Dirty John (TV series)

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Dirty John
Created byAlexandra Cunningham
Based onDirty John
by Christopher Goffard
Composer(s)Mark Mothersbaugh
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Melinda Whitaker
  • Christopher Goffard
  • Nan Bernstein Freed
CinematographyTodd McMullen
  • Carole Kravetz Aykanian
  • Curtis Thurber
  • Daniel Downer III
  • Louise A. Innes
Running time42–50 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkBravo
Original releaseNovember 25, 2018 (2018-11-25) – present (present)
External links
Official website

Dirty John is an American true crime anthology television series, based on the podcast of the same name by Christopher Goffard, that premiered on November 25, 2018, on Bravo. The series was created and written by Alexandra Cunningham, who also executive produces alongside Richard Suckle, Charles Roven, Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen, and Chris Argentieri.


Season one of Dirty John tells the story of "how a romance with the charismatic John Meehan spiraled into secrets, denial, manipulation, and ultimately, survival – with horrific consequences for an entire family."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]


  • Connie Britton as Debra Newell, a successful interior designer who is looking for love on dating apps after four failed marriages.
  • Eric Bana as John Meehan, a con man with a history of deceiving women who is currently posing as an anesthesiologist.
  • Juno Temple as Veronica Newell, Debra's older daughter.
  • Julia Garner as Terra Newell, Debra's youngest daughter.




No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release dateU.S. viewers
1"Approachable Dreams"Jeffrey ReinerAlexandra CunninghamNovember 25, 2018 (2018-11-25)[a]1.22[2]
2"Red Flags and Parades"Jeffrey ReinerEvan WrightDecember 2, 2018 (2018-12-02)1.24[3]
3"Remember It Was Me"Jeffrey ReinerDiana SonDecember 9, 2018 (2018-12-09)1.28[4]
4"Shrapnel"Jeffrey ReinerAlexandra Cunningham & Sinead DalyDecember 16, 2018 (2018-12-16)1.14[5]
5"Lord High Executioner"Jeffrey ReinerChristopher GoffardDecember 23, 2018 (2018-12-23)1.04[6]
6"One Shoe"Jeffrey ReinerAlexandra Cunningham & Kevin J. HynesDecember 30, 2018 (2018-12-30)1.37[7]
7"Chivalry"Jeffrey ReinerAlexandra Cunningham & Lex EdnessJanuary 6, 2019 (2019-01-06)1.49[8]
8"This Young Woman Fought Like Hell"Jeffrey ReinerAlexandra CunninghamJanuary 13, 2019 (2019-01-13)1.84[9]



On January 28, 2018, it was announced that Bravo had given a series order to Dirty John, a new television series created and written by Alexandra Cunningham. The series order was reportedly for two seasons in which Cunningham would executive produce alongside Richard Suckle, Charles Roven, Mark Herzog, Christopher G. Cowen and Christopher Argentieri. Production companies involved in the series were slated to include Universal Cable Productions, Los Angeles Times Studios, and Atlas Entertainment.[1][10][11] On October 8, 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on November 25, 2018.[12]


On March 26, 2018, it was announced that Connie Britton had been cast in the series' lead role.[13][14] On April 3, 2018, it was reported that Eric Bana had joined the main cast as the eponymous John Meehan.[15] On June 14, 2018, it was announced that Jean Smart had been cast in a recurring role.[16] In July 2018, it was reported that Juno Temple, Julia Garner, Kevin Zegers, Keiko Agena, John Karna, Sprague Grayden, Cliff Chamberlain, Jake Abel, and David Barrera had joined the cast. Temple and Garner were cast in starring roles and Zegers, Abel, and Barrera were set to appear in a recurring capacity.[17][18][19][20] On August 16, 2018, it was announced that Lindsey Kraft had been cast in guest starring role.[21]



On August 24, 2018, a "first look" still image from the series was released featuring Connie Britton and Eric Bana in character as Debra Newell and John Meehan, respectively.[22] On September 17, 2018, a teaser trailer for the series was released.[23] On October 8, 2018, the official trailer for the series was released.[12] On December 20, 2018, an exclusive preview clip from the series was released.[24]


On November 13, 2018, the series held its official premiere at NeueHouse Hollywood in Los Angeles, California featuring a screening of the series. A red carpet arrival was originally scheduled to take place before the screening but it was canceled out of respect for the victims of the Woolsey Fire which was still burning in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties.[25]

Dirty John: The Dirty Truth[edit]

On January 28, 2018, it was announced that Oxygen had ordered a companion docuseries to air alongside the main series which would investigate the real John Meehan through the eyes of those he deceived. The project was set to be executive produced by Mark Herzog and Christopher G. Cowen with production companies including Herzog & Co and Los Angeles Times Studios.[1] On November 14, 2018, it was reported that the docuseries was actually a documentary, that it had been titled Dirty John: The Dirty Truth, and that it would air in January 2019.[26] On December 16, 2018, it was announced that documentary would premiere on January 14, 2019.[27]


Critical response[edit]

The series has been met with a mixed to positive response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the series holds a 70% approval rating with an average rating of 5.22 out of 10 based on 27 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Dirty John might not live up to the thrills of its source material, but Connie Britton puts on a clinic with her interpretation of true crime treachery."[28] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the series a score of 58 out of 100 based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[29]

In a positive review, Entertainment Weekly's Kristen Baldwin gave the series a grade of "A-" and directed particular praise at the performances in it describing Britton as "perfectly cast" and saying of Bana that he "may benefit the most from Dirty John; as Meehan, the actor pivots from charming to chilling and back again with astonishing ease."[30] In a similarly favorable analysis, the Los Angeles Times's Mike Mack commended the series declaring, "Glossy and well-acted, its transfer from your daily commute’s most suspenseful listening stretch ever to serviceable wine-and-laundry-folding companion show feels, all in all, a smooth one."[31]

In a more mixed assessment, RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico gave the series qualified praise saying, "Dirty John is very entertaining, though it's not without faults. It doesn't dig very deep, or present Debra's daughters as full characters (their main roles are to look confused or upset, which is a waste of big talent), and its storytelling can be a little convoluted. But it never claims to be high art."[32] In an outright negative appraisal, TVLine's Dave Nemetz gave series a grade of "D" and criticized it saying, "Britton and her talented co-stars are wasted here on a warmed-over Lifetime movie masquerading as a prestige TV miniseries — one that's, sadly, not even trashy enough to qualify as a guilty pleasure."[33] In another unfavorable evaluation, IndieWire's Ben Travers was very critical of the series giving it a grade of "C-" and saying that, "Decidedly not ambitious 'prestige' television, the first three episodes make perfectly clear this isn't a nuanced series, or one interested in exploring abuse or manipulation in serious fashion. It's trying to be a juicy nighttime soap that uses the 'true story' tag to drive viewers' mouths further and further agape.[34]

In keeping with the recognized need to distinguish between facts and fiction in the series multiple news reports addressed both accuracies and inaccuracies in the story, as well as details the story omitted (e.g., see Dirty John: The Dirty Truth above). Examples include Monica Sisivat's Pop Sugar article, "10 Chilling Details Bravo's Dirty John Left Out From the Disturbing True Story",[35] Tierney Bricker's EW piece titled, "Everything Dirty John Changed or Left out From the Crazy True Story",[36] and Emma Dibdin's Harper's Bazaar article, "A Complete Timeline of the Events of Dirty John (The real-life story is even more shocking than the show)".[37]


No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Approachable Dreams" November 25, 2018 0.4 1.22[2] 0.3 0.86 0.6 2.09[38]
2 "Red Flags and Parades" December 2, 2018 0.4 1.24[3] 0.4 1.26 0.8 2.50[39]
3 "Remember It Was Me" December 9, 2018 0.4 1.28[4] 0.4 1.39 0.8 2.67[40]
4 "Shrapnel" December 16, 2018 0.3 1.14[5] 0.5 1.55 0.8 2.69[41]
5 "Lord High Executioner" December 23, 2018 0.3 1.04[6] 0.4 1.40 0.7 2.44[42]
6 "One Shoe" December 30, 2018 0.4 1.37[7] 0.5 1.54 0.9 2.91[43]
7 "Chivalry" January 6, 2019 0.4 1.49[8] 0.5 1.46 0.9 2.95[44]
8 "This Young Woman Fought Like Hell" January 13, 2019 0.6 1.84[9] TBD TBD TBD TBD

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2019 Golden Globe Awards Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film Connie Britton Nominated [45]
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Connie Britton Nominated [46]
Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television Julia Garner Nominated


  1. ^ Episode one was released early on November 15, 2018, through Bravo's streaming application.


  1. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (January 30, 2018). "'Dirty John': Bravo Gives 2-Season Order To True Crime Anthology Series, Oxygen Greenlights Companion Docuseries". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (November 28, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 11.25.2018". ShowBuzz Daily. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
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  4. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (December 11, 2018). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Sunday Cable Originals & Network Finals: 12.9.2018". ShowBuzz Daily. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
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  10. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (January 30, 2018). "Bravo, Oxygen Order Scripted Series and Docu Based on 'Dirty John' Podcast". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (January 28, 2018). "'Dirty John' Anthology Based on L.A. Times Articles Set at Bravo With 2-Season Order (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Petski, Denise (October 8, 2018). "'Dirty John': Bravo Unveils New Trailer & Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
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  14. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 26, 2018). "Connie Britton to Star in Bravo Anthology Series 'Dirty John'". Variety. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
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External links[edit]