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Sunday, June 3, 2012

DeVanity Update....

To say I have love for this web series is an understatement!  Michael Caruso has created an amazing show that is about to get extra down & dirty!

Dynasty veteran Gordon Thomson has joined the cast as 'The Godfather' Preston Regis!  You may all recognize him as Adam Carrington and today was his first day on set with the DeVanity crew.  But he's not the only Regis in town.  Another heavy hitter joining the cast is Arianne Zucker as Julia Regis.  You may recognize her as Nichole from Days of Our Lives.  She'll play alongside her real-life hubby Kyle Lowder, who returns as the scheming jewelry rival Andrew Regis.  All I will say is I think Jason and family just might have to make a deal with the devil....

Not only will we see the Regis clan, we finally see Richard DeVanity!  Maxwell Caulfield has been cast as the DeVanity Patriarch, but is he alive??  Do I smell a scandal??  Interestingly his sister Francesca DeVanity, played by Dallas darling Charlene Tilton strolls into town ready to lay down the law!  Something tells me she's about to give the siblings a run for their money!  

Also returning this season is Robin Riker as Angelica Roth. I have a feeling things are going to get very messy the for DeVanity clan!  Does Alex survive the shooting?  If not, now she'll have to grieve AGAIN for her son.  What about her daughter?  Last we heard she has been recovering in Pasadena under all of their noses!  

Hang on tight, it's gonna be a bumpy but very fun Season 3, set to return January 12, 2013.  

Are you going through DeVanity withdrawals like I am?  Want to meet other fans and chat about all things DeVanity?  RHeart is about to unveil the DeVanity Fan Club!  We will have exclusive interviews with the cast and crew, the latest news, sneak peaks and more!  We have the inside scoop on the first day of filming Season 3, so you won't want to be anywhere else for our guilty pleasure.... DeVanity!

*Follow us on twitter now and get ready for the big announcement... @DeVanityFans

*Don't have any idea what the show is about or why we love it?  For a quick run down of what's happened so far, check out our recap video:

A Taste of DeVanity

*Just need to catch an episode you missed?  Seasons 1 & 2 are available  to watch for free at: 

DeVanity Website


  1. I wish there was more of the series on YouTube. When a Web series does not have embeds it makes it impossible to help distribute it and get pple to watch it here on Web Series Today.

  2. By the way, excellent post. Good reading. Thanks!!!!!!!!!

  3. Added new info on the blog--

    You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 at: www.devanity.com...it's free! :)

  4. I rarely have time to go anywhere else. A nice catch up on the story line might help ppl jump in however.


  5. Feedback on Twitter:



    @webseriestoday What a great article! All of the DeVanity eps are embedable now. We are no longer in an exclusive deal.


    Oh DeVanity. Let us count the ways…As you begin shooting season three.

    First off, Happy Birthday ! Now, on to why you are a must-watch series...

    This is a show that knows what it is about on every important level. Writing. Design. Casting. Performance. Directing. And most of all Producing.

    It builds a world. A life of the play. The tongue-in-cheek intelligence of this show didn't just happen. It is well-produced, thoughtfully arc'd and self-possessed. And it has a great secret that will give it a long life….

    What DeVanity does - FINALLY - is make explicit all the subtext that sixty years of soaps have wanted to say all along. Constrained as they were in the network box.

    DeVanity is the deliciously crazy Id of all soaps of all time. Finally out in the open.

    Every nutty thing on speed dial. Set to Vivaldi. A soap for our times….And it happened in the independent television space. Huzzah, Team DeVanity !

    Michael Caruso is the half-crazed Tony Soprano of this world. A great Id-of-all soaps spawns from his insane world view. From his fatigue. From his confused efforts to shore up a deteriorating family saga where sociopathic women beset him at every turn. He lives in a glossy LA snowglobe swirling with the flakes of his family's detritus and coming demise.

    Yet he cracks wise. He persists. Nobly venal ?

    "Keep Portia married to Alex or I will cut off your funding faster than a doctor can cut of your sister's dick! Now give mother a kiss. I'll call you girls next week and we'll go to lunch !"

    A day in Jason DeVanity's world. The Id of all soaps.

    Alexis Zibolis' Lara, slick and icy, just makes you laugh out loud at the end of Season Two, Ep. 3. One word: "F*ck."

    And the unveiling of Byron and the ensuing sista-clusta over the presents…That is fun, fun writing !

    Oh DeVanity, what will you do next ? Have a woman-fight in a swimming pool ? Okaaay…

    Did Rodolphe Portier put on a scuba tank that day ? This is a show where you just KNOW the on-set stuff is about as crazy as what gets in the frame. Gotta be…Dish.

    The episodes are tight. Buttons and turns in all the right places. You WANT to hit that next episode button, you have to...

    Great easter eggs too. People wearing immense jewelry all the time, everywhere. Immense. Because they can. While swimming. Turquoise whilst swimming. In bed. And guns all the time. People who can't handle them, but who handle them anyway.

    From the cascading carats and Vivaldi on open to the angled inserts of any city street that has mod-mod glass, DeV has a wiggy elegance and the pro's wit as to how to send up a soap and how not.

    These folks just know the FORM. Cold.

    How about the gorgeous location work, and color plotting/correction that max's those locations ? Locations can be the bane of the indie soap producer. DeVanity makes it look effortless. We can assure you it ain't effortless.

    Wardrobe ? Someone color plots that too. The wardrobe flash makes this world LA cool and supports supple performances. Everyone's a knockout. The actors' surly confidence drips off the cuts and gowns. And more jewelry.

  7. The Camera Dept. is to be strongly commended for all they do on this series. Rodolphe Portier shoots beautifully and edits a mad flow, very liquid and pleasing . This is also an incredibly-lit production, Mr. Salatich. It feels flat and soapy when it wants to, and then cinematic when it needs to go there. LA light is so hundreds of years old in TV series, and these guys play with that. It's subtle and fun.

    Thoughtful intention behind the interplay of lighting, framing, location and performance, Kelley Portier. You'll see the 5D bokeh backgrounds, then hard all-in-focus frames that match the action. All the production values are there. Slider shots with foreground. Smooth pans in the right places, and the great insert shots in our finest soap tradition. Playful racks back and forth.

    We all know what this kind of prodvalue is like to achieve. As they say in Boston…Hahd.

    Kelley Portier directs and is there, but not with a heavy hand. Superb. She runs this set well with Mr. Caruso, one imagines. There is immense pre-production tempo and care here if you know how to read it.

    Important to say…These guys are having FUN ! And that is a source of invisible energy that just spills out on the audience and can't be manufactured…Only conjured.

    "You just had sex with Byron, Bianca. This random guy is your brother !"

    In every episode.

    Original series is a hard world, intensely hard. But we see what you do, and understand the resources you probably do it with. We love you guys for that.

    You're gutsy and fun and crazed. And no one deserves to die like that on a brown stairwell.

    So here is our third birthday present-paen to you DeVanity, as you begin shooting season three. The Id of all soaps, and gold standard of original series soap production. Your hard work is making our way out here, as series producers, easier. You are showing style and stamina and leadership.

    We salute you.

    And more jewelry.

  8. See review "story stream" for more reviews:


    You can also find the link in the featured menu at the top off the blog.

  9. Why DeVanity Matters: Leading the Pack In Independent TV

    (Part 1 of 4)
    Lance Von Trachtenberg, Web TV Reporter, AlphaBird / Placevine Studios, really knows his stuff when it comes to the web series universe. He recently covered the Season Three trailer for DeVanity, citing DeVanity's awesome "nail biting tension of a solidly crafted soap." So true dat.

    And last week, DeVanity was nominated for a whopping nine nominations by the 4th Annual Indie Soap Awards. The We Love Soaps team, finger on the pulse as usual, is right on the money here.

    So We Love Soaps and Lance got us thinking about DeVanity again. As a follow-up to our above show-review post in June, 2012, a business-side look at DeVanity. From another showrunner’s perspective.

    DeVanity is a wildly fun show to watch, of course, the pluperfect guilty pleasure. But with a push-in, some inside baseball, take a closer look at what DeVanity's role has been, and is, in the fast-moving hothouse world of the web series industry. There's a business story here. And it’s worth a look by series producers.

    Conclusion: DeVanity is an important show because it exemplifies real, in-the-field leadership in our bounding young industry. DeVanity gives us all good instruction as to how one takes risks on both the creative and business sides. In knowing your genre and planning a thoughtful approach.

    In web series world, all results from risk-taking are compounded by the general fragility of serialized web programming as an overall business proposition. The whole industry is a risk. Its always sudden death overtime in this league. DeVanity’s charm is its absolute boldness in the face of all that.

    Creative Leader . . .

    Creatively, we have dubbed this show "the great ID of all soap operas." DeVanity goes where all the other soaps WISH they could go. It is the alter ego, the great unconscious in the muwahaha kingdom of soap operas. Stuff happens on screen in DeVanity that can only be imagined in the minds of regular network soap characters. Its characters and situations explore the "what if" of what regular soap show characters might do - if allowed.

    It’s a brilliantly simple idea: what if we could say what all the other soaps don't dare. Pretty cool. Yet if you don't do that well….Oh boy.

    We believe that for captaining the soap ship out past the barrier reef of network practices and standards - in a supremely artful and glamorous manner, and doing that so, so well - DeVanity deserves significant credit. This is what creative leaders do.

    1. (Part 2 of 4)
      Clever Production Values, Constant Outreach = Catnip for Fan Base

      On the business side, it is much harder than it looks to the naked eye to think through and execute what the next evolution of a whole genre might be. What it should look like for fans of an existing genre ? Which elements do you use, which do you extend ? And most of all how do you convert the creative to fan growth and loyalty that grows year on year ? Michael Caruso and his talented team have figured this stuff out.

      Team DeVanity has taken great pains to study the genre at length. DeVanity manages to create a world that looks like one that's been around for over half a century, then cranks mania into its aortal line. You can't break the rules this artfully without an absolute love for the genre and respect for its traditions and precepts. Talk to them, you'll find they LOVE soaps. In their bones. Lesson: really know what your genre is about at heart. Then go there…And beyond.

      For instance, Rodolphe Portier's frames often cleverly deliver a classic soap visual. Yet, the writing and the playing extend the genre until you're not in Kansas anymore. The exterior locations then pull you in the direction of an almost '80s-style DALLAS or FALCON CREST. Use that jewelry, or the wardrobe. Cumulatively it all takes you to a new “there.” Striking these subliminal balances, these teasing references to classic shows.

      And while we are on the topic of production, let’s get in the weeds some and talk about the not-so-glam, yet essential, if bone grinding, tasks of scheduling and locations. When you work on these uber-slendor budgets, scheduling and locations management skills are everything. DeVanity clearly gets ultra-efficiency out of its locations and uses the camera frames, great set dressing, lighting and plain ingenuity to get the most of its locations. And they shoot out a season very quickly. Without a department full of people doing it, their production scheduling tempo, converting cast, crew and location availabilities into fast and efficient shooting days, is a management act worthy of a Fortune 500. These are the activities no one ever sees, but all series rise or fall on these gritty details of production management.

      Add the great Pre-, gauzy key art, the sneaky color plotting, the gorgeous Post and fun Editing - and you get a show with a modern glam panache on par with network, if not exceeding it, routinely. Gleefully. C’mon with that glam opening title sequence, va-va-voom, c’mon !

      Very, very hard to do.

      And these days this is exactly what die-hard soap fans WANT. An evolution in their genre while leaving the main DNA intact ! What a concept…DeVanity LISTENS to its fans ! And turns that fan information into programming.

      This is why Season Three will be a success. Because we will watch Jason and his nut job clan watch paint dry ! Fans know DeVanity never lets you down on all the important levels. Always a button, always a hook. A character nuance, something new. Experts in the genre. They have earned this rep with their fans.

      So the creative side is succeeding at provably addressing its fans’ needs. A very interesting business story that web series producers should pay attention to.

      DeVanity is one of the few real independent TV shows that truly sits squarely on the Networks' lawn, that middle ground called "the new TV," and says, "Here we ARE. We're on the web, responding to fan interest in real time because we're nimble and we can…And what do you think we'll do next ?!" This is called the catbird’s seat at that scary feast known as the "crossover.” What to do with a show that is so unique, at such a high level of production ? A show that could be network if it wanted to be.

      Lesson to web producers: your show too can be a unique beast in all the woods of entertainment ! But you gotta earn it. There isn’t a lazy bone in DeVanity’s body.

    2. (Part 3 of 4)
      Survive and Thrive - A Great Business Story in High Metabolism Industry

      While no two shows will have the same matrix of business, promo and traffic-support needs, DeVanity is a strong case history for all interested in this emerging industry.

      DeVanity's creative is like catnip to its fans, but that show quality has also been supported by the persistent application of new marketing tools to build an avid fan base the old-fashioned way. By individual reach-out, listening and responding. By dogged use of available tools and resources. Site design, patient publicity, social media outreach, distribution arrangements, gorgeous key art and trailers, production planning, festival and award presence, great, spot-on casting, location work, design, and on and on.

      Lesson: Tools, tools, tools. All driving to increased fan involvement, loyalty and traffic building. Which ones work best, when, how ? We all struggle with this. It is an immense amount of work to complete simultaneously with a budget the size of a Crafty buy for a Network show. Less.

      To create a business success story as well as a dramatic achievement. In what, three years ? Most will never know how incredibly hard it is to do this with the always-limited resources of a web series production.

      That DeVanity has successfully surfed the pipe of web series marketing and development over three seasons with such year-on-year forward progress is astounding. Web content industry producers and participants would do well to consider this success on the ocean of ambiguity that is the web serial content environment.

      No network behind them. No huge upfront media buy. No 200 people on the staff. All DeVanity has, like many web series producers (Ragged Isle, Fumbling, Thurston, etc.), is two rubber bands, some donuts and a SEAL Team Six production management attitude.

      They've taken that love of the genre, deeply examined fan desires, met and exceeded them creatively. DeVanity is a great example of disciplined creativity, wily storyline development and dramatic vision - AND proper marking. All in the web TV world, where the definition of "proper marketing" changes every seven seconds.

      At the end of the day, we can speculate that it is only other web series producers who can really viscerally know how difficult it is. To not only develop the next evolution of tools and tactics to support a show, but to even be able to hyper-accurately follow the market with all its daily changes, dangers, opportunities, signposts and blind alleys – because you are making real dollar investments there. Oh yeah, you gotta produce the show too.

      So finally, what DeVanity means is sheer grit. Persistence of vision in a hurricane with a migraine in your brain, a fevered lover in your arms (fans), and a gun at your belly (money). While riding the web series production unicycle across the Niagra Falls of what comes next.

      We can only hope Mr. Caruso and the other DeVanity artists who do it are rewarded richly for their hard work and risk-taking.

    3. (Part 4 of 4)
      The Way Forward . . .

      Many insiders are watching this show closely - the actors, the agents, the writers, the producers, etc. They absolutely should be.

      DeVanity's crazy blizzard of fun is a snow-globe look into the future in which web series will bring audiences what they want in real time. THAT is the gold standard of entertainment, bringing audience, delivering on fans desires wants in real time while leading them too.

      It is totally understandable that soap stars are eager to get on this show. DeVanity is doing NOW what most web series, and many shows, hope they will be doing at some point soon. Who in showbiz doesn’t love the bleeding edge !?

      We would add a note to advertisers and their agencies: pay attention to this show, and support it with media buys. ROI is there, book it.

      Lots more to DeVanity than meets eye, folks. Nimble, classy, fan-responsive, ahead of the pack and always on the move. Pace-setter. Leader.

      We can't know for sure, of course, but we are betting DeVanity's story line will take us to totally new places - exciting places - in Season Three. This is a team that will not re-trace old steps, the bone yard of series development. It's just not their nature.

      We will absolutely revel as DeVanity walks that edge. We're with them all the way. Take us where you want, DeVanity !

      The Twitter buzz is building already as fans worldwide can't wait to see where the show's amazing Season Three takes this bejeweled clan of vipers. Go you crazies, go !

      DeVanity - Season Three (www.devanity.com) premieres on January 10, 2013.


      DeVanity Season 3 Trailer

      4th Annual Indie Soap Awards

      Lance Von Trachtenberg, Placevine Studios, on DeVanity Season 3 Trailer, December, 2013

      I am Richard Cutting, Executive Producer and Creator of Milgram And The Fastwalkers, a noir soap opera about UFOs. And I approve of this message. ;-)

  10. Thank you so much Richard for your generous, flattering, and humbling analysis of DeVanity. It is so nice to have a respected creator like you in our corner championing us. It is one of the elements of this community that I love the most. I am touched beyond words by your remarks.

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  12. Great article Richard and I would agree with you. The key in creating and making it a success is to have someone at the helm that not only is knowledgeable about the genre they are targeting, but also has the ability to take advantage of their fan base, willing to spend time building a relationship with audiences. Michael Caruso does it and makes it appear easy, though I know it's a never-ending litany of daily duties to keep the show front and center, especially during a long hiatus. As the industry continues to grow, I think the DeVanity 'business model' so to speak, will be one creators will look to in developing their own series. I've dealt with some creators that think once they release a couple of episodes, the masses will want to sponsor them and the show will go viral, the money start to flow in-this is not usually the case. Marketing a web series takes time to build a following, a lot of sacrifices, hard work and dedication. Michael really knows is stuff, studied the soap genre, reached out to those in that community and maintains relationships with key media. If you knew what type of a budget DeVanity had, fans would be floored by the quality of the show's look, feel, sound and talent. Like a lot of web serials, they do not make much money but do it simply for the love of the genre and what they do. Ultimately creators do need to watch Michael, his crew, learn how he's been able to give fans, as well as those within the web community a great example of how to do an online scripted series....and make it successful!

  13. Solid read on this, Richard. Michael Caruso and Team 'DeVanity' are doing something truly special in the web series space. Not only is 'DeVanity' a completely engaging narative, but it's also serving to sate a daytime TV faithful audience's appetite who are now migrating in droves to the web TV channel queues for well crafted soap opera drama that they're steadly finding less of in broadcast TV's time slots.


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