''Passions'' tries to attract a new type of audience
Now that it’s become the No. 1 daytime destination for female teens, NBC’s supernatural soap ”Passions” has set its sights on another hard-to-reach audience: African-American women. ”Passions” is tied with NBC’s ”Days of Our Lives” as the least-watched sudser in that demographic (CBS’ ”Young and the Restless,” in comparison, is No. 1), a trend NBC is trying to reverse, in part by casting syndicated R&B DJ Tom Joyner in a five-episode arc in March. He’ll play a disgruntled Crane Industries employee who wreaks havoc on the firm. ”African-American households represent a disproportionately large share of the daytime audience,” says NBC’s head of daytime, Sheraton Kalouria. ”But quite frankly, many of them aren’t aware ‘Passions’ is even on.” Well, they’d come around a lot quicker if the smoldering Shemar Moore (the Y&R alum last seen on The WB’s canceled ”Birds of Prey”) joined the show as a sexy warlock.