HBO has added yet another book-to-TV series adaptation to its increasingly crowded development slate, the network apparently operating under the belief that it has to buy all the books and turn them into TV shows, before the whole of literature is replaced by those video games you play on one of those Amazon Spindles, just like your grandmother warned them. This time it’s visiting the nonfiction section, picking up the forthcoming Unreal Estate: Money, Ambition, And The Lust For Land In Los Angeles from author Michael Gross (whose book jacket bio simply reads, “No, I was not the dad on Family Ties”).
Producer Joel Silver—whose previous TV work includes Moonlight and Veronica Mars—is shepherding the project, which is described a semi-comic, slightly soap opera look at the history of 16 fabulous estates that have been home to everyone from actors like Douglas Fairbanks, Marilyn Monroe, and George Hamilton to random corporate titans, con men, porn moguls, and “desperado oilmen.” No word on how they plan to condense all of that stuff into a show where, essentially, the houses are the stars [INSERT JOKE ABOUT THE COMPARABLY WOODEN ACTING OF CURRENT OR FORMER HBO STAR], especially considering how sprawling the concept is in terms of both characters and time period. But since it seems as like HBO is just developing as many books as it can these days, just in case, Unreal Estate could wind up being one of the relatively more logical adaptations, especially once their never-ending Half Price Books browsing finally leads them to, say, optioning Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations as a miniseries.
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