‘Selling Sunset’: Why High-Priced Real Estate Makes for an Uncooperative Reality Show

$40 million dollar build didn’t finish in time for Season 1 finale, or sell in time for Season 2’s

Selling Sunset Season 2

Contrary to in-vogue opinion, producers cannot actually shape every aspect of their reality series. Take “Selling Sunset,” for example. Executive producer Adam DiVello was hoping the $40 million home in the Hollywood Hills that was the focus of Season 1 would finish its build (and sell, since that’s kind of the whole premise of a real estate series) by the finale.

It did not.

“We only have so long of a production window and there are only so many homes they are going to sell in those months that we’re shooting,” DiVello told TheWrap ahead of his show’s Season 2 premiere on Netflix. “So the $40 million home, perfect example. Would I have loved to show in the first season the completion of that and the sale of that home? Of course, we were all hoping that was going to happen, but it didn’t. And so now we are fortunate enough to get a second season, so we pick right back up with that house.”

They do, and now the 20,000 square foot home — the largest ever in the Hollywood Hills — is finally done. It’s just still not sold, at least not in Season 2 of “Selling Sunset.”

Such is the world DiVello inhabits — reality TV, that is, not the Hollywood Hills. (Though those pricey mini-mountains were also the setting of his other reality show, “The Hills,” so he definitely inhabits those.)

Not being able to choose your own ending comes with the unscripted territory.

“It’s the same as all reality shows. When Lauren (Conrad) didn’t go to Paris (on “The Hills”) and we all wished she had, it became an iconic moment,” DiVello said. “And I think this is one of those moments where you wish that it would have sold by the time we wrapped, but once we found out we were coming back for a second season, we were like, bingo, we have a great storyline to kick off the second season with. So it worked out well.”

“People will come back and see what it looks like when it’s finished, which is absolutely insane,” he continued. “We were all just really in shock when we went back because when we wrapped Season 1, it was still studs and construction and drywall. And then we went back starting pre-production for Season 2 and just, oh my God, it was crazy.”

The stunning home at 8408 Hillside Ave. appears to sell in footage from the upcoming eight-episode Season 3, which TheWrap first reported is set to premiere on Aug. 7, 2020. In real life, the mansion sold in December 2019 for $35.5 million.

“Selling Sunset” follows the women real-estate agents of The Oppenheim Group, the No. 1 agency in the Hollywood Hills and on the famed Sunset Strip. The series stars Chrishell Stause, Christine Quinn, Maya Vander, Mary Fitzgerald, Heather Young, Davina Potratz, Romain Bonnet, Amanza Smith, Jason Oppenheim and Brett Oppenheim.

Here’s the Lionsgate show’s logline: “Luxe real estate. Major drama.” We didn’t write that, but we can vouch for it.

The eight-episode “Selling Sunset” Season 2 premiered Friday on Netflix.