May 09, 2014 9:01am PT by Lacey Rose
Bravo Developing Bret Easton Ellis Adaptation, China Ensemble, African-American Family Drama
Bravo continues its scripted push.
The female-skewing network is developing another three new drama series. Included in the mix is Rules of Attraction, a high-concept TV adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis book of the same name; Shanghai, an ensemble centered around a group of ex-pats living in China; and Sweet Life, a family drama set in the Inkwell area of Martha's Vineyard where affluent African-Americans flock for vacation.
The trio joins previously announced script entries Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce (from Marti Noxon) and Odd Mom Out (from Jill Kargman), both of which were granted series green lights, as well as development project All the Pretty Faces from executive producer Jennifer Garner. If ultimately ordered to series, the shows will join a schedule dominated by unscripted fare, including the Million Dollar Listing and Real Housewives franchises.
"With these new additions to Bravo's expanding scripted slate, we're taking our viewers on a cultural odyssey into the debauchery of Camden College, through the glittering towers of Shanghai and onto the elite shores of Martha's Vineyard to do what Bravo does best — tell compelling stories through dynamic and unconventional characters," noted Andrew Wang, the network's vp scripted development and production.
Rules, a Lionsgate TV production, is being written by Roger Avary (Beowulf). The series, much like the book and the 2002 film adaptation (also written by Avary), unravels a murder mystery at the fictional Camden College by telling the same story through 12 different points of view.
For its part, Shanghai, also from Lionsgate, is being penned by David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly). The project treads into new and potentially rich territory, exploring how many head to China to succeed but often fail when they bump up against unexpected cultural barriers. This ensemble is centered around an aspiring American fashion designer who moves to this decadent city with her ambitious but naïve husband only to be wooed by a powerful Asian billionaire.
Finally, Sweet Life, from Amy Bloom (State of Mind) is set in the high-end summer enclave of Oak Bluffs. The locale, in the Inkwell area of Martha's Vineyard, is a go-to destination for upscale African-Americans in particular, with past visitors including the Obama, Beyonce and Spike Lee. Set against that backdrop, the class drama follows the Bennett family who, having suffered a recent tragedy that almost tore the family apart, have come here to rebuild their lives -- only to have secrets resurface and romances begin.