Carter Covington on How MTV's FAKING IT Came to Be - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Carter Covington on How MTV’s FAKING IT Came to Be

April 21, 2014 by  


MTV is debuting its newest scripted series, FAKING IT — about two best friends (played by Rita Volk and Katie Stevens) who pretend to be lesbians in order to gain popularity — this week, and for series showrunner Carter Covington (who also created the underrated ABC Family adaptation of 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU), the road to figuring out how to develop this show correctly was a bit complex.

“Mina Lefevre, head of scripted programming at MTV, she and I worked together for many years over at ABC Family; we produced three pilots that didn’t go to series, and then I had 10 THINGS over there,” Covington said. “Last year, I think it was February, she called me and said, ‘We have a project here that really all it is is a title and a logline.’ And the title [was] FAKING IT, which I immediately loved, and the logline [was] cute girls pretend to be lesbians in order to get noticed. And I said, ‘Huh. I can see how in the wrong hands, this premise could be really offensive. But if I were to come in and pitch them this, one of the girls would have to realize she has feelings for her best friend.’ And Mina said, ‘That gets me really excited, we’d love to hear your take on it.'”

“So I went off and thought about it,” he continued. “And I kept thinking, why would this lie make them popular? In most high schools it wouldn’t; it would get you probably made fun of or bullied or who knows what. So I did a lot of research, and I worked a lot at The Trevor Project, I volunteer there, which provides crisis and suicide support for LGBTQ youths, so I hear a lot of the horror stories. But every once in a while, you hear a story that’s inspiring, where young people are being accepted, and they are in a very positive environment. Right around then, I heard about a gay couple that was named cutest couple in their yearbook. And I just thought, there are these places, these small pockets in the country, where tolerance is accepted, where the schools are very open-minded and accepting and it gets you in the yearbook as cutest couple. So I just decided to exaggerate those schools and create one of my own where it was an incredibly open-minded school. And they got excited about that.”

Of course, deciding on where the show should be set was a crucial element for its plausibility, too.

“I set it in Austin, because my husband’s from Texas, and he went to the University of Texas, and whenever we go to Austin, we’re always like, ‘This is the weirdest little bubble in the state of Texas,'” Covington explained. “So I set it there, which the network was really excited about. I had a great timing writing it. I was so excited when they picked it up to a pilot, and when they picked it up to series…I just had so much fun. I’m just giddy I get to do this for a living.”

And while Covington is aware some people will be wary about the show based on the premise, he’s hopeful once people actually watch the series, they’ll change their tune.

“I, too, had the same concerns that they have now,” Covington pointed out. “I know growing up gay, I often felt like gay characters were not presented multidimensional, but my intention with this series from day one is to really create a show that embraces everyone, no matter what their sexual orientation is. And I hope when they watch the show, the people who are the biggest detractors of the show now will become its biggest fans. That’ll be how I judge whether or not I’ve handled this as well as I’d have liked to handle this.”

FAKING IT premieres Tuesday, April 22nd at 10:30 PM on MTV. And be sure to check back with Give Me My Remote next week for some scoop about what’s coming up on the show.

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Filed under #1 featured, Faking It


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