The Thing About Pam—Is the Renée Zellweger show based on a true story?

Renée Zellweger stars in the NBC drama about a Dateline true crime saga—but is the plot inspired by a real story?

Renee Zellweger
(Image credit: NBC)

Renée Zellweger's latest television effort, The Thing About Pam, premiered on NBC earlier this week. Although the limited series is based on coverage from Dateline and an eponymous podcast, fans are wondering if the story behind the show is real.

Turns out that the premise of The Thing About Pam is completely based on reality. The show specifically chronicles the 2011 murder of one Betsy Faria by the infamous Pam Hupp, the murderer played by Renée. More specifically, the killing of Betsy initially resulted in the conviction of her husband Russ Faria (played by Glenn Fleshler). When his sentence was overturned, detectives eventually landed on Pam's scheme to commit the crime.

Renée, who has been criticized for wearing a fat suit while taking on the role of Pam, also serves as an executive producer on the series. For what it’s worth, the 52-year-old actor says that being "unrecognizable" in the new true-crime series is a "compliment."

WHO STARS IN THE THING ABOUT PAM?

The cast of The Thing About Pam is a star-studded one that includes Josh Duhamel as Joel Schwartz, Russ' defense lawyer, Judy Greer as Lincoln County prosecutor Leah Askey, Katy Mixon as Betsy and Gideon Adlon as Mariah Day, Betsy and Russ' 17-year-old daughter. Other cast members include Sean Bridgers, who plays Pam's husband, Suanne Spoke as Betsy's mom and Mac Brandt as the detective assigned to Betsy's murder case.

Renee Zellweger

(Image credit: NBC)

WHO NARRATES THE THING ABOUT PAM?

One of the most notable voices in the show is that of the narrator, who actually happens to be a Dateline NBC journalist who has also worked on The Thing About Pam podcast. Keith Morrison is a Canadian broadcast journalist who has been a correspondent for the program since 1995. His iconic voice and delivery are now the stuff of legend. Even comedian Bill Hader has parodied the journalist in various acts!

HOW MANY EPISODES OF THE THING ABOUT PAM ARE THERE?

There are a total of six episodes making up The Thing About Pam miniseries. The first one aired earlier this week. The season finale is scheduled to air on April 6.

HOW CAN I WATCH THE THING ABOUT PAM?

Folks in the United States of America get to catch a new episode on NBC every Tuesday night at 10pm. Can't tune in? Worry not. Each episode will subsequently be available for streaming on Peacock and Hulu. Another option would be to purchase all episodes on Amazon or iTunes. 

Fans in the UK can catch The Thing About Pam on Peacock or on Sky TV and NOW with a subscription.

Anna Rahmanan is a New York-based writer and editor who covers news, entertainment, lifestyle, culture, food, travel and more. Read more of her work at annabenyehuda.com.