“When I pitched this show, I pitched, a feminist works on The Bachelor and has a nervous breakdown,” said UnReal co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro on the small screen birth of the Peabody winning Lifetime series. “I never said like a look behind the scenes on reality TV,” added the former Bachelor producer onstage to a packed DGA Theater during Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys all-day event on April 10.

“You are able to enjoy your favorite show on a whole other level,” noted co-creator Marti Noxon of what it is like to watch reality TV like The Bachelor after the revelations of UnReal and its fictional show within the show Everlasting. Having debuted on June 1 last year, the Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer led series returns on June 6 this year for Season 2. “I feel like there is stuff we did in Season 1 and that we’re doing in Season 2 now that was extreme sports for writers,” joked Shapiro of the show.

The Contenders Emmys - 630x423Based on Shapiro’s award-winning indie short Sequin Raze, the A+E Networks’ in-house studio produced series focuses on the Appleby portrayed Rachel Goldberg, an deeply conflicted idealistic but deeply conflicted and manipulative top producer on Everlasting. Amidst all the chaos of putting Everlasting together, the heart of UnReal is Goldberg’s relationship with Zimmer’s Quinn King, the deeply cynical ringmaster and EP of the fictional looking for love series. “Something that’s not seen that often on television is seeing women who are intensely driven and committed to their work and that is the basis of their relationships,” says EP Stacey Rukeyser of that very real relationship

Click on the video above to see part of my conversation from last month with the creator and executive producers of UnReal.