"As a writer," the 'Los Angeles Times' observed, "William Murray often wrote about his passions, which included Italy and opera. After serving in the Army Air Forces during World War II, Murray moved to Rome and studied voice for five years before abandoning his dream of becoming an opera singer and turning to writing fiction and journalism. Fluent in Italian, Murray was also known for translating into English the plays of Italian dramatist Luigi Pirandello." 

In 1980, the novel 'Malibu' was published. In 1982, Robert Hamner adapted the William Murray's bestseller for television, first went on air over 2 nights in January 1983 starring Kim Novak, James Coburn, Eva Marie Saint, George Hamilton, Ann Jillian, Chad Everett, Susan Dey and Steve Forrest. Mark Snow composed the music to enhance the scenes and Anthony Newley sung the 'Malibu' song. 

Set in the Colony stretch of Malibu Beach, real estate agent Billie Farnsworth said, "Ambiance, that's what Malibu is all about." Written by Elliott Baker and directed by E.W. Swackhamer, the first part of the 4-hour TV mini-series ended similarly to 'Dynasty' first season with every cast member freeze-framed. Reviewer Bj Kirschner watching 'Malibu' in 2011 made the comment, "The freeze-frame flattering to absolutely none of them is truly the most bizarre ending of a first part I can remember."

It was understood 'Malibu' may become a weekly prime time soap on ABC in the 1983-84 season. The Malibu Racquet Club was reminiscent of La Mirage on 'Dynasty'. Ann Jillian played TV reporter Gail Hessian told 'Soap Opera Digest', "I think they (ABC) just might make this into a full-length series. There is plenty there to warrant it and because there is such a strong premise here, it would be most exciting to do it as a weekly thing. It is kind of like 'Dallas' or 'Dynasty' by the sea, and I've heard through the grapevine that the book was based on people who actually lived in Malibu Colony. When the author moved out, that's when he wrote the book, so the characters are not necessarily fictional. It'll be fun trying to figure out who’s who."

Unlike 'Bare Essence', the mini-series 'Malibu' never became a regular TV series. In the 1983-84 season, Chad Everett appeared on 'The Rousters' (about a carnival roustabout),  Ann Jillian starred in 'Jennifer Slept Here' (about a ghost), Susan Dey co-starred in 'Emerald Point N.A.S.' (about the navy) and the Arthur Hailey's 'Hotel' series occupied the time slot following 'Dynasty'.

Filmed almost entirely on location in Malibu, California, Susan Dey and William Atherton played the outsiders, a couple from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who had just moved to Malibu to stay for 3 months. Stan and Linda Harvey decided to rent a Malibu beach house for the whole 1982 summer for $20,000 (or $7000 a month). In one scene:

Linda Harvey: Stan, the firm has given you $2500 a month housing expenses.

Stan Harvey: Now, wait a minute! That other place is $4000 a month, right? And it was a dump, right? And we would have taken anyway, right? So what we are talking is an additional $8000 for the whole summer.

Linda Harvey: But this place is for the rich, very rich and the very successful.

Stan Harvey: So? Faking it can be fun too!

George Hamilton played a con man named Jay Pomerantz. He offered Billie Farnsworth $750,000 for a $3 million 1920s house belonging to a late movie director Steven Elmer Carey. However according to Billie, the heirs to the largest house in the Colony were fighting for their rightful share of the inheritance, hence about 20 lawyers would need to be informed of the offer which would take a lot of time.

Jay decided to rent, offering $3000 a month. However Billie negotiated for $8500. Jay accepted and proceeded to tell Billie he was in the investment business by "making everybody, but you and me, poorer but wiser." However if the bedroom ceiling "cannot hold a mirror, the deal is off." Jay gave Billie a check for his security deposit and said, "I assume you know how Bahamas banks operate? Don't deposit it before Wednesday (to allow for time to transfer fund)."

Ann Jillian revealed about her hairstyle on 'Malibu', "The studio had first opted for the public image of Ann Jillian to play the part. Two days into shooting with the blond hair, they realized it wasn't going to work, so they appealed to the actress part of me to create a new look for Gail. What's really a killer is that half-way through getting my hair cut - the network came back and said, 'Wait a minute! We're re-evaluating our decision. Is there any way you can blend it together?'"

All in all, Ann Jillian acknowledged, "For the first time in my life, I feel more like a mature woman with this haircut. I still have my bouncy type of spirit and I still feel like me, but there's a far more mature attitude that I've noticed in myself. I guess I felt and was treated like the perennial 'girl' with the other hairdo. Eva Marie Saint said something very interesting, in regard to the parts that we play in the drama; I'm out to get the goods on James Coburn, who plays her husband. With the blond hair, she didn't consider me a threat, since I appeared to be just a 'chickie' going after her man. With the dark, shorter hair, she saw a woman who was an equal and a far more serious threat. That changed her entire outlook on how she approached both her own character and mine."

Chad Everett played a former tennis pro Art Bonnell. In one scene Art Bonnell told Linda Harvey he believed because of "fate – just wan't meant to be (Wimbledon) champion. The trick is to change perspective. Stop looking back (as a player) and be in focus for what's ahead (commentator, coach, business). The hard part is shifting perspective." As an example, Art Bonnell said, "Maybe it's impossible like trying to save a relationship by forgetting too many things that never should have been said. Maybe it's better to start fresh. Try not to make the same mistake all over again. Maybe that's the only way."

'Malibu' Part I on Sunday night averaged 28% audience share against the pilot movie, 'The A-Team' (35% share). 'Malibu' Part II on Monday night against the 4th Annual 'TV Guide' special (TV Guide's 1982 – The Year In Television) featuring candid interviews with the stars of 'Dynasty' (John Forsythe, Linda Evans and Joan Collins) attracted 21.0% households ratings and 31% audience share. That week the 'Dynasty' episode 'Two Flights to Haiti' scored its highest ratings since making its television debut in 1981, attracting 40% share of the audience and 26.3% households ratings.

'Newsday' remarked, "Some of the simplest lines give the impression that writer Elliot Baker and no doubt executive producer Robert Hamner really have a feel for the locale." In one scene, Tom Wharton told his associate regarding Gail Hessian exposé of his shady dealings on her local TV newsmagazine program, "It might make a lot of people nervous though for a while. Then there will be some national disaster, earthquake, war in the Middle East, garbage collectors going on strike, it'll be all forgotten." In another scene, Rich Bradley said, "I'll sue him for a million and settle for $300,000."

Chad Everett stated, "I call it ('Malibu') real high-style soap." Chad used to live in Malibu "though not in the Colony. I lived in Saroyan's house. You can be as involved with people as you want to be or you can be as alone. In television movie, everybody wants to be involved. Otherwise we wouldn't have a show. Everybody in 'Malibu' is rotten. I'm the only redeemable guy. This is a more accurate representation of Malibu than 'Dallas' is of Dallas." Of 'Malibu', 'The New York Times' noted, James Coburn "can give a cynical edge to the emptiest line and Valerie Perrine, who brings to her role as the resident gay divorcee as much sex as it calls for and seems to have plenty in reserve."

In his review of the 419-page book in May 1980, Jeff Rivers of the 'Courier-Post' made the point, "William Murray has something to say about America, the declining quality of life and the corporate mentality that has exchanged marketing for creativity. William Murray has something to say about friendship, about love, about modern technology and our ethical struggle to define and restrain that technology. But Murray apparently was afraid the American reader wouldn't buy a book solely about those subjects, so he wrote 'Malibu', about the wealthy residents of the Colony."

Nancy Yanes Hoffman of the 'Los Angeles Times' added, "Murray's 'Malibu' is a carousel that goes round and round; where the riders miss the brass ring and fall off, but the merry-go-round goes on and on and on." Robert Hamner bought the screen rights to William Murray's 'Malibu' novel in October 1980 and initially approached Leonora Thuma to translate the story about the 26-mile exclusive community featuring "houses with upwards of 75 feet of ocean frontage" into a 6-hour TV project.

'The Baltimore Sun' reported, "The story – and there is a story – is to tell all about the people who occupy the Colony. That might keep the minds of a few million Americans off the fact that their car's gasoline is in the process of freezing up. Producer Robert Hamner is totally candid about the artistic goals of this project. He says he thinks 'Malibu' will be a smash because it will show lots of warm, wonderful beach scenes to a nation experiencing the coldest part of winter. The audience can sit there and look at the beach, the ocean and people instead of the scene outside their living room window where Mr. and Mrs. Jones are trying to jump-start their frozen Chevette."

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