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Maison Close - HBO is developing the remake with Mark Wahlberg's company and LOST writer Elizabeth Sarnoff

HBO has bought the rights to remake the period drama Maison Close, set in 1871 in a Parisian brothel, Le paradis. The show centers on Rose, Angèle, Véra, Bertha, Valentine and their 'madam', Hortense.

Check out this thread if you want to know more about Maison Close, which will return on Canal+ in early 2013 for an 8-episode second season. Season 1 aired in the UK last summer and was subsequently released on DVD/Blu-ray, so Maison Close is available with English subtitles, if you're interested.

HBO executives Mike Lombardo (director of programming), Charles Schreger (international sales manager) and Richard Plepler (co-chairman, soon to be CEO of HBO) were in Paris three weeks ago, maybe it was connected, or maybe it was the negotiation of the contract on HBO's original series in France — Orange Cinéma Séries is about to stop their exclusive partnership with HBO, and Canal+ has made a big offer (€15 million/year) to get the first pick, something they have not had since 2008.

Jacques Ouaniche (Noé Productions) will be a co-executive producer on the American version, which we now know a little bit more about :

1/ The action will be set in Paris, like the original.
2/ The cast will have to be English-speaking.
3/ Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson's company Leverage will be producing the pilot.

It invalidates the previous rumors that had mentioned a possible setting in the South of the US, possibly Louisiana, and it shows that the project is alive and kicking.

Leverage has already been producing no less than four HBO series : Entourage (8 seasons, 96 episodes, 2004-2011), In Treatment (3 seasons, 106 episodes, 2008-2010), How to Make it in America (2 seasons, 16 episodes, 2010-2011) and Boardwalk Empire (3 seasons, 36 episodes, 2010 - ?). They also have another pilot in development at HBO, the Cold War spy drama The Missionary.

Source : Le Nouvel Observateur.

UPDATE : Canal+ issued a press released today, indicating that season 2 will première in January 2013 but also that the US remake for HBO is penned by Deadwood and Lost writer/producer Elizabeth Sarnoff.

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