridan Lopez-Fitzgerald and her unborn son, Marty. In this fantasy, the three women sang "I Ain't Sorry", a parody of "Cell Block Tango". The song received a 2004 Daytime Emmy award for Outstanding Original Song. Rape also played prominently into the 2007 — 2008 storyline involving Mexican drug cartel leader Juanita Vasquez. Sometime between the births of Pilar's second and third children, the Lopez-Fitzgerald matriarch returned to her native Mexico to visit with her childhood best friend, Juanita Vasquez. There, she discovered that Juanita's husband, Carlos, was still involved with his family's drug cartel and was planning a hit on a rival family; when Pilar confronted Carlos, he raped her, and she accidentally killed him in self-defense. Pilar then called the police in an attempt to stop the hit, but the police ended up murdering the entire Vasquez family, including Juanita and Carlos's young children, except for Juanita. Juanita refused to believe that her husband had raped Pilar and made it her life's mission to murder Pilar's entire family, eventually murdering Pilar's sister and two nephews.
Oddly enough, men on the show are equally as likely to be violated as women. Fox Crane, Julian Crane, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, Miguel Lopez-Fitzgerald, and Ethan Winthrop have all been victims of sexual assault.
Eerie deathsOne unfortunate trademark for Passions has been eerie deaths. In 2002, Josh Ryan Evans, who played Tabitha's extremely popular doll sidekick Timmy, died while on medical leave, just as scenes were airing where Timmy died in the hospital and went to Heaven. Passions had planned to revive the character in a few months once Evans returned from his own surgery, but instead had to write Timmy out. After five years of evil Crane patriarch Alistair being heard but never having his face seen (voiced by Alan Oppenheimer), Passions finally cast the role with longtime daytime vet David Bailey. Bailey was a hit with the cast as well as the fans, but on Thanksgiving Day 2004, he drowned in his pool, just as scenes were airing where various characters tried to kill Alistair, who actually suffered clinical death before being magically revived by Tabitha. Again, the viewers and the producers were stunned, but the show had no choice but to recast the pivotal role (with John Reilly).
Breaking the fourth wallWith its humor and occasional tongue-in-cheek tone, Passions has been known to "break the fourth wall," or somehow call attention to the fact that the show is fictional. In an early episode, Kay, Simone and Zombie Charity were seen actually watching Passions, and when the television in the Bennett's kitchen covered what would have been Theresa's execution, the news report actually pre-empted Passions, cutting in during the theme song just after the appearance of the logo. In a 2002 episode Theresa was giving birth while stuck in a cabin with Ethan and Gwen; she had a hallucination in which the three of them did a dance together and sang the show's theme song "Breathe." In 2004, TC made a reference to "that crazy soap after Days of our Lives", which in most areas airs before Passions. In one episode Fancy Crane used a magazine to hide her face from Noah; the magazine had an image of the then-unseen Rachel Barrett with the sentence "Who is she?" under the Passions logo. Fancy later commented that serials "are just like life; you never know what's going to happen!" In an early 2006 episode, Ivy and assistant Valerie were searching on the internet for Miguel to bring him back to Harmony and interfere with Fox and Kay's relationship. They couldn't find him, but Valerie tracked down his last place of employment: he was last seen working as a gardener in some suburban town on a street called Wisteria Lane. At that time, Jesse Metcalfe (ex-Miguel) was playing a gardener on the prime-time serial Desperate Housewives, which takes place on a street called Wisteria Lane. In the March 30, 2006 episode, while Passions reruns were airing on the Sci-Fi Channel, Simone compared life in Harmony to living in a show on the Sci-Fi Channel. Similarly, in the August 10, 2006 episode, Theresa commented that her office wasn't like a NBC daytime serial, and that she wouldn't hire somebody just because he looked like Jesse Metcalfe (who had portrayed her brother Miguel from 1999-2004). A similar inside joke occurred when the character Fancy had a dream that she was a cheerleader; in real life, Fancy's portrayer Emily Harper was a "Laker Girl" (cheerleader for the Los Angeles Lakers) from 2000-2003.
In the April 6 2007 episode, Kay was watching the sixth [sic] hour of The Today Show (an apparent jab at NBC's decision to extend it at the expense of the Passions timeslot) when it was interrupted with a news report that Luis had been arrested. In one August 2007 episode, Tabitha said that a certain soap opera was starting on DirecTV and she would have to tell her friends not to call her between the hours of two and three PM, blatantly referring to Passions itself. At the beginning of the show's final week on NBC, as Whitney was preparing to move to New Orleans, Theresa asked if she was sure she wanted to go, and Whitney commented that she had already arranged to have her DirecTV hooked up in Louisiana so she could "keep up on everything happening in Harmony." And also in 2007, Endora flat-out made a reference to the "audience" in one of her thought balloons, prompting Norma to look in the camera and respond, "Audience? What audience?" Endora also pointed out in one of her thought balloons that when Miguel returned to Passions, he looked nothing like Jesse Metcalfe ("Nope, not even close!"). In May, 2008 while Juanita was looking for clues in a book store as to where Pilar was, the bargain shelf was full of Hidden Passions copies.
Promotion and product placementDuring its NBC run, Passions was known to "promote" other NBC programming within its storylines, and to incorporate commercial products into the plot in a promotional tactic known as product placement. and more recently the show featured Johnson & Johnson's K-Y Jelly personal lubricant, and characters were seen drinking from Brita water pitchers. Both Jessica and Theresa were seen using Clearblue Easy pregnancy test products.
In July 2007, Passions began to promote its own move to DirecTV the following September. Several characters' homes were seen sporting DirecTV dishes on their roofs, and characters began to make frequent references to switching to DirecTV.
Time dilationAnother trademark of Passions is its unusual handling of the passage of time. Passions then went into re-runs in a 2 am weekday morning timeslot, ultimately ending with a "series finale."
Passions aired in Croatia for two seasons on Nova TV, which broadcast 520 episodes until the 2005 cancellation of international licensing.
Passions aired in France for 2 months on TF1 starting July 31 2001 at 5:10pm CET after the end of Sunset Beach. The soap ended on October 8 2001.
- For a full listing of award wins and nominations, see List of awards for Passions
Critical receptionAt its debut, the Orlando Sentinel gave Passions a "bleak prognosis" regarding the Princess Diana controversy:
It is still early days for Passions, but a review published in the Orlando Sentinel gave the soap opera a rather bleak prognosis. Their critic wrote: "A show's dearth of creativity is evident when it shamelessly keeps picking over the bones of the dead. Passions seems to have a death wish."
Current cast members
Recurring cast members
Deceased cast members
Noted guest stars
Hidden PassionsIn January 2001, HarperEntertainment released Hidden Passions: Secrets from the Diaries of Tabitha Lenox, an inside look into the history of Passions involving all the major characters, written from the viewpoint of Tabitha Lenox. A storyline involving the characters Tabitha and Timmy and the promotion of this book was written into the show, and the book reached #4 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel was billed as being canonical, but the televised canon has diverged significantly from the novel since that time.
passions in French: Passions (série télévisée)
passions in Croatian: Strasti
passions in Hebrew: תשוקות
passions in Dutch: Passions
passions in Polish: Passions
passions in Portuguese: Passions
passions in Swedish: Passions