Popular Daytime Drama Beamed In From Outer Space

In the world of daytime dramas, it’s not uncommon for a character to come back from the dead. Now, thanks to a unique partnership between a major network and a leading satellite television provider, a popular “soap” is undergoing a similar sort of resurrection.

Then: On July 5, 1999, NBC launched “Passions,” a new daytime drama. The serial was centered around the inhabitants of Harmony, a small, seaside town in Maine. Though focusing on five core families, the story arcs embrace numerous characters who are tied–directly or romantically–to those families.

Through the years of dramatic twists and personal entanglements, “Passions” became a fan favorite–routinely among the top daytime programs for women ages 18 to 34, and currently tied for #1 among all daytime dramas in both women ages 18 to 24 and females 12 to 24. It has garnered a number of Daytime Emmy awards–most notably for its music–and a slew of nominations. The show has also received an NAACP Image Award for star Tracey Ross and, in 2006, a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Daily Drama.

Now: After its September 7, 2007 broadcast (and, true to the genre, several cliffhangers), “Passions” will take off in another direction, charting out new territory for daytime drama: satellite television. On September 17, the program will relaunch on The 101, a DirecTV exclusive channel, while retaining the majority of its cast and crew–as well as its 2 p.m. time slot.

“Passions” will be the first scripted drama series to join The 101 original program lineup, which includes viewer favorites such as “The Fizz,” “Project MyWorld” and the “DirecTV Concert Series.” The series will broadcast four one-hour episodes (Monday-Thursday), as well as a weekend marathon of that week’s shows so fans can catch up on the action each week.

“This new arrangement is truly a landmark development that allows us to extend the ‘Passions’ brand in a fresh and entirely new way to DirecTV’s more than 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–and also opens up a great new model for other television programs to find new life on nontraditional platforms.”

Fans without satellite service will have plenty of time to switch before the new season begins.

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