Recently in December 2010

Newcomer Plans First Fan Event!

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How much do you love GENERAL HOSPITAL's Chad Duell (Michael)? Your chance to tell him will be Sunday, July 24, when the young actor hosts his first-ever fan event during the GH Fan Club Weekend! Last year, Duell was the "surprise guest" during Steve Burton's (Jason) event, and was quite a big hit! "The fans were great to me at the last GH luncheon and I look forward to meeting them again," Duell tells Soaps In Depth. "I can't wait!"

Ticket information for Duell's event -- as well as those hosted by Burton, Maurice Benard (Sonny), Jonathan Jackson (Lucky), and Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) and Julie Marie Berman (Lulu) -- will be announced in early 2011.

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Cast Your Vote #02!

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It's time once again to express your opinions about your favorite ABC soaps! Since the official magazine polls still aren't quite ready yet, we once again ask you to cast your vote in the comments below to answer this issue's questions and name your favorite actor, actress and couple.

Also, if you'd like to expand upon your answers, feel free, but remember that any comments left here may be considered for publication in the magazine.

But PLEASE -- vote only ONCE. That's once per ISSUE. Not once per day or once per week. Just ONCE.

MULTIPLE VOTES FROM THE SAME USER WILL BE DELETED AND NOT COUNTED, SO DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND OURS. THANK YOU.

Now, on to this issue's questions:

ALL MY CHILDREN: Do you think Greenlee and Kendall can ever bury the hatchet?

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Can Sonny and Brenda make it work this time?

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Should Starr give in to her feelings for James?

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Garrett Lands Primetime Spot!

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Christmas came early for Drew Garrett (ex-Michael, GENERAL HOSPITAL), who just landed a guest-starring role on THE MENTALIST. Soaps In Depth caught up with the former GH star while he was Christmas shopping at The Grove in Hollywood, clearly exhibiting a holiday glow. "I'm really exited," he reports. Having come close to several other acting jobs since he left GH earlier in the year, this is the first role Garrett has landed landed. "It's about time!" The talented actor films the CBS police procedural drama the first week in January, after celebrating New Year's Eve in his native Florida.

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Budig Celebrates SKATING Win... With Surgery!

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ALL MY CHILDREN's Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) won the inaugural season of SKATING WITH THE STARS on Tuesday night after earning a perfect score of 60. Next on the actress' To-Do list? Foot surgery! Budig tells Soaps In Depth that today, December 23, she'll be going under the knife, but it's not for an injury related to the grueling skating that she's done for the last six weeks. (Unlike a wrist injury she suffered earlier this month during rehearsals.) "I have a bone spur on my toe, so I'm having surgery on it," she reveals. "It's something I've had for 10 years." The actress is going to tag a week on to AMC's holiday hiatus in order to recuperate not only from surgery, but also from all the rehearsing she did with partner Fred Palascak for the competition series. "I'm going to be in bed for two weeks. It'll be good for my body."

While on bed rest waiting to get back on her feet, Budig will have a nice view of her SKATING trophy, a pair of bronzed ice skates. "Right now, the trophy's on my dresser," she smiles. "I'm sure I'll find a perfect spot for it, probably with my parents or my sister."

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Catch Genzel On CASTLE!

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Carrie Genzel (ex-Skye, ALL MY CHILDREN) is playing a former supermodel whose billionaire hubby blows up in a suspicious plane crash on an upcoming episode of ABC's CASTLE. "I had such a great time, and it was great to see Nathan [Fillion (ex-Joey, ONE LIFE TO LIVE)] again after all these years," she confides of the actor, who stars in the crime drama as author Rick Castle. "We had a lot of fun catching up and talking about 'the old days' of ABC Daytime." As it turned out, being fellow soap opera alumni wasn't the only thing that they had in common. "We also have the connection of both being originally from Canada, and of course, Stana Katic (Beckett) does as well, so the three of us were like old friends coming together to talk about growing up in Canada and our experiences moving to the United States -- we had a blast!" Although previously reported to be airing on Monday, January 3, the episode -- titled "Poof, You're Dead" -- will actually be seen Monday, January 10, at 10 p.m. EST.

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Havins Joins GREY'S ANATOMY!

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ALL MY CHILDREN sweetheart Alexa Havins (ex-Babe) has a new show to call home! ABC has announced that the actress is joining the cast of GREY'S ANATOMY as the much-younger girlfriend of Meredith and Lexie's father, Thatcher. Look for Havins to make her debut on the ABC medical drama on February 10.

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Give The Gift Of ABC's Hunks This Holiday!

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On December 25, would you like the hot guys of ABC Daytime smiling at you from underneath your Christmas tree? Are you still looking for the perfect present for the soap fan in your life? Then take home the hunks from ALL MY CHILDREN, GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE!

The Shop section at ABC.com has added a whole selection of gifts -- posters, postcards, stickers, tote bags, coffee mugs, tank tops and more! -- featuring AMC's Jordi Vilasuso (Griffin) and Trent Garrett (Asher), OLTL's John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), Nicolas Robuck (James) and David Gregory (Ford), and GH's Chad Duell (Michael) and Brandon Barash (Johnny)! You can choose either the photo above, or one of the men fully clothed (but who would want that?!?) to create a unique gift that any ABC soap fan will love! What are you waiting for? Get shopping now!

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ABC Plans Encore Episodes For The Holidays

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ABC Daytime has scheduled four days of encore broadcasts later this month. In a full-network pre-emption, ALL MY CHILDREN, GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE will not air new programming on Thursday, December 23, Friday, December 24, Thursday, December 30, and Friday, December 31, but the following episodes can be seen:

Thursday, December 23

AMC: From November 22, 2010 -- just as Greenlee is found guilty of David's murder, Hayward walks into the coutroom alive.

OLTL: From October 22, 2010 -- As Todd, John and Bo confront Eli at the warehouse, where he's holding Dani and Téa hostage, Blair sneaks in and is overjoyed to discover that Téa is alive. Meanwhile, James, Ford and Langston plot to rescue Starr, and Destiny learns that her parents are actually her grandparents and her brother, Greg, is her real father. At the end of the episode, the warehouse explodes.

GH: The first episode of the Metro Court hostage crisis from February 1, 2007 -- 12 hours before the hotel's explosion, Craig's mercenaries storm the Metro Court. Elsewhere in Port Charles, Lulu accuses Alan of killing Rick and framing Laura.

Friday, December 24

AMC: From November 23, 2010 -- Greenlee is exonerated of murder charges, while Pine Valley reels from the news that David is alive and how he pulled it off.

OLTL: From October 25, 2010 -- Eli sets off the bomb at the warehouse, placing the lives of Cole, John, Blair, Todd and Téa in danger. Dani is knocked out before she can tell Todd that her mother is alive. Cole shoots Eli, and Hannah holds James captive.

GH: Hour 11 of the Metro Court, from February 2, 2007 -- Sam is nearly shot while trying to hit the hotel's panic button, but Sonny talks Craig out of killing her. Just as A.J. is about to give Skye the briefcase code, he has a seizure. Maxie realizes that she's stuck inside the hotel's vault with a ticking briefcase, and to prove he means business, Craig shoots Robin.

Thursday, December 30

AMC: From November 29, 2010 -- As the town's residents rejoice that David is going to prison, Hayward sneaks away to confront Ryan. As the two men struggle, Erica shoots David.

OLTL: From October 28, 2010 -- Todd and John and Téa and Blair work together in pairs to free themselves from the wreckage. At the end of the episode, Todd and Téa come face-to-face. Meanwhile, Cole learns that Starr and Hope were not in the warehouse, and therefore are probably alive. Covering for her son, Marty is booked for Eli's murder. Hannah takes James and Starr to the graveyard.

GH: One hour before the Metro Court explosion, from February 16, 2007 -- Carly figures out the code to A.J.'s briefcase, and Sonny tries to negotiate with Craig for her release. After covering for the disguised Jason, Sam considers escaping from the hotel. Nikolas and Emily discuss getting remarried. At the end of the episode, Mateo slits the throat of "7" just as Alan opens his eyes, in Monica's arms.

Friday, December 31

AMC: From November 30, 2010 -- Following David's shooting, Erica is taken to the Pine Valley P.D., while Ange and Jesse bring in Griffin to save David's life. Caleb and Asher share a close moment at the police station. Having been shot, Madison faints in Ryan's arms.

OLTL: From October 29, 2010 -- James saves Starr from a crazed Hannah. A reunited Todd and Téa manage to escape from the warehouse before it collapses. Natalie confronts Marty with evidence against Cole. After revealing that he couldn't find the other half of his mother's necklace, Rex sees that Clint had something to do with its disappearance.

GH: The finale of the Metro Court explosion, from February 19, 2007 -- Mateo is shot as the hostages look on. Craig opens the briefcase, revealing the microchips. As the SWAT team storms the hotel's lobby, a huge gun battle ensues. Sonny and Carly escape, while Jason rescues Liz. Suddenly, the Metro Court lobby explodes in flames.

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Jackson's Band Releases New Single

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Just in time for the holidays, Enation -- the band fronted by GENERAL HOSPITAL's Jonathan Jackson (Lucky) -- has released a new single, titled "Glorious." Written by Jackson, the song is about holding on to innocence and wonder, even as you get older. A theme that the band thought was fitting for the holiday season.

"Glorious" is available for purchase at CDBaby.

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ALL MY CHILDREN Gets A New Opening!

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ALL MY CHILDREN will roll out a new opening sequence on Wednesday, December 22. The new credits keeps the soap's theme music, but the scrapbook photos seen in the current opening have been replaced with actual AMC clips.

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Franco Nabs Golden Globe Nod!

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James Franco (Franco, GENERAL HOSPITAL) continues to generate Oscar buzz regarding his performance as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after being trapped for 5 days by a boulder, in 127 Hours. First, both he and the biopic were nominated in the Best Male Lead and Best Feature categories for the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards, and now Franco -- who is set to co-host the Sunday, February 24, Academy Awards Oscars telecast along with Anne Hathaway -- has received a Golden Globe nod as Best Actor In A Motion Picture Drama! The Golden Globes are often considered a precursor to Academy Award nominations, but don't talk about the movie's Oscar buzz with Franco! "It makes you insane," he recently told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel during an appearance on his ABC talk show, adding that he hopes presenting the telecast will take the "pressure off."

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On Sale Now

1052cover520w.jpg Grab the latest ABC issue of Soaps In Depth to find out what happens on GH when the evil Jerry threatens the lives of Brenda and Carly! Can Jax stop his brother from harming the two women he loves? Then, AMC's cutie patootie, Trevor Dillon, finally gets his say in our Baby's First Words feature. Next, OLTL's Tom Degnan recalls his journey from college grad to Llanview's new Joey. Finally, GH's Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) contemplates his future in Port Charles. Get all these exclusive stories -- plus previews from all your favorite shows -- only in the new ABC edition of Soaps In Depth, on sale now!

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'Tis The Season!

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The weather outside is frightful... but the stars of ALL MY CHILDREN, GENERAL HOSPITAL and ONE LIFE TO LIVE are just delightful! In our special holiday issue, on sale Monday, December 13, Soaps In Depth has gathered up some of your favorite stars from ABC Daytime for exclusive family portraits and to share what the season means to them and their loved ones.

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First, read their heartwarming stories about childhood Christmas memories and annual Hanukkah traditions. Then keep turning the pages to find out the stars' New Year's wishes for themselves and their characters. In fact, when we asked the stars to reveal what was on their holiday wish lists, we got so many answers that we couldn't fit them all into the magazine! Lucky for you, dear Soaps In Depth readers, we're posting the rest of the answers right here!

Read more after the jump!

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Cast Your Vote #52

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It's time once again to express your opinions about your favorite ABC soaps! Since the official magazine polls still aren't quite ready yet, we once again ask you to cast your vote in the comments below to answer this issue's questions and name your favorite actor, actress and couple.

Also, if you'd like to expand upon your answers, feel free, but remember that any comments left here may be considered for publication in the magazine.

But PLEASE -- vote only ONCE. That's once per ISSUE. Not once per day or once per week. Just ONCE.

MULTIPLE VOTES FROM THE SAME USER WILL BE DELETED AND NOT COUNTED, SO DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME AND OURS. THANK YOU.

Now, on to this issue's questions:

ALL MY CHILDREN: Do you think Griffin will come between Jake and Amanda?

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Should Carly give up on her vendetta against Brenda?

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Will Clint's lie destroy Viki and Charlie's marriage?

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GH Casts Two New Roles

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The new year will bring two new characters to GENERAL HOSPITAL. Khary Payton will make his debut as Terrell, a new pediatrician at the hospital, the week of January 3, while Suzanne Whang, will first air as Carol, a significant figure stepping into Brenda's life, the week of January 10. Both roles are recurring.

While GH marks the daytime debut for both actors, Whang already knows one of her soap co-stars: She played spa manager Polly on LAS VEGAS opposite Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo (Brenda), who starred as Sam on the NBC drama. Also a stand-up comedienne, Whang hosted HGTV's HOUSE HUNTERS for nearly 10 years and appeared as Alice's mom, Fern, on ABC Family's THE SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER earlier this year.

Payton has previous GH connection as well: he voiced a character on TNT's animated action series GENERATOR REX, which also stars Wally Kurth (ex-Ned). He's also lent his vocal talents to animated shows like TEEN TITANS, BEN 10: ALIEN FORCE and a slew of video games, including the upcoming celebrity-filled DC Universe Online, where he'll voice Cyborg and GH's Adrienne Barbeau (Suzanne) can be heard as Catwoman!

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Parsons To Join Benard On Stage!

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When GENERAL HOSPITAL's Maurice Benard (Sonny) heads to the East Coast next month for a handful of public appearances, he will have a very special co-star at three of the events: Nathan Parsons (Ethan)! Making his first ever fan appearance -- aside from ABC's Broadway Cares event -- Parsons will be joining Benard on Saturday, January 8, and Sunday, January 9, in Levittown, NY, Point Pleasant, NJ, and Staten Island, NY. For more information on the times and locations -- as well as further details on Benard's scheduled appearances in Florida and Connecticut -- visit www.mauricebenard.tv.

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More Details On Franco's GH Return!

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As first reported by TV Guide, James Franco will be bringing his mad-artist serial killer character, Franco, back to GENERAL HOSPITAL for a two-episode stint in February!

Franco -- who is hosting the 83rd Academy Awards Oscars telecast with Anne Hathaway on Sunday, February 27 -- will appear the Friday before and the Monday following the Oscars, setting up a teaser for a longer story arc he plans to make another return to GH for later in the year. The madman artist was last seen in July when he disappeared after faking his own death and, shortly thereafter, delivering Elizabeth's newborn son, Aiden, to his own mother. And, yes, the psychopath is still obsessed with Port Charles hitman Jason! "Franco will remind Jason and the audience that he's still out there," executive producer Jill Farren Phelps tells TV Guide.

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Barbeau Drops By CSI: NY!

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While her GENERAL HOSPITAL character, Suzanne Stanwyck, is teaming up with Port Charles' Mob enforcer Jason to keep supermodel Brenda Barrett out of harm's way, her portrayer, Adrienne Barbeau, will soon be headed to another New York city to deal with another professional killer! The actress will appear in a February episode of CSI: NY, as a clinic manager who plays a crucial role in the investigation to track down a hit man, to be played by R&B star Ne-Yo. An air date for the episode has not yet been determined; the CBS drama airs Fridays at 9 p.m. EST.

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Did You Miss Today's OLTL?

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ONE LIFE TO LIVE viewers on the East Coast only got to see half of their favorite soap today, due to a pre-emption for a press conference with President Obama. But since his speech didn't cause OLTL to be interrupted nationwide, an ABC spokesperson tells Soaps In Depth that the soap will broadcast its scheduled episode tomorrow, and viewers can watch today's show tonight on SOAPnet, or online at abc.com.

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Christopher Lands ABC Family Show!

Tyler.jpgGENERAL HOSPITAL's Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) isn't the only one of the soap's stars hard at work this pilot season: Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) has landed a recurring role in the ABC Family pilot THE LYING GAME, based on the just-released novel by Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard. (That series, of course, was the base for the network's wildly popular teen drama of the same name.) Former GH headwriter Charles Pratt, Jr., is the writer/executive producer of the pilot.

THE LYING GAME stars soap sweetheart Alexandra Chando (Maddie, AS THE WORLD TURNS) as twin sisters separated at birth. Sutton was raised by a rich family while Emma was bounced around the foster system. But shortly after reuniting with hopes to find their birth mother, Sutton mysteriously goes missing... and Emma sets out to find her. Christopher has been cast as Detective Matthews. "First week of shooting was good," the actor tweeted from New Mexico, where the one-hour drama is currently filming. "A lot of good buzz. Great actors."

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Where's Angie?

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ALL MY CHILDREN fans have been quick to notice that Debbi Morgan's Angie hasn't been on screen in the last few weeks, especially considering she's in the middle of a frontburner storyline dealing with her pregnancy! But headwriter David Kreizman assures us that he and co-scribe Donna Swajeski haven't forgotten about the beloved character: Morgan has just taken some time off to attend to a personal matter. But don't worry about her being absent for long, as the scribe says she'll be back onscreen in the New Year — and Angie will be giving birth to her and Jesse's bundle of joy very soon!

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Exclusive: AMC's Wittrock Is Out!

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As last Friday came to an end, Soaps In Depth began to hear rumblings that ALL MY CHILDREN had let go Finn Wittrock (Damon). So we went straight to the source over the weekend at a performance of the actor's play, The Laramie Project, and Wittrock confirmed exclusively to In Depth that he indeed will be leaving the soap "in a few weeks." The Juilliard graduate, who seems to be taking his exit in stride, added that with the shooting schedule, he should air through January. A source shares that ever since the new headwriters took over the helm at AMC, they haven't quite known what to do with Damon, as they brought in a character of their own creation, Trent Garrett's Asher, and reportedly have big plans for Caleb's son. Wittrock and his theater company, The Mechanicals Theatre Group, wrap up their production of The Laramie Project this weekend.

UPDATE: A rep for AMC has since commented that Wittrock's contract was in fact coming to an end, and it was the actor himself who made the decision to leave. At this time, a final air date is not yet available.

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Mix & Mingle With Maurice!

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It's been several years since GENERAL HOSPITAL star Maurice Benard (Sonny) has made a public appearance outside of the GH Fan Club Weekend. But that's all about to change come January: Not only does the fan favorite have several events lined up, but the actor -- who has publicly confessed to a fear of flying as a result of his bipolar disorder -- is going all out by making his return to the East Coast! Soaps In Depth recently chatted with the multiple Emmy winner all about it!

Soaps In Depth: When was the last time you did a fan event on the East Coast?
Maurice Benard: It's been about eight years. I think the last time I flew was when I did THE OPRAH WINFREY SHOW in 2004. I've had a problem flying, but I'm bringing my whole family and they're going to be seated with me. I think it's going to be much easier for me. I'm going to do an appearance in Hollywood, FL, and we're going to spend a couple of days in Disney World. And from there, we're going to go to New York, and I'll do my appearances there. We're going to see some Broadway plays while we're there. My daughters have a whole list!

Read more after the jump!

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Santa Baby!

The ladies of ONE LIFE TO LIVE sure have gotten into the holiday spirit! Check out this adorable ABC Daytime promo video of Kristen Alderson (Starr), Kelley Missal (Danielle), Brittany Underwood (Langston) and Kassie DePaiva (Blair) singing "Santa Baby" -- featuring David Gregory (Ford), Nicolas Robuck (James), Lenny Platt (Nate) and a surprise Secret Santa as their back-up dancers!

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Lindstrom Goes True BLUE!

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Jon Lindstrom (ex-Ryan/Kevin, GENERAL HOSPITAL) is headed to primetime! The actor is set to guest star on CBS' new hit cop drama, BLUE BLOODS, next month. "The episode is called 'Little Fish' and is scheduled to air January 7," he reveals. "I play Judge Blake Fenton who mysteriously rules repeatedly against Erin [played by Bridget Moynahan]." BLUE BLOODS airs Fridays at 10 p.m. EST.

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AMC Stars Together On Stage!

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ALL MY CHILDREN's Finn Wittrock (Damon) and Brittany Allen (Marissa) have teamed together for The Mechanicals Theatre Group's limited engagement of The Laramie Project, a critically-acclaimed play based on the 1998 hate crime killing of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student in Laramie, WY. Directed by Wittrock's father, fellow actor Peter Wittrock, 8 performances of the drama will be staged at The Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles, on Thursdays through Sundays, starting tonight, December 2, until Sunday, December 12. Tickets are available at the door for $20, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization which operates an around-the-clock crisis and suicide prevention hotline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. For more information on The Mechanicals' production of The Laramie Project, click here.

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AMC Mainstay Recast!

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Forget the eggnog, carols and holiday decorations. It ain't Christmas until ALL MY CHILDREN's Father Clarence makes his annual appearance in Pine Valley! The tradition continues this year, with the beloved character gracing the screen on Monday, December 27. But it's not all holly and tinsel: The show had to quickly replace Malachy McCourt (who's been recurring as the character since 2005) with actor Michael McCarthy! A spokesperson for AMC says that due to a personal emergency, McCourt had to be recast at the last minute.

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Dates Set For AMC's New Scott & Marissa!

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The countdown is on until AS THE WORLD TURNS alumni Sarah Glendening (Lucy) and Daniel Cosgrove (Chris) take over the roles of ALL MY CHILDREN's Marissa and Scott later this month! As previously reported, Glendening will make her debut on Tuesday, December 21, succeeding Brittany Allen in the contract role of Krystal and David's daughter. Allen will make her last appearance on Monday, December 20. Then, on Monday, December 27, Cosgrove brings Scott back to Pine Valley after just two months in prison. In replacing previous portrayer Adam Mayfield, Cosgrove steps back into the role he played from 1996-'98.

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