Lifetime has renewed its critically acclaimed scripted series UnREAL (#UnREALTV) for a second season with a 10-episode order, it was announced today by Liz Gateley, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for Lifetime. Produced by A+E Studios, UnREAL will return next year.
To date, the first three episodes of the provocative drama, which stars Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer, and gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program, are averaging more than 4.8 million views across all available platforms.
Airing on Mondays at 10:00pm ET/PT, UnREAL is Lifetime’s youngest scripted series ever, with a median age of 43.
Regarding the announcement, Gateley said, “We couldn’t be more proud to bring back UnREAL. 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. We are thrilled to continue our work with Marti and Sarah and the incredible A+E Studios team, as we together bring a new generation of viewers to Lifetime.”
Co-created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, and recently honored as one of 2015’s Most Exciting New Series at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, UnREAL was inspired by Shapiro’s 2013 SXSW award-winning independent short film, Sequin Raze.
Set against the backdrop of the hit dating competition show Everlasting, UnREAL 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. What ensues is an eye-opening look at what happens in the outrageous world of unscripted television, where being a contestant can be vicious and being a producer is a whole other reality.
UnREAL also stars Craig Bierko as Everlasting’s eccentric creator, Chet; and Freddie Stroma as the dating show’s handsome and intelligent suitor, Adam Cromwell. Josh Kelly plays Jeremy, a cameraman who is Rachel’s ex-boyfriend, while Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman is Jay, a field producer whose ambitions run far beyond the show, at times putting him at odds with Rachel. Everlasting’s contestants include Grace, portrayed by Nathalie Kelley, who immediately wins Adam’s heart; Anna, played by Johanna Braddy, who is classy and shrewd, with her eye on the prize; Faith, a sensitive and vulnerable tomboy from the South portrayed by Breeda Wool; and Mary, played by Ashley Scott, a gorgeous single mom who has been unlucky in love. Arielle Kebbel guest stars as Britney, a contestant who has no filter and isn’t on Everlasting to make any friends.
Noxon executive produces while Shapiro serves as supervising producer. Sally DeSipio and Robert M. Sertner executive produce and Stacy Rukeyser co-executive produces. UnREAL is the first scripted series fully produced and distributed by A+E Studios. A+E Networks also handles global sales for UnREAL, which has been sold and will air in more than 100 territories.