Stacy Rukeyser (‘UnReal’ writer and producer): Reality TV satire is ‘a character drama first and foremost’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO]

During our recent webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above), “UnReal” writer and executive producer Stacy Rukeyser admits that she doesn’t keep up with “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette.” Despite joining the show, she says that “UnReal”‘ was “always a character drama first and foremost. It just happened to have the wallpaper of all that.” Created by Marti Noxon and Sarah Gertrude Shapiro, this Lifetime original series centers on Rachel (Shiri Appleby), an unstable producer on a reality dating competition show who is pushed by her unscrupulous boss (Constance Zimmer) to abandon her morals for great ratings. Rukeyser has been with the show since its first year, and was recently named showrunner for the upcoming third season.

From the beginning, Rukeyser was fascinated by Rachel’s need to stay on the show, despite her better judgement. “Here is a woman who thought that she would go to work on PBS and woke up and found herself as a producer on ‘Everlasting,'” she explains. Rachel “kind of hates herself for the fact that she’s there, but also for the fact that she’s really good at it, and she kind of gets off on the fact that she is good at it and it makes her feel powerful, but it’s also a place where she belongs.”

“UnReal” received a Peabody Award in its first season for Entertainment and Children’s Programming. Additionally, it competed at the Emmys for Best Drama Supporting Actress (Zimmer) and Best Drama Writing for the pilot episode (Noxon and Shapiro). Could Rukeyser reap her first bid for writing or producing this year?

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our Emmy odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on July 13. And join in the fierce debate over the 2017 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our TV forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

Related: Watch our interview with Constance Zimmer (‘UnReal’)

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