Lifetime has renewed its scripted drama series UnReal for a second season, ordering 10 more episodes for next year. It is the first scripted series fully produced and distributed by A+E Studios. The series starring Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer premiered June 1 to lackluster numbers — it drew 815,000 total viewers in its 10 PM slot, a 44% drop from its Devious Maids lead-in. But it has been a strong time-shifted show, and the first three episodes are averaging more than 4.8 million views across all available platforms. And it also helps that it is Lifetime’s youngest-skewing series to date.
“We couldn’t be more proud to bring back UnReal,” said Liz Gateley, EVP and Head of Programming at Lifetime. “With authentically flawed characters, sharp storytelling and impeccable performances, this show is propelling our brand in a truly exciting direction – an unexpected and bolder Lifetime.”
The series is co-created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, inspired by Shapiro’s 2013 SXSW short film Sequin Raze. Set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show Everlasting, the fake show is led by flawed heroine Rachel Goldberg (Appleby), a young producer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with, and among, the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage that the program’s dispassionate executive producer, Quinn King (Zimmer), demands. Craig Bierko, Freddie Stroma, Josh Kelly, Jeffrey Bowyer, Nathalie Kelley, Johanna Braddy, Breeda Wool and Ashley Scott and Arielle Kebbel co-star.
Noxon executive produces, and Shapiro serves as supervising producer. Sally DeSipio and Robert M. Sertner executive produce and Stacy Rukeyser co-executive produces.