NBC's two daytime dramas have been beset with rumors that their days are coming to an end. Typically, cancellation rumors dog just one soap at a time - CBS's Guiding Light has been rumored to be on its last leg for the better part of a decade.
Days of our Lives marked its 40th year on the air in November 2005. But the show nearly never it made it to that magic milestone. In 2003, talks between the distributor of Days of our Lives and the show's owners broke down and it looked for a time that the show might not have a future on NBC.
Passions, which debuted in July 1999, has been wildly popular with the advertiser-demanded younger viewers, but, for the most part, has failed to capture the attention of a larger viewing audience. The supernatural soap has languished in the ratings basement nearly every week since its debut.
With its ratings hovering around 1.7 -- or about 1.87 million daily viewers - Passions has been an easy target for cancellation rumors. When the show launched a much hyped "Lady in Red" storyline, talk began that this new character would help the show wrap up its open-ended storylines and provide for a way to end the show.
That's not the case according to several key cast members.
"Just wanted 'Evian' [Eve and Julian] fans to know that the cast and crew of Passions knows [the rumor of Passions] being canceled is completely false," said Ben Masters (Julian Crane) and Tracey Ross (Eve Russell) in a posting on a Passions web site. "We haven't heard anything negative about the future of Passions. Don't rely on these 'reliable' or 'unnamed' sources."
"Rumors are just that," added Eric Martsolf (Ethan Crane) on his official web site. "No worries, guys."
Passions, meanwhile, does come up for renewal in January 2006. NBC has traditionally renewed the show one year at a time. The network has not yet made an announcement about the show's future.