The fall television season is shifting into high gear this week as the broadcast networks continue to roll out exciting new shows and new twists in old shows. The world of indie soaps is heating up as well on the web. Whether it's drama or comedy or somewhere in between, the continuing story format is alive and well. WE LOVE SOAPS TV takes a lot at some of the exciting indie soaps of fall in our very first Indie Soap Beat Fall Preview Guide.
The cast of ANACOSTIA was named Best Ensemble at the 1st Annual Indie Soap Awards in February. The show is back for what promises to be a hot second season on September 25. Creator and star Anthony Anderson offers us a preview: "As the residents of Anacostia try to recover from the aftermath of the Season One finale, they find themselves on a direct path with a serial killer whose victims are seemingly growing closer and closer to their community with his sights set on one of them in particular. Confronted with devastating issues from their past and present which could have disastrous consequences for all involved, this season of ANACOSTIA promises to leave the audience in suspense." ANACOSTIA stars Anderson, Chanté Bowser, Tamieka Chavis, Kena Hodges, Rabon Hutcherson II, Wil Lash, Marion A. Akpan, Pasha Diallo, Christopher Bair and Darnell Lamont Walker.
PLACES PLEASE is a web series that follows three best friends - Jack, Fitz and Emmy - through their hilarious trials and tribulations as out of work actors in the New York City Independent arts scene. Adrift in life, the friends earnestly chase after their dream of being working actors, yet have no discernible clue how to achieve success.
Co-creator Jonathan Weirich offered us a fall preview: "In October, PLACES PLEASE begins its second story arc 'Showcase Yourself,' which follows one of the main characters, Emmy, as she attempts to find an agent by acting in yet another odd showcase. The story is told in three acts, the first act premiering on Wednesday, October 6, with the other two acts released on the following Wednesdays. On October 27th the complete 'Showcase Yourself' will be released.
"In November, the third story arc, 'Whose Whine is it Anyway?' begins. 'Whose Whine is it Anyway?' follows Jack and Fitz as the try to sabotage Emmy's new relationship with an Improv instructor. The first act will be released on November 3rd, and the next two acts will follow every Wednesday until November 24th, when the complete 'Whose Whine is it Anyway' will be released."
VENUS SPA, Chad Media’s popular retro comedy web series is dusting off the leg warmers for a second season beginning on Thursday, September 23rd. The 26 episode season will see most of the original cast returning with some new additions.
Leilanie Giordmaina, Braeley Hobbs, Danielle Sunley and Melanie Lynn Nemeck will be returning with newcomer Tia Jones bringing some spice to the Venus Health Spa this season.
Fans can also expect to see much more of their favorite workout divas as Chad Media has announced that the season will be 26 episodes long, doubling last season’s episode total. The series producers hope the longer season will help continue the momentum gained during the ﬁrst season.
“We were doing an excellent job marketing to our target demographic but just as we were really getting strong numbers, the season ended!” VENUS SPA creator Chris Greenaway said. “We feel that a longer season of shorter, punchier episodes will really help us maintain our audience for a longer stretch of time.”
VENUS SPA has developed a strong niche following of men over 35. Fans of retro video gaming, '80s music, the fashions of the era and pop culture have embraced the series every bit as much as fans of workout videos and bodybuilding.
“We’ve done a great job of creating a series that is not only sexy but also captures the spirit of the era,” Greenaway added. “It’s the kind of show a guy can watch and not only see attractive women but also see things that make him say ‘Hey! I remember that!’ If you have fond memories of the 1980’s I think you’ll totally get a kick out of this season!”
You can watch a preview here.
IN BETWEEN MEN is a sexy new indie soap that will make its debut on November 7. When WE LOVE SOAPS TV first published an article about the show, some fans were less than thrilled with the show's own description of itself: "IN BETWEEN MEN is a sexy, new, original dramedy about All-American guys who feel caught between two worlds, not truly knowing where they fit in. This groundbreaking web series draws attention to masculine, straight appearing gay men who find it difficult to relate to many aspects of the gay community and feel they have more in common with their straight peers. IN BETWEEN MEN centers around four 'out' friends living in NYC, who are not defined by their sexuality and who believe that being gay means nothing more than simply being attracted to other men. Through wild adventures, racy story lines, joys and pains, underscored by the pulse of New York City, IN BETWEEN MEN examines the relationships the men have between each other, their lovers and the greater community."
Will the "straight appearing" description translate into an offensive show as some fan's suspect? Or was this a case of poorly chosen words? We will find out this fall. But it definitely made people talk, as did the talented cast featuring Nick Mathews, Ben Pamies, Max Rhyser, Chase Coleman, Michael Sharon, Sidney Erik Wright and Dewanda Wise.
THE BAY One of the most anticipated new indie soaps of the fall is Gregori J. Martin's THE BAY. The show debuted on September 15 and features an all-star cast including Mary Beth Evans, Tristan Rogers, Matthew Ashford, Lane Davies and Nicolas Coster. Evans explained how her role as Sara Garrett came about in a recent interview with WE LOVE SOAPS TV: "I didn’t really realize that Sara was the main character and everything kind of revolves around her. So that has been interesting, to embrace that, and be the mother to all. I am constantly amazed by the people he has assembled. For us, it turned into this grassroots ensemble, repertory theater kind of thing." Look for new content from THE BAY on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. ET starting with a final "confession" on September 22.
STALLIONS...DE AMOR will debut on September 30 and looks to be a hilarious take on soaps and telenovelas. Creator Efrain Schunior offers a preview: "It stars some of the funniest people from the Groundlings Theatre and Upright Citizens Brigade here in Los Angeles. It's steamy, glamorous, and ridiculous--like all true soap operas. Sexy! The story is based around solving the murder of Latina Matriarch Merlinda Stallion (the hilarious Drew Droege; RENO 911, PLANET UNICOVER, SARAH SILVERMAN PROGRAM) whose ghost comes back to help solve the crime!"
MISS BEHAVE is expected to return in late fall. The show dominated the Indie Soap of the Week Poll for 10 consecutive weeks during its first season. Creator and executive producer Susan Bernhardt offers a preview to WE LOVE SOAPS TV: "As far as Season Two, I like to think of it as DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES for teens - a season full of intense drama, suspense and a host of quirky guest stars to propel the story along. Over half of the season takes place in one night, the 17th birthday party for our lead, Tori. Our Season Two premiere episode will leave you speechless. We've expanded our episodes to about 8-10 minutes each, with a shocking expanded finale episode that will be about 12-14 minutes."
VENICE, which focuses on the life of Crystal Chappell's Gina Brogno, returns on September 29. Will Gina get Ani back or will Ani leave her forever? Does Sami find a new love and what does Guya's celestial power unveil? Peter Reckell and Shawn Christian are among the new stars in the cast for the second season. You can watch a preview here.
THE CAVANAUGHS returns on September 23 with the first of three new episodes. With a revised script, The Cavanaugh crew prepare for their first table read. The new producer promises 'The Cavanaughs' will happen, of course with her own agenda. Noreen Cavanaugh puts her foot down with a homophobic parent.
THE CAVANAUGHS stars Grant Landry, Deborah Philips, Kevin Makely, Cwennen Corral (photos), Christopher Daniel (photos), Ginger Snappz and Amanda Broadwell. Watch a preview here.
Al Thompson's LENOX AVENUE follows the fast-paced metropolitan lives of Harlemite friends Owen (Thompson), Sellars (Dorian Missick), and Vaughn (Ryan Vigilant) as they learn that in relationships even with experience, there’s no playbook. The show will debut this fall and you can watch a preview here. WE LOVE SOAPS TV interviewed Thompson and Vigilant about the shows. You can watch that episode here.
EMPIRE is returning for its third season on November 9. The show has released a short teaser which you can view here. Among the new additions for the cast are Yvonne Perry, who starred as Rosanna on AS THE WORLD TURNS in the 1990s, and Nicholas Rodriguez, who appeared on ONE LIFE TO LIVE last year as part of the Kyle and Fish story line.
PRETTY is a comedy created by Steve Silverman and produced by Velvet Candy Entertainment, LLC. The series features Michael Champagne, who has one wish - to see his five year old daughter Annette win the Miss Star Eyes Pageant. The show recently completed production on its second season which will premiere on November 1 and feature a number of guest stars including daytime soap legend Denise Alexander. You can watch a Season Two teaser here.
One show that will not return this fall but hopefully soon is CELL, which thrilled audiences with a stunning season finale featuring GUIDING LIGHT's Beth Chamberlin. CELL creator Mark Gardner updates WE LOVE SOAPS TV: "As for Season Two, we’re still looking for funding. So we won’t be back this fall because we just don’t have the money to make it happen yet. Notice I did say 'yet' because we all really want to keep telling this story." Good luck!
Other indie web series currently producing unique and interesting material include CELESTE BRIGHT, DESIRE AND DECEIT, PARTY GIRL PLUS ONE, VAMPIRE MOB and THE PARAGON.
SUMMARY OF UPCOMING PREMIERE DATES
23 VENUS SPA
30 STALLIONS...DE AMOR
7 IN BETWEEN MEN
18 DIARY OF A SINGLE MOM
Series or Season Premiere Date TBA
Stay tuned to WE LOVE SOAPS TV for updates on all the indie soaps debuting, returning and in the works. You can follow all our indie soap updates here. Help us create a complete directory of indie web series here. Also, look for an announcement on the 2nd Annual Indie Soap Awards soon.