Friday, May 10, 2013

Press Release: Gotham is First Serial Drama (non-comedy) to go From Web to TV and Digital Platforms

Martha Byrne's Emmy-nominated Web Series “Gotham” is First Serial Drama (non-comedy) to Cross Over to TV & Digital Platforms; Distribution of New Episodes by simplyMe

Gotham is a serial drama written by two-time Emmy-winning Actress/Producer Martha Byrne and Emmy-nominated Actress/Director Lisa Brown. Started successfully on the Web with an Emmy nomination, it is now coming to traditional TV and multiple digital platforms.

NYC - New original episodes of the Emmy-nominated web series Gotham are coming to television and all digital media. Gotham is a continuing serial drama written by two-time Emmy-winning Actress/Producer Martha Byrne and Emmy-nominated Actress/Director Lisa Brown.
Brown and Byrne have worked in the world of daytime television for over two decades each and created Gotham for the Web in 2009 to celebrate the classic storytelling of the serial drama and as a “thank you” to the fans for their continued support. Byrne states, “Lisa and I are thrilled to be working with simplyMe to create new episodes of Gotham. We believe in the value of good storytelling and simplyMe is giving us the opportunity to share our new journey with our fans.” The new episodes of Gotham will be distributed by simplyMe and produced by Gotham Productions LLC. SimplyMe CEO Krystol Cameron states, "It brings us great pleasure to provide Gotham distribution over our cable and digital TV channels nationally. Gotham, once enjoyed by consumers on the Web, will now go mainstream on and offline with new original episodes. It is a thrill for me and my staff to work with the Gotham team and seasoned veterans Martha Byrne and Lisa Brown.”
Gotham will follow the same storyline as Expect to see notable actors from daytime drama and television to populate the cast. Rich and captivating storylines will cover youth as well as adult topics and trends. Set in New York City, the show follows the lives of Catherine Prescott (played by Martha Byrne) and Richard Manning (played by two-time Emmy winner Michael Park), meeting up again unexpectedly after their lives followed different paths. Will fate give them a second chance?
SimplyME Distribution is a media distributor dedicated to the needs of independent content providers in extending their value propositions over such names as Dish Network, NBC, Time Warner, NBC, ABC and independent TV stations nationally.
Martha Byrne is a nine-time Daytime Emmy Award nominee and two-time Emmy winner. She is best known for role on the CBS Daytime Drama As the World Turns where she portrayed Lily Walsh Snyder and her twin sister Rose D'Angelo. She has also appeared on General Hospital and was a scriptwriter for The Bold and The Beautiful. She also holds numerous magazine awards and three National Viewer's Voice Awards. As a singer, Martha has released two CDs. She was also the Executive Producer for the award-winning film, "Bye Bye Sally", starring Malin Ackerman. Martha created and is the Executive Producer of the web series Gotham (, in which she also stars in. Gotham was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 and won an Indie Soap Award In March of 2013. She is also co-owner of Full Circle Talent Agency, LLC in NJ, a talent training and management business.
Lisa Brown is best known for her role as Nola Reardon Chamberlain on Guiding Light. After her successful run as Nola, Lisa went on to play Iva Snyder on As The World Turns, a role which garnered Lisa two Emmy nominations.Throughout her expansive career in show business she starred on Broadway in 42nd Street and also appeared in many other theater productions. She has a strong presence behind the camera, as an acting coach and also as a producer and director, having directed videos for MTV, FUSE, MTV2 and her son Buddy Nielsen's band, Senses Fail.
For more information also visit Gotham The Series on Facebook and Martha Byrne @GothamTheSeries.
For press inquiries please contact Suzanne Curry of WI Public Relations

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Not Your Grandma's Soap

I have been working with Emmy-winning actress Martha Byrne, best known for her role as Lily Walsh Snyder on As The World Turns  for a few years now. After the show went off the air, and us soap fans were starving for more content,  Martha co-created a series/soap for the Web, called Gotham. I am very excited to say that this  Emmy-nominated webseries (yes, I did say "Emmy" again!) is coming to TV this year AND to digital platforms, which means, you can watch it just about anywhere and everywhere you want to.

But first, a little bit of history. If you are not familiar with web soaps, they are different than traditional afternoon soaps. They are shorter, for one thing, and the sets, hair and makeup are not what we are accustomed to. There are a whole lot of them out there, often referred to as "indie" soaps, and they feature many of the characters we are used to seeing on our TV sets. The storylines are also sometimes different than what you would see on the boob tube, basically anything goes.

Now let me speak to the word "soap". The term "soap opera"  is sometimes a turnoff to anyone who thinks 30 is old. I asked my son's girlfriend, who is 19, if she would watch a new soap and she said, "No, that's what my grandma watches in Poland.". Soaps clearly have a bad rap with the millenials.

I have been watching "soaps" since I was 16. It all started when I was home from school for spring break and there was nothing else but game shows to watch. Now, that may be hard to believe now but in the 1970's  there really wasn't much on TV for a teenager to watch and Monte Hall was not as pleasurable to watch as was Drake Hogestyn. I tell my kids that the only kid's shows that came on were a few after school on Channel 5 and then some on Saturday morning. I can still sing "Exercise, Exercise", and then find myself  "freezing". Ah, the good ol' days. But not really. We did not have much of a selection. Until the Partridge Family and Brady Bunch came into our lives. Ahh, now that was good TV.

But back to "soaps". Traditional soaps have a very slow pace. Martha's "Gotham" does not. The storyline is easy to follow. I watch "Revenge" and some other serial dramas and the story moves so fast I sometimes have to think why things unravel the way they do. But then again many times the plots do not make sense, so it's better not to think.

I recently read some pieces by Lynn Liccardo, an icon in the "soap" world, and she spoke of  "vertical storytelling". This is when you know each of the characters and their history because they are more like real people than fictional characters, so what they do and how they interact makes sense. However, this knowledge only comes with knowing the characters for a long period of time and this is the benefit of daily "soap operas". There were also weekly shows back in the 80's, like Knots Landing (one of my all-time faves), Dallas and Dynasty, that were  pretty much  "night-time soaps". If you compare what happens in one episode of  Revenge these days it is pretty much the entire season of one of these night time "soaps".  Not only would the viewers have known "who shot JR" the next week but they would have found out on some spoiler alert on the Internet before then anyway.

Content has had to change with the medium. If I missed Marcia getting hit in the nose with a football I would have had to wait to see it when it was repeated at the end of the season. I much prefer the 24/7 availability of content we have now, though working a VCR was a lot easier than using 4 remotes to access Netflix.

Gotham is more like a night -time soap. It is a serial drama, and you will get to know the characters well, but it is not your Grandma's soap! It only has one year on the Web, so the stories are easy to catch up with, but they'll be a great recap for the first episode. Expect to see some great storylines with people of all ages, engaging characters, suspense, drama, glamour, romance, and a cast of known faces and some upcoming stars.

I've posted the official press release and video in my next post.  Be sure to "Like" on Facebook!