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NEWS ROUNDUP: Frank Valentini On Nurse's Ball, Liz & More; Walt Willey's Biz Lessons; GLEE Valentines

GENERAL HOSPITAL executive producer Frank Valentini on The Nurses Ball and a new love interest for Elizabeth
"For the February sweeps we’ll be teeing up to the nurses ball which will start at the end of March into the anniversary which is April 1. Slightly in contrast to what’s happened in the past, where it was sort of a one-off event, the Nurses Ball will be weaved into story. Big things will happen at the nurse’s ball. And it will go for more than one day."

Valentini also says Elizabeth's next love interest is someone on the canvas, and it's not A.J.

"I love Becky [Herbst]. She’s fantastic. But something needs to be built. I think that character’s been bounced around. She’s got three different children from three different men. If she’s going to say, “I love you” to somebody, it’s got to be real and it’s got to mean something. She’s not going to jump right into it. That’s not who she is. I think everyone’s forgotten a little bit what makes Liz the character you most identify with and most want to be. Becky’s got the acting chops to pull it off if you go through every step of the relationship."

ALL MY CHILDREN star Walt Willey shares show-business lessons with North Side students
“I didn’t want to turn 40 and go ‘What if?’” said the actor known best for portraying Jackson Montgomery for more than 20 years on AMC.

“My first TV job was me eating a hamburger on ALL MY CHILDREN,” Willey said. “All you saw was my elbow, but it was me, eating a hamburger. But I was on set, learning how people do what they do, see how Susan Lucci did it, how David Canary did it. I was being paid to see how it was done.”

GREY'S ANAOMTY's New Interns Are Sticking Around
The soap’s boss, Shonda Rhimes, has added a series regular option to the contracts of recurring players Jerrika Hinton (Stephanie), Gaius Charles (Shane) and Tessa Ferrer (Leah). Fellow newbie Camilla Luddington (Jo) already had such a clause in her deal, while the fate of Tina Majorino (Heather) is complicated by her role in the TNT pilot LEGENDS. If that series fails to snag a series order, Majorino likely will return to GREY'S.

While the legal move doesn’t ensure the actors will be series regulars in Season 10, it does suggest that Rhimes is seriously considering such a possibility. At the very least, the group will stick around through the end of the current Season 9. Formal pickup letters go out in June.

GREY'S Postmortem: James Pickens on Adele's Heartbreaking Fate and What's Next

ABC chief's take on the networks primetime soaps
* On the demise of freshman thriller LAST RESORT, “We had a very passionate male audience. We did not connect with women.” Meanwhile, the failure of 666 PARK AVENUE “was a surprise to us,” he acknowledged, “because it tracked so well early on in awareness and in intent-to-view.”

* Shonda Rhimes’ sophomore smash SCANDAL is “just rocking and rolling,” Lee enthused. “Shonda is passionate about this show. It’s a huge credit to her that it’s so different from GREY'S.”

* Lee touted REVENGE's ratings performance but conceded that the storytelling got a bit too “big” in Season 2. “I know [series creator] Mike Kelley is excited about focusing on our lead characters and their emotional journey.”

Keke Palmer joins 90210
Palmer will play Elizabeth, the younger sister of Jordan, a suave publisher, who is introduced as a new love interest for Naomi. Naomi first meets Elizabeth at a masked ball, and, naturally, Elizabeth keeps her identity a secret.

ALL MY CHILDREN alum Jesse McCartney to recur on ARMY WIVES
McCartney will play Private Tim Truman, a young, eager and enthusiastic soldier determined to prove himself on his first deployment.

PARENTHOOD bravely tackles abortion
On this week's episode of PARENTHOOD, shy, quiet high-schooler Drew and his increasingly manly eyebrows found out that his girlfriend Amy was pregnant. Amy decided to have an abortion, Drew decided to be supportive even though a part of him, he tearfully confessed to his sister, wanted to keep it. Amy went through with her plan and the episode ended with Drew sobbing in his mother’s arms.

Ryan Murphy tweets GLEE Valentine's spoiler
"Gleeks...two couples getting back together by Valentine's Day. One might be preggers. Guesses?"

Murphy's next tweet revealed whom one of the couples getting back together could be: Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss).

"Kurt is not bringing Adam to the wedding. His date is Blaine. They sing a duet for Emma. And make out in a steamy car. Ur welcome"

The Geopolitics of Soap Operas
The United Producers Association, a body of Pakistani soap opera producers, argues that the airing of Turkish and other foreign soaps is diverting funding from local productions of higher quality. Regulations officially prohibit television channels from airing more than 10 percent of foreign content, but, as the U.P.A. has repeatedly pointed out, Urdu1, which introduced international soap operas to Pakistan, broadcasts only foreign material.

Since last summer, the television channel Urdu1 has topped ratings thanks to its multiple daily airings of the Turkish soap opera ASK-I MEMNU (Forbidden Love).



Watch the Trailer for DirecTV's Thandie Newton Thriller ROGUE

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