DirecTV to cut ties with ‘Passions’

NBC soap may find another suitor in '08

DirecTV has lost its passion for “Passions” — but the NBC U-produced sudser isn’t quite dead yet.

Satcaster has told NBC it won’t be ordering a second season of the soap, which moved to DirecTV in September as part of a $40 million deal designed to bring more original programming to the service (Daily Variety, Apr. 25). NBC canceled the show earlier this year.

In order to keep “Passions” on DirecTV through August, satcaster has ordered 52 additional episodes of the show from the Peacock’s Universal Media Studios. However, starting in early to mid-January, skein will begin airing just three times a week (compared with four weekly airings now).

“Passions” will go on an extended holiday hiatus next week, then return in February for another month of filming. Show will wrap production in March, and as of now, there are no firm plans for it to continue.

However, with UMS having reduced the budget on the show significantly, there’s talk that “Passions” might yet find another life elsewhere. Newly acquired cabler Oxygen might make a good fit. Peacock also could turn the skein into an Internet-based sudser.

DirecTV and UMS declined comment.

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