A Friend of the Family: Anna Paquin & More Join Peacock True-Crime Drama
Peacock has officially given a straight-to-series order to Nick Antosca’s next true-crime limited series titled A Friend of the Family, based on the real-life kidnappings of Jan Broberg. Oscar winner Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), Colin Hanks (The Offer), and Lio Tipton (Why Women Kill) have signed on to star in the upcoming drama, portraying the respective roles of Mary Ann Broberg, Robert Berchtold, Bob Broberg, and Gail Berchtold.
“Nick Antosca has created a compelling series in A Friend of the Family that explores one family’s unimaginable experience with great insight and sensitivity,” President of Scripted Content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, Lisa Katz said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, Colin Hanks, and Lio Tipton bring these complex characters to life, and we know Peacock audiences will connect with this incredible story of deception and resilience.”
A Friend of the Family will be based on the stranger-than-fiction kidnapping story of Jan Broberg, who was kidnapped by their neighbor Robert Berchtold on two different occasions during the 1970s. Broberg will be serving as a producer along with her mother Mary Ann Broberg, who previously wrote a memoir together about the horrifying incident titled Stolen Innocence: The Jan Broberg Story.
Their character descriptions are listed below:
Paquin’s Mary Ann – is the mother of three daughters, and her life has felt safe, happy and rewarding until recently. She has realized too late that she may have missed warning signs and made a terrible mistake by becoming close to her charismatic neighbor Robert Berchtold — and trusting him around her oldest daughter, Jan.
Lacy’s Robert – is a charming local businessman who appears to be a genial Mormon father and husband. An expert in manipulation, he puts everyone around him at ease as he carefully plots the abduction of Mary Ann’s daughter.
Hanks’ Bob – is Mary Ann’s husband and Jan’s father, who’s big-hearted, kind, and everyone’s best friend. He’s the very model of a suburban patriarch. As his family gets closer to neighbor Robert Berchtold, Bob begins to fear that something is amiss.
Tipton’s Gail – is Robert’s wife and the mother of a large family. Her husband suffers from mood swings and this has led him to act erratically. Gail’s concerns about her husband may keep her on edge, but she never could have expected what her husband would eventually do.
“It tells the harrowing true story of the Broberg family, whose daughter Jan was kidnapped multiple times over a period of years by a charismatic, obsessed family ‘friend,'” reads the synopsis. “The Brobergs — devoted to their faith, family, and community — were utterly unprepared for the sophisticated tactics their neighbor used to exploit their vulnerabilities, drive them apart, and turn their daughter against them. This is the story of how their lives were permanently altered — and how they survived.”
A Friend of the Family hails from writer, executive producer, and showrunner Nick Antosca, who’s known for his work on Hulu’s acclaimed true crime miniseries The Act. Eliza Hittman (Never Rarely Sometimes Always) has also boarded the project to direct multiple episodes including the pilot.
It is a production by UCP. Executive producers are Hittman, and Alex Hedlund, with Top Knot Films’ Skye Borgman set as a consulting producer.