If you’re searching for the next true crime drama to send a chill down your spine, look no further than Peacock’s A Friend of the Family. The limited series is based on Jan Broberg (McKenna Grace), a young girl kidnapped twice over the span of a few years by the same family friend, Robert Berchtold (Jake Lacy).
The Broberg family, led by Bob (Colin Hanks) and Mary Ann (Anna Paquin), were devoted to their “faith, family, and community,” according to the official synopsis. When Robert and Gail (Lio Tipton) Berchtold move to the neighborhood, the Brobergs strike up an immediate friendship with their new neighbors. However, Robert begins to obsess over the Brobergs, and his fascination eventually leads to him kidnapping Jan multiple times.
The haunting trailer teases how Robert preyed on the vulnerabilities of Bob and Mary Ann, causing cracks in their family’s relationships. Jan’s story was previously told in the documentary, Abducted in Plain Sight.
A Friend of the Family comes from Nick Antosca, who previously created crime dramas The Act and Candy. By making this series, Antosca came to sympathize with the Brobergs and understand how a “master manipulator” could take advantage of them. “I hope people will come away from the series with a deeper understanding of the family and say: In that time, in that place, they were like me. They made terrible mistakes, but they loved their kids,” said Antosca in a statement.
Both Jan and Mary Ann Broberg serve as producers on the series. “Our story is relatable because so many families have direct experience with this sort of abuse,” said Jan in a statement. “I hope that our story will start conversations — because secrets live in darkness and silence.”
A Friend of the Family premieres on Peacock on Thursday, October 6 with three episodes at launch and new episodes streaming weekly.
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