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'Dirty Sexy Money' creator Craig Wright's next act

June 14, 2009 |  5:00 am

Craig Wright

All good things must come to an end, including the deliciously decadent two-year reign of the Darling family on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money." As he awaits the airing of the series' final episodes this summer,  "DSM" creator Craig Wright is keeping busy. He's directing his first play -- his own drama "The Unseen" -- which opens Friday at the Road Theatre Company in North Hollywood.

The L.A.-based playwright and TV writer also is preparing to premiere three works."Mistakes Were Made" (a Broadway producer tries to stage an epic about the French Revolution) opens with Oscar nominee Michael Shannon at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago in September. "Blind" (a new take on Oedipus and Jocasta) opens at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in New York in February. "The Gray Sisters" (monologues about a family coping with sexual abuse) opens at Third Rail Repertory Theatre in Portland, Ore., in April.

Wright, 44, got his start in television after one of his plays caught Hollywood's attention. He ended up working on "Six Feet Under," "Lost" and "Brothers & Sisters" before creating "Dirty Sexy Money," in which idealistic lawyer Nick George (Peter Krause) struggles to keep up with his clients, the extremely wealthy but morally suspect Darlings. (Initially, he proposed a series that followed rich first-graders as they grew up. "The concept took a lot of turns," he says, "but the essential core is there -- the ambivalence of privilege.")

"My hope for the series was that Nick would make a crucial error that would bring the whole Darling fortune crashing down," says Wright. "And the Darlings, this family Nick always hated, would come to his rescue at the end. With the collapse of the economy and the Madoff scandal, history outdid the pitch and beat us to the punch. So it goes."

What will the final episodes reveal? "We'll find out who killed Nick's dad, and the Nick/Karen/Lisa love triangle will come to a conclusion."

What would have happened if "Dirty Sexy Money" had continued? "[The Darlings' daughter] Juliet, who was played by Samaire Armstrong, was going to be involved in a Patty Hearst-like situation that would get her arrested, after a daring rescue by Nick and Jeremy. Eventually, she ends up married to a soccer coach at a small girls' boarding school in western Connecticut, where she teaches drama and raises a family of five sons.The fact that a happy ending for her will never air may be my greatest regret about the show being canceled. I wanted her to find happiness."

Click here to read more about Craig Wright and "The Unseen" in Sunday's Arts & Books section.

-- Karen Wada

Caption: Craig Wright. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times