Thursday, August 1, 2019

Love in the Afternoon: “Passions”

Twenty years ago, NBC sought to bring one of the craziest soap operas ever to television. Passions featured a real witch who created her own familiar, a doll come to life named Timmy. She would later enlist the assistance of a burly woman who did her bidding. Odd and bizarre? That was just everyday life in Harmony.

NBC had started to see a shift away from its daytime dramas. It enlisted the king of nighttime soap operas- Aaron Spelling- to produce a successful soap opera that it hoped would bring in a younger audience. When that show- Sunset Beach- failed, NBC looked for something to replace it that would attract attention. It thought it had found that in Passions, which would definitely attract attention, at least in the beginning.

The show would last eight years before getting canceled and resurrected by DirecTV in an experiment it conducted with NBC to air programs with cult followings but low ratings. Friday Night Lights would similarly move to DirecTV, but the experiment lasted just one season. Passions would be gone for good in 2008.