Producer Joel Silver has picked up rights for Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt, a history of the famous family's decline by Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, for a potential series for HBO.

According to Variety, Silver and Jane Semel will exec produce the hourlong drama.

The project will depict the Vanderbilt family saga at the turn of the 20th century as the clan grapples with a declining fortune, extravagances and social-climbing instincts.

The 1989 book, "a portrait gallery of extravagant crazies" in the author's own words, follows the family for more than a century, from the launch of patriarch Cornelius Vanderbilt's first steamboat in 1810. Upon his death in 1877, Vanderbilt left his family $100 million, which was ultimately squandered through his children's and grandchildren's profligate lifestyle.