Passionate Dreams

Passionate Dreams final title card, circa 2011-2012

Created by Irna Phillips
Written by Kimberly McPherson
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 15,992
Executive producer(s) Wilbur Hatchman (1951–56)
Jerry Ackerman (1956–63)
Felix Brickman (1963–69)
Henry Davis (1969–81)
Jack Rauch (1981–86)
Leanne Marie Asher (1986–93)
Marilynn Kearney (1993–99)
Michael D. Laibson (1999–2002)
Madeline Harrison (2002–07)
Amanda Dempsey (2007–12)
Location(s) Chicago, Illinois (1940–47)
Los Angeles, California (1947–51)
New York City, New York (1951–2012)
Peapack, New Jersey (2010–12)
Running time 15 minutes (19401951)
30 minutes (19511976)
60 minutes (19762012)
Distributor Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc. (1951–2008)
TeleNext Media, Inc. (2008–12)
Original channel LBC Radio (1940–1951)
BGC (1951–2012)
Picture format NTSC (480i)
Original run LBC Radio
January 15, 1940 – June 22, 1951
BGC Television
June 25, 1951 – December 21, 2012
Template:Italic title

Passionate Dreams is an American television soap opera that aired for 61 years on BGC Television from June 25, 1951 to December 21, 2012, preceded by an 11-year radio broadcast.

Passionate Dreams was created by Irna Phillips, and began as a radio serial on LBC Radio on January 25, 1940 and ran for 15 minutes until June 22, 1951. The show expanded to 30 minutes and moved to BGC Television on June 25, 1951, a year before Guiding Light launched its CBS debut on June 30, 1952. The show expanded to a full hour on July 26, 1976.

On March 3, 2008, Passionate Dreams competed against Guiding Light in a matchup, but sadly, Passionate Dreams lost to Guiding Light in a 74-71 score.

On March 27, 2009, Passionate Dreams competed against Guiding Light in a matchup, but Passionate Dreams thumped Guiding Light in a 74-60 score before CBS on April 1, 2009, canceled Guiding Light. On September 18, 2009, Passionate Dreams broadcast its 15,000 episode on television, the same day as Guiding Light ended. On October 5, 2009, while Let's Make a Deal debuted and replaced Guiding Light, Passionate Dreams competed against As the World Turns in a matchup, but Passionate Dreams thumped As the World Turns in an 84-75 score. On September 17, 2010, Passionate Dreams became the last Procter & Gamble produced soap opera after As the World Turns ended. On January 13, 2012, Passionate Dreams became the last New York City produced soap opera after One Life to Live ended.

On April 9, 2012, Passionate Dreams competed against All My Secrets in a matchup, but Passionate Dreams lost in a 77-76 score to All My Secrets.

On July 11, 2012, BGC announced that it canceled Passionate Dreams after 61 years on television (following 11 years on radio with a total of 72 years) due to low ratings. The show taped its final scenes on November 16, 2012, and its final episode aired on December 21, 2012. On December 24, 2012, the following Monday, BGC replaced Passionate Dreams with a short-lived talk show called Beauty Queens and then on March 18, 2013, it replaced Passionate Dreams with a newly debuted Our Screams Can Last spinoff called Universal Lives.

The Passionate Dreams spinoff called Rainbow Stories debuted on March 16, 2015 and replaced the canceled 43-year-old soap opera Fraternity Row.

Origins, plot development, and cast

Passionate Dreams has had a number of plot sequences during the series' long history, on both radio and television. These plot sequences include complex storylines, and different writers and casting.


The radio show debuted on LBC Radio on January 15, 1940, focusing on the residents of Bellwood.


In March 1951, LBC Radio canceled Passionate Dreams after 11 years, but handed it over to BGC Television the same day. The series aired its final 15-minute radio episode on June 22, 1951 and aired its first 30-minute pilot TV episode on June 25, 1951 (a year before Guiding Light debuted on CBS TV on June 30, 1952).


In 1967, Passionate Dreams aired a final black-and-white episode on March 3 and aired a first color episode on March 6. In 1969, Felix Brickman was fired from his executive producing and replaced by Henry Davis, who became another executive producer.


On July 26, 1976, BGC expanded both Fraternity Row and Passionate Dreams from 30 minutes to 60 minutes, three days after Secret Stars ended its run after 15 years on the air.


The 1980s included the next two castmates who joined Passionate Dreams. In 1983, Genie Francis (Days of our Lives) was about to join Passionate Dreams, but was under prior contract to General Hospital, which prevented her from joining Passionate Dreams. Also, Tia Carrere was under prior contract to General Hospital, which prevented her from joining both The A-Team and All My Children and also prevented her from starring in Passionate Dreams. In March and June of 1989, Jeanne Cooper, star of The Young and the Restless, and Darlene Conley, star of The Bold and the Beautiful, guest starred on Passionate Dreams.

Robin Christopher, before heading to All My Children, One Life to Live and General Hospital, was cast on the series between July 1, 1986 to December 25, 1986 as Jennifer Milleson.


The 1990s included several characters from the 1980s, while some characters from the 1950s have died, and some other characters from the 1950s moved out of Bellwood.

In August 1991, three Backdraft actors Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, and Scott Glenn appeared on Passionate Dreams as three firefighters who appeared in Bellwood, rescuing Ashley McClellan (Ashley Marie Monroe) from an absolutely terrifying car fire before the car she drove exploded. On September 9, 1991, Elizabeth Merriman debuted her role as Laurette Stephens, a young woman from the wrong side of the tracks. In December 1991, by Christmas, she married Jimmy Rogers (Jimmy Tennyson).

On September 30, 1991, actress Elizabeth Aberdeen debuted her role as Vernita Backwood, and actor Derek Carter debuted his role as Steve Morris. Later on September 18, 1992, actor Aladdin Adams debuted his role as Marty McLean, and on the same day, actress Ariel Summer-Adams (Aladdin's real life wife since their March 31, 1999 real life wedding) debuted her role as Mary Flowers. On September 17, 1993, actress Annika Bartoski debuted her role as Christina Hardwick. On March 7, 1994, actress Odette Morrison-Carter (Derek's real life wife since their June 30, 1999 wedding) debuted her role as Hayley Gilmore. On September 9, 1994, Laurette and Jimmy left Bellwood together, requesting that they never returned.

In 1995, Joan Livingston guest starred on the series, but in 1996, she stayed until October 1998.

On March 31, 1999, Stephanie Canterbury made her first appearance as Ida Marie Flowers, Mary's cousin, and Marty's cousin-in-law.


The 2000s included several characters from the 1980s and 1990s, but added new characters.

On June 25, 2001, Passionate Dreams marked its 50th televised anniversary and unveiled a 2001 opening of the show, replacing a 10-year 1991 opening.

On September 18, 2002, Brittany Marson (Helga Johnson-Stephens) and Kirk Markson (Arnold Stephens) married and moved from Bellwood to Hawaii.

On March 17, 2003, Passionate Dreams unveiled a new opening which replaced a 50th TV Anniversary opening which aired in 2001. In September 2003, Melody Adams (Aladdin's and Ariel's daughter, born September 17, 1999) made her debut as Serena McFastin.

In 2004, Elizabeth Aberdeen announced that she would not leave but stay on the series because of the contract she signed.

On September 19, 2005, Marcy Walker made her first appearance as Karen Harper, the ex-stripper from the wrong side of the tracks. Walker previously played the three roles on three soap operas All My Children, Santa Barbara, and Guiding Light. In November 2005, Ryan Kelley debuted his role on Passionate Dreams as Zack Moravsky. In March 2006, Vernita Blackwell (Elizabeth Aberdeen) told Serena (Melody Adams) that Karen Harper was a white-trash hussy. In late March 2006, Zack Moravsky met Karen Harper and fell in love with her. In June 2006, Zack and Karen married and became husband and wife. Karen wanted Zack to go for a ride to Texas, but Zack declined, angering Karen. On September 25, 2006, Zack and Karen divorced. Ryan Kelley made his final appearance on Passionate Dreams on September 29, 2006.

On October 2, 2006, Walker chose to not renew her contract with Passionate Dreams.

The November 10, 2006 episode of Passionate Dreams included the first appearances of Anton Yelchin, Shawn Hatosy, Emile Hirsch, and Justin Timberlake, and also included the final appearance of Marcy Walker. Karen Harper (Marcy Walker) confronted Zack Moravsky (Anton Yelchin) about his problems after she told him she was going to head to Dallas, Texas, but he angrily refused her to head to Dallas and told her to listen to him. Karen angrily told Zack that she got tired of listening to him. Zack pointed the gun at Karen, goading him into shooting her. Zack shot Karen multiple times with an IOF .32 revolver, killing her. He then dragged her dead body out of the house and into the woods. Suddenly, Zack doused Karen's dead body with gasoline and set it on fire and burned it. The two cops (Shawn Hatosy, Justin Timberlake, and Emile Hirsch) later arrested Zack for Karen's murder and imprisoned him. Karen's family mourned her loss and arrived at the funeral after she died.

The November 17, 2006 episode of Passionate Dreams included the scene about when Zack Moravsky (Anton Yelchin) was accused of his ex-wife Karen Harper-Moravsky's murder. The judge and the jury found Zack guilty of killing Karen, causing Zack's mom Olivia Moravsky (Sharon Stone) and dad Butch Moravsky (David Thornton) and older brother Jake Moravsky (Ben Foster) to break down in tears and begin weeping over Zack's arrest. And suddenly, Zack was convicted for murder and sentenced to six years in prison. The police (Shawn Hatosy, Emile Hirsch, and Justin Timberlake) took Zack to jail.

On March 19, 2007, and three days after Madeline Harrison was fired from the show, Amanda Dempsey replaced her and became the final executive producer for Passionate Dreams, with Jolene McPherson and Roger Long as the show's final head-writers.

On September 18, 2009 (the day CBS eliminated Guiding Light after 57 years on TV), actors Aladdin Adams and his actress wife Ariel Summer-Adams chose to cancel and not to renew their contracts, and made their final appearances as Marty McLean and Mary Flowers. However, Annika Bartoski continued her role as Christina Hardwick until October 23, 2009.


The 2010s included several characters who returned to the show, after having died on screen. Passionate Dreams marked its 70th Radio Anniversary on January 15, 2010. After leaving the show, Annika Bartoski returned to reprise her role as Christina Hardwick on Passionate Dreams on September 17, 2010 (the day CBS eliminated As the World Turns after 54 years). Vernita Backwood (Elizabeth Aberdeen), who left in September 2008, returned on April 9, 2010. The show marked its 60th televised anniversary on June 25, 2011.

Michelle Morrisen (Christina Halsey), after having left the show on September 30, 2008, returned on August 11, 2011. Marty McLean (Aladdin Adams) and Mary Flowers (Ariel Summer-Adams), after having left the show on September 18, 2009, returned on September 23, 2011 (the day ABC eliminated All My Children after 41 years).

On January 13, 2012 (the day ABC eliminated One Life to Live after 43 years), Joan Monroe guest starred on Passionate Dreams but stayed on the show until on January 20, 2012 (the day BGC eliminated Fraternity Row). On April 2, 2012, Angelica Montgomery began her new role as Lindsay Flowers, Mary's sister and Marty's sister-in-law on the show before she reprised her role from the show on the March 18, 2013 debut of Universal Lives.

On September 7, 2012 (the day BGC eliminated Our Screams Can Last), actress Charlotte McClellan reprised her Our Screams Can Last role as Helen before she reprised her role on its newly-debuted spinoff, Universal Lives. On September 10, 2012, three days later, Ashley McClellan (Ashley Marie Monroe) came back to Bellwood for one last visit until the November 9, 2012 broadcast.

On November 5, 2012, actors Shawn Hatosy, Anton Yelchin, and Justin Timberlake (from the 2006 movie Alpha Dog) returned to Passionate Dreams and reprised their roles for the show's final season, but headed out of the show on November 23, 2012. Also returning to the show for its final season were Sharon Stone, Ben Foster, and David Thornton who reprised their roles on November 8, 2012. The other three also headed out of the show on November 21, 2012. Appearing on one episode on November 23, 2012, haunting the characters (Anton Yelchin, Shawn Hatosy, and Justin Timberlake) was Karen Harper-Moravsky's ghost (Marcy Walker). Marcy Walker guest starred.


On July 11, 2012, BGC confirmed that it would not renew Passionate Dreams, and its last broadcast was on December 21, 2012.

The final episode included the characters having a happy ending. Vernita Blackwell (Elizabeth Aberdeen) and Chip Marxen (Jimmy McKay) moved to San Francisco, California on a one-way ticket. Marty McLean (Aladdin Adams) and Mary Flowers McLean (Ariel Summer-Adams) left Bellwood and moved to Los Angeles, and Christina (Annika Bartoski) teamed up with them.

Madeline (Madeline Lawson) chose to stay with Stanley (Arthur McPherson) after their marriage, and Vanessa (Ursula Summer, Ariel's mother and Aladdin's mother-in-law), Mary's mother and Marty's mother-in-law, left Bellwood to move in with Marty and Mary. Josh and Beth packed up and left the town and drove off in the sunset. And later "The End" appeared before a final fadeout.

Production and locales

Passionate Dreams was broadcast from three locations: Chicago (where creator Irna Phillips resided), from 1940 until 1946; Hollywood, from 1947 until 1951; and New York City starting during 1951. It was relocated from Chicago to Hollywood (despite objections of both Phillips and Arthur Peterson) to take advantage of the talent pool. Production was subsequently relocated to New York City, where the majority of soap operas were produced during the 1950s, 1960s and much of the 1970s; it remained based in New York City until the show's 2012 conclusion. Its final taping location was the BGC studios in midtown Manhattan. From the 1970s to the 1990s it was filmed at the Chelsea Studios. From soon before March 1, 2011, outdoor scenes were filmed on location in Peapack, New Jersey. The location filming coincided with another significant production change, as the series became the first American weekday soap opera to be recorded digitally. The production team chose to film with Canon XH-G1 HDV camcorders. Unlike the old production model with pedestal-style cameras and traditional three-sided sets, handheld cameras allowed producers to choose as many locations as they wished.

Final seasons

During the daytime drama's 61st season on television and 72nd overall season, the series had changed its look to a more realistic experience in an attempt to compete with the growing popularity of reality television. The new look of Passionate Dreams included free-hand camera work and less action shown on traditional studio sets. Producer Amanda Dempsey introduced a "shaky-cam" style, present in a number of movies, featuring extreme-closeups and frequent cuts, including those that "broke the axis" (which proved disorienting to viewers accustomed to shows with the traditional "soap opera look"). Also new was the filming of outdoor scenes in actual outdoor settings. Even many indoor scenes had more of an "on location" feel, repurposing real locations, such as Passionate Dreams's production offices, to be motel rooms, nail salons, quick-mart and other businesses or locations. Thereby, the series had numerous sets without the cost of numerous separate locations. BGC and the show's producers had hoped that the new look would increase ratings, but the plan was ultimately unsuccessful.

On July 11, 2012, the series was canceled by BGC after a run of 72 years (11 years on radio, 61 years on television) due to low ratings with the series finale airing on December 21, 2012, making it the final Procter & Gamble soap opera and the final New York City soap opera to end.

Production summary

Production summary
Start date End date Time slot
Run time
Network Filming
January 15, 1940 January 17, 1941 15 LBC Red Radio Chicago Canceled by Procter & Gamble, resulting in 75,000 protest letters.[1]
January 20, 1941 March 15, 1942 LBC Blue Radio Sponsored by Procter & Gamble
March 16, 1942 May 30, 1947 LBC Red Radio Canceled by General Mills.
June 2, 1947 June 22, 1951 LBC Radio Hollywood/Los Angeles Sponsored by Procter & Gamble
June 25, 1951 September 6, 1968 12:30 pm/11:30 am 30 BGC New York City
September 9, 1968 September 1, 1972 2:30 pm/1:30 pm
September 4, 1972 November 28, 1975 2:00 pm/1:00 pm
December 1, 1975 July 23, 1976 2:30 pm/1:30 pm
July 26, 1976 April 22, 1977 60
April 25, 1977 December 21, 2012 3:00 pm/2:00 pm As early as 1993, some affiliates began airing the show at 9 AM, 10 AM, or noon local time in favor of local programming airing at 3 PM on some BGC affiliates.

The action has also been set in three different locales – it was based in the fictional towns of Valley Falls and Gravity Plains before its final locale of Bellwood.

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