Tag Archives: UnREAL

‘MSNBC Live': The Best Summer TV of 2015

MSNBC Summer TV 1

I appeared on MSNBC Live today (while the segment was produced by the Melissa Harris-Perry team and was in that show’s usual timeslot, it wasn’t actually considered a Melissa Harris-Perry broadcast because of the holiday weekend), talking about the best summer TV shows that too many of you aren’t watching.

MSNBC Summer TV 3

I talked about four of the shows I’ve been writing about, and raving about, all summer: Amazon’s Catastrophe, Lifetime’s UnReal, Comedy Central’s Another Period and USA’s Mr. Robot.

MSNBC Summer TV 2

I think Catastrophe star†Rob Delaney really liked what I had to say about his show!

MSNBC didn’t post the segment†online, but†I uploaded the clip†here (I know the audio quality isn’t the best; my apologies).

Long story short: you should start watching all four of those shows, immediately!

A Filmmaker Gets an Opportunity of a Lifetime

Unreal Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

One of my favorite things about writing for Adweek is the opportunity to find all these fascinating advertising angles in stories about the TV industry. My most recent Adweek story, about Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, is a great example of this. Sheís the co-creator of UnREAL, Lifetimeís upcoming drama that goes behind the scenes at a Bachelor-like reality dating competition program. And itís all due to the time she spent as a content producer at ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, which gave her a fresh start in 2005 after she literally fled her reality TV job on The Bachelor:

“Part of how I got out of my contract was leaving the state,” said Shapiro, who drove to Oregon where she planned to “drop out and be a kale farmer or embroider tapestries.” But the Portland-based W+K had other plans for her. The agency reached out, asking her to work on Battlegrounds, a docuseries featuring NBA star LeBron James it was making with MTV. “It was like a moth to the flame,” said Shapiro, who joined as a content producer.

While working for Wieden, she developed the idea for Sequin Raze and cornered DeSipio when she arrived at W+K in 2011 after 20 years as a TV executive and producer. Thanks to DeSipio’s outsider perspective, “she was naÔve enough to say, ‘Why not? Why can’t we do it?'” said Shapiro. “Sally became my total champion from that time forward.”

In addition to tracing UnREALís unusal genesis, I also look at Lifetimeís position as it enters this yearís upfronts, and talk about A+E Studios, the in-house production company that produced†UnREAL. The show doesnít premiere until June 1, but I was very happy to contribute this story to Adweekís Womenís Issue.

A Filmmaker Gets an Opportunity of a Lifetime