Sunday, January 21, 2007
NO LOVE FOR THE LUDICROUS: NBC CANCELS PASSIONS
No... No! NO!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Okay, I'm calm now...
PASSIONS, my vote for the hands down, most balls-out insane show on television, has been handed its death sentence, and I, for one, shall mourn.
For a daytime soap, PASSIONS had it all: witches,
demons, possible incest (sadly, they copped out on that one), a hatchet-wielding dyke who carried around her father's severed, mummified head in a backpack,
an incontinent invalid whose helper ourang-outang — in a nurse's outfit, no less — had sexual fantasies about a hunky police officer and occasionally dressed as a ninja,
a doll who came to life and mixed a kickass cocktail dubbed the "Martimmy,"
regressions to past lives of the characters during Cleopatra's reign and on the Titanic, the cast turning into the Osborns for no good reason for the better part of a week, a journey to Oz (I shit you not), kinky sex games involving costumes (my favorites being Baby New Year and Father Time being caught en flagrante, and the "headmaster and the naughty schoolgirl" sequence), angel statues in the churchyard that come to life and fight evil,
and the show's outright sluttiest character being revealed as having a fondly-remembered past in porn with midgets and Mexican donkey shows (yes, you read that right). The only thing missing were space aliens, and if allowed to continue I guarantee that the writers would have gotten around to it.
Anyway, here's the official word on this Brobdingnagian tragedy.
NBC cancels 'Passions' — Eight-year-old soap ends run
By JOSEF ADALIAN, JOHN DEMPSEY
The Peacock has pulled the plug on "Passions."
Net today will announce the cancellation of the nearly eight-year-old soap, which was known for its young-skewing supernatural storylines. Death had been anticipated in the wake of NBC's decision to expand "Today" to four hours (Daily Variety, Jan. 15).
NBC's contract for "Passions" runs until June, but since the extra hour of "Today" won't begin until the fall, it's expected the Peacock will try to extend the show through August. Net still needs to negotiate those deals with talent and producers.
Peacock was proud of "Passions," often touting its young femme numbers. Just last week, net issued a ratings release noting the sudser's No. 4 ranking among all serials among women 18-49 and its first-place tie with "Days of Our Lives" as the top sudser among women 18-34 for the first week of January.
NBC also pointed to the fact that it owns "Passions" outright, allowing it to keep any profits from the skein.
Cancellation of the skein points to the increasingly harsh economic climate for sudsers. Daytime insiders say it's likely one or two more daytime dramas could be killed by the end of the decade.
Because "Passions" is such a strong brand among young femmes, it's believed NBC will try to find a way to keep the show alive somewhere other than the network. An Internet platform is a possibility, while NBC might also talk to Disney to see if the conglom would be interested in producing a shortened version of the sudser for its successful SoapNet cabler.
Another potential home might be News Corp.'s barely breathing MyNetwork TV, which has had no luck drawing auds with its cheaply produced telenovelas.
Launched in July 1999, "Passions" was created by former "Days of Our Lives" scribe Jim Reilly, who remains exec producer and head writer. Lisa de Cazotte also serves as exec producer.
"Passions" was set in the town of Harmony, and at various times featured characters such as Timmy the doll-turned-human and Tabitha, the 300-year-old witch.