Behind-the-scenes look at ABC's 'General Hospital'

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Action News got access inside ABC's "General Hospital" to find out how all the daytime drama goes down.

Action News got access inside ABC's "General Hospital" to find out how all the daytime drama goes down.
For 52-years, scandalous drama, tantalizing love stories and life-or-death surgeries have rocked a hospital in the town of Port Charles, N.Y. The city and the hospital are not real, but millions of "General Hospital" fans never miss a minute of the long-running soap.

Lights, camera, action! With more than 200 different sets on one big floor, the stage is ready on the set of "General Hospital," where the cast and crew is shooting their biggest production of the season -- the nurses' ball.

"The nurses' ball is probably the biggest three-day event that we do throughout the year," said "General Hospital" director Frank Valentini. "Obviously, with the music and the dancing and choreography and all the big story reveals that usually happen during the nurses' ball, it makes it probably one of the hardest things we do all year long."

We walked on set as the cast was shooting day two of the nurse's ball storyline. From singing, dancing, costume changes and drama, the episode is sure to keep fans of the long-running soap on the edge of their seats.

"We're shooting now, too, so that's why I'm whispering a little bit. We're actually doing a secret dance you'll see during the nurses' ball," said Lynn Herring, who plays Lucy Coe, the organizer of the nurses' ball storyline.

Herring has appeared on "General Hospital" since 1986, and she's no stranger to the Central Valley. Herring lives on a cattle ranch in Raymond with her husband.

"I get my weather from ABC. I get all my news from ABC. The Central Valley is my home basically and the foothills and we've ranched out of it for 25 years. River Park, Fresno Grizzlies, I took cow and horse classes at Fresno State," said Herring.

When Herring is not in Central California, she's in Hollywood on the "General Hospital" set.

The cast says everyone there is like one big family, with dozens of people working behind the scenes, running cameras, moving equipment, refreshing make up for the stars and ensuring every outfit looks perfect.

"Oh my gosh! When you see all the work, it's so much fun to see your friends get up there and put on their costumers and dance and sing and see them in a new light," said Lisa LoCicero, who plays Olivia Falconeri.

To keep the show fresh, director Frank Valentini says ABC suggested adding a live episode. "General Hospital" has announced it will feature two live episodes this month -- on May 15 and 18.

"I'm up for anything, but the only way live works is if people mess up because otherwise it's just a regular show," said Maurice Benard, who has been on the show for the last 22 years as the notorious mobster Sonny Corinthos.

We got to sneak a peek at one of his scenes with Emmy-Award winner Laura Wright, who plays his current girlfriend and former wife Carly Corinthos Jax.

"You gotta be able to do everything quick, obviously, especially nowadays. It went from 5, 6 takes to like 1, 2 takes, and you got a lot of dialogue and a lot of pages," said Benard.

It's amazing to see how many people work to make this show happen. From the lighting, sound, the sets and hair and makeup, it truly takes hundreds of people to get "General Hospital" on the air.

VIDEO: Many 'General Hospital' stars have visited Central Valley
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