EXCLUSIVE: In her broadcast debut, two-time Oscar winner Renée Zellweger is set to headline and executive produce limited series The Thing About Pam, which has been greenlighted by NBC with a six-episode straight-to-series order.
Based on a true-crime phenomenon, the real-life, stranger-than-fiction story behind the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that was featured on Dateline NBC, The Thing About Pam is a collaboration between Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Zellweger’s Big Picture Co.
The marquee series, one of the highest-profile packages to land on broadcast in quite awhile, marks the first major new scripted project under the purview of Susan Rovner, Chairman, Entertainment Content. It also marks a return to broadcast for Blumhouse since the company’s very first foray into TV with the 2012 ABC drama The River as well as the first project to come out of Blumhouse TV’s partnership with NBC News Studios announced last year.
“When you think about what qualifies something as a ‘must watch,’ I’m not sure you could do any better than the undeniable trifecta of Renée Zellweger, Blumhouse and Dateline,” Rovner said. “The twists and turns of this saga are truly stranger than fiction, and in the hands of this incredibly talented artistic team, this series will bring a completely new perspective to a story that has already captivated millions.”
Written by Jessika Borsiczky (House of Lies) who will serve as showrunner, The Thing About Pam is based on the murder of Betsy Faria, which resulted in her husband Russ’ conviction. He always insisted that he did not kill her, and his conviction was later overturned as the brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme deeply involving Pam Hupp, a role that will be played by Zellweger.
“Similar to our acclaimed and award-winning crime series such as The Jinx and Sharp Objects, we see this opportunity to fuel viewers’ appetites for strong and compelling stories,” said Jason Blum, CEO and founder of Blumhouse. “This opportunity to build a powerful, scripted franchise and work with the incomparable Renée Zellweger in her first starring role on broadcast TV, with a writer as gifted as Jessika Borsiczky and adapting material from the treasure troves of Dateline in partnership with our friends at NBC, is unparalleled. I couldn’t be more proud of the Blumhouse team for bringing it to fruition.”
The Betsy Faria case was examined on several episodes of Dateline, becoming one of the most popular topics to ever air on the hit NBC newsmagazine. It also became the subject of NBC News’ popular 2019 Dateline podcast The Thing About Pam, which remains one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes.
“As NBC News Studios continues to build upon an impressive track record only a year into our launch, we could not be more proud to work with this extraordinary team of collaborators on our first foray into scripted,” said Noah Oppenheim, President, NBC News. Added Liz Cole, President, News Studios and Executive Producer of Dateline: “This story has resonated with audiences every time we’ve covered it. We’re thrilled to share it in a new way by collaborating with Renee and our incredible partners at Blumhouse and NBC.”
Dateline airs on NBC on Thursdays and Fridays, and episodes of the current season are available to stream the following day on Peacock.
“As someone who hasn’t missed an episode of Dateline in 10 years, what immediately stood out to me about Pam from other true crime stories is that while on its surface it has all the twists and turns of a thrilling whodunit murder mystery, it’s really a character story at its heart that reflects in a profound way the American landscape back to us,” Borsiczky said.
The Thing About Pam will be executive produced by Zellweger, Carmella Casinelli, Borsiczky, Cole, Oppenheim, Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold. Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Big Picture Co. will produce.
Zellweger has been nominated for an Oscar four times, winning as Lead Actress in 2020 for Judy and as Supporting Actress in 2004 for Cold Mountain. She also has won five Golden Globes and four SAG Awards. Zellweger’s only previous foray into television was in the 2019 Netflix anthology series What/If. Borsiczky directed an episode of the series, which is where she and Zellweger met, leading to their collaboration on The Thing About Pam.
Borsiczky most recently wrote, executive produced and directed for the upcoming Netflix series Sex/Life, and is also a consulting producer on the upcoming Netflix series On the Verge. Additionally, she executive produced and directed Season 4 of UnREAL on Hulu.
Zellweger is repped by Carrabino Management and CAA. Borsiczky is repped by ICM Partners, Rain Management and Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.