LOS ANGELES -- The sale of the "Brady Bunch" house is nearing an end, but not without a drama that has left at least one interested party crying "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia."
"It got down to a horse race," listing agent Ernie Carswell said of the pending sale, which is expected to close next week.
According to Carswell, the Studio City property received eight offers from buyers including entertainers, corporate buyers, individual family groups and investors. The seller of the home, listed for $1.885 million, has since selected a prevailing bid and a backup.
Among those in the bidding was NSync singer-dancer Lance Bass, who publicly announced on social media that his offer for the Studio City house had been accepted. But a day later, in a subsequent message, Bass said he was "heartbroken" to learn of a "corporate buyer (Hollywood studio) who wants the house at any cost."
Carswell said that the sale to Bass was not a done deal and that the seller had not made a final decision at that time. He declined to identify the parties behind the two accepted bids. However, Discovery Inc. Chief Executive David Zaslav on Tuesday announced on an earnings call that cable network HGTV had won the bidding war.
"I'm excited to share that HGTV is the winning bidder and will restore the Brady Bunch home to its 1970s glory as only HGTV can," he said.
The two-story house was used for outdoor representations of the beloved television family's abode. That included the show's opening and closing scenes as well as numerous interludes to denote the time of day. Interior scenes for "The Brady Bunch" were filmed in studio.
The 2,500-square-foot home's interior bears little resemblance to the layout familiar to TV viewers. A rock-wall fireplace and wood-paneled walls are among classic details in the living room, which has a wet bar. There are two bedrooms and three bathrooms -- a tight fit for even one-half of the Brady Bunch.
The lot on which the house sits, a 12,500-square-foot parcel that abuts the L.A. River, led some to speculate that a developer might swoop in and tear down the house to build a multimillion-dollar residence.
However, Carswell told the Los Angeles Times last month that consideration would be given to buyers who wanted to preserve the iconic property.
"We're not going to accept the first big offer from a developer who wants to tear it down."
Violet and George McCallister bought the two-bedroom, three-bathroom house in 1973 for $61,000, records show.
The series ran from September 1969 to March 1974 before moving into reruns in syndication. The McCallisters are both deceased and their children are selling the home.
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK
Bella Vista, a Beverly Crest compound built for filmmaker King Vidor and later owned by actors John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, has returned to market for $19.5 million.
The John Byers-designed home was previously offered at higher prices with additional parcels, some of which were undeveloped. The additional parcels are no longer included in the sale.
During Barrymore and Costello's ownership, which began in the 1920s and spanned more than a decade, the estate grew to more than 7 acres with more than a dozen structures spread throughout. Today, the Spanish Revival-style house sits on about an acre of grounds with two guest cottages and two renovated live-work apartments.
At the heart of the compound is the roughly 7,000-square-foot main residence, which was recently updated by noted interior designer Kathryn Ireland. Original details are abundant and include lavish fireplace mantles, extensive wood paneling and a pub lined with tree-trunk floors. In the master suite, a hand-carved ladder leads up to what was once Barrymore's opium den.
A living room that was once used as an aviary, a wine cellar and a cigar lounge with a bar are among other features. Including the detached structures, there are seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms and two half-baths.
Outside, city-to-ocean views create a backdrop for a blanket of mature trees and lush landscaping. Koi ponds, fountains and a circular waterfall make up the grounds.
Barrymore, a member of the Barrymore theatrical family, owned the property at the time of his death in 1942. More recently, the property was owned by the late director-producer Tony Scott.
SEEKING A NEW JUDGE TO HOLD COURT
Producer and entertainment executive Larry Lyttle, who oversaw production of the syndicated courtroom shows "Judge Judy" and "Judge Joe Brown," has listed his Pacific Palisades home for sale at $11.8 million.
Set behind gates and tall hedges, the shake-sided Craftsman appears right at home among mature landscaping and trees. Lyttle bought the property more than two decades ago and commissioned architect Warren Wolf Wagner to add a second story to the 1956 house.
The leafy half-acre lot was done by Santa Monica-based architect Dennis Gibbens.
Open-plan living and dining rooms with vaulted ceilings, six bedrooms and seven bathrooms are within more than 5,600 square feet of living space.
There are fireplaces in the living room, family room and master bedroom. A sitting room, his and her bathrooms and a pair of walk-in closets constitute the master suite.
Outside, there's a swimming pool and spa, a built-in barbecue and patio space for entertaining. A wide terrace balcony creates additional living space along the home's wide front.
Lyttle was an executive at Warner Bros. Television and was president of Spelling Television before leading Big Ticket Productions in the same role. In addition to the courtroom shows, he developed such series as "Murphy Brown," "Night Court" and "Moesha."
HER PRACTICE HAS MOVED
After a summer on the market, Ellen Pompeo has sold her Spanish villa in the Hollywood Hills. The closing price: $2.765 million, or $30,000 shy of the asking price.
The 1923 home sits up from the street on a double lot that allows for plenty of outdoor entertaining. Gardens of sculpted hedges and olive trees surround the home, and a palm-topped saltwater pool sits within a flat lawn.
An Old World-style front door kicks off the interior -- a 2,456-square-foot space teeming with arched doorways, exposed-beam ceilings and balustrades. Hardwood floors fill the living and family room. The dining room and kitchen, accented by stainless steel appliances, are lined with Saltillo tile.
Two sets of French doors brighten the master suite and open to a second-story terrace with city light views. There's a freestanding tub in its bathroom. One more bedroom and bathroom round out the floor plan.
Pompeo, 48, bought the property in 2005 for $1.35 million.
Her starring role as Dr. Meredith Grey in "Grey's Anatomy" landed her a Golden Globe nomination in 2007. On the big screen, she has appeared in "Old School," "Daredevil" and "Life of the Party."
SLUGGER PARTS WITH A HOME PLATE
Baseball great Barry Bonds has connected with a buyer in San Mateo County, selling his home in Hillsborough for $6 million.
Built in 2007, the Mediterranean-style spread includes a two-story entry and vaulted-ceiling living room that opens to a dining room and an adjacent butler's pantry. An office/den sits off the front entry.
The kitchen is outfitted with a large island, a breakfast area and French doors that open to a large patio. Also within about 5,200 square feet of living space are five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms.
Outside, there's a built-in barbecue and a large fireplace. Mature trees, a patch of lawn and landscaping fill out the half-acre lot. A three-car garage sits off the front of the home.
The property originally hit the market last year at $6.6 million. Bonds bought the property three years ago for $6 million, records show.
Bonds, 54, won seven National League MVP awards and made 14 all-star teams in 22 seasons playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. His 73 home runs in 2001 are the most ever in a single Major League Baseball season, and his career 762 home runs are an MLB record.
The retired outfielder's No. 25 jersey will be retired by the San Francisco Giants this month when the team hosts the Pirates.
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