1:15pm PT by Rick Porter
Renee Zellweger to Star in NBC Limited Series
Renee Zellweger is headed to NBC to star in a limited series based on one of Dateline's most popular true-crime stories.
The network has given a straight-to-series pickup to The Thing About Pam, based on a set of stories from NBC's long-running newsmagazine and companion podcast. Zellweger will make her broadcast TV series debut in the six-episode show, on which she's also an executive producer.
The show is the first major scripted pickup under Susan Rovner, the recently installed chairman entertainment content at NBCUniversal. The Thing About Pam comes from Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Zellweger's Big Picture Co. Jessika Borsiczky (UnReal, House of Lies) is writing and will serve as showrunner.
"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 Renee Zellweger, Blumhouse and Dateline," said Rovner. "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."
Blumhouse and NBC News Studios (the news division's premium content arm) entered into a partnership last year to develop scripted series based on NBC News content. The Thing About Pam went into development in May 2020 as the first project from that partnership.
"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 Renee 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."
Said Borsiczky, "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."
The Thing About Pam centers on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria. Her husband was convicted of the crime but insisted he was innocent and later had his conviction overturned. The crime sets off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme involving Pam Hupp (Zellweger).
The real-life Hupp is currently serving a life sentence for a 2016 murder in Missouri. Her story has been the subject of several Dateline segments and a 2019 podcast that shares a title with the limited series.
"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 NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.
Added Liz Cole, president of NBC News Studios and exec 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."
The limited series will mark Zellweger's first regular role on a broadcast show. She starred in Netflix's What/If in 2019 and is coming off a best actress Oscar for Judy last year. Her credits also include Cold Mountain, Jerry Maguire, the Bridget Jones movies and Chicago. She's repped by Carrabino Management and CAA.
Borsiczky is represented by ICM Partners, Rain Management and Jackoway Tyerman.
Borsiczky and Zellweger will executive produce The Truth About Pam with Carmella Casinelli, Cole, Oppenheim, Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold.