NBC News Enters Scripted Drama Realm, and Partners with Renee Zellweger

By A.J. Katz 

Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger is coming to broadcast television for the first time as the star and co-ep of The Thing About Pam, a new NBC prime time series that’s based on a well-known true-crime investigation that was featured in a series of Dateline episodes.

The Thing About Pam is a co-production of Zellweger’s Big Picture Inc., Blumhouse Television and NBC News Studios.

“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 NBC Entertainment content chairman Susan 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.”


The six-episode straight-to-series order is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband Russ’s conviction, but he insisted he did not kill her. His conviction was later overturned. This murder set off a chain of events that would expose a scheme deeply involving Pam Hupp, who is played by Zellweger.

A thorough examination of the scheme was featured on several episodes of Dateline, becoming one of the most popular topics to ever air on the NBC News true crime magazine. It also became the subject of a popular 2019 podcast, The Thing About Pam, which still 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 NBC News president Noah Oppenheim.

NBC News studios and Dateline ep Liz Cole added: “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.”