Recently in Guiding Light

A "Million" Reasons Bring Chappell Back To DAYS!

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In the upcoming film, A Million Happy Nows, Crystal Chappell (Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Carly, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) stars as Lainey Allen, a popular soap opera actress, who exits her daytime drama after finding out she has early-onset Alzheimer's disease. She and her publicist/partner Eva, played by Jessica Leccia (Natalia, GL) move to a beach house overlooking the Pacific Ocean as the couple deals with the devastating diagnosis. Chappell, who also serves as a producer on the project, says the film's soap opera scenes were shot late last year at her old stomping grounds — the DAYS studios in Burbank!

"First, we were going to build a soap opera studio in another studio, but I told [DAYS' co-executive producer] Greg Meng about this film and that I needed a studio," the Emmy-winning actress/producer tells Soaps In Depth. Another co-executive producer of DAYS, Albert Alarr, directed the film, and was helpful in securing the studio space, too. "It was totally fun shooting there," Chappell declares. "Everyone was so accommodating. We could have shot it elsewhere, but filming at DAYS gave us an authentic vibe."

A Million Happy Nows both sheds a light on Alzheimer's and tells the love story of how Lainey and Eva deal with this tragic twist of fate, which, it turns out Lainey knew there was a 50/50 chance of happening. The film's cast is jam-packed with familiar faces from the soap opera world including Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie, DAYS; ex-Joanna, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), Robert Gant (David, Y&R), Hillary B. Smith (ex-Stacy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Margo, AS THE WORLD TURNS), and Michael Corbett (ex-David, Y&R).

"We needed someone to play Lainey's rival and someone suggested Susan," says Chappell. "I reached out to her and she said yes. We did some good old soapy catfight scenes that you'll see. It was so much fun. She is so talented."

As a fan of GL's "Otalia" storyline, the film's writer, Marisa Calin, specifically wrote the movie with Chappell and Leccia in mind. "That's really flattering," notes Chappell. "It's important to not only bring more awareness to this disease, but to also show that it can [afflict] same sex couples."

Stay tuned for an upcoming feature on Chappell in the magazine for more on the project, but In the meantime, you can check out a preview of the film here.

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They're Having A Baby!

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Soap opera veteran Adrienne Frantz (ex-Amber, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL/THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS) and her husband, Scott Bailey (Sandy, GUIDING LIGHT) have announced that they are expecting, and they did it in the cutest way, with a candid YouTube video. "Yes, I'm pregnant!" Frantz confirms excitedly.

But what prompted the video? "I was watching a commercial," Frantz explains. "It was about what you should know before becoming a parent and I started sobbing profusely." Bailey was so taken by his wife's intense reaction that he couldn't resist recording it. "After the struggle we've had trying to have a child, we thought we might just post the video as our way of showing people that yep, we're gonna have a baby."

"At first, I wasn't too thrilled because I thought he was making fun of me," Frantz admits. "But at the same time, you've gotta be able to laugh at yourself, and it was funny. Life is an adventure that way." Now safely into her second trimester, Frantz says that she's feeling well and that they are both eagerly anticipating their daughter's December 1 due date. For more from the happy couple, including news about the upcoming Lifetime movie they made, check out their joint Keeping Track feature this summer in Soaps In Depth.

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Exclusive: First Look At Sudsville's Shows!

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SudsvilleTV is set to launch in October (at www.SudsvilleTV.com) and they have given Soaps In Depth a first look at the new network's line-up of programming! (All times listed are EST, and with the exception of the drama YEAR ROUNDERS, which will clock in at just under an hour, each show is 30 minutes.)

Check out the programming slate below as described by the folks at Sudsville, and then let us know in the comments which show you are most excited to see!

AM SUDSVILLE: At 11:30 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, join the show's three hosts for celebrity interviews, questions from viewers and recaps of your favorite programs.

MONDAYS

8:00 p.m. Hosted by Michael O'Leary (Rick, GUIDING LIGHT), MICHAEL'S AMAZING SOAP TRIVIA CHALLENGE will debut in December. In each of the 10 episodes, three lucky contestants will face off to win a $1,000 prize -- and dinner with Michael and his co-host. The winners from each of the 10 episodes will advance to the Tournament Of Champions round and compete for a grand prize of $10,000. (The show will also have a campy fictional storyline featuring Michael's new bride, optimistic mom and cantankerous dad!)

8:30 p.m. In a reality/game show hybrid, handsome host Cody Blymire takes three grannies on wacky and wild adventures around New York City in GRANDMAS UNLEASHED!

TUESDAYS

8:00 p.m. Learn how to look like your favorite soap star (without spending a million bucks!) on THE FASHION REPORT.

8:30 p.m. In BELLA, BELLA, follow some of Manhattan's best hair and make-up artists and stylists around to the high-fashion events that are quintessentially New York City.

WEDNESDAYS

8:00 p.m. WASH OUT contestants get a choice between answering a question or doing a stunt as they vie to win a cash prize. (As long as they don't get washed out first!)

8:30 p.m. REENACT! Follows fictional former soap star Brad Cain and his brother, Benny, as they launch a company to supply low-cost reenactments to cable television's true crime shows.

THURSDAYS

8:00 p.m. SudsvilleTV's original drama, YEAR ROUNDERS, is set in a New England fishing village that has become a summer playground for the wealthy. Look for some familiar faces from daytime to lead the cast when the drama debuts in December.

FRIDAYS

8:00 p.m. Four aspiring performers try to break into show biz in ACTOR/WAITER.

8:30 p.m. Follow the journey of 10 empty nesters/divorceés as they return to the workforce late in life on SECOND LOOK AT MY LIFE.

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See GL Alum Live On Stage!

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This evening is opening night for the play Mary, Mary at the Cape May Stage in New Jersey, featuring GUIDING LIGHT favorite Grant Aleksander (Phillip).

"The play is a hilarious and touching MAD MEN-era comedy," Aleksander tells Soaps In Depth. "I play Dirk Winston, an aging movie star who has written a Hollywood tell-all. When he takes it to an old buddy from the Navy – who is now a publisher with a young fianceé, Tiffany, and a soon-to-be ex-wife, Mary – an elaborate game of romantic cat-and-mouse ensues as the four sort out who should be with whom."

Mary, Mary is directed by Cape May Stage's artistic director Roy Steinberg, who has a connection to the daytime world as well. He was one of our producers at GL," says Aleksander.

For tickets and more information, visit www.CapeMayStage.org. The show runs through Friday, July 24.

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Exlcusive: Details On New SudsvilleTV Show!

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Two days after SudsvilleTV announced that Michael O'Leary (Rick, GUIDING LIGHT) would be hosting one of the game shows on the new Internet channel, Soaps In Depth has learned that the fan favorite is getting his name built in to the program, too!

SudsvilleTV creator Meg Kelly tells In Depth that O'Leary is so thrilled about the concept of the game show, that she and her partner, Joseph Craig, decided to add his name to the title and it will now be called MICHAEL'S AMAZING SOAP TRIVIA CHALLENGE! "We couldn't be happier that Michael is part of the SudsvilleTV family," says Kelly.

O'Leary adds that the concept of the trivia show is "fresh and fun. Fans will love the fast pace, the surprises and the big cash prizes."

One of the Emmy nominee's favorite aspect to the program is how fans will be included. "I love that they not only get to nominate friends and family to be contestants, but that they get to review and vote on the selected submissions," he says. "Daytime fans are the best and I'm excited to be connecting with them again. They gave me a great job for years and a lot of joy. When I meet them, they often say, "Oh my God, you've been a part of my family.' I get it, because they've been a part of mine."

If you haven't already, head over to www.SudsvilleTV.com to sign up for alerts, sneak previews and the chance to enter some cool contests!

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GL Star Visits GC!

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As previously reported, Lindsey McKeon (Marah, GUIDING LIGHT) will appear on THE YOUNG & THE RETLESS for two episodes starting Thursday, May 7, as Felicity.

"She's confident, definitely a strong female character who is supportive in an odd way," McKeon cryptically previews of her Y&R role. "It's been fun for me to come back to daytime to play this character."

McKeon had blonde hair when she played Marah, but these days she's sporting a darker mane. "It was fun being blonde when I was young but then there were roles I'd audition for that didn't feel like me because they'd lean more towards being ditzy," she candidly shares. "I definitely prefer more serious, dark [parts]. There's a lightness and naiveté towards blondes. This [darker hair] feels more like me. It's wonderful."

Though the pace of shooting soaps has quickened since her days in Springfield, the Emmy-nominated actress says that her time on GL was invaluable when it came to doing this latest role. "I think because I'd been on [GL] I was able to get back into the flow," she says. "Daytime is its own machine and, thankfully, I can fit into it."

McKeon admits she's open for reprising Felicity, but, currently, the actress is waiting to hear if the primetime pilot CODE BLACK, in which she has a role will be picked up for series by CBS. "It's set in an LA County hospital.," she says of the drama which stars Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden. "There was a documentary done on this and now there's a [scripted series] based on the documentary."

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Tweet With The QUEENS!

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During tonight's episode of QUEENS OF DRAMA, you can do more than just watch the drama... you can be a part of it! The cast of the reality series will be live-tweeting during the airing starting at 8:00 p.m. ET, and you can interact with them by tweeting to the page at @QueensOfDrama and using the hashtag #QueensOfDrama!

Need another incentive to tune into tonight's episode? How about an appearance by the legendary Joan Collins (Alexandra, GUIDING LIGHT)! Watch the preview below!

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UPDATE: More Emmy Announcements!

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The National Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences has already announced many of the actors who are slated to present at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and now they've revealed some more surprises!

Look for Eileen Davidson (Ashley, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Kristen, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) and Mario Lopez (ex-Christian, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) will be joining the ranks of presenters, as will the cast of the new reality series QUEENS OF DRAMA (which premiers directly following the ceremony), Donna Mills (ex-Madeline, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Lindsay Hartley (Cara, ALL MY CHILDREN), Crystal Hunt (Lizzie, GUIDING LIGHT; Stacy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Chrystee Pharris (Simone, PASSIONS).

As a special tribute to the fans of daytime drama, the ceremony will also feature some special fan awards, including Favorite Daytime Hottie, Most Romantic Duo and Favorite OMG! Moment. You can vote on those by clicking here.

Producers are also promising many surprises and star appearances, including teasing that the evening will reunite two soap star legends! So be sure not to miss this year's Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony live on Sunday, April 26, at 8:00 p.m. ET on Pop!

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All Hail These Queens!

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Move over, housewives, there are some new ladies on the block... and they are here to show you how to bring the drama! In one of the smartest programming moves we've seen in ages, Pop (formerly the TV Guide Network) will air the pilot of their sudsy new reality show, QUEENS OF DRAMA, at 10 p.m. EST on Sunday, April 26th, directly after this year's live telecast of the Daytime Emmy Awards.

So is QUEENS worth sticking around for? Only if you want to see some of your favorite former daytimers butting heads as they attempt to create a whole new soap. Do parts feel wildly scripted? Without doubt. But where else are you going to see Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda, GENERAL HOSPITAL) give an epic eyeroll to Donna Mills (ex-Madeline, GH; Abby, KNOTS LANDING) before declaring she feels "completely insulted" and walking out of a meeting?

And that's before DYNASTY's Joan Collins (Alexis) has even made her first appearance.

In short, this is the reality show soap fans have been waiting for. Following Sunday's premiere, QUEENS — which also stars Crystal Hunt (Stacy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; Lizzie, GUIDING LIGHT), Lindsay Hartley (Cara, ALL MY CHILDREN), Hunter Tylo (ex-Taylor, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) and Chrystee Pharris (Simone, PASSIONS — will air Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET beginning on April 29th.

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GL Alum Moves To Genoa City

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has announced that Lindsey McKeon has been cast int he role of Felicity, a businesswoman who will interact with a very important Genoa City resident. CBS Daytime fans will remember the actress from her stint as GUIDING LIGHT's Marah Lewis from 2001 to 2004.

McKeon is currently scheduled to appear in two episodes of Y&R, beginning with the one airing Thursday, May 7.

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GL's Leccia Is A PERSON OF INTEREST

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Fans of GUIDING LIGHT's "Otalia" are going to want to tune in to PERSON OF INTEREST tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET on CBS, where they'll see half of the popular supercouple, Jessica Leccia (Natalia)!

In the episode, titled "Search And Destroy," Reese and Finch scramble to protect a software CEO following a hacker attack that unravels his life. Leccia will be playing Linda, the CEO's wife.

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GL Alum's Baby News!

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Congratulations are in order for Stephanie Gatschet (Tammy, GUIDING LIGHT; Madison, AMC), who revealed on Instagram that on Saturday, March 28, she'd given birth to her daughter, Vela! The actress posted a photo of her baby with pro sailing racer Willem Van Waay along with the caption "My world..." Bless!

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Long Live The QUEENS OF DRAMA!

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The new reality series QUEENS OF DRAMA, set to debut on Pop starting Sunday, April 26, at 10:00 p.m. EST (right after The Daytime Emmys!), features a bevy of leading ladies from the world of soaps. Donna Mills (Madeline, GENERAL HOSPITAL; Abby, KNOTS LANDING) headlines the cast, which includes Hunter Tylo (ex-Taylor, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Crystal Hunt (Lizzie, GUIDING LIGHT; Stacy, ONE LIFE TO LIVE), Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda, GH), and two former PASSIONS stars: Lindsay Hartley (Theresa) and Chrystee Pharris (Simone).

The series features the actresses as they try to form a team that will create and star in its own nighttime series. "We're all strong," Mills tells Soaps In Depth. "The [other women on the show] have been terrific with me, but they're strong. They have their ideas, which is good and it made the show really come alive. You see what they want, what gets in the way of that and how they end up getting what they want."

As KNOTS fans recall, Mills' Abby was a savvy businesswoman who most always got the last laugh. Will we see her express certain "Abby-isms" throughout the show? "It's me, not Abby," clarifies, Mills, then hastens to adds, "There will be more 'Donna-isms.'"

After its premiere, QUEENS OF DRAMA will settle into its regular time slot on Wednesday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. EST on Pop for its 10 episode run. Check out the following clip below to get a taste of what the show has to offer — and be sure not to miss the appearance of guest Joan Collins (Alexis, DYNASTY; Alexandra, GL)!

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GL's Zimmer Is Still Wicked!

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Los Angeles area fans of Kim Zimmer (Reva, GUIDING LIGHT) 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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B&B Hunk Reunites With GL Co-Star!

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THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Lawrence Saint-Victor (Carter; Remy, GUIDING LIGHT) is teaming up with his former Springfield pal Frank Dicopoulos (Frank, GL) to spend a day with the women of Pittsburgh, PA! The men will co-host the Pittsburgh Bridal Showcase and the Pittsburgh Women's Expo, two shows being held in the same venue. It's all happening on Sunday, March 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the city's David Lawrence Convention Center.

At the Women's Expo, guests can receive massages, and get fashion, exercise and cooking tips -- and much, much more! And if you are getting married, hundreds of vendors will be at the Bridal Showcase to assist with all of your wedding planning! The price of admission includes entry to both shows, and tickets are $10 if purchased on-line, or $15 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.PittsburghWomensExpo.com.

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Blast Off!

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It's not often that you can see three of your favorite daytime stars in one film, so if you missed the theatrical release of 23 Blast last fall, now's your chance to make up for it! The inspirational picture, which stars DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Mark Hapka (ex-Nathan) and features GUIDING LIGHT's Kim Zimmer (Reva) and Crystal Hunt (Lizzie), will become available on DVD at Walmart beginning Tuesday, January 20.

"It's the true story of Travis Freeman, a high school football player from Kentucky who was at the height of his game when he was struck by bacterial meningitis and lost his sight," Hapka offers of his starring role. "He had to readjust to life afterwards and went through a bout of depression, but eventually his coach convinced him to come back to the team."

Look for Hunt to play the cheerleader who breaks Travis' heart, and for Zimmer to bring the heat as his emotional mom in this film produced by former ONE LIFE TO LIVE director Gary Donatelli. For Hapka, who rose to the challenge of playing blind, the best part of the film was getting to do some of the football training he recalls from his own youth. "It was really nice to put the gear back on," he confirms, "and get back out there!"

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Holiday Romance For Muldoon!

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DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Patrick Muldoon (ex-Austin) is kicking off the holiday season right this weekend in UP TV's new original, Christmas In Palm Springs. "It's about a New York family that's in trouble — my wife, played by Dina Meyer, and I have grown apart and are following our own dreams, but the children are in the middle and still see the love between us," he reveals. "So when my wife has business in Palm Springs and I have a meeting in Los Angeles, the kids conspire [for us to meet up]."

Add in a little Christmas magic from Gabriel (Bill Cobbs) the all-knowing hotel concierge and some wild chemistry between Muldoon and Meyer, and the result is a thoroughly entertaining picture. "Dina and I have known each other since doing Starship Troopers together back in 1997," Muldoon confides. "And as much as Dina is beautiful, she's also tough. We've always had this very funny, competitive banter between us and we couldn't help but bring that to our scenes [in this film]."

Muldoon's character is a theater director whose talk-to is also sure to make viewers grin. "Ian Ziering (BEVERLY HILLS 90210; Cameron, GUIDING LIGHT) plays my hustling agent/dear friend who knows what's going on with the family — he's so great in this movie," Muldoon reveals, adding that another pleasant surprise is in store. "The film also marks my first time singing on television. My character does a rock 'n' roll serenade to his wife at the end!" Don't miss the premiere of this uplifting tale on Sunday, November 23, at 7:00 p.m. ET on UP TV.

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John Wesley Shipp Previews THE FLASH

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Tonight is going to be déjà vu all over again for John Wesley Shipp (Kelly, GUIDING LIGHT; Douglas, AS THE WORLD TURNS) when THE FLASH debuts on The CW at 8:00 p.m. EST. The two-time Emmy winner, who played the title role in the primetime series about the DC Comics character that ran (get it? "ran?") from 1990-91 on CBS, is appearing in the new series, but in a slightly different role.

Are there many similarities between soap opera fans and devotees of the superhero world? "That's a very interesting question," Shipp tells Soaps In Depth. "It's one I haven't been asked before so bravo! They are similar and, at times, an overlapping audience."

Shipp says that the series title character (aka Barry Allen), played by Grant Gustin, is an actor to watch. "He can do comedy, play a genius when Barry is analyzing a crime scene and then turn around and break your heart. He's got it all."

In this version of THE FLASH, Shipp is playing Barry's dad, Henry, who's been wrongly incarcerated for killing his wife. Watch for Shipp to recur throughout the season as Barry fights to clear his dad's name. "I've had scenes with Jesse L. Martin (Det. Joe West) whose character has drilled into Henry's son's head that his father was a killer. What will he do when he finds out that he was wrong?"

THE FLASH airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. EST on The CW, and you can read more about Shipp in the new issue of CBS Soaps In Depth, on newsstands now!

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Hobnob With The Stars!

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Spend an intimate eventing with your favorite daytime and Broadway stars at the annual Jane Elissa Extravaganza For Lukemia And Cancer Research! The event will be held at the Time Square Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Monday, November 17

Numerous soap stars are slated to attend, including honorary chairperson Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Gina Tognoni (Phyllis, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS), Alicia Minshew (Kendall, ALL MY CHILDREN), Sean McDermott (Hart, GUIDING LIGHT), Sonia Satra (Lucy, GL), Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) and David Andrew Macdonald (Edmund, GL).

There will be special performances, auctions, a raffle and goodie bags. Tickets range in price from $125 to $500. For more information and ticket purchase, call Jane Elissa at 917-732-1085 or Lauri Landry at 646-732-9397.

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Attend A VIP Soap Party With Martha Byrne!

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AS THE WORLD TURNS star Martha Byrne (Lily/Rose) is starring in a brand new Web series, WEIGHT, and you can attend a Soap VIP Party and Advanced Screening of the not-yet-released pilot! The party will be held at Galway Pub on East 36th Street in New York City on Wednesday, October 8, at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are $50, and include a screening of the pilot for WEIGHT as well as the opportunity to mingle with Byrne and other soap stars. A limited number of VIP tickets are available that also include access to the VIP area for $75. Currently scheduled to attend are Terri Conn (Katie, ATWT; Aubrey, OLTL), Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda, ATWT), Michael Park (Jack, ATWT), Colleen Zenk (Barbara, ATWT), Anne Sayre (Mitzi, ATWT), Lisa Brown (Iva, ATWT; Nola, GUIDING LIGHT), Lauren B. Martin (Camille, ATWT), Elizabeth Keifer (Blake, GL) and Larkin Malloy (Kyle, GL; Travis, AMC).

You can visit WEIGHT's Web site for updated lists of the stars attending the party, order your tickets, and check out a teaser for the series!

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GL's Ramsey Is The New Sheriff In Town!

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 13, at 8:00 p.m. EST, because you won't want to miss the world premiere of Lifetime's Deliverance Creek, the ambitious, first-ever television project produced by romance novelist Nicholas Sparks. In the Civil War-era drama, Wes Ramsey (Sam, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Owen, DAYS OF OUR LIVES) stars as a small-town lawman that finds himself secretly involved with strong-willed, Missouri rancher (Lauren Ambrose) for whom the line between right and wrong is often blurred.

"It's about the story of her survival on the ranch [with her children]," Ramsey explains. "She hasn't heard from her husband in years, not a letter, and she thinks she's dead... We find each other at a time in our lives when we are both looking for something."

Continued after the jump

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Real-Life Soap Couple Welcomes Daughter

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It's a girl! THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Terrell Tilford (Barton) and wife Victoria Platt are parents! "She arrived... Our baby girl, Marley, was born Sunday eve, 24 August," the proud pop shared in a Twitter announcement, complete with an adorable photo.

The couple met on the set of GUIDING LIGHT -- he played David and she played Vicky -- and married on September 29, 2001, in New Orleans in a ceremony that was documented for the TLC series A WEDDING STORY. Congratulations to the new parents!

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Gaskill Delivers Quite A Speech!

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Soap hopper Brian Gaskill (GUIDING LIGHT's Dylan, AS THE WORLD TURNS' B.J., THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Oscar, PORT CHARLES' Rafe and ALL MY CHILDREN's Bobby) has just released a dramatic short film called The Speech. "I'm very excited about getting this film out there," he says.

Gaskill not only stars in the short opposite actress Clea Rivera, but also wrote the script and co-directed it. "It takes place at a wedding reception," the actor explains, "and is about a couple exploring their past together and what that means to their relationship now.

"Soap viewers will be super comfortable with the romantic setting and wedding wardrobe," Gaskill adds with a chuckle before warning: "But it definitely takes a turn away from standard soap fare... it may get a little racy!"

The Speech was funded through Kickstarter with donations from friends and fans, and you can watch it now below. "I couldn't have done it without Ambika Leigh, Garrett Robinson and the whole gang at the film collective and workshop, We Make Movies," Gaskill declares proudly.

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Party With The Stars!

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If you don't yet have plans for Memorial Day weekend, we present you with this: The 15th Annual SoapFest Charity Weekend on Marco Island, FL! More than a dozen daytime actors are scheduled to attend the festival, taking place Saturday, May 24, through Monday, May 26. Stars scheduled to appear include THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS' Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael), Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan) and John Driscoll (ex-Chance); and GUIDING LIGHT's Tom Pelphrey (Jonathan).

SoapFest events include the intimate A Night Of Stars dinner; Cruizin' Boozin' & Schmoozin' With The Stars on the Marco Island Princess yacht; Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash and VIP Brunch With The Boys Of Daytime.

Tickets are now on sale for the annual SoapFest weekend, which will raise funds for Camp Able (a program for local special needs children), the Island Theater Company Kids Program and other local organizations. For a complete schedule and description of events, ticket packages, and additional updates, visit www.SoapFest.com.

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Gaskill Takes On The Bard!

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From the "Just when I thought I'd heard everything" files has come STRIPPING SHAKESPEARE, a provocative new Web series from the We Make Movies filmmakers collective in Los Angeles. In each episode, famous scenes from The Bard's works are set in a scintillating new context, replete with professional pole dancers and burlesque performers. Who knew Shakespeare could be so sexy? Daytime TV veteran Brian Gaskill (Dylan, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Ozzie, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Bobby, ALL MY CHIlDREN; Rafe, PORT CHARLES), who is a member of the collective, appears in the episode airing this Sunday, April 13.

"My friend, Nicol Razon, produced it," Gaskill shares. "The series is about her taking her love of Shakespeare and putting it into a format that is maybe gonna raise some eyebrows, but it's also gonna promote conversation and get people to pay attention to what the filmmaker is doing to be creative."

This Sunday's episode is based on The Taming Of The Shrew with Gaskill reciting the lines of Petruchio opposite Razon as Kate. But don't look for the traditional, 16th century costuming and staging. Rather, it plays out in a much more imaginative way. "It's more like artistic music videos of Shakespeare," offers Gaskill, who first began performing the great poet's work back in high school. To experience it for yourself, visit Strippingshakespeare.com or the We Make Movies YouTube channel here.

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Branson's Baby!

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Congratulations are in order for Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Shayne, GUIDING LIGHT) and longtime love Jaimie Foley on the birth of their first child, son Van James. The infant certainly took his time coming into the world, waiting until well past his due date, but now that he's here, the parents couldn't be happier. You can see a pic of the happy family on Twitter by clicking here!

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Y&R And GL Star Gets Gone!

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While awaiting the birth of his first child this year, Jeff Branson (ex-Ronan, THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS; Shane, GUIDING LIGHT) has been keeping himself plenty busy! This weekend, he'll turn up on Lifetime in the thriller, Zoe Gone. "It's about Jennifer, a 16-year-old girl who has a baby (Zoe) with the support of her boyfriend, but the pressure is too much for him and he runs away," Branson offers. "Her mother is a divorcée who's got a boyfriend, which is where I come in. He's the guy who wanted the woman, but not necessarily the child, but took on the role of helping to raise her anyway. But when his gal becomes a grandmother, that wasn't in his plan. There are some moments of him not understanding and lashing out a bit."

The teenager's struggle to acclimate to motherhood and the drama that entails is further complicated by an unexpected twist: Baby Zoe goes missing! "That kicks in the young lady's maternal instincts," Branson relates. "Then the storyline becomes about finding the baby and [Jennifer] proving to herself the mother that she can be."

While Branson is reluctant to give away much more, he did want to praise the film's young star, Sammi Hanratty. "She knew exactly what she wanted to do with the role, and she ran with it right from the beginning!" he enthuses. "I think [the problem of] high school girls having babies and not knowing what to do or not having the support that they thought they would is a relevant topic. The soap fans will relate to it."

Zoe Gone premieres on Saturday, March 29, at 8 p.m. EST on Lifetime. Then you can keep an eye out for Branson's upcoming guest appearances on TNT's PERCEPTION and CBS' NCIS.

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Co-Stars Remember Rebhorn

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James Rebhorn portrayed one of GUIDING LIGHT's most evil villains, but the women who played Bradley's battered wife and step-daughter, Tina Sloan (Lillian) and Judi Evans (Beth), have nothing but fond memories for the actor, who passed away on Friday following a long battle with skin cancer.

"He was too young -- far, far too young," a saddened Sloan tells Soaps In Depth. "He was such a joy to work with and we all loved him, as evil as he was as he portrayed Bradley Raines. Beneath, he was gentle and kind and always professional."

Sloan adds that Rebhorn may have portrayed a monster, but it was exceptionally emotional to watch when Bradley raped Beth in October of 1983. "It was the hardest thing to see him do that scene as he was destroyed that he had to play it," she recalls. "He had two daughters at home whom he adored, but as a consummate professional, he did the most superb performance of destroying Beth."

Thirty hears later, Sloan and her co-stars still get a chuckle when recalling one of Bradley and Lillian's tumultuous scenes. "He had a line we all loved as it was part of the show -- no matter what happened, he'd say 'It's your fault, Lillian! Shut up and get me a beer!' Grant Alexander (Phillip), Judi, Michael O'Leary (Rick) and I would laugh so hard we couldn't reply and Jim would just smile and say the line again. To this day, Grant and I do "the line" when we are together. When Grant and I went to see Jim in a play a few years back, we said "the line" and he chimed in with that great smile.

"He was talented and wonderful and he will be missed by everyone who ever knew him," she concludes. "I feel blessed I played his wife for a few years and, as everyone, send my great sympathy to his real wife and daughters."

Like Sloan, Evans warmly remembers Rebhorn as being "the total opposite of the character. James was such a gentle, sweet man -- that's the proof of what a great actor he was," she tells In Depth. "He could be the funniest, silliest man. I was so blessed to work with him. My first experience [in television] was having Tina and James as parents! You don't get better than that. I learned about dedication to acting through James. He and Larry Gates [who played H.B.] had us rolling in the aisles in the makeup room. They did rap before it was rap. James was always sensitive. He hated having to do what he had to do!"

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James Rebhorn Passes

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Actor James Rebhorn died on Friday, March 21, at the age of 65. Rebhorn was a well-known character actor who appeared in films such as Independence Day and Scent Of A Woman as well as TV series like WHITE COLLAR and HOMELAND. But he is best known to daytime fans as AS THE WORLD TURNS' Henry Lange and GUIDING LIGHT's Bradley Raines.

"I am deeply... profoundly saddened to hear of the death of my friend and colleague Jim Rebhorn," Robert Newman (Josh, GL) posted to Facebook. "We first crossed paths in 1984 when he joined the cast of GL to play — as he often did, totally against type — the role of a brutal, abusive stepfather. Jim was, of course, the nicest man on the planet. Rest well, Jim. You've earned it. Too soon. Too soon by far."

GL's Grant Aleksander (Phillip) shares, "Jim was a wonderful man and a fantastic actor. So sad that he is gone way too soon."

Brooke Sunny Moriber, who played a young Angel on ATWT posted to Facebook: "James may have been the nicest man I have ever worked with. My heart aches that he is no longer with us. He was just the nicest guy you could ever cast as a villain. I remember him actually shaking because it was so difficult for him to embody such an evil character."

Michael O'Leary (Rick, GL), says, "Jim was a man of immense class and dignity. He was a consummate professional, and a gentleman. And I was just in awe of his talent. I'll miss him dearly."

Rebhorn's death comes after a long battle with skin cancer. Our condolences go out to his friends and family, including his wife, Rebecca, and two daughters. You can read the actor's New York Times obituary here. The actor also penned his own obituary during his final days, which was posted by his New Jersey church and can be read here.

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GL Baby News!

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Congratulations are in order for Terrell Tilford (Greg, ONE LIFE TO LIVE; David, GUIDING LIGHT) and wife Victoria Platt (Vicky, GL), who are expecting their first child in late August!

For a video message from the actors themselves sharing their joyous news, click here!

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Watch Soap Life

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Daytime dramas have seen an uptick in ratings, but in recent years have gone through quite a bit of turmoil. And over those years, the documentary Soap Life examined the plight of the American soap opera. Now, Soap Life is being released worldwide today on a host of platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. The feature features interviews from fans, directors, producers and actors like Rick Hearst (Ric, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Whip, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL), Bobbie Eakes (Krystal, ALL MY CHILDREN; ex-Macy, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) and more!

For a preview, you can watch the trailer below!

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A Who's Who Guide For BEACON HILL!

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Next Wednesday, March 5, marks the launch of an exciting new Web soap, BEACON HILL! New media pioneer Crystal Chappell (Dani, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL; Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT, etc.) is part of the team behind the drama, which centers on two Boston families at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

With political rivalries, romances gone bad, blackmail and family dysfunction, BEACON HILL has all the makings of a must-see series! In anticipation of the show's premiere, Soaps In Depth chatted up some of the top players in the drama for the scoop!

Alicia Minshew (Sara Preston)
"Sara left the love of her life, Kate, for this reporting job, and the break-up was painful. She's now come back to Beacon Hill for a job and bumps into Kate, so it's reigniting feelings. There are issues with Sara and her grandfather, whom Kate is now working with, and she has a tumultuous relationship with her mother, who is a drinker. She's trying to be a good reporter but stay true to her family. Everything kind of gets mixed up and muddled!"

Sarah Brown (Katherine "Kate" Wesley)
"When Crystal sent me the script, I read all 12 episodes and called her immediately. I originally wanted to play the character of Sara -- I understood where she's coming from. But Katherine ended up being much more of a challenge. I love every bit of this."

Read more after the jump!

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GL And OLTL Alums Star In New Film

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Trevor St. John (Victor, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) and Wendy Moniz (Dinah, GUIDING LIGHT) will starring in the upcoming film The Grief Of Others. According to Variety, the daytime alums are set to join SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's Rachel Dratch in the adaptation of Leah Hager Cohen's book about a couple (St. John and Moniz) whose baby dies soon after his birth and the parents struggle to put their lives back together. The emotional drama will begin filming in April in Nyack, NY.

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Soap Stars Move To BEACON HILL

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A slew of familiar faces are starring in the new Web series BEACON HILL, including Sarah Brown (ex-Claudia, GENERAL HOSPITAL; ex-Agnes, THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL) Alicia Minshew (Kendall, ALL MY CHILDREN), and Crystal Chappell (Dani, B&B; Olivia, GUIDING LIGHT) The serial, filmed on location in Boston, was co-created by Jessica Hill and her wife Linda, who is the chief executive officer of Bella Books, a publisher of lesbian fiction.

"BEACON HILL is a political drama set in Boston," Jessica tells Soaps In Depth. "Alicia and Sarah are our two leads, and they play the daughters of two political families in Boston. One's Republican and the other is Democrat. Alicia's character, Sara, and Sarah's character, Katherine, were together [romantically] and they broke up. Our story starts six years later when Sara's grandfather, played by Ron Raines [Carl, OLTL; Alan, GL], has a stroke. Sara, who's living in New York, comes back to Boston and you see dynamics between her family and Katherine start to develop."

The rest of the cast — which reads like a Who's Who of daytime — includes Scott Bryce (Craig, ATWT), Ricky Paull Goldin (Jesse, B&B; Gus, GL), Louise Sorel (ex-Vivian, DAYS), Tina Sloan (Lillian, GL), John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex, OLTL), Jessica Morris (Jen, OLTL), and Melissa Archer (Natalie, OLTL). Also in the cast is newcomer Rebecca Mozo.

BEACON HILL is produced by Bella Productions, the sister company of Bella Books, in association with Chappell's production company, Open Book Productions. Goldin and Emmy-winning actress Hillary B. Smith (Nora, OLTL; Margo, ATWT) serve as producers on the show.

Chappell, who has helmed Web series VENICE and THE GROVE, plays Claire, Sara's mother. How did that work, since there's less than a decade between the two actresses? "I age myself," Chappell confides. "I went without makeup and I wear my hair severely — it's in a twist and high up on top. It's a fun character to play. Claire's husband is gone. My feeling is he couldn't tolerate her family.

"BEACON HILL is a very different show," Chappell adds. "It's a political drama with intrigue and romance revolving around two political families. Jessica and Linda are terrific people and writers. I love working with them!"

BEACON HILL begins streaming on Wednesday, March 5. For more info, check out www.beaconhilltheseries.com

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Cosgrove Moves To Salem!

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Soap-hopper Daniel Cosgrove (Chris, AS THE WORLD TURNS; Bill, GUIDING LIGHT; Scott, ALL MY CHILDREN) is settling into a new daytime address, this time in Salem! Beginning in late January, the actor will be portraying DAYS OF OUR LIVES' Aiden, which will actually be the first time he'll be creating an original character from scratch instead of stepping into another performer's shoes as a recast! Will you be tuning in?

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Interview: With Raines, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!

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There's nothing like New York City at Christmastime. The nip in the air. The famed Rockefeller Center tree. And Ron Raines (Alan, GUIDING LIGHT; Carl, ONE LIFE TO LIVE) starring as Daddy Warbucks in the final few weeks of Annie on Broadway! "I love this show, I love the role, and what greater time to do it than the holidays? It's all about the holidays!"

Last week, Raines too over the part of the billionaire who adopts the curly-haired redheaded orphan from Australian actor Anthony Warlow, whose contract with the musical had ended. "I was close in the running for being cast as Daddy Warbucks, and I think that's why they called me," muses Raines, whose run will end along with the revival's final performance on Sunday, January 5. "I'm thrilled to be doing it, even though it's just for one month."

Read more after the jump!

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Gaskill Goes Deep!

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Brian Gaskill grabbed our attention playing emotional characters like GUIDING LIGHT's Dylan, AS THE WORLD TURNS' BJ, and THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL's Ozzy. Since then, he's been pouring his own emotions into a considerable body of poetry, which he's been recording to share with the world. "When I compiled this new group of poems together, I found that they were much more cohesive and thematic than what was on my last album (Make It Real)," he says. "With this new one, every single piece really did become -- either on purpose or inadvertently -- a reflection of the title, Giving Up Time Travel For The Rain."

In the just-released collection of spoken word recordings, Gaskill shares his thoughts on the everyman quest for personal peace and life acceptance. "It's about living in the moment and not focusing on that pain in the past or your expectations of the future," the poet offers. "It's about just being present -- even if it's raining -- because as we all know, the rain cleanses things and helps them grow."

The artist has also been sharing his insightful thoughts and moving poems about this topic and more via a blog, http://givinguptimetravel.blogspot.com. "There's this 31-day journey that I started in conjunction with this album coming out," he explains. "It's about working to find something new each day that brings me closer to a place of believing -- in the magical, fairytale sense -- in life's possibilities."

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GL's Raines Joins Annie!

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His future as ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Carl may be in limbo at the moment, but Ron Raines (Alan, GUIDING LIGHT) has a new gig lined up: he'll be taking over the role of Daddy Warbucks in the Broadway revival of Annie for the final weeks of the musical's production! Raines -- who was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his work in the musical Follies, and has three Daytime Emmy nominations under his belt for his GL run -- makes his Annie debut on Tuesday, December 10, and will appear until the show's final performance on Sunday, January 15, 2014.

"I'm excited to join this very talented company in one of my favorite shows," the actor tells Soaps In Depth. "I love the story and I love the role of Daddy Warbucks. I can't wait to play him. It's the perfect holiday show for New York City."

Annie is staged at the Palace Theater, 1564 Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets. For tickets and more information, visit www.anniethemusical.com.

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Is Raines A PERSON OF INTEREST?

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Tune in to the CBS drama PERSON OF INTEREST tomorrow night, Tuesday, October 8, and see GUIDING LIGHT alum Ron Raines (Alan) guest starring as a rather familiar character. "He's very much an Alan Spaulding type," he says of playing Bruce Wellington, a real estate magnate. "He's a very wealthy businessman who is protecting his family -- his grandson in this situation -- and he's ruthless! And I really detest my grandson's father because I think he's in a much lower class than my grandson!"

While Raines doesn't want to give too much away about his role in the episode, titled "Lady Killer," he does tease that "I've done something pretty bad! It becomes clear how I did what I did to keep my grandson safe."

PERSON OF INTEREST airs at 10 p.m. EST on CBS.

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GL Emmy Winner Joins Y&R!

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS is adding another Emmy winner to its roster! Entertainment Weekly has revealed that Cynthia Watros has been cast as a character named Kelly, who will apparently be involved in a storyline with Billy, Victoria and Chloe. Well known to primetime audiences for her stint on LOST, Watros is remembered by daytime fans for her memorable stint as GUIDING LIGHT's Annie.

The casting notice that Y&R sent out for the character described Kelly as "a grade school teacher by trade, but not currently working. She has been married, but recently divorced." It also calls for the role to last a minimum of three episodes, but with a talent like Watros in the role, it's likely that Y&R will keep her recurring for longer than that if possible.

Still, we can't help but think that if they were thinking of recasting Phyllis, Watros would have been a doozy of a choice!

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GL Alum Heads To Y&R!

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THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS has tapped GUIDING LIGHT alumna Elizabeth Dennehy to play Laura Flannery, a show rep confirms. Look for Dennehy to air on Friday, October 18, in scenes with Ignacio Serricchio's Alex. No other details are available at this time.

The former CHARMED star joined the GL cast in 1988 as the first grown-up Chrissy, who decided to go by her middle name, Blake. Dennehy left the soap a year later when Sherri Stringfield took over the role.

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Can GL's Bundy Manage Her ANGER?

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As GUIDING LIGHT's Marah, Laura Bell Bundy endured her fair share of drama, but could the ups and downs of daytime prepare her for her new role opposite Charlie Sheen on his FX comedy ANGER MANAGEMENT? According to the Hollywood Reporter, Bundy will be playing Dr. Jordan Denby, who is a brilliant psychologist with a fondness for alcohol and whose wild mood swings will turn Charlie's life upside-down!

Bundy, who is currently on tour with Rascal Flatts, is scheduled to start taping ANGER MANAGEMENT this week. Look for her on your screens when the new season debuts this fall!

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