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Article Highlights:

  • The Thing About Pam is based on a true story
  • Keith Morrison serves as the narrator throughout the limited series
  • An unrecognizable Reńee Zellweger stars as Pam Hupp

NBC’s new docudrama, The Thing About Pam, brings back a familiar voice in the role of narrator in the limited series. Keith Morrison, the longtime host of Dateline, details the twists and turns of the bizarre true story of Pam Hupp and the murder of her so-called best friend, Betsy Faria. The series will only run for six episodes and is based on the podcast of the same name produced by both Morrison and Dateline.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the NBC limited series The Thing About Pam.]

'The Thing About Pam' star Renée Zellweger holds a decorative tin in a production still from the limited series.
Renée Zellweger as Pam Hupp | Photo by: Skip Bolen/NBC

‘The Thing About Pam’ focuses on the murder of Betsy Faria 

According to NBC’s synopsis, “The Thing About Pam is based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that resulted in her husband Russ’ conviction, although he insisted he didn’t kill her. He was later exonerated. This brutal crime set off a chain of events that would expose a diabolical scheme deeply involving Pam Hupp. A thorough examination of the scheme was featured on several episodes of Dateline NBC, becoming one of the most popular topics to ever air on the hit franchise. It also became the subject of a popular 2019 podcast, The Thing About Pam, which remains one of the most downloaded podcasts on Apple Podcasts.”

Renée Zellweger plays the infamous Hupp, with Katy Mixon in the role of Faria. The series also stars Josh Duhamel and Judy Greer.

‘Dateline NBC’ host Keith Morrison serves as the narrator for the series

Morrison has been a Dateline fan favorite for years. His peculiar inflection and standard “oohs” and “ahhs” have been parodied by Bill Hader on Saturday Night Live. At one point, even the app, Waze, offered up Morrison’s voice to give people directions to their destinations. Morrison served as the narrator for the podcast version of The Thing About Pam. Now, in what Time calls “stunt-casting,” Morrison plays the omniscient narrator in the NBC series.

In an interview with Media Path Podcast, Morrison expanded on Hupp’s backstory and why it was such a fascinating case. Chuckling at first, Morrison said, “There are many things about Pam. In our explorations of her life and times, we discovered that she had been, for years and years and years, doing things that perhaps wouldn’t live up to people’s expectations of moral behavior. She was very good at doing bad things and then making sure that somebody else was blamed for them. That’s how this story came to be.”


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A nearly unrecognizable Renée Zellweger plays the role of Pam Hupp

Fans were shocked when the first pictures of Zellweger on set made their way to the internet. Zellweger, executive producer of the series, explained the reasoning behind the way she looked to Entertainment Tonight. She said, “The idea is accuracy.”

According to Time, “It’s why she [Zellweger] chose to wear prosthetics and a ‘fat suit’ for the role, a decision that has led to some controversy online. Zellweger, however, said she felt that ‘in the case of telling this story, it was really important to as closely resemble Pam Hupp as we possibly could because she seems so familiar. She seems like someone that we recognize, and we know.”‘

The Thing About Pam airs Tuesday nights on ABC.