EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has greenlighted to pilot Unreal, a drama series project inspired by Sarah Gertrude Shapiro’s award-winning independent short film Sequin Raze, which starred Ashley Williams, Anna Camp and Frances Conroy (check out that trailer below). Marti Noxon (Mad Men, Fright Night) and Shapiro wrote Unreal, which goes behind-the-scenes of a hit competition dating show to follow the experiences of a young staffer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with (and among) the contestants to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage the program’s producers demand. What ensues is a humorous, yet vexing, look at what happens in the world of unscripted television, where being a contestant can be vicious and producing it is a whole other reality. Sequin Raze, which premiered at this year’s SXSW, sparked interest from multiple networks before landing at Lifetime, which brought in Noxon. She will executive produce, with Shapiro serving as producer. Sally DeSipio (Do Over) and Bill Davenport will executive produce for Wieden+Kennedy Entertainment. In addition to Unreal, WME-repped Noxon has two other cable projects in serious contention for a pickup, Girlfriends Guide To Divorce, based on Vicki Iovine’s books, at Bravo; and Proof with M. Night Shyamalan at Syfy. Lifetime is riding on the success of its latest original scripted series, Devious Maids, which is awaiting renewal.
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