Biz wary of chasing tale

Is a Hollywood madam telefilm too hot for the networks to handle right now?

Some observers think so, even as reports surfaced that the memoirs of Elizabeth Adams — known as “the Beverly Hills Madam” or “Madam Alex”– are making the rounds via her yet-to-be-published Random House manuscript, “Madam 90210.”

One source said the manuscript has been on the market “a couple of days” and is currently “all over the place,” but there has been only cautious interest. Some producers and network officials apparentlyfear a perceived sleaze factor could cause the other shoe to drop on broadcasters already taking substantial heat on Capitol Hill over television violence.

Dan Ostroff, who is representing the property, declined comment regarding “Madam 90210,” but the goal is said to be a deal that would lead to a theatrical feature, not a TV movie. Still, a telefilm would likely allow for faster production to cash in on what could be a fast-fading property in terms of public interest.

Adams’ manuscript reportedly doesn’t name clients but is said to refer to a rival madam, believed to be Heidi Fleiss, which means the book could provide a means of getting at the high-profile case.

One agent indicated the story could be told as a telefilm but would have to exercise a “substantial take” on the material, exploring what allows these women to create such an operation as well as what prompts high-powered showbiz pros to take the risk associated with such behavior.

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