Adapted by showrunner and executive producer Nick Antosca and directed by executive producer Eliza Hittman, A Friend of the Family will recount the real story of the teenage girl who was abducted not once, but twice by the same man in several years. That man was the Broberg family’s trusted neighbor, Robert Berchtold, who ended up manipulating and exploiting the parents before turning their daughter against them.
“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,” said Lisa Katz, president scripted content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “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.”
In the limited series, Paquin will portray Jan’s trusting mother, Mary Ann, alongside Hanks as Jan’s big-hearted father, Bob, with Lacy as their charming neighbor, Robert, and Tipton as his concerned wife, Gail.
In 2019, after the docuseries first came out, Jan Broberg, now 59, spoke with ET about the almost unbelievable circumstances surrounding her being kidnapped twice by the same man and how it could have even happened.
"Grooming and manipulation is so subtle," she said at the time. "We don't think this kind of thing could happen to us and yet somewhere deep inside, we've all been conned or we've all had some brush with somebody taking advantage of us to some degree.”
She added, “People don't want to believe that they aren't seeing something that's in their own family or in their own congregation or in their own neighborhood, but that's because we have a bias. The person we trust and love, we're not going to see the little, subtle warning signs because we don't want to, first of all. So, that's really the crux of that story.”