Amanda Peet (The Romanoffs) and Mr. Robot’s Christian Slater are set to headline the second season of anthology series Dirty John, which will air on USA Network and be titled Dirty John: The Betty Broderick Story. Like the first installment, which aired on Bravo and starred Connie Britton and Eric Bana, the second will be based on a true crime story featuring an epic tale of love gone wrong. In Season 2, it is the story of convicted murderer Betty Broderick (Peet) and her ex-husband (Slater) that spans the 1960s to the ’80s and chronicles the breakdown of their marriage that Oprah deemed one of “America’s messiest divorces” even before it ended in double homicide.
Dirty John, which received a two-season straight-to-series order by Bravo in January 2018, hails from creator-writer Alexandra Cunningham and UCP. The first season was based on the articles and true crime podcast by Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard about the story of how a romance between Debra Newell (Britton) and the charismatic John Meehan (Bana) spiraled out of control.
In Season 2, which will feature an all-female directing team, Betty Broderick (Peet) is the perfect Southern California blonde wife and mother. Married to her handsome college boyfriend Dan (Slater), Betty charms everyone she meets. After years of sacrifice and suffering while supporting Dan through both medical and law school until he exploded onto the San Diego legal scene as a superstar, Betty is finally enjoying the fruits of their labors. That is, until Dan hires Linda, a bright, beautiful young woman without baggage with whom he can happily forget the struggles of his past. Betty’s attempts to fight back and enraged refusals to accept reality only serve to isolate and destabilize her until she loses her very identity. And Dan’s cold confidence blinds him to the bear he has created, and won’t stop poking … until it’s too late.
“The first season of Dirty John was a story of twisted love and coercive control – and both these insidious elements are also present in and integral to the story of Betty Broderick, whom I have wanted to write about since I became a writer,” said Cunningham. “I can’t wait to see Amanda and Christian bring it to life.”
Season 2 is written by Cunningham, who also executive produces along with Jessica Rhoades, Season 1 star Britton, Atlas Entertainment and Los Angeles Times Studios. The directors of Season 2 will be led by Maggie Kiley (Riverdale), who will serve as co-executive producer/director on the season and direct four episodes, including the premiere and finale episodes. Additional directors include Kat Candler (Queen Sugar), Meera Menon (The Terror), Shannon Kohli (The Magicians) and showrunner Cunningham, who will make her directorial debut. Netflix co-produces and has first-run rights to the series outside the U.S. The series is currently in production in Los Angeles on the Universal Studios lot.
Dirty John’s first season had the largest ratings growth from premiere to finale among new ad-supported cable scripted series in all key demos, and was one of only two series to grow every week but one in total viewers. Dirty John, which was 2018’s second highest rated new cable scripted series (ad-supported and premium) among P18-49. also garnered Bravo its first Golden Globe nomination (Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, for Britton).
Peet was most recently seen in The Romanoffs and Brockmire. Her most recent play, Our Very Own Carlin McCullough, debuted last year at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Slater is segueing to Dirty John from another USA series, the acclaimed Mr. Robot, whose final season debuts October 6. His performance on the show has earned him a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award.
Slater also recently joined UCP’s adaptation of the hit Wondery podcast Dr. Death alongside Jamie Dornan and Alec Baldwin. He recently starred alongside Glenn Close in Bjorn Runge’s The Wife.
Peet is repped by Gersh, Management 360 and HJTH. Slater is repped by UTA.