Tuesday, May 19, 2015

There can only be one reason Russian oligarchs haven't had The Sopranos treatment

Seriously, what do Russian oligarchs have to do to get their own TV series? I'm thinking something like The Sopranos or House Of Cards or Mad Men. I keep waiting for it to arrive and it never does.

You can't say the raw material isn't there. These people have more money than God. They spend like drunken sailors. They have gorgeous girlfriends dripping with jewels. They own football clubs. Newspapers. Yachts. Submarines. Art. Governments. They can get any pop star in the world to sing "Happy Birthday" at their party. And because they have more feuds than the Labour Party a remarkable proportion of them come to sticky ends. Honestly, could they *be* any more long-form TV?

So why isn't Showtime or HBO or Channel Four announcing the imminent launch of "Oligarch!" Obviously this can't be because they haven't thought of the idea. And clearly it can't be because these fearless seekers after truth are frightened of the consequences which might befall them....



  1. I would think that Peter Pomerantsev would be the person to write/produce such a drama!

    His recent book on life in Russia, and making TV there, is well worth a read: Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible.

  2. I did here of one in development a while back, although long enough ago that I can't remember how far it had gone.

  3. The script ended up under the wheels of a Zil in Mount street..

  4. The BBC chipped in with a London look at the 'super-rich Russian elite' earlier this year

  5. Our Kind of Traitor, a Le Carre novel that covers some of this ground (a Russian oligarch defecting to the West), is due to come out as a film in September. Although maybe the plot's been changed and now it's about a fun-loving Russian philanthropist who becomes a spectacular success in the National Hockey League.