With Studio City, Sean Kanan, bad boy of soaps and karate, gave us a glimpse of the future of soap operas. Kanan and his phenomenal cast and crew took everything great about the genre and created a blueprint for what soap operas should aspire to evolve into. When you first see the episode lengths for season 1, they might give you pause, but when you watch the episode and realize there’s no filler and all the meat, you find yourself so immersed in the wonderful storylines that you want more but don’t. feel aggrieved at all.
Season 1 received 16 Daytime Emmy nominations and picked up 3 wins! They also earned 11 Indie Series Award nominations with 4 wins and swept all 5 categories they were nominated for at the LA Live Film Festival and that was all just for Season 1! Pretty good first outing for what Kanan calls “a little engine that could.”
In the first season, we met Sam Stevens, an aging soap idol who leads Hearts on Fire, America’s No. 2 daytime drama as Dr. Pierce Hartley and his castmates, including Christina, (Erin Michele Soto ) who plays her on-screen love interest Anastasia; Nick Cassidy (Philip Bruenn) who plays Dr. Devyn Stryker, Sam’s rival both on and off screen; Max Carter (Scott Turner Schofield), a transgender man who plays Dr. Brantly and runs a transgender support group; and Isabella (Melissa Riso) who is Sam’s real-life fiancée and new Hearts On Fire cast member Mia.
Hearts on Fire is helmed by producer Gloria Winton (Carolyn Hennesy) who clashes with Sam over her new contract and the show’s storylines while disregarding her cast and crew and especially her assistant Jacob ( Justin Torkildsen).
We caught up with Sam’s family, including his overbearing mother Violet (Patrick Darbo), his ailing stepfather Doc (Tristan Rogers), his half-sister Laurie (Sarah Joy Brown) and his possible daughter, Delilah (Juliet Vega) .
As the season progressed, we were also introduced to Sam’s friend and agent Bryan Michaels (Michael James Lazar), casting director Jolene Hernandez (Anna Marie Horsford), public relations manager Becky Pope ( Lilly Melgar), movie star Shelby Brock (Natalie Burn) and Ronn Moss and Devin DeVasguez play themselves in a hysterical guest spot!
The Incredible Season 1 brought us all these wonderful characters and immersed us in their lives, giving us a real feel for them all. We followed Sam’s fight for his future on Hearts on Fire as well as his big breakthrough in movies, his whole family dealing with Doc’s illness and his desire to stop treatment, and his own conflict over what his mother revealed to him about his own paternity and the possibility that he fathered Delilah. We saw Max’s fears for his transgender support group and whether he was the right leader for them after the tragedy and Christina’s fight to not only be a supporting actress for the male leads, but also lead her own stories in the series. All of this and more was in the 11-episode first season which is available on Amazon Prime. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now! You will not regret it!
In the press release announcing Season 2 of Studio City, Kanan said, “I am incredibly proud of STUDIO CITY and what we accomplished in the first season. It was a project that, through the hard work of a talented set of creatives, came to fruition and won the Daytime Emmy in 2021 for Outstanding Fiction Series. We are excited to bring you Season Two.
We recently had the opportunity to speak to Sean about the upcoming Season 2 and here is what he previewed for us:
“In season two we see that Sam Stevens finally gets his big shot at being an action star in a movie however he’s met with a bit of resistance from the media who are a bit concerned that Sam is a bit long in the tooth for an action career at this point in the game and Sam doesn’t like it at all.Sam is assigned a new publicist from the studio making the movie, played by the lovely Lilly Melgar and she’s fantastic.
We’re going to see Justin Torkildsen, who had a much smaller role in the first season, has a much bigger role this season, which is great. We’re going to see Carolyn Hennesy and Tristan Rogers again. Juliet Vega, who may or may not be my daughter, has some great stuff.
We also have a terrific actress named Natalie Burn who is in a lot of the episodes, and she plays my co-star in the action movie. His character name is Shelby Brock and there is a mysterious and seemingly nefarious character who is the head of the movie studio played by Will Roberts who is a terrific actor.
Many very good things in these 6 episodes. Phil Bruenn and Erin Soto are back, and they’re both great.
We played with a new narrative component where we do interviews with the actors as characters, which adds a fun new little thing.
I can’t wait to see what people think of it. As always, we put our heart and soul into it. »
The press release tells us that “in addition to Kanan, the star-studded cast of season two includes Carolyn Hennesy, Tristan Rogers, Anna Maria-Horsford, Juliet Vega, Philip P. Bruenn, Justin Torkildsen, Natalie Burn, Erin Soto, Lilly Melgar, Will Roberts and Scott Turner Schofield.
“Created by producer, actor and author Sean Kanan and Jason Antognoli, the second season of STUDIO CITY is directed by Timothy Woodward, Jr. and written by husband-and-wife writing and production team, Michele and Sean Kanan with Timothy Woodward, Jr. Sean Kanan, Michele Kanan and Timothy Woodward, Jr. serving as executive producers. Season two consists of six episodes” and will be available on Amazon Prime Video this week! Be sure to check it out and come back weekly to read our episode recaps with exclusive commentary from the cast and crew of the incomparable Studio City!