Recently in December 2011

Countdown To Christmas!

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Our final Santa's helper is... GENERAL HOSPITAL's Brandon Barash (Johnny)! He sure puts his own unique spin on the big guy in the red suit, doesn't he?

From the staff of Soaps In Depth and all of our helpers this week, we wish our readers a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year!

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Is King Returning To GH... With Easton In Tow?

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It appears as if the first wave of ONE LIFE TO LIVE stars may have found their way to GENERAL HOSPITAL under the new reign of executive producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati. Soaps In Depth has learned that Ted King (Alcazar, GH; Tomas, OLTL) will possibly be returning to Port Charles in the new year, and he may be bringing Michael Easton (John) with him!

A spokesperson for the soap reminds that GH does not comment on rumors, but word is that both actors have a tentative start date set for late January. It's unclear whether King will return as an Alcazar brother, or his OLTL role. And while this would also be a return trip to Port Charles for Easton, who played vampire Caleb on the GH spinoff PORT CHARLES opposite Kelly Monaco's Livvie, one source reports that he'll likely be appearing as his Llanview Police detective alter ego.

But might there be other Llanviewers besides Easton and King to find new homes in Port Charles? A few months back, the rumor mill had Kristen Alderson (Starr) taking over as a more mature Kristina. The fan favorite did not want to commit to Prospect Park's reboot of OLTL, which would have been taping in New York, in order to try her hand at the opportunities in Los Angeles, but perhaps her old bosses have convinced her to put down roots on GH as Sonny's little girl? Stay tuned as this story develops!

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Countdown To Christmas!

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Santa is preparing for tomorrow night's big event, and needs all of our GENERAL HOSPITAL guys to help the elves load up the sleigh... so today we have a sexy Mrs. Claus: Kodi Kitchen (Maggie)!

Merry Christmas!

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Cast Your Vote #2

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*** VOTING HAS CLOSED FOR THIS ROUND ***

It's time once again to express your opinions about your favorite ABC soaps! Once again, we ask you to cast your vote in the comments below to answer this issue's questions and name your favorite actor, actress and couple currently airing on a show.

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. Extra comments that have nothing to do with this week's poll questions should be directed to our Message Boards section!

Now, on to this issue's questions:

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Do you think Maxie and Spinelli's relationship can be salvaged?

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Should Matthew and Destiny try to raise their baby themselves?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, December 29.

And don't forget: 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.

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OLTL's Walton Goes Primetime!

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Heads up Matt Walton fans! If you've been longing to see more of the hunky bad boy who broke Blair's heart on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, now's your chance. CBS' hit police drama BLUE BLOODS is about to get a whole lot soapier!

In an upcoming episode titled "The Uniform," he guest stars as the publicity manager for the mayor's electoral campaign and takes a meeting with the police commissioner, played by series star Tom Selleck. "Got the thrill of a lifetime actng w/the legendary Tom Selleck on Blue Bloods," Walton tweeted after filming his guest spot. "He's one of the reasons I got into this crazy biz!"

Also featured in the episode is Daytime Emmy winner Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan, GUIDING LIGHT; Mick, AS THE WORLD TURNS) as the nephew of a diner owner who is being suspected of a crime.

Tune in Friday, January 13, at 10 p.m. EST.

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Interview: Jackson Says Goodbye To GH

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It's a sad time for many GENERAL HOSPITAL fans. Those long time viewers who have watched Lucky Spencer grow up before their eyes, loving and losing and loving and losing Elizabeth again had become a sort of something to count on, as it was always assumed they'd eventually end up together forever. Not so. At least not this time: This week, Jonathan Jackson leaves the role he created when he was just a young lad of eleven.

The Challenges
Although Jackson believes it's people's "natural instinct to look for a bad guy" as to why it's playing out this way, he says, "The reality is that I had certain things that needed to be adjusted. I think [GH writers and producers] genuinely wanted to be able to do that. But from their perspective -- with the demands that they have on them -- they weren't able to provide that to the degree that would have been necessary for me to stay. At that point, I understand."

What, exactly, does that mean? The amount of material he was shooting each week got to be a bit overwhelming and when asked for a lighter work load, the people in charge at the time didn't believe that was possible for a character as vital as Lucky. "It's a different time than it used to be," Jackson confesses. "I remember in the 90s when I was on the show, it was not even comparable in terms of the amount of work, and it was already an incredible amount of work for everybody. I mean, if you had 20 pages in a day, that was really a lot. Now, it's 20 to 35, sometimes 40, multiple times in a week. It's been quite the challenge.

"I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to be able to do a lot of those insane stories. It would have been nice if there weren't quite as many," he adds with a grin. "But the stuff that I got to do with Tony Geary (Luke) around Jake's death, the intervention show... within the two-year span, we packed probably packed in four years of really great material. I'm grateful for that."

Read more after the jump!

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Countdown To Christmas!

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Doesn't Nathan Parsons (Ethan, GENERAL HOSPITAL) make a sexy Santa? Not only is the actor dressed in his red best, but he is also starring on stage as the big guy in Stations: A Los Angeles Holiday Story at the Miles Memorial Playhouse in Santa Monica, CA, through December 30.

Happy Holidays!

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Countdown To Christmas!

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Doesn't GENERAL HOSPITAL newcomer Nathin Butler (Ewen) make a sexy Santa?

Happy Holidays!

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Might Parsons Change His Mind About Leaving?

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The news that Nathan Parsons (Ethan, GENERAL HOSPITAL) will be exiting Port Charles in the new year picked up steam when his TV sister Julie Marie Berman (Lulu) posted in a Twitter chat that she was sad about his leaving, "but he wasn't used right. His talent was wasted."

A spokesperson for GH says that the show does not comment on talent conversations across social media. But is there a chance that Parsons could change his mind about leaving town now that a new regime will be taking over the reigns at GH in the new year? Parsons' co-stars are telling Soaps In Depth that they hope new executive producer Frank Valentini and headwriter Ron Carlivati will convince the actor to stick around.

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Countdown To Christmas!

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Today's Santa's helper is GENERAL HOSPITAL's Chad Duell (Michael)!

There are 5 days left until Christmas... are you ready for Santa's arrival?

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Holiday Tips From AMC's La Rue!

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The holiday season is a special time of year to spend with family and friends, but we all know it can also be pretty hectic. With gifts to buy, parties to throw and holiday meals to prepare, we could all use some fun tips to help check the basics off our list! Here are a few pointers from a busy mom, CSI: MIAMI star Eva La Rue (Maria, ALL MY CHILDREN)!

1. Party-perfect style: I like red, green, blue and white as much as the next person, but wearing traditional holiday colors are sometimes expected. For this year's parties, why not opt for metallics with a gold and silver sheen?! Also, now is not the time to shy away from those sparkly sequins. By rocking these festive trends, you are sure to WOW at any party.

2. Mistletoe-approved puckers: My everyday look is pretty natural; that's why I prefer to pick a bold lipstick in the season's hottest shades -- like red or fuchsia -- to shine at holiday parties. I find that it is the perfect addition for creating the ultimate, festive look. With the right shade, you will have kissable lips for that special someone under the mistletoe.

3. Start with a smile: When you are a working mother, every day is hectic. Add the holidays to that mix, and there is no time to over-think everyday tasks. That's why I turn to Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Deep Clean toothpaste, it gives me the signals I need to know that I'm covered so I can go about my day -- confident that my oral care is taken care of.

4. Holiday feng shui: A great way to add some holiday cheer to your home this season is with pops of color. I figure since it is a festive season, you should have fun displaying items you wouldn't have in your house year round. It helps put everyone in a cheery mood!

5. Come together in the kitchen: The holidays are all about family time. A great way to come together is to plan a group project. I say, divide and conquer! This year, I plan to cook the holiday meal with my family. This way everyone contributes to the table and spends quality time together; making memories and meals!

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Martinez To Be A Dad!

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2011 just keeps getting better and better for ALL MY CHILDREN alum and DANCING WITH THE STARS victor J.R. Martinez (Brot)! The actor is going to be a first-time father in a few months! Martinez shared the news with People.com that his girlfriend, Diana Gonzalez-Jones, is pregnant and they are expecting a baby girl this spring! The couple met on the set of AMC in 2008, where Gonzalez-Jones was working as an assistant to the soap's executive producer, and their friendship soon blossomed into much more. Congrats to the parents-to-be!

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Countdown To Christmas!

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The hunks of GENERAL HOSPITAL want to wish Soaps In Depth readers a very Merry Christmas! Every day this week, we'll be posting an exclusive, festive photo from the men of GH just for you!

First up is Maurice Benard (Sonny) -- Happy Holidays!

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Soap Stars Lather Up For The Hollywood Christmas Parade!

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This weekend, the 80th Anniversary Hollywood Christmas Parade kicks the holiday season into high gear, and some of your favorite soap stars are along for the ride! Port Chuck -- featuring GENERAL HOSPITAL's Scott Reeves (Steve), Steve Burton (Jason), Brandon Barash (Johnny) and Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) -- will be performing a musical number, as will THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Jack Wagner (Nick; ex-Frisco, GH) and THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Diana DeGarmo (Angelina).

Y&R's Daniel Goddard (Cane), Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael) and Kate Linder (Esther) can be seen riding in cars along the parade route, while Heather Tom (Katie) and Jacob Young (Rick) will be representing B&B.

Other celebrities appearing in the parade include former soap stars Vivica A. Fox (ex-Stephanie, Y&R), Joan Van Ark (ex-Gloria, Y&R), Erin Sanders (ex-Eden), Natalie Hall (Colby, ALL MY CHILDREN) and Greg Vaughan (ex-Lucky, GENERAL HOSPITAL).

The parade will be broadcast in Los Angeles on KTLA-TV from 6 to 8 p.m. PT on Sunday, December 18. Thereafter, it will air throughout the holiday season on the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel and in syndication throughout the country. Check www.thehollywoodchristmasparade.com for local listings.

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Spend New Year's Day In Llanview!

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On Sunday, January 1, SOAPnet will kick-off 2012 with a 14-hour marathon of ONE LIFE TO LIVE! (Too bad the beloved soap will air its final episode just 12 days later!) Beginning at 10 a.m. ET and airing through the midnight hour, SOAPnet is digging into the Llanview archives and pulling out episodes dating all the way back to March 1979! Which of these episodes are you most excited to see? Tell us below!

10 a.m. - From March 6, 1979: While on the witness stand, Karen shocks the courtroom by admitting that she was a prostitute.

11 a.m. - From March 9, 1987: In Argentina, Tina's boat goes over the waterfall, and a distraught Cord takes out his anger on Max. Kate feels it's her fault, and Gabrielle tells Max that she can get along just fine without him.

12 p.m. - From May 13, 1988: The Buchanan clan goes back in time to the Old West for Clint and Ginny's wedding, and Asa and Cord can't figure out why pictures of Bo are missing.

1 p.m. - From February 7, 1992: Jake is devastated as Megan dies in his arms.

2 p.m. - From July 15, 1993: In OLTL's 25th Anniversary show, Viki and Dorian are locked together in a secret room, Luna is adamant that Max is alive, and Tina sits by Cord's hospital bedside and reminisces about their history.

3 p.m. - From November 28, 1994: On her wedding day, Viki walks in on Dorian and Joey in bed together, Powell holds Todd at gunpoint, and David asks Tina to accept his proposal and secretly marry him.

4 p.m. - From November 14, 1995: Newlyweds Todd and Blair celebrate in private at a gold ballon-filled reception for two. Meanwhile, Marty and Patrick sleep together, and Kelly asks Joey to help her lose her virginity.

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5 p.m. - From December 8, 1995: Dorian is arrested for the murder of Victor Lord as Viki realizes that her alter, Tori, actually committed the crime and murdered her father.

6 p.m. - From November 16, 2001: Asa's wives attend his "funeral." Adjusting to the news that she's a Buchanan, an angry Natalie crashes the service wearing a bright red dress.

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Read more after the jump!

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Have Lunch With Egan!

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Need a last-minute holiday gift for the soap fan in your life? Charity Buzz, the leading charity auction site, is giving daytime fans the chance to bid on a private lunch with ALL MY CHILDREN star Melissa Claire Egan (Annie; now Chelsea, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS). Originally from Bedford, NY, the actress is giving back to her hometown by helping to raise funds for the Bedford Schools Association! To bid on a lunch date with Egan, click here. The auction is open through Monday, December 19.

Happy Bidding!

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Celebrate Llanview!

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When ONE LIFE TO LIVE airs its final episode on Friday, January 13, the city of Chicago will welcome stars past and present to join fans at the Sidetrack Video Bar for a "Celebrate Llanview!" tribute party. A benefit for the Windy City's Season Of Concern organization -- Chicago's theater community's fundraising effort -- tickets are $35, with a limited number of VIP tickets priced at $120. All ticket proceeds will benefit Season Of Concern. Some of the OLTL stars scheduled to attend are Ilene Kristen (Roxy), Tonja Walker (Alex), Lenny Platt (Nate), David Gregory (Ford) and Josh Kelly (Cutter), and past stars Matt Walton (Eli), Mark Dobies (Daniel) and Don Jeffcoat (Joey).

Doors open at 11 a.m., To purchase tickets, visit www.seasonofconcern.org.

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Spend The Night With The Stars Of AMC and OLTL!

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You've spent your days with the casts of ALL MY CHILDREN and ONE LIFE TO LIVE for nearly half a century, and now's your chance to get up close and personal for a memorable goodbye -- at night! Celebrity Events Group has announced three more "A Tribute To Pine Valley" fan event dates: Friday, January 13 in Green Bay, WI; Saturday, January 14 in Milwaukee, WI; and Sunday, January 15 in Chicago, IL. And guess who will be joining Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Vincent Irizarry (David), Walt Willey (Jack), Darnell Williams (Jesse) and Jacob Young (JR; Rick, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) this time around? Alicia Minshew (Kendall)! "When I was asked [to do the event], I thought, 'Well, you know, this could be one of my last chances to really do an AMC event. And when am I going to have a chance to do stuff with these fans?'" she says about joining the tour. "And then when I saw who was doing it, I thought, 'My boys! My boys are doing it, so I have to go be with my boys!'"

And guess what: Because you fans have loved and supported the AMC events so much, Celebrity Events Group has decided to bring you an OLTL event, too! The "Loving Llanview" fan gathering, featuring Melissa Archer (Natalie), Jerry verDorn (Clint), Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Trevor St. John (ex-Todd/Victor), Kim Zimmer (Echo), Michael Eason (John), Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly), Ilene Kristen (Roxy) and Sean Ringgold (Shaun), will take place on Saturday, January 21, at the Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, NY. "It sounds like it's gonna be a pretty cool thing!" says Archer. "It's a chance to get some of the castmates back together again, to kind of see each other for one last hurrah... [and it's] a really nice way to have some closure as a fan."

For tickets and more information on the AMC events, please visit www.ATribute ToPineValley.com, and for tickets and more info on the OLTL event, visit www.LovingLlanview.com.

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Hughes Is Returning To GH!

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GENERAL HOSPITAL may be losing Kimberly McCullough (Robin) in the coming months, but they're gaining her secret agent mom, Anna Devane, when Finola Hughes returns to the canvas in early February. A GH spokesperson confirms that Hughes isn't just popping in to usher out her TV daughter, but that her stay will be long-term and she'll be sticking around after McCullough's exit. Hughes last appeared in late 2008, when she showed up for Robin and Patrick's wedding... and Emma's untimely birth!

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Cast Your Vote #52

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*** VOTING HAS CLOSED FOR THIS ROUND ***

It's time once again to express your opinions about your favorite ABC soaps! Once again, we ask you to cast your vote in the comments below to answer this issue's questions and name your favorite actor, actress and couple currently airing on a show.

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. Extra comments that have nothing to do with this week's poll questions should be directed to our Message Boards section!

Now, on to this issue's questions:

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Will Franco's actions tear Sam and Jason apart?

ONE LIFE TO LIVE: Can Jessica and Ford make a relationship work?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, December 15.

And don't forget: 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.

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Sam Page Gets Into The Holiday Spirit!

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If you are a sucker for made-for-television Christmas movies, then you'll want to tune in to the Hallmark Channel original movie Annie Claus Is Coming To Town this Saturday night! ALL MY CHILDREN hunk Sam Page (Trey) stars as Ted, the struggling owner of Wonderland Toys. When a mysterious newcomer, Annie -- who has an enthusiasm for all things Christmas -- arrives in town, Ted gives her a job and she helps to keep his business afloat during the holiday season. As it turns out, Annie is an expert in all things Christmas because she's Santa's daughter! Will Annie's first trip away from the North Pole lead her to finding true love with Ted?

Annie Claus Is Coming To Town also stars Maria Thayer as Annie, Peter Jason as Santa, Vicki Lawrence as Mrs. Claus, and Vivica A. Fox (ex-Stephanie, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) as Lucy, the owner of the Candy Cane Inn. Tune in at 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, on the Hallmark Channel.

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Slezak To Co-Host THE VIEW!

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On Friday, January 13, THE VIEW will commemorate the finale of ONE LIFE TO LIVE with a special show dedicated to the beloved soap. Six-time Daytime Emmy Award winner Erika Slezak (Viki) will be a guest co-host of the hour, with OLTL creator Agnes Nixon and other fan favorites scheduled to appear. (Guests will be announced in the coming weeks on The View's official Web site, abc.com/theview.)

The show will feature exclusive footage of OLTL's final taping, interviews with special guests and returning cast members, surprise appearances and a sneak peek clip of the final episode. ABC is looking to fill the studio audience with devoted OLTL fans, so if you want to be a part of this special goodbye, E-mail your request to TheViewSalutesOLTL@gmail.com.

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Exclusive: Who Is Mathison Playing On HOUSEWIVES?

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ALL MY CHILDREN hunk Cameron Mathison (Ryan) taped a sexy guest spot on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, and he's sharing the dirt with Soaps In Depth! Earlier this week, the actor finished taping his scenes... which have him sharing the screen with ONE LIFE TO LIVE alumna Marcia Cross (ex-Kate)! "I play one of Bree's lovers," Mathison reveals. "We have a couple of fun scenes. I really loved working with her. She is very kind and generous."

The DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES episode marks Mathison's third post-AMC role: In addition to hosting Yahoo.com's ULTIMATE PROPOSAL Web series, he also filmed an upcoming Lifetime television movie opposite fellow former Pine Valley-ian Sydney Penny (Julia). "I really enjoyed the whole experience," he says of his time on HOUSEWIVES' Wisteria Lane.

Mathison's episode will air on Sunday, January 22.

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Do You Love Llanview?

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Celebrity Events Group -- the folks behind the ALL MY CHILDREN "A Tribute To Pine Valley" fan event -- will present a farewell to ONE LIFE TO LIVE next month as well. "Loving Llanview" will take place on Saturday, January 21, at the Theatre at Westbury in Westbury, NY. Actors scheduled to attend are Jerry verDorn (Clint), Kassie DePaiva (Blair), Trevor St. John (ex-Todd/Victor), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex), Kim Zimmer (Echo), Melissa Archer (Natalie), Michael Easton (John), Gina Tognoni (ex-Kelly), Ilene Kristen (Roxy) and Sean Ringgold (Shaun).

The main event begins at 7 p.m., with a post-show autograph and photo session at 9:30. Tickets are on sale now at www.LovingLlanview.com.

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Pine Valley Visits The Midwest!

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The "Tribute To Pine Valley" tour was such a success in the New York area, the gang is headed to the Midwest for another round! ALL MY CHILDREN stars Walt Willey (Jackson), Cameron Mathison (Ryan), Alicia Minshew (Kendall), Vincent Irizarry (David), Darnelll Williams (Jesse) and Jacob Young (JR) are all on board to visit Chicago, IL, Green Bay, WI, and Milwaukee, WI, next month! For schedules and to purchase tickets, visit www.ATributeToPineValley.com, or call (866) 364-0330.

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Lucci Returns To CLEVELAND In February!

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The third season of TV LAND's hit comedy HOT IN CLEVELAND is underway, and ALL MY CHILDREN fans can once more expect to see Susan Lucci (Erica) return as a cartoonish version of herself and go head-to-head with daytime television rival Victoria Chase (played by Wendie Malick)! A spokesperson for TV LAND tells Soaps In Depth that Lucci's episode is tentatively to air on Wednesday, February 1.

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Williamson Speaks Out!

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ONE LIFE TO LIVE star Bree Williamson (Jessica) took to her Twitter page last night to set the record straight about the rumors that she will be joining the cast of GENERAL HOSPITAL. "Only person I'm 'in talks' with is my son about a diaper change... And the deal stinks," she wrote on Monday night, referring to her toddler, MacGregor.

As Soaps In Depth reported yesterday, a spokesperson for GH states that the talk of Williamson being cast on the show is "just a rumor, and we don't comment on rumors."

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Will Williamson Move To GH?

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Don't count ONE LIFE TO LIVE star Bree Williamson (Jessica) as a potential new love interest for GENERAL HOSPITAL's Johnny just yet. The World Wide Web has been buzzing all weekend with the news that the newly-brunette star will be the first OLTL transplant to land in Port Charles under the new regime of Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati, with some folks going so far as to claim that Williamson's first tape date is the same day that the new team takes over the reigns in January. A spokesperson for the soap states that "it's just a rumor and we don't comment on rumors," while an insider seconds that it's just talk.

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Meet GH's TJ!

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Remember the young boy, TJ, whom GENERAL HOSPITAL's Shawn was talking about on Thanksgiving? The son of the fellow Marine whom he killed? Soaps In Depth has learned that daytime newcomer Krys Meyer has been cast as the lad, described in the casting notice as a "rebellious, appealing kid who masks it with a huge chip on his shoulder."

The teenager graduated from BAK Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL, in 2010, and has done some modeling work, including appearing in an Applebee's commercial. A spokesperson for GH confirms that Meyer will make his debut in January.

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Vasi Is a SINGLE Lady!

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ALL MY CHILDREN alumna Denise Vasi (Randi) has a new primetime gig! Deadline reports that the actress has been cast as a new lead on the second season of VH1's hourlong scripted comedy series SINGLE LADIES, to fill the void left by the departure of Stacey Dash. Vasi will play Raquel, a savvy businesswoman from a prominent Southern family who is a good friend of LisaRaye McCoy's Keisha. Charity Shea rounds out the group as the third lead, April. "Denise is the perfect addition to the SINGLE LADIES cast," says executive producer Queen Latifah. "She is bringing a fun, new element to the show." Season 2 will begin production in Atlanta in January, to premiere in early summer.

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Frons Steps Down!

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With all the big news coming out of ABC Daytime lately, this could be perhaps the biggest yet. In an official press release today, it was revealed that Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group, would be leaving the company at the end of his contract in January of 2012!

The press release also announces the formation of Times Square Studios, which will encompass daytime and syndicated product for ABC. Frons will aid in transitioning ABC Daytime into Times Square Studios until his departure.

"Brian Frons has been the driving force in our successful Daytime division since joining us in 2002," says Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president Disney/ABC Television Group. "And while we understand his decision to leave at the end of his contract, we're sad to see him go."

"While my decision to try something new was not arrived at easily, nine years is a long time in television terms," says Frons. "I'm proud of the performance of ABC Daytime over that time, and of all of the accomplishments that our team achieved along the way. I'm especially pleased by the early results for THE CHEW and excited for the launch of THE REVOLUTION, which will be one more positive step in transforming ABC Daytime for our viewers. I'll miss my colleagues and the wonderful talent that makes our shows, but know they are in very capable hands with Vicki going forward."

What Frons' departure means for the future of GENERAL HOSPITAL, the only remaining daytime soap in the ABC lineup, is still uncertain at this point.

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ABC Announces GH/OLTL Switch

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ABC Daytime has released their official statement regarding the replacement of Jill Farren Phelps as executive producer of GENERAL HOSPITAL with former ONE LIFE TO LIVE head Frank Valentini, news that Soaps In Depth broke last night. Additionally, the network is officially confirming that OLTL head scribe Ron Carlivati will be taking over as headwriter of the drama series. Both positions are effective January 9, 2012.

"Frank and Ron's creativity, passion and outstanding leadership will be a welcome addition to the cast and crew, as well as viewers and longtime fans," says ABC Daytime president Brian Frons in the statement. "As creative leaders in the industry, I am very excited for their arrival to GH and their dedication to the genre will certainly invigorate the daytime drama that has been part of the pop culture and the TV landscape for many years."

Valentini -- who has served as OLTL's executive producer since 2002 -- adds, "I look forward to this next exciting chapter working with the wonderful cast and crew of GH. This is an incredible opportunity for me to extend my passion and expertise for daytime television as I continue my relationship with Disney/ABC Television Group and become part of an extraordinary team in 2012."

For his part, Carlivati was a member of the OLTL team for 15 years, serving as headwriter from 2007-2011. While sources tell Soaps In Depth that Carlivati will be replacing current GH headwriter Garin Wolf at the post, ABC has yet to officially comment on what Wolf's future status with the soap will be.

UPDATE: An ABC spokesperson reports that GH's current headwriter, Garin Wolf, and co-headwriter Shelly Altman will remain a part of the show's writing staff, but in a different capacity.

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Carlivati To Join Valentini At GH!

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A source shares that former ONE LIFE TO LIVE headwriter Ron Carlivati is also headed to GENERAL HOSPITAL when Frank Valentini takes over the post as showrunner at ABC's last remaining daytime drama. Carlivati had actually agreed to join the GH writing staff prior to making a deal with Prospect Park to pen their now-defunct Internet reboot of OLTL. But while his previous plans were to be a part of the overall writing team, Soaps In Depth has been told that Carlivati will be taking over the headwriter position from Garin Wolf. ABC has yet to make an official comment on either the executive producer or headwriter switch.

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Phelps Out! Valentini In!

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Soaps In Depth broke the news on our Twitter page in the middle of the night that there's been a big change behind the scenes at GENERAL HOSPITAL. A source at ABC/Disney tells us that Jill Farren Phelps has been let go as the executive producer, and ONE LIFE TO LIVE boss Frank Valentini will be taking over the helm of ABC's lone soap. Another source adds that Phelps' contract was coming to an end in mid-December, while our ABC insider reports that the GH cast would be hearing the news of the showrunner switch this morning.

Stay tuned as this story develops, and head over to our Twitter page to join in the live conversation!

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