Elizabeth Sarnoff to pen pilot for brothel-set costumer

PARIS

HBO has nabbed North American remake rights to Canal Plus’ brothel-set costume drama “Maison Close,” and has tapped Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson’s Leverage to produce the English-language pilot.

Scribe/exec producer Elizabeth Sarnoff, who earned Emmy noms for “Deadwood’ and “Lost,” has been tapped to pen the pilot. Sarnoff most recently wrote and exec produced episodes of “Alcatraz.”

Helmed by Mabrouk El Mechri, the original “Maison Close” series is set in Paris in 1871, and follows three women working at a luxury brothel, who get together to try to free themselves from prostitution.

Producer Jacques Ouaniche, founder of Paris-based Neo Prods., will serve as co-executive producer and advisor on the remake for HBO.

Ouaniche told Variety the HBO remake will be set in Paris and star American thesps.

“HBO and Leverage have produced together some of my favorite shows, ‘Entourage’ and ‘Boardwalk Empire,’ and I’m beyond excited that such a dream team has come on board to develop the remake of ‘Maison Close,'” said Ouaniche. “And I’m also particularly enthusiastic that Elizabeth Sarnoff is writing the pilot because ‘Deadwood’ was my primary inspiration for ‘Maison Close.'”

As “Maison Close” was a ratings hit on Canal Plus, it was reupped for a second season, which is now in production.

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