Chuckle-slinger Chuck Lorre is getting into the drama business. Amazon, Warner Bros. TV and Lorre are developing an event series based on “Bonfire of the Vanities,” Variety has confirmed. Currently, the project is being conceived as a single run of eight episodes for Amazon Prime Video.
Margaret Nagle, most recently of “Boardwalk Empire” and Fox’s “Red Band Society,” will write and serve as executive producer alongside Lorre. The project comes from Chuck Lorre Productions, in association with Warner Bros. TV, where Lorre is currently under an overall deal. David Corn, the Washington bureau chief of Mother Jones, is serving as a consultant.
This is, of course, not the first live-action adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s 1987 novel of the same name. The story about the moral abyss of 1980s New York, with all its attendant classicism, racism, and blind ambition, led to a 1990 film starring Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Melanie Griffith. Despite Wolfe’s book topping the bestseller charts, the film version grossed just $16 million. (Critics weren’t overly kind, either.)
Lorre is primarily known for his broadcast comedies — i.e. “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men” — that tend to be among the higher-rated programs on the channel guide, though he did write an episode of “CSI” in 2008. But Lorre also recently sold pot comedy “Disjointed” to Netflix, indicating an agnosticism as to where his shows go, so long as people watch them.