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TVWeek, Bravo

A Cautionary Tale Made From ‘Story Concentrate’

Nov 20, 2018  •  Post A Comment

The scene is set in the ultra-wealthy enclave of Newport Beach, Calif. An attractive, successful business owner, divorced, goes on a series of dates, meeting potential suitors in some of Orange County’s swankiest restaurants and bars.

By turns, these men are boring, self-centered, obnoxious and clueless, but the search goes on — until Debra Newell meets a handsome and charming doctor, John Meehan, beginning a liaison that will eventually tear Debra’s family apart.

That’s the setup for “Dirty John,” a harrowing real-life cautionary tale of deception, betrayal, terror, manipulation, drug abuse and violence that was first chronicled in a series of investigative reports in the Los Angeles Times in 2017 and became a podcast that has been downloaded 30 million times. Now the material has been adapted into an eight-part Bravo series, set to premiere this Sunday, Nov. 25.

TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin got the story behind the project from Alexandra Cunningham, creator and writer of the Bravo series, who explained how creating the series was “like adding water to the story concentrate.” Please click here to read their insightful interview.

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