The popular Los Angeles Times’ true crime podcast Dirty John is coming to television, and star Connie Britton says that the series will be “really provocative” for all viewers, no matter their gender. Britton didn’t get specific about the parts of the extraordinary story that will cause the biggest reaction, but she did reveal what drew her to the role of Debra Newell.
The Dirty John podcast was based on a popular series that ran in the Los Angeles Times in 2017. It told the story of Newell, a Southern California businesswoman, and con artist John Meehan (Eric Bana). The TV series will start at the beginning of Newell and Meehan’s relationship, and then tell the story of how a web of lies led to murder.
“The podcast was such an extraordinary story. What excited me about playing this role is how easy it is to be conned by someone and how destructive that can be,” Britton told Entertainment Tonight.
— Bravotv (@Bravotv) November 17, 2018
Bana will also play a more significant role in the Bravo series that the actual John Meehan does in the podcast, and that suggests that they did take some creative license.
Executive producer Jeffrey Reiner says that we will definitely see the story through Debra’s eyes. We will see how charming John is, and viewers will experience Debra falling in love with John while they dance, eat, and make love.
Both Bana and Britton were excited for the opportunity to go beyond the boundaries of the podcast. And, since fans will be seeing John for the first time, the Bravo series will give them plenty of opportunities to experience twists and turns for podcast listeners, as well as viewers who are unfamiliar with the story.
— Bravotv (@Bravotv) November 16, 2018
Bana says that it was exciting to go beyond the podcast, but the story arc is still very similar in terms of structure. He added that the biggest challenge in playing John was giving him enough warmth, humor, and humanity during the first part of the series, and then transitioning to a dangerous place.
True crime continues to rise in popularity, especially in podcasts, and that means that we will probably see more TV and movie adaptations in the future. It will be interesting to see how well Dirty John does with viewers as it paves the way for the podcast to TV transition.
Dirty John will premiere on Bravo on Sunday, November 25th. But, if you can’t wait to see the first episode, you can watch it for free on YouTube and the Bravo app.