Published: January 17, 2003
BURBANK – January 17, 2003 – NBC has renewed its hit soap opera “Passions” – America’s fastest-growing daytime series – for an additional year through the 2003-04 season, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President, NBC Entertainment.
In addition, as part of the network’s drive to introduce the racially diverse soap opera to new audiences, NBC Daytime Senior Vice President Sheraton Kalouria announced that popular African-American radio personality Tom Joyner will guest-star during the week of March 3. “Tom Joyner is the ideal personality to shine a light on the fact that Passions has the most fully developed African-American central characters of any soap.” The details Joyner’s involvement will be announced later.
Passions, which premiered in 1999, is daytimes fastest-growing series versus year-ago results in numerous categories, including women 18-49, where the drama is up 17 percent this season vs. last (1.2 million vs. 1.0 million).
During the week of December 16-January 12, Passions averaged 1.5 million viewers among women 18-54, equaling the highest four-week figure ever for the daytime drama and leaping 20 percent above the 1.3 million average for the same four weeks a year earlier. Passions previously averaged 1.5 million viewers in the category during the four weeks ending September 20, 2002. As of January 9, NBC is No. 1 for the season among women 18-49 and is the only network up versus last year’s rating in that key demographic category.
“Passions'” quirky characters and classic love stories have generated interest from the daytime community (“Passions” was nominated for eight Emmy Awards in its sophomore year as well as numerous Soap Opera Digest awards), the press (Rolling Stone named it a “Hot, Guilty Pleasure”). The series is No. 1 among the key teen demographic, #2 among women18-34 (behind Days of Our Lives) and a consistent strong performer among women 18-49 and women 25-54, consistently out-delivering veteran soaps As the World Turns, Guiding Light and Port Charles.
Based on the rich history and mystery of the harbor community of Harmony, “Passions” explores the lives, loves and losses of four core families: the Cranes, the Lopez-Fitzgeralds, the Bennetts and the Russells, each of whom have their own distinct and diverse personalities. It also features a 300-year-old witch, Tabitha Lenox (Juliet Mills).
“Passions” is a creation of celebrated daytime drama veteran James E. Reilly, who is considered by many industry insiders to be one of the most innovative and prolific writers of the genre. Reilly has created some of the most talked-about storytelling in daytime drama, including characters who are buried alive, or possessed, as well as daytime’s first-ever multiple character on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives.”
“Passions” is produced by NBC Studios in association Outpost Farms Productions, Inc. and is taped in Studio City, California. Lisa de Cazotte is the executive producer.
Carrie Simons, NBC Entertainment Publicity, 818/840-2515