Fans mourning the cancellation of Passions have a new reason to celebrate: the show has been renewed for a ninth season - but not on NBC. The quirky daytime drama will move to DIRECTV in September.
It's the news Passions fans have been waiting to hear: the show will live on past its September cancellation. Thanks to an agreement made between NBC Universal Television and DIRECTV, the nation's largest satellite television provider, the eight-year old soap will continue to tape and air original episodes.
But as you may expect, there is a bit of a catch: viewers will need to be subscribers of DIRECTV in order to continue viewing the soap.
"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."
And indeed fans were mourning the end of Passions. The soap
message boards have been flooded with posters lamenting the end of life in Harmony. In a poll conducted by soap
, 54% of respondants felt that there was no chance that the show would be find life on another network.
"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 DIRECTVís 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."
While the majority of the cast and crew of Passions will return when Passions moves to DIRECTV, there are some changes in store for the show. Passions will now air only four times each week -- Monday through Thursday at 200pm. Marathons of the week's episodes will air each weekend.
This will mark the very first scripted drama series for DIRECTV's original programming channel, The 101. It joins series such as Project MyWorld, The Fizz, and Championship Gaming Series.
NBC announced in January
that Passions would be pulled from the schedule to make room for a fourth hour of its morning news program, Today. NBC cited budget concerns as the reason for Passions' cancellation, but there was always speculation that the network would shop the show around to other outlets. Passions remains highly rated among the younger viewers that advertisers seek out.
Canadian fans will also get a repreive. A startup premium content television provider has acquired the rights to broadcast Passions in Canada. Allarco Entertainment, a pay television service, will begin broadcasting Passions later this year.
Passions ends its eight-year run on NBC on September 7th. The show will begin airing new episodes on DIRECTV on September 17th, picking up exactly where the show ended when it last aired on NBC.