NEWS: Genie Francis, Stephen Hancock, Kenneth Gilbert, Frank Grillo, Miguel Ferrer, Giancarlo Esposito, People's Choice Awards

Genie Francis on her new three-year contract with General Hospital: "This gives me a really warm, cozy feeling—a feeling like I’ve come home. "
"The visits have been nice but this gives me a really warm, cozy feeling—a feeling like I’ve come home. A three-year deal is a very big commitment from ABC these days. It’s too soon to know what stories they have planned for Laura—the who-what-where—but I know they really want to write for me and that’s exciting. [Laughs] They finally took me back!"

"[The writers have] been really busy trying to pick up the pieces of what was left behind from the other writer. They were very stressed out and I didn’t want to bug them. [Executive producer] Frank Valentini wants Laura to have a romance, so I know they’re thinking in that direction. I don’t know if it will be with someone already on the show, or if they’ll bring in someone new."

British actor Stephen Hancock has died at age 89
Hancock is best known for playing Ernest Bishop in long-running soap opera Coronation Street, starting in 1967. Following a salary dispute with producers, Hancock's character was dramatically shot and killed off in 1978.

Said a Corrie spokesperson: "We are saddened to hear of Stephen's death and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time... In Ernest Bishop, Stephen created a character that will always be remembered by Coronation Street fans, Ernest's dramatic exit from the soap is still one of the most memorable moments in the show's history."

Former Crossroads actor Kenneth Gilbert dead at 84
Actor Kenneth Gilbert, best known for roles in Doctor Who, Edward VII and Crossroads has died at age 84.

His longest running regular role was that of Oliver Banks, well-off businessman and father of brummie Kevin Banks, in the long running British soap opera Crossroads. First appearing in 1981, Gilbert was a semi-regular until the mid-1980s.

Frank Grillo thankful for his Guiding Light days
“Friends said, ‘You’re going to work on a soap opera? You don’t want to work on a soap opera!’ I said, ‘Let me tell you something, my father never made more than $30,000 a year and they want to pay me $1,500 a day. I’m doing a soap opera!”

The show was the Guiding Light, and it proved to be just that for Grillo. “It was a great experience. I met my wife [Wendy Moniz, who played Dinah], and we're still married and have two kids.”

People's Choice Awards nominees include Empire and Pretty Little Liars
Favorite Network TV Drama: Empire, Gotham, Grey's Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal

Favorite Cable TV Drama: Bates Motel, The Fosters, Pretty Little Liars, Rizzoli & Isles, Suits

Twin Peaks revival will not premiere until 2017
CBS and Showtime boss Les Moonves confirmed the 2017 premiere during an earnings call. The rebooted series originally eyed a 2016 debut.

Miguel Ferrer to reprise Twin Peaks roles
Ferrer is set to reprise his role as FBI Agent Albert Rosenfield, a cynical city slicker FBI forensics specialist who butted heads with Twin Peaks Sheriff Harry S. Truman.

Giancarlo Esposito returning for 100th episode of Once Upon a Time
Esposito will reprise his role as Sidney Glass, a.k.a. the Magic Mirror, in the landmark episode. The last we saw of Sidney, he had aligned himself with the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Mitchell), who freed him in exchange for working against Regina (Lana Parrilla).

The Muppets showrunner Bob Kushell exits as series heads for reboot
Kristin Newman (Galavant) is in negotiations to succeed Kushell as new showrunner under her overall deal at ABC Studios, the studio that produces The Muppets. The move is part of a creative overhaul of the freshman comedy, which is expected to take a hiatus after finishing Episode 10 for a reboot. ABC recently ordered 3 more episodes, bringing The Muppets' first season to 16 episodes — 10 to air in the fall and the other 6 in midseason after a winter hiatus. The spring run will likely be treated as a relaunch.

Syfy's The Expanse to premiere online three weeks before its TV debut
The first episode of the futuristic mystery drama will be available early on multiple platforms.

Are indie web series the new indie film?
With more actors and filmmakers turning towards producing, writing and starring in web series, it seems that web series are the new "Indie Film."

Psy-chology 101: Academics Put Spotlight on Korean Pop Culture
Academic minds around the world are tackling some tough new questions about South Korea, including why do Korean soap opera plotlines seem to defy the basic principles of microeconomic theory?

Jimmy Fallon and Bryan Cranston unearth their '90s soap opera Suspended Suspense
Jimmy and Bryan Cranston show clips from their short-lived '90s soap opera, "Suspended Suspense," where they acted every scene while suspended in midair.

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