How ‘Selling Sunset’ Creator Adam DiVello Brought Real Estate Agents to Reality TV


When Adam DiVello first pitched sell sunset at Netflix, the plan wasn’t to turn an unscripted show about the Oppenheim Group – a high-end real estate company in West Hollywood – into something akin to the real housewives franchise.

“I don’t think we ever knew exactly what it was going to be,” DiVello admits of the show’s 2019 launch. were very hesitant. They didn’t want to be like a Bravo guy, so to speak, without offending Bravo. They just didn’t want to be on a show where there was constant fighting. I promised and said: ‘No, I’ll take care of the real estate and those high-end houses you sell in Los Angeles.’ Our first was a $40 million house, which is crazy, but of course I told them we were going to follow their personal lives and see what happens.

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It’s the “see what happens” part that has transformed sell sunset in a gripping show that only got better with age. (The show just released its fifth season in April.) While DiVello’s goal may have been to focus on the insanely priced homes on Hollywood’s famous Bird Streets, that all changed with the arrival of from season 2 of Chrishell Stause, a former soap star of days of our lives including the very public breakup with actor Justin Hartley (It’s us) became a delightful storyline the following year.

“The minute Chrishell walked in and didn’t click with [agent] Christine Quinn, we knew it was going to take a direction in there [Real Housewives] way,” admits DiVello. “Where it escalated, I don’t think anyone could have foreseen that.”

The Oppenheim brothers Brett, left, and Jason.  - Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/Netflix

The Oppenheim brothers Brett, left, and Jason. – Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/Netflix

Mitchell Haaseth/Netflix

Sometimes it seems like Jason and Brett Oppenheim have their work cut out for them; all they can do is sit quietly and watch Stause and the other perfectly haired agents — Mary Fitzgerald, Heather Rae El Moussa, Amanza Smith, and Davina Potratz, among them — choose a little to talk a little about. all the ways Quinn can get under their skin. Of course, they talk business with the best of them; Agent Emma Hernan, for example, provides helpful home improvement advice while trying to get a buyer to drop $10 million on a hillside home. But the real stakes happen every time Quinn walks around wearing her little suicide skirts and heels.

“It could have gone either way. If they had all hugged and kissed, it might have been a different show,” DiVello says. “It definitely added another layer of drama to the show, which I think viewers appreciated.”

Read the digital edition of Deadline's Emmy Comedy magazine here.

Read the digital edition of Deadline’s Emmy Comedy magazine here.

She wasn’t the only one to get attention in Season 4: Stause and her boss, Jason, had a brief fling in which some of her co-workers demanded little baby brokers. The Oppenheim brothers also announced their intention to expand their bling empire: Netflix has ordered a spin-off called Sell ​​CO., an upcoming show that focuses on their other business in Newport Beach, California. “It’s a fun cast. They don’t have any filters,” teases DiVello, who is also an executive producer. Sell ​​Tampa for Netflix. “And it’s not all women this time. There are quite a few who are single, while some are newly married. It’s a different world there.

But arguably not different enough to rule out the occasional chicken fight.

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