Budget Woes Result in Passions Cutbacks
Posted Monday, June 12, 2006 9:54:14 AM
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Budget Woes Result in Passions Cutbacks

Will Passions' massive behind-the-scenes cuts impact the show?
 I think that cutting the fat, so to speak, may actually help Passions.   41% 
 The show is already struggling, I think this may be the final blow.   27% 
 I would think that it would have to. I mean they fired HALF the staff...   21% 
 I'm not sure what this will do, but it will be very interesting to watch.   6% 
 I honestly don't know enough about the technical stuff to really say.   3% 
 Other   1% 

As reported last month by Soap Central, there's good news for Passions fans: the show has been renewed for another year. However, with reward comes a bit of sacrifice. In order to remain on the show, the bottom-ranked NBC soap has had to undergo some serious budget cuts.

To stay afloat, Passions has had to slash its operations budget by a reported $4-to-$5 million. Most of the cuts involved the letting go of behind-the-scenes staff, but fans can also expect to see some on-screen cuts in the very near future.

Nearly half of Passions' crew has been let go as a result of the budget crunch. Those dismissals include behind-the-scenes staffers such as cameramen, lighting and sound persons and even the show's press rep.

On-screen, fans will notice that the show will no longer be using as many sets or extras. As a result, storylines and scenes may drag on a few extra days in order to utilize existing sets and to cut down on the expense of breaking down and setting up sets on a regular basis.

The show's cast will also not be immune to cuts. Three of the show's stars - Kelli McCarty (Beth Wallace), John Reilly (Alistair Crane) and Adrian Wilson (Christopher Boothe) - are all reported to be leaving the show in the near future.

McCarty's exit may or may not be related to the budget cuts. When the actress rejoined the show in May, McCarty was told that her recurring gig would last just a few months. McCarty taped her final scenes in early June and it is unclear if that date was in any way altered by the show's money woes. [Click here for more on McCarty's impending exit from Passions.]

Reilly's exit may be easily facilitated. The actor's on-screen persona was recently revealed to be the show's mysterious monk, part of the Vendetta storyline. Wilson, meanwhile, has been with the show only a few months. Both actors are said to be in the same position: they will either dropped from contract to recurring status or let go entirely as the show tries to find ways to pinch pennies.

Due to the dismissal of the show's press rep, no comment from NBC was available.

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