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News Round-up: BETTY, King, Sloan, Zucker, Ledger

New Characters Spice Up UGLY BETTY
Betty Suarez will be getting some new people to play with in season four, premiering this September. Casting is under way for the following roles:

Natalie, Daniel’s sexy 20-something new assistant, who takes the place of Betty, who has been promoted to feature editor.

Claire Meade’s long-lost son. The boyish character, in his 20’s, will be recurring. How will Daniel react to meeting a brother he never knew he had?

A secret new character who will come into Wilhelmina’s life in the season premiere. This role is somehow connected to the events of last May’s season-ending cliffhanger.

“A hot sexy Queens-type man” who will compete with Archie for Hilda’s affections.

A new man who will be the love interest for Marc St. James. And this romance is expected to stick.

Zucker Says Marketplace Has Reached Bottom
NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker said Thursday that while the overallmarketplace is still challenged, he thinks it may have bottomed out and that local station business is showing signs of improvement.

Former ATWT Set Designer Lawrence King Dies, 65
Lawrence S. King, an Emmy-winning set designer, died in his home in Milford July 3 after a long battle with cancer. He was 65. He leaves his life partner of 40 years, set designer Michael Yeargan.

King designed AS THE WORLD TURNS for 13 years and in 1995 left the show to work full time with Yeargan on many productions, including Broadway's "Light in the Piazza," "South Pacific," "Joe Turner's Come and Gone." and productions at the Metropolitan Opera and other operas and theaters.

INTERVIEW: GL's Tina Sloan (Lillian)
"I'd worked on another soap - SOMERSET - where I played the role of Kate Cannell. That was such fun to play, because Kate was so very bad! Anyhow, Gail Kobe, who'd worked on Somerset, was producing GUIDING LIGHT. She called me and said she had a role for me. No audition or anything. I remember Gail telling me that she needed 'a strong actress to play the role of a weak woman.' It was supposed to be a six month stint, and here I am, 26 years later."

Mobile users still ripped off on roaming data charges
Broadband Expert commercial director Rob Webber said that mobile phone users are still getting a raw deal, and gave the example of downloading an episode of EASTENDERS while abroad, but within the EU, which he said could cost anywhere from £65 to £1,600, depending on mobile broadband provider.

The cost of downloading an episode of EASTENDERS (around 320MB) on BBC iPlayer if the subscriber is outside the EU would cost £2,400 with T-Mobile and £194.87 with Vodafone.

Ledger's cousin wins part in NEIGHBOURS
Heath Ledger's cousin has reportedly landed a small role in NEIGHBOURS. News agency PA reports that, Luke Ledger, 16, recently won a competition in Australian magazine Dolly, which won him a role as an extra in the Aussie soap.

Studios take film sites seriously
The studios, which once regarded the sites and their scribes with a mixture of fear and disdain now incorporate into their publicity campaigns a wide swath of online writers repping demographics and psychographics far beyond the traditional fanboy hubs -- everyone from faith-oriented mothers (MovieMom.com) to senior citizens (ReelGeezers.com).

Catherine Bell on her ARMY WIVES husband, Terry Serpico
"Terry is the nicest guy on the planet. Terry is a sweetheart. He is one of the most gracious, kind, wonderful, loving people. Every time he walks into the trailer we all light up."

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