Haute SpotA happy ending 10 years in the making
Little did Jasmin Rosemberg know when she sat down to write “How the Other Half Hamptons” back in 2006 that her very first novel would provide the opportunity of a lifetime more than a decade later.
The summer read, a modest success when it was released in 2008 by Grand Central Publishing’s 5 Spot, provided a glimpse into the world of twenty-something sharehouse renters and their wild escapades. The journalist based the story loosely on her own adventures in a 40-to-a-house Hamptons summer share that she stayed in while chronicling the younger set for the New York Post.
“We had no idea what the Hamptons were really about beyond the house,” she laughs as she reminisces about her earliest experiences out East. “I used to joke that you could take our sharehouse and put it anywhere since we never left it, except to head to the Princess Diner or 7-Eleven. We spent two years out here without even going to the beach. It could have been over the Midtown Tunnel.”
Fast forward to 2018, and Ms. Rosemberg’s book is getting prepped to hit the small screen. In development with the Freeform network, which airs “Pretty Little Liars” and “grown-ish,” the hour-long drama (which we love to say is about hooking up, breaking up and throwing up) is being executive produced by Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and Albert Bianchini through Milojo Productions, with Aaron Kaplan and Dana Honor of Kapital Entertainment.
The show is a dream come true for the journalist and author, who now writes about celebrity and pop culture for Variety and a number of other publications. She will also be titled as producer for the series.
“You never think that something you did more than ten years ago will all of a sudden bring such great opportunity,” says Ms. Rosemberg. “But I’m glad it has, and I’m so excited about it.”
Even better is the fact that the team behind the coming series is stacked with bona-fide TV talent. Kaplan and Honor have had huge successes with Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Divorce,” as well as “Life in Pieces,” “The Chi” and “American Housewife.” Bianchini has worked with Kevin Williamson (“Dawson’s Creek” and “Scream”) and Todd Phillips (“Old School”) as well as produced “Live with Regis and Kelly” for six years. And then of course there’s Ripa and Consuelos, whose faces are instantly recognizable to practically anyone in America who has ever watched television.
Adding to the good, but still slightly surreal, news is the fact that Ripa’s name actually graced the pages of “How the Other Half Hamptons.” “I’m a huge fan. Always have been,” Ms. Rosemberg explains of why she included the East Ender in her book.
“But much to her chagrin, Jamie had just uncovered a part of the Hamptons that she’d never known existed,” the book reads. ”This wasn’t the fabulous celebrity mecca where regulars like Kelly Ripa, Star Jones or Alec Baldwin roamed freely. The party haven where the Hilton sisters, the Olsen twins or the Hearst girls caroused famously … This was Frat-Hamptons. And like it or not, Jamie was discovering the secret life of shareholders.”
Fortunately the actress, talk show host and television producer was flattered, according to the writer.
“She epitomized the glamorous side of the Hamptons to my character,” she says, adding that Ripa “got a kick out of the fact that she was mentioned in the book.”
A lot has changed for Ms. Rosemberg since her novel debuted. But plenty has stayed the same too, she says.
“I’m still first and foremost a writer, and for that I’m extremely glad about the doors that this will hopefully open for me,” she says of the coming series.
But now, instead of watching her pennies as she had to in her 20s, her budget allows her to enjoy some of the finer things. Favorites include a glass of wine at Wolffer Estate Vineyards in Sagaponack, a nice meal at Sunset Beach in Shelter Island or Cowfish in Hampton Bays. And of course, she’s still up for spending time with friends, though many are now married and have families.
And of course, in part due to the success of the book and also to the passages of time, the journalist and author’s future looks much different now than it did in her early- and mid-20s. She’s recently started work on a second novel—a New York City-based family drama with more adult themes.
“I’m a different person now than when I was then,” she says. “And now I actually go to the beach when I come to the Hamptons.”