The two-time Oscar winner has signed on to star and executive produce NBC's The Thing About Pam, a six-episode true-crime drama series inspired by a real-life story, the network announced Thursday. This marks Zellweger's broadcast TV debut project and has received a straight-to-series pickup.
It's based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband Russ’ conviction. He maintained that he did not kill her and his conviction was later overturned. The crime set off a chain of events that exposed a scheme involving Pam Hupp, who Zellweger will portray in the series.
The true-crime saga was heavily featured on Dateline and became one of the newsmagazine's most popular topics. It also became the central focus of the popular 2019 podcast "The Thing About Pam."
The Thing About Pam is the first scripted project to come from a new partnership between Jason Blum's Blumhouse TV and NBC News Studios. House of Lies and UnREAL's Jessika Borsiczky has been tapped to write and 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 Renée Zellweger, Blumhouse and Dateline,” Susan 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.”
“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.
Zellweger won her second Oscar in 2020 for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. She previously won in 2004 for Cold Mountain. Her sole series regular TV credit to date is Netflix's one-and-done What/If, which co-starred Jane Levy.