Is Dirty John Worthy of TV?


The Ringer goes in-depth wondering if the latest podcast-to-television adaptation – Dirty John – can live up to the success of Homecoming. Amazon released Homecoming, based on a fictional podcast from writers Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, starring Julia Roberts.

But while the stranger-than-fiction story of Dirty John does come from real life, the doomed marriage of Orange County businesswoman Debra Newell and violent con man John Meehan first gained an audience not as a cable news story, but as a podcast.

Back in 2017, Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard penned a six-part series from about Orange County businesswoman Debra Newell and violent con man John Meehan’s relationship, which The Ringer says, “soured from a fairy-tale seduction to a terrifying cautionary tale in a matter of months.”

Dirty John was quickly downloaded over 10 million times and cable TV’s Bravo ordered the an anthology series.

Here’s what The Ringer says about the podcasting to TV boom: “Podcasting’s versatility speaks to its potential as a TV wellspring over the long term. There are parallels in each format’s appeal—just as podcasts feel intimate because they accompany us on a walk or on our commutes, so TV meets us in our living rooms—and yet they’re immersive in different ways.” The website also says we can expect to see more podcasts being turned into Television shows.

Dirty John airs on Bravo Sundays at 10 p.m.
Check out the podcast HERE on iTunes.
Check out Homecoming on iHeartRadio HERE
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