Never heard of the Brat TV? Ok, Boomer. The web-based digital network is for the Gen Z crowd. In 2017, Rob Fishman cofounded the Brat channel with Darren Lachtman to fill a gap in the market, explaining to Forbes, « When you think about the TV viewing landscape, there’s children’s programming and a lot of millennial content, but Gen Z is really underserved. »
Brat TV pulled in big names behind the scenes, too, like Sara Shepard — author of Pretty Little Liars — to create Crown Lake. Shepard told Deadline, « It was thrilling to help create a new world of intrigue, drama and mystery for this generation of viewers. » Shows like Chicken Girls, Zoe Valentine, Mani, and Total Eclipse have also drawn big views, in part for their great casts. In addition to poaching several stars from Disney and Nickelodeon series, like Francesca Capaldi and Emily Skinner, Brat TV also became a platform for new talent to emerge.
Life is hard for any teenager, and these little actors have dealt with the same emotions experienced by their characters. Adding in real-life school and staying up-to-date with social media, and you can imagine their busy days. But these stars are living pretty amazing lives and are looking toward the future in a variety of venues. Here’s a look inside the lives of the Brat channel stars.
The Brat channel’s Annie LeBlanc loves the sweeter things in life
Annie LeBlanc has a lot on her plate, on and off screen. As of 2019, she had five seasons under her belt as Rhyme McAdams on Chicken Girls, plus three seasons as the title character Jo Chambers on the show, A Girl Named Jo.
For a story on Brat TV, LeBlanc revealed a peek into her daily schedule. Since filming usually takes over nine hours, she tends to head to set first thing in the morning — but that doesn’t excuse her from three hours of school. When not filming, LeBlanc said she’s « sometimes doing schoolwork, sometimes catching up with my friends, sometimes looking over my lines, sometimes just zoning out and looking at my phone … Every day is different! » Luckily, LeBlanc still has time to enjoy some treats and admitted she and her costars « love to try the desserts they have on set. »
Outside of Brat TV, LeBlanc and her younger sister, Hayley (more on her later), stay busy creating more content for YouTube. The sisters star on the Bratayley vlog and LeBlanc also runs her personal Acro Anna channel, which includes music videos. In an interview with Girls’ Life, the multi-talented LeBlanc talked about her music career. Having once gone on tour with the social media star and heartthrob Jacob Sartorius, she said that a « country-pop kind of vibe is exactly what I’m trying to do with my music. »
Indiana Massara is coming to a playlist near you
Another star in the Brat TV world is Indiana Massara. The Australian teen got her big break as Rooney on Chicken Girls, with five seasons completed as of 2019. But the actress keeps busy outside the network, too. Massara told Taylor Magazine that she started performing in musical theatre before she even turned nine and planned to stay in the entertainment industry. This includes her acting, plus making YouTube videos and pursuing a career in music. About making her own tunes, she said, « I love the creative process … being in the studio and coming up with a beat or listening to my co-writers. I also really love filming the music videos. » Keep going, Massara, since people love listening.
Noting that she’s less mean in real life compared to Rooney, Massara added, « That’s why I’m super active on my social media to show people that I’m quite different to my character. » Super active indeed, including her popular Instagram account. In an interview with TigerBeat, Massara explained that yes, the red theme is on purpose and that she loves posting. « It’s honestly really fun, but it does take a lot of work to keep it up, » she confessed.
Mackenzie Ziegler: the Brat channel’s dancer-turned-actress
In 2011, Mackenzie Ziegler made her TV debut playing herself on the Lifetime series Dance Moms and stayed on the show for six years. This terrific dancer later appeared on So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars: Juniors. Ziegler then made the jump to Brat TV by playing Cassie on the series Total Eclipse.
Outside of dancing and acting, the star stays busy with other passions. In an interview with Paper magazine, she talked about life as an author and producer. For one, Ziegler published the book, Kenzie’s Rules for Life, « an amalgamation of life advice, quizzes, and crafting guides. » She added, « I love making DIYs. Every time my friends come over, we make slime or we go to the store and get crafts. »
Like several of her network colleagues, Ziegler also stays busy with music. For example, Ziegler co-headlined the Day and Night Tour with Brat TV star Johnny Orlando (via Variety). She also toured alongside the Simon Cowell-created boy band PRETTYMUCH all across North America, according to People. The music gene must run in her family. Ziegler said she is super close with her older sister, Maddie — yes, the dancing girl from Sia’s music videos: « I’m very glad that I have a sister that’s so talented that I can look up to and learn from as well. »
Piper Rockelle has a lot of supporters at home
You may remember Piper Rockelle, who played Sky on the Brat TV series Mani, plus a few episodes of Chicken Girls. In addition to her network acting credits, Rockelle also starred in her web reality show, Piperazzi, according to a YAYOMG! story. More than just an actress, she stays busy with highly successful social media accounts. At just ten years old, she became « crown verified » on Musical.ly (the platform later turned into TikTok) and launched her YouTube channel.
During another interview with YAYOMG!, Rockelle revealed how she loves to spend her time: « I love to watch Netflix, hang out with my friends, and I especially love spending time with my cats. » And this is no ordinary feline frenzy, as Rockelle admitted, « I actually have a lot of cats because I run my own cat rescue. Right now, I have 16 cats! » Those fur-tunate pets must have a paw-some time.
In addition to watching over a small army of cats, Rockelle loves to sing. And, in 2019, Rockelle entered the music scene and released her debut single, « Treat Myself. » Maybe all these Brat TV stars will make a super band in the future.
Hayley LeBlanc: the Brat channel’s littlest sibling
Hayley LeBlanc is one half of the superstar LeBlanc sisters with her older sister, Annie. As an actress, Hayley has appeared as Harmony in two of Brat TV’s biggest series, Mani and Chicken Girls. When not in character, Hayley is busy running her popular social media accounts and making other videos. In 2019, Nickelodeon signed the two sisters to a YouTube web series cooking challenge show called Annie vs Hayley, per The Hollywood Reporter.
During an interview with Young Hollywood, Hayley talked more about life with her older sister. The LeBlancs also continued to star on the Bratayley vlog after their brother shockingly passed away. The channel actually started in 2010, when their parents filmed a young Annie and even younger Hayley performing gymnastics. People loved the duo, and the videos became a hit. Annie and Hayley continued to produce content for the vlog, but sadly the dancing had to stop. Hayley said they « quit » because she and Annie were too busy with filming and other activities.
Emily Skinner loves to support others
Another young actress who’s appeared in several Brat TV series is Emily Skinner. She actually got her first big TV role in the Disney Channel series Andi Mack in 2017. One year later, she joined the Brat TV family and starred as Diana in Total Eclipse. Soon after, Skinner started her role as Chloe in Crown Lake. Continuing with the music trend like so many of her network colleagues, the Brat TV team reached out to Skinner and Lilia Buckingham to make a music single together. At the end of 2018, the pair released the song « Denim Jacket, » TigerBeat reported.
The young actress has also given back to the world. She is an activist for gun safety, Read Across America, medical first responders, and walked in the 2017 Women’s March. But Skinner also makes time for fun as a teenager. In an interview with Everly Mag, she said, « I love to go to amusement parks like Six Flags and ride big roller coasters, and Sofia [Wylie] and I love going to movies and finding fun places to eat dinner! »
Her name also seems to be associated with serious talent. In a 2018 interview for Famous Birthdays, Skinner said people sometimes wondered if she was really 47. Apparently, the then-15-year-old said some fans « got me confused with the Broadway actress Emily Skinner. »
The Orlando family of Brat channel actors
When Johnny Orlando was only eight years old, he uploaded — with his older sister’s help — his first music cover to YouTube. His fame grew with each new cover video and soon enough, Orlando and Mackenzie Ziegler toured throughout North America and Europe in 2017. The pair also released « Day and Night » and « What If » as two collaborative singles. « There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than making music, » Orlando said to All Access Music. But he’s not only making music. Orlando played the role of Sam in the first three seasons of Brat TV’s series Total Eclipse.
Orlando’s younger sister, Lauren, is also no stranger to fame. She starred as Kate in the first three seasons of Total Eclipse, alongside Ziegler and her big brother. Beginning her modelling career in 2018, Lauren made the big announcement via Twitter that she was the new face of Mudd jeans for Kohl’s.
Anna Cathcart wants to learn more
Anna Cathcart had a serious acting resume starting at a young age. This Canadian landed her first major role as Dizzy in the Disney Descendant movie sequels. She also memorably played the main character’s (Lana Condor) younger sister in the hit Netflix rom-com, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. In 2019, Cathcart joined the Brat TV family as the title character in the series Zoe Valentine. But when the camera turns off, Cathcart likes to make dance videos with her costars for Instagram, reported TigerBeat.
In an interview with Glitter, Cathcart talked about spending time with family outside of all her acting work. « I really love hanging out with my big sister and my dog, » she said, plus doing « hip hop dance. » Cathcart also revealed her other artistic passions, which she incorporated in her education: « I think being a photographer would be really cool, especially a fashion photographer! I’m taking a photography course right now at school. » The actress also spends her free time reading books and watching movies, but with one caveat — as Cathcart confessed, « I’m a big scaredy-cat when it comes to scary movies! »
Francesca Capaldi: the Brat channel’s red-headed delight
A casting agent spotted Francesca Capaldi’s signature fire-red hair when she was only eight months old. According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the agent approached her family at a restaurant and asked if little Capaldi’s hair was naturally red. To which her mother replied, « Do you really think I’d dye my baby’s hair? » Her mom also said Capaldi’s dive into the entertainment industry was the young girl’s idea, saying, « After filming for 9-1/2 hours, she still wants to hang out with the camera guys and visit the props department. She loves it. »
For her first major TV role, Capaldi played Chloe James on all three seasons of the Disney series Dog with a Blog. Then, in 2019, Capaldi signed on as Nellie Chambers, a main character in Brat TV’s Crown Lake. When she’s not filming, the media outlet noted that Capaldi « is busy with auditions for other parts, as well as with school, her friends, sewing, hip-hop and jazz dance lessons and doing voice recording. »
She also does her part to give support to those less fortunate. She attended Mattel’s Party on the Pier charity event several years in a row to support the UCLA Children’s Hospital. Capaldi told OnTheSpotInterviews in 2017, « I always love working the stations here, the booths, and just being able to come and talk to all the kids. » The carnival theme was an added bonus, since Capaldi admitted she loves roller coasters and the balloon popping game.
Lilia Buckingham and her famous friends
Lilia Buckingham became involved with Brat TV early on and has shown off her many talents across a few different series. She appeared as Autumn in Chicken Girls, Dirt, Spring Breakaway, Total Eclipse, and Zoe Valentine. For Crown Lake, she took on the narrator role of Heather Masterson. Not just an actress, Buckingham and Pretty Little Liars author Sara Shepard released their collaborative novel, Influence, in 2019.
Buckingham also likes to spend time with her two besties, Millie Bobby Brown and Maddie Ziegler — the older sister of Brat TV star Mackenzie Ziegler. Apparently, the three love to make silly videos of them all dancing, singing, or both, via Seventeen. Buckingham clearly loves music and showed off her deep musical knowledge in an article for Notion. Her tastes range from King Princess to Black Kids, including the song, « I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You. » As Buckingham described, « This is my all-time favorite song. It’s my ‘blast in the car’ and ‘get ready in the morning’ song. It just makes you want to dance around and sing it at the top of your lungs! »
Unfortunately, Buckingham’s daily life turned complicated in 2019. According to Refinery29, officials charged her mom, Jane Buckingham, « with paying $50,000 for an ACT proctor to take the test in place of her son, Lilia’s brother Jack. » Reportedly, her brother said he didn’t know anything about the test taking scheme.
The Brat channel’s Kaycee Rice just keeps on dancing
You know Kaycee Rice as the « quirky, passionate, kindhearted Avery » on Brat TV series Sunnyside Up. Yes, she loves acting, but also loves to bust a move. Rice told Brat TV that she fell in love with dancing from day one and continued with it for at least 12 years: « It’s something that I just get excited to do every day, even if I’m just hanging out with friends, listening to music and doing the most awful dance moves, or even going to classes and posting dance videos on YouTube or Instagram. » Her self-confessed awful dance moves are probably not that awful. Dance Spirit reported that Rice actually performed alongside Missy Elliot and Katy Perry at the 2015 Super Bowl Halftime Show. She also frequently collaborates with Gabe De Guzman, who referred to Rice as his « partner in crime. »
Rice also has quite the eye for design. She worked with Nike to release her own Air Max Zero shoe (via Nike News), and starred in an ad campaign for the brand, too. Rice even launched her own fashion line, Weirdo Apparel, as « inspired by that signature ‘Weirdo’ beanie she’s always sporting, and her pride in calling herself a weirdo. »
Addison Riecke plans to dominate Hollywood
For over 100 episodes, Addison Riecke played Nora Thunderman on the Nickelodeon series The Thundermans. She has many other acting credits to her name, like in Sofia Coppola’s 2017 film The Beguiled and, of course, co-starring as Cathy Fitzroy on Brat TV’s A Girl Named Jo. In 2019, Riecke expanded her role in the film industry and helped launch the LÁ cov production company. According to Deadline, Riecke optioned book rights to develop a feature film for The Lions of Little Rock novel. She said her goal in starting a production company was to empower more women in the industry, claiming, « I want to give women a greater opportunity to show their talent, but because of their talent, not because of their gender. » At just 16 years old, as of this writing, this teenager clearly has big plans for the future.
Fortunately, Riecke isn’t just all work and no play. She explained during an interview with Sweety High that she loves riflery and archery. Additionally, Riecke shared her secret talent, « In my free time, I play the ukulele. » How soothing! The multi-talented actress and producer also spends her time in the kitchen and said, « I like to try to bake everything from scratch. » Can she throw a party sometime soon, please? Riecke also embraces religion, which she talked about in a discussion with Risen Magazine.