Lifetime sold the fourth season of the drama from Sarah Gertrude Shapiro and Marti Noxon to Hulu for first run, Deadline has confirmed. A+E Studios made money on the deal with Hulu and there are no expectations for Lifetime to order another season. That could change however, if the show does well on Hulu, it could be renewed, according to those familiar with the deal. Hulu is already the SVOD home for the drama series.
The critically praised UnReal does not do well in linear, but it’s a popular show for binging and gets a bump in digital viewing, which is a perfect fit for Hulu. Season 3, which wrapped in April on Lifetime, has yet to air on Hulu.
Set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show Everlasting, UnReal is led by flawed heroine Rachel Goldberg (Shiri Appleby), a young producer whose sole job is to manipulate her relationships with, and among, the contestants in order to get the vital dramatic and outrageous footage that the program’s dispassionate executive producer, Quinn King (Constance Zimmer), demands.
Created by Noxon and Shapiro, UnReal was an instant critical darling when it debuted in 2015, quickly establishing a modest but devoted fan base. The show’s praised freshman season earned two Emmy nominations: Best Dramatic Writing for Noxon and Shapiro’s pilot script, and Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for Zimmer. The series also received a Peabody Award.