With "The Bachelorette" in full swing, what better time to expose what actually goes on behind the scenes of your favorite reality series!
Lifetime is planning to do just that with their new series "UnREAL," a soapy look at the tricks of the trade used by producers while filming a fictional dating show.
Starring Shiri Appleby, Constance Zimmer and the hunky Freddie Stroma as Mr. Right, the show shines a light on the puppet masters pulling the strings to create the perfect mix of drama we all love to consume on a weekly basis.
"I think its going to be really eye opening to see how these shows are actually made and the manipulation that goes into it," Appleby told toofab's Brian Particelli while speaking with the cast at SXSW. "I think you start to feel for the people on these shows a bit more."
While costars Zimmer and Stroma were never huge fans of reality TV, Appleby definitely was -- and she did her research after she was cast in the series.
"I got together with the people that run Magical Elves [the producers of "Top Chef" and "Braxton Family Values"] and I sat with them for about an hour and a half and asked them a bunch of questions," Shiri explains. "I asked if they felt guilty about what they were doing and it was like I was asking them that for the first time. They hadn't even considered it. It was interesting, it was really just a job for them. It's a lot of stuff we talk about on this show, like Frankensteining the footage."
It also helps that the creator of the series, Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, also banked some time working for "The Bachelor" in the past.
"The little tricks of how things are made, I know a little more about it because I worked on those shows," she tells toofab. "[But] we've all worked on set, it's not that different."
"I really think a lot of people don't know how the sausage is made," adds co-creator and exec producer Marti Noxon. "They don't understand how much producers are involved in creating the narrative and what lengths they'll go to do that. It's a little bit 'Nashville' meets 'Empire,' its soapy but there's some reality to it."
Check out "UnREAL" on Lifetime when it premieres Monday, June 1.