Producers from Netflix's 'Million Dollar Beach House' explain how the Hamptons real-estate reality series came together behind the scenes

Business Insider

by Ashley Rodriguez
Aug. 26, 2020


Net$ix has been on a roll with reality shows like "Too Hot to
Handle," "Love Is Blind," and "The Circle."

Its latest series, "Million Dollar Beach House," which premieres on
Wednesday, takes an inside look at selling homes in New York's elite
Hamptons real-estate market. The show's release at the end of a
summer when some wealthy New Yorkers sought solace from the
pandemic in those seaside communities potentially sets the stage
for another hit.

"Million Dollar Beach House" is the latest in a slate of homerenovation
and property series that Net$ix has been working on.
Brandon Riegg, vice president on non-Kction programming and
comedy specials, told Business Insider earlier this year that Net$ix
planned to push further into the category in 2020 after getting its
feet wet with shows like "Selling Sunset."

Similar to "Selling Sunset," the new Hamptons-based series
followers a group of high-powered brokers at a Krm, Nest Seekers
International, during their work lives, which sometimes spill over
into their personal lives.

Similar to "Selling Sunset," the new Hamptons-based series
followers a group of high-powered brokers at a Krm, Nest Seekers
International, during their work lives, which sometimes spill over
into their personal lives.

Two producers on the show told Business Insider what it was like to
develop the series with Net$ix, which took more of a docu-style
approach than the real-estate shows you'll Knd on cable TV.
"When you go through the experience, you can see why Net$ix is
Net$ix," said Eddie Shapiro, executive producer on the show and
founder of Nest Seekers, whose brokers have featured and starred in
other shows like "Million Dollar Listing." "There's a true docuexperience
that they look to have and that is something that
deKnitely stood out."

Nick Rigg, who heads up unscripted at DiGa Studios, started talks
with Shapiro about 18 months ago for a show that would lift the veil
on real-estate market in the Hamptons, an area that personally
fascinated both producers.

"The Hamptons has some of the most exciting, most beautiful real
estate in the country, possibly in the world," Shapiro said. "There are
homes there that, if and when they ever get to market, they may be
valued at a half a billion dollars, based on today's rates."

Rigg, who's produced shows like "House Hunters International" and
"Tiny House Nation," already had a relationship with Net$ix and
thought of the streamer while he and Shapiro were creating the
concept. They then pitched the idea to Nathan Wolfe, Net$ix's head
of non-Kction coproductions, who shepherded in the show.

"Net$ix felt like a natural home for it," Rigg said, "because the show
is somewhat of a hybrid model of a show — it's not all a docu-soap
and it's not all a heavily formatted show — it's somewhere between
the two."

Nick Rigg. DiGa Studios
Rigg and Shapiro said the concept didn't change much from what
was originally pitched, though the handful of Net$ix execs working
on it were very involved and supported the producers throughout
the process.

The Net$ix execs encouraged the Nest Seekers team to show the
real-estate process as authentically as possible, even when it pushed
the brokers, designers, and other cast members outside of their
comfort zones.

"We live through a lens these days; everything is on social media,"
Shapiro said. "But, on the other hand ... discretion and privacy is
important to us and sometimes to our clients. So it's a constant pull
and push between this uncomfortable feeling of, 'I'm a private
person. This is a private experience,' to the, 'Wait, this is also how
the world is today.'"

The series shows the fails, attempts, and almost-wins in real estate,
along with the successes. It also exposes some of the personal lives
of the cast members, including one broker who was expecting his
Krst child during Klming, and was feeling the pressure to support
his family.

When it came to casting, the Net$ix team looked for a mix of
personalities, including successful brokers and underdogs, Shapiro
said. "Million Dollar Beach House" on NetWix. Net5ix
Net$ix's binge format, in which a full season is released
simultaneously, also freed the production up to show the sales
process more faithfully, Rigg said. Had "Million Dollar Beach House"
been made for cable or broadcast TV, the show would've needed a
real-estate transaction or deKnitive result to close out each episode.
In reality, it can take a year or more to sell some high-end homes.
"We were able to be less worried about that, and therefore focus on
the dynamics and drill down into how they're approaching each
home," Rigg said. "I think it creates a more nuanced show ... Every
home has a very unique story, a diXerent story because we didn't
have to follow any formula."

Shapiro, who has used entertainment to build brand recognition for
his Krm for the past decade, said he hopes 20 million to 30 million
people will watch the show globally in its Krst few weeks. He said
cameras are set to roll on season two shortly, if the show is

"The feedback that I'm getting is that everyone at Net$ix is very
excited about the show," Shapiro said.