AceShowbiz - Oscar winner Renee Zellweger is to make her broadcast TV debut as the star of a true-crime drama that is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria. The "Judy" star will headline and executive produce "The Thing About Pam" for NBC.
The stranger-than-fiction story, which featured on U.S. news show "Dateline NBC", has been adapted for TV by "House of Lies" writer Jessika Borsiczky. Of the project, she said, "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."
Faria's husband, Russ, was convicted of his wife's murder but maintained he did not kill her. The ruling against him was later overturned. Betsy's murder remains unsolved, but the case exposed a diabolical scheme involving Pam Hupp, the role Zellweger will play on TV, who is currently serving a life sentence for the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger. Investigators believe Hupp murdered Gumpenberger as part of a plot to implicate Russ Faria in the murder of his wife.
"We see this opportunity to fuel viewers' appetites for strong and compelling stories," executive producer Jason Blum said. "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."
Chairman of NBCUniversal's entertainment content, Susan Rovner, additionally stated, "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'. 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."
"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," added NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.