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Sean Blakemore Reopens The Fear Files!

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No stranger to on-screen deception, Sean Blakemore (Shawn, GENERAL HOSPITAL) stars alongside Eva Marcille (ex-Tyra, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) tonight, Friday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET, in the latest installment of Fear Files, a trio of thrilling tales on TV One. Sonny's right hand man reprises his role as Lockwood Masters, who, due to an accidental love potion overdose, cannot fight the urge to consume the one he loves!

While Marcille plays Blakemore's ex in this story, the actor says this was the first time the two performers ever met. "The chemistry was automatic," he happily shares. "When you're playing love interests, chemistry is so important."

Blakemore says that Lockwood differs greatly from his GH role in many ways. "Sean's like a Jason Bourne type, a mercenary," the actor says. "He does bad things for the right reasons. Whereas Lockwood is an everyday guy who just wants a normal life and a happy, healthy relationship."

The potion, however, changes everything. "He goes from 0 to 100 pretty quickly," Blakemore previews. "It gets to a point where Lockwood becomes a man with an extreme dark side."

Blakemore and Marcille's portion of the trilogy is titled "For The Love Of Lockwood Too;" the other two chapters are titled "Fire" and "Mama's Boy." So tune in tonight and enjoy some frights on Friday the 13th!

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Big News For Maurice Benard's Fans!

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GENERAL HOSPITAL icon Maurice Benard (Sonny) marked a major milestone yesterday -- he flew for the first time in years! "It's been 10 years since I've flown and I just landed in New York," the star tweeted. "WOW, it feels good to get that gorilla off my back!" As fans of the star know, Benard suffers from bipolar disorder (and is actually a spokesperson for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) and claustrophobia and has long had a fear of flying.

After having not flown for several years, he got on an airplane back in January 2011 to head East for a family vacation to Florida's Disney World and several fan events -- but began to have a panic attack shortly before take-off. As Soaps In Depth told our readers at the time, Benard had been working himself up for several months leading to that particular trip because it had been years since he'd last been on a plane. Unfortunately, that day, he told his wife, Paula, he needed to get off and departed the aircraft with his family.

Since it's been more than a decade since Benard flew the friendly skies, whatever it is that motivated the daytime legend to get back on an airplane, it has to be huge, amazing news! And we promise you that as soon as we are able to share the details, we will let our readers know!

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Throwback Thursday Time!

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It's been a dozen years since we took this picture of GENERAL HOSPITAL's Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Rick Hearst (Ric) for a 2003 cover, but the TV brothers still look as handsome as ever! (Albeit both a bit more scruffy!)

What has been your favorite storyline involving the brothers? Tell us in the comments below!

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GH Actress Takes A Bite Out Of Primetime!

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GENERAL HOSPITAL fans may have recognized Annie Wersching (ex-Amelia) at the end of the last episode of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, and the actress will be back as Damon and Stefan's mother in the new episode of the bloodsucking drama airing tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET on The CW. And she's scheduled for a couple more episodes during the rest of the season, too!

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Inside EMPIRE's Finale!

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FOX's hit nighttime soap, EMPIRE, will air its season one finale in a special two-hour denouement titled "Die But Once/Who I Am" on Wednesday, March 18, at 8:00 p.m. ET. In the explosive last pair of episodes, Jamal and Lucious are on their way to forming a music-centered relationship, but once again, Lucious has a secret that's about to change everything! Meanwhile, Hakeem decides to flirt with the enemy while trying to figure out what the best move for his career is. Additionally, Cookie — not surprisingly &#!51; is "cooking" up a plan of her own!

"It's a very explosive finale," series executive producer/co-creator Danny Strong tells Soaps In Depth. "Not surprisingly, given the nature of our storytelling, many things will go down and be resolved. Alliances will shift and yet it may or may not be completely resolved by the time it's over."

Strong promises he won't "Laura Palmer" the fans of EMPIRE referring to the season one finale of TWIN PEAKS (in which viewers were still left wondering who offed Laura). In other words, Lucious will likely reveal to which son he'll be turning over his music business. "A lot will be resolved," Strong previews.

Was there much pressure to make the finale jam-packed so that folks will keep talking about the series until it returns for season two? "Some people [may have] felt pressure, but I didn't," Strong says. "I never think that coming up with story that will try to outdo something is the way to come up with a good story. It needs to come from characters, conflict and fundamentals of what makes a good story."

Strong adds that he and his team asked themselves: "How can we conclude the season in a way that we've set up and play in a way that's exciting, powerful and fun, but also keeps the door open for a place to go to in season two? It was tough! Ilene [Chaiken, executive producer] and I wrote the final episode together. But there were a lot of re-writes."

According to Strong, the network and studio "pounded" the EMPIRE writers with notes — in a good way! "The notes made it better," he allows. "They were really good. I think we really pulled it off." Of the finale, he predicts: "People are going to dig it!"

For more on what made EMPIRE the breakout hit of this television season, don't miss our feature in the new issue of ABC Soaps In Depth, on sale now!

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Cast Your Vote #13

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Once again, it's time to express your opinions for our Readers' Poll. In the comments section for this article, please respond to the question, and feel free to explain your answer, but remember that any comments here may be considered for publication in the magazine. Any extra comments you have that have nothing to do with this week's poll question should be directed to the Message Boards section of our Web site!

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Can Olivia and Ned really make a relationship work?

Please note that the cut-off date for your votes to be counted will be Thursday, March 19. And please, only one vote per person!

To vote on your favorite actor, actress and couple currently appearing on an ABC, CBS or NBC soap, please mail your choices to:

ABC Readers' Poll
c/o Soaps In Depth
270 Sylvan Ave.
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632

Multiple mail-in votes during the same voting period will not be counted, so don't waste our time, your time, or the postage!

VOTES FOR ACTORS, ACTRESSES AND COUPLES CAST IN THE COMMENTS TO THIS ARTICLE WILL NOT BE COUNTED.

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Long Live The QUEENS OF DRAMA!

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Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda, GENERAL HOSPITAL) is returning to soaps — sort of. The fan favorite is joining forces with a bevy of beauties from the soap world in the new original reality series QUEENS OF DRAMA, set to debut on Pop (formerly The TV Guide Network) on Sunday, April 26 at 10:00 p.m. EST before setting into its regular time slot on Wednesday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Joining Marcil in the 10-episode series are Donna Mills (ex-Madeline, GH; Abby, KNOTS LANDING), Hunter Tylo (ex-Taylor, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Robin, ALL MY CHILDREN), Crystal Hunt (Stacy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Lindsay Hartley (ex-Cara, AMC; Theresa, PASSIONS) and Chrystee Pharris (Simone, PASSIONS).

The women band together on the show in order to take control of their careers and produce and star in a new serialized drama so there's a "show" within the show. How much "drama" will be found in QUEENS OF DRAMA? "Everyone addresses their opinions in different ways," Marcil tells Soaps In Depth. "All of us have a different style in how we agree, how we disagree. We have big personalities in one way or another. In that sense, there's a lot of conflict that there is when you put any kind of project together."

Catch a sneak preview of QUEENS OF DRAMA in the following clip and watch for a dramatic appearance at the end by none other than Joan Collins (Alexis, DYNASTY; Alexandra, GL)!

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Attend An Art Show!

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If you're in the Los Angeles area, you can check out some original artwork from GENERAL HOSPITAL's Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Carlos) at a special art and photography show. On Saturday, March 14, from 7:00 p.m. to midnight, Pi Gallery will be hosting Art Speakeasy featuring art, photography and live performances. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at this link, or tickets can be purchased at the door for $20. A portion of the proceeds will go to the non-profit organization Awaken Arts.

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OLTL's Zimmer Is Still Wicked!

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Los Angeles area fans of Kim Zimmer (Echo, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) have until this Sunday, March 15, to see the actress in the musical Wicked, playing at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood! The four-time Emmy winner plays Madame Morrible in the popular, long-running musical that looks at life in the Land of Oz prior to Dorothy's arrival.

"Each performance is naturally fresh," Zimmer tells Soaps In Depth, "because we have other actors come in and take over when someone has a day off. Things happen all the time that keeps each show different." And what happens if she ever temporarily forgets a line? "I'll ad lib until something sounds familiar," she chuckles. "The kids in the show will look me and say, 'How did you do that?' There are only two spots I'm notorious about forgetting, but I've gotten to the point where I get through them."

Dorothy's journey to Oz was a surreal fantasy, part dream/part nightmare — and believe her, Zimmer can relate! "I had the actor's ultimate nightmare — being lost in the bowels of the theater and not being able to find my costume," Zimmer recounts of what happened one night when the show was playing in San Diego. "My dressing room was quite a walk from where I made my entrance." The actress, who was already fitted with a microphone, kept yelling out "Coming! I'm coming!" as she made her way to the stage while simultaneously getting (mostly) dressed. "I made it on stage, but my dress was wide open in the back. Another character was trying to help zip me up!"

The good news, Zimmer adds, is that ever since she went through that mini-ordeal, "I haven't had that nightmare since!"

For tickets to Wicked click here!

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Dante & Lulu's New Kid!

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They grow up so fast in Port Charles! Starting with the Tuesday, March 10, episode of GENERAL HOSPITAL, you might notice that Dante and Lulu's son Rocco looks a little bit different. Well, that's because he does! The soap has revealed that twin boys Charles and Ethan Losie will now be playing the little tyke. Hey, at least he's not a teenager, yet!

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