INDIE SOAP BEAT: April 2, 2010

In this week's "Indie Soap Beat" feature we reveal the latest happenings from around the world of independent soap opera and web series production. Click the show logos to visit the official websites.

We Love Soaps spoke with new REALITY BYTES star Drake Hogestyn this week. Hogestyn, whose son, Ben Hogestyn, is also part of the cast, will play Jerry Parker. Drake told us, "Ben and I have not worked together in the business before. However, he was asked to come in to read for the role of Brady on DAYS OF OUR LIVES years and years ago." Aside from REALITY BYTES, the two of them also have some other projects in the works including a baseball-related docudrama/reality show. Look for the full interview with Drake Hogestyn on Saturday. In other REALITY BYTES casting news, Sarajane Rogers has been cast as Harper Rains the teenaged daughter of Trevor Rains (Tristan Rogers).

LENOX AVENUE recently released a trailer for the upcoming season. LENOX AVENUE follows the fast-paced metropolitan lives of Harlemite friends Owen (creator Al Thompson), Sellars (Dorian Missick), and Vaughn (Ryan Vigilant) as they learn that in relationships even with experience, there's no playbook. The show also features a star-studded supporting cast, including Victor Williams, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Jamie Hector, Chenoa Maxwell, Lord Jamar and Michael K. Williams.

VENICE was honored with three awards at the recent LA Web Festival - Outstanding Achievement in a Drama Series, Best Theme Music and Lead Actress in a Drama (Crystal Chappell). We Love Soaps recently had the opportunity to VENICE actress Tina Sloan who said she would be turning for Season Two: "Kimmy [Turissi] said I was. I imagine I'll just be a tiny character but that's just fine with me."

EMPIRE released the trailer for Season Two last week and fans are buzzing about the show. We Love Soaps spoke with Kathryn Neville Browne, who plays Haven matriarch Sandra, about the upcoming season.

We Love Soaps: Sandra seems like a fun character to play.
Kathryn Neville Browne: She definitely is. This time we're seeing a lot more of her, and learning a lot more about her history and what she's really all about beneath the glamorous exterior.

We Love Soaps: What do you think are her driving motivations?
Kathryn Neville Browne: Well, in this instance, definitely pride and revenge. I guess they're two sides of the same coin.

We Love Soaps: [Laughs] That's very honorable.
Kathryn Neville Browne: It's honest anyway.

We Love Soaps: What's it like working with Greg [Turner] and Brian [Hewson] (the producers and writers)?
Kathryn Neville Browne: They're wonderful and so talented. And they're just so fun to be around. They really are a blast and have a lot of enthusiasm and creativity. And Steven is a great director. I love the cast too. I worked with them last year and we've all stayed in touch and it's a great group of people. I'm really lucky.

STEAMBOAT aired its final episode last week out of the first batch of five shot in December. The episode earned STEAMBOAT the #1 spot in the Indie Soap of the Week poll for the second straight week. In case you missed our recent interview with creator Michael O'Leary, you can read it in two parts here. Executive producer and star Michael O'Leary will be participating in the first annual "We Love Soaps Weekend" May 21-23 at the Villa Roma Resort. Look for producer/director Scott Bryce on 30 ROCK next Thursday, April 8.

ANYONE BUT ME wrapped production Season Two this week. The show released an all new episode last week titled "The Things We Know." ANYONE BUT ME is a finalist for the Streamys’ Audience Choice Award. Go to to cast your vote. You can vote once a day until April 11. It would be great for all indie soaps of ABM took home this prize.

THE LIKE US SHOW has now aired 43 episodes. In #43, things took a turn for the dramatic as Shannon hung herself. LIKE US is a radio soap opera that airs on the web and several radio stations around the country. Set on the campus of the fictional Atlanta University, LIKE US tells the dramatic story of the lives of the students of this Historical Black University.

GOTHAM aired its 10th episode this week as Elizabeth demanded answers from Richard, Catherine saw parallels in her own life when Jayqui told her about his ex getting married, and Samantha had a little work done, which didn't impress "natural beauty" Doris.

CHICK released the show's 19th episode on Monday. Lisa (Kai Soremekun) meets Dot (Patricia McNeely), the mysterious woman in the tree. You can watch it here. There is only one more episode left in Season One. CHICK is having a cyber party on April 13th and 9 p.m. ET. Fans will be able to chat with producers, find out what the future holds and win fun prizes and CHICK swag! Visit the show's website for more details.

JACLIFE, from, is now in its fourth week. 24-year-old Jaclyn owns JacFlash, one of Toronto's best boutiques and she runs the store with her closest friends. By day they dress some of the city’s most fashionable and famous but when the store closes the party is just beginning for the girls of JacFlash. The show released its latest episode, "Peeked Off," this week. A night out turns dramatic when Jaclyn invites two of her peeks. But will the one she really likes make it out before last call?

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