Where was The Watcher filmed and where is it set?

The Watcher on Netflix tells the scary tale of an infamous New Jersey house - but where was The Watcher filmed?

Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock in episode 101 of The Watcher
(Image credit: Cr. Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022)

Just a day after premiering on Netflix, The Watcher has already reached peak levels of popularity.

The Watcher is based on the true story of the infamous "Watcher house" in New Jersey. The new Netflix miniseries created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan tells the story of Nora and Dean Brannock. Inspired by real-life couple Maria and Derek Broaddus, the show follows Nora and Dean as they move into their dream home and become harassed by a stalker who sends them letters signed simply "The Watcher." 

The series is actually based on a 2018 New York Magazine (opens in new tab) article written by Reeves Wiedeman about disturbing real-life events. And there are likely a few fans out there wondering where The Watcher was filmed and set... 

*Warning: spoilers ahead!*

WHERE WAS THE WATCHER FILMED?

According to The Cinemaholic (opens in new tab), The Watcher Netflix miniseries was filmed entirely in New York, both across New York City and Westchester County, beginning in late September of 2021 through early March of 2022.

Although the original Watcher house at the center of the tale is actually in New Jersey, the production used a home at 1 Warriston Lane in Rye, New York as the official set. 

According to the outlet, "the series fictionally states that the house was constructed in 1921 and consists of five baths, four bedrooms, a semi-finished basement, a semi-finished attic and an in-ground pool." The real New Jersey house, however, was built on half-an-acre of land in 1905 and boasted six bedrooms, four bathrooms and a bunch of fireplaces. It also does not have a pool.

Throughout the past few months, fans also noticed The Watcher filming signage in Brooklyn's McCarren Park and at The Tides Motor Inn at 888 Bayville Road in Locust Valley, which is east of Manhattan.

WHERE IS THE WATCHER SET?

The true story behind the fictional The Watcher was set in New Jersey, specifically revolving around the house at 657 Boulevard in Westfield. 

As stated in the New York article, the entire tale unfolds in Jersey but there are definitely some differences between the Netflix show and reality.

Jennifer Coolidge as Karen Calhoun, Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock, Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock in episode 101 of The Watcher

(Image credit: Cr. Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022)

As explained by Netflix's blog Tudum (opens in new tab), the Broaddus' never actually moved into 657 Boulevard but, in the series, the fictional Brannocks do. Speaking of the house: the real-life home was bought for $1.35 million but, in the show, fans are introduced to a property that is listed for $3.2 million.

The Broadusses actually bought 657 Boulevard but then put it on the market, without ever moving into it, a mere eight months after signing, in February of 2015. 

The house wasn't selling and, after reducing the price a few times, the owners decided to simply remove the listing in June of 2015, at which point they filed a legal complaint against the previous owners for "failing to disclose letters they'd received." 

The legal battle never really went anywhere and so the family re-listed the property in the spring of 2016. It took until July 2019 for them to finally sell the house for half-a-million dollars less than what they had originally paid for it.

WHAT IS THE NETFLIX SHOW THE WATCHER ABOUT?

All seven episodes of The Watcher are now available for streaming on Netflix, each one delving into the story of the married couple who buys a home in the suburbs of New Jersey but is immediately harassed by a series of anonymous letters signed by "The Watcher." 

Luke David Blumm as Carter Brannock, Isabel Marie Gravitt as Ellie Brannock, Bobby Cannavale as Dean Brannock, Naomi Watts as Nora Brannock in episode 101 of The Watcher

(Image credit: Cr. Eric Liebowitz/Netflix © 2022)

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale take on the protagonists' roles. Mia Farrow and Terry Kinney stars as, respectively, Pearl and Jasper Winslow - "creepy" siblings interested in the home. The cast is rounded out by Noma Dumezweni, Joe Mantello and Jennifer Coolidge.

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers culture, entertainment, food, fashion and travel news. Anna’s words have appeared on Time Out New York, the Huffington Post, Fortune, Forbes, Us Weekly, Bon Appetit and Brooklyn Magazine, among other outlets.