New ABC series will go inside the head of key player in the Watergate scandal

watergate scandal event series abc john dean nixon edited transcripts
National Archives
ABC is working on a new event series that takes a look from the inside of the Watergate scandal. The drama, called simply Watergate, will be told through the view of former White House counsel and implicated Watergate collaborator John Dean.

The series is being billed as a story about a man who thinks he has landed his dream job at the White House, only to realize that he’s being set up as the scapegoat for the president, according to Deadline. In accordance with the events that transpired in the early 1970s, though, Dean won’t go down without a fight.

Dean was a key player in Nixon’s camp when the group wiretapped the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex to help the former president’s 1972 re-election campaign. After pleading guilty for his role in the scandal, he became a key witness for the prosecution in the legal proceedings against Nixon, which led to the president’s 1974 resignation.

Dean is the author of 14 books including 2014’s The Nixon Defense: What He Knew, and When He Knew It. Screenwriter Jon Maas (The Last Debate) will use The Nixon Defense and Jason Grote’s The System as source material. He was also an important player in the court cases against Nixon which led to the president’s 1974 resignation.

Entertainment One and Bob Cooper have been tapped as a producers of the series. Jon Maas will executive produce with Cooper’s Storyscape Entertainment, Dan Halsted, Eric Hamburg, and Jeff Field.

The series is currently in its gestational period, according to Deadline. If ABC goes forward with the series, it will follow several other films based on the scandal including Alan J. Pakula’s renowned 1976 film All the President’s Men, and the 1989 television film The Final Days based on Bob Woodward’s book.

ABC also has another historical drama in the more immediate future: the miniseries Madoff based on famous ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. That project, which stars Richard Dreyfuss as Madoff, will debut on February 3.

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