You have never seen anything like them. They are spellbinding, controversial, and free. They transcend genres, build communities, and inspire cult followings. They involve flamboyant queens and conservative families; evil empires and maverick heroes; Martha Byrne and Genie Francis and even, we would wager, your next big celeb crush. They're the best of the fall season's Indie Soaps, and we beg you to get to know them!
All of the series featured in this guide represent the highest examples of the future of the soap opera. So browse a little and then, try something new—but be warned. You just might get hooked!
So here it is, our 2011 Indie Soap Opera Fall Preview Guide: The Best in Web Series:
Official Website: prettytheseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@prettytheseries) / Facebook
On November 1st, Indie Soap Award-winning PRETTY kicks off its third season of glitter and sparkle drama with a whole new pageant, a whole new group of guest stars, and a whole lotta laughs. The life of "proud pageant dad" Michael Champagne (played by Sam Pancake) and his daughter Annette (Stacy McQueen) will never be the same with the arrival of this season's special guest star, Genie Francis (THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS; GENERAL HOSPITAL). Just who will Genie play? And will Genie's character cross paths with her GH mom, Denise Alexander's character on PRETTY?
Creator Steve Silverman and Executive Producers John Carrozza and Doug Prinzivalli are keeping everything under wraps...for now.
"All your PRETTY questions will be answered," promises Silverman, "I will say this: It's not a one off stunt thing - Genie will be in pretty much every episode this season."
She'll be joined by the likes of Anthony Anderson, Brendan Bradley, Martha Byrne, Mary Beth Evans, Melanie Hutsell and more, who are set to also guest star.
There is one thing Silverman is willing to talk about: "We're gonna find out Michael Champagne was in a boy band back in the late 80s called 'Champagne Toast.' We shot a music video on a sound stage - it was a complete and total blast." Their one hit wonder? "A song called 'Hot Mess,' which I co-wrote the lyrics with my brother, he then wrote the music, and an incredibly talented guy named Drew Stevyns laid down the vocals and produced it."
Watch out, Gumdrop.
Official Website: OurWorldDrama.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@OurWorldDrama) / Facebook
Jordan von Haslow Dramatic Serials will premiere OUR WORLD, a new dramatic serial airing daily across multiple media platforms beginning Monday, October 3. Presented through a unique integration of audio, illustration and animation, this multi-generational soap opera pairs intrigue and romance against the backdrop of power and privilege as it chronicles the scandalous tale of wealthy teenagers and their families in Oakhurst, an exclusive New England enclave.
Created by and starring a team of daytime television veterans, the OUR WORLD writing staff includes Emmy-nominated former ALL MY CHILDREN scribe Susan-Sojourna Collier, and cast boasts Danielle Burns—best known to daytime audiences for her nine-year stint as the original Nancy McGowan on the hit NBC soap Another World.
In addition to the official show website, OurWorldDrama.com, OUR WORLD will be syndicated to more than 15 different Internet, social media and television outlets, including: YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, AOL Video, TIVO, Sony BIVL and iTunes.
Official Website: youtube.com/cavanaughswebseries (website revamp coming October 1)
Social Networking: Twitter (@the_cavanaughs) / Facebook
Adrian Morales' THE CAVANAUGHS returns for its third season on Thursday, October 6. Episodes will air every Thursday.
In Seasons 1 and 2, the core characters were established as friends who have formed a family of their own as they embark on creating a television sitcom. Season 3 reveals secrets and lies that will bring devastating consequences.
The first two episodes focus on the success of their hard work as The Cavanaughs produce their sitcom. Episode 3 ignites the storyline to umbrella the entire season – the truth behind Shea’s death which will affect every character and change their lives forever.
Mark will be forced to make a choice between career and potential love. Noreen will revisit the past in order to change the future. Hope continues to finagle her quest to win back Justin and will use Charley (Deborah Estelle Phillips, pictured above) as a pawn. Bryan will reveal a deadly secret not knowing others are listening.
Camille Bennett-Wilson, Carla Marie and Travis Seaborn join the cast this season.
HUSBANDS: The Series
Official Website: husbandstheseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@teamhusbands) / Facebook
From executive producer Jane Espenson (BUFFY; TORCHWOOD; GAME OF THRONES) and director Jeff Greenstein (FRIENDS; DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES) comes the first ever marriage equality comedy, HUSBANDS: The Series, premiering September 13.
“I’m so excited about this project!” says Espenson. “It was a matter of having the right people and the right premise and the means to create this on our own… It was irresistible. I’m so proud of how it has turned out. This is the right time for Husbands, and I just couldn’t wait. Making it for the web allowed us to make it right now.”
The husbands are Cheeks and Brady. Cheeks is an outrageous, and very out, actor, who lives to push the envelope. How will his fans react when he becomes a settled married man? Brady Kelly is a professional baseball player whose fans are still adjusting to him being gay. Being gay and married–to someone named Cheeks – that’s going to require even more adjustment.
Completing the mix is Haley, Cheeks’ best gal pal, who is not at all sue she’s ready to share her best friend. They’re doing it all wrong. And that’s their right.
“Not long ago, Jane and I met on Twitter after she saw some of my YouTube videos. As our friendship itself is a testament to the power of new media, it’s fitting that our venture into sociopolitical newlywed comedy should be debuted online,” says Brad Bell. “With her pedigree, we could have pitched networks, but we were far more interested in executing our own vision. We wanted to capture the lightening we had before us–the script, the cast, the director–in our own bottle”
Husbands stars Brad Bell as Cheeks, Sean Hemeon as Brady Kelly and Alessandra Torresani (CAPRICA) as Haley.
Official Website: dramaqueenztheseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter @dqtheseries / Facebook
The third season of DRAMA QUEENZ, the hit comedy web series about three friends and roommates dealing with life, love, and auditioning in New York City, premiered on September 4. The show will air the first Sunday of every month for the rest of the season.
The now infamous scandalous scenarios and comedic happenings combine with increased production values, extended episodes, and special guest appearances by popular Broadway, web, and LGBTQ personalities to bring fans and new viewers the show as they have never seen it before.
“We are extremely excited to premiere the third season of DRAMA QUEENZ, as the LGBTQ community has been extremely supportive and vocal in ensuring we keep this show alive,” says writer and executive producer Dane Joseph. “It’s an honor to truly work on this exciting project, and we sincerely hope to continue to give our stories a voice for years to come.”
The show stars Dane Joseph, Kristen-Alexzander Griffith, and Troy Valjean Rucker as three actors who thankfully have each other to laugh through the hard times as they progress towards stardom. The third season features such recognizable faces as Tituss Burgess (Broadway’s "The Little Mermaid," "Jersey Boys"), Ramona Keller (Broadway’s "Brooklyn," "Caroline or Change"), Anthony Wayne (Broadway’s "Anything Goes"), comedienne Tammy Peay, noted producer Dwight Allen O’Neal (CHRISTOPHER STREET TV), shock jock DJ Baker (THE DOO-DIRTY SHOW), talk show host Cisco Vegas, and popular blogger and model Adam Benjamin Irby.
Each webisode focuses on Jeremiah (Joseph) a dreamer with ridiculously poor audition luck, Davis (Griffith), a perfectionist whose hard work produces uneven results, and Preston (Rucker), a realist whose inhibitions stir-up delightful “drama” for all to enjoy. Through madcap auditions, burgeoning romances, and heartbreaking realizations, the trio from Queens takes viewers on the zany rollercoaster ride that is the actor’s life.
Official Website: outwithdad.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@outwithdad) / Facebook
Season Two of OUT WITH DAD debuted this summer and has aired five episodes so far. Producer Jason Leaver tell us the season will consist of 10 or more episodes in total, and might be as many as 12, depending on how they are edited. The show still has a bit of filming ahead, with the last day of shooting scheduled for on October 3.
Leaver also shared some other great news with us about OUT WITH DAD's success. The show has:
- Surpassed over 2 million views online
- Started adding Czech subtitles to the show, with Norwegian coming soon
- Launched a new twitter feed: @OutWithDadES for our Spanish audience, since such a large chunk of our audience is Spanish speaking (the show also translates and re-posts many of our Facebook announcements in Spanish!)
- Started broadcasting on Rogers TV. On Wednesday September 14th at 11:30 p.m., OUT WITH DAD we'll be debuting its second "broadcast episode" on Rogers TV, which is shown in Ontario, specifically: Toronto, Scarborough, North York and Etobicoke (plus bits of Mississauga) on channels 10 & 63 and 510 in HD. It will re-air again on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights for several weeks. This second broadcast episode will consist of our first 3 web-episodes of the second season. OWD's first season continues to air regularly on the station.
Official Website: watchtheras.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@WatchTheRAs) / Facebook
Jonn Capo's THE RAs premiered on September 8 and will air every Thursday. The show takes place in 1999.
Here's the setup:
"September 8, 1999. In the wake of Columbine, the death of Matthew Shepard and the Lewinsky scandal and on the heels of O.J., McVeigh and the Gulf War, six juniors at an elite performing arts college in Westchester County, New York struggle to survive in the face of a never-ending battle with sex, drugs, dating, loneliness and regret. The RAs is the story of a generation – one that predates Facebook, a generation of beepers and chat rooms, when life was simpler but no less complicated and September 11 was just another day."
Stars Derek Stusynski and Toby Levin were guests on our web series, WE LOVE SOAPS TV, in August to preview the show. You can watch their appearance here.
BROOKLYN IS IN LOVE
Official Website: plentertainment.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@PLSTREETTEAM) / Facebook
Danielle Earle's BROOKLYN INS IN LOVE debuted on April 29 and has aired two episodes so far. The third is coming by October 23rd. After that, the show shifts to a first Sunday of each month schedule.
BROOKLYN IS IN LOVE tells the story of three twenty-somethings living in one of the most beautiful places in all of New York City - Brooklyn, NY. The series explores life's long awaited fears of growing up and finding one's place in the world by learning to deal with the reality of the choices we make in our mid-twenties.
It follows the lives of Nikki, Diane, and Bryan, who are all searching for something greater then themselves. The characters eventually find comfort in each other, by learning the hard way through the experiences that they face along the way.
You can see a sneak peak at the next two episodes in the show's trailer which you can watch here.
BROOKLYN INS IN LOVE's season will total 8 episodes. Might there be a surprise guest on the horizon? Tune in to find out.
Official Website: thebaytheseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter @TheBaytheSeries / Facebook
Gregori J. Martin's THE BAY began airing a six-part "Confessions of Bay City" series on September 1 which is running Thursdays at 3:15 p.m. ET. The show features exclusive interviews with the characters of Dr. Christine Nelson (Sandra Dee Robinson), Dr. Keith Campbell (Real Andrews), Janice Ramos (Lilly Melgar), Will Campbell (Derrell Whitt), Zoey Johnson (Taylor Stanley) and Steve Jensen (Matthew Ashford). Two have aired so far.
The show is also running a weekly contest (rules here. Each week at the end of the latest "Confession" installment, a winner is announced before the ending credits. The lucky weekly winner will be awarded two tickets to the private industry screening of the Season 2 premiere of THE BAY and a phone call from a cast member. Winners unable to attend the premiere will instead receive two individual phone calls from two cast members of THE BAY. (Cast members making the phone calls have yet to be announced.) The private CAST and industry screening is scheduled to take place in October and will be closed to the public.
Season 3 will delve further into the lives of the Garrett family.
THE PASSIONATE & THE PRIVILEDGE
Official Website: pandptheshow.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@pandptheshow) / Facebook
Hope Royaltey's THE PASSIONATE & THE PRIVILEDGE is the first and only original scripted hour long daytime drama series on Twitter. The show, currently in its second season, is a tale of two powerful families, the Logans and the Randolphs, and a 200 year old rivalry reignited by an unlikely love.
P&P is tweeted live every Tuesday and Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. Viewers do not have to join Twitter or follow any accounts to watch P&P (just click the “Launch Live Stream” button every Tuesday/Thursday at 3).
The show's second season finale is set for September 29. Season 3 is scheduled to launch in November and Royaltey shared a preview with We Love Soaps:
* Brynn and Simone's love will be tested.
* Kenzy's past with Brynn will be explored
* T.J. Jace will work to try to clear Arthur
* Clues to Rosalee Randolph's murder will be revealed
* Lydia's vegetative husband Tex Mayfield will be important
* Max will meet an imaginary friend.
* Meta will face her dark side
* Addie Altman's secret past will come into play
* Fallan Logan will face off against Lydia Randolph
Exciting! And beyond that a filmed version of P&P is in the works! Royaltey hopes to be shooting the show in the Spring of 2012.
OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS
Official Website: olddogsnewtrickstheseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter @ODNTTheSeries / Facebook
Leon Acord's OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS aired its pilot episode on July 30. The shwo will be shooting the next batch of episodes in the fall which will begin airing on January 8, 2012.
OD&NT is currently running a promo trailer in support of its IndieGoGo campaign to raise money to help fund production.
The show has a couple of recognizable guest stars coming up including Patrick Bristow! Descriptions for the episodes being shot this fall are below:
Season 1, Episode 2 “Sappy Birthday to Me” Pt. 1
Gifts, cocktails and the boys’ valiant efforts to cheer up Nathan (Leon Acord) on his 50th birthday have less-than-successful results; Brad (Curt Bonnem) regales the boys with stories of his sexual conquests of the past 24 hours.
Season 1, Episode 3 Conclusion “Its My Party and I'll Whine If I Wanna”
Nathan's party gets worse and worse; Muscles (Jeffrey Patrick Olson) meets a potential Mr. Right; an encounter with an old one-night-stand has Nathan (Leon Acord) feeling his age; Ross’ cheerful façade cracks.
Season 1, Episode 4 “Stuck in a Jam”
Living vicariously though his friends’ adventures leaves Nathan (Leon Acord) feeling he has no life; Ross (David Pevsner) confesses his recent marital woes; Brad’s latest conquest bruises his self-esteem; Muscles (Jeffrey Patrick Olson) has too much in common with his new boyfriend.
Season 1, Episode 5 “Strange Bedfellows”
Brad (Curt Bonnem) gets revenge on his latest hook-up; Ross (David Pevsner) receives some provocative marriage advice; Muscles tries to discuss his situation with Bobby; after a cryptic session with his shrink, Nathan (Leon Acord) has a mind-blowing encounter.
Official Website: devanity.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@DeVanitysoap) / Facebook
Michael Caruso's DEVANITY was a hit in its first season. The show will return in January for an 8 episode second season with almost its entire cast from the first season as well as 3 new series regulars.
The new season will pick up six months after the events of the season finale, and everyone is going to start being held accountable for what they have done in Season 1.
Several guest stars will be joining the cast this year. Kyle Lowder (pictured above) will appear three episodes as DeVanity rival Andrew Regis. Robin Riker, Tiffany Michelle, and Alana Stewart will all make a guest starring appearance in an episode. In addition to the guest stars, DEVANITY will air a special Christmas episode, as well as crossovers with series CALIFORNIA HEAVEN and FUMBLING THRU THE PIECES.
Official Website: raggedisle.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@RaggedIsle) / Facebook
RAGGED ISLE, created by Barry and Karen L. Dodd, began shooting Seasons 2 and 3 this summer and will continue this fall, editing through the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.
One of the best reviewed web series of the year at We Love Soaps, RAGGED ISLE plans on premiering in the Spring around the same time as Tim Burton's Dark Shadows movie.
Official Website: missbehave.tv
Social Networking: Twitter (@MissBehaveTV) / Facebook
MISS BEHAVE is gearing up for Season 3, which promises to be the best yet with the long awaited introduction of Tori's mother "The Queen", an investigation into Tasha's disappearance, more secrets - but this time it's Dylan and Danielle, and an exciting opportunity for Tori and Noah.
The show has also been approached to shoot another special - this time with Cancun as our backdrop.
There are also plans to spin off another show (probably not until next summer or fall) with several of our MISS BEHAVE cast crossing over.
Congratulations to MISS BEHAVE's Jillian Clare (pictured above) who just won Best Lead Actress in a Drama at the 2011 International Television Festival.
ORANGE JUICE IN BISHOP'S GARDEN
Official Website: OJinBG.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@OJBishopsGarden) / Facebook
Season 5 of ORANGE JUICE IN BISHOP'S GARDEN, the Telly Award-winning web series about DC teens growing up in the '90s, will premiere in October. New episodes will be released every Monday. Bonus videos, photos, and more are still being released for Season 4.
The show recently published an ebook, "Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden: The Shooting Scripts, Season One," featuring the shooting scripts from every episode of Season 1; and it can be downloaded at Amazon for Kindle, Lulu, and Goodreads. It will soon be available at Barnes & Noble, and Google Books.
OJinBG will also be screened at Reel Fest DC (October 19 - 23).
IN BETWEEN MEN
Official Website: inbetweenmen.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@IBMtheseries) / Facebook
IN BETWEEN MEN, starring Indie Soap Award nominee Nick Mathews, is currently in pre-production on its second season with filming scheduled to begin in January 2012. The show has just announced that Mark Tallman (DAMAGES; THE 22) will join the cast playing Brian Sharpe, cousin of New York publicist Kendra Sharpe (Margot Bingham).
“We are thrilled to welcome Mark Tallman to the cast of IN BETWEEN MEN,” said director and executive producer Jennifer Gelfer when Tallman was announced this week. “We had some very fine actors read for the new role of Brian, but when Mark walked in, he immediately lit up the room and wowed the production team. He made the decision easy.”
“I am excited to join the cast of such a groundbreaking show,” said Tallman. “There is no programming like IN BETWEEN MEN out there right now. No other show is revealing the gay community in such a realistic, human way. It’s important to have courageous shows like IN BETWEEN MEN that work to defy so many of the negative connotations that society places upon gay men today.”
IN BETWEEN MEN follows the lives of Dalton, Dane, Jacob and now Brian. Through wild adventures, racy storylines, joys and pains, IN BETWEEN MEN examines the relationships they share with one another, their colleagues, lovers, and the city of New York.
“New York is a city that screams melting pot,” continued Ms. Gelfer. “In some way, everyone here lives in between in life. Brian's story will further illuminate this phenomenon.”
“We were looking for someone to give Benjamin Reed, our resident hound, a run for his money,” laughed Gelfer. “Not just physically, but pathologically. Though the two may have different sexual preferences, there is a certain longing in both that they hide from the world.”
Many changes are in store for the characters in the second season of IN BETWEEN MEN, promised Gelfer. The men will deal with loss and new beginnings on every level. She also hinted a cornucopia of characters will be joining the show.
Official Website: valdeanent.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@AlThompsonInc) / Facebook
Al Thompson's new web series, ODESSA, will premiere at the New York Television Festival later in September.
In ODESSA, a man (Thompson) and his young daughter (Skai Jackson) are on the run from the mysterious shadow program that bestowed them with psychokinetic abilities. They must avoid capture at all costs or be used as living weapons.
Thompson's LENOX AVENUE was picked up by BET Online earlier this year. Look for that debut in 2012.
Official Website: youtube.com/watchvenusspa
Social Networking: Twitter / Facebook
VENUS SPA is getting ready to launch its third season on YouTube this fall. This season, everyone's favorite workout divas deal with new instructors, horny robots, more big hair and a lot more totally tubular '80s goodness. The exact date of the new season premiere is not yet known. Stay tuned!
Official Website: throwingstoneswebseries.com
Social Networking: Twitter (@stoneswebseries) / Facebook
In July, Highland Myst and Throwing Stones Productions wrapped on Season Two of the award winning teen horror web series THROWING STONES which stars Chad Cox, Cherami Leigh, Rebekah Kennedy, Lindsay Seidel, Bryan Massey, Kayla Carlyle, Lynn Andrews, and other up-and-comers.
The teen series about students sent to Saturday School to learn a lesson has become one of the most watched series on KoldCast TV ever since the cliff hanger episode aired earlier this year and MTV producers recently fell in love with series and began posting episodes on their Facebook pages. Whereas the first season was about getting to know the students at Blair High while focusing more on the psychological elements, the second season moves into full Slasher-Mode. After finally coming together to overcome their differences, the students of Blair High are violently separated and forced to follow Mr. Beckett's new set of rules. One by one he challenges each student's will to live as he pushes his Broken Window Theory to the test. Their objective is to survive.
The web series is loosely based on a feature length screenplay of the same name by writers Bart D. Van Bemmel and Jason A. Wheeler. Joining the team, Jon Keeyes signed on to direct Season Two. THROWING STONES is currently in post-production with an autumn release planned. The premiere date will be announced soon
Around the world of web series...
EMPIRE creators Greg Turner and Brian Hewson have a new comedy project in the works with Martha Byrne. *** ANACOSTIA's Anthony Anderson has also just announced Byrne will appearing in a multi-episode arc on that show's next season. *** Byrne is also shooting her new collaboration with Alex Roalsvig in the Adirondacks during "An Adirondack Affair," an event with EMPIRE's Ellen Dolan (www.adirondackaffair.com). If that isn't enough, she has yet another web series in development as well *** THE VARIANTS released Episode 5 from its second season this week. Watch it here *** There are no current plans for a second season of TRAILER MADE, but Season 2 of Loretta's HOW I SEIZE IT is already in production and will feature guest spots with a few familiar TRAILER MADE faces *** Episode 2 of THE DIVISION has been edited and will be released soon *** William Russ plays Bob in the upcoming web series HOME AT LAST. Watch the trailer here *** Season 1 episodes of THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF CUPID & EROS will be airing on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. at StayTunedTV.net *** VENICE is currently in production on Season 3 *** FUMBLING THRU THE PIECES will go back into production early next year *** SEEKING SIMONE is in the middle of its second season. *** BLOOD AND BONE CHINA is approaching 100,000 views *** VAMPIRE MOB recently achieved their $10,000 fundraising goal! *** Caryn Hayes' BREAKING POINT is going back into production in October to finish the show's first season. New episodes are coming in a few months!
IMPORTANT DATES - Season Premieres, Finales & Next Episodes
8 SEEKING SIMONE (latest episode)
13 HUSBANDS: The Series (Series Premiere)
15 THE RAs (next episode)
15 THE BAY "Confessions of Bay City" (next episode)
15 OUT WITH DAD (next episode)
16 AIDAN 5 (next episode)
29 THE PASSIONATE & THE PRIVILEGED (Season 2 Finale)
2 DRAMA QUEENZ (next episode)
3 OUR WORLD (Series Premiere)
6 THE CAVANAUGHS (Season 3 Premiere)
23 BROOKLYN IS IN LOVE (next episode)
1 PRETTY (Season 3 Premiere)
13 HUSBANDS: The Series
TBA THE PASSIONATE & THE PRIVILEGED (Season 3 premiere)