How did a Wharton mini-series end up with such a happy ending?
Fifty-seven years ago, in her last novel, Edith Wharton told the story of The Buccaneers — a platoon of lovely American girls invading England, plundering titles and winning social success. Then, last winter, the colonies were again attacking the sceptered isle. Americans were conspiring with the BBC to spice up and Americanize the five-part mini-series based on Wharton’s novel. The BBC/WGBH coproduction, which has its first U.S. airing Oct. 8-10, opened in February in Britain, and some British critics charged that the “ratings-grubbing American partners had insisted on a sexy ending,” recalled Masterpiece Theatre Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton at the Los Angeles press tour this summer.