The Real and the Unreal on Reality TV

When last we checked in with the aggressive trio of brokers on “Million Dollar Listing New York,” the former hand model and soap actor Ryan Serhant was working the deal of his career at a SoHo loft, while the former Swedish porn actor Fredrik Eklund had opened himself up to love.

Fans of the reality show will be rewarded in Season 2, which is to start May 8 on Bravo, with more catfights and dirty tricks among the brokers, and in the season finale, Mr. Eklund’s emotional wedding on an island in South Florida.

After success with the original “Million Dollar Listing” in Los Angeles, the New York show pulled in an average of more than a million viewers an episode and was sold to almost 100 countries. Now the cable network is in discussions about “Million Dollar Listings” in both Miami and San Francisco, according to a person familiar with Bravo’s plans. The Los Angeles show, which is returning this summer for its sixth season, averaged 1.28 million viewers per show last year.

And why not? Real estate is on fire again, certainly in New York, and lately in Miami as well. Mr. Serhant and Mr. Eklund had a year of huge sales and credit the show for at least part of their success.

its former self — whittled down to a single unit — due to legal issues, after the cameras stopped shooting, something that was awkwardly noted in quick on-screen text in the season’s closing seconds.

Some things are never explained. In the Season 2 premiere, Mr. Eklund asks Stuart Parr, a film producer, if he is the owner of the Marble House, a town house in TriBeCa. Mr. Parr replies that he is the “owner, designer and actual contractor.” He gives Mr. Eklund 30 days to sell the residence for $17.5 million. What is not revealed is that Mr. Parr was not the actual owner, but an old equity partner in the company that previously owned the building; he was trying to flip the apartment before he was contractually obligated to acquire it, said Justin Ehrlich, a partner at VE Equities, which owns the building.

Mr. Eklund said he had not found out about the ownership situation “until much later.” Mr. Parr said this week that although VE Equities owned the unit, “I controlled the right to sell it.”

The Marble House ended up being a kind of Waterloo for Mr. Eklund. He noted on the show that he spent $40,000 trying to market it, even trying publications aimed at wealthy Chinese and Russian buyers. In the end Mr. Parr ran out of time; in March he had to buy it for $9.46 million or lose it.

He blamed the Bravo show for problems selling the place. He forbade Mr. Eklund to film at Marble House after the second episode, saying Mr. Eklund’s need to sell within the time frame of the show was interfering with his own attempts to sell.

“Filming a reality show is like jumping out of an airplane,” Mr. Eklund said. “You just hope at some point on the way down that parachute is going to go off. I am a control freak in real estate. But you cannot control this, there is no way.”


About Superior Mortgage Lending LLC

Superior Mortgage Lending LLC is a full service mortgage broker located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our goal is to provide excellent service to you throughout the process. NMLS # 372130 Nevada License # 3582 California License # 603K964 Arizona License # 0119906 8867 W Flamingo Road STE 200 Las Vegas, NV 89147 (702)507-4170 /
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