A+E STUDIOS ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE OVERALL DEAL WITH "UnREAL" CO-CREATOR SARAH GERTRUDE SHAPIRO
Los Angeles - April 7, 2017 - A+E Studios has signed a multiyear exclusive overall television deal with Emmy-nominated writer, producer, director and UnREAL co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, it was announced today by Tana Nugent Jamieson, Senior Vice President of A+E Studios. Under the pact, Shapiro will continue her duties as writer and executive producer on UnREAL - the first scripted series fully financed and owned by A+E Studios - while also working closely with the A+E Studios team to develop, create and produce new original programming for the A+E portfolio of networks, as well as outside buyers.
"Sarah is an extraordinarily talented writer, producer and director," said Jamieson. "Her unique voice has made UnREAL a cultural phenomenon, and we are thrilled to continue this prolific partnership at A+E Studios."
"I'm honored and excited to be solidifying my partnership with the incredible creative team at A+E Studios," said Shapiro. "Launching UnREAL together has been the highlight of my career thus far, and I'm looking forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration."
Shapiro is the co-creator and executive producer of A+E Studios' critically-acclaimed hit series UnREAL on Lifetime, which she developed and sold based on the SXSW award-winning short film she wrote and directed, Sequin Raze. Starring Shiri Appleby and Emmy-nominated Constance Zimmer, UnREAL gives a fictitious behind-the-scenes glimpse into the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program, Everlasting. During its first season, UnREAL received multiple awards, including a prestigious Peabody Award and an AFI Program of the Year Award. UnREAL was also honored with two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the pilot episode written by Shapiro and co-creator and executive producer Marti Noxon. Shapiro directed the seventh episode of the second season and also wrote and directed a series of shorts, "The Faith Diaries," which follow UnREAL's beloved Season 1 contestant, Faith (Breeda Wool). The third season of UnREAL, which features Everlasting's new female "suitress," Serena (Caitlin FitzGerald), is currently in production in Vancouver.
Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Shapiro started writing when she was five years old, and discovered that she was a director at 16. After seeing Fellini's 8 1/2 and shooting a roll of black and white Super 8 film, she was a goner and knew filmmaking was her calling. She has devoutly pursued it ever since.
Shapiro graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a degree in Fiction Writing and Filmmaking. She came of age in New York indie film, interning at Killer Films with Christine Vachon, and cutting her teeth in the experimental film scene with the likes of Miranda July. After accidentally landing a job in reality TV, and subsequently fleeing to the wilds of Oregon, she finally returned to Hollywood with her series UnREAL.
Shapiro was one of the early faces of the Broad Focus initiative at A+E Networks and Lifetime. Broad Focus is a global movement committed to developing and supporting women directors, writers and producers.
Shapiro is repped by UTA.
About A+E STUDIOS
A+E Studios is the studio unit of the award-winning global media company A+E Networks, LLC. A+E Studios creates, produces and distributes high quality scripted programming across all networks and platforms in the A+E Networks portfolio, including A&E(R) Network, Lifetime(R), History(R), LMN(R), FYI(TM), and A&E IndieFilms(R). A+E Studios' slate of programming consists of scripted series, event series and movies, including the Peabody Award-winning UnREAL for Lifetime; the event miniseries ROOTS, the hit action drama SIX, and the upcoming series Knightfall for History, among others. Following its first full production year, A+E Studios received 16 Primetime Emmy(R) nominations including Outstanding Limited Series for ROOTS.