Recently in January 2011

OLTL Wins Directors Guild Award!

Congratulations to ONE LIFE TO LIVE director Larry Carpenter, who took home the Directors Guild Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Daytime Serials on Saturday night! Carpenter was honored for the second day of the soap's "Starr X'd Lovers" musical special that aired in May. Previously, he'd won the DGA Award twice before, including his 2008 trophy for OLTL's "So You Think You Can Be Shane Morasco's Father" episode.

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Celebrate Slezak's Milestone!

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Can you believe that Erika Slezak made her debut as ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Viki 40 years ago this March? Neither can we! If you'd like to send a message to the multiple Emmy winner in honor of her very special milestone, The Erika Slezak Fan Club has put together an online guestbook! It'll be available though the month of March, so head over to www.erikaslezak.com and post a message for the actress to read!

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Larson Gets Nasty!

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ALL MY CHILDREN's Jill Larson (Opal) is setting aside the loud, eccentric outfits and wacky accessories that her alter ego is know for and stepping into a much more refined costume: that of a nun! The actress has landed the guest-starring role of a nasty lady of God on ABC's hit primetime soap DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, which she couldn't be more thrilled about, seeing as how it's her first foray into primetime. "I had the good fortune to do it on a show of this quality, which made the conquest, if you will, all the sweeter!" she tells Soaps In Depth, adding that the role came about via a friend's suggestion. "She called and said they were casting a part of a nun and said it would be kind of fun and thought maybe I'd be good for that. So I called my agent and left a message, and within a day, they had an appointment for me. Everyone was very kind, and then the next day, my agent called and said they were booking me. I was thrilled!"

Though Larson admits that she was nervous to step out of her comfort zone at AMC and into the unknown, it was an unforgettable experience that she'd welcome again. "It all went very well," she smiles of her scenes with Eva Longoria (ex-Isabella, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), who stars as Gaby. "She was so generous. And... we got to do the scenes maybe 12 to 15 times, which in daytime is unheard of! And so that was a wonderful luxury."

Larson's episode is scheduled to air Sunday, February 20, at 9 p.m. EST, so tune in to see her in action!

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Ron Hale Has Retired!

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Wondering when GENERAL HOSPITAL's Mike will return from gambling rehab? Apparently, not anytime soon! Ron Hale, who's played Sonny's pop since 1995, tells Soaps In Depth exclusively that he decided several weeks ago to retire, and has actually already made his last GH appearance. And why not, given his alter ego's diminished presence over the past few years? While he takes a pragmatic view of the situation ("It wouldn't do me any good to vent about things," he suggests), Hale also acknowledges that when it comes to Mike, he often felt as if the show failed to take advantage of his unique position in Sonny's life. "Who has the ability to push Sonny's buttons like Mike?" the actor asks. "Nobody. Nobody else can say those things to Sonny and live!"

For more on Hale's decision, see the issue of Soaps In Depth on sale Monday, February 7. And join the daytime vet in looking back on his illustrious career -- the guy was RYAN'S HOPE's Roger, for heaven's sake! -- in the issue on sale Monday, February 21!

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Peck Joins Conn At OLTL!

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A spokesperson for ABC confirms that daytime vet Austin Peck (Brad, AS THE WORLD TURNS; ex-Austin, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) will be joining the cast of ONE LIFE TO LIVE later this spring. Details are scant about the character Peck will be playing, but his new gig will have him working on the same set as his real-life love, Terri Conn (Aubrey), who played his reel-life love Katie on ATWT.

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CASTLE Plans Soap-Themed Show!

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Consider this some major ABC synergy: TV Line reports that CASTLE -- the net's hit primetime crime drama starring Nathan Fillion (ex-Joey, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) as mystery novelist Richard Castle and Stana Katik as NYPD detective Kate Beckett -- is planning an soap star-studded wink to Fillion's daytime roots!

In the episode titled "One Life To Lose," Castle and Beckett investigate the murder of a soap opera scribe. According to TV Line, multiple stars from ABC's own daytime lineup will make appearances, likely as fictional actors on the soap-within-the-show. And Fillion fans can expect the star to make at least one nod to his run as OLTL's Joey!

This new slew of guest stars will join a long list of current and former daytimers who have already stopped by CASTLE, including GENERAL HOSPITAL's Andrea Bogart (Abby), who appears on the Monday, February 14 episode. Past guests have included Carrie Genzel (ex-Skye, AMC), Sarah Joy Brown (Aggie, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; ex-Claudia, GH), Rick Hearst (Whip, B&B; ex-Ric, GH), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) and A Martinez (Ramon, B&B; ex-Ray, OLTL; ex-Roy, GH).

"One Life To Lose" is tentatively scheduled to air on Monday, March 21, at 10:01 EST. Which ABC Daytime stars are you hoping to see on the episode? Tell us below!

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Ex-GH Nurse To Meddle On MOTHER!

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Former NIGHT SHIFT and GENERAL HOSPITAL nurse Nazanin Boniadi (ex-Leyla) has been tapped to play the recurring role of Sarah on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, according to TV Line. The site reports that Sarah will appear in multiple episodes as a love interest for Neil Patrick Harris's Barney.

Soaps In Depth did some digging and found out that Sarah is one of Robin's colleagues at the news station. But when some co-workers get together for a "female solidarity" Valentine's Day celebration at the bar, Sarah ends up spending more time hanging out with Barney than complaining about men with her bitter co-workers!

Boniadi's Nurse Leyla made her Port Charles debut in 2007 on SOAPnet's 13-week primetime spin-off NIGHT SHIFT, and continued playing the role on GH until the character died in 2009 after inhaling the lethal biotoxin that was released in the hospital.

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It's A Valentine Vows Marathon!

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SOAPnet is celebrating Valentine's Day on Sunday, February 3, with a marathon of wedding episodes! The four-hour programming block begins at 3 p.m. EST and kicks off with two ALL MY CHILDREN episodes featuring the 2008 remarriage of Angie and Jesse, and the bride being held hostage at gunpoint during their reception.

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Next up is ONE LIFE TO LIVE, at 5 p.m., with Blair and Walker's 2003 nuptials. Will Viki and Kevin stop the wedding with the news that Walker is really Todd?

The Valentine Vows marathon ends at 6 p.m. with a 1999 GENERAL HOSPITAL episode featuring Lucky and Elizabeth. On Valentine's Day, Lucky takes Liz on a surprise trip to a church where the young couple share a romantic evening and exchange their own vows.

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AMC's Costume Designer Dresses (You) To Kill!

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If you've ever wondered what hue was really, you know, you, ALL MY CHILDREN costume designer David Zyla is here to help. In his new book, Color Your Style: How To Wear Your True Colors, he runs down the 24 basic palettes and explains how you can figure out which one you are. After that, the rest is cake!

"Every woman deserves to feel empowered and look fantastic," he tells Soaps In Depth. "But no one needs to spend a fortune to do so. By embracing your style DNA, you will radiate confidence and positive energy that will improve all areas of your life."

And hey, that's priceless! For more on Zyla, visit: www.davidzyla.com. And to order yourself a copy of Color Your Style, visit: www.amazon.com.

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Soap Alums Share A Valentine

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Tune in to The Lost Valentine, a Hallmark Hall Of Fame presentation airing Sunday, January 30, on CBS, and you'll see several familiar faces! The movie stars Betty White (ex-Ann, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) as Caroline -- a World War II widow who has kept her love alive for her husband for 65 years, despite his being declared MIA during service -- and Jennifer Love Hewitt as Susan, a TV reporter whose own love life is impacted by her Valentine's Day assignment to do a human interest profile on Caroline.

Based on the novel by James Michael Pratt, the movie begins during WWII with a pregnant, young Caroline -- played by ONE LIFE TO LIVE alum Meghann Fahy (ex-Hannah) -- saying goodbye to her Navy pilot husband Neil -- played by AS THE WORLD TURNS' Billy Magnussen (Casey). The date is February 14, and also their one-year anniversary. Even though Neil's plane went down in the Pacific before their son was born and he was never located, Caroline, who never remarried, has returned to the train station every Valentine's Day for over 60 years to salute the memory of her lost husband.

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The Lost Valentine airs at 9 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 30, on CBS.

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Wittrock Bids AMC A Bittersweet Goodbye!

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ALL MY CHILDREN's Finn Wittrock (Damon) leaves the canvas the end of this month, and though it was the actor's decision to walk away from the role he took on in October of 2009, it didn't make leaving much easier! "I already miss the sense of community and family that was there," he admits. "But I'm trying to see new horizons and explore new things."

Having spent a lot of time "soul-searching," Wittrock decided that signing a longer contract like the show wanted wasn't an option for him, and taking Damon off the canvas seemed like the logical thing to do. "I gave it a year and learned a lot. My time with the show was so valuable," he says. "But I sort of felt like Damon wasn't grown up, and I felt he needed to go to college and make something of his life."

Read more after the jump!

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Soap Vet Hosts SyFy Reality Show

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McKenzie Westmore -- who had a brief run as unscrupulous Riley on ALL MY CHILDREN and is best known to soap fans as heroine Sheridan on axed NBC sudser PASSIONS -- is hosting the new reality competition FACE OFF, which pits aspiring special-effects makeup artists against each other.

Combining on-camera hosting and special effects makeup is a natural for Westmore: Her father, legendary Hollywood makeup artist Michael Westmore, won an Oscar for his work on the 1985 film Mask, starring Eric Stoltz as a teenager with a massive facial skull deformity and Cher as his mother. The actress began assisting her father, who also worked on several series in the STAR TREK television franchise, at an early age since his lab was adjacent to the family's home. "When I was [old enough] where I was allowed to go in and the chemicals weren't so threatening, I'd be in there and would sculpt right next to him," Westmore tells Soaps In Depth. "I'd help with the molds, turn the oven on and get things ready."

Now, it's dad's turn to assist daughter, because Westmore's father drops by FACE OFF to do a guest spot as a judge! The 12 contestants will battle it out to become the next great SFX artist and win a year's supply of makeup from Alcone and $100,000. "It's fascinating to see the turnaround with the contestants," reveals Westmore. "Even my dad said, 'I wish I had some of these contestants with me on STAR TREK.'"

FACE OFF debuts Wednesday, January 26, at 8 p.m. EST on SyFy.

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Catch Marmo Onstage This Weekend!

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In the Los Angeles area and looking for some good theater? We've got just the ticket! GENERAL HOSPITAL'S Ronnie Marmo (Ronnie) is starring in the world premiere of John Patrick Shanley's Last Night In The Garden I Saw You. The one-act play -- written by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning author who created such works as Moonstruck, Live From Baghdad and Doubt -- is about a man who returns to see the love of his life after a year apart and remind her of who she used to be.

"It's a beautiful, beautiful love story that has a Shakespearean feel to it," Marmo says. "Six months earlier, she met a very rich man and moved to Westchester. He climbs over a fence in Westchester and into her backyard and questions everything she is and who she's become. She sold out for money and gave up who she is just so she could have the security of money and a Westchester life. I remind her who she used to be. It's an emotional, beautiful romance. It's funny. It's sad. It's got everything!"

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GH headwriter Robert Guza is directing Last Night In The Garden I Saw You, which has an eight-night limited run beginning tonight, January 21, through February 5. Showtime is 8:00 p.m.; tickets cost $15. For dates, tickets or additional information, call 323-960-5068 or visit www.theatre68.com.

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GH's Annie Hangs With ANGELS!

Ilonzeh.jpgABC is gearing up for a primetime reboot of CHARLIE'S ANGELS -- and GENERAL HOSPITAL's Annie Ilonzeh (Maya) has landed one of the starring roles! TV Line reports that Ilonzeh has been tapped to play Kate, a very smart and athletic former cop who's a martial arts master, in the pilot, which moves the trio of sexy young private eyes working for a mysterious wealthy man to modern-day Miami.

Drew Barrymore -- who played Dylan in the Charlie's Angles movie franchise based on the original 1970s series -- is on board as executive producer and director through her production company, Flower Films. Casting has not yet been announced for the other two angels, Abby and Marisa.

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Egan To Exit!

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Call it a trifecta of ABC Daytime exits. On the heels of the news earlier this week that both GENERAL HOSPITAL's Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Brittany Underwood (Langston) have been let go from their respective soaps, Melissa Claire Egan has announced that she'll be exiting ALL MY CHILDREN after four years of playing Annie.

The actress announced on her Facebook page and on melissaclaireegan.com that "After 4 and a half incredible years as a member of the AMC cast, I have made the extremely difficult decision to leave the Pine Valley family that I have come to love and respect so much... But after much soul-searching, I feel that it is time to spread my wings and open myself up to new challenges and adventures."

Egan joined the soap in 2006. There's no word yet on when her character will leave Pine Valley. "I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate your support and encouragement over these past four plus years," Egan told her fans in closing. "You have inspired me to give my all to the "complicated" character of Annie Novak McDermott Lavery Chandler Chandler (hehehe, it's always fun to say that), and I hope to have lived up to your expectations. You will always hold a special place in my heart, and I hope you will wish me well in my future endeavors!"

Egan will last air on Monday, March 21.

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Bogart Has A Date With CASTLE!

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GENERAL HOSPITAL's Andrea Bogart (Abby) has special plans this Valentine's Day: She'll be guest-starring on CASTLE that night! In "The Final Nail," a pal from Castle's schooldays, Damian (played by THIRD WATCH's Jason Wiles) emerges as the suspect in his own wife's murder... but is Damian innocent or a cold-blooded killer? A rep for the ABC crime drama tells Soaps In Depth that Bogart will appear as the lovely Callie Langston, who is involved with Damian.

"What a lovely, funny, talented pair to work with," Bogart tweeted of with series stars Nathan Fillion (ex-Joey, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Stana Katic. "Thank you for being so gracious and cracking me up."

Tune in on Monday, February 14, at 10:01 p.m. EST to see Bogart on CASTLE!

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Cast Your Vote #06

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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.

And PLEASE -- vote only ONCE. That's once per ISSUE, meaning one vote for this article's comments. 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 Marissa can keep JR and Annie apart?

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Can Dante and Lulu's relationship be salvaged?

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Would you like to see Blair and Cristian together?

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Breaking News: OLTL Starlet Exiting!

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Brittany Underwood will be leaving ONE LIFE TO LIVE this spring. The talented teen debuted in May 2006 as Starr's bad-girl best friend, who was eventually adopted by Ms. Manning's Aunt Dorian. ABC confirms that the decision was storyline-dictated.

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Soap Alums Playing Dad & Daughter!

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Daytime veterans Corbin Bernsen (Father Todd, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; ex-Durant, GENERAL HOSPITAL) and Rachel Miner (Michelle, GUIDING LIGHT) will guest-star on an upcoming episode of CRIMINAL MINDS, playing father and daughter! In "Today I Do," the BAU is called to upstate New York to investigate mysterious disappearances; Miner appears as Molly, one of the missing, and Bernsen is her father, Jerry.

Tune in to the Wednesday, February 16, episode of CRIMINAL MINDS, airing at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

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Sabáto Expecting A Son!

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Antonio Sabáto Jr. (ex-Jagger, GENERAL HOSPITAL/NIGHT SHIFT; ex-Dante, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) didn't find love on the Hawaiian set of his reality show, MY ANTONIO, in 2009, but he did later find a partner in island native Cheryl Moana Marie -- and now the actor and the singer are expecting their first child together! According to reports, the couple (who met in Los Angeles after he returned from Hawaii) will welcome a son this spring, who they plan to name Antonio Harvey Kamakanaalohamaikalani Sabáto III. (Let's hope that the little guy can pronounce that mouthful, which the couple says means "gift from the heavens" in traditional Hawaiian language.) The baby will be the third child for Sabáto, who has a son, Jack, 16, with actress Virginia Madsen, and a daughter, Mina, 7, with longtime girlfriend Kristin Rosetti.

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Goldsberry Returns To Broadway!

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Renée Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) has made a name for herself in the theater world by appearing on Broadway in The Color Purple, The Lion King and Rent. Now the actress is returning to The Great White Way in a new play, Good People, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire, who wrote the critically-acclaimed Nicole Kidman film, The Rabbit Hole. "It's another 'Who's Who' cast," Goldsberry says of performing opposite Frances McDormand, Tate Donovan, Estelle Parsons, and Becky Ann Baker in the production. "It's really exciting and a huge honor to be acting with these top-notch, wonderful actors."

In the tale, a down-on-her-luck woman (McDormand) looks up an old flame (Donovan) and tries to cash in on his success. "I will be Tate's wife!" Goldsberry reveals. "This was the one time in my life when I read something on the page and couldn't imagine another human being -- even someone who's not an actor -- that could be this person more than me. It just fit so perfectly!"

Previews begin at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on Tuesday, February 8, and the play opens Thursday, March 3. To learn more about the exciting new things happening in Goldsberry's life, check out her Keeping Track feature interview in the next ABC issue of Soaps In Depth, on sale Monday, January 24!

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GH Newbie Signed To Contract!

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Multiple sources tell Soaps In Depth that Erin Chambers (Siobhan) has been placed on contract with GENERAL HOSPITAL! The Portland, OR, native -- who had a recurring role on DAYS OF OUR LIVES as Lacey -- made her debut on the ABC soap last fall as the Irish lass Lucky encountered while working undercover as Ronan O'Reilly. While ABC hasn't yet announced the news of Chambers' deal, the actress tweeted last week that "I've been dying to tell everyone and today it is official. I was offered a contract on General Hospital and I couldn't be more excited!!!" Congratulations, Erin!

UPDATE: A spokesperson for ABC confirms that Chambers has indeed been signed to a contract with the soap.

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GH's Herbst Is Out!

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Consider this the first GENERAL HOSPITAL casualty of the new year: Soaps In Depth broke the news via Twitter earlier this evening that Rebecca Herbst will be exiting the show in March after nearly 14 years of playing Elizabeth Webber. "Storyline dictates the exit of Elizabeth Webber this spring," an ABC spokesperson confirms. "The next few months promise to be a 'not to miss' story for the character. We at ABC and GH wish Rebecca Herbst nothing but the best in her future endeavors."

When Herbst joined the show back in 1997, Elizabeth was nothing more than a bratty teenage girl out to make her older sister Sarah's life miserable. But through the years, Elizabeth has remained at the heart of many GH viewers, as her love affairs with Lucky and Jason had both taken center stage and won the actress huge, huge fan bases.

Your thoughts? Weigh in below!

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Kristen Joins Gay Wedding Cast!

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My Big Gay Italian Wedding is one of the hottest Off-Broadway tickets in New York City, and it just got even more smokin' because Ilene Kristen (Roxy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) has joined the cast as Aunt Toniann! Kristen's first performance is Thursday, February 3, at St. Luke's Theatre. Tickets are $69.50; call (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com. For more information on the play, visit www.BigGayItalianWedding.com.

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John's Pal Returns!

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ONE LIFE TO LIVE's John will soon get a visit from his old pal, Detective Pete Braust, when novelist Peter Straub reprises the role to offer McBain a listening ear. Straub, who collaborated with real-life pal Easton on the graphic novel The Green Woman, first appeared on OLTL back in 2006, when it was revealed that Pete was the former police partner of John's late father, Thomas. A self-professed OLTL fan, Straub tells Soaps In Depth that as always, he had a great time on set. "It was so much fun. It was sheer pleasure." Straub will air on Monday, February 7.

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ABC To Publish Spinelli's Book!

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If the book that GENERAL HOSPITAL's Spinelli and Diane have been working on has you intrigued, you'll be able to read it for yourself on April 5! Following the success of The Killing Club from ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Charm! from ALL MY CHILDREN, ABC Daytime has once again teamed up with Hyperion to publish The Secret Life Of Damian Spinelli, a novel based on GENERAL HOSPITAL's beloved computer geek to coincide with the soap's 48th Anniversary!

In episodes that began airing this month, Bradford Anderson's Spinelli and Carolyn Hennesy's Diane started working together on a novel based on the Jackal's exploits as a private investigator. Filled with mystery and suspense, the pages are found on Diane's stolen computer disc and include never-before-told stories of Port Charles residents -- their confessions and behaviors in times of crisis and triumph through Spinelli's imagination.

Hennesy, an established author in her own right with her Pandora series, has written the book. Readers will be able to download The Secret Life Of Damian Spinelli as an ebook, as well as an enhanced ebook, which will feature GH clips and other bonus material.

For more information, visit www.hyperionbooks.com.

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Walker Returning To OLTL!

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A familiar face will be returning to ONE LIFE TO LIFE this spring: Tonja Walker is bringing Alex back to Llanview! "I have been asked back to OLTL for one day or one week! " the actress posted on her Facebook page. "Who knows? Who cares?! I am just thrilled and grateful." Walker added that she'll report to the set next month.

Alex was last seen in January 2009, when Dorian arrived on St. Blaize, unaware that Asa's ex-wife owned the island paradise. It was Alex who informed Dorian that David was in fact Asa's son, and Dorian quickly took off to find the con man, leaving Alex to enjoy her paradise in peace. What news will Alex bring this time around?

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ABC Plans An Afternoon Of Weddings!

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Just in time for Valentine's Day, ABC Daytime's next afternoon of full-network encore broadcasts on Friday, February 11, will have the theme of Classic Weddings! Which couples will be walking down the aisle again?

ALL MY CHILDREN: From May 24, 2005, Erica and Jack exchange vows under the banyan tree in Boca Raton. The wedding was shot on location in Florida, and includes Greenlee, Kendall, Bianca, Ethan, Zach, Reggie and Lily.

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ONE LIFE TO LIVE: From November 14, 1995, Todd and Blair, surrounded by their families, get married at home and he showers his new bride with gold balloons. (In this episode, Todd is played by Roger Howarth, teasing the upcoming story with Ted King (Tomas) and the photo of Howarth's Todd.) Meanwhile, in Ireland, Patrick admits to Marty who he really is and they make love. Kelly asks Joey to take her virginity, and Alex runs for mayor of Llanview.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: From December 29, 2008, Robin and Patrick's second attempt to get married is a success! Meanwhile, Jason asks Sonny to leave the Zacchara family, and later, Sonny and Carly visit a comatose Michael in the hospital on his birthday.

All three shows will return with new episodes on Monday, February 14.

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Hickland Is Hypnotizing!

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Catherine Hickland (ex-Lindsay, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) is bringing her comedy hypnosis show, The Hypnotist, to the East Coast, and she wants you to be there!

On Thursday, February 17, Hickland will be performing a family-friendly version of her show at Annville-Cleona High School in Annville, PA, to benefit The Four Diamonds Fund, which offers assistance to pediatric cancer patients at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Showtime is 7 p.m. EST; general admission tickets are $15, and VIP tickets (which includes a Meet & Greet and gift bag) are $35. Hickland says her high school program is designed "to show teens how important it is to focus, handle emotions, and to create strong goals so they can take steps in getting on the fast track for achieving." So mark your calendars for a Family Night Out and be there! For more information, visit www.Dutchmancrier.wordpress.com.

For the older, nightclub crowd, Hickland will be at Uncle Vinnie's Comedy Club in Staten Island, NY, on Sunday, February 20. Showtime is 6:00 p.m. EST; general admission tickets are $20, and VIP seats (which include a Meet & Greet, autographed color 8x10 photo and a Cat Cosmetics gift bag) are $40. For reservations, call (718) 667-3500 or visit www.unclevinniescomedyclub.com. For more information about Hickland's show, or to see clips of her performing, visit catherinehickland.com.

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King Gets A New VIEW

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Before Ted King (ex-Alcazar, GENERAL HOSPITAL) takes up residence at ONE LIFE TO LIVE on Friday, January 21, in the role of mysterious artist Tomas, the actor will be dropping by THE VIEW to chat with the ladies about his new soap gig!

THE VIEW airs on ABC at 11 a.m. EST.

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New Details About Roché's Primetime Role

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Soaps In Depth has learned some new details regarding Sebastian Roché (ex-Jerry, GENERAL HOSPITAL) joining the cast of the CBS drama CRIMINAL MINDS. While a first air date has not yet been announced, In Depth can reveal that Roché will be playing an Interpol agent named Clyde Easter, who has a history with Paget Brewster's Prentiss. As it turns out, Easter was a member of Prentiss' old team before she joined the BAU, and one of their past cases is coming back to haunt them! Soap alum Siena Goines (ex-Callie, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Valerie, PASSIONS) -- who joins the show's cast as Tsia on the Wednesday, January 26, episode, when Prentiss hears some frightening news from her former boss at Interpol -- also plays a member of the old team.

CRIMINAL MINDS airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST.

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LoCicero & Lavoisier Head To Detroit!

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ABC Daytime and SOAPnet have added a stop in Detroit, MI, to their 2011 Soap Nation Tour -- and GENERAL HOSPITAL's Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and ONE LIFE TO LIVE's John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) are along for the ride! The actors will appear at the North American International Auto Show on Friday, January 21. As part of the "Family Day" sponsored by local ABC affiliate WXYZ Channel 7, the actors will do a Q&A session, sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. Lavoisier will appear from noon to 3 p.m., and LoCicero will be there from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit www.wxyz.com.

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Rambin Scores Another Primetime Role!

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Leven Rambin (ex-Lily/Ava, ALL MY CHILDREN) has been a busy little bee lately! She'll be appearing on Disney's WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE this season as Justin's new girlfriend. And now, not only has she landed a recurring role on CSI: MIAMI as scientist Molly Sloan, but the actress tweeted earlier today that she's working on the set of ONE TREE HILL in scenes with Sophia Bush (Brooke) and Austin Nichols (Julian)! According to TV Line, Rambin will play a young woman whom Brooke crosses paths with as she revisits adopting a baby. Look for Rambin to debut in OTH's 19th episode, tentatively scheduled to air in mid-March. And as for her gig on CSI: MIAMI, the actress tweets, "I'll start airing the end of Feb."

WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE kicked off their new season last week, and airs Friday nights at 8 p.m. EST on Disney. CSI: MIAMI airs on CBS on Sundays at 10 p.m. EST. ONE TREE HILL returns to The CW on Tuesday, January 25, at 8 p.m. EST.

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NAACP Names Image Award Nominees

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The NAACP has announced the nominees for the 42nd Annual Image Awards, which will be presented on Friday, March 4, at 8 p.m. EST on FOX. The Image Awards celebrate the achievements and performances of people of color in the arts. The nominees in the Daytime Drama Series categories are:

Outstanding Actor:
Aaron D. Spears (Justin, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL)
Cornelius Smith, Jr. (Frankie, ALL MY CHILDREN)
Darnell Williams (Jesse, AMC)
Rodney Saulsberry (Anthony, B&B)

Outstanding Actress:
Debbi Morgan (Angie, AMC)
Julia Pace Mitchell (Sofia, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS)
Tatyana Ali (Roxanne, Y&R)
Tonya Lee Williams (Olivia, Y&R)
Yvette Freeman (Dr. Lewis, B&B)

Congratulations!

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Andrews Returns To ABC Daytime!

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Soaps In Depth has learned that Réal Andrews (ex-Taggert, GENERAL HOSPITAL; Walker, AS THE WORLD TURNS) is returning to daytime! The actor -- who most recently played Keith on the Web soap THE BAY -- is headed to ALL MY CHILDREN as Agent Trumble! Although Andrews is currently scheduled to appear in 7 episodes, word is that the role could become a recurring one. "I love the AMC cast and I'm glad to be back on the ABC Daytime team and working with such great actors," Andrews tells In Depth.

An AMC rep confirms that Andrews will debut on Friday, February 18.

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DGA Nominees Announced!

The Directors Guild Of America has announced the nominees for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement In Television And Commercials for 2010. ONE LIFE TO LIVE picked up a pair of nominations for Larry Carpenter and Jill Mitwell, each for "Starr X'd Lovers" episodes that aired in May. GENERAL HOSPITAL's Owen Renfroe was nominated for July's "Francophrenia" episode, taped on location at Los Angeles' Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

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Over at CBS, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL each scored one nomination. The 63rd Annual DGA Awards will take place on Saturday, January 29, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles, CA.

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Ramirez Heads To Rome!

Ramirez.jpgGladiators and sex and slaves, oh my! Yep, that's what GENERAL HOSPITAL alum Marisa Ramirez (ex-Gia) has been thinking. If you tune into STARZ' SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA -- the prequel to the cable network's popular SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND series -- you'll find out why. "I play Melitta, Lucretia's [played by Lucy Lawless] personal servant," Ramirez says. "I was in New Zealand for three months shooting five of the six episodes."

While the series delves into the past to relate what happened prior to Spartacus' time, the racy nature of the first drama remains intact in this spin-off. "My costume is pretty much a curtain -- it's material draped around me that the wardrobe person just cut and cut and cut until there wasn't much left!" Ramirez grins.

In addition to having to change her accent -- "The Valley Girl/East L.A. one had to go away!" she laughs -- Ramirez also had to do something else for the first time: nudity! "My soul took a big hit," she confesses. "It's not really life-changing, but once you do it, it's something you can never take back." Fortunately, the scenes, which take place with her character's gladiator spouse, Oenomaus, weren't gratuitous. "It's art... I was pleased with it," she states.

SPARTACUS: GODS OF THE ARENA premieres Friday, January 21, at 10 p.m. EST on STARZ. For more information, visit www.starz.com.

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OLTL's Eli Spoofs Sports!

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Matt Walton (ex-Eli, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) is trading in daytime drama for primetime comedy! The actor plays fictional sports anchor Alex Reiser on ONION SPORTSDOME, premiering tonight on Comedy Central. The satirical series spoofs sports programs like ESPN's SPORTSCENTER. Could it prompt real-life sports figures to want to appear on the faux news program? "All sports athletes want to be actors, just like all actors want to be rock stars," muses Walton. "They are going to find that it's really cool that [our show] is on Comedy Central, and now more and more people are laughing at them, so I think they're going to want to join in the party. We'll get a big response from the athletes who want to seem even cooler than they already try to seem."

ONION SPORTSDOME -- from the folks behind the fake news at The Onion -- debuts tonight, Tuesday, January 11, at 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.

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OLTL Books Wendy Williams!

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Talk show host and author Wendy Williams is adding soap actress to her resume! Williams will be at the ONE LIFE TO LIVE set on Wednesday, January 12, taping scenes for two episodes, scheduled to air in March. Expect her to be the same fun-loving gal you see on THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW when she plays Phyllis Rose, host of OLTL's show-within-a-show, ACCESS LLANVIEW. In Williams' storyline, Phyllis takes on the Buchanan clan in a special ACCESS LLANVIEW edition called "The Buchanans, A Family Under Siege." Williams will appear on Wednesday, March 2, and Monday, March 28... which also happens to be the date that reality TV princess Kourtney Kardashian makes her acting debut as a lawyer!

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Drew Gets A Date!

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Last month, Soaps In Depth was first to report that Drew Garrett (ex-Michael, GENERAL HOSPITAL) had booked a guest-starring role on THE MENTALIST. And now, his episode of the police procedural drama has been scheduled! A CBS spokesperson confirms that Garrett began shooting his role in "Red Gold" on January 7, and the episode will air on Thursday, February 17, at 10 p.m. EST. We can't wait to see you, Drew!

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Exclusive: Sebastian Speaks!

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After the news broke last week that GENERAL HOSPITAL's Sebastian Roché (Jerry) was not only returning to The CW's SUPERNATURAL but had also booked a recurring role on CRIMINAL MINDS, Soaps In Depth caught up with the actor to get all the dirt! We found him hard at work shooting scenes for his return as SUPERNATURAL's Balthazar. "I'm in Vancouver now doing another episode -- this is my third, and I'm gonna be back for possibly more," he reveals. "I play a sort of naughty angel that helps Castiel and Dean sometimes, but always with a twinkle in his eyes. It's a good role."

When he finishes up in Vancouver, Roché will head to the CRIMINAL MINDS set. And with his new role, the handsome Frenchman will be turning on the charm in a more conventional way. "I'll be playing a good guy for once," he says with a chuckle. "An Interpol agent in a relationship with Paget Brewster's character [Emily]. I'm gonna be around for awhile. It's a recurring role."

As his primetime schedule books up, fans of FRINGE -- the show that Roché appeared on last fall -- have been waiting patiently to find out if he'll be popping up again. It's a possibility that the actor, who enjoys the exciting drama, has high hopes for. "We'll see," he says. "I am dead, but you never know what will happen on FRINGE!"

What does all this primetime action mean for the future of GH's nefarious -- and presumed dead -- Jerry Jacks? Roché is quick to clarify that his busy schedule wasn't the reason why his recent storyline was cut short. "It was just a money thing... So that's the reason why I didn't stay long. I was disappointed to not to be able to work with Nancy [Lee Grahn, Alexis] this time." But should the show's budget allow, Roché would consider a return and is glad that is character is of the difficult-to-kill variety. "Jerry never dies," the actor chuckles. "He's like a cockroach. He keeps coming back."

Air dates for Roché's various upcoming primetime appearances have not yet been released. Check back soon for an update!

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Roché Joins CRIMINAL MINDS!

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On December 16, GENERAL HOSPITAL's Sebastian Roché (Jerry) tweeted that he "just booked a strong recurring on a new show but won't tell til it's official." And now, our friends at TV Line -- helmed by former Soaps In Depth staffers Michael Ausiello and Matt Webb Mitovich! -- have confirmed that the actor who plays Port Charles' madman will be joining the cast of CRIMINAL MINDS!

But working on the CBS crime drama isn't the only project Roché has in the works these days. The actor will also be bringing the angel Balthazar back to The CW's SUPERNATURAL for a few episodes. (He last appeared on the December 10 winter finale.) "Off to Vancouver to shoot something for a few days. Mmm... I wonder what....?" he tweeted this past Wednesday, January 5. (The sci-fi drama films in the Canadian city.)

Will the two primetime gigs keep Roché away from GH? Considering that Jerry's body has yet to be found -- and the villain's penchant for constantly turning up like a bad penny -- something tells us that he will be back to further terrorize Port Charles one day!

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