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Behind the Scenes With Million Dollar Listing NY

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It feels like we've been waiting for the premiere Million Dollar Listing New York forever, probably because we have. The Bravo show finally begins tonight at 10, so we called up Bravo SVP of Production Shari Levine to find out a little more about the show's first season. Nest Seekers' Ryan Serhant, Elliman's Frederik Ecklund, and Elliman's Michael Lorber star. Check back tomorrow for a full recap of the first episode. Here now, some preliminary intel.

Curbed: Why do a Million Dollar Listing NY spinoff now?

Shari Levine: It takes a long time to actually make the show, so it's been in production for a while. Our other series was really successful for us, [so we wanted to] take it to a different location with a completely different vibe about it. We thought that it would be successful.
How did you choose the brokers? Anyone you wanted who you couldn't get?

The production company spoke with a lot of people. They narrowed it down to people who were really good at what they were doing, they were successful, and they were charismatic. We thought these three people were very emblematic of NY real estate.

How will MDL compete with Selling New York?

I think it's a different show. It feels very different. The brokers themselves are very different personalities?I've only seen that show a couple of times. In terms of our show, it's these three guys. It's not like we're staying with a particular firm. We go into their personal lives, we spend days with them. We show them living their lives and how real estate really is their life, and they're out and about doing different things and they're doing deals at the same time. They see life as a business opportunity. They're just always on. That was part of what we found interesting about them. They're people who live for their jobs, who live for real estate. When you catch them in their personal lives, you're also catching them in their work life.

My take on it: it's a fun and sexy show. They're fun and sexy guys, they're having a good time at what they do?.you always see them really engaged in the art of the deal.

How do you choose which listings appear on the show?

It's hard to shoot in New York. You have to get a lot of approvals, and there are a lot of places that don't let you shoot. It takes a long time to shoot enough that you can in fact be with them?[to get into the buildings and follow a deal]. Some of the stories resolved really fast and you see that, but it's hard to sell real estate in New York?you have the personalities of the sellers, the personalities of the buyers?.Things can derail a deal that you wouldn't expect to derail a deal. We went with the stories that were interesting.

How long does it take to shoot an episode?

We were in production for several months?between 6 and 9 months. They shoot a lot of deals and some deals just sort of stagnate, so you want a deal that gives you some sort of a conclusion one way or another. We have nine episodes.

What's your favorite apartment that's been on the show so far?

I would like to live in many of the places that we show. Some of them have fantastic views, some of them have amazing kitchens?Sometimes it's about the location. There is at least one property in every single episode that I would like to spend time in.

How scripted is it?

It is absolutely not. We don't script our shows. We don't. We try to be in front of the action as much as possible. If something happens, they're supposed to call us and we're there. The trick to casting a successful show is that you realize you have people who are just naturally interesting. They weren't told to be any more one way or the other way, that's really just who they are. When you spend enough time in front of the camera, you really are who you are.

There's a natural rivalry [between the brokers] because they're competing for the same clients. There's a natural rivalry that happens between Frederik and Michael?they really sort of get into each other's space.
· Official website: Million Dollar Listing [BravoTV]
· Million Dollar Listing coverage [Curbed]