Bentley: Clovis West and USC grad creates Web series

The Fresno BeeSeptember 24, 2013 

There was a time getting a TV show off the ground was a near impossible task. Even with the growth of cable, there only are so many spots for new programs.

Creative thinkers like Sanger native Karolina Sivas have come up with a way to get their TV shows made and presented to the public. She is the driving force behind the series "Broken At Love." When I say driving force, I mean she writes, produces, directs and stars in the series that you can only find on the Internet.

"Broken At Love" is the story of college senior Vivienne "Vivie" Taylor, who gets to meet her celebrity crush, professional tennis player Holden Gregory. Season two begins at 7:30 p.m. today at New episodes air weekly.

The Clovis West graduate got involved with acting when at 11 she enrolled in Alan Autry's actors workshop at Dirt Road Productions. Her interest in acting continued through her studies at the University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts.

"While at USC, I started up my own production company — Brown-Eyed Girl Productions. I started with short films and now have created a new Web series. In our first few weeks we've already been recognized by a very popular blog, known as We Love Soaps, as the best show/best acting/best on screen couple. Our show also features some beautiful locations in L.A., Beverly Hills (including Rodeo Drive), Bel Air and Manhattan Beach," Sivas says.

"Although not intentional, our cast includes several actors now based in L.A., originally from Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield. The cast also is made up of former 'Days of our Lives'/ 'Loving' actress Pamela Bowen, who has had quite an extensive episodic career," Sivas says.

More about the series can be found at

Alarming work

There was a prison escape this week at the Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga and cameras were there to capture the action. That's because the escape was filmed for the Japanese TV show "The World's Astonishing News," which airs through the Nippon Television Network.

The scene was a re-creation of a prison break that occurred in Wisconsin.

A lot of the footage for the TV show was filmed in the San Francisco area. But when a prison was needed, Kristi Johnson at the Fresno County Office of Tourism & Film Commission was contacted.

"We get inquiries about prisons maybe three or four times a year," she says. "There's interest in this one because it's not being used. We are excited about this filming because this is a very popular show in Japan."

Game reminder

Many of you have called or emailed to complain that you haven't been able to see any of the Fresno State football games this year because you don't subscribe to cable.

That will change Saturday when the game at Hawaii will be broadcast by KSEE (Channel 24.1). Coverage starts with an hour-long pre-game program produced by KSEE at 8 p.m. That will be followed by the telecast of the game at 9 p.m. by Oceanic Time Warner. The broadcast team will include play-by-play from Robert Kekaula, color commentary from Dick Tomey and sideline reports from Lori Santi. KSEE will produce the half-time show.

The game will be broadcast by the Mountain West network, but only to online viewers outside the Fresno market.

This may not be a one-time event for KSEE. Matthew Rosenfeld, KSEE vice president and general manager, says he would "absolutely consider airing future Fresno State football games."

The only problem is that if Fresno State keeps winning, it's more likely the sports cable channels will show interest in airing the games.

The hills are a-live

Fresno's Audra McDonald has been added to the cast for the live Dec. 5 production of "The Sound of Music" that will air on KSEE.

McDonald, who has won five Tonys and two Grammy awards, will portray Mother Abbess. McDonald also is a three-time Emmy Award nominee, with nominations for the TV movies "Wit" and "A Raisin in the Sun," as well as the special "Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel" from "Live From Lincoln Center," for which she serves as series host.

The three-hour production will be based on the original 1959 Broadway production of "The Sound of Music."

Yard work

If you can't see the junk in your front yard because of all the weeds, you sound like the perfect applicant for the DIY Network series "Desperate Landscapes."

Producers are searching the ugliest front yards in America to be transformed by licensed contractor Jason Cameron and his team.

The first step to get the team to your house is by showing off your depressing landscape through a series of photos or a short video. Be creative. Applications can be found at You have until Nov. 15.


TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at

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